Monthly Archives: December 2009

WOW…. Sixth Sense ROCKS!

Fancy being able to look cOoL like Tom Cruise in the sci-fi movie  Minority Report ? Fancy being able to calculate your bills by having a number pad projected onto your palms …. or picking up a book & having an Amazon book rating projected on the book cover ……

Sixth Sense , a wearable gestural interface, is the  device to look out for.

Researchers from the media lab in MIT say…… “The device can help a user to interact with the environment with natural gestures and there by perceiving the meta data about the subjects in real-time.”

 It comprises a camera, a battery operable projector, a mirror, tracker caps (all wearable around your neck) & they are all connected to your phone, which is for computation & communication purposes.

For example, if you want information about a certain product (i.e.  a book) that you’re buying, you just face the subject with the camera. By just using natural physical gestures (much like drawing with your fingers in the air), the camera picks up the commands & calls up the information (very much like Googling … sans the typing). The beauty is, this info that comes up can be projected on ANY surface, i.e. a book, a wall, even your hand. Fussfree I say.

This gadget is the brainchild of Pranav Mistry (pic), a Phd student in MIT & is being flooded with rave reviews … Although still a work in progress, imagine the potential… It not only opens up new avenues in the information age … it also provides a lot of potential for the physically challenged i.e. the deaf and the blind …. And …. at the cost of  only USD350 … so they say …

See it for yourself here in the video demo for this device …… it truly is fantastic & relevant to the times! Talk about thinking out of the box, Pranav Mistry is a GENIUS!

The definitive 2010 …

The New Year is round the corner….. Fat Dragon & I are still working off the excesses of last X’mas weekend ~ with food holding on to the lead role … OMG, the food ‘cast’ was endless, we had turkey, siew yok, 2 different pastas, roast chickens, assam fish, butter cakes, fish fillets stuffed with mushrooms, Bonafie pies, strawberry tarts, pigs in blankets, bruscettas  …….. washed down with some toddy (yes, fermented coconut juice), wines, coffees & teas. Needless to say they have all made handsome contributions to our waistlines. My sincerest thanks to organisers of this year’s lunch and dinner organisers for pampering us with yummy food & lavish gifts ….

Ironically whilst we were having a hullabaloo time … the 26th of Dec marked the 5th anniversary of the Tsunami …. Excess vs deprivation … Celebration vs. Mourning .. A sobering thought indeed.

…. and in the midst of this glorious food fiesta, YP came up brilliant suggestion!  She felt that on X’mas days some time in the future, we should actually go to  a home for the elderly or even an orphanage with gifts & goodies as a ‘pay it forward’ gesture. Why not?  Why don’t we share our excesses with the underprivileged. We could always wine and dine, after … in celebration. Not too much to ask really. 

Could 2010 be the start to a definitive new year, one filled with giving, instead of overindulging & stuffing ourselves? Hmmm… food for thought ~ pun intended.  

I salute YP for coming up with this suggestion. It’s a shame none of us thought about it earlier. Thanks YP …. !

p.s. Have a great 2010 everyone!

Acrophobia anyone?

Fat Dragon & I had the pleasure of participating in the Skytrex Adventure Extreme Challenge at the Taman Pertanian in Bukit Cerakah Seri Alam Park, in Shah Alam, Selangor recently. Tucked away in the jungle, lie 3 obstacle circuits ranging from 3metres (abt 9 ft) to 22 metres (abt 66 ft) high & it is built high amongst the canopy of the forest. Not for the faint hearted & certainly not those fear of heights. But then again, call it mid life crisis, whatever, these 2 Roaring Fortiers decided to give it a go ….. & straight into the deep end…or more appropriate, the high end ~  for The Extreme Challenge. Typical ~ sigh!  

The first challenge, a flying fox challenge stretched across a river about 1 km long. Should be peanuts ….. or so I thought…. 

The start point involves climbing a rope ladder to a wooden platform built round a tree trunk. I was probably about 50 feet up in the air upon reaching the platform….. yup, only about 50 feet … the figure seems so miniscule on paper. The climb up the rope ladder seemed endless …. Imagine, by the time I reached the target … my hands were shaking from the strain & …. that so called ‘kacang puteh’ 50 feet seemed so daunting.  Hmmm… why oh why, did the younger participants ahead of me make it look so easy????????

Before I knew it …. I stood frozen on the platform when confronted with the flying fox across the river. My feet stayed planted on the platform, refusing to move!

The park instructor below was gesturing HARD with his hands urging me to “LET GO! Start flying!” …… I looked down at him. Without shame I told him … “TAKUT!!!!” ….. He replied … “TAK TAKUTLAH!” …..

AAAARRRRrrrrrrrrGGGGGHhhhhhhhhhhh …. GULP! The next platform seems so far away ….. the person there looks like a matchstick ……. YES YES, I know our bodies are held by safety harnesses with 2 safety cables attached to the main line with carabiners but …… What if the carabiner unlocks itself????? …. What if the safety line breaks with my weight????…… What if I hold the contraption wrongly &  I spin mid air?????? ……….. OH OH OH … WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO!!!!!!! Worse still, the river below looks so far below …… Huh… when in fear,  that 50 feet feels magnified to a hundred feet up!!!!!! 

MORE gesturing by the instructor. Panic panic. I looked down at him & showed him (again) that I was really scared by patting my chest repeatedly …. His eyes must have rolled up at that moment, but I was too high to see …. but I did see him waving his hand frantically urging me to GO! He was probably thinking “MORON…! Stop wasting time …. Vacate the platform for the next person climbing up!”.  

Yikes … I have to let go soon …. yikes yikes yikes….. I reached up, dug both my thumbs into the carabiner & held hard … now if only I could just relax… swing my legs out & sit on the harness …….I CAN’T .. I CAN’T  …… Oh NO, climber approaching platform … Have to go…HAVE TO GO!  COME ON …. COME ON… LET gOoooooooOOOOooooo!!!!!! Next thing I know, I was flying through the air … arms ultra tense with the grip ….. ….Don’t look DOWN …. DON’T LOOK DOWN …*I look down of course* ~ law of opposites prevails …OMG, OMG, OMG ~ even my heart felt like it was flying out ….. I was flying through the air for only 15-20 seconds but it felt forever ……….

And that was the end of the first challenge. A rude awakening for me. Never knew I had a fear of heights. Seriously didn’t realize it.  Boy was I relieved when I landed on the next platform with a big THUMP…………. Phew, I survived….. but that was just the beginning …. Onward to another rope ladder climb towards the next platform & another 20 challenges to come, only to emerge from the jungle 2 1/2 hours later! 


Wikipedia defines acrophobia as ”

Acrophobia (from the Greek: ἄκρον, ákron , meaning “peak, summit, edge” and φόβος, phóbos, “fear”) is an extreme or irrational fear of heights. It belongs to a category of specific phobias, called space and motion discomfort that share both similar etiology and options for treatment.

Acrophobia can be dangerous, as sufferers can experience a panic attack in a high place and become too agitated to get themselves down safely.”

Well, technically I guess I don’t suffer from acrophobia 100% but …. the moments of hesitation that I felt when flying & standing high up in the platform really surprised me. Never realized that I’d be feeling weak at the knees like that …..

Jacob’s all grown up ………….

Don’t worry, this is not a movie review about TWILIGHT SAGA : NEW MOON.  There’s a lot of love out there for the movie & the characters, but mind you… a lot of hate too. But none of that here, it’s all about li’l ol’ ME drooling ……….. over Jacob’s impressive six pack, of course.

YUP …. Jacob’s all grown up, he no longer looks like an innocent undernourished love sick teenager. In fact, he now sports an impressively toned body which is accompanied by a somewhat edgy matured look, …. WOW & DOUBLE WOW!!!!

Move over Edward!  My vote is for Jacob ~ He’s officially the HUNK in my books (pun intended) …  

The actor who plays the role of Jacob Black is none other than Taylor Lautner. Can you imagine … the producers actually contemplated replacing the actor for the role of Jacob Black, the alternative ‘love interest’ of Bella, in the sequel to Twilight ~ Twilight Saga : New Moon? Both movies were adapted from the book series by Stephanie Meyer.  He was apparently too small sized & boyish looking to repeat the Jacob role as the character is depicted to be approaching manhood & turning into a brawny werewolf  in the sequel.  But, that was a year ago. 

Fast forward to present time, 17 year old Taylor is sizzling the movie screens with his bulk. Determined to prove the directors wrong, Taylor started working out & eating his way up to this present body weight straight after the filming of Twilight ended in 2008. Weighing 30 lbs heavier  during the filming of New Moon … he BUFFED up as required by the directors of the movie ….

…but, most importantly, he looks HOT (108 degrees to be exact, in keeping with his werewolf temperature) & ‘BEAUTIFUL’ (in Bella’s words) ….. *Swoon*…..

How did he do it? He stuffed himself with beef patties, nuts & “ice cream every two hours” to get a minimum of 3,200 calories of body fuel a day.  Whoa, foodie heaven I guess …. or hell, whichever works for you. This was combined with 5 day workouts at the gym with a personal trainer. That is the way to do it, but apparently you can’t over work it at the gym, according to Taylor ~ if not you’ll lose the bulk. Bring on the pounds anytime Taylor … it looks good and I’m not the only one who thinks so. Taylor was voted one of People Magazines 100 most beautiful people in 2009.  

One of the most ‘memorable’ scenes featuring Jacob’s new bod was when Bella crashed her motorcycle & started bleeding from her head …… Jacob then proceeds to take his shirt off to wipe the blood from Bella’s forehead ~ When I was watching this at the cinema the other day, I honestly think, no one in the audience (I emphasize, no one)…. cared if Bella bled to death …….. coz all seemed mesmerised by the naked top half of the man-wolf’s anatomy!  An appreciative & synchronized  “WAHHHHHHH” reverberated through the room, an obvious show of approval for the abs & biceps bared for display!  

From then on I knew, the salvaging point for the movie had presented itself ….given that the first 20 minutes seemed to draggggggggggg on ….. Yawwwwnnnnn! 

….. JACOB SAVED THE DAY for me (where the movie is concerned… oh, sorry, I promised not to talk about the movie right?) …… so please excuse me … I’ll just concentrate on drooling…. 😉