Monday, October 31, 2005

Halloween-Diwali-Eid-Guy Fawkes' Day Combination Name Suggestions

In the midst of a series of long festive celebrations back in Malaysia, people may wonder if there's any sort of the same thing here in the UK. You don't have to be disappointed as we have the same series of celebrations also, and even MORE.

Today, we will celebrate Halloween's Day. And on the following day, 1st Nov, Diwali (also known as Deepavali in Sanskrit transliteration) will be celebrated by mainly Hindu and Sikh South Asian community here. But I heard the official celebration in Trafalgar Square was like 2 weeks ago and the papers put as 'Hindus celebrate Diwali today'...Duh!

And on 1st of Syawal, the Muslims will celebrate Eid ul-Fitr 2 or 3rd of November (not too sure-someone help me out here). Then, on 5th November, we will be celebrating Guy Fawkes' Day or Bonfire Night.

So, don't you worry that we are short of celebrations here. Its even more here, except...er...there's NO HOLIDAY for them. It is just another Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thurday, Friday and Saturday.

So, in order to usher in those auspicious days, here I have a table of name suggestions for those celebrations, highly inspired by TV Smith's Dua Sen's Festive Permutation. (Hehe...hope he doesn't consider this as a plagiarism). Check this out. Feel free to add in any suggestions if you want.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

I Saw Saw II...and yes, there was blood...

Ok...I did not mistyped the title. After a long hiatus (in UK, that is), I went to see a movie called 'Saw II' today. So, this is my first attempt to do a movie review...please be generous.



As usual, to usher in Halloween, horror films are aplenty in cinemas. Or maybe not. We were like getting almost 5 horror flims (mostly no-brainer ones) per month. Personally, I'm not a fan of horror/thriller movies because...no-instead of making me scared, it made my funny bones tickle. Yes, horror flims are like comedies to me. Most of them are no-brainers and sometimes the sound effects and unneccesary over-planned horror scenes has brought me much laughter. I only like horror/thriller films with a twist at the end such as M. Night Shyamalan's films-Sixth Sense (but not the recent 'The Village') and the recent one Saw. Oh well, maybe not quite recent as it was exactly a year ago as it was first shown Oct 2004.

Here's the synopsis for Saw (1):
When Adam is jolted back to consciousness after nearly drowning at the bottom of a decrepit bathtub, he awakes to find himself chained to a rusty pipe inside a dark torture chamber. There is someone else in the room. Dr. Lawrence Gordon has also just regained consciousness and is chained to the opposite side of the space.

Between them a man is lying in a pool of blood after apparently shooting himself in the head with the pistol in his hand. Adam and Dr. Gordon piece together the clues left behind by the deranged criminal mind that has brought them together and finally realize that they, too, must make a seemingly impossible set of choices for their lives. So begins SAW, a thoroughly chilling and expertly crafted suspense thriller by James Wan.


The director of Saw, James Wan. Pic source:http://www.hollywoodjesus.com/movie/saw/04.jpg

SAW is an intricate tale about a deviously intelligent game executed by a criminal genius who is passionate to teach his victims the value of life. Each detail is important, but see if you can retain them in this landscape of indelible horror. Terrifying in tone and effect, SAW is a who-done-it-thriller with twists and turns that continuously outpace expectations. Prepare yourself; you won't sleep easily tonight.




Source: moviesonline

The first film was just breathtaking and gorgeously filmed. The story line was excellent and the unexpected twist at the end was just awesome. You know-the flashback kind of thing, telling you the real story behind every scene in just under 1 minute towards the ending. It is highly recommended that you see this first film before proceeding to the sequel.

I was really anticipating for a sequel to that and I wasn't dissappointed as Saw II was scheduled to be filmed buring Halloween. I saw the trailer and adverts everywhere bearing the tagline: "We dare you see Saw again" and "Oh yes, there will be blood." So, when it was just up today, I rushed to the cinema to see what the sequel would be.

And here's the synopsis for Saw II:
While investigating the bloody aftermath of a grizzly murder, Detective Eric Mason has the feeling that it is the work of Jigsaw, the notorious killer who disappeared leaving a trail of bodies - and parts - behind. And Mason is right. Jigsaw is at work again. But instead of two people locked in a room with only one unthinkable way out, there are eight. Eight strangers -- unaware of their connection to each other -- forced to play out a game that challenges their wits and puts their lives in jeopardy.

Source: Yahoo Movies.

The starting of the film was not what I was expecting as it was not quite the continuation from what it ended in Saw. I was expecting it to be like sequels such as Shrek 2 or Princess Diaries 2 etc.; picking up from what was left in the prequel. The film was greeted by the evil doll and the infamous locked 'head-clamp trap' and as promised, there was a lot of blood and gore.


Ooohh...that evil doll! Source.

The focus of the storyline has now changed from an adulterous oncologist (doctor specialising in cancer) to a police detective named Eric Mason who framed innocent people by planting evidence (sounds familiar?). Same as its prequel, the 'serial killer' named Jigsaw/John targeted people who do not cherish their lives. Eric was actually having an estranged relationship with his son, Daniel and was just divorced from his wife.

The story went on very quickly where the police finally found the hiding lair for Jigsaw, which was somehow the intention of him. As revealed in the prequel, Jigsaw is actually a terminal stage cancer patient. He is 'teaching' other healthy people of cherishing their lives by putting them in situations and experimenting them on how far people would go on saving their lives. This is either by harming themselves (e.g. cutting own's leg off to save own's life; hence the name: Saw) or harming others (digging into people's intestines to get a key to a lock).

As mentioned in the synopsis, this time around, a group of 8 strangers were trapped in a house fumigated with toxic nerve gas sarin, with limited time to decipher codes set by Jigsaw in order to escape. The 8 includes Daniel and a previous victim of Jigsaw, Amanda which survived his 'game' who was chosen by him before for being a heroin addict. Others include an angry businessman (who got shot in the eye just minutes after they found out they were trapped), a selfish thug, a geezer, a sensible 'leader', an emotionally fragile girl and of course...a hot chick whom the thug claimed that 'the only door she knows how to open is the one between her leg.' All of them were brought together into the house by something in common, which I mentioned somewhere earlier (figure it out yourself, lar!)

The story switches back and forth on how the detective desperately trying to source out information from the captured Jigsaw to save his son, and on how the 8 people trapped there deciphering codes and playing 'games' set by Jigsaw in order to escape, with one by one dying along the line. The codes were pretty predictable but the traps planned were just brilliant. The most memorable part was about Amanda trying to fish out an antidote for the nerve gas in a pool of needles. Sounds like a much more extreme segment from Fear Factor.

I reserve any review of the ending to leave it for you to watch it; just expect that there's a sudden twist at the end. The website to the film, saw2.com is worthwhile checking out. You can find some insights on the prequel of the two films in a comic strip form there also. So fingers-crossed, hopefully there will be a trilogy of it. The director for this time, Darren Lynn Bousman even has a blog.

Overall, I would rate the film as 7/10.

Oh...too bad it's not going to show in Malaysian cinemas. Or else, Bad-rude-din's gonna complain: " Aper semua hantu, patung dan darah ini? *insert his favourite racial slur here." Just too many swear words and blood scenes, I guess. The film's already rated '18' here. Even if it will be shown, I'm not sure how the movie will be edited that you will find it riculously silly. Maybe only no-brainer 'horror' films such as 'Potret Mistik' will only be allowed to be shown. So, please kindly enquire your friendly Uncle Ho's dealer for a copy. :)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Latest Scientific Update: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and one Malaysian MP...

Hope its not too late to blog about this as I had to do some research before posting this. I'm also vying for a PhD in Malaysian Affairs and Gossips, remember?

I know I haven't posted any 'Latest Scientific Updates' recently so here's one; inspired by one of our beloved MP.

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. What's that? Read all about it here. Here's some interesting excerpts and about the more relevant Adult attention-deficit disorder:

An adult with ADHD or ADD has a different complex of symptoms than a child does. Often the most prominent characteristic in ADHD adults is difficulty with executive functioning, which is the brain activity that oversees the ability to monitor one's own behavior, to plan, and to organize. Other symptoms observed in adults include inattention, impulsivity, over-activity, behavioral, learning, and emotional problems.

Hyperactive and impulsive with ADD adults feel restless, are constantly "on the go," and try to do multiple tasks at once. They are often perceived as not thinking before they act or speak.


If you haven't heard about this, this is what it was all about
IT SEEMS that some politicians do not know what is politically correct.

Jerai MP Datuk choice of words led to a quarrel in the august House when he spoke about a male newsreader on Astro who wore earrings, saying that it was “odd.”

Chong Eng (DAP – Bukit Mertajam) pointed out that the first-born son in Indian families wore ear studs.

“So you cannot say that this is odd,” she said.

Badruddin replied: “I am talking about Muslims. I am not talking about keling.”


...this is the glorious picture of him...


...and let's see what the wikipedia has to say about the phrase 'keling'
Keling is a degrading slang for Indians in Malaysia. The word ‘Keling’ has been around for so many years that its origin is unknown. However, there is a theory that it started during the British colonial days when the country was known as Malaya.

Being the world’s biggest rubber supplier, so-called contract workers were brought in through British India Company to work in the rubber plantations of Malaya. In fact, the Indian workers were nothing more than slaves, with bells shackled on their legs by the British estate managers. The bells produce the sound ‘ling-ling-ling’ when the Indian workers walked or moved about, this helped locate the workers as a farmer would strap a bell around his cow’s neck. Rural olden Malays refer Indians as ‘Ling’ and somehow it became ‘Keling’ later. Although a lot of the manual labour workforce is still filled by Indians today, the number of successful Indians is increasing as well.


Unfortunately the hansard for that 'glorious moment' wasn't out yet. But what actually lead to that? According to the 'Aturan Urusan Mesyuarat Dewan Rakyat' , he was suppossedly to ask PM why the entertainment peformances guidelines of JAKIM were not a compulsary to the people involved.
14-100806
Dato’ Paduka Haji Badruddin Bin Amiruldin [ Jerai ] minta PERDANA MENTERI menyatakan mengapakah garis panduan tentang persembahan hiburan yang dikeluarkan oleh pihak JAKIM tidak akan diwajibkan kepada pihak-pihak yang terlibat.


Now, I let you to do a checklist here:

1. Doing multiple tasks at once=supposedly discussing about the JAKIM guidelines but also concerned about 'earrings'.

2. Feeling restless= "I'm getting bored of discussing about major national issues in the Parliament, why not discuss about men wearing earrings?"

3. Not thinking before they act or speak= uttering racial derogatory slurs without even thinking about how offensive it will be.

Do any statistical analyses (for statisticians) or diagnosis (for medical doctors) to see whether there is any significant association of the above.

Believe me. This is not the first time. Let me refresh your memory of the list of his 'track records' according to a google search that I've done:
1. He is one of the members (by Minister's appointment) in the Board of Directors of Lembaga Tabung Haji (Pilgrims Fund Board).

2. During the 55th UMNO General Assembly Sept/Oct 04, he brandished a book on the 1969 racial riots and said:
Let no one from the other races ever question the rights of Malays on this land. Don't question the religion, because this is my right on this land.

...and his glorious name was even featured in the wikipedia about the May 13 racial riots.

This is not the first time he has this 'Attention Deficit Disorder' fit. Jeff Ooi has even featured him twice for creating wonderful 'Parliament Sitcoms'

1. Badruddin's latest crude crass was at the Dewan Rakyat on September 22.
MP Abdul Fatah Harun (PAS - Rantau Panjang) said increased cigarette prices and taxes did not reduce the number of smokers among the public that included members of Puteri and Wanita Umno.

The backbencher from Yan (shouldn't it be Jerai?) jumped to shout back at Abdul Fatah:
"Muslimat also smoke cheroot."


2. Another sexual discrimination slur:
JERAI Badruddin (to BATU GAJAH Fong Po Kuan - who is still single): "How long can the Yang Berhormat's husband stand her?"

BATU GAJAH Fong Po Kuan: "The Yang Berhormat from Jerai had made a malicious statement against me, which has touched on my personal life, which has no bearing on the matter being debated."


3. Satu lagi projek YB: Badruddin calls Kit Siang an‘Ah Pek'
As vocal as he is, backbencher Badruddin Amiruddin (BN-Jerai) ‘outdid’ himself in the Dewan Rakyat this afternoon when he called opposition leader Lim Kit Siang “the damned, bloody stupid old man!”

...and also another occasion of telling him to leave the country if he is not happy.

Talent of a stand-up comedian? Or suffering from a disorder? You make the decision...

To learn more about ethnic slurs, click here:Ethnic slurs

For more context read here and here also.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Dateline Dusseldorf: A Hybrid Between KL and Penang...

If you have read my previous post somewhere long time ago, I mentioned before that I don't really like travel blogs as they tend to brag about how good and how wonderful the places are and people which are unfamiliar with them may not give a damn and may even feel jealous and envious. But what the hell-that is the whole thing a blog is about...:) So, I have broken my principle not to brag about myself too much by my previous foodblog. Now continuing from that, I will blog about my recent trip to Dusseldorf, Germany (click on the link to learn more about Dusseldorf).

Well, I was there for official matters, not for leisure. But why the hybrid of KL and Penang (minus the infamous JAWI Zouk raid and the alleged 'A Better Malaysia' Sri Hartamas raid fiasco of course)? Look at these pictures for evidence.



Here we have the 'Penang Bridge' and 'KL Tower' which made me feel like home again in Germany. So I guess the triangular shape of the Penang Bridge and the design of the KL Tower are not quite unique to Malaysia now...

Now as promised in my previous post:
1. Paying for the enter the observation deck at the airport-should it be made illegal?
Düsseldorf International Airport is located eight kilometres from the city. The Rhein-Ruhr airport, one of Germany's three biggest commercial airports, is just 12 minutes from the city centre with the S-Bahn urban railway system. After Frankfurt and Munich, Düsseldorf International is Germany's third biggest commercial airport, with about 16 million passengers annually. Three of four passengers in North Rhine-Westphalia use the flight connections to the 180 destinations in total which the airport offers.


Yes, the airport was indeed very impressive...with nice architecture and a freckled-face brat welcoming you to Dusseldorf...
"Guten Tag! Wilkommen to Dusseldorf!"

And viewing airplanes at the airport comes with a price...
Took this picture straight away and thought "I'm so blogging about this later!"

What the hell...I mean you have to PAY to get into the observation deck? I seriously think this is daylight robbery. I mean...what is so special about the aeroplanes in Dusseldorf. Are they made of gold? Tell me what you think about this matter.

2. Longest pub in the world-where the hell is it?
Well, according to Lonely Planet guide book, the Alstadt (Old Town) in Dusseldorf is affectionately referred to as the 'longest bar in the world.' Erhmmm...have a look at the following picture and judge for yourself...


Well, they have the bars along Alstadt, serving Altbier
Altbier (often abbreviated to Alt) is a dark, top-fermented type of beer from Düsseldorf and the Niederrhein region in Germany.

The name Altbier, which literally means old beer, refers to the old brewing style (top-fermenting yeast and dark malt). Up to the 1950s, Alt was also called Düssel (from Düsseldorf), but since the term is not a Protected Designation of Origin, Altbier may also be produced outside of the Düsseldorf region.

Düsseldorf and Cologne are long-time rivals, though today it mostly comes down to whose beer is better, Düsseldorf's Altbier or Cologne's Kölsch, another top-fermented beer.


Well, I visited one of the bars there (please don't label me alcoholic-I was just tagging aroung with my colleagues) named 'ZUM SCHLÜSSEL'. They bar is enormously HUGE and they even have their own min-brewery inside there!
The mini brewery inside ZUM SCHLÜSSEL.
...and the famous Altbier which I think is a hybrid between normal lager beers and stout.

3. You don't necessary need to get to Munich for Oktoberfest-why is that so? (No, not the one at One Utama recently...)
German beer is highly diverse and an important part of Germany's culture. There are more than 1300 breweries in Germany, the highest number of breweries in the world. The German beer market is a bit sheltered from the rest of the world beer market by the German brewers' adherence to the Bavarian Reinheitsgebot (purity requirement) dating from 1516, according to which the only allowed ingredients of beer are "Wasser (water), Hopfen (hops) und (Gersten-)Malz (barley-malt)". Many breweries worldwide adopted the Reinheitsgebot for their own beers. After its invention, cultured yeast became the fourth legal ingredient. Through the agreement (which was law up to 1988 but it still adhered to by virtually all German brewers), beers from Germany tend to have a good reputation for their quality. The Germans are slightly behind the Czechs in their per capita consumption of beer due to an increased preference for wine and mixed alcoholic drinks, especially among younger and urban people.


Generally, you can find beer (in large amounts also) at every nook and corner of Deutschland/Germany (and Europe). Except they have those enormous mugs in Oktoberfest similar to those Jus Besar mugs (but much more bigger). Enuf' said!

And now the food...
Big fat German sausages...YUM!

and big fat fries (Pommes Frites) dunked in mayonnaise, curry ketchup or tomato ketchup...YUM again...!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

More updates soon...keep your fingers crossed

Been to Germany recently so there will be loads of pics (hopefully) with more updates. Here's a sneak peek what will be included:
1. Paying for the enter the observation deck at the airport-should it be made illegal?
2. Longest pub in the world-where the hell is it?
3. You don't necessary need to get to Munich for Oktoberfest-why is that so? (No, not the one at One Utama recently...)

Check in frequently for more updates...:)
commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Monday, October 24, 2005

I'm back finally...(again)

Hi all, I'm back finally after yet another tiring but fruitful and fulfilling trip. Details to follow after this...
p.s. I am amazed that I only got 3 comments while I left-just to note that how unpopular my blog is...or maybe it is because of the Haloscan commenting system not yet set up properly...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Don't Panic...This Is the Rejuvenated Sensintrovert

Wait...don't panic. You're still visiting The Sensintrovert howsy.blogspot.com. This is the rejuvenated version of it. I have removed the old black background which someone thinks it is hard to read.

I will be on the move again, so while I'm away, please let me know what do you think and how do you feel about this rejuvenation. Also, I would like to know who's reading my blog so I would highly appreciate if you could just give a brief intro of yourself. Thank you.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Tea Wars-English Tea vs Malaysian Tea...

Hmm...tea...what is there to blog about tea? The significance of the tea-drinking ceremony in weddings I have attended recently made me think what is so special about this leaf. Read all about the fascinating facts about tea here.

In Malaysia, we are proud to have our space-mission worthy teh tarik or pulled tea. It is enjoyed by Malaysians of all walk of life, even more by government officers...if you know what I mean. Even Ayah Pin is a fan of tea, with his giant teapot structure (it has been demolished since the clampdown...)

The Brits themselves enjoy tea very much, especially a colleague of mine. Here's what the wikipedia has to say on the British tea-drinking culture:
Britain
The British are amongst the largest per capita tea consumers in the world - each person consuming on average 2.5 kg per year. The popularity of tea dates back to the 19th Century when India was part of the British Empire, and British interests controlled tea production in the subcontinent. Tea initially was such a luxury that the teapot, a dedicated piece of furniture, was developed for storing it. For most people in Britain tea drinking is not the delicate, refined cultural expression that much of the world imagines - a cup (or more often a mug) of tea is something drunk several times a day quite unceremoniously. "Tea" is not only the name of the beverage, but of a late afternoon light meal, irrespective of beverage drunk. Frequently (outside the UK) this is referred to as "high tea", however in the UK high tea is an evening meal. The term evidently comes from the meal being eaten at the "high" (main) table, rather than the smaller table common in living rooms. Tea is usually served with milk (not cream) and sugar, although taking sugar is increasingly less common. There is a tradition of tea rooms in the UK which usually provide the traditional fare of cream and jam on scones, but these have declined in popularity since World War II. In Devon and Cornwall particularly, cream teas are a speciality. Lyons Corner Houses were a successful chain of such establishments.


The last time I was back and went back to the UK again, I brought along some very Malaysian snacks (yes-that includes the dodol durian!YUM!) and also mooncakes for my colleagues to try out! But being very unadventurous and unfazed with food thousand miles away, they didn't seem to enjoy them that much. So, this time I have learnt my lesson (not so if you read on further), I still brought along some food, but rather 'neutral' and 'universal food' for example...yes...TEA! Our very own Malaysian Cameronian and Bornean Sabah Tea-by Boh and CTea respectively.

Why CTea? Why not? It is fully owned and marketed by the No.1 celebrity in Malaysia, Siti Nurhaliza. She even worked so hard to go on tour just to promote her tea...so have to give some support a bit lar...
The CTea Tour at One Utama when I was in KL. Nope, I didn't buy the tea at this tour. Costs RM 7 there but only RM 5.90 at Econsave (They really know how to Bandingkan Harga Kami or Compare Our Prices!)

So brought them over thousand miles away to the UK for them to try. Here we have the most famous tea in Britain-PG Tips, Boh Tea regular tea bags, Boh Tea Songket-Lychee and Rose-flavoured tea and also two flavours of CTea-Geranium and Pandan.

Teabags of the tea packages. Clockwise: CTea, Boh regular, PG-tips (patented pyramid- shaped) and Boh Songket.

The review? Generally, the fragant tea was not so fragrant so much so a colleague of mine tasted it and said it was like 'garden water' for the CTea geranium. The Lychee and Rose Songket one was quite ok though. Nobody tried the Pandan one as they were not familiar of the 'what-the-hell-leaf-is-that'.

Here's an experiment for you to try out. Immerse the respective tea bags into cups of boiling water and leave it for 2-3 minutes. And this is what you get:
Guess which one is the PG-Tip and the Boh-Regular? Is tea 'the darker the better'? Voice out your comments in the comments section below...

Char Siew Chicken Pitta Wraps...My First Ever Food Blog

I seldom blog about minor things like this...but what the hell...this is my first post on making my own food...the price of lunch in my school's cafe kept escalating every term. I seriously think that they are robbing students money away. I mean, can you believe this- the price of a so-so tasteless sandwich is £1.70! (that's almost RM 12!)...maybe they have learnt from their counterparts in Malaysia for charging up to RM 100 for Ramadhan buffets. So, not willing to pay that amount for two pieces of bread filled with limited filling, I decided to make my own lunch to bring back to school (yeah...back to the primary school days...)

Got the inspiration to make pitta bread from the Chili's reunion dinner at One Utama. First, buy groceries from the supermarket. Ingredients needed: pitta bread, chicken, eggs, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, coleslaw and potato salad.

Bring the eggs to boil first while doing other things.

Cut the chicken into big pieces.

Marinate the chicken with Char Siew sauce. For best tasting effect, leave the chicken to marinate overnight, but if in hurry, just chuck them into the oven.

Chuck them into the oven and leave it at maximum heat to cook it fast! (I have limited time!)

Spread the lettuce...

The eggs should be ready now, so cut them and the tomatoes and spread them and the coleslaw and potato salad on the pitta bread.

Wrap the pitta bread tightly and cut them into half. Wrap them with cling film and store in the fridge so that it will cover at least 5 of your lunches!


I reserve my comments on the taste but I could tell you that the spicy tomato pitta bread and the mayonnaise actually saves the whole thing a lot!

Enjoy trying but I do not guarantee the taste!...

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Fruitful and Fulfilling Trip Back Home...

Why so? Here's the checklist:

Travelled: 6472.15 miles

States visited/passed by: 5

Danga Bay in Johor Bahru

Shopping centres in Klang Valley visited: 11

Shopping centres in Ipoh visited: 5

Primary school friends met: 1

Secondary school friends met: 12

Form 6 school friends met: 2

University school friends met:8

Festivals passed by while there: 3 (Merdeka Celebration Month, Nine Gods Festival and Ramadhan)

Nine Gods Festival in Ipoh.

Weddings attended: 2

Celebrity(ies) met: 1 (Siti Nurhaliza)

Good food and weather:Infinity and priceless...

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Leaving my comfort zone again...

I know I have been lazy updating my blog. After a month of very fruitful vacation here, I am leaving my comfort zone again. Hopefully there will be more blog updates when I reach there, so keep your fingers crossed...