Thursday, July 31, 2008

Chasing dragonflies

I took a stroll around the lake near the engineering building and saw a couple of dragonflies hovering above the grass... luckily I have a camera on hand so here you go... more pictures of bugs... this time, dragonflies.

So it started out with noticing a dragonfly perched on a blade of grass... (see below)


So I went in closer for a better shot...




This was as close as I could get before it flew away. Next thing I knew there were a couple of these beautiful creatures hovering around me. I guess they got accustomed to my presence already.


A shot of another dragonfly, I think I used the camera's flash and -2 ev for this one.


Screwed around some more with the camera's settings for this shot. I like how the colors came out.


There were countless failed attempts at snapping these insects in flight, the most you would ever be able to see is a brown blur in the middle of the photo, so I'm not including those. If only I have in my arsenal a camera fast enough to capture these flying arthropods in flight...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Resolutions progress

Back in early January I made some resolutions, as did most people everywhere that time of the year.

So far only one is achieved. I am in graduate school doing a master's degree, albeit by research and thesis and not coursework.

The third one seems unfeasible by now. The fourth one is partially achieved... the first one is not out of reach yet but I haven't made significant number of steps in that direction.

So this is my latest resolution. To resolve to fulfill at least the first and fourth resolution (since I think the third one is unfeasible, financially at least).

Some ways to achieve this:

1. Go swimming in the pool in the mornings. Yes I the apartment I live at has a nice big swimming pool. Only dipped in there 3 times if I could remember. Very underutilized.

2. Regular evening jogs. Next to the engineering building at the university is a lake with a jogging track around it. Less than half a minute away from my office. I can actuall see it out the window. I've only jogged there once. Again, very underutilized.

3. Reduce the consumption of rice. This I have done with considerable success. I eat much less rice these days, and I don't seem to crave for it too much either. Thank you 4.5 years in the States.

4. Regular workout sessions, either in the morning or evening. There's a gym near the university that charges only RM2 per entry (that's USD0.61, $0.84 Singaporean). Very cheap. I should utilize this to attempt that 'six pack abs in six months' challenge (yeah right).

5. Martial arts training twice weekly. I have been doing this regularly. If only the training place is much closer to where I live...

Now, on to the first step. That is, to believe I can do all this. I CAN.


I went to help a few of the ladies in our martial arts team with their training the other afternoon after some random photosnaps, so I had to put down my camera and all my other stuff underneath a nearby tree (along with other people's stuff) so I could move freely without hindrance.

A couple of kicks and swipes and punches and grapples later we decided to call it a day and picked our stuff up from underneath the tree. I got my camera back and this is what I found amongst all the other photos in the camera:


Made my day.

Flora and bugs of Cameron Highlands

Almost exactly a month ago I went up the mountains with a couple of academicians from the National University of Malaysia for a Seminar on Engineering Mathematics. Naturally they spend most of the time either working on their papers or sleeping, and since I am not geek-blooded (at least not entirely) I decided to take some break from my working on a time series segmentation algorithms Powerpoint slide presentation and walked around Strawberry Park Resort for some nature-y (diction by Tryna) photosnaps... this time, more flowers than bugs, but there are bugs nonetheless.

I might be a nature-y kind of guy, but I confess: I know almost zilch of the names of flowers and bugs, so much help is needed on the identification of these wonderful flora and arthropods.

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A yellow orchid-type flower with some highland dew on the petals. I like this one especially because of the dewdrops.

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A blue moth-type insect on a tea leaf. This was taken at a tea plantation. Cameron Highlands is famous for its tea and tea plantations.

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A bug on a sunflower.

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An ant on a sunflower next to the sunflower in the above photo.

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I chased this ant around with my camera before I get a good shot of it. There are a couple more shots of this ant but they're not in focus of the ant because of the lack of manual focus in a point-and-shoot.

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Some kind of purple flower thingy.

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Reminded me of dandelions in the U.S.

Spider on web

I was taking the photo above this one when I saw something floating in the air. It was a spider on its web, very small and almost invisible. Taking this shot was almost impossible because the camera kept focusing on the background. But at last it managed to focus on the spider so I'm happy.

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The spider then noticed me I guess so it ran away, but not before I managed to get one more shot. Notice the fine spider silk attached to the tip of the grass seed.

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Some fern leaves. I love the pattern I see in this photo, reminded me of Maths and Geometry.

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Some kind of flower in a pot. I'd say it's a relative of the bougainvillea, but I might be totally wrong.

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The same flower viewed from the top. I love the symmetry that I saw when I looked at the flower from above.

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Purple flower buds. I got some shots of fully-bloomed ones but they aren't good... I did not key in the proper settings on the camera.

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Some yellow flower thingie (I sound like a bimbo now. darn.)

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Reminded me of a durian. These are really small, I found them around a small man-made pond.

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A gigantic pink hibiscus. Almost the size of my face.

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A... pink chrysanthemum-type flower thingie? I need lessons.

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No idea what this is but I thought it looked cool so I snapped a photo of it.


Ok so I've been doing a lot of photo posts. Hope you aren't sick of them yet 'coz there might be more coming.

I'll do some writing next, for a break. Maybe for one or two posts at least.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Weekly Photo Challenge - Animal Tales / Animal Tails

Some animal photos I've taken:

A raccoon rummaging for food. I guess it has grown to love McD's, pretzels and soda. More here.

A monkey stealing some jackfruit in my backyard. More here.

The photo of the jumping monkey that got featured. Weblog entry here. Photoblog entry here.

Our kitten Kitty's profile. Yeah, unimaginative name, some would say. I call her Meow. Even more unimaginative.

One of the mice trapped in our mouse cagetrap. More here. Weblog entry here.


And I have numerous photos of spiders, butterflies, ants, beetles, bugs and various insects, but since I know some of my friends wouldn't want to see them too much on this Xanga, I choose not to post them here.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tippy the Shy Ladybug



shy ladybug

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Firefox 3 Add-on: PicLens (edited with screenshots and links!)

If anyone here has already downloaded and used Firefox 3, seriously, you need to download and install this add-on.


I used it and wow, searching and browsing photos on Google or Facebook has never been easier. And I get to do it in a cool way too!

Check it out!


Some screenshots of PicLens on Firefox 3. I used it to view the 769 tagged photos of myself on Facebook.


This is how it looks like when browsing the photos. 3D wall with dynamic fluid movement!


Browsing photos is a much cooler experience! It's like walking beside a wall full of photos! In this case, photos of myself... haha.


Click on any photo for an enlarged view. Any captions would be displayed beneath the photo. In this case, I didn't put any captions so you don't see any.


Double click on any picture and you're in slideshow mode. This one has a nice caption so I chose this one for the screenshot, although it's not such an appealing photo of myself... Yes I need to work out more.

I highly recommend that you use this coz it's so cool! Haha. Ok I'm starting to sound like a fifteen year old so I should stop here. Laterz everyone.


Message from Luna and the Cooliris team: "For interested readers, please check out and to learn more"

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Chasing butterflies

I had to wait almost half an hour for a friend to come pick me up in front of the engineering building last Monday. I personally don't like waiting and so I decided to kill time by snapping random photos around with the Lumix until I saw a butterfly flutter by... and I chased it for snaps. Turned out there were two, and so I had fun snapping photos of these two fragile winged invertebrates.

I played around with the focus for these two butterflies shots:

And I think this one just stumbled into the flower!

Hope you liked the pics!

Now and Forever

by Richard Marx

Whenever I'm weary from the battles that rage in my head

You make sense of madness when my sanity hangs by a thread

I lose my way but still you seem to understand

Now and forever I will be your man.

Sometimes I just hold you

Too caught up in me to see

I'm holding a fortune that heaven has given to me

I'll try to show you each and every way I can

Now and forever I will be your man

Now I can rest my worries and always be sure

That I won't be alone anymore

If I'd only known you were there all the time

All this time

Until the day the ocean doesn't touch the sand

Now and forever I will be your man

Now and forever I will be your man

Weekly Photo Challenge - Natural Beauty

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder... I think small bugs are beautiful up close!

Malaysian red ant

Malaysian red ant. This one did not notice me so it wasn't in the usual 'intruder alert!' mode.

Jumping spider

A spider that I noticed was jumping from leaf to leaf. This was a difficult shot because of the spider's size and agility, and the fact that I had to go up really close for this one.

Spider on the wall

A spider that crawled on the wall that I finished painting with white base paint. This one is really small, it's smaller that your pinkie fingernail. But I think it has beautiful eyes.


The family kitten, named Kitty. You can see me taking this photo in the cat's eye!

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