Category Archives: misc2

Odoi Odu: the first all-Dusun language film to win a national level award

Odoi Odu (Oh Grandmother) won the grand prize of the second edition of the ASTRO Kirana Short Film Awards 2008/2009, defeating 9 other finalists, bagging RM100,000 worth of a feature length movie production budget, RM5,000 cash and a trophy. Other than that, the short film was showcased to 2.4 million households in Malaysia, Indonesia & Brunei.

Some screenshots

The competition was organised by Astro Kirana for budding Malaysian filmmakers:

It is part of Astro’s long term vision and commitment to nurture up and coming talents in film-making by providing a platform for them to showcase their creation. We hope to build a sustainable pool of talent to elevate the quality of our local film industry to be at par with global standards. The competition is open to all filmmakers including the industry’s professionals, practicing filmmakers, students, as well as free-lance directors.

It was directed, produced, screenwritten, cinematographed, edited, sounded and art directed by Farizie Morinding of Kg Lohan, Ranau, Sabah.

In other words, a one-man video production company using apparently only Windows Movie Maker as editing software defeated national all-comers in his first attempt!

Click here to read the rest of the article

The Donggongon roundabout sigah controversy: which way should it be facing?

UPDATE 29th May 2008: A little bird informed that the sigah cost RM400,000.

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This is generating some controversy.

In Daily Express’ forum on the 18th May 2008, Sylvester Disimon, Chairman of the Penampang Branch of Kadazan Society Sabah (KSS) wrote in essence:

Since the Sigah is such an important traditional headgear, with which the Kadazandusun community is identified, not just in Penampang but throughout Sabah, the Sigah monument should not have been located at the roundabout in the first place.

However, he wrote that since construction has started, go ahead, but there’s some issue with the direction it’s facing. It should serve its purpose i.e. welcome visitors driving towards the direction of Donggongon from the Penampang bypass.

As of now, it is facing the opposite direction.

This is what one would see when approaching the roundabout while driving towards the direction of Donggongon on the Penampang bypass:

For those who are not familiar with the area, here’s an image from Google Earth which shows the position of the roundabout relative to surrounding areas:

He further wrote that the Penampang District Council, who is also Penampang District Officer, said that the Council decided that the Sigah should face the rising sun i.e. the East. At the same time, it is also appropriately facing Mount Kinabalu.

Disimon wrote that both reasons are unacceptable, because the former is talking about Feng Shui, and due to most Penampangites being Christians, this should not be taken into consideration. As for the latter, it’s like leading people to their “final resting place on the mountain”.

Disimon wrote that he had contacted Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, the Member of Parliament for Penampang on the matter, who basically said he didn’t have “strong views on the matter” and that “either way is ok.”

What do you think? Which way should it be facing?

Read this if you are involved in the United Kingdom’s construction industry

CSkills.org is a Norfolk-based partner of ConstrunctionSkills – the Sector Skills Council for Construction. The other partners are CITB Northern Ireland and the Construction Industry Council (CIC).

Specifically for the United Kingdom, it helps to bring up adequately trained and skilled team of people that the UK’s construction industry needs, something it surely needs to prosper in the face of globalisation.

The website provides relevant information for those working in or around the UK’s construction industry.

Matters which are of importance to careers in this field are dwelt upon, and are arranged in broad categories of Card Schemes, Health & Safety, Training & Learning, Curriculum & Careers (that includes apprenticeships), Support, News and Publications.

Some of the more pertinent topics covered in detailed include practical questions like what should you do to become certified in your chosen profession by 2010. They also include latest information on health and safety legislation, so that you don’t have to look it up elsewhere.

bet365: for online betting afficionados

bet365 is an betting company offering secure online gaming facilities, including casino, Sportsbook betting, interactive games and online poker.

Players are assigned one account which they can use to utilise all the services offered via wallet system.

Checking their website just now, it seems they have been around for a while (since 2001). And it’s a rather popular website, there were 14,573 players online, with more than 1,000 “seated at tables.”

Then in 2nd March 2008 they’re having a poker tournament with a very big amount offered: a USD2 million guaranteed prize pool: their biggest ever.

Their website is easily navigable, as is expected of an established online gaming company.

If you’re in the market for online poker, it’s worth checking out.

Gold bullions as a mechanism to preserve wealth and purchasing power

This has nothing to do with gold jewellery or things to be worn as ornaments, but rather investment tools: gold coins or ingots, to be stored in banks. Gold ingots are pure bullion cast into standard shapes, like bars.

Gold bullions have long been accepted as investments that can protect wealth and preserve one’s purchasing power. That means not just governments can have gold reserves, but individuals too.

Monex Deposit Company (MDC), established by the Carabini family and based in California is a company offering such products for sale. They can deliver them to you or store it for you at a safe location. They have been doing this for more than 30 years, and is one of the leaders in its field in the US, boasting the following:

- competitive prices
- transactions worth more than USD25 billion
- 80% repeat clients
- almost one third of new clients are referrals from existing ones

Driving around Europe

I went Eurorailing to more than 10 countries in Europe in the summer of 1992. It is one of my fondest memories. Getting around on the trains was easy, even when we lost the train guidebook. It’s basically just making sure we had the relevant visas, get on the last train of the night, and by morning we’d be in a different country already – saving time and cost. I remember our encounter with a crazy Berliner who talked incessantly about Hitler, perhaps that’s why we didn’t really stay long there, if not we’d have to check out Hotels in Berlin.

driving.JPG

However, if I had to drive a car around Europe, that would be a totally different scenario. I would need to know or have the following things ready:
- Make sure I know which side of the road to drive on in which country. People drive on the left side of the road in Cyprus, Ireland, Malta and the United Kingdom. In most other countries in Europe, people drive on the right side of the road. To add to the confusion, in some countries like Belgium, France, Holland and Portugal, one would have to give way to traffic coming from the right.
- Ensure my travelmates are very good navigators / map readers.
- I would need a driving license issued in the EU. I am not sure if it’s possible to simply apply for a driving license if you already have a license issued in Malaysia, or whether you have to go through the whole process again
- Make sure motor insurance is purchased and active
- I would need to know the speed limits. For example, the speed limit on German motorways is 130 km/h but in Belgium it’s 120 km/h. Then in the UK it’s even less: 110 km/h and in Cyprus it’s a mere 100 km/h!
- If I were driving in Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia I would need to remember to get a toll sticker to affix on my windscreen at the border crossings into those countries.
- I would need to research and book for hotels. If I were going to have a leisurely tour of the Louvre, I’d have to check out Hotels in Paris

Hotels in London are not really a necessity since we have Malaysia Hall, but hey, you can consider that a hotel too.

And Hotels in Barcelona was out of the question then because we chose not to go to Spain due to the visa’s cost and we wanted to avoid the crowds during the Olympics being held there at the same time.

Lastly, a travel health insurance policy is a must, just in case you fall ill along the way.

Search engine for Credit Cards

If Google is the de facto general search engine, then CreditCardSearchEngine.com deals with credit cards.

As the name suggests, anybody can search for, compare, choose and apply for all kinds of credit cards imaginable.

You can also browse by credit card category, of which there are 12, including Low Interest Credit Cards, Balance Transfer Credit Cards and Credit Card For Business, even Sports Affinity Credit Cards.

Since its launch in 2000, it has grown tremendously in stature, currently having more than 3,000 unique visits per day.

At the moment, it includes all card brands and cards from leading issuers like Bank of America and Citibank.

In fact, its UK-based sister site, CreditCardSearchEngine.co.uk was launched in 2002 and was an instant hit, with 15,000 visits in its first month online alone.

WeddingChannel.com helps you plan your wedding

WeddingChannel.com says that “weddings are often one of the most stressful, complex, and expensive endeavors people undertake.” Having gone through it before, I can definitely agree with that. It’s one of the things that you can’t help but enlist other people for assistance: it simply can’t be handled by only you and your other half! Months of preparation would not guarantee a hassle-free wedding and reception.

I have attended countless weddings and receptions since then, and sometimes I would think “I should have done that during MY wedding!” Well, if I had known about WeddingChannel.com then, I could have been better prepared, as WeddingChannel.com was established before I got married.

They are a Los Angeles-based wedding planning specialists.

Their website is divided into 2 broad categories: one for the people getting married (Bride & Groom Section), and the other one for wedding guests (Guests & Gifts Section). Going into the Bride & Groom section would reveal a wealth of free-to-use features, including a check list, a budget calculator, Guest List Manager, even a wedding website! These things might be obvious to those already married, but during those frantic preparation times, it would be very easy to overlook things, especially seemingly small things.

Even by browing the front page of the website, you’ll already get Wedding Ideas: what you’d like your wedding gowns, flowers, cakes, favours, tuxedoes and many many more to look like.

There is also a list of the most common questions about weddings, answered by the experts at WeddingChannel.com.

If you’re thinking of getting married some time in the foreseeable future, this is worth bookmarking.

Ashop Commerce’s hosted shopping cart software

Ashop Commerce is a US based company offering a total solution for you to begin selling online. Their products include hosted shopping cart software.

There are of course many other companies offering similar services, so Ashop Commerce listed several ways in which they stand out from the rest:

Firstly, some of the other vendors offer “shop in a box” facilities. Ashop claims that you have to bear in mind that there could be hidden costs in things like upgrades, security, support, hosting, bugs, feature upgrades, advice, gateway fees as well as the software purchase. The whole thing can end up costing you more than you expected, as well as being not beginner-friendly to set up.

Secondly, vendors offer development of web stores from scratch. However this entails time and money: both precious commodities. There are also monthly fees which can turn out to be similar in amount to Ashop’s fees.

Lastly, Ashop claims that they are specialists in online shopping cart software development, and that most other companies can only give you a portion, and an inferior one at that, of what Ashop can do. In fact, most shopping cart providers are in reality, companies that simply resell existing ecommerce software, not one that they developed themselves.

Ashop’s software can do the whole range: stock control, customer relations, search engine promotions, sales reports and invoicing.

That, as well as the following:
- free technical support services by e-mail, web chat and phone
- fully customizable design. This is done from the web-based administration panel
- free upgrades as technology improves
- free SSL security
- search engine optimization
- affordable monthly payments. The cost starts at less than USD40 per month.

Perhaps the best is this: you can sign up for a full-function 10 day free trial, without even the need to give out your credit card details.

Online casinos reviewed

For those into online gambling, you are spoilt for choice. Apparently there are currently almost 3,000 online casinos to choose from.

A staggering number, but which online casino is the best?

Those making their first foray, and even seasoned campaigners, would do well to have a shortlist of sites to check out before settling on one. In other words, it’s a timesaver.

pro360.com reviews these and so far has done so for hundreds of them. Important factors determining your final selection such as game experience, trust score and bonuses offered for online poker, craps, slots and roulette are examined in detail.

According to pro360.com, the best online casino overall is fulltiltpoker.com, with a maximum bonus of USD600, an Editor Rating of 9.5 and Player Rating of 8.

Having said that, not all players are the same – each has their own preferences in things like features, bonus structures and even graphics. Therefore it’s worth reading as much reviews as possible.

As an additional incentive, there is the casino signup bonus on every review page, whose amount are usually bigger than what the online casions offer directly.