Sunday, July 30, 2006

Vocabulary: "Onus"

Picture: Atlas, and his big onus

I came upon the word "onus" the second time while reading DITH's excellent post on her blog, on how bringing up a child is analogous to flying a kite. Perplexed by what such a word could mean, I decided to investigate. According to dictionary.com and various other online dictionaries the word Onus is a noun that means:
1. A burden; an obligation; a disagreeable necessity.
2. a: A stigma. b: Blame.
3. The burden of proof.

It's derived from the Latin word "Onereus" which means "burden". A few examples on how the word "onus" could be used in a sentence:
  1. The prisoner decided to share his onus with his fellow in mates.
  2. "Onusly, I didn't do it."
  3. The prime minister has a heavy onus.
Urm DITH, were my sentences grammatically correct? ... and did I use the word correctly?

The War Memorial Park






We perchance drove by this park yesterday, while on the way to Kenilworth Castle and decided to pay the park a visit today. We weren't disappointed. The War Memorial Park, so named as a tribute to local soldiers who died in World War 1.

There are so many fascinating features of this park; apart from the monument itself there is an outdoor water park, beautiful flower gardens and an outdoor cafe.

Ok, hope you guys enjoy the youtube slideshow (Sorry! I'm having a video-editing fever this weekend, it seems).

Visit to Kenilworth Castle



Yesterday we went to Kenilworth Castle, which is not far from here at all (around 15 minutes away, see how convenient the location of our place is?). I know it's a blatant rip-off of Naja's goodbye video-clip, but I decided to make one of my own. I was thinking of making a tabblo again, but I thought I'd try something new. Video editing used to be a hobby of mine, and Naja re-sparked that interest (oh no).

PS
  • Edited using Windows Movie Maker 2, the software that comes free with Windows XP. [See under All Applications -> Accessories].
  • Today I was having a bad hair day ;(;(
  • Despite that, today I was putting to practise what I've read on How to be more photogenic (you know: take a deep breath, relax, extend the neck & turn to your best side). Haha! It'd be 10 more years of practice before I'd be as good as Sarah.
  • My friend used to always say: "Mynn, you always say you're having a bad hair day, but to me your hair looks the same everyday!".
  • I hope (s)he didn't mean my hair is messed up everyday;(
  • Leos take good pride of their hair.
  • I'm not a Leo.
  • The song is Mahou no Kotoba.
  • For a less shallow account of our travels today, read Puan Mama Sarah's blog.

This Week


Man, I'm dead tired after my week of nights. Dead tired. Sorry I haven't been updating much over the weekend, readers.

Anyway, just to let you guys in on what I've been up to this week:

Watching
  • (TV) Eureka, my new FAVOURITE TV/Web episodes. Recommended! It's sci-fi, has a bit of drama, and above all witty and funny. I'm waiting impatiently for the next episodes ... ;(
  • (Movie) Just like heaven. An average movie.
  • (Anime) Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.
  • (Anime) Honey and Clover Season 2
  • (Anime) School Rumble Season 2
  • (Anime) Tenshi na konamaiki
Reading
  • (Manga) School Rumble
  • (Book) Life of Pi - the first book I laughed and read the whole of the acknowledgement/preface. Yup, even the preface was an interesting read!
Listening
  • Everything Spitz -- they're my new favourite band. I like it that they're music seems more like an indie "garage band", i.e nothing too extravagant and the main singer also looks average ... so they appear less like a factory produced group and more like a true musical band.
  • Honey and Clover OST <- what beautiful tunes ............
Misc
Wanting - Our wedding anniversary is approaching, and Puan Mama Sarah and myself have been discussing about getting ourselves a combined present, the present being a new camera - the Nikon D50 (her idea, not mine!!). It costs around GBP 400 online. I dunno guys, should we get it? What made us think about this is seeing the mediocre quality of our pictures at Kenilworth Castle today.

I'm still letting the idea percolate ... (seems like a reversal of roles eh? Puan Mama Sarah asking me to buy a new gadget, and I'm the one holding back! I'm finally starting to act my age!)

Oh my god!

You Are 27 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.
What Age Do You Act?
Man, (almost) on the dot!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Bookmark: Izlinyaya.blogspot.com


I'm bookmarking another blog: izlinyaya.blogspot.com. It belongs to my brother- and sister-inlaw and the blog is in the name of their two beautiful daughters. It seems that they have also set up a tabblo. Man, the Thai food sure delicious, pity we're not there;(

Link: http://izlinyaya.blogspot.com/

More on Honey and Clover (I'm Afraid)


I just found this blog/website dedicated to Honey and Clover (kakkoi!). Meanwhile I SO LOVE SPITZ'S new single: Mahou No Kotoba. It's the single for the live action Honey and Clover movie. Anyone has a translation for the song at all? Mahou no Kotoba is one of the best songs I've heard (I wanted to say ever, but that's probably exaggerated) in the past month.

Link: Momento

Mama Sarah's New Banner


The above has been Puan Mama Sarah's and my project over the weekend i.e designing a new banner for her blog. PMS' concept was simple - she wants a banner hand-drawn as if Sarah herself. However, with GIMP/Photoshop I said we should add things like lens flare to the sun, motion blur to the butterflies, a depth of field effect to the sakura tree and multiple shades on the clouds and sun (all with the magic of layers, see?).

In the end though, Puan Mama Sarah ended up not using the banner so I thought I'd put it up on my blog instead, you know, not to throw the hours of work away just like that. Most of the drawn elements in the picture was drawn by Puan Mama Sarah as well as the colour scheme.

Goodbye to Naja and Wan


I keep borrowing videoclips from Naja's blog but I can't help myself. This is a superb AMV expertly produced by Naja herself (warning - it's sad).

Naja I think you should consider a career in directing korean dramas lah.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Honey and Clover Movie


That didn't take long did it? They have already announced a live action movie for Honey and Clover. Hagu chan in the movie seems not bad eh?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Reader Poll of the Week: Attractive Forces

:D Time for my silly reader polls again. This time I want to find out what my readers find most attractive in a potential mate. No cheating dear readers! Make the choice you really mean, and sorry but no option for "all the above" this time.

PS
I used to think beauty the most attractive but then realised, sometimes beauty could be a hindrance. I prefer that "I could synchronise perfectly with this person" feeling (please, that wasn't an innuendo!!!). Err, I better stop before Puan Mama Sarah flames this blog.

Happy voting dear readers ;D

Recommended Tabblos

It's my last night in the looo~ong oncalls. I could hardly wait to drive home tomorrow morning. Thank god, it has been a good week of nights and has not been not too busy despite being one member down from our usual 4 team members.

I've actually been browsing various pictures people have posted on tabblo.com recently, and some are so awe inspiring that I feel slightly embarrassed putting my mediocre ones on the net. Anyway, here are some of my favourites:

Murder in the Kitchen
Various excellent ones by this artist: Emilirobot

Rockaway - nicely put holiday photos, I'll copy this design next time!
Lake Murphysboro, vista of a beautiful place


Bubbles

Make sure to check them out!

Others:
Wedding photos
Rose "puzzle" -- creative!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

New Scifi show Eureka free to watch on web


Guys this is amazing!

Scifi channel has just released a free to watch web-episodes of a new show called "Eureka". Here's the setting for the story:

As World War II came to a close with mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and
Nagasaki, the impact that science and technology would have on the
continued security of our world became catastrophically apparent.
America nearly lost the race to build the atomic bomb; it could not
risk such a close call again.



With the help of Albert Einstein and other trusted advisors, President
Harry S. Truman commissioned a top-secret residential development in a
remote area of the Pacific Northwest, one that would serve to protect
and nurture America's most valuable intellectual resources. There our
nation's greatest thinkers, the ├╝ber-geniuses working on the next era
of scientific achievement, would be able to live and work in a
supportive environment. The best architects and planners were
commissioned to design a welcoming place for these superlative geniuses
to reside, an area that would offer the best education for their
children, the best healthcare, the best amenities and quality of life.
A community was created to rival the most idyllic of America's small
towns — with one major difference: this town would never appear on any
maps. At least, none that haven't been classified "eyes only" by the
Pentagon.



Thus, the town of Eureka was born. But for all its familiar, small-town
trappings, things in this secret hamlet are anything but ordinary. The
stereotype of the absent-minded professor exists for a reason, and most
of the quantum leaps in science and technology during the past 50 years
were produced by Eureka's elite researchers. Unfortunately, scientific
exploration is rarely what one expects, and years of experiments gone
awry have yielded some peculiar by-products.



From unrequited love to professional jealousy, from addiction to
depression, the problems of Eureka's townsfolk stem from life's myriad
of everyday challenges. But with the population's unique talents,
troubled psyches and limitless resources, these small-town concerns
have a way of becoming big-time problems. It is at that intersection,
where human frailty and super-science collide, that Eureka begins….

Sounds very interesting, and it's cool that Scifi is showing episodes on the web. So far there's only 2 episodes including a 2 hour pilot. The videos are viewable in fullscreen too. Another cool thing is that character interviews and documentaries are also available. Future of "TV" guys?

Scifi.com : Eureka

How to be Photogenic


Personally, I hate holiday photos of us where in the background there's a beautiful looking monument, but the people in the photos look discomposed and stiff wooden. Well, here's an article on wikihow on How to be more Photogenic. Worth a read :)

ps
My favourite two tips in the article is 1. think happy thoughts and 2. get a better photographer. LOL <-- there! another 'LOL'.

Ten Signs You're Tech Obsessed


Haha, a funny article on www.stuff.co.nz: Ten signs you're tech obsessed.

Among others, one that hit me was "instead of laughing you say 'LOL'". LOL <-- see?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Record videos for you blog with hellodeo


This is a great way to post videos to your blog. Hellodeo is a new free service. If you have a webcam, just head on over to hellodeo and click the record button on the front page. The site will then give you a n <embed> code for you blog, much like with youtube and tabblo, and that's it.

OOO cool! I hope I'll get to see videos of you guys on you blogs soon.

Link to Hellodeo

A code beyond genetics in DNA


Via the New York Times: Researches believe they have found a second code in DNA. The genetic code specifies all the proteins a cell makes. The second code superimposed on the first, sets the placement of the nucleosomes around which the DNA is looped >> read further.

Firefox Extensions : Extensive List


An extensive list of many2222 useful Firefox extensions and themes reviewed on this site. Also a guide to make Firefox more streamlined. Definitely worth a look.

Link

 

Video : How to tell when a relationship is over

Video : How to tell when a relationship is over.

Note: I haven't seen the video yet (couldn't see Quicktime at work) so I don't know the nature of the video, but heard it's funny.

Hyanice : A Tank Cycle


A concept vehicle with rubber tank-like tread held by Kevlar rope on a bicycle frame. Cool eh? Like something out of a Batman movie.
Read more: Popular Science via dvorak.org/blog.

"Open Season" Trailer

What a funny trailer! "Open Season" by Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures.

Official Site

Download Firefly Documentary for Free (legally, that is)


Done the Impossible is a documentary on the cult TV show Firefly. The makers of the documentary are offering a free, Creative Commons licensed .torrent download of the documentary. Way to go!!

If you're a fan of Firefly / Serenity, bittorrent this file now!

Link (via digg.com)
Trailer

Happy Anniversary Auntie and Uncle De.


Happy Anniversary Auntie and Uncle De!!! Wish you guys endless happiness. (*I just realised I'm not good at writing wishes, sorry!*)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Mmmmmmm Dorayaki


Image: http://mitsuya-honpo.jp/msyohin.html
Bie, you wanted to know the name of that "cake" I like in Yo!Sushi, well I just found out it's called a Dorayaki. Recipe here <-- hint!

Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina

Probably because Pixar's "Cars" is released in 4 days time in the UK, but I'm struck with (among other things) Car fever: This is the new Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina.

Just look at it! Droooooooooooooooooo~ol

Opel "CARS" Advert


OOh, an Opel (Vauxhall in the UK) car advert made my Pixar. Nice (way to cash-in guys).
The Advert

Pachelbel Canon, (to me) a goodbye song

You know what guys, a friend of mine said goodbye last week and surprisingly at that time this song (Pachelbel Canon) played over and over in my mind errr, albeit not the rock version.

via dvorak.org/blog
Anyone else have seen the Korean movie My Sassy Girl? (if not - watch it! It's good)

Anime Review : Honey and Clover


It is very rare when an anime series would make me feel sad by the fact that after episode 24 that would be the end of the series. Honey and Clover, is one of those anime. I haven’t seen such a good series in years, and I’m going to tell you straight up that this anime gets a 5/5 from me. I’ll try to explain why:

I was hooked watching this anime from episode 4 onwards. It’s like a book I couldn’t put down. I haven’t done an anime marathon* in years, but with Honey and Clover I just couldn’t stop watching.

Honey and Clover is about a group of 20 year olds going through their college years. It’s partly a love story, and partly journeys of self-discovery. Philosophical, touching, educational, beautiful and completely funny at the right points.

It made me reminisce so much of my own college years, especially my A-levels and final year at University where I had a similarly close group of friends. If you watch this anime, chances are, you’ll be able to relate to a similar time in your life too …and that’s what makes Honey and Clover so very endearing.

The characters are so well designed and realised that towards the end, I felt as if the characters are my friends who I’ve known all my life. It’s easy to sympathise with the characters and their journey becomes the viewers’.

The soundtrack, by Spitz and Suga Shikao is also very special and I can’t wait to get the OST. Almost every other episode would have a unique soundtrack of its own. It’s just beautiful.

Funny, philosophical and heart-felt. 5/5. By all means: Watch this!!


The characters are so lovable (and funny!)

My favourite character in the series: Ayu. I also like Takemoto.

PS

  1. In half Malay: Group yang terjemahkan anime ni, was so in love with it that at the end of episode 24 they expressed how sad they are that it’s the end and gratuitously thanked the creators!
  2. *An anime marathon is when you watch episodes of a continuous series (normally 24 episodes, each of them 20 minutes long) back to back to back to back from start to finish.
  3. Another review
  4. To me, this anime series is BETTER than Winter Sonata (Sorry Naja and Naz :p) However, I can't help but think the creators were influenced by that particular Korean Drama. In fact, one of the theme songs sound eerily similar to Winter Sonata's.

World eBook Fair


I came to know about this from Crimsonskye's blog (and she got to know it from Kak Aini, see the meme going on here?  Anyhow, thanks both). For a limited time only, specifically between 4th of July to 4th of August, in celebration of Project Gutenberg's 35th birthday wordebookfair.com is offering free e-book downloads to all members of the public. No membership required. They have around 1/3 million e-books so far in over 100 languages. So, enjoy.

Download: Adobe Lightroom Beta


I found out about this software from lifehacker. Adobe Lightroom Beta is a photo management and editing software touted to be "better than Picasa" (!!!). The screenshots definitely look convincing. The user interface looks very pretty and streamlined. The Beta version is free so make sure you give it a try. As soon as I return home from my oncalls I definitely will!

Adobe Lightroom


Image from Lifehacker. Read the impressions there.

A comprehensive review of an earlier Lightroom version could be found on Luminous Landscape

Trailer : Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


If the first movie I ever saw was Beauty and the Beast, the second was TMNT. 15 years later, and they're making another movie, this time a CG one. What do you guys think of the trailer?
HD trailer here

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Video of the Week: Siti Nurhaliza and Datuk K

Thanks Auntie De for this video:

I'll try to explain to my readers who are not from Malaysia. The video is about a popular, young singer in Malaysia - Siti Nurhaliza. Think the equivalent of Britney Spears in America, if you will. Malaysia is currently rife with news about her as she is finally getting married (therefore breaking the hearts of millions of her young [and don't forget old, err "matured?"]) fans. The video is a song of disappointment.

The lyrics (thank you kindly DITH):

Datuk K, K, K,
Kau nak kawin dgn Siti,
Kau dah potong jln kami,
Ini tak boleh jadi,
Kau memang tak sedar diri.

Hmmmm
Dulu Siti kata,
Dia tak kisah siapa laki,
Asalkan dia seornag yg baik hati,
Tapi Siti sekrang dah mungkir janji,
Nak kawin dgn Datuk, duda pulak tu lagi!

Aahhh...Datuk K...


It's funny!

Note:
Siti Nurhaliza is getting married to a "Dato" which is a title for someone of high status or importance in Malaysia. Another translation for "Dato" is "Grandpa", which hints the age of the person she's marrying (which partly explains the reason why her fans are so upset!)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Two More Bookmarks

I'm actually abit embarrassed to post about this one. I was sleepy doing my nights oncall until a few hours ago, when I discovered 2 (inter-related) blogs:

  1. SuperNunu's I Poo, I Pee, I Conquer
  2. The Best Thing in Life is Holding A Baby in My Arms

I discovered these two blogs while randomly clicking links on Puan Mama Sarah's blog, and seriously I tell you guys: I've been blogging since March and I've never, ever yet so far read blogs as funny as these two. I'll cut and paste a few examples:

Every now and then, whenever someone tries to kiss the lil one, the MIL or
the Mak Tok (if she's around) shall be ready to dispense (hmm, spew forth seems
more like it) the don'ts and the don'ts of kissing a baby, or any of the baby's
body parts. She has a way of pouncing on you when she thinks you're doing
something when you're actually not, and won't let you go without yet, another
stern warning. And she would certainly will not fail to remind you again - and
again - about those forbidden behaviour as we adults sometimes have the
proclivity to forget.So, what rules has she imposed on us?

1. Dont kiss the baby's mouth - she'll be slow at learning to speak

2. Dont kiss the baby's hand - she'd grow up with a liking to beg

3. Dont kiss the baby's foot - she'll grow up with no manners, and likes to
kick people

4. Dont kiss the baby's navel - she'll grow up to be a tart or a slut (yikes!
scary)And the biggest No-No, ultimate, most mind-boggling, most-offending rule
of all:

5. NEVER kiss or smell the baby's bum or diaper

I am either too amused or too grossed out to ask or listen to the rationale
of this one at all.

and here's another:

Anyway, back to the Body Shop perfume. I was introduced to this when I was
room mates with Farah during our USM matriculation year. (Flashback cue: You can
visualize us in black-and-white now). I didn't have to buy my own bottle coz
Farah was generous enough to let help myself with a lil dab every now and then.
The colour was a little amber at that time, and the smell is much much stronger.
We had fun smelling like a pastry shop around the campus, and everytime we
noticed people in our class make sniffing sounds and ask each other "Hey, who
brought cake?"


(Back to the world of technicolor) I'm a little dissapointed the smell is
a whole lot milder now. I mean, last time I could dab vanilla essence on my
wrists for all I care and still people won't know the difference. But I guess
they added other elements to the bottom notes or something, which makes it smell
nothing like vanilla.

Reading the blog had me laughing to tears much to the amusements of my fellow friends! The blogs are extremely well written, witty and not to mention extremely funny. It's full of links to other baby related stuff and definitely recommended.

I'll soon add the links to my ever-so-crowded side-bar.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Next Few Weeks


My parents visit to the UK has come to an end, and this morning at 6 they took the bus to Heathrow, then the airplane back to Malaysia. I hope it has been a visit they enjoyed but above all, I am sure they were very proud to see my brother Azim's graduation in Belfast.

I have enjoyed myself as well the past few weeks with the almost endless places we visited, especially when my stay in the UK may well end soon. It has been relaxing and fun to be off work for what seemed to be a long time indeed, but (un?/)fortunately that ends tonight, as I am starting nights at 9pm. In fact, I'll be driving to work in just a couple of hours time. Urgh, one of the most horrible things in life is restarting work after a long holiday, mark my words!

After finishing my week of nights oncall, I only have 2 days left to spend with my friends at work before we go our separate ways and I say that with a lump on my throat and a heavy feeling in my chest. It has been truly fun working where I am working at the moment, but I'll save that speech for much later.

At this point I'll do my weekly "what's been happening" summary (and mini reviews):

Watching
  • (Anime) Gun X Sword. I fully recommend this anime to all. The anime is beautifully conceptualised, and wonderfully animated. The design of all the characters and mechs are wonderful. Rating: 4/5.
  • (Anime) Black Cat. I love this anime and recommend it as well. It's about a group of bounty hunters, each character has their own unique skills. It's also very funny. Rating 3.5/5.
  • (Anime) Tsubasa Chronicles Season 2 - A favourite of mine, introduced by my sister. It's not yet complete but I absolutely love season 1. No rating yet, as it's not yet complete.

Reading
  • (Manga) Eyeshield 21. RECOMMENDED!!! I'm starting to really like American Football since reading this manga. Can't wait for the following chapters, quick!
  • (Book) Howl's Moving Castle, Dyanna Wynn Jones - I've just got this book! Can't wait to sink myself into it.
  • (Book) The Life of Pi - Can't wait to read this book either. If the oncalls are not too busy, I'll be reading this book between calls ;)

Listening
  • Err, nothing new. Anymore recommendations Ayumi?

Can't Wait For
  • Pixar's "Cars" - coming out at the cinemas on the 28th of July. Can't wait!!!!!!!!!

Misc
  • Watching trailers of future movies, I am interested to see:
  • My Super Ex-Girlfriend
  • Lady in the Water (a horrow Movie by Night M Shimalayan)
  • Nacho Libre, Jack Black rocks!

Warwick Castle

Tabblo: Warwick Castle

See my Tabblo>

I didn't intend to make a tabblo for this entry at first, however pressed for time, this is the fastest way I could think of to upload the plethora of pictures.

In the UK at the moment, many students have completed their studies and
are having their graduations.  This is also the time when many parents
are visiting . If you are thinking where to bring your parents then may
I suggest one; Warwick Castle.

As the name suggests, Warwick Castle lies in Warwick, in the Midlands. The price of admission at GBP 15 is indeed hefty, and may deter many. Despite being expensive, the visit was surprisingly well worth it.

This is because, not only is Warwick Castle beautiful and well preserved, there are many attractions and shows inside the castle itself, to make a complete medieval experience.

Among the attractions and shows inside the castle are:
  • Archery - where a person demonstrates the art of using a medieval bow and arrow to hit targets.
  • Falconry - a trainer and his majestic looking hawk doing various tricks, it was amazing.
  • Wax mannequins sketching how the royal would live in a castle. The quality of the wax mannequins are akin to the ones in Madam Tussauds and looked extremely realistic. Enough to make the little one cry! The mannequins are scattered in many chambers around the castle and looking at the various scenarios were awe inspiring and educational.
  • A rose garden, a green house with beautiful tropical plants
  • A peacock garden
  • An eagle barn - various hawks, eagles and vultures from around the world are shown here. They are beautiful creatures.
  • Artillery - where an ancient real size catapult is shown to shoot metal balls.
  • Exploring inside the castle, and the castle grounds. We climbed up to the tallest spire - and (this is a confession -- I'm afraid of heights!). A vomit and vertigo inducing, dizzying experience, but fun.
Many people were employed to masquerade as knights (on horses, with proper chain mail and swords), peasants, jesters and maids around the castle to provide an authentic medieval atmosphere, and they were extremely friendly. For example, a knight on a horse came and stopped near where we were enjoying icecream, and he allowed little children to touch the horse and kindly answered the childrens' questions no matter how silly.

Every single attraction above was interesting and we spent upwards of 6 hours at the place! Even then, we felt that we haven't fully explored all the grounds, fatigue being the limiting factor here.

In the tabblo above there are pictures of the castle, the castle grounds, the wax mannequins in their various rooms, and views inside and on top of the castle. All in all, Warwick Castle is a beautiful place, is very educational and therefore well worth the admission price. My only complaint is that there is a limited number of restaurants and the choice of meals are very limited.

Having said that, seeing Macdonalds or Starbucks in the castle would have desecrated the place.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Movie Review : Superman Returns

I have finally managed to squeeze some time to watch Superman Returns. I entered the cinema not expecting much from the movie. Although I rarely read movie reviews before actually watching them myself, I've heard mixed opinions in the internet of this latest movie directed by Bryan Singer (of X-Men). Admittedly, I've also read O-K's spoiler free mini-review of the movie.


Superman (Brandon Routh) disappears for some soul-searching after astronomers discovers his planet Krypton and returns 5 years later. Much to his surprise and disappointment he discovers that Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) has moved on and is engaged and has a son. At the same time Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) is planning to utilise technology from Krypton, destroying America in the process.


Needless to say, the action sequences and the computer graphics are amazing. I've said this before, and I'm going to repeat it here: In all movies with CGI, I consciously try to differentiate between live elements and CGI ones. In this movie, the dichotomy is much less clear, in fact I could rarely tell when Superman is CGI. Kudos to the CG artists and animators.


I was enthralled watching the airplane sequence, to me, the most visceral action sequence in any Superman movie to date. I also loved the gattling gun sequence (and the “eye-shot” LOL), where Superman is literally demonstrated to be “faster than a speeding bullet”.


To be honest, I didn't mind both Brandon Routh as Superman or Kate Bosworth as Lois. There were parts where I thought Routh definitely does not have the same charisma as Christopher Reeve but he does play the boy-scout Superman and Clark Kent convincingly. The only thing I did not like about Routh was his make up. Anyone else think he looks like Michael Jackson? (i.e either the make up is too heavy, or his features too sharp/pristine).


The emotional ride in this movie is not bad, where there's a sense of loss, loneliness, yearning and fatherhood etc2.


Overall, I did enjoy this movie and I do recommended it to everyone. However, I probably wouldn't be buying the DVD.


Arbitrary Rating: 3.7/5 (i.e almost a “4” but not quite)


PS

  • My favourite character in the movie is hands down, Cyclops. However, I wondered why he didn't use his optic blast in the movie? Hmm.
  • They say Superman is a real “boyscout” and in this movie, that fact is both subtly and convincingly portrayed. In fact, Superman reminds me of some of my more “schema” friends (I'm looking at Exdua aka Uncle “30 miles-per-hour” De here).
  • This article was wholly composed using OpenOffice.org Writer (the free and open-source alternative to Word).

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Microsoft Private Folder


Microsoft has just released an application for Windows called Private Folder that makes it possible for those who share a PC or an account to store personal files in a seperate password protected encrypted folder that only they may access.
Download

Notes:
  • Before being able to download the software you must first verify your copy of Windows through the Windows Genuine Advantage Program.
  • Apparently the software is causing headaches amongst IT administrators as the software could enable employees to hide files.
  • An Macgyver alternative to Private Folder is to use WinZip to password encrypt your files (via arstechnica.com)
  • Personally, I really like Private Folder, ehem, not that I have anything to hide ...

Controversial Weekly Reader Poll: Expletives


Err, another silly poll this week. I've been meaning to put it up for weeks but I have been holding back. Here we go ...

Note
:
  • I think you have to have Flash player installed and enabled in order to see the poll
  • I think you have to vote in order to see the results
  • Unfortunately only one vote could be cast per internet address

Helio Advert : Meet The Parents


LOL.

Monday, July 17, 2006

DragonLance the Movie


OMG, they're making a movie out of the 12 part fantasy books: Dragon Lance. The movie will be animated and based on "Dragons of Autumn Twilight". It featuring the voices of Kiefer Sutherland as Raistlin Majere and Lucy Lawless as Goldmoon, among others. Read more here.

Weekend in Nottingham: Lunch at Wagamama

Wagamama, a Japanese word meaning "selfish" is also the name of a restaurant offering oriental dishes fusing Japanese, Chinese and Thai flavours (an example would be the Udon ramen dish with coconut milk and lemongrass soup). Auntie De was kind enough to buy us lunch there:


My favourite dish in Wagamama is the Seafood Ramen, but this time I ordered the Amai Udon. Amai means "sweet" in Japanese, and the Udon was definitely sweet, but not sickeningly so.


In fact all three of us ordered the Amai Udon today. In absentia from the picture is yours truly, but you could see my dish waiting patiently for me to consume it.


This was how we were seated, right by the window with a nice view of a busy Nottingham City Centre. Look closely at Amar and Auntie De. Amar was giving Auntie De his sweetest, dimpliest smile then shying away when Auntie De reciprocated. MS looked accusingly at me while asking, "From where has Amar learnt to be so flirtatious???"


Look at the ever so fatherly Uncle De who single handedly handled his two precious ones (my precioussses).


Close up of Amar's favouritest Auntie, for Amar to dreamily gaze on later ;) Hmm how to tell Amar that she's taken?


A wonderful lunch which we owe to Auntie De. Thanks Auntie De!



Random stuff:
  1. For my birthday last year, Auntie and Uncle De bought me a Wagamama cookbook. I'm sure there was a hint somewhere in the gift, but I'm not sure of the message. Was it "Mynn, you should learn how to cook", or "Mynn, you should cook more often!", or "Mynn, you should make these for us." Hehehe.
  2. The Amai Udon has shrimps, spring onions and tofu. It's seasoned with peanuts. It has a subtle peanut buttery taste to it. Yum!