Today marks 8th anniversary of my blog.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2016 by vincentloy

Happy 8th Anniversary to the blog!

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( Image above from http://www.kingsofmambo.com )

My blog here has just recently reached some great milestones; gained over 3 million views, attracted over 220 followers and produced over 1800 posts. And today is the day to top it off as the blog is celebrating its 8th birthday today!

It has been a wonderful 8 years since I created this blog. I believe I have been writing a lot of cool stuff as well as some nonsense ones in the past 8 years (and more to come). Well, this is my blog…I have whatever freedom I have to type anything I like as long as it did not violate, insult or breach any rules or parties. This is a great online platform for me to share and express my thoughts and feelings on certain issues I’m interested or involved in. This site is accessible to everyone across the world, unless you have no internet connection. So, you are welcomed to visit my blog here any time or any where you want. Your support and visit to my site is what inspired me to continue updating my blog here.

When I first started this blog, I never thought of coming to this far. For your information, before the birth of this blog, I have had actually created another blog earlier but I have dumped it off and focus on this one instead. Now I couldn’t even remember where my previous blog (that is my first ever attempt on blogging) is located at. But I think since it has been inactive for so many years (10 years or something), I guess it would have been automatically removed and I have no issue with that. From 2008 onward, this site is the only blog I’m attached to…and then time flies, and 8 years have gone. And I’m still here, constantly updating my blog.

Actually in my mind, I have some ideas to expand and roll out new features and improvements for this blog. I also have plan to upgrade my blog’s media storage capacity, purchase and set the blog’s web address to my own domain. I guess these are going to be done in stages soon, to give fresh new appearance to my blog that has been around with the same face and style for the past 8 years.

Alright. That’s it for my post today, created to mark this very special day for my blog here that is now 8 years old.

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( Gif image above from http://www.bestanimations.com )

Got myself a new iPhone 7 yesterday!

Posted in Explosive News and Results on September 19, 2016 by vincentloy

That is after a long decision-making process throughout my mind for the past one week. Buying a smartphone is not as easy as buying a shirt. Smartphone is expensive especially when I’m on Apple’s path. I knew it’s all about the branding and marketing that makes their products so expensive but in the end, I’m still convinced by their tricks. At first, I never thought of buying a new phone yet. However, my present iPhone 5 appears to be ‘dying’ with its battery running out extremely fast, error connecting to iTunes, and constant error with its storage capacity. And recently, there’s something inside my camera lens that causes whatever pictures I took will have a little mark, ruining most of them.

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(My old iPhone 5 above, silver colour 16GB)

Rather than spending money to fix it (going to be quite costly too), I somehow believe it’s time to replace it, and the timing coincides with the recent release of the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. I have been using iPhone 5 for almost 4 years (bought it on December 2012 as my first ever smartphone) and I think it’s quite reasonable to replace with a new one due to the many problems it has right now. But I didn’t trade it because it’s now worth only AUD 75. That figure shocked me as I didn’t expect a smartphone of 4 years old costs that little! With that very low amount of trade-in, I rather keep it to myself as a piece of memory. Haha…

So after backing up and setting up all those stuff for my new phone, I finally can use it today. I have to also admire the efficiency of Apple staff in the Apple store in Perth city yesterday when I bought the phone. They attend to you straight away despite the crowded state in the store. The purchasing process was completed in 10 minutes!

At first, I’m interested on the new jet black colour. However, it is out-of-stock and its glossy finish makes scratches very visible on its surface. Hence, I changed my mind and have chosen the other new colour, matt black and it looks cool as well. Then, I went for the 128GB version, and this capacity will allow me to store a lot of images and videos and download more apps than ever. In the end, I spent AUD1299 on the phone. The new iPhone 7 Plus is very huge and so it has never been my option. After heavy expenditure on the recent Taiwan trip and now the purchase of iPhone 7, I am forcing myself to save money in intensive way from now on.

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(My new iPhone 7 above, matt black 128GB)

Time to play around with my new ‘toy’ and checking out its new features!

(Copyrights reserved to images in this post)

Redevelopment of Bukit Jalil’s Sports Complex

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2016 by vincentloy

Every units of this semester of my study that I’m currently undertaking is somehow related to architecture of sports facility. For my design studio, I have to design an indoor archery center. For my culture unit, I have to do research on sustainable architecture from stadiums in London 2012 Olympic Games, a topic that I chose myself. And for my technology unit, my kinetic skin concept somehow leads to practical implementation in stadiums in the form of retractable roof. And then there was the recently concluded Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games and the on-going Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Sports occupy most of my mind for this last half of the year.

Recently, I came across an article which stated that our National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur will be undergoing a massive redevelopment. I’m quite happy after receiving that news because I seriously think the place needs a major makeover. It is now a deserted area with dilapidated and outdated structures, and nobody would want to go to that place unless there’s an event to attend. I also found that there is quite a potential to transform the whole sports complex into a vibrant and first class environment for athletes and visitors and to prepare it for future major sporting events. Here’s below is parts of the full article from the following source:

http://www.fourfourtwo.com/my/features/bukit-jalils-reinvigoration-a-new-look-2017-one-worlds-biggest-stadiums

(Images below are also from the source above)

Bukit Jalil’s Reinvigoration – A new look in 2017 for one of the world’s biggest stadiums

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Built in 1998 for the Commonwealth Games, Bukit Jalil Stadium is the heart of Malaysia’s sporting precinct that also includes a hockey stadium, an aquatic centre, an indoor stadium and a squash arena. Having hosted the Asian Cup in 2007 and exhibition matches involving English sides such as Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal in the past, the stadium needs no further introduction. It was also named in FourFourTwo’s 100 Best Football Stadium in the World last year.

The Bukit Jalil that many are accustomed to, however, will be a memory as a two-phase redevelopment of the area – before and after the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur – is set to put the KL Sports City onto the Asian sporting map in coming years. Singapore’s iconic Sports Hub is expected to have a decent rival less than an hour’s flight away.

Phase One, which involves a facelift for the stadium and other sporting facilities in the area, ends in July 2017. The stadium is not set for major changes under Phase Two, but massive redevelopment is planned on surrounding land till 2021, making the stadium’s use not feasible. Thus for half a year in 2017, the Bukit Jalil Stadium will offer a glimpse what’s in store when the dust eventually settles.

Capacity

Is it all about the size?

Officially, Bukit Jalil stadium can seat 87,411 people – the largest in Southeast Asia after the Gelora Bung Karno in Indonesia had a reduction in capacity in 2007 – but it is no secret that the highest turnout may well have exceeded six figures as thousands have been seen on stairways, corridors and even encroaching the media tribune during high-profile matches in the past. The construction of a new level of corporate boxes is set to push the capacity to 90,000. If history repeats in terms of overcrowding, the numbers could soar higher again.

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The new level – Level 3M – is being constructed between the existing second and third tiers on the same side as the grandstand and can only be accessed from the stadium lobby. The stadium is a sure bet destination for European clubs looking to make Southeast Asia a pit stop to widen their fan base and exploit commercial gains. There simply isn’t a suitable larger stadium in Asia, unless North Korea is on their radar.

Modernisation

With major redevelopment plans taking place in the vicinity starting in 2018, a lot of effort has been put in to ensuring the 18-year-old stadium still stands out. Bukit Jalil will get a new facade, a silver vertical structure to move away from its naked look of old. At night, that facade can turn into a light show and be colour coordinated to suit the occasion. More landscaping is planned around the stadium to encourage the public to consider the venue a location for an evening stroll.

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Changing rooms, a warm-up area, walkways, access gates and media areas are being redesigned while the stadium’s lobby underwent a restructuring to cater for newly-installed escalators and lifts to the corporate boxes. Spectator seats are also in for a change to meet current Fire & Safety standards. The stadium also gets a new athletics track but the football pitch remains, something Malaysian Stadium Corporation (MSC) insist is being well taken care off despite on-going renovation.

Technologically Advanced

Little thought was put into technology when the stadium was built. Apart from its looks and a digital scoreboard, Bukit Jalil is far from what you would call a technologically advanced stadium. Over the years, the stadium has built quite a reputation for jammed phones lines and unstable internet connection. Media personnel considered themselves lucky if wi-fi services were available, and whether or not the connection was stable came secondary, unlike the fast stable connections available in leading stadiums around the world.

That will soon be a thing of the past as the stadium will be fitted with fiber optic cables to provide high-speed connectivity. Spectators will also enjoy pre-paid wi-fi services, so gone are the days when being in a full stadium meant being out of reach. Other improvements include fixed stations for broadcast cameras, a high-definition big screen and light-emitting diode (LED) floodlights that can be controlled to suit different needs such as a football match, an athletics meet or a concert.

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The MSC are also building a mobile application to enable visitors better access to just about every piece of information there is on the stadium and its side attractions. The full works of the app, however, are only expected to be known once more facilities are introduced in 2021. MSC is looking to maximise engagement with the public in the hope it will draw a crowd on a regular basis.

Comfort

Access to the stadium is relatively easy on a sunny day but when it pours, even getting out of the train station can be havoc. But not anymore. A covered walkway is being constructed from the station to the stadium. Public amenities such as toilets, food & beverage outlets and prayer rooms are also being upgraded and will be more friendly for people with disabilities. The location of a viewing/seating area for the disabled is also improved as the present one at the top of the first-tier does not offer a good vantage point.

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A sporting ground for all

Next time you visit Bukit Jalil Stadium, make sure to bring either your bicycle or jogging shoes. A Commonwealth Hill Park was part of the big project in the 1990s and though still used today, its upkeep has been close to none apart from the trimming of grass. Unknown to many, there was also a recreational area with public courts situated behind the hockey stadium which has been underutilised for years. So much so, there were even squatters in the area at one point.

There has been no mention of upgrading those areas or whether it will make way for other developments, but one thing confirmed is a jogging and cycling track that partially surrounds Bukit Jalil Stadium and other facilities in the venue. Phase Two of plans, meanwhile, will include the construction of multipurpose outdoor courts for public use.

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I’m surprised that this news didn’t get much attention despite scale of the redevelopment. I’m impressed of turning parts of the current massive unappealing parking areas into fluid landscaping. However, reducing parking may not be a good option especially when you have huge event that is going to be attended by tens of thousand of people. There is also not much detail revealed yet despite the redevelopment is going to commence soon.

I would love to see the whole new redevelopment masterplan to further understand how it will look in overall layout after the transformation. There isn’t any body of water currently on the Bukit Jalil Sports Complex. There is this current trend of having a stream of water cutting through a sports complex (usually seen in Olympic Parks across the world) for aesthetic and I’m not against such idea since I saw the proposal of having similar approach in the last rendering above.

The new facade for the main outdoor stadium looks nice but is that the only proposal submitted? It would be much better if international and local architects are invited to submit design to give a new makeover to the stadium rather than just sticking to one proposal. Maybe once all this is completed, Malaysia would be much more ready to join hand with Singapore to host future Olympic Games. I also noticed there is still vast empty land near the Astro headquarter which is adjacent to the Bukit Jalil Sports Complex that can be developed for more facilities (temporary sporting venues, athletes’ village, media center, parks) if Malaysia is indeed serious on pursuing the hosting job to the Olympics.

I have written my thoughts. Now, what do you think of this redevelopment? Feel free to comment.

And by the way, Happy Malaysia Day!

 

Movie review for ‘Ice Age: Collision Course’ and ‘Train to Busan’ (2016)

Posted in Miscellaneous on September 11, 2016 by vincentloy

It’s quite a bad thing when the only mood you have during the weekend is watching movies and not working on assignments. I only spent a little bit of time on my homework, and the rest, on movies. I watched two movies yesterday (and I did reviewed them in a post yesterday as well), and today, I watched another two. That’s how my weekend is spent.

The movie I watched this morning is ‘Ice Age: Collision Course’. It is an animated comedy adventure film and is the fifth installment in the Ice Age film series. The story revolves on the same group of animals, now teamed up with some new members to fend off a meteor strike that would destroy the world. The first ‘Ice Age’ movie was released 14 years ago and I enjoyed it that time because I was a kid back then. It took too long for each newer sequel to come in, and by the time this 5th installment is out, we who have chased the earlier films have now all grown up. And it’s a bad thing. We are now adults and we don’t really enjoy this series anymore when more and more sequels are coming in. It’s a totally different experience and I find that this film series should just end already.

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Why? Storyline is pretty much similar in every sequels and I’m tired of seeing the same sloth, mammoth and tiger going on the very much predictable adventures every time. There is no new surprise or fresh stuff in this latest installment. It’s lazy and unoriginal. Even some hilarious scenes of the movie couldn’t save its crappiness. If you really have nothing to do, then you can watch it. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Ice Age: Collision Course’ a total of 6.0. You can have more sequel, but please put more effort and fresh content to it.

Then, just a moment ago, I watched another film. This is much more intense because it is a zombie movie and it is from South Korea. The movie is called ‘Train to Busan’. Now I understand why this movie is getting so much hype right now. It’s because this zombie film is very good! I didn’t expect a zombie film not from Hollywood can even excel to this quality that it is even better than ‘World War Z’. Yup…many has previously compared ‘Train to Busan’ to ‘World War Z’ because of the similarity on having fast moving undead in masses chasing in some exaggerated scenes in these two films. However, ‘Train to Busan’ went a mile ahead with emotional storyline.

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I didn’t expect a zombie movie to have such a sad ending. It’s actually a nice approach to conclude the movie that makes it more memorable and touching. Zombie movie isn’t only about zombies. ‘Train to Busan’ gives a good lesson on that point. Great characters’ development is also important to bring depth to the plot and this is visible in this movie. There is also some social issues touched on in this movie. Besides that, the performance by the cast (even the small kid) is fantastic. As for the zombies part which is still the highlight, the movie also delivered with great make-up, good effects, and heart-stopping scenes. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Train to Busan’ a total of 8.5. Simply excellent, engaging, emotional and exhilarating!

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

On-going Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and 15th anniversary of 911

Posted in Explosive News and Results on September 11, 2016 by vincentloy

Rio 2016 Summer Paralympic Games is currently on-going in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The biggest international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities is now in its 15th edition and will run in Rio from 7th September to 18th September 2016. It is held days after the conclusion of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games. While the biggest focus still remains on the Olympics, we should also give some attention to Paralympics where the disabled athletes across the world also did their very best in sports on international stage.

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I’m delighted to hear the news this morning that my country, Malaysia has won two gold medals in the games. Malaysia has never win any gold medal before in Paralympic Games and in Rio 2016, the nation created history by not only winning one, but two golds! Fantastic performances by our winning athletes, Ridzuan and Ziyad. A huge congratulation to them for making the country proud! Unfortunately, we couldn’t see the similar achievement in the concluded Rio 2016 Olympics as our national Olympic athletes were so close to the gold but still couldn’t get it. We have still not won any gold medal before in Olympics. Let’s hope we can accomplish that in Tokyo 2020 then.

Today marks the 15th anniversary of 911 tragedy. Look at the date today and you will be reminded by the unforgettable tragedy that shocked the whole world. On this day exactly 15 years ago, United States was under terrorist attacks with their famous World Trade Center twin towers in New York City collapsed after being hit by hijacked plane respectively on early morning of 11th September 2001. The Pentagon was also being hit by plane and another hijacked plane was brought down from completing the mission of hitting another US landmark.

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15 years have passed and life has to move on. The new One World Trade Center is now standing high on the former Ground Zero site as the country’s current tallest building at 541 metres. The Memorial Park and Museum in remembrance of that tragedy are also present. In the remaining sites, development is on-going for more towers to be built. In conclusion, I sincerely wish for no more violence or terrorism not only in US but also in all parts of the world especially in recent time when we are all having headache from the IS threats. There is no place in the world for extremism.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

Movie review for ‘Don’t Breathe’ and ‘Skiptrace’ (2016)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , on September 10, 2016 by vincentloy

I’m feeling satisfied right now, not from having a very happy meal, not from buying some cool stuff, not from winning a jackpot, but for finally having watched some newly released movies that I enjoyed a lot. I have not been watching any new movies for about a month already. This is the weekend that I finally have the chance to get back to my favourite activity; watching movies! And now I’m about to write my review for the ones that I have just watched today; ‘Don’t Breathe’ and ‘Skiptrace’.

‘Don’t Breathe’ is a horror film about three thieves who struggled to escape from the house they tried to rob as the house owner who looks helpless for being blind and old is instead very terrifying and gruesome. I very much look forward to this movie from the moment I first watched its trailer few months back. And for the full excitement, I encourage people not to watch its trailer or read anything about the movie before watching it. It would be much better and exhilarating. Anyway, I still find this horror movie delivered with thrilling suspense and many scenes that get you to the edge of your seat. This film starred Stephen Lang, Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette and Daniel Zovatto.

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The clever use of haunting score and the approach of having all the actions confined in a house are impressively done. Thrills are never ending once the old man realized that the trio of thieves had invaded his home. There is also time dedicated for quick and sufficient characters’ development and the story went in a very fast and intense pace. There are also some surprising plot twists near the end that gave this movie an extra distinction. But I’m actually a little shocked by the failed insemination scene. I’m also disturbed by the very smooth and quick move by the blind old man that was way too illogical. For example, he can move from the basement to the outside of the house in a long route in a matter of seconds. That’s already impossible for a normal human being, and a blind old man did that. Well, movie’s logic; everything is possible. Moving on, this movie is really a very successful horror film. No cheap jump scares or loud noise, but brilliant use of cinematography and impressive cast performance to make it a high quality horror. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Don’t Breathe’ a total of 8.1. The best horror film of the year so far.

‘Skiptrace’ is on the other hand a much lighter movie. It is an action comedy film combining both Western and Chinese actors and actresses. It starred Jackie Chan as a Hong Kong detective who teams up with an American gambler (portrayed by Johnny Knoxville) to battle against a notorious Chinese criminal. Well, this sort of storyline has been observed a lot of times but I’m still not tired of seeing such plot as long as there is interesting adventure in it. Yup…this movie has an exciting adventure in it, thanks to the good chemistry and humor in the two lead actors (Jackie and Johnny). The movie also starred Eric Tsang, Fan Bingbing, etc.

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I’m amazed by Jackie Chan again. He is now already 62 years old and he is still involved in action films like this. I really respect his attitude of doing all the dangerous stunts by himself from all the past movies and also this one. I enjoyed watching his action scenes that are mostly mixed with some humor (hilarious stuff). That’s his signature movie scenes that I wouldn’t get bored of watching. Things are much predictable throughout most of the movie as expected but the one plot twist near the end do really left me surprised. It means that twist worked. This is an entertaining action comedy film and I would like to rate ‘Skiptrace’ a total of 7.6. The two singing scenes are also very unexpected but very welcomed.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

3 million views and rising…

Posted in Explosive News and Results on September 9, 2016 by vincentloy

My blog is now very near to reach its 8th anniversary. Before that date comes which is on end of this month, my blog has achieved another accomplishment today on 9th September 2016. It has officially accumulated over three million views from visitors all across the world. Yes, 3 000 000 hits and the figure is now steadily rising day by day. I noticed that the rising pace is much slower in recent months but I’m not too worried of it as long as there is a rise to that numbers daily, be it big or small.

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(Image source: http://www.redrockapps.com)

Well, my blog is still far away from being noticed as a superstar blog but I don’t really care anything at all. In fact, I didn’t really wish my blog here to get too much attention. My original view is just to write down things I like to share on a humble blog. Recognition isn’t my priority here. But since my blog has reached a great milestone today, I couldn’t just ignore it and hence I dedicate this post to somehow ‘celebrate’ this little achievement.

It’s not easy to come to this far and having gained over 3 000 000 hits. I’m sure about half of the clicks from that figure are actually accidental and those clicks never meant that the visitors really read or browse through my stuff in this blog. But that figure is still nice to see and a good indication of how long has this blog exists.

Ahh…finally weekend is arriving. Can’t wait for it after having just returned from the Taiwan trip recently that got me really exhausted as well as having a design studio submission today. I’m also welcoming this weekend with very joyous mood as I have just received a commendation letter from my university for performing good in my study in the previous term (my first semester). Well, unfortunately, I don’t think I will repeat that accomplishment this semester. But for right now, let’s just hope for the best for the remaining of my study (three more semesters to go).

There is huge amount of stress in recent weeks from the Taiwan workshop and also from the design studio submission. It feels best for this weekend to come as there is now at least an opportunity for me to take a nice quick break eventhough there are still ample of assignments to complete. I also realized I have not been watching any new movies for about a month already. Should resume on that this coming Saturday and Sunday.