Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I Heart Photography #1

Today, after a whole dozen hours of driving myself to four different venues for a multitude of tasks that had somehow found itself piled together within one particular day, I decided take a break from the hectic three part-time jobs routine and take a walk down the memory gallery. I visited my long neglected Flickr site.

Ever since I've reached the limit of 200 photos in Flickr, I have ceased to upload any more of my photography works on the site even though I am much in love with the system. This act of cessation has caused me to almost forget that I in fact do have a Flickr site, and that I have put in there a lot of my amateur shots that were made over the past few years - some of them I am quite proud of, some of them just make me go 'bleh'. But they are, regardless of quality and visual impact, are true projections of my artistic vision, which I do admit is either in hiding or in need of serious help.

The ones I am proud of - they convey my honest look at aesthetics, and may represent in essence what I regard as 'beautiful'. I am almost always at lost whenever someone asks me to describe beauty. My lack of vocabulary hampers me from expressing my appreciation of visual aesthetics efficiently; so does my almost dead drawing skills. I find in photography the best way to communicate to the world what I find is beautiful and pleasant to the eyes, and so with that the passion for this hobby was ignited. The flame, luckily, after all this while, has not been extinguished yet, although it has gone to and fro between burning brightly and flickering dimly.

And so, friends, after reminiscing the memories that came with each old photo in my Flickr, I would like to share with you some shots of mine of which I am quite fond of, for it either captures the essence of what I find is beautiful, or it has a wonderful memory attached to it. So here goes, I hope, the first in a series of my sharing the passion I have for photography.


#1  ---  Jumping monkey

Jumping monkey

This picture was taken with a borrowed camera (a Fujifilm FinePix F10) a few years ago during a family day picnic at Morib Beach. I remember having so much fun with dear friends that day, and with that borrowed camera I have managed to bring home with me wonderful memories of friends who are now living so far away. Joining in the fun was a troop of monkeys, macaques in particular, who sneaked around the site scavenging for leftovers or unattended food. While most people chase away these primates, I instead hounded them for photos, like a paparazzo of monkeys of sorts, while these 'celebrity simians' try to find ways to elude my amateurish snaps.

It was during one of these chases that, late in the day, I finally got this one silhouette shot of a monkey jumping from the roof of a gazebo to a tree. It was a moment forever etched in my memory, for I remember watching in awe the macaques' agility and grace when they jumped from tree to gazebo to tree. I knew instantly that this was worth immortalizing in a photo, and so I waited for the right moment to shoot this picture, which you can see, has managed to a certain extent capture the skills of the monkey in jumping from one high point to another.

I am proud of this shot. The silhouette, the colors, the monkey jumping, all of it. Shots like this, though taken with an amateur eye and an amateur camera, make me say to myself:

"I heart photography."

I hope you like the photo as much as I enjoyed shooting it. ;)


P/S: I am making this into a series, so this is just part one of I don't know how many!

P/P/S: Finally a non-invisible postscript!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day 2009 --- Climate Change

Greetings, dwellers of Earth, third rock from the Sun and so far the only known celestial mass to successfully harbor a great diversity of sentient and nonsentient life.

pic from

Yes, change is inevitable. What defines change? Any difference in defined state, be it infinitesimal or astronomical, from the previous state, relative or nonrelative, can be called a change. Be it a different pair of clothes after a day out in the beach, or that fistful of coins you get after paying the hotdog man with a 5 dollar bill.

pic from

Change can be good, and change can be bad (for lack of better words). In fact, the 'goodness' and 'badness' of change can only be defined from the impact the change has on the things change affects. For example, one can say that winning a billion-dollar-jackpot in a lottery may improve one's quality of life, but some may also think that such sudden increase in personal wealth and earthly belongings may corrupt the soul. Or using corn-derived ethanol for powering consumer automobiles may decrease dependence on fossil fuels, but it may increase the global price (and decrease the affordability and availability) of corn-based food, which is actually staple in some developing and undeveloped countries.It is high time for us, as willing or unwilling permanent residents of this planet, to open our eyes and see before us the change that has affected, in good and many bad ways, quintillions of interdependent organisms.

image from

Of all the changes that has happened on the face of this planet, none has been as meticulously observed, recorded, and experienced, as the ones that were made by the hands of Earth's dominant sentient species: human beings. It is very hard to deny that most of the change we see in this world was made by sweat, blood and brainwaves of the upright-walking homo sapiens sapiens. While most species adapt to the environment they live in, we humans adapt the environment to suit our personal needs. We change the landscape in milliseconds while the same amount change can only be done by nature in thousands or millions of years. We make sure our way of life is preserved yet the natural way of life of other creatures, or maybe even entire ecosystems, are sacrificed.

By now, even though I have barely scratched the membrane on the surface of climate change, I most probably have bored you enough with my annoyingly everchanging tone and I may seem to have never driven you to the point I'm probably trying to make. Well it's time for a change then. I'll go straight to the point, and let others who are more qualified to illuminate you instead of myself.

With that said, here are some links I would like to suggest you to visit and have the contents digested for today:

The United Nations Climate Change Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark, Dec 7-18 2009.

Climate Change in Google Earth. With an introductory tour video featuring the Academy Award winning Nobel Laureate Al Gore.

Explore the Climate Orb with

Kids versus Global Warming, a non-profit organisation founded by 14-year-old Alec Loorz.

Climate Change 101: Understanding and Responding to Global Climate Change. A series of brief reports with facts and figures by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.

The 15 Best Carbon Calculators, by Mother Nature Network. Understand the concept of 'carbon footprints' before you analyze the mark you made on the ecosystem.

The Top 100 Effects of Global Warming by the Center for American Progress. Contents of this site apply mostly to residents of the United States and their way of life, but since American culture significantly influences  the way of life in other parts of the world as well, I'd still recommend you give this site a visit even if you are from the The Gambia or even Norway. is organizing the International Day of Climate Action on October 24 2009. Find out what people all around the world are going to do on this day to take a stand on the safety of climate future., a site where you can sign a petition of hope for the world. This site is made in with reference to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, hence the name Hopenhagen (thanks to Mae for pointing me to this one).

Oh, and also to join on this bandwagon, go to today (October 15) and be united with other bloggers all around the world in sparking international discussion on global climate change. Most of the links I provided above was suggested to me after I registered my blog on the site.

With that said, please do join me in the discussion in the comments section below!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Children's Eyes

They are pure, untainted, and clear. And if we look carefully, we can actually see ourselves in their eyes. We see what they see. And maybe if we learn to look at ourselves through children's eyes, life wouldn't be as complicated as it has been.

I wish I have a child's pure and untainted eyes.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Introducing... the family

Just scanned this family photo a few minutes ago, thought it'd be nice to be able to show everyone my wonderful family, finally united in one picture. For the past few years, my sisters and I have been away in the U.S., Japan and England for our studies so a full family photo is something that we look forward to every time there's a chance to get everyone together. This photo is the only one in existence that has every single one of us together, including our housekeeper.

(Click on the picture to view full size)

Top, from left: Tina, Karmini (housekeeper), Ihsan (me), Jayyid, Mya, Husna, Kim.

Sitting, from left: Shazni, Dr. Khairir / 'Ayah' (Dad), Abu, Rashidah / 'Emak' (Mom), Milah.

P/S: Hoping that soon, another person would be added to future family photos...

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

MATLAB Geekness

Am I a MATLAB geek? Let's look at the list and see...

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Opinions Requested: Which is a Good Look for Me?

Lately, I realized (and I'm pretty sure some of my friends did as well) that I've been wearing the same kind of wardrobe and the same kind of hairstyle and the same kind of look everywhere. And it bores me. I look at myself in the mirror every morning and ask myself 'how should I look today?' and end up wearing that same black t-shirt and combing my hair that same side parting I wear almost every day. It's not fun, not exciting, and not random. It feels mundane, and not the normal kind of mundane, but the repetitive cycle of the same thing over and over again like a sine wave kind of mundane. And I feel like I should get a change going on.

So here's me putting myself in the line of fire, parading horrendous profiles of myself over the last few years, and asking you this question: Which is a good look for me?

Friday, October 02, 2009

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


To the only person to whom I have sung this song before, I dedicate this song for you.

.:: Happy 15 months, dear! ::.

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