Saturday, September 17, 2005

Do the Kraftwerk Robot Dance!

The thought of this keeps flashing in my mind everytime I listen to Kraftwerk and noticed I hadn't blogged it out yet. Is this guy awesome or what? Btw, the song is a bit unclear but it is indeed "Expo 2000".

On another (but Kraftwerk-related) note, I managed to get myself a virtual copy of their Minimum-Maximum live album. Call me batshit insane and whack me silly, but I keep noticing that certain songs and tunes on TV could also be found from Kraftwerk's songs. Thing is, most of their albums were created in the 1970s. In 1971, ABBA, Evlis Presley and Elton John were all the rage but Kraftwerk stuck out like a sore thumb in the scene and started creating music way ahead of their time. They even have been credited for single-handedly creating the entire eletronic music genre, and one of the few bands to have weilded as much influence in the music scene as The Beatles. Could you imagine that thirty-odd years old songs could sound that futuristic even today? They truly are teh bomb.

I haven't been able to get my hands on any of their albums (but one did manage to pass through a local music store), but until I own an actual copy of the album, then I only truly consider to have own it. Oh what the heck, there's no pride in downloading from a torrent. Therefore I'm not really a pirate (according to Edmund). :P

Related links:
Everything you need to know about Kraftwerk.
Listen to the first disc of Minimum-Maximum at through streaming here.
Kraftwerk at their record label's website (additional streaming audio and video available).

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Just another short update here, I'm currently having my SPM trials.

The last day of exams would be on the 22nd.

Monday, September 05, 2005

National Geographic predicted Hurricane Katrina

From Ocotober 2004's edition of National Geographic's magazine:

"It was a broiling August afternoon in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Big Easy, the City That Care Forgot. Those who ventured outside moved as if they were swimming in tupelo honey. Those inside paid silent homage to the man who invented air-conditioning as they watched TV "storm teams" warn of a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Nothing surprising there: Hurricanes in August are as much a part of life in this town as hangovers on Ash Wednesday.

"But the next day the storm gathered steam and drew a bead on the city. As the whirling maelstrom approached the coast, more than a million people evacuated to higher ground. Some 200,000 remained, however—the car-less, the homeless, the aged and infirm, and those die-hard New Orleanians who look for any excuse to throw a party.

"The storm hit Breton Sound with the fury of a nuclear warhead, pushing a deadly storm surge into Lake Pontchartrain. The water crept to the top of the massive berm that holds back the lake and then spilled over. Nearly 80 percent of New Orleans lies below sea level—more than eight feet below in places—so the water poured in. A liquid brown wall washed over the brick ranch homes of Gentilly, over the clapboard houses of the Ninth Ward, over the white-columned porches of the Garden District, until it raced through the bars and strip joints on Bourbon Street like the pale rider of the Apocalypse. As it reached 25 feet (eight meters) over parts of the city, people climbed onto roofs to escape it.

"Thousands drowned in the murky brew that was soon contaminated by sewage and industrial waste. Thousands more who survived the flood later perished from dehydration and disease as they waited to be rescued. It took two months to pump the city dry, and by then the Big Easy was buried under a blanket of putrid sediment, a million people were homeless, and 50,000 were dead. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States.

"When did this calamity happen? It hasn't—yet. But the doomsday scenario is not far-fetched. The Federal Emergency Management Agency lists a hurricane strike on New Orleans as one of the most dire threats to the nation, up there with a large earthquake in California or a terrorist attack on New York City. Even the Red Cross no longer opens hurricane shelters in the city, claiming the risk to its workers is too great."

Read the rest of the article here.

I don't think I have that edition of the magazine in my hands, but still it's a chilling thought that a prediction came out so true in reality.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Late Night Musings...

Somehow, I usually end up staying real late up on weekend nights and waking up at 1 or even 2 on the afternoon. I can rattle off a list of reasons why late nights can really be that good some times... Just smell the cool midnight air, listen to the silence of the surroundings (this can be especially good when I'm listening to songs, the sound seems clear and crisp where there's no other distractions around the house), and basically the night seems to be so darn good.

For all of these while, I believe I'm very much by nature a night-owl. I can easily stay up till 5 or 6am but it's a heck of a challenge for me to stay awake at 8:10am without either doses of adrenaline or caffeine. I was without caffeine for two days at school and I felt like shit in class. Before that I took Nescafe 3-in-1 and while I felt good at school, I felt like shit when I reached back home. So, neither options really sounds good enough, so I'm sticking to those coffee bags and just adding in some condensed milk.

This week, it rained continously for a series of days, then it turned scorching hot for these past few days, and I'm thanking the Big Guy up there for sending everyone on this island some rain while we sleep. On Monday, it rained 5 minutes after I reached school and it rained again 5 minutes before school ended. Me and my classmate had a meal in the school canteen to wait for the rain to stop and when we were walking back home, the Big Man unleashed a torrent of rain on us. Damn, my bag, textbooks and papers were freaking wet from it.

Lately, the weather here is just plain unpredictable, except for my mom who seems to be able to predict rainy weather. I once suggested to her that the government take down all of its shitty satellites who can't predict weather even accurately and just install my mom as the national weather forecaster (it rained EVERYDAY at that time and it wasn't as depicted as a warm and sunny spot on the news, dammit!) By the way, it's starting to rain here already, w00t!

Of Gurney Plaza, Bookstores and CD-Hunting...

During the previous meetup with the Penang Bloggers recently, I also had the oppourtunity to do a bit of shopping around Gurney Plaza. The last time I was there, chunks of the shopping complex was closed for renovations. Now I know what they eventually did to the place. The people who made some of these changes are freaking geniouses I tell you!

Big Bookstore was relocated to another part of the same floor but sadly, MPH Bookstores are no longer with us on Gurney Plaza anymore. It is now replaced by Popular Bookstore on the other end of the floor. What used to be Big and MPH bookstores are now just a big blank of space waiting to be rented out. When I first visited Popular on August 21, the outlet was just newly opened for 5 days only and yet still some racks were covered up and the workers still painting the ceiling and setting things up. I was back there 2 days later and everyone's still cleaning up (wiping, mopping and polishing just everything) in anticipation of a Penang big-shot VIP to open the store formally with a press conference, speech, journalist and all of those things.

One thing I noticed is that the new CD shops (Popular's CD RAMA section and Artists Gallery) have better CD stock if compared to Tower Records and the small (but two) Speedy Entertainment shops. I managed to pick up the first Gorillaz album and Enigma's Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi! album, and Maksim's The Piano Player album. Currently listening to all three on rotational basis and I'll pretty much come up with a review or two after this. :)

Here's some useless info unless you frequently hunt for albums: Let's say if you want to buy an album but they the shop doesn't have any stock, for Popular you have to pay a RM20 deposit and pay off the remainder when the stock arrives and they'll give you a phone call. Deposit is refundable after a month but I'm not sure how they'll deduct the 10% discount by then though. For Artists Gallery a deposit is not necessary, just leave a phone number with the artist's name and/or album title and they'll just give you a call, simple as that.

Edit: So it seems that MPH really will remain at Gurney! Thanks to 5xmom for the news. :)


Here's to a bit of blogging with substance. I didn't really put in most of my effort on blogging nowadays. For what reason, I'm not entirely sure. Perhaps it's a sign that I'm getting lazier and lazier by the day (note to self: NO, I MUST NOT SLACK OFF).

Without going through my old archives, I can believe that my writing style when I was starting off blogging was better than what I usually write now. For all of these while I've been struggling on what topic to focus on maybe (I haven't thought about it during 1 and a half years of blogging, strangely), so it's time to set my mind of blogging in topics which are of are interest to me (and hopefully a couple others). I don't think I would explain it right now, as I usually regarding speaking about something and ending up not doing it later to be an eventual jinx, so I'm letting myself be as flexible as I can without losing sight of my initial target.

If you don't really understand what I was talking about, don't worry. Neither do I. :)

Penang Bloggers Meetup

Whoo, has it really been that song since I blogged? Gah, time flies really too fast for me to catch up, I could've sworn I already had stopped somewhere in 2003. Please do let me know if you find that my English language skills have dropped down several notches. :)

Anyways, here's to recap some recent stuff:

I attended a recent Penang bloggers meetup two weeks ago in Gurney Plaza. 'Twas my third meeting with Penang blog-folks. There were some... no, make that lots of camera potshots being taken. I felt like I was repeatedly hit with crossfire from shooters from one end of the table to the other end. :P

And about pics, I do noticed that I looked HORRIBLE is some of the pics they've taken but some seemed to turn out alright. And lastly, thank you very much for the big glass of hot chocolate, 5xmom!

Click on these links to read about what they've blogged about the meetup.

Mr Kiasi
Really Bites

Tell me if I'm missing any links here... :)