Archive for July, 2011

Oh no…last day of holiday!

Posted in Interesting Encounters on July 31, 2011 by vincentloy

Can the time travels back to a month ago, when my previous semester would be just ended and holiday just begin? How great if there is such thing as ‘time machine’ exists in this world! There is no such advanced technology for that yet (it seems impossible), and all we, humans know about time is generally; time flies. Yes…time flies….whenever a moment is gone, then it’s gone….and so my holiday finally coming to an end (with a feeling of missing it terribly!)

Today is Sunday, the last day of the month of July, as well as the last day of my holiday before my Semester 2 (final) of the year begins tomorrow. I am trying my best to enjoy the last day of the holiday to the fullest; sleep until 12pm in the afternoon, online for over few hours and playing games, watching tv, had no assignment to do besides than sleep, eat, play! All these would not happen once my final semester begins, right from tomorrow onwards till the end of November, which is like a long way to go too…Anyway, time flies…so now, I’m hoping the time can quickly jump straight to December for graduation and my birthday celebration in a blink of eye.

One month of holiday just gone! I really wish for another holiday coming as soon as possible. What I did during the past holiday? Generally NOTHING besides than rotting at home! Haha…that is a MUST in holiday, also an opportunity for me to have much rest and strength for the next battle (following semester). The pleasure of rotting would be  gone in less than 24 hours. Uumm..but during the holiday also I find that my time is pretty much wasted. Anyway, it’s okay as only a month is taken away for that lazy behaviour. No more lazy beginning tomorrow, if not…I’m going to suffer for the semester…haha…Besides than welcoming the new semester tomorrow, it is also the time to say goodbye to July 2011 and hello to August 2011.

 

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Movie review: Captain America – The First Avenger (2011)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2011 by vincentloy

It’s time for Captain America as July is almost coming to end. It’s a superhero film by Marvel Comics which is famous in creating several other comic-based superhero films like Spiderman, Iron Man, etc.  The film tells the story of Steve Rogers, a short, thin and weak man who is transformed into super soldier Captain America to help the war effort. However, Captain America must stop Red Skull (the villain), Adolf Hitler’s ruthless head of weaponry and leader of a terrorist organization, who intends to use a mysterious tesseract energy-source for world domination.

As the setting of this marvel superhero is back in 1942 during World War II, Captain America is considered the first superhero emerged in the world from the comics, and hence getting the name as ‘the first avenger’. Do you know that Marvel is going to release a new film soon entitled ‘Avengers’ which will gather most of its superheros into a single film, for an epic battle with the much stronger villain. It is even hinted at the end of this film that it is a prequel to the upcoming ‘Avengers’ film which Captain America will be part of it. Here below is the official trailer of the movie, ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’:

I don’t need to explain much on the story of the film as to prevent spoilers as well as it is pretty much expected and obvious what this film will deliver; some extreme action scenes of fights, clash and explosions added with some humours which cracked the audiences out. I did laugh at several moments by a few hilarious scenes, especially at the beginning of the film when the thin and weak soldier is not yet transformed, and when people are questioning his ability in army forces. The action scenes are impressive, but not at the part of the final clash between Captain America and Red Skull which I find it is too simple and quick (with Red Skull suddenly vanished to the universe). Not all action scenes are just created with mainly CGI effects, with many portion showing the real fighting action by the Captain, Steve Rogers portrayed by Chris Evans.

I have to compliment on Chris Evans for his best ever performance after I have known him from Fantastic Four. He had a greater role here as he is the Captain America, the main lead of the film. The character’s development of the film is shown very well, hence giving sufficient screen time for him to shine from a thin guy to a muscular guy. The audiences would certainly pay attention towards his character which is given a depth, good enough for a two-hours movie. His solid performance steals the whole show. As for the villain, the Red Skull portrayed by Hugo Weaving, I find his performance not well done, a better actor should be casted for such a potential character that is ruined by Hugo at this point.

I would like to praise the editing jobs done in showing how skinny Chris Evans is in the beginning of the film and how muscular and ‘big’ he is after being transformed. Yes, Chris Evans did a great job in going for a diet for his earlier acting before going for gym for his performance after the transformation, but obviously, computer did major role there. Thumbs up to Chris for his effort in doing so, and to the whole production team for making the movie quite a successful one. On the other hand, I find that the film did extremely well in bringing the whole setting back to 70 years ago during World War II.

However, I find some parts in the film to be a bit illogical, like the part when the died doctor leaved no notes at all in operating the transformation mechanism which lead to only a single ‘Captain America’, and not many (which would be then damaging the whole point of having only a single Captain), the part when Captain America is saved and slept for almost 70 years just to reach to the modern days to be continued with the upcoming ‘Avengers’ film. There are some other illogical parts but I’m still okay with it…as the whole point of superhero film already came in being illogical at some sense. Out of 10 points, I would gave this one 7.2.

It’s the last registration day for me!

Posted in Interesting Encounters on July 29, 2011 by vincentloy

It’s the last Friday of the month and is the registration day at Limkokwing University’s campus at Cyberjaya for a new semester for all returning students. It will be my last semester of the course that took 3 years (and another year in Foundation) which will begin by August and end before December this year, hopefully before my birthday on 4th December. So, the registration event today becomes a little bit more significant compared to the previous ones, as it will be my last registration day for the architecture course I’m taking.

The procedure went on as usual. Students have to settle the fees first which is the university’s priority forever before being officially registered within the university. I have reached the campus quite early (before 9.30am) after over an hour long drive through congested roads in KL….and still I have to wait for two hours just to get the fees settled before registration is made….thanks to the small number of counters in operation, inefficiency of the working staff as well as behaviour of some students cutting queue! Wasted my two-hours sitting in there…luckily, there are still friends by side to chat with….registration day is also the day to meet back some of my friends and classmates after a month of holiday when we couldn’t see each other.

After the fees had finally settled which would be the last cheque my father has to give to the university, it’s only time to register back at the plaza. Luckily, there are not many people there and it is done quick with just a sheet of paper printed out with a signature to mark the official registration of a student. Simple procedures overall, but the system (bursary) just failed! So to be clear, the event should be known as Fees Payment Day rather than Registration Day, looking at their obvious motive in collecting fees before a student can register. The timetable is ready, and yes…we got Friday as a holiday again, similar to the timetable of previous semester. I got five modules to take for this last semester…and may God bless me….wish me luck and all the best!

World’s oldest living architect: Oscar Niemeyer

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2011 by vincentloy

Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho, or popularly known as Oscar Niemeyer is currently 103 years old and would be celebrating his 104th birthday on December this year. At 103 currently, he is the world’s oldest living architect whom are still contributing to designs in his company through his sketches and explanations. He is a Brazilian architect whom had worked in the field for over 70 years, specializing in international modern architecture. He is a pioneer in exploring the formal possibilities of reinforced concrete solely for their aesthetic impact.

His buildings are often characterized by being spacious and exposed, mixing volumes and empty space to create unconventional patterns and often propped up by pilotis. Both lauded and criticized for being a “sculptor of monuments”,  he has been praised for being a great artist and one of the greatest architects of his generation by his supporters. Here below is a quote from the architect himself describing his approach in architecture:

‘It is not the right angle that attracts me, nor the straight line, hard and inflexible, created by man. What attracts me is the free and sensual curve — the curve that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuous course of its rivers, in the body of the beloved woman.’ 

His first work (Gustavo Capanema Palace with Le Corbusier) came in 1936 which is now over 75 years ago, and his latest masterpiece is the Oscar Niemeyer International Cultural Centre in Spain on 2011 (this year). The latter is a big cultural centre which is ‘an open square to the humankind, a place for education, culture and peace’ (Oscar Niemeyer). In total, he has designed well over 80 buildings or structures which is an impressive record of his contribution to the built environment, particularly in Brazil and Europe. One more thing I wish to highlight is Oscar Niemeyer is the architect of a building in Malaysia, built back in 1980, which is the Penang State Mosque eventhough his contribution in Asia is very minimal.

Two structures which he designed and dedicated to himself are the Oscar Niemeyer Museum at Parana, Brazil and the International Cultural Centre mentioned on the previous paragraph. The former is a museum resembling an eye-shaped tower with ramp leading to it from the reflecting pond below as well as a rectangular gallery behind. The museum features many of Niemeyer’s signature elements: bold geometric forms, sculptural curved volumes placed prominently to contrast with rectangular volumes, sinuous ramps for pedestrians, large areas of white painted concrete, and areas with vivid murals or paintings. His major and famous works are as follow:

At this age and still helping on design contribution, he is often being criticized of the lower quality of his later (recent) works which is definitely affected by his old age. Anyway, the scale of his contribution to architecture is extensive and he can be considered as one of the fathers of modern architecture along with Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius. He had also won 1988 Pritzker Prize, the highest honour to an architect every year. Living for over a century which is seldom acquired by many others, his works and name as a great architect would be eternal. (His hands must be very shaking when sketching something, but his creative mind on design still presents)

One year countdown to London 2012

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2011 by vincentloy

Today is 27th of July 2011, exactly a year to go (27th July 2012), we would be witnessing the opening ceremony of London 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Everyone of you must have known already that London won the bid to host the world largest sporting event back in 2005, six years ago which left sufficient time for works to be done in preparation for a successful games. The organizing committee believed that their effort would be well paid off with a successful games that would deliver at its best and that would leave a legacy to London and UK after so much hard works on turning vision into reality. (Below is a real picture showing the main stadium lights up to mark 1 year countdown to London 2012 Olympic Games)

The progress of the preparation for the games including the Paralympic Games went well and on schedule. From many reports and observations visible, it is obvious that London is doing well without any news of delay in preparation of venues and infrastructures. The games which would attract over 15 000 athletes from over 200 countries is also promised to be a sustainable games, with many venues stood as temporary for the games, and many other environmental-friendly plans ahead. Even few months ago, we have been informed of the completion of the main stadium for the games, the Olympic Stadium. Many other venues have been completed too and are undergoing tests and final touch-up. There is one year to go, and many things seem to have finished (all venues on Olympic Park completed) , which leaves ample of time for other preparations. (Picture below shows the Olympic Stadium at the back and Aquatic Centre at the front)

This day reminds me of the grandeur and the magnificent scale of the previous edition of Summer Olympic Games, back in 2008 at Beijing. Too bad, I have not been starting to have my blog during the sporting event that occured in August 2008, which I could have the chance to write some posts on it. The games is done beautifully and is very impressive! Beijing 2008 reminds me of ‘Bird Nest’ stadium, ‘Water Cube’, and Malaysia not scoring even a single gold medal ever. Haha….Back to London by 2012, the city might not triumph over Beijing on the scale, but still it looks very promising that London would do a great job too. So fast, it’s been 3 years after Beijing 2008, and one year to go before London 2012.

I got my new laptop!

Posted in Interesting Encounters on July 26, 2011 by vincentloy

After a day without a laptop, I’m starting to get desperate for a new one. So, on this afternoon, my dad and I went to Low Yat Plaza, the mall specialized in selling digital items, which include phones, cameras, laptops and many others. People went to Low Yat not for food, not for movies, not for clothings, but all for electronic products. I am going there to purchase those that have been stolen all together in my bag which includes laptop, mouse, headset, camera’s charger and the bag itself.

For laptop, I’m going to the Asus booth first which is located at the atrium itself. The product that I have checked on earlier is not available and out of stock at the moment, and so I can’t buy it at the time. So, it’s time to shift to Toshiba. There are very few samples exhibited for our viewing and the price is much more expensive compared to others which easily went over my budget. Then, finally, Acer. There are very few people going to Acer booth, but I get attracted to its product named Aspire 5750G-2634G64 at the price of RM2899 which is then reduced to RM2799.

I like the blue surface of the laptop and the latest technology of the system, which includes 2nd generation Intel Core i7-2630QM processor, genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, 640GB SATA HDD/4 GB DDR3 RAM, 15.6” HD Acer CineCrystal LED-backlit TFT LCD, NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M with optimus technology, optimized dolby advanced audio, 8X super multi plus drive, and one-year international warranty. I am getting blur over all these datas, but I think the processor and graphic card is important to me as a design (architecture) student whom need to render 3D images.

So, I purchased that, in addition with many free gifts including mouse, headset, lock, cooler, etc. I bought a bag too, which replaced my previous stolen bag which is in very bad condition.  Hopes that my new laptop would works perfectly fast, smooth and fine for me and not spoil easily. Now, I have to take great care to my latest precious belonging….thanks dad for that…

Holiday ends in a week…and feeling weird without a laptop at my side…

Posted in Interesting Encounters on July 25, 2011 by vincentloy

Ahh!!! It’s already the last week of July, which indicates that my holiday is coming to an end soon, and my last semester would begin. Holiday comes and goes very quick…eventhough I’m given a nice amount of break away from all those assignments for a full one month, I’m still feeling not enough. I think this is the thought of every student. Anyway, it’s good to be back to campus to meet back my friends, whom many had been back to hometown far far away during the holiday.

I’m finding myself still not very much prepared and ready to face the final semester of my study before graduation. This semester which would begins in August and end in November 2011 would be expected to be the toughest, as it determines whether we can graduate to obtain the Bachelor of Applied Science in Architecture. Really hope everything goes well and smooth from the beginning till the very end before my birthday on early December. The time has to come very soon, for me to deal with the semester, for me to officially celebrate my 20th birthday (21 in Chinese) and for me to be officially graduated!

What shall I do for this final week of holiday? Yes…I should start preparing and get ready….warm up first before the hectic and busy schedule begins just around the corner. But all before that, I have to buy a new laptop as my previous one is stolen…haiz….the pain of losing my previous laptop still exists…my previous Compaq laptop had accompanied me for over 3 years, and I’m feeling a bit weird without a laptop at my side when I’m in my bedroom. It seems that I would have a lot of things to do this week, to be settled before my semester begins next week….aah, this Friday is already the registration day.