The Green Green Grass of Balik Pulau

Balik Pulau Dawn Cycling

Let me begin by telling you what a chore it is hauling ass over to the other side of the island before the crack of dawn.

As a cyclist, I’m no stranger to waking up at some ungodly hour to hit the dark, damp dirt on my bike. However, having to load up the bikes and rev up the steep secluded hills along the windy Paya Terubong Road really takes the cake.

Balik Pulau Dawn Cycling

Of course it is entirely worth it – all to catch a glimpse of the tranquil paddy fields at dawn and the fluffy fog that caresses the green, restless earth.

Balik Pulau Dawn Cycling Balik Pulau Dawn Cycling

Of course, the company of jovial riders makes the journey much more enjoyable and memorable, albeit in a semi-conscious, sleep-deprived daze.

Balik Pulau Dawn Cycling Balik Pulau Dawn Cycling

We passed lots of interesting places, like these prawn farms, and goat farms which was strangely populated by numerous non-goats. Among them a mouse deer and an ostrich.

Oh, and lots and lots of cats.

Balik Pulau Dawn Cycling

I can haz cheezburger?

Balik Pulau Dawn Cycling

We crossed many bridges and irrigation rigs and water-filled passages and drains.

Balik Pulau Dawn CyclingBalik Pulau Dawn Cycling

And some residential plots. Balik Pulau Dawn Cycling

Balik Pulau Dawn Cycling Balik Pulau Dawn Cycling Balik Pulau Dawn Cycling Balik Pulau Dawn Cycling

And of course back to the green green grass of Balik Pulau.

Balik Pulau Dawn Cycling

The glorious dawn of nature. Witnessing it two days in a row really makes you think – why don’t I do this more often?

Because sleep. That’s what.

Balik Pulau Dawn Cycling

Dis is my bike now

Balik Pulau Dawn Cycling Balik Pulau Dawn Cycling Balik Pulau Dawn CyclingBalik Pulau Dawn Cycling

What do you hoomans take me for? Some rag doll plaything that you ca-oh yeah, scratch right there. Yeah, that’s the spot.

Please follow and like us:

Download Your Relive Video

Relive Your Rides Like A Pro!

Relive Video Bikelah

Now I’m guessing you’ve been using the Strava app to map out your rides, and have recently discovered this super nifty feature known as Relive (Relive.cc, to be precise).

Relive has very cleverly tied themselves in with Strava, and once you sign up for the service this software will automatically (with the help of some code monkeys in the back) generate one of those ride videos like the ones you see on the Tour de France!

Tour de France video

Do note that all Relive videos have no audio. You’ll just have to get creative.

Here’s how you can download the source video so you can add audio and otherwise edit the video:

  1. Log your ride to Strava and wait for the Relive video to be created
  2. Next to the Relive video, right click anywhere and select “View Page Source”
    Relive Cycling Video Link
  3. You will be taken inside the Matrix to view the source code
    The Matrix Code
  4. In here, search for a URL link ending in “.mp4”

    Relive Cycling Video Link
    Welcome…to the desert of the real.
  5. Copy the entire link text
    Relive Cycling Video Link
  6. Paste the link into your browser tab and play it
  7. You can click the download button in the corner, or right click and select “Save video as…”
    Relive Cycling Video Link
  8. Voila!

 

You can now do with your Relive video whatever you please.

Do note that the copyright of the video may technically still belong to Relive.cc, so don’t go using it in any commercial setting without their permission.

​Happy riding!

Please follow and like us:

Conscious Effort

It starts with a conscious effort

Whether you’re trying to learn to ride a bike, improve your memory, or be a better listener to those around you, it all starts with a conscious effort.

It doesn’t have to be a big one.

At first you will have to purposefully instruct your brain to perform the task, and mentally remind yourself to repeat this task the next time, and the next time after that.

Sounds like a lot of work, I know.

I was trying to teach someone to swim the other day, and it made me realise just how many things a new swimmer would have to consciously try to perform at the same time in order for them to stay afloat and stay alive.

  1. Paddle with right hand
  2. Kick with left leg
  3. Paddle with left hand
  4. Kick with right leg
  5. Push air out of lungs
  6. Move head to breathe
  7. Take in fresh air
  8. Move head back underwater
  9. Paddle with right hand
  10. Rinse and repeat

Looks like a lot of work, I know.

And as anyone who has attempted to swim can attest to, there are a million other tiny details involved that our brain magically deals with at once.

Now for your seasoned swimmers out there, I imagine you don’t have to go through these motions each and every time in your head when you swim, right?

Why is that?

Because your conscious effort has paid off!

That’s the good news: it won’t always be a conscious effort. 

It gets easier

The first few times will be a struggle.

Depending on the task at hand, it may be a big struggle, or a slightly easier struggle, but it will still be a struggle for you on some level. That is your brain and body coping with learning (or relearning) something new.

Let’s go back to our swimming example.

Those first few times in the pool will suck – you’ll be thrashing around and feeling uncomfortable and end up drinking waaay too much of that pool water. Not much fun.

But if you can get past that, if you can concentrate your efforts to putting your body and mind through the motions, then gradually you’ll find it gets easier.

As you consciously divert energy and thought into this new thing, you pick it up and get better at it.

Gradually your efforts will pay off. You will begin to see results!

You can kind of swim!

Conscious Effort Results

Obviously, the more effort we put into something, the more results we would wish to see.

Same goes with our conscious effort!

If you spend days thrashing around in the pool, but don’t see results, of course you’ll become discouraged and give up on the whole ordeal. Simply getting in and out of the swimming pool is a chore in itself!

However, if you are persistent and put in enough conscious effort to training your body and mind to do the strokes, then at some point you’ll be able to move in the water. Maybe even sort of swim!

And if you keep at it, it will become second nature. You won’t even have to think about it anymore!

At that point, you will have put in sufficient effort to get the results you desire!

This is also true for learning new things. You can learn to get better at learning!

The key is practice

Unfortunately, as much as we all hate to hear this: you gotta practice.

Unfortunately, we are wired that way.

Habits and skills all start with a conscious effort. Infants have to spend time learning to breathe and control their bowels and walk, and I imagine this is no small effort on their part. We just don’t remember it because our brain was too busy freaking out.

Homer Simpson Freak Out

Some people just make it look easier. Or harder.

In most ways, conscious effort directly translates to practice. You just have to get your brain or your body used to thinking or doing something a certain way. Do it over and over again consciously until you get used to it.

Then it will stop being conscious and come naturally.

That’s how habits are formed. 

That’s how skills are learned. 

That’s how people succeed. 

It’s all well and good thinking to yourself: “I should really learn to swim”, but until you take that first step and make a real effort to getting down to it, it’s only going to keep happening in your dreams.

This works with mental activities as well. If you want to “be wittier” or “be able to remember people’s names better”, you can. Do not shortchange your powerful mind – you can do it!

It’s all a matter of training your brain to respond faster and more cleverly, or consciously thinking of ways to tie a person’s face or traits with their name.

There is this quote I read:

Death comes whether we think about it or not.

Life, however, is a conscious effort. Be conscious of living.

I’m not sure who said it. I may or may not have made it up, but that doesn’t make the ring of truth any less jarring.

Getting through life is about consciously putting in effort to adapt and improve in whatever way we choose (or sometimes our environment chooses for us).

We either improve and succeed, or stay the same and continue life with the status quo, which is fine for a lot of people. But is it fine for you?

 

It all starts with a conscious effort.

You’re worth the effort.

Please follow and like us:

Why Are You Still Building?

Penang November 2017 Flood

I’m sure it’s a very novel way to get around town, but nobody would have traded their homes and belongings for this. The recent inundations have certainly brought many pressing issues to the surface of the Penangite psyche.

There were many factors that contributed to the severity of the floods that came in the night and the horror that followed; many of these were beyond human control. However, like climate change we are gradually coming to terms with the fact that we are partially to blame for all this.

One of the popular reasons cited for the bad flooding in Penang is the overdevelopment and excessive urbanisation of what little land area there is, especially on the island. While I’m sure the ridiculous bucket of water dumped on Penang (over 300mm of rainfall that fateful Saturday night) was the main culprit, the sudden boom in buildings and lack of appropriate infrastructure in Penang are certainly part of the problem.

According to our Department of Statistics, the level of urbanisation in Penang is a massive 90.8 per cent. That means over 90% of Penangites live in urban, built up settlements. That’s almost as high as Kuala Lumpur, but in Penang the population density is twice is high (1,490 persons per square kilometre)!

That doesn’t really sound that alarming. Pretty normal actually. Everyone is moving out of the kampung and joining the fun city life. Woop de doo!

This article, on the other hand, claims that the current government has approved up to 8 times as many hillslope development projects (which is a rather skewed look at a niche statistic, but it is an indicator) as their predecessors. Oh, trust me, it’s not just hillslope projects that received approval.

So, I guess that begs the question:

Why the fuck are you still building?

Seriously, there are way too many developers building way too many high rise condos for who knows who.

EcoWorld just dumped five hot steaming turds all over Penang; Mah Sing is hacking away down south; Ideal has pimped out at least five affordable bitches on the island alone; IJM decided to stop reclamation by sowing their sick cement into the seas instead; Zeon and its little weeny retards are spewing up their wet dreams; Hunza is slowly creeping around regurgitating dead babies to make up their population growth fake news.

Evil Within

And let’s not forget all the other little faecal fetish floppycocks that want to suck at the soggy piece of the pie.

They keep building and building like it’s nobody’s business, or should I say like it’s such great business, which it is. Who are they building for? Not the locals, that’s for sure.

Affordable housing is just another bone they throw to keep the locals happy, and it’s even more excuse for developers to build even more! Hooray!

They’re desperate. It’s a false economy.

Building creates jobs and cash flow and keeps the wheel turning. Keeps everyone happy, keeps everyone spending.

Oversupply doesn’t even begin to describe the property landscape in Penang. They expect the population to grow by 60% by 2020, but they’re building like it will quadruple in the next few years!

And these constructions are in no way sustainable or environmentally friendly. Calling themselves Asia Green or EcoWorld, and their structures have nothing even remotely related to nature. Oh sure, they say they’ll preserve a section and plant a few trees, and then ravage the other areas to make Carthage look like child’s play.

The sad part is they’re not even close to stopping. When they run out of land, they’ll just reclaim some more and start over! Gurney Wharf will be ready for the taking by the time most of the shithead developers are done with their current projects.

Dear government, let me ask you one question:

Are we so desperate that you need to whore out every inch of our land to foreign investors so you can cling to what little shred of dignity you have left?

You’re so concerned with making money and making big shot businessmen happy that you’ve sacrificed Penang’s blood and bones. Sure, you’re making Penang cash rich (until the Chinese own everything), but to what end? So Penang can have some ridiculously high GDP? So the fat cats can get drunk and be merry? So you can win another election?

When will enough be enough?

Please follow and like us:

The Signs of the Times

Penang Deaf Association Child Student

Deafness In Our World

Deaf, hearing impaired, hard of hearing, aurally challenged – call it what you want, there are still thousands upon thousands in our society that suffer from it. The World Health Organisation reports 360 million people worldwide live with disabling hearing loss, with a staggering 32 million of these being children.

In Malaysia, that number is over 36,000, with around 24,000 of those being versed in Malaysian sign language.

Hearing loss has a variety of causes ranging from genetic factors, complications at birth, infectious diseases, chronic ear infections, drug use, exposure to excessive noise, and ageing. Sadly, over 60% of childhood hearing loss is due to preventable causes.

People with hearing loss can benefit from early identification and intervention, through the use of hearing aids, cochlear implants and other devices. Even for those whose hearing loss cannot be prevented, captioning, sign language, and other forms of educational and social support can help them to lead a relatively normal and fulfilling life.

Not That Kind of PDA

The Penang Deaf Association, otherwise known as the Persatuan Orang Pekak Pulau Pinang, was established in 1992 to assist, support and serve the citizens of Penang that suffer from hearing loss and deafness.

The Penang Deaf Association, or the PDA for short, started off back in the 80’s as the YMCA Deaf Club by Mr. Razman Tan and his associates. Back in the day, the club took off with about 100 members.

Penang Deaf Association Colourful Run Howei

Mr. Razman reminisces about his school days, and how he dreamed of starting an organisation for the deaf, because he lamented that he was often lonely and without friends during his schooling. Back then there was little to no support for those who could not hear and speak, and so Mr. Razman suffered alone in silence.

So for Mr. Razman, the YMCA Deaf Club was a wonderful start; an opportunity to meet and bond with those who could relate and understand one another.

After a number of years, they decided to grow beyond a club and joined forces with the Society of Hearing Impaired Malaysia (SHIMA), which was started by Mr. Mohamad Sazali in Kuala Lumpur. This is because SHIMA was officially recognised by the Malaysian government as a charitable organisation.

Together with five of his close associates, Mr. Razman Tan founded the SHIMA of Penang in 1992. However, for several years they did not have a permanent place to base themselves. In the year 1996, they finally gained their base of operations in Penang’s famous charity establishment, the Kompleks Masyarakat Penyayang. It was also later this year that saw SHIMA Penang transform into the Penang Deaf Association that we know of today.

With the support of the Malaysia Federation of the Deaf and Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat, a number of projects were created in order to enhance communication and community engagement amongst the hearing impaired in Penang. By establishing the PUSKOM (which is a portmanteau of “pusat komunikasi”, the term for communication centre in Malay) as a communication hub for the disabled, the PDA was able to secure a new premises closer to the heart of George Town in Penang Island.

Our Local Champion

The Penang Deaf Association has been a beacon of light for many years in Penang, and primarily looks out for those who are either deaf or hard of hearing, as you would expect. However, the PDA also collaborates with other disability organisations especially when it comes to large events and gatherings.

The PDA is currently the only registered institute in Penang that caters solely to the deaf, and there is no centre yet in the mainland region of Penang. They currently reside at 35 Lorong Bertam in George Town, just off Penang Road on the other side of Komtar.

Today they have over 900 registered members that they care for, with at least half being actively participating members. The PDA reports around 2,000 Penangites suffering from hearing loss, which means there are still many who may not have access to the services they need to assist them with their disability.

The PDA takes care of their many members in a number of ways: they provide support for youth with hearing impairment and ensure that their young members receive the education and speech therapy that they need. These are provided through the PDA’s partner schools and medical centres.

The PDA also promotes education through the publication of learning resources, such as books and videos on Malaysian sign language. These resources are not just aimed at the hearing impaired, but also for those who wish to learn how to communicate or interact with the deaf through sign language.

Penang Deaf Association Sign Language BookIt’s not as easy as it looks!

Penang Deaf Association Sign Language Book

Penang Deaf Association Sign Language Book

In addition to printing material on Malaysian sign language, the PDA also holds sign language classes for beginners and it is open to the general public. You even get an official certificate at the end of it! The price is RM150 for five two-hourly sessions of interactive sign language classes with the experts.

The PDA also provides training and job placements for their more mature members. They train the adults in the craft of sewing and in baking pastries, and assist in finding them interviews and job placements with local companies and factories.

Another vital service that often goes unnoticed is the translation and interpretation services that the PDA provides for the public or for the hearing impaired who may not be able to speak for themselves, such as in hospital cases.

Community Fun With PDA

Like any charitable organisation aiming to increase their exposure to the wide world, the PDA also hosts a variety of annual events that seek to raise funds as well as awareness.

Every year, the PDA holds a charity bazaar in Komtar called the Jumbo Sale. This is for charitable institutes to display and sell their wares and receive donations from the public. People are encouraged to donate clothing and suitable goods to support the bazaar, where most of the proceeds go towards assisting those in need.

Penang Deaf Association Jumbo Sale
The Jumbo Sale bazaar is a marvelous opportunity for the disabled to serve and set their skills to good use, either in producing unique products that attracts customers, or showing off their salesmanship to secure the transactions like any vendor. Popular products usually include a wide variety of clothing, and homemade pastries and cookies, as well as other artistic crafts and books and miscellaneous goodies.

The Jumbo Sale goes for at least two days in a row, and is received quite well by the shoppers at Komtar. It is a great chance to find unique and unexpected items that you can get for at a bargain! That means the price is usually too good to be true, not that you should haggle on every item.

Aside from the marketplace, the PDA also organises an annual charity fun walk and run to encourage a healthy lifestyle while bringing their message of unity and equality to Penang.

This massive charity event used to be called the Walk For Sight & Sound, and was done in conjunction the local blind associations of Penang, as the title may suggest.

Penang Deaf Association Charity WalkGetting the gang together since 2012

However, for the past few years the PDA has decided to launch its own charity fun walk and it is named the Colourful Run. Despite the name, don’t expect any flying colourful powdery clouds filling the skies; the Colourful Run is a celebration of the beautiful palette and endless diversity of our universe, but is not at all related to the Colour Run style of events.

Penang Deaf Association Colourful Run Howei
The Colourful Run has always been held at Komtar, the beacon of Penang and the core of George Town. The 5.6km route takes participants on a jaunty circuit around town, through old and new areas, past the sea and sombre government buildings, giving runners a taste of Penang’s great heritage and culture.

Penang Deaf Association Colourful Run Howei

This year, over a thousand runners took to the streets of George Town early on the morning of the 27th of August, right before our Malaysian Independence Day.

The Colourful Run is one of the few events that has a special category for those with hearing disabilities. During this event, the hearing impaired remind everyone that being deaf or disabled doesn’t stop you from being physically fit and active. These folks may not be the best at hearing, but they don’t let anyone push them around when it comes to working those two feet!

Penang Deaf Association Colourful Run HoweiEmily, an active spirit and one of the PDA’s regular runners

The Colourful Run is also a wonderful time for families and friends to get together for some casual exercise and bonding. Uniting together for a great cause, while getting some morning fresh air and exploring the city by foot, are what bring people back to the Colourful Run time and time again.

Penang Deaf Association Colourful Run Howei
The Colourful Run is one of Penang’s more successful charity events, and helps to raise much needed funds for the PDA and their charity partners. The staff at PDA really came through in spite of the lack of manpower and sponsors. The Komtar Walk boulevard was alive with activity and excitement the whole morning, and everyone went back happy and satisfied.

We look forward to the next edition in the coming year!

The Future

Like any good organisation, the Penang Deaf Association has strong hopes for the years ahead. But hopes aren’t enough to help and feed the needy – plans and action are required!

Their next major upcoming project is their Jumbo Sale at Komtar, which is tentatively scheduled for the 1st of May 2018. This year’s Jumbo Sale was the fifth in a row, and the next one is going to be bigger and better. The public are encouraged to contribute through donations of clothing and non-perishable goods to the PDA. Generous souls can bring the items directly to the PDA office at 35 Lorong Bertam near Komtar.

The Colourful Run is also scheduled to be around mid August, and will hope to see its third year, especially with the decent response and growing popularity of charitable outdoor activities in Penang.

The PDA will also have large gatherings during special occasions, like Chinese New Year, Hari Raya and Deepavali. These will usually involve food and festivities and partying.

The current president Mr. Razman also shared that in the next few years, the PDA plans to enhance their training school and programs to bolster their reading, writing and counting classes, as well as their classes that teach the hearing impaired to use computers and smartphones.

Another of their aims is to help the deaf achieve self-sustainability and financial independence through small business training. Through suitable ventures, such as opening up car wash centres or grocery shops, the hearing impaired can find more and more ways to earn a living for themselves and be a part of the community.

Mr. Razman and the PDA hope to see a decline in those suffering from permanent hearing loss through education and improved healthcare, and ultimately for all the hearing impaired of Penang and Malaysia to be well taken care of. For their efforts they have been awarded the Most Active NGO sigil by local authorities.

If you would like to help or support the Penang Deaf Association, you can call them at 04-226 0160 or 04-229 6421, email them at pgdeafass@yahoo.com, or visit their headquarters at 35 Lorong Bertam opposite from Komtar. You can check out their website here

 

Please follow and like us:

Biking Around Bertam

Bikelah Bertam Kepala Batas Penang Cycling

Biking Across The Breezy Broad Fields of Bertam

Right before the destructive typhoon Damrey came through the north of Peninsular Malaysia, we took to the rural streets of Bertam and Kepala Batas on our bikes, in an effort to raise awareness for increasing the sustainability of our human exploits.

Bikelah Bertam Kepala Batas Penang Cycling

Bikelah Bertam Kepala Batas Penang Cycling
Almost expect lightning to come out and strike that tree

Overall not a tough ride: we started in Kepala Batas in the north of Penang state, and made our way westward towards the sea.

Bertam Ecoride Kepala Batas Cycling

A very leisurely and almost entirely flat ride (save a few flyovers and bridges).

Bikelah Bertam Kepala Batas Penang Cycling
Kuala Muda beach head
Bikelah Bertam Kepala Batas Penang Cycling
Is that…Penang Island in the distance?
Bikelah Bertam Kepala Batas Penang Lady Cyclist
Lady of the water

Bikelah Bertam Kepala Batas Penang Cycling

Bikelah Bertam Kepala Batas Penang Cycling
Storm is coming

And here’s more biking action with musical accompaniment!

Please follow and like us:

Arborists At Work

A Typical Work Day For An Arborist

Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees

Right now you’re probably thinking: what is an arborist? 

I’m glad you asked!

Arborists are tamers of trees, workers of wood, lovers of lumber, guardians of the grove, faithful protectors of forestry – essentially they are tree surgeons.

The role of an arborist is to maintain the health of trees, largely within an urban setting. In order to keep trees healthy, they have to sway between pruning back a tree and giving a tree space and time to grow and develop.

The part that you will see the most is the tree lobbing, since tree growth isn’t exactly the most entertaining thing to behold. And bear in mind these are full-grown trees we’re talking about, so they go at it with a chainsaw; hence the title of tree surgeon.

Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees

There are several reasons arborists get to have fun with a chainsaw: for the safety of human residents; to enhance and encourage the growth of trees in an appropriately urban fashion through trimming; and because it’s pretty rad!

Here is one such arborist of the state of Penang:

Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees
Like a proud father gazing up at his big children

Of course that’s not all arborists do.

Apart from hacking and slashing, arborists have to assess and document the health of trees under their guardianship.

Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees
Tree health assessment
Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees Angsana Blood Sap
Imagine seeing this in the middle of the night
Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees Angsana Blood Sap
Blood red sap is very characteristic of Angsana trees
Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees Angsana Blood Sap
We all bleed the same
Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees Angsana Blood Sap
If it bleeds, we can kill it

Arborists are also involved in the transplanting of trees that need to undergo a change of address.

Also, they have to clean up the scraps and make sure there aren’t tree parts lying around willy-nilly.

Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees Grinder
Grind!
Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees Grinder
Only trained arborists are allowed to lean that far in

Arborists employ a wide range of tools and equipment apart from the trusty chainsaw. Due to the nature of trees being – well, a big part of nature, they require certain heavy duty machinery to help arborists access and excise unnecessary foliage and unwanted parts of the tree (or other organisms living on it).

Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees Union School
Back to school!
Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees
Get to the tree chopper!
Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees
The arborist speeder

Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees

They’ve got big lifts and shifts and more manly machines!
Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees

The cool arborist moustache salute

Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees

Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees
I can see your house from up here!

Here are some of the key arborists in Penang that keep the heritage trees alive and well:

Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees
The arborists who make things happen

On the left is Mr. Nizam, and Mr. Izahar on the right.

These are the people who coordinate the conservation and cultivation of the remnants from our colonial past – the trees planted by the British.

Footage of Arborists in Action

Appendix


Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees

Our video guy mourning the passage of some tree limbs

Please follow and like us:

Blade Runner 2049 Wildest Review Ever

blade runner 2049 harrison ford

Blade Runner 2049 Review Time

I hope you enjoyed the movie, because everybody dies!

Oh wait…was I supposed to say spoilers alert first?

I’m just messing with you – they’re Replicants; they never die. They just…retire.

Now it just occurred to me that a large part of the premise of Rockman X (Megaman X, for those reading at home) is very much based on the concepts from the Blade Runner universe.

Let’s run through some similarities (glaring as they may be), shall we?

blade runner maverick hunter
They’re like, totally identical, man!

It’s make-a-list time!

So Blade Runner and Megaman X are similar in that they:

  • Both have lots of guns. Pew pew! (Egads! The violence!)
  • Are set in dystopian futures (and not too distant, mind you)
  • Both involve artificial humanoids or very closely human-like robots – Blade Runner calls their artificial humanoids Replicants, Megaman calls them Reploids. Both are capable of human thought and emotion; both are stronger in most physical regards compared to weak, fragile humans
  • Both have stories centred around those who seek out and destroy rogue Replicants and/or Reploids
  • Both involve lots of flying and jumping around in futuristic craft
    Megaman X Ride Chaser Speeder
  • Both have mad geniuses that engineer countless artificial beings and then sic them on each other
  • Both have amazing futuristic visuals and graphics
    Megaman X City Waste
  • Both have protagonists that have yet to be subjected to a Turing or Voight-Kampff test
  • Both have nerdy fanboy followings (and surprising mainstream ones too)

Well, that list kind of fizzled, but you see my point.

Wait, what point?

The point that I played nerdy computer games! Ya happy?

On To The Review

Now that I got that out of the way, Blade Runner 2049 is a strikingly vivid cinematographic orgasm of moist grim dark.

It’s literally raining all the time, and although I didn’t see any flaming smokestacks this time, it has that same dirty, polluted, overcrowded vibe with gaudy neon banners getting all in your face.

Ryan Gosling plays a sullen, straight-shooting, soft-spoken Blade Runner that suits his style of acting. I mean, for crying out loud – I’m sure the guy has range, so why do you keep giving him these roles!? And why do you keep taking them, Ryan? Why?

It’s like I’m watching Drive all over again.

Long pans of cityscape; cruising in sleek rides all over town; sudden outbursts of action and gratuitous violence (but also quite gratifying).

Hey, let’s make a list to comp-ok fine, let’s not.

Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy watching an expressionless robot speed around with acid rain streaking horizontally across the glass, and get mind raped a few times over. But replicants are supposed to have some proper emotion, man!

The dude didn’t even cry when that really, really sad thing happened!

He just sat there and stared.

It’s like I’m watching Drive all over again.

Whining aside, I honestly did enjoy this installment of the Blade Runner franchise and I agree it did justice to the original.

Some people may have found it rather draggy and slow, but I felt the pacing was in a way homage to the classic style of movies. It also gives good breathing room to the audience in between all that story and action.

And all the settings have such character!

blade-runner-wallace-corp-indoor-setting

Very artfully done locations and picturesque places, albeit intentionally stale and depressing.

blade-runner-wallace-corp-indoor-setting

And the music! Oh, Hans Zimmer I knew thy touch upon each dissonant shred of thine unique brand of high. The music is simply mesmerising and combines so well with many of the quieter moments in the film.

All in all, Blade Runner 2049 is one of those movies where you should not go in expecting to see a whole lot of whiz bang action and nonstop firefights. It’s one of those films where the people that made it want you as the viewer to appreciate this magical, futuristic universe that they’ve concocted; to bask and linger in the strange yet uncannily familiar sights and sounds.

All you need to do and stay awhile and listen.

Does it hold up to the original? Only time will tell.

But it’s definitely worth the watch (but be warned it’s almost 3 hours long).

 

Please follow and like us:

Touring With The VIPs Across Kampar


Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

Why all the extra long bikes, you say? These are tandem bicycles, for two people to ride! And we’re here to set some records in the Tour de VIP, right here in Kampar, Perak!

Led by some of the most seasoned and solemn local marshalls this part of the world has ever seen!

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

I guess they can be a bit goofy sometimes.

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
The arrival
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
From the tallest hotel in Kampar

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Briefing time
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Tandem bike check

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

We had some time to kill, so we decided to take a look around the town of Kampar. Turns out they’re famous for their lakes – they are literally covered in tonnes of them!

Kampar Tour de VIP Lake
The immense lakes of Kampar

Kampar Tour de VIP Lake Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Gazing out across the cyan shoals
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Cameraman hard at work

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

And they’ve got little fishies in them, too!

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

And of course, it wouldn’t be quite right without some crazy shenanigans.

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

Kampar has some lovely cafes and eateries, all within walking distance of the Grand Kampar Hotel.

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Not the best way to carry a cat

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Time for a smothering!

Before we knew it, it was the morning of the event. Nice and early, as usual.

Have to get in an early breakfast and get our gear ready before the sun even peeks its head up.

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
We’re awake…we’re awake
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Everybody squeeze in!
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
What’s that in the distance?
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Last minute recap
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
You need a bike, mate?
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Ready for takeoff!
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
And awaaay we go!

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Man aboard!

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling
The happy marshalls that are both safety and morale boosters!
Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling
Marshalls – assemble!
Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling
I could do with a Mentos right now

Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling
Feeling that sun

Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling
Say hello to the KL tandem riders!

Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
The joy of arriving at a rest stop!

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Tandem in action!

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
The medics working their magic
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
A quick scolding. Just kidding, he’s a pretty cool guy
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Two guiding hands

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
You take water, no photos!

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Beep beep!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
The jolly marshalls
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Takes a lady’s touch to appease them

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
The shy kids from the hood
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling Ninja
Ninja rider caught on camera
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Flying with ease
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling Cow
Mmmmove it, punk!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Upon the big tree
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Fellow peloton riders!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Over the flyover!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Last rest stop

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Dedicated water bearers are a life saver
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Ready
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Set go!

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Walk that heat off!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Quick regroup
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Power boost!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Boost into the sky!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
It’s Larry!

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
The final rest stop
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
That’s quite the bumper sticker
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Say cheese, ladies!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling Nadrah
The ever-smiling Dr. Nadrah

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Testing the tandem
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
The boys are ready to roll!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Zombie approaching!

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
The man on the motorbike
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Taking all the shade we can get
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling Perak
The amazing hills and skies of Perak

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

 

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Say hi to Kumar!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Mmm…ice. So close yet so far
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
The final leg

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
Arriving home

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
Brothers in arms and wheels
Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
Cool as ice, yo
Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
The Grand Kampar Hotel rewards richly

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
The happy masses

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
Yes! We did it! Now can we go back to sleep?

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
Champion marshall
Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
Happy record breaker
Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
Time to go home, boys!

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

And here’s a wacky video of it all:

Please follow and like us:

Construction of the Millennium Falcon

It’s going to be Star Wars season soon, so get you your very own Millennium Falcon – the sexiest spacecraft since the U.S.S. Enterprise!

Well, that and X-wings. Nothing gets those dicks harder than locking those S-foils into attack position.

Millennium Falcon Construction SamShee
First step – the mini satellite dish
Millennium Falcon Construction SamShee
Look familiar yet?
Millennium Falcon Construction SamShee
It’s a satellite dish!

Millennium Falcon Construction SamShee

Millennium Falcon Construction SamShee
Almost there!

Millennium Falcon Construction SamShee

Millennium Falcon Construction SamShee
Tada!
Millennium Falcon Construction SamShee
And away we go!

And that, kids, is how the Millennium Falcon was built!

Millennium Falcon Space
Millennium Falcon away!
Please follow and like us: