Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Web Directories

A directory of useful information to the common person who wants to find helpful resources. A collection of all kind of information.

Web directories don't exactly have the reputation of being helpful resources for finding information. Most have become endless pits of links, and wading through them to find anything useful is next to impossible.Then there are the human-edited ones that tend to be more useful, but are aimed more at the submitter promoting their business than they really are towards the user who is there to find information.

One might say why one should go for web directories when we have google,yahoo,msn and many other search engines.No matter how much emphasis search engines put on relevancy, if you want to find a collection of useful resources on a particular topic, you will be left wading through pages and pages to come up with them. Still most of the people use search engines to find information they are looking for.

Some of the directories are still usefull.dont expect that your link is indexed in the directories, but one can submit it in some of free directories.Old yahoo directory is one of the useful directory,but now its bombarded with submissions, ut that is the beauty of keeping this one related to a niche.

Try them instead of search engines you will get more relevant informations what you are looking for.

FTP Error Codes Explained

The FTP errors suck. Not knowing the meaning of the error code can avoid a user from troubleshooting the issue. Here is a useful reference list that i found dumped inside the deepest region of my HD:

Code Description

100 Codes The requested action is being taken. Expect a reply before proceeding with a new command.
110 Restart marker reply.
120 Service ready in (n) minutes.
125 Data connection already open, transfer starting.
150 File status okay, about to open data connection.

200 Codes The requested action has been successfully completed.
200 Command okay.
202 Command not implemented
211 System status, or system help reply.
212 Directory status.
213 File status.
214 Help message.
215 NAME system type. (NAME is an official system name from the list in the Assigned Numbers document.)
220 Service ready for new user.
221 Service closing control connection. (Logged out if appropriate.)
225 Data connection open, no transfer in progress.
226 Closing data connection. Requested file action successful (file transfer, abort, etc.).
227 Entering Passive Mode
230 User logged in, proceed.
250 Requested file action okay, completed.
257 “PATHNAME” created.

300 Codes The command has been accepted, but the requested action is being held pending receipt of further information.
331 User name okay, need password.
332 Need account for login.
350 Requested file action pending further information.

400 Codes The command was not accepted and the requested action did not take place.
421 Service not available, closing control connection. (May be a reply to any command if the service knows it must shut down.)`
425 Can’t open data connection.
426 Connection closed, transfer aborted.
450 Requested file action not taken. File unavailable (e.g., file busy).
451 Requested action aborted, local error in processing.
452 Requested action not taken. Insufficient storage space in system.

500 Codes The command was not accepted and the requested action did not take place.
500 Syntax error, command unrecognized. This may include errors such as command line too long.
501 Syntax error in parameters or arguments.
502 Command not implemented.
503 Bad sequence of commands.
504 Command not implemented for that parameter.
530 User not logged in.
532 Need account for storing files.
550 Requested action not taken. File unavailable (e.g., file not found, no access).
552 Requested file action aborted, storage allocation exceeded
553 Requested action not taken. Illegal file name.

The real scenario

This view was taken from another angle. This cock was chased by a bigger cock. When it sees that there was no other way to escape, it just flew to the electric cable. The act of balancing itself was quite interesting to see.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Why I am here

My primary site is Discomfort Zone. At the moment, i am having problems acessing it. All the time when i try to acces the site, i will be redirected to I am still trying to rectifythis problem. I am very gratefull if any one out there can lend a helping hand.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Love Letters :The Marriage

To my dear wife

"During the past year I have tried to make love to you 365 times. I succeeded 36 times, which is an average of once every ten days. The following is a list of why I did not succeed more often.

- We will wake the children 17 times
- It's too late 15 times
- I'm too tired 5 times
- It's too early 52 times
- It's too hot 15 times
- Pretending to be asleep 49 times
- Window open the neighbours will hear 9 times
- Backache 2 times
- Headache 16 times
- Sunburnt 10 times
- Your mother will hear us 6 times
- Not in the mood 21 times
- Will wake the baby 17 times
- Watching the late TV show 7 times
- Too sore 9 times
- New hairdo 4 times
- Wrong time of the month 4 times
- You had to go to the toilet 9 times

On the 36 occasions that I did succeed, the activity was not entirely satisfactory because 6 times you just lay there, 8 times you reminded me there was a crack in the ceiling, 14 times you told me to hurry up and get it over with, 7 times I had to wake you to tell you I had finished and once I was afraid I had hurt you because I felt you move.

Your loving husband".


To my dear husband

"I think you have things a little confused. Here are the real reasons you did not get more than you did.

- Came home drunk and tried to screw the cat 7 times
- Didn't come home 29 times
- Didn't come 14 times
- Came too soon 26 times
- Went soft before you got in 18 times
- Toes in cramp 9 times
- Working late 49 times
- Said you had a rash, probably from a loo seat 21 times
- In a fight, someone kicked you in the balls 4 times
- Caught it in your zip 6 times
- Got a cold, your nose keeps running 14 times
- Brewer's droop 95 times
- Tea was too hot, you burnt your tongue 9 times
- Had a splinter in your finger 4 times
- Lost the notion after thinking about it all day 13 times
- Came in your pyjamas while reading a dirty book 8 times

Of the times we did get together, the reason I lay still was because you had missed and was stuffing the sheets. I wasn't talking about a crack in the ceiling, what I said was "Would you prefer it on you back or with me kneeling?" The times you felt me move were because you had
farted and I was trying to breathe. However, 6 months ago I phoned Alcoholics Anonymous for help and their representative has been calling most afternoons.

Your loving wife".

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Why do men take second wives?

Polygamy has nothing to do with culture or religion. Men, and women too, cheat because they can.

WHEN a male friend told me he planned on taking a second wife, all I could do was try not to choke on dinner. Are you serious, I asked. He said yes, he had fallen in love with a single mother, but it was not his fate to marry her.

Thinking it was perhaps due her compassion, her earnest desire to bring up her sprogs in a Godly way and that life was indeed a struggle, I choked on my dessert when my friend told me the first thing he noticed about her was that she owned a great set of jugs.

Now, my friend takes his religious obligations very seriously. His first wife wears the hijab. So to hear him admit that it was his paramour’s cleavage that caught his heart was quite shocking.

It was due to women like me, whose so-called Western, secular and feminist ideas of polygamy that pushed it underground. I then asked him, whether his equally-pious wife agreed to him taking on another wife, and he said no. She gave him an earful.

But our friend was on a roll. Now that his journey into polygamy was thwarted, it was all our fault. We modern Malay women, be they religious or not, were forcing men like him to marry in Thailand or Iran, where they practised nikah Muta’ah.

He was emulating the steps of our good Prophet Mohamed, he argued.

“You have got your Islamic history upside down! Nabi married war widows, and his first wife was older than he. Aishah was the youngest. And I don’t think our Prophet married any woman because she had great breasts!”

“You don’t understand.”

“Okay then. Why don’t you sell your car and take a camel to work then?”

I’m realistic. I know men who adore their wives and love them to bits, but they can still love their mistresses and other wives. Am I condoning affairs and polygamy? No. But this happens. It has nothing to do with Islam or being Malay, though polygamy is part of the culture.

We’re Asians. We have a long history of concubinage. There are good men who are faithful, and there are good men who have other wives. There are also bad men who are faithful and also bad men who are unfaithful.

Just like our politics, love in Malaysia is a circus. Weeee!

I’m not going to bore you with what polygamy in Islam is about, as it has been written before and talked about to death. Women’s rights activists have long fought for this “crime” to be illegal, but we face a tough fight. Sometimes it’s not the men who are itching for it, but yes, our gender, too.

In the 80s, when I was young and clueless, meeting mistresses and second or third wives would be sinful and against my principles.

These days? “Oh, you’re a mistress?” “Oh, you’re a hidden wife?” Yawn. Wear tudung or mini skirt, got. Educated or stupid, got. Some of our mothers are The Other Women, and are good mothers. So how?

Is this phenomenon particular to our culture? Oh no. Read the British newspapers. Mistressing is talked about to death in feminist columns.

But I thought after that dinner with my friend, I’d revisit the issue again. Some of the findings from my five-sen survey:

> Theoretically ... polygamy is OK. But must ikut hukum Allah lah. There are conditions.

> Ya, but… actually, kan, for career women like us, it does work. Nak jaga laki 24 jam … gue tak larat la. Biar bini nombor satu jaga. After all, in Islam, polygamous wives are taken care of legally. Better a Muslim second wife than a common law wife.

> But really. Think about it. Convenient, what. You see him once a week, makan once a week, have sex once a week...

> Sex once a week?! Baik tak yah jadi bini nombor dua macam tu! Chit. Once a week mana cukup?!

Why do men cheat? Again, just an observation dwelled upon by friends and myself. For a lot of polygamous men, they marry good women who fit their criteria of holiness, wifeliness and motherhood.

Intimacy between the men and their wives are perfunctory. It’s make-the-baby-cover-the-face sex. With their girlfriends and second wives, it’s Penthouse all the way, baby. It’s the soul thing.

At least this is what I got from talking to quite a number of married men. It’s not because of the first wives’ lack of trying; they want to have healthy intimate lives, but the bees in their husbands’s bonnets keep reminding the men of the Madonna-Whore syndrome.

Malaysia is not a place for single women desiring Hollywood-movie type of marriages and love. KL especially is a city for marriages and affairs. And it has nothing to do with money. There are rich men who cheat, and I know of a despatch boy who has two wives!

There are many single-again women like my friends and I, who still believe in marriage and love. But I can tell you, should we walk down that path again one day, we’re going down it with our eyes open and keep a part of our hearts to ourselves. Because you never know.

Perhaps my friend, an activist who makes a living entering and staying in war zones, is right.

“We have women like you, me, your mother, your aunt and friend who fight so hard for women and children and yet face a brick wall, simply because we ‘understand’ so much, and forgive all the time, which is why cheating, affairs and polygamy are rampant, to the detriment or contribution (depends how you look at it) of our well-being,” says my friend.

Another friend, Sharizal Sharaani, put it succinctly: “Men (and, yes, women too) cheat because they can. Full stop.”


Monday, September 15, 2008


What is impetigo?

Impetigo is a bacterial skin infection. It causes red sores that can break open, ooze fluid, and develop a yellow-brown crust. These sores can occur anywhere on the body but most often appear around the mouth and nose.

Impetigo is one of the most common skin infections in children. It can occur in adults but is seen far more often in children. Impetigo is contagious and can be spread to others through close contact or by sharing towels, sheets, clothing, toys, or other items. Scratching can also spread the sores to other parts of the body.

Antibiotic ointment that is applied directly to the infected areas of skin usually cures impetigo. Sometimes antibiotic pills are needed.

What causes impetigo?

Impetigo is caused by one of two kinds of bacteria-strep (streptococcus) or staph (staphylococcus). Often these bacteria enter the body when the skin has already been irritated or injured because of other skin problems such as eczema, poison ivy, insect bites, chickenpox, burns, or cuts. Children may get impetigo after they have had a cold or allergies that have made the skin under the nose raw. However, impetigo can also develop in completely healthy skin.

How can impetigo be prevented?

If you know someone who has impetigo, try to avoid close contact with that person until his or her infection has gone away. You should also avoid sharing towels, pillows, sheets, clothes, toys, or other items with an infected person. If possible, wash any items that may have been shared in hot water before you use them again.

If you or your child has impetigo, scratching the sores can spread the infection to other areas of your body and to other people. Keeping the sores covered can help you or your child resist scratching them. Washing your or your child's hands with antibacterial soap can also prevent spreading the infection.

If your child has a cut or insect bite, covering it with antibiotic ointment can help prevent impetigo.

What are the symptoms of impetigo?

You may have impetigo if you have sores:

  • On your skin, especially around the nose or mouth. The sores begin as small red spots, then change to blisters that eventually break open. The sores are generally not painful, but they may be itchy.
  • That ooze fluid and look crusty. Sores often look like they have been coated with honey or brown sugar.
  • That increase in size and number. Sores may be as small as a pimple or as large as a coin.

How is impetigo diagnosed?

Your doctor can usually diagnose impetigo just by looking at your or your child’s skin. Sometimes your doctor will gently remove a small piece of a sore to send to a lab in order to identify the bacteria. If you or your child have other signs of illness, your doctor may order blood or urine tests.

How is impetigo treated?

Impetigo is treated with antibiotics. For cases of mild impetigo, a doctor will prescribe an antibiotic ointment to put on the sores. For cases of more serious impetigo, a doctor may also prescribe antibiotic pills.

After 3 days of treatment, you or your child should begin to get better. A child can usually return to school or daycare after 48 hours of treatment. If you apply the ointment or take the pills exactly as prescribed, most sores will be completely healed in 1 week.

At home, you should gently wash the sores with water 3 times a day before you apply the antibiotic ointment. If the sores are crusty, soak them in warm water for 15 minutes, scrub the crusts with a washcloth to remove them, and pat the sores dry. Do not share washcloths, towels, pillows, sheets, or clothes with others and be sure to wash these items in hot water before you use them again.

Try not to scratch the sores because scratching can spread the infection to other parts of the body. You can help prevent scratching by keeping your child’s fingernails short and covering sores with gauze or bandages.

Call your doctor if an impetigo infection does not improve after 3 or 4 days or if you notice any signs that the infection is getting worse such as fever, increased pain, swelling, warmth, redness, or pus.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The 6 Most Terrifying Foods in the World

We've found six dishes that seemed to have sprung from Satan's own cookbook.

read more | digg story

The 5 Scientific Experiments Most Likely to End the World

Surely in their insatiable curiosity and desire to put knowledge above all things, science would never, say, inadvertently set off a chain of events that lead to the end of the world. Right?

read more | digg story

The Effects of Massage on the Human Body

Most of us cannot deny that there is nothing better than taking timeout from our stressful day to day lives and having some "me" time. A perfect way to unwind and give you that very much needed "me" time, is to book an appointment with a well trusted and qualified massage

read more | digg story

The 6 Raunchiest, Most Depraved Sex Acts (From the Bible)

What happens when you take a really skanky sex story and dress it up in a lot of flowery words? You get the Bible. Or large chunks of it, anyway.

read more | digg story

10 Most Pirated TV-Shows on BitTorrent

There’s only one week to go before the new TV season starts, but here is one of the latest summer charts. Stargate Atlantis is leading the chart this week.

read more | digg story

The Girl's Guide to Making a Man Happy

A guide to being the girl that he always dreamed of. This should be required reading for all girlfriends.

read more | digg story

9 amazingly unique bridges you may not have seen

It’s time for a list about brilliant bridges, but not the bridges you normally see in these kinds of lists. i wanted to avoid the usual suspects as they seem to get pounded to death on the intertubes and there’s only so many photos of the golden gate bridge you can look at without becoming just slightly bored.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Amnesty International

60 years of human rights failure - Governments must apologize and act now

Amnesty International today challenged world leaders to apologize for six decades of human rights failure and re-commit themselves to deliver concrete improvements.

"The human rights flashpoints in Darfur, Zimbabwe, Gaza, Iraq and Myanmar demand immediate action," said Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International, launching AI Report 2008: State of the World's Human Rights.

"Injustice, inequality and impunity are the hallmarks of our world today. Governments must act now to close the yawning gap between promise and performance."

Amnesty International's Report 2008, shows that sixty years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations, people are still tortured or ill-treated in at least 81 countries, face unfair trials in at least 54 countries and are not allowed to speak freely in at least 77 countries.

"2007 was characterised by the impotence of Western governments and the ambivalence or reluctance of emerging powers to tackle some of the world's worst human rights crises, ranging from entrenched conflicts to growing inequalities which are leaving millions of people behind," said Ms Khan.

Amnesty International cautioned that the biggest threat to the future of human rights is the absence of a shared vision and collective leadership.

"2008 presents an unprecedented opportunity for new leaders coming to power and countries emerging on the world stage to set a new direction and reject the myopic policies and practices that in recent years have made the world a more dangerous and divided place," said Ms Khan.

Amnesty International challenged governments to set a new paradigm for collective leadership based on the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

"The most powerful must lead by example," said Ms Khan.

  • China must live up to the human rights promises it made around the Olympic Games and allow free speech and freedom of the press and end "re-education through labour".
  • The USA must close Guantánamo detention camp and secret detention centres, prosecute the detainees under fair trial standards or release them, and unequivocally reject the use of torture and ill-treatment.
  • Russia must show greater tolerance for political dissent, and none for impunity on human rights abuses in Chechnya.
  • The EU must investigate the complicity of its member states in "renditions" of terrorist suspects and set the same bar on human rights for its own members as it does for other countries.

Ms Khan warned: "World leaders are in a state of denial but their failure to act has a high cost. As Iraq and Afghanistan show, human rights problems are not isolated tragedies, but are like viruses that can infect and spread rapidly, endangering all of us."

"Governments today must show the same degree of vision, courage and commitment that led the United Nations to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights sixty years ago."

"There is a growing demand from people for justice, freedom and equality."

Some of the most striking images of 2007 were of monks in Myanmar, lawyers in Pakistan, and women activists in Iran.

"Restless and angry, people will not be silenced, and leaders ignore them at their own peril," said Ms Khan.


Build a compost bin with free materials
A quick look in the want ads will usually turn up companies giving shipping pallets to anyone willing to haul them away. Load up the truck, baby! Place one pallet on the ground. Stand 4 others on end to act as sides. Attach with screws or wire ties to make them easily dismantled and moved. Add more bins in a train formation. Compost can be turned from one bin into the next.

What ingredients are good for your compost bin?
Grass clippings from untreated lawns, hay, fruits, vegetables, tea bags, coffee grounds, eggshells, leaves, manure, straw, weeds that haven't gone to seed, wood chips and sawdust (from untreated wood)

Ingredients to avoid:
Any chemically treated plants, wood or lawn trimmings, diseased plants, human waste, meat, bones, fatty food waste, weeds that have gone to seed, pet wastes.

Does your compost smell bad?
A compost heap will harbor both aerobic and anaerobic microbes. Both of these little critters do the work, but the anaerobes create a grand funk in the process. To prevent them from taking over the pile, make sure plenty of air gets in there. You can fluff the pile by turning it or introduce air by regularly poking holes from top to bottom.

Give it a drink!
Help those microbes work their best by making sure they have enough water. Ideally, your compost heap should be about as wet as a well wrung sponge.

How do I know when it's done?
That depends. What was a pile of plant material will gradually, from the bottom up, turn into a pile of dark stuff that looks like brown dirt. Eventually, none of the items you put in there will be recognizable. If you're using it out in the garden, a few small recognizable bits won't hurt - they'll finish composting in the garden. If you're using it for houseplants or to start seeds, it's better to wait until it's well finished so you don't have microbes attacking the fine rootlets of new plants.

Compost tea
You can give your house or garden plants a boost with a cup of compost tea. Mix equal parts of compost and water and let sit for a few hours. Pour the resulting liquid directly onto the soil. The compost left at the bottom can be reused for several batches of tea and then returned to the compost bin or put directly on the soil in your garden. For use with young seedlings, make a much weaker tea with 4 parts water to 1 part compost.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Malaysian Vocabulary

Words Malaysians can incorporate into their daily lives:

"Anwarized" - meaning: To get back-stabbed.......
i.e. People who have been anwarized may contact the DPM's hotline

"Badawized" - meaning: To be stupified ...........
i.e. Malaysians seem to be badawized by the media which reports biased news

"Najibbed" - meaning: To be blown to bits .....
i.e. In this country,you better be careful with what you say, you can be najibbed otherwise

"Petrad" - meaning: To be exposed ...........
i.e. Lately the BN coalition has been petrad in many ways

"KayJayed" - meaning: To shout for no reason............
i.e. He kayjayed in the Dewan and appeared like a moron

"Balaed" - meaning: To vanish suddenly.................
i.e. They opposition balaed from the meeting in protest

"Lingamed" - meaning: To repeat redundantly............
i.e. The Information Minister lingamed the same rubbish in the debate recently.

"Soileked" - meaning: To be caught on tape.................
i.e. People have stopped using budget hotels as they are afraid of being soileked.

A short Malaysian fiction :

Altantuya was cold bloodedly najibbed after she attempted to petra Najib for anwarising
her and not making the promised payments.
Razak was badawized into covering up for Najib while Najib balaed from the scene.
Razak was actually anwarized.
However Najib lingamed that he had nothing to do with it and has been kayjaying
on the topic in an attempt to prove his innocence.
Nevertheless, some quarters have been threatening that they have soileked evidence
that Najib was involved.

"To Love Malaysia, is to know Malaysia"

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Watery Grave

Balleh River, in the upper reaches of the Rejang, is one of the main gateway for the timber industry of Sarawak. Logs were transported by means of huge boats locally known as tongkang.

Balleh River is normally dangerous and treacherous to navigate during the dry season. At various places, the river is narrow and have many rapids. But the lure of huge profits and high demand for timber, the tongkangs have to brave those rocks and narrow water ways.

It is also during the dry season that the production of timber is at it's highest point. This is so because logs could be transported easily from the hinterland to the log ponds. Logging roads were rugged and they are constructed along the contours of the hills and as such the road conditions were almost impossible to access during rainy days.

The hazards of navigating the treacherous rocks and narrow water ways are very great. At various points along the river you could see sunken tongkang and what is left of them. Even though the losses in terms of property and human lives are high,the timber industry has to go on.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


The sight of skulls hung from the beam of the ruai is a very rare. Only some long houses in remote places still practice this tradition. As the act of head hunting was eradicated many decades ago, those who still have skulls in their possession will just store them up in the sadau.

Due to the need of tourism for attracting visitors, these skulls were put on display. But then, these were on special arrangements with long houses which still has post modern era set up.

Have you ever ponder how is the head being prepared to become skull? Many ways could have been used for the preparation, and the version that was relate to me might differs from what the others did.

After the head have been chopped off, the hair is shaved and kept for decorating the sword of the victor. The skin, flesh and all were removed. Some said, the blood and grey matter of the brain was actually drank by the victorious party. By doing so, the soul of the dead man will not harm them.

Then the skull will be smoked over open flame for a long long period. Whatever flesh, muscle or skin that was left on the skull was removed. Finally only the skull and teeth are left.

Finally the individual skull is weaved by using rattan vine, covering and keeping the skull firmly inside. The whole bunch of skulls will then hung ,together with the rest of the stock by him, infront of his the ruai.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Luffa aegyptiaca

The sponge

The fruit.

Luffa aegyptiaca

The luffa has many names, both common and scientific. It is known as luffa sponge, loofa, loofah, sponge gourd, and many other common names. Also known as Luffa cylindrica, Luffa aegyptiaca, or aegyptica.
These natural sponge wonders of the vegetable world have many uses. They'll make your skin squeaky clean or shine up your dirty dishes. The luffa fruits are soft and edible when young and can be cooked and eaten like squash or okra. When mature, the fruits become a tough mass of fiber that makes a great sponge. When crushed, they produce a noxious smell that seems to repel insects, animals, and even other plants.

Luffa are most excellent in the bath or shower. The exfoliating action leaves your skin feeling the cleanest and tightest it could possibly be. Having someone scrub your back with a luffa sponge is an incredibly pleasurable experience. Home soap makers can include slices of luffa in their creations to add an extra cleaning boost to their soaps. A sponge on a handle or rope makes a great back scratcher. They can be cut into many shapes for scrubbing pads, bath mats, and other craft items. Cut the sponges lengthwise and remove the core to make sheets of sponge material.

Luffa sponges are great for washing items like Tupperware®. Could be used for cleaning almost everything, including cars, boats, plastic buckets, and anything that needs scrubbed but can't withstand steel wool. Non stick cookware is one example.

Luffa sponges will last a surprisingly long time if they are allowed to dry between uses, usually a few months. When they stay wet all the time they tend to deteriorate more.

Most commercial sponges are a light color from being bleached. Natural mature sponges can be any shade of brown to white in color. If you want to lighten sponges, then soak them in a weak chlorine bleach solution for about an hour or so. Commercial growers often use a hydrogen peroxide solution. Bleaching them for too long can significantly weaken the fibers. Bleached sponges look better for commerce. They are also cleaner and less likely to contain insects or other organic matter. Slightly green and/or stained ones can benefit from bleaching. Most sponges are fine in their natural state, without bleaching. Exposure to sunlight can also lighten the color some but not as dramatically as bleach.


Most garden varieties of luffa are less dense and more flexible than the large white chunks of commercial sponges. The commercial luffa is bred for size and strength. Most are also grown in a warm climate and have the benefit of a long growing season. Harder dense sponge would be better for things that require strength. A less dense sponge is more flexible and good for making things like luffa soap. The thickness and number of the individual fibers can vary greatly among sponges. A hard or soft sponge can have thin or thick fibers. Usually the more fiber the stiffer the sponge. There are also varieties that are grown primarily for eating and these tend to produce weaker fiber. Luffa cross pollinate easily so it might be difficult to grow different varieties together. Whatever characteristics the luffa have, they can be altered somewhat by careful selection of the seeds. The plants do seem to have a lot of natural variability among different plants grown from the same sponge and even between sponges grown on the same vine.

Luffa can grow arrow straight, slightly curved, or very curved. Seeds from straight ones tend to grow more straight ones, but a few curved ones usually appear. The curved ones make good back scratchers in the shower. When small, the fruits are very flexible and will conform to whatever shape they are against. This can result in some very unusual shapes. Sponges can also be much wider on one end, usually the bottom.

Growing your own sponges is fun and rewarding. Once they get established, the plants are quite vigorous. They grow on vines that can reach 30 feet or more in length. A strong supporting trellis is a must. Chain link fence works great. Lattice will also work well. Luffa will survive in partial shade but tend to produce more in full sun. In a very hot dry climate they may do better with some shade as they tend to wilt if it gets too dry. After the roots have developed, the vines don't usually need to be watered. If the leaves are wilting noticeably, then they may need additional water.

These plants are tropical in origin, believed to have originated in southern Asia. They need a long growing season. Starting the plants indoors may be necessary for cooler climates. Putting the seeds in a moist environment before planting helps increase germination rates. There can be a lot of variability in the time needed for germination. Typically it is around a week. The time it takes for luffa growth, flowering, and maturity can vary widely between plants. It usually requires around 130 days or more, but it could be anywhere from 110 to 180 days.

The small seedlings grow very slowly while the roots become established. Once they are about 6 inches tall the increase in growth rate is phenomenal. After about 3 months of growing, the flower clusters appear. The flowers bloom in an orderly progression, one at a time. When the vines are blooming, the bright yellow flowers attract many pollen gathering creatures. Bumblebees absolutely love them. Ants enjoy cruising all over the vines. Some flowers will wilt and fall off while the lucky ones will form a luffa sponge. The flowers are quite pretty and abundant.

When the flowers produce, slender cucumber-like vegetables appear. The vines continue to grow and produce fruit until the sponges begin to mature. They can be harvested whenever they feel ready. Typically they turn a yellow/brown color and become lighter in weight from drying out. Mature luffa sponges can be any color from green to nearly black. Very small sponges can be mature and very large ones may not be ready. Size and color doesn't matter much. The important thing is that they start to dry and lose weight. The more mature they are, the better the sponge fiber quality. Some smaller ones may mature more quickly, yielding a small soft sponge, good for washing delicate skin.

If the vines die before the sponges are ready for peeling, they can be hung in a dry place to cure before peeling. If the weather is dry, then cutting the vines to stop the flow of sap and letting the sponges hang may work. Hanging them in a dry place is the best way to get them dry. Generally if the sponges are good they will dry enough to peel. If they are really immature they may rot no matter what you do. Peeling green luffa is difficult but can be done if needed. When the sponges are ready for harvest they can be peeled. If they have matured they are usually easy to get open. Soaking in water will help the opening process. After peeling, high water pressure from a hose sprayer can remove much of any remaining green and brown coloration. Wash them with soap and water, lay out to dry, rotating occasionally, as the water settles in the lower side. Placing them in sun and wind outside dries them quickly. The sun tends to lighten them some.

If they are stained, a soak in some bleach and water will lighten them considerably. A wet harvest season tends to cause more rot and brown spots in the sponges. Getting all the seeds out can be a challenge, but the drier the sponges are, the easier the seeds will fall out. Save the best ones for next year. You can also cut open the sponges in any shape you want to remove seeds.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Fresh fish, especially the ones that you catch in fresh water river are rescaled and chopped into small pieces. Then you seasoned them with some salt, tamarind and herbs such as "bungai kenchala". Then it is left to marinate.

After about half an hour later, the fish is pushed into bamboo stems. Do not fill it up and allow some space for breathing and plugging.

The plugging is done by using leaves of tapioca. Use the young shoots and completely plug the open end of the bamboo stem.

The bamboo stems are then placed over a slow burning fire. Ultra care must be taken to ensure that the fish inside the bamboo stems are evenly cooked. To do so, the bamboo stems are from time to time must be rotated and the fire must not flame too much. A burnt bamboo stem will does not necessarily mean that the fish is cooked.

As the colour of the bamboo stem changes from green to dark brown, there must be no more flame. Only the heat from the charcoal is left to heat the fish inside them bamboo stem. Experienced folks can expertly tell you if the fish is fully cooked just by shaking the stem a bit and hear the sound from inside. For others, they have to unplugged the top and peeked through or just pour a bit into the plate to determine if it is cooked or not.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cement Brick: II

Those cement-brick are then placed nicely. They are left to dry out and covered with plastic sheet when it rains. Later these cement-bricks were kept in a shade until they are ready to be used.

This is how the finished product looked like. For inner walls of the long house, the cement-brick have to be smooth and evenly surfaced. This is because, here the plastered layer need not be too thick.

The outside wall of the long house needs thicker plastering. That is why the layering and the surface of the cement-bricks is much rugged and uneven. This is true so that, both the plaster and cement-brick could withstand both cold and hot weather.

Cement Brick

Ordinary brick is made from earth. Usually these bricks were baked in a huge kiln. Bricks are one of those essential building material for the construction of a permanent dwelling house.

The size of a brick is usually 8x4x3 inches and weight about 500g. Thousands were needed for the construction of a long house.

Rural folks usually move about by means of 'perahu' or boat. These boats are small as they have to travell through shallow rivers, rapids and 1001 more other obstacles.

Naturally the cost of transporting bricks from the kiln to the long house is very high. Some body suddenly have a brilliant idea of making bricks from cement. So now we have "Cement-Brick".

This is the mold for making cement-brick. It's just a simple wooden framework which they put on an even surface. Underneath, it is usually lined with plastic sheet .

Wet cement is then poured into the slots. After a certain layer, small pebbles were arranged on top of the wet cement. Then more cement is poured in to top it up. When the cement is drying, the top part is scratched so as to make the surface rugged.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Magifera pajang

Rare wild mango, also known as Bambangan,Embang or Membangan. It is native to Borneo Island, particularly grown in Sarawak, Sabah and Brunei. Also found grown wild in the Kalimantan part of Borneo.

Tree has huge majestic column which can grows to 15-33 meter high. Has huge trunk with diameter of 30-70 cm. Supports a dense canopy of dark green leaves which is 17-45 cm. in lenght and width of 7-15 cm.

Tree prefers well drained alluvial soils but will also trive on upland soil.

Flowering is usually in March and the entire crown is covered with brilliant red inflorescence. Fruits sometimes rounded but usually egg shaped with length of 9.5-20 cm. and width of 6.5-17 cm.

The tough outer skin of the fruit can be remove easily. After making longitudinal cuts, the thick skin can be peeled from the peduncle to the apex. The bright orange delightful mango fragrance flesh is juicy and fibrous. Some cultivator's have less fiber with smooth juicy flesh.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the fresh leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It is most commonly smoked in the form of cigarettes or cigars. Tobacco has been growing on both American continents since about 6000 BC and was used by native cultures by around 3000 BC. It has been smoked, in one form or another, since about 3000 BC. Tobacco has a long history of use in Native American culture, and played an important role in the political, economic, and cultural history of the United States of America.

Dried, cured, and unprocessed tobacco is commercially available all over the world. Smoke from burning, or otherwise heated, tobacco can be inhaled in the forms of cigarettes, cigars, stem pipes, water pipes, and hookahs. Tobacco can also be chewed, dipped (placed between the cheek and gum), or sniffed into the nose as finely powdered snuff. Many countries set minimum legal smoking ages, regulating the purchase and use of tobacco products. Bhutan is the only country in the world where tobacco sales are illegal. According to the World Health Organization, tobacco smoke is the second biggest cause of death worldwide, and is reported to have been responsible for the deaths of 100 million people in the 20th century.

All methods of tobacco consumption result in varying quantities of nicotine being absorbed into the user's bloodstream. Over time, tolerance and dependence develop. Absorption quantity, frequency, and speed of tobacco consumption are believed to be directly related to biological strength of nicotine dependence, addiction, and tolerance.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Malaysian city warns women over make-up, high heels

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - - A Malaysian city has urged Muslim women not to wear brightly coloured lipstick, tight clothes or high-heeled shoes while working, an official said Tuesday.

"Nowadays the way women dress attracts unwanted attention. It could lead to all sorts of vice," said Azman Mohd Daham, public relations director of the city council in Kota Bharu, capital of conservative northern Kelantan state.

"We do not advocate tight clothes, too much lipstick or thick make-up, and even the headscarf should not be too transparent," he told AFP. "Women should dress modestly, this is what Islam requires."

The guidelines were sent to local businesses and shops last month, he said, but denied reports that anyone flouting the code faced a fine.

"If they want to follow what we advocate in the campaign, it is entirely their choice but we hope they do because this is the best for them."

"We do not punish anyone for wearing thick make-up or high-heel shoes, there are no fines either," he said, but added that Muslim women did face a fine if they failed to cover their heads with a scarf.

Kelantan has been run by the Islamic party PAS since 1990 and is the most conservative state in Malaysia. Like the rest of the country, it is dominated by Muslim Malays, but also home to ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities.

The state's rulers have in the past made headlines with laws that require separate queues for men and women in shops, and for imposing fines on skimpy clothing.

However, in recent years the party has begun introducing reforms designed to tone down its hardline reputation and woo young voters.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mobile Phone-Brain Tumour Public Health Advisory

* Mobile phones are convenient and frequently invaluable, yet exposure to their electromagnetic radiation is invisible. Therefore, any danger this exposure poses may be easily dismissed.
* Exposure is long-term and its effects on the body, particularly its electrical organ, the brain, are compounded by numerous other simultaneous long-term exposures including continuous waves from radio and TV transmitter towers, cordless phone base stations, power lines, and wireless/WiFi computing devices.
* A malignant brain tumour represents a life-ending diagnosis in the vast majority of those diagnosed. There is a significant and increasing body of evidence, to date at least 8 comprehensive clinical studies internationally and one long-term meta-analysis, for a link between mobile phone usage and certain brain tumours.
* Taken together, the data presented below compellingly suggest that the link between mobile phones and brain tumours should no longer be regarded as a myth. Individual and class action lawsuits have been filed in the USA, and at least one has already been successfully prosecuted, regarding the cell phone-brain tumour link.
* The "incubation time" or "latency" (i.e., the time from commencement of regular mobile phone usage to the diagnosis of a malignant solid brain tumour in a susceptible individual) may be in the order of 10-20 years. In the years 2008-2012, we will have reached the appropriate length of follow-up time to begin to definitively observe the impact of this global technology on brain tumour incidence rates.
* There is currently enough evidence and technology available to warrant Industry and Governments alike in taking immediate steps to reduce exposure of consumers to mobile phone-related electromagnetic radiation and to make consumers clearly aware of potential dangers and how to use this technology sensibly and safely.
* It is anticipated that this danger has far broader public health ramifications than asbestos and smoking, and directly concerns all of us, particularly the younger generation, including very young children.

By:Vini G. Khurana, MBBS, BSc(Med), PhD, FRACS

Google PageRank Checking tool

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How apple trees came to Ba’Kelalan

YES, apples do grow in Malaysia. They are grown and harvested by the lorry load at Ba’ Kelalan in the interior of Sarawak.

Pak Tagal examining a bunch of apples

This is how the apple flower looks like

Harvesting time

However, the apples are only sold in some shops in Lawas and Miri as the amount produced by the 3ha farm in Ba’ Kelalan is not enough even to meet the demands of supermarkets in the state.

Ba’ Kelalan is home to a community of Orang Ulu in the deep interior of Sarawak. It is close to Lumbawang in Indonesia which lies across the hills, an hour’s trek away.

This settlement, sitting at 1,000 metres above sea level and dubbed by some as the Switzerland of Sarawak, has a cool climate all year round, colder during the dry season, and is ideal for growing apples.

Although there are other places in Malaysia that have the same climate, only Rata Farm, located next to the Buduk Nur airstrip in Ba’Kelalan, has successfully cultivated apples.

The Ba’Kelalan apples are of the Anna, Rome Beauty, Granny Smith (also called Lady Williams) and Manalagi varieties.

Anna is red on top and yellow below, soft to the bite and tastes sweet-sour.

Rome Beauty is green with a reddish tinge at the bottom and similar to Anna in taste but is crispier.

The Granny Smith is green and tastes sour, and is suitable for cooking or making cider.

The Manalagi (Golden Delicious) is said to have got its name when visitors from Batu Malang in Indonesia, where the original seedlings were brought from, asked for more (“Mana lagi?”) after eating one apple. This is the variety that has become widely known as the Ba’ Kelalan Apple. This greenish yellow apple is sweet and crunchy and is great for making apple pie and fruit salad.

How It Began

Tagal Paran, a missionary turned farmer, is credited for his untiring efforts for almost three decades to grow apples there.

Affectionately called Pak Tagal, he is a feisty 75-year-old who speaks with a glint in his eye about the fruit of his labour.

He recounted how his family went through the heartache and joy of seeing their apple plants going through the difficult phase of adjustment before they started to bear fruit.

He said the plants grew well but then died. They replanted and these too grew and died, eaten by bugs. Finally, some plants adjusted to the conditions at their farm and have thrived till the present.

He said the Ba’ Kelalan apple story began in the 1960s when his younger brother, Andrew Balang Paran, brought back 50 wild apple seedlings from Kalimantan after he saw the locals there cultivating the fruit.

He said that it was only in the mid-1970s that he seriously ventured into apple cultivation by taking over the 300 apple trees planted on trial basis on his land by the agricultural authorities.

He noticed that the trees were slowly dying and the authorities had limited know-how on apple cultivation and could not do anything about it.

“I immediately set off to Batu Malang in Indonesia to learn more about apple cultivation and enlisted the services of two apple growers there.

“I returned to Indonesia three times to obtain new seedlings. It’s all done by trial and error until we succeeded in getting the farm to be as productive as it is today,” he said.

Pak Tagal’s farm now has about 2,000 apple trees producing about a tonne of apples per season.

He said apple fruiting season comes twice a year, usually in the middle and the end of the year. Artificial winter is created by pruning the leaves manually. After the pruning, the trees begin to bloom and fruit.

The farm does not use pesticide or other chemicals to make the apples look pretty. No wax or preservative is used, unlike some imported apples.

Pak Tagal is confident Malaysia can be an exporter of apples if the people in the nine villages in Ba’Kelalan start growing the fruit.

Better Access, Please

Pak Tagal said citrus fruits and other temperate fruits like strawberries and grapes can also be grown in Ba’Kelalan but some villagers prefer instead to cultivate Arabica coffee.

“Our main problem is access to the outside world as the nearest town is Lawas, 170km away on the coast. It takes four hours by four-wheel drive vehicle on a logging trek on a dry day. If the road is wet, it may take between seven hours and two days.

“We are now served by MasWings’ Twin Otter aircraft coming from Miri, Bario and Lawas a few times a week but what we really need is a good road. The state government had promised before the last general election that a RM520 million budget had been approved for the road project.

“With a good road, big companies can undertake apple cultivation on a big scale. The apples can move up the value chain and be processed into jam or cider.

“In future, Ba’Kelalan could also become a leading producer of highland fruits and vegetables for Sarawak, like how Cameron Highlands is to the peninsula and Kundasang is to Sabah,” he said.

The main produce of Ba’Kelalan, the Adan rice (Bario rice), overshadows the apples grown here. In fact, Ba’Kelalan means “rice field by the Kelalan river”. “Ba” is padi field in the local dialect.

The friendly people of Ba’Kelalan, who speak English widely, are now tapping into the tourism market. About 3,000 tourists, mostly Europeans, make their way to this Lun Bawaan community of about 1,000 yearly.

Tourists stay at the homestay-styled Apple Lodge or at a few other lodges and family homes.

A group of journalists from several media organisations were brought to Miri and Ba’Kelalan to experience the hospitality of the community there in conjunction with the launch of the Miri-Ba’Kelalan direct flights by MasWings and the annual Apple Fiesta.

The trip was organised by Tourism Malaysia, Sarawak Tourism Board, Sarawak Tourism Action Council, MasWings and Borneo Jungle Safari.

By: Sager Ahmad

Principles of Incineration

Burning waste has been a common means of disposal throughout history. In 1995, the EPA estimated that 16% of solid waste had been disposed of by some form of combustion. Incinerators reduce the volume of waste by about 90%, a significant reduction of waste that would otherwise go into a landfill. Incineration at high temperatures also destroys many of the toxins and pathogens in medical waste and other hazardous wastes, in addition to reducing the volume.

In order to understand how and why an incinerator works, it is important to understand exactly what incineration is. Many terminologies have been utilized when referring to incineration: pyrolysis, thermal oxidation, thermal destruction, etc., to name a few. By definition, incineration is to burn to ashes through a combustion process. That is probably the most relevant statement that can be made; all we are really doing is burning. The incinerator provides a means to control the combustion process through the application of engineered, proven technology.

Elastec/American Marine manufactures a variety of portable incinerators; MediBurn for medical waste incineration, Smart Ash for general refuse incineration, Oil Away Attachment for oil disposal, Smart Heat energy recovery incineration, Drug Terminator for confiscated drug disposal.

Most waste generated by human activity can be burnt in an incinerator. The main goal is to reduce the overall volume of the waste stream in a carefully controlled environment.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cat giving birth

All in all she gave birth to 5 cute kittens.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Sweet 'tuak'

What's so interesting?

About 'aki' and 'buah genok'

to the eyes of these photographers?

Many. These are foreign photographers, covering the event's at Rh.Gare, Sg.Kain.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mai Se Cawan

Six to eight 'cups of coffee' a day shown to protect mice from developing MS-like disease, Cornell study finds

High quantities of caffeine may do more than just keep people awake. The stimulant may one
day offer researchers a way to prevent multiple sclerosis.

Mice given caffeinated water -- in doses equivalent to a person drinking six to eight cups of coffee a day -- were protected from developing an MS-like disease called experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), according to Cornell researchers.

The findings were presented April 7 at the Experimental Biology 2008 meeting, which is part of the American Association of Immunologists 95th Annual Meeting in San Diego.

However, the researchers cautioned against drinking large amounts of coffee to treat MS, as more studies are needed to understand how caffeine blocks receptors that play a role in the autoimmune disease.

MS is a disease in which the immune system attacks and damages nerves in the brain and spinal cord, resulting in paralysis and impairment in speech, vision and mental function.

"We're not advocating large quantities of caffeine to prevent MS," said Jeffrey Mills, the study's lead author and a postdoctoral associate with senior author and principal investigator Margaret Bynoe, associate professor of microbiology and immunology at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine. "We know that caffeine suppresses MS-like effects in mice with EAE."

In mice and humans, when inflammation occurs in the brain, damaged cells signal an immune response by releasing ATP (adenosine 5'-triphosphate), which gets broken down into adenosine. The compound is important in many biochemical processes, including energy transfer and sleeping. The adenosine molecule begins to degrade seconds after its creation, which means the body must use it very near where it is made.

The researchers reported that when adenosine binds to one of four types of adenosine receptors in an area of the brain called the choroid plexus, channels open up that allow immune cells known as T-lymphocytes to enter the brain. In EAE in mice and in MS in humans, these T-lymphocytes damage insulating fats called myelin that surround nerves, which leads to MS-like symptoms.

The researchers used genetically engineered mice (developed by co-author Linda Thompson at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation) to investigate whether adenosine and its receptors were truly responsible for EAE. The engineered mice lacked an adenosine-synthesizing enzyme called CD73. When tested, these mice had fewer lymphocytes enter the brain and failed to develop EAE. But, using immune cells from these mice, the researchers determined that CD73 plays a role in EAE only because it helps create adenosine outside the choroid plexus.

To test their hypothesis, the researchers turned to caffeine, which is known to block adenosine receptors. The caffeine prevented lymphocytes from entering the brain and causing nerve damage in mice with EAE. In the study, mice that drank highly caffeinated water did not develop MS-like symptoms.

"This study could lead to new therapeutic intervention to use adenosine receptor blockers including caffeine," said Bynoe. There is currently no way to detect MS in people prior to the onset of symptoms. Although caffeine would not provide a cure, one day it could lead to new ways of protecting against relapses of symptoms, she said.

By Krishna Ramanujan

Sex as an appetite suppressant.

Discovery of link in mosquito mating mechanism could lead to new attack on dengue and yellow fever

Cornell researchers have identified a mating mechanism that possibly could be adapted to prevent female mosquitoes from spreading the viruses that cause dengue fever, second only to malaria as the most virulent mosquito-borne disease in the tropical world.

Specifically, they have discovered 63 proteins that male mosquitoes transfer to Aedes aegypti females during mating and are thought briefly to change the females' physiology and behavior, in particular suppressing the female's appetite for mammalian blood.

In a study published in the journal Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the Cornell researchers report that the proteins in the seminal fluid of the males also trigger a loss of sexual appetite in the females, stimulate egg production and influence clotting of the blood she has ingested.

The findings could lead to novel strategies to prevent the spread of dengue as well as mosquito-borne yellow fever viruses. "This is a new angle in our fight against vector-borne disease," said Laura Harrington, Cornell associate professor of entomology and the paper's senior author.

Dengue affects 50 million people annually, and two-thirds of the world's population is at risk. In the past year, it has reached epidemic levels in Asia, South and Central America and Mexico, where the number of dengue cases has increased by more than 300 percent from a year earlier. No dengue vaccine is available, and no treatment exists beyond supportive care.

Laura Sirot, a postdoctoral researcher in molecular biology and genetics, is the paper's lead author, and Mariana Wolfner, Cornell professor of molecular biology and genetics, also is a co-author. The work builds on Wolfner's work on the reproductive biology of fruit flies.

The next step, said Harrington, is to isolate, identify and verify the targets of the mosquito proteins that regulate such key post-mating behaviors as reduced sexual drive or lack of appetite for blood; and also, to manipulate such physiological responses as increased egg production. Eventually, the researchers hope that this knowledge will lead to new ways to control mosquitoes that spread disease. This could involve the identification of highly specific chemicals that affect these newly discovered reproductive proteins, or potentially could inform experiments on the use of genetically modified mosquitoes with knocked out (or turned off) genes or modified reproductive behaviors.

The study was funded primarily through U.S. Department of Agriculture Hatch Funds awarded to Harrington and Wolfner. It complements and enhances Harrington's work as a member of a global team of scientists that received a $19.7 million grant from the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health to cure dengue fever and control the mosquitoes that transmit the viruses that causes it.

By Krishna Ramanujan

Have a nice day

On a boat
Inside a basket

In a pond.

Going Up River

This is how going up looks like.

and down river.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Malay Monument (N 02.29246: E 111.82021)

Who came first?

Wisma Sanyan (N 02.28980 : E 111.82504)

This is the Tallest Building in Sarawak

Thursday, March 27, 2008

16 September 1963

This is the date that every Malaysian should remember.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Did you see what i saw?

Did you?