Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fashion Photography

Malaysian shutterbugs like to shoot fashion show in shopping mall.

Here is a fashion show held recently in KLCC, Malaysia’s premier shopping center in the capital. Enthusiastic photographers shoot the model as she walks on the stage. I can see a number of Canon L lenses. (L for luxury!)

Neo, were you there?

Usually, in this kind of event, the people who occupy the ‘prime locations’ are the shutterbugs rather than the potential shoppers.

I also shot fashion show a couple of times, but have since lost interest in it. Why?

First, with a dozen of cameras pointing at the model, it is too crowded. I have to take position 10 minutes before the show begins, or I will be blocked by the crowd. Look at the picture shown below. The white object at the bottom of the picture is probably another photographer’s hand. (I am not too sure!)

Secondly, I am not happy with the models’ facial expression. While most of them are good-looking, catwalk models are emotionless animals which hardly smile. Or they are fierce-looking as if we owe them money…

I suspect catwalk models have their own Bible, which tells them what to do and what to avoid. One of their commandments must be:

Thou shalt not smile.

I think I would rather spend some money to join a portrait photography class.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Smartphone or Netbook?

This is a Blackberry smartphone. You can send and receive e-mail with it.

This is a netbook – Asus EeePC 904HA.

This netbook has an 8.9-inch monitor and weighs just 1.4kg. Like ordinary notebook computer, it allows you to surf Net, send and receive e-mail and do a lot more.

Which one do you prefer?

  1. a smartphone
  2. an ordinary phone plus a netbook

Thursday, April 23, 2009



我曾经在中国公干几个月,然后又去美国加州当了一年的客工。说也奇怪,我虽然是华人,也懂中文,却总是觉得美国更适合我。基本上,美国给我的最大文化冲击 (culture shock) 是驾车必须靠右行。


我的公司像个联合国,同事中有白人、黑人、墨西哥人、萨尔瓦多人、英国人、澳洲人、俄罗斯人、中国人、菲律宾人、越南人、印度人、巴基斯坦人、黎巴嫩人等等。(有些外国人已归化。)美国本土人是否排外我不清楚,但至少他们没表现出来,我的第一位白人朋友非常友善。有一回,男同事邀我去墨西哥Tijuana,其中一人拿出墨西哥美眉的照片炫耀说:『只需五十美元,你就能拥有她。』可惜我的美国签证是 single-entry 的,错失良机了




Chinese American Food - Beef & Broccoli


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Air-conditioning and Global Warming

Consider this thought experiment:

You move a refrigerator into a room. The door of the fridge is left opened, but the door and the windows of the room are all closed. The fridge is powered on. One hour later you enter the room. Will the room be cooler or warmer?

Some of you have studied thermodynamics in school. The Second Law of Thermodynamics dictates that, in the thought experiment just mentioned, the room will be warmer. The refrigerator cannot take away more heat than it generates.

Air-conditioner works in the same principle as a fridge, except that the heat is channeled out of the room. So, while the room is cooled, the earth gets warmer each day (assuming that the earth cannot dissipate heat fast enough).

Unfortunately, air-conditioner, like air travel, is “necessary evil”. Lee Kuan Yew, former prime minister of Singapore, hailed air-con as human’s greatest invention. Without air-conditioner, workers in tropical countries get tired fast, and we cannot possibly match the productivity of our counterparts in temperate regions.

Still, there is something we can do. Refer to my other post – Cool Biz – for more details.

In Asia, many hotels have installed a ‘main switch’ for each of their rooms. Hotel clients are required to insert their keys into a ‘power slot’ in order to turn on the switch. When they leave their rooms, they take out their keys and the air-con, lights and TV will be switched off automatically. This is an energy saving measure.

Somehow, Asians are so ‘smart’ that they have devised ways to cheat the energy saving system, e.g. by inserting a piece of paper into the main switch. Thus, they could leave the air-conditioners on when nobody is in the room.

For the sake of our Mother Earth, please do not do so…

Related posts:
Beyond Earth Hour
Cool Biz
Air Travel & Global Warming

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Yokoso Japan

WARNING: This post is 18SX!

I came across two articles on the Web, and couldn’t help but laugh…

Japanese schoolgirls like to wear short skirts. Somebody did a research to measure the skirt lengths. It was found that the female students in Kyoto District (京都)had the shortest skirts. On average, the skirts were 16.7 cm above the knees. On the other hand, the students in Hyogo District (兵庫)were more conservative. Their skirts were 6.1 cm below the knees.

Well, I said “on average”. Some individual students had shorter skirts. As we can see from the picture shown above, the skirt on top right corner is 27 cm above the knee! Phew…

Here is another combo picture showing the students in Niigata (新潟). Do you notice the snow? The girls wear short skirts even in winter!

No wonder Japanese middle-aged men like to date school girls

Poster opposes short schoolgirl skirts
Teachers promote proper schoolgirl skirt length poster

Thursday, April 16, 2009



开启空调时,尽量少开门窗,使用空调的睡眠程式(sleep mode)可达到20%省电效果。


Mobile phone 过去大马华人称之为手提电话或『大哥大』,现在则称为手机,这也是受中国大陆影响。





Monday, April 13, 2009

Air Travel and Global Warming

AirAsia X, the Malaysia-based budget airlines, has added the Kuala Lumpur-London route. Now, with less than RM1,000, you can fly to UK, tour around the British capital, take a pilgrimage to Manchester, and meet up with Kikey Loo.

But wait a minute. Before you fly, you may want to find out the effects of air travel to global warming. Using the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) carbon emission calculator, I work out the carbon dioxide generated by a round trip flight to London. The amount is over 1.4 tonne!

I like travel, so are many other people on the blogosphere. Sadly, for any trip over 1,000 km, our options are limited. Air travel is a “necessary evil”. (I am sure environmentalists will blast me for this statement.)

Is there anything we can do? Boeing 787 Dreamliner, whose body is made of composite plastic, is able to cut fuel consumption by up to 20% compared to comparable aircrafts made using conventional technology. This should translate into lower level of air pollution. Airbus’s answer to Boeing 787 is A350.

Unfortunately, rollout of Boeing 787 has been delayed by logistic issues and workers’ strike. Even if this next-generation plane and A350 eventually take off, airlines are going to take decades to replace their fleets.

For medium-distance travel between 300km and 800km, I hope high speed train will be the alternative. Imagine a train that travels at over 300kph between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, and the whole trip takes less than 2 hours... Unfortunately, the proposed high speed rail project by YTL Corp has been shelved.

Now you know combating global warming is nothing short of a Herculean task.

Boeing 787 (top) and Airbus A350 (bottom)

Related posts:
Beyond Earth Hour
Cool Biz

Air Conditioning and Global Warming

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Women, PMS and Overspending

Salespersons take note!

According to a study by Hertfordshire University, women spend more money during shopping sprees towards the end of their menstrual cycles.

Prof Karen Pine, a psychologist who led the research, said that women were probably using shopping as a “socially sanctioned” way of dealing with the intense emotions associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

If you are an Avon agent or insurance agent who tries to sell something to women, you probably should first find out their menstrual cycles. Your chance of success will increase

Women's Compulsive Shopping Linked to PMS

Thursday, April 09, 2009






Monday, April 06, 2009

Cool Biz

Chinese – including Chinese Malaysians – hate Junichiro Koizumi. The recalcitrant former Japan Prime Minister visited the controversial Yasukuni Shrine several times. Koizumi was not all bad, though. He was at least more green-minded than Beijing’s Grandpa Wen.

In 2005, Koizumi launched the Cool Biz campaign in order to combat global warming. He urged the workers in both private and public sectors to dress lightly during the summer months, and set the temperature of their air-conditioned offices to no lower than 28C. The politicians themselves ditch their suits and ties in favor of traditional Okinawan shirts.


The 2005 Cool Biz is said to have cut carbon dioxide emissions by 460,000 tonnes – equivalent to the combined emissions from one million Japanese household for a month.

Now, since Malaysia has hot weather all year round, shouldn’t we have our own Cool Biz? For a start, Please avoid setting the room temperature too low. Gentlemen, please ditch your ties too.

As for ladies, you may want to dress like these hot girls

Related post:
Beyond Earth Hour

Air Travel and Global Warming

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Beyond Earth Hour

After the much publicized Earth Hour – 8.30pm to 9.30pm, March 28, 2009, Malaysians and Singaporeans should be more aware of the environmental issues. Now it’s time to look beyond the Earth Hour.

The March 2009 issue of National Geographic Magazine features an article with the title Saving energy: It starts at home. The article gives the carbon dioxide emission level from household items in the America. Here are some figures…

Pounds of CO2 emitted per item each year in the U.S.:

  • Indoor lighting: 2,270
  • Room AC: 872
  • Central AC: 4,067
  • Ceiling fan: 115
  • Gas furnace: 6,967
  • Oil furnace: 14,380
  • Washer: 153
  • Electric dryer: 1,521
  • Television: 548
  • Refrigerator: 1,191
  • Electric water heater: 3,586
  • Desktop PC: 321
  • Monitor: 116
  • Laptop PC: 98
  • One car: 11,903

At first glance, CO2 emission level by air-conditioner seems low. However, bear in mind that many American homes are heated by furnace in winter. In Malaysia and Singapore, where weather is hot year round, the corresponding figures should be higher.

On the other hand, Malaysian commuters drive smaller vehicles and over shorter distances compared to their American counterparts, so they should generate smaller amount of CO2. Singaporean commuters often use public transport so their figure should be even smaller.

Desktop PC – including monitor – generates a lot more CO2 than laptops. Fortunately, desktops PCs are – as someone puts it – so 20th century that more and more consumers have switched to mobile ones.

Question: How much can you cut down on your CO2 emission?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009



不清楚为何模特儿给自己取了这么一个古怪的名字。或许她想:既然有人的名字是Cat,那Puppy应该没什么不妥。但Cat其实是Catherineshort form


香港艺人郑裕玲的洋名是Do Do,不知是否取自已绝种的dodo鸟?另一名艺人李赛凤的洋名是Moon,我倒是知道其典故。李赛凤十多岁时主演电视剧《大地恩情》,剧中角色的名字是阿满,过后她就索性把『满』直译为Moon