Starlight Cinema - Pros and Cons

Good things about it:

Bad things about the Starlight Cinema:

posted on Friday, August 29, 2003 - permalink
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"How crazy would I have to make my signature before someone would actually notice?"

An article on how most people don't pay attention to signatures. I don't think it really applies here in Malaysia - I was even asked to sign again once at a bank.

On the other hand, I'm always being asked for my I.C. number, and that I make mistakes on.
posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - permalink
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KFC Coleslaw Recipe

Some of you out there may be aware of my "Don't Buy US" stance, particularly with respect to food. I know, I've been watching films and ESPN and listenting to, but by and large I've been a good boy. For example, I haven't touched anything from Kentucky Fried Chicken for something like six months now. That's mighty impressive.

But I miss their coleslaw.

So, it was with joy when TechTV pointed out this website: Top Secret It has lots of recipes that you can use to recreate commercial products in your home. And, yes, one of them is KFC coleslaw.

I'll be trying out this recipe tomorrow, in time for the big picnic under the stars to watch E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. And, yes, I recognise the irony that it's a US movie.

posted on Monday, August 25, 2003 - permalink
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"I was ejected from a plane for wearing 'Suspected Terrorist' button"

The title says it all: In the US, you can be thrown off a plane for simply wearing a label that says "suspected terrorist". I know this because it happened to John Gilmore.

I found some debate about it online - on the one hand, he is very clearly pointing out how inadequate the so-called "security" precautions are, on the other hand, he is purposely pushing the boundaries until he gets people wound up - there will always be a point at which he'll succeed.

I actuall sympathise with him and applaud his intentions. I feel the urge to make a Suspected Terrorist line of clothing.
posted on Monday, August 25, 2003 - permalink
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Aston Villa 0 - 0 Liverpool

During football season I spend most of my Saturday and Sunday evening at Syafiz in Desa Hartamas. What's good about it? Dependable mamak food and football shown on a huge screen with a projector. Damn good stuff, if you'll excuse my language.

The match tonight is the one both my friend Adzam and I always look forward to. I'm an Aston Villa fan, he's a Liverpool fan. Both of us have been disappointed with our teams last season, for fairly different reasons. He was unhappy for not making the Champion's League, I was unhappy for not winning enough games. As I said tonight, "It's a reached a point when I don't care how we win, we just need a win".

Well, it wasn't completely satisfactory tonight, but at least it was hopeful. I won't give a blow-by-blow, but it was a closely matched game, with Villa having an upper hand for most of the second half. Mellberg played amazingly well, containing Owen, and Whittingham was impressive when delivering crosses from the left. In fact, the whole team played quite well overall, and except for a few indecisive moments when Mellberg and Sorenson tried their best to lose the game, it was an encouraging performance. Shame Angel doesn't feel confident with his left foot, and tried to round the keeper instead of slamming it home when faced with a one-on-one situation. Villa look really good when the full-backs can make overlapping runs, but they need speedy centrebacks to cover the gaps they leave behind.

Liverpool, on the other hand, must be getting a bit worried. They would have thought of this as a win, but they didn't do enough. Kewell was almost anonymous - he doesn't quite fit in with Liverpool's style of trying to spring the offside trap with Owen. Djiouf was absolutely amazing and really looks like the player he was during the 2002 World Cup.
posted on Monday, August 25, 2003 - permalink
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Youth Smoking Prevention

Ever seen those ads on MTV? You know, the ones where you see these girls hanging out at KLCC, and they use a combination of SMS and new clothes to snag young men? And although all the while you think it's an ad for Maxis or something, what you get in the end is the tagline: "Doesn't smoke"?

Well, I dropped by the website and guess what? It's an ad campaign run by MTV funded by - wait for it - JTI and Philip Morris International. That's right, the guys who bring you Marlboro, Virginia Slims, Camel, Winston, Mild Seven and Salem and who have a combined annual revenue of more than USD100 billion from sales of tobacco-related products are running a campaign to stop young people smoking.

On one hand I would like to applaud this. I think it's highly appropriate that companies that provide cigarettes should also do all they can to ensure that children are not their customers. The phrase is "socially responsible".

On their website, Phillip Morris says, "We ... believe that stopping children from smoking is the right thing to do. In fact, because of the serious health effects of our products, we believe we must stop children from smoking.". Great Stuff.

On the other hand, I find it unlikely that these companies would seriously invest in anything that would significantly impact their bottom line. The statistics are online but are not the easiest in the world to interpret.

What I need to figure out is how much revenue these companies stand to lose if children under 18 stopped smokiing. Not just the immediate loss, but also the future loss since a lot of people who would otherwise begin to smoke before their 18th birthday would not end up being lifelong smokers.

My guess? Somewhere between 10%-20% of their revenue. It's a little bit of a wild stab, based on the survey that says in Malaysia about a quarter of the kids aged 16 smoke.

I think that tobacco companies just do this so that they can point to it and then claim those magic words: "socially responsible". Look at the Philip Morris website. You would think they were actively encouraging people not to smoke. They actually flat-out admit that it's dangerous. Yet they still sell cigarettes.
posted on Sunday, August 24, 2003 - permalink
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The Big Trip Route

Whenever anyone asks me where I travelled to on my Big Trip, what I would like to say is, "Well, from KL to Hatyai to Bangkok and then Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, after that Ho Chi Minh, Hue, back to Ho Chi Minh for a short cruise on the Mekong and then fly to Seoul, side trip to Seoraksan, back to Seoul, fly to Ulan Batar, up to Irkutsk, detour to Listvyanka, back to Irkutsk, on to Moscow, then St Petersburg, day trip to Peterhof, onwards to Helsinki, then on a ferry to Stockhom, off to Copenhagen after that, then Berlin, with a short visit to Potsdam, then to Budapest, then Prague, spend a day in Vienna to catch a train to Paris, then through the Chunnnel to London, take a bus to Oxford, train to Durham, fly to Dublin, ferry back to Oxford and then the train back to London and then fly MAS all the way back to Kuala Lumpur".

What really comes out is "ah, all over South East Asia, Russia and Europe", but I think it rather loses it's romance when i say it that way.


posted on Sunday, August 24, 2003 - permalink
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The Big Trip index page

OK, I've made a single page to point to all the posts I made during the Big Trip. To the curious out there, it is part of the work I'm doing to gather all of it into something more substantial.



posted on Saturday, August 23, 2003 - permalink
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The Wreckoning

Let me just put a line out there on this really amazing song I heard recently - The Wreckoning (RealAudio or WMP version) by BoomKat.

If you didn't know, they're a brother and sister duo act, and they produce what I think of as angst-ridden dance music - a bit like if Fatboy Slim started to produce Alanis Morrisette.

There are actually two versions of the single out there. One is a radio mix, and the other is the barer version which is presumably on the album. They're both good, and best listened to with a pair of headphones on and the music turned all the way up.
posted on Friday, August 22, 2003 - permalink
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Starlight Cinema

What a thrill. Nokia is sponsoing a cinema under the stars and what this means is that I am enjoying two weeks of films in the open air. Admittedly, the choice of films isn't great - focussing mostly on blockbuster hits like Spiderman, Matrix Reloaded and the Lord of the Rings trilogy (duology?) - but at least it's a fun enough selection. If it were up to me? It'd be a mix of old and new.

What would I pick? Classics like Citizen Kane, Roman Holiday (let's face it, most Audrey Hepburn films would be a shoe-in). Big theme nights like the Star Wars trilogy, Indy Jones. Great one-off individual movies like Ferris Bueller's (hey, brat-pack night: throw in the Breakfast Club and Fast Times at Ridgemond High). Modern Classics like Goodfella's and Forrest Gump should be included. Also great films that never really made it big but are great to watch: Strictly Ballroom and Heathers. Foreign Language films: Cyrano de Begerac and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. A Jodie Foster night, of course: Taxi Driver and Silence of the Lambs.

These would be my choice. E picks: Terminator 2, Titanic, The Elephant Man, Love Story, Final Destination, Silence of the Lambs, The Shawshank Redemption.
posted on Friday, August 22, 2003 - permalink
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"I think it's so sweet when guys want to punch people for me."

That's what different between guys and girls. Guys want to punch people because it'd make them feel better, and girls want guys to punch people because it's sweet.

If I knew this from a long time ago, I would have beefed up a little bit more, build some bulk and used all the jerks I met in the world as a punchbag. Not only would I reduce the number of annoying people I know, I would also win chicks in the process.

You know, it should be obvious that girls dig guys who punch other guys. It's a show of force, machismo at it's barest, a demonstration of the fittest. Who do the girls want to raise their children with? Guys who can punch out other guys.

Unfortunately this form of good impression does not extend to when guys ask girls to do things for them forcefully. "Get me a glass of water, woman" is more often than not met with "thbt" as opposed to "yes, my most powerful lord and master, center of my universe".

Women. Go figure 'em.
posted on Friday, August 22, 2003 - permalink
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Top Hat Restaurant

It was E's birthday, which to me was an opportunity to go somewhere nice for lunch. Actually the conversation was something like this: "Somewhere new or somewhere familiar?". The road less taken was chosen and I decided on the Top Hat Restaurant in Jalan Kia Peng if only because I heard a lot of good things about it. Nice food, nice ambience, you know, that kind of stuff.

Was it good? Well, yes and no. The food was actually very good. Anyone who goes should try the cheddar samosas, the lamb rack or the lobster thermidor. Man, the lamb was as good as any I've tasted in a restaurant.

The restaurant is in an old converted bungalow, so there's that homey feel to it. This includes no clear signage to the bathroom (hint: the ladies is up the stairs).

The bad bit? Service could be better. Quite a bit better, actually. There was some confusion with my Three Samosa Platter because it only came with two types of samosas. They were kind enough to bring me some more, but I could swear that those were just copies of ones I had eaten already. Best thing, just say you want one giant plate of cheddar samosas.

But I'm saving the worst for last. My peach and banana crumble had a six-legged critter in the crust. There was some debate whether it was a weevil or a baby cockroach, but it certainly put me off either way. Interestingly, it wasn't because it was an insect, because I certainly would have carried on if it was an ant, but I guess there is a psychological line drawn somewhere.

When I pointed out my protein additive to the staff, they promptly took it away and then served me a new batch of the same crumble. Now, I don't know if it's just me, but I wasn't really up to going through a second bowl of something I had just rejected.

It would have been nice if they had discounted the bill for this incident, but they didn't think so. Oh well.
posted on Monday, August 11, 2003 - permalink
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