Tuesday, August 31, 2010

On Merdeka Day, I went to Zoo Negara

We've been through so much as a country, though 53 years of independence does not necessarily reflect our maturity as a country. We have had the Commanwealth Games, we've won several Thomas Cup, organized several international events. All of these, we did them together, regardless of ethnicity and background. We, however, still have a lot to learn from other countries particularly those that are more economically advance and politically stable.

As a Malaysian, I'm supposed to hang out at Dataran Merdeka today for the Merdeka celebration, instead I escaped the hustle and bustle of the city and paid my second visit to the National Zoo.

Since its establishment 47 years ago the zoo has been growing steadily with the country herself, and today it is well known throughout the world for its education and conservation effort.

Before entering the zoo, we sought to relieve ourselves in the toilet nearby. And you'd wonder why I said 53 years of independence does not necessarily reflect our maturity as a country... because we still have to teach our people to pee accurately, not on and around the bowl... =.=

The ticket cost Rm 25, quite pricey for a student don't you think?

Giraffe. They have seven neckbones, which is similar to us human, despite the long neck. Their long tongue could be as long as 53cm, and very agile~ Giraffes can only be found in Africa. When Zheng He went on his voyage he brought back a giraffe for the Emperor of China.

The Asian Elephant, a smaller subspecies of elephant found in India, Sri Lanka, jungles of Indochina and Malaya. This is a male elephant, because it has tusks. For African elephant, both sexes have tusks.

This elephant has got puncture wounds. Probably got shot?

A Pygmy Hippopotamus. All species of Hippos are confined to the African Continent. This species of hippo is about the size of a capybara. So sad...

A Cockatoo, one of the stars for the multianimal show.

A Common Flying Lizard. It flew over my head while I was walking and stopped on the back of a tree. I saw its yellowish beard and I got so excited. It was fleeing from another flying lizard actually, probably over some territorial dispute. You could see its 'wing' along its body, which actually is a layer of skin acting as a pair of glider.

The King Cobra, the largest venomous snake in the world. Can only be found in India.

A Giant Tortoise, probably collected from the Galapagos.

A Binturong, the largest of all civets~~

Dik Dik

Capybara, the largest member of the rodent family. Can only be found in South America. One of the favorite prey of Anaconda.

A Leopard Cat. This elusive creature only venture out at night, feeding on birds and rodents, as well as frogs and eggs.

Water crystal

White Rhinoceros. As I mentioned, this animal is critically endangered due to poaching and deforestation in Africa. Proactive measures have been taken to protect the animal. There is good sign in recent years that the number has been recovering slowly.

Flamingo. Beautiful product of evolution~

A Leopard pooping.

A Bengal Tiger. Click here to see more.

Wake up, Your Majesty~! Your Majesty has been snoozing for 22 hours today~..

Ops, caught in the act...


Jungle Fowl. They are the wild version of our chicken today.. and they can fly~!

A raven on an Emu~

A seal performing for the multianimal show.

Humboldt Penguin. People around the tank were talking about how cool the penguin captivity is, well its not necessarily correct. This animal lives in coastal Peru and Chile, which is roughly 20 degrees south of Kuala Lumpur, how cool can that be? Its only around 10-18 C, which is the temperature of an air-conditioned room. It's not freezing cold inside la... not like Antarctica, which holds the lowest temperature ever recorded: -89°C

These pictures show how ignorant some of us are. It is written there CLEARLY: DO NOT FEED THOSE ANIMALS! And yet some of us are just..... annoyingly ignorant..
"ah nevermind la, once in a lifetime what"
"what? feeding animal also cannot? It is safe la, they are inside the cage"
"I see them hungry, so I feed them lor, what's wrong with feeding hungry animals? I'm being compassionate ma"

Enough is enough. If anything happen to the animals, eg diarrhea or food poisoning, which eventually lead it their death, can you bear with the responsibility? Do you know how hard it is to get approval to purchase an animal from Africa? Do you know how much it takes to purchase an animal from Africa and bring it over to the zoo? Do you know how long it takes for them to assimilate into the local community? Can you bear with the responsibility should some contagious disease spread out from the food that you'd given and causes all the animals to die? If the baboon grabs your child and pull him over the fence and bite, who would you blame? The ZOO of course! You certainly won't put the blame on yourself are u not?

Be responsible, to yourself and to the animals. Don't be ignorant la...

A Stork basking..

It was a fun trip throughout, and this is the first time I watched the animal show, and it was great.~~

Lastly, to all ignorant people out there: do not feed the animals =.= Let the zookeepers do it.

And to Malaysia: Happy 53rd Birthday~!! MERDEKA! =D


Sunday, August 29, 2010

King Tutankhamun of Egypt

One of the most intriguing stories laid beneath the barren desert of Egypt is the story of a boy king who ascended the throne at the age of 9 but ruled for only ten years before dying at 19 around 1324 B.C. The last heir of a powerful family that had ruled Egypt and its empire for centuries, he was laid to rest laden with gold and eventually forgotten. His tomb was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter, an archeologist and Egyptologist who later died in mysterious fashion. Did the pharaoh's curse kill Carter? What actually happened to King Tutankhamun? Who were his parents, and what happened to the kingdom after his death? (eh-cheh...pro giler! XD)

Despite his brief reign, King Tut is perhaps Egypt's best known pharaoh because of the wealth of treasures, including a solid gold death mask, found during the surprise discovery of his intact tomb.

The story began when the great pharaoh Amenhotep III assumed the throne of Egypt in 1390 b.c. Controlling an empire stretching 1,200 miles from the Euphrates in the north to the Fourth Cataract of the Nile in the south, this king of the 18th dynasty was rich beyond imagining. Along with his powerful queen Tiye, Amenhotep III ruled for 37 years, worshipping the gods of his ancestors Amun, while his people prospered.

King Amenhotep III

When Amenhotep III died, he was succeeded by his second son, Amenhotep IV,who later changed his name to Akhenaten. He turned away from Amun and the other gods of the state pantheon and worshiped instead a single deity known as the Aten, the disk of the sun.

He elevated himself to the status of a living god and abandoned the traditional religious capital at Thebes, building a great ceremonial city 180 miles to the north, at a place now called Amarna. Here he lived with his wife, the legendary Nefertiti(she was made famous by a bust), and together they served as the high priests of the Aten.

King Akhenaten

Nefertiti Bust

When he died, his wife Nefertiti assumed the throne. The story then suffered a vacuum of information as there were no evidence whatsoever on what happened for the next few years, until all of a sudden, King Tut was on the throne, at the tender age of 9.

Within the first two years of his tenure, he and his wife, Ankhesenpaaten (a daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti, royal incest was a common practise among ancient Egyptian royalty. Akhenaten and Nefertiti were siblings), abandoned Amarna and returned to Thebes, reopened the temples and restored their wealth and glory. They changed their names to Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun, proclaiming their rejection of Akhenaten's heresy and their renewed dedication to the cult of Amun.

Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun

Nefertiti has got no tomb. Why? Because it was said that King Tut tried erasing her from the record by not giving her a proper burial and scrapping all records about her off the wall. Why would someone want to delete his own mother from the history book? Well, in fact Nefertiti was not his mother. King Tut was conceived by another women lost in history(perhaps executed by Nefertiti?), we'll never know.

Ten years after ascending the throne, Tutankhamun was dead, leaving no heirs to succeed him. He was hastily buried in a small tomb, designed originally for a private person rather than a king. In a backlash against his father's heresy, his successors managed to delete from history nearly all traces of the Amarna kings, including Tutankhamun.

Ironically, this attempt to erase his memory preserved Tutankhamun for all time. Less than a century after his death, the location of his tomb had been forgotten. Hidden from robbers by structures built directly above, it remained virtually untouched until its discovery in 1922

CT scan shows that Tutankhamun's left foot was clubbed, one toe was missing a bone, and the bones in part of the foot were destroyed by necrosis. Both the clubbed foot and the bone disease would have impeded his ability to walk.

Necrosis-tissue death
Of all the pharaohs, only Tutankhamun is shown seated while performing activities such as shooting an arrow from a bow or using a throw stick. This was not a king who held a staff just as a symbol of power. This was a young man who needed a cane to walk. Scholars had already noted that 130 partial or whole walking sticks had been found in Tutankhamun's tomb, some of which show clear signs of use.

Tutankhamun's bone disease was crippling, but on its own would not have been fatal. Based on the presence of DNA from several strains of a parasite called Plasmodium falciparum in his bone, it was evident that King Tut was infected with malaria, and it was made fatal by his weak immune system.

Tutankhamun's health was compromised from the moment he was conceived. His mother and father were full brother and sister. Pharaonic Egypt was not the only society in history to institutionalize royal incest, which can have political advantages. But there can be a dangerous consequence. Married siblings are more likely to pass on twin copies of harmful genes, leaving their children vulnerable to a variety of genetic defects. Tutankhamun's malformed foot may have been one such flaw, not forgetting his weak immune system.

The reconstruction of Tutankhamun's face

After Tutankhamun's death, his wife appealed to the king of the Hittites, Egypt's principal enemies, to send a prince to marry her, because "my husband is dead, and I have no son." The Hittite king sent one of his sons, but he died before reaching Egypt, presumably murdered by Horemheb, the commander in chief of Tutankhamun's armies, who eventually took the throne for himself. But Horemheb too died childless, leaving the throne to a fellow army commander.

The new pharaoh's name was Ramses I, who later started another dynasty, one which, under the rule of his grandson Ramses the Great, saw Egypt rose to new heights of imperial power.

Ramses the Great (King Ramses II) is known as one of Egypt's greatest warriors, but also as a peace-maker and for the monuments he left behind all over Egypt. He was the first king in history to sign a peace treaty with his enemies, the Hittites, ending long years of wars and hostility. King Ramses reigned for 67 years. Under him Egypt acquired unprecedented splendor.



Saturday, August 28, 2010

We Should Stop Questioning Their Special Rights

If you are in their shoes, will you treat a minority whose population only make up 18% of the total population fairly? If you wont, then don't blame them for not doing so. It's human nature. 

This dude is rather silly~ questioning what's already written clearly and agreed upon by our forefathers.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pirates of the Caribbean electric guitar double-hand tapping

Guitar: Yamaha RGX1212S (it's a classic! No longer in production)
Multieffect: Boss ME-70
Amplifier: using fren's computer speaker... ah my Orange Amp got problem.

This song was composed by Hans Zimmer.
He also composed several popular Disney theme songs

When you believe (sang by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston for "Prince of Egypt")

The Last Samurai

Batman Begins (with James Newton Howard)

Kung Fu Panda (with John Powell)

Sherlock Holmes (Oscar Nomination)


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Two moons on 27th August 2010 hoax

Planet Mars will be the brightest in the night sky starting August. It will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye.
This will culminate on 27 August 2010 when Mars comes closest within 34.65M miles off earth.
Be sure to watch the sky on 27 August 2010 12:30 am. It will look like the earth has 2 moons.
The next time Mars may come this close is in Year 2287.
Share this with your friends as NO ONE ALIVE TODAY will ever see it again!


Only the last sentence is true. The rest is a hoax.

Ah... the red planet, shrouded in mystery~ As always, we are interested to know more about it, and curiosity has driven some of us to the limit of sanity; to repeatedly post an email that has been around since 2003.

Here are the facts:

The hoax tells that the Mars would come as close as 34.65 million miles, that's 55.76 million kilometers. Well.. sadly for all you Mars fanatics, that event occurred back in 2003, on August 27th.(which shows that this email has been circulating around since 2003) That was the closest distance between us and Mars in recorded history.

Earth and Mars again converged for a close encounter on October 30th 2005 at 0319 Universal Time.
Distance: 69 million kilometers. To the unaided eye, Mars looked like a bright red star, a pinprick of light, certainly not as wide as the full Moon.

Disappointed? Don't be. If Mars did come close enough to rival the Moon, its gravity would alter Earth's orbit and raise terrible tides.

69 million km is good. At that distance, Mars shines brighter than anything else in the sky except the Sun, the Moon and Venus.

Remote Possibility

Mars will never outshine the moon, or appear as large as the moon. Mars is smaller than Earth, only twice the size of Luna. (Mars diameter:6800km, moon diameter: 3476km).

The average distance between the Earth and its natural satellite is 0.38 million km (note here I write average, because the orbit of the moon is elliptical, not circular) whereas the closest distance between us and Mars is 56 million km which happened only once.

With such combination; only twice the size of our moon, but situated 56 times further~ how is it possible that Mars would appear as large as the moon? even at the closest distance of 56 million km, it would still be 140 times smaller than our moon, though it is already clear enough for us to spot the red sparkling dot with unaided eyes.

Painted green by a flashlight, astronomer Dennis Mammana of California points out Mars to onlookers on Aug. 26, 2003, the last time Mars was so close to Earth. Photo credit: Thad V'Soske.

You want to see two moons? Go to Mars then. Mars has two natural satellites, Phobos and Deimos. They aren't spherical though, because they are captured asteroid with irregular shape and small size. In fact Phobos is only 22.6 km wide, and Deimos a mere 12.6 km.

If you're desperate to see more moons, then go to Jupiter. It has 64 moons =P and one of them may have enough oxygen to sustain up to 6.6 billion pounds of complex, animal-like organisms~~ Europa.

So, the next time you see anyone talking about Mars coming so close to Earth, be sure to check at the NASA website or clear your doubts, before posting it on facebook. =.=




news.discovery.com › Space News


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