Archive for March, 2012

Off unnecessary lights now for one hour in support of Earth Hour 2012!

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2012 by vincentloy

It’s now the time over here in Malaysia to turn off non-essential lights for an hour from 8.30pm to 9.30pm in support of the Earth Hour 2012. Take just this simple step and be part of the global initiative on raising awareness on the climate change in our planet. So have you turned off your non-essential lights at home? Or are you celebrating it outdoors with special events conducted at some places in respect to this worldwide event?

Well, that’s the official video of this year’s Earth Hour which would be conducted today from east to west across the globe. I’m glad that my country, Malaysia has been part of this movement for many years, and this year is not an exception. Particularly, the iconic Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower in the capital, Kuala Lumpur would go into dark in support of Earth Hour.

The event is now known as the world’s largest voluntary action for the environment, and I’m glad the scale of this event have stretched over to the major parts of the world, even further to the space where International Space Station would be joining in the effort too. Back to the video, have you watched it? I like the phrases shown in the clip which I would rewrite it again below, that carries a very inspiring and meaningful message:

It started with an idea.

An idea that became a symbol.

A symbol that became a movement.

A movement that unites people to protect our planet.

Together, everyone of us can go beyond the hour.

Everyone has the power to change the world we live in.

How will you go beyond the hour?


That question posted is indeed very captivating. Our contribution to this global event is not limited to only having the lights off for that one hour. That is just a symbol of awareness in our hearts. Our initiative should go beyond that, in every ways that we can do to save the planet from climate change. First, participating in Earth Hour would be a great start to everything good for the planet and to our future generation. Let us be in darkness together for this special one hour, the one hour that marked the success of this global effort and the unity of people in desire to make the world a better place. So, let us make this happen right now…

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It’s finally Earth Hour tonight! Let us be part of this global movement.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2012 by vincentloy

As the last Saturday of  the month (well, it’s also the last day of the month for this year), the annual Earth Hour event would be held tonight from 8.30pm to 9.30pm (local time) when those supporting this global event will turn off their lights for one hour. Do you support this event? Are you part of this global movement in raising awareness about the need to take action on climate change? Or the worst still, do you even know there is this such event going on? I bet you know, but do you care about it? My message over at the top of my blog from the header is finally working today!

Earth Hour event began FIVE years ago, only in one city, Sydney in Australia. But eventually a small effort turned into something BIG! Year by year, the involvement of other cities from all over the world kept on increasing, until to the point that it has now become a worldwide event known to everyone. It is just a simple step of switching off non-essential lights for an hour, but the message carried from it is truly meaningful and inspiring.

From wherever you are or whoever you are, join in this global movement and be part of the generation that is in favour of saving the world from climate change. Even the International Space Station out at the space is participating. Why not you? Over 6000 cities joined in the event which is dubbed as the world’s largest mass event in support of the planet. Famous landmarks and wonders from all around the world would switch off their lights tonight too.

“It’s not designed and it would be foolhardy to believe that switching a light switch (off) will save the planet,” Earth Hour co-founder Todd Sampson said.

“It was originally done to raise awareness; to get people to think about it and then take action in many different ways.

“I think scepticism is part of the debate; it moves everything forward.”

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/libya-and-space-station-join-earth-hour/story-e6frfku0-1226315165489#ixzz1qilAwFE4

 

 

London 2012: A look into the design and symbolism of the games’ torch

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2012 by vincentloy

The Torch was designed by east Londoners Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, who won the opportunity through a competitive tender run by the London 2012 Organising Committee and the Design Council. The Torch stands 800mm high and is in gold colour that embraces the qualities of the Olympic Flame – the brightness and the warmth of the light that it shines.

The Torch is made up of an inner and an outer aluminium alloy skin, held in place by a cast top piece and base, perforated by 8,000 circles. Representing the inspirational stories of the 8,000 torchbearers who will carry the Olympic Flame, the circles which run the length of the body of the Torch also offer a unique level of transparency. You can see right to the heart of the Torch and view the burner system which will keep the Olympic Flame alive on its journey around the UK. The circles also help ensure heat is quickly dissipated, without being conducted down the handle, and providing extra grip.

The triangular-shaped Torch was inspired by a series of ‘threes’ that are found in the history of the Olympic Games and the vision for the Olympic Movement:

  • The three Olympic values of respect, excellence and friendship;
  • The three words that make the Olympic motto – faster, higher, stronger;
  • The fact that the UK has hosted the Olympic Games in 1908, 1948 and will host them for the third time in 2012; and
  • The vision for the London 2012 Olympic Games to combine three bodies of work – sport, education and culture.

More than half of the London 2012 Torchbearers are expected to be young people aged as young as 12, so the designers aimed to make the Torch as light as possible. It is made from an special aluminium alloy developed for the aerospace and automotive industry. The alloy is lightweight but strong, with excellent heat resistance. The 8,000 circles also reduce the weight of the final design, whilst ensuring strength isn’t compromised. The Torch weighs 800 grams.

(Information above is obtained from the official website of London 2012 Summer Olympic Games in olympic torch section: http://www.london2012.com/games/olympic-torch-relay/olympic-torch/)

Well, I prefer this torch’s design more than the one used for Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Anyway, both designs are on different approaches when the Beijing 2008 torch is emphasizing on traditional and cultural values while London 2012 torch is highlighting on modern and outclass values. This London 2012 Olympic Torch looks very appealing to me, and I like the new idea of having some transparency within the torch to enable viewing to the burner system. Gold colour for the torch is a perfect match! It’s pure, simple yet meaningful! Truly an iconic torch representing the games!

London 2012: Olympic Torch Relay restricted within UK, Lee Hom is the only Asian star chosen as one of the 8000 torchbearers

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2012 by vincentloy

The Olympic Torch Relay which is an event before the Olympic Games would be held from 19th May to 27th of July this year that would ends at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Unlike the previous torch relay which went international, travelling all around the globe in selected cities, London 2012 Torch Relay went domestic, with the relay restricted within the host nation itself.

The reason behind it is that the previous Beijing 2008 Torch Relay received a lot of protests highlighting on people’s right, which lead to some unwanted problems. So, to prevent that kind of issues from happening again as well as to save cost, the torch relay for London 2012 went safer by organizing it locally. Let’s talk a bit about the cost of organizing the games. At first, the budget planned is around 1.5 billion, and now the cost escalated up to 15 billion even before the games begins, ten times higher from earlier estimation. That figure is worrying, but some speculates that the payoff in the end would be much higher and able to cover the cost.

Back to the torch relay, I still remember for Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, the Torch Relay did came to Malaysia, going across Kuala Lumpur which is one of the selected cities for the relay. Malaysians had the chance to take a look at the Olympic torch in flame from their own eyes, but I was unable to attend the relay at the time. Haiz…no more chance for that, since the rules is set now that the torch relay is to be held within the host country only…ahh, unless Malaysia hosts the Olympic Games, which is a dream too far to achieve by my country.

I read a news today which reported that Wang Lee Hom, a famous Taiwanese singer is selected to be one of the 8000 torchbearers for London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay. He must be very lucky and honoured to be selected, even as the games is held this time in the West. In Beijing 2008, he is chosen for the relay as well. Now, again, for London 2012, due to his dedication to charity work and environmental protection, which is a major feature of the London Olympics. That makes him the only Asian star to take part in the relay and the only person in Mandarin pop circles to take part in the event twice.

Lit in Greece (the origin of Olympics), the Olympic Flame would arrives in the UK on 18 May 2012 and the relay would begins the next day, taking up to 70 days in more than 1000 cities, towns and villages in United Kingdom. The torch would helps shine a light on the whole of the UK – from dynamic urban areas to places of outstanding natural beauty. Representing peace, unity and friendship, as it makes its way across the UK on a 70-day journey it will bring the excitement of the Games to everyone. Well, I like the torch’s design. Well, more info on the torch’s design and symbolism on the next post!

 

Movie review: Ah Beng The Movie – Three Wishes (2012)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2012 by vincentloy

Am I a bit outdated to have only watched ‘Ah Beng The Movie: Three Wishes’ just now? It’s a local production from Myfm and Astro, and is released in conjunction with the previous Chinese New Year celebration. It’s already over two months and the festive mood is gone, but the movie still works well on delivering meaningful messages to the viewers. Even our Prime Minister watched the movie on its premiere last time, and so I gave a chance for this film.

I personally don’t like ‘Ah Beng’ character because that character is too dumb and idiotic. But I think Jack Lim, whom is a famous DJ from Myfm portrayed the character so well and successfully indulge himself into that character until to the point, that I started to dislike Jack Lim just as I dislike the ‘Ah Beng’ character. I have watched some episodes from the series version of Ah Beng and I find it to be too brainless and absurd. Somehow, it still gets entertaining and hilarious at some moments.

Back to this movie, it’s about a man granted three wishes and is sent to many years later to get to know the fate of his wife and his only son, realizing that he needs to change his character for his family in future. Well, the story is not only about that. There must be involvement of those similar faces, particularly some of the DJs from Myfm involved in this movie. Well, these supporting characters did manage to pull the story up successfully, and if the movie is without them, the outcome would be much ‘quieter’, dull and boring.

Well, the movie delivered meaningful messages to the viewers from some emotional and heartfelt scenes; particularly from the part when the group participated in a competition to win the cash prize to help their friend in bone marrow surgery. The singing scene is a memorable one, and that certainly brought up my reputation towards the movie, away from those silliness aspects. Finally, there is something serious and emotional going on. The song sang by them especially by Ah Yoke herself is nice and lovely.

The plot is also quite engaging. Perhaps the climax would be the car chasing scene, but I think that part is a bit ridiculous and doesn’t fit really well into the whole flow of the story. The movie is on the right track on delivering moral values, and it emphasized on the essence of having dinner together as that is an important Chinese tradition especially the reunion dinner on the eve of Chinese New Year. Overall, it’s a good local production and there is not much silliness attached to Ah Beng that annoyed me sometimes. I can see the effort, but still the quality of getting funny is not there, but I think that is not the main selling point of the movie. But I still wish for something hilarious like those in Hong Kong Chinese New Year movies, but turned out none. Nevermind…I rate the film a total of 7.2, and it’s quite a good rating already.

 

World Premiere of Titanic 3D at Royal Albert Hall, London

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2012 by vincentloy

The epic motion picture, ‘Titanic’ would be back on the big screen in 3D once again next month, in line with the 100th anniversary of the sinking of R.M.S. Titanic as well as the 100th anniversary of Paramount Pictures. World premiere for the movie in 3D is held at Royal Albert Hall, London few hours ago and I did watched certain parts of it (I mean the red carpet show). Of course, I didn’t watch the full red carpet show because it would takes few hours and it’s already midnight over here in Malaysia.

Not all of the casts involved in the movie attended the show. Leonardo diCaprio, who played Jack in the movie did not attend, probably maybe he was up to something very important and busy at that moment. Luckily, the other main character, Rose played by Kate Winslet attended the premiere. She is still so beautiful and gorgeous after so many years. She still looks as young as she was in the movie 15 years ago. Others who were present for the premiere are Billy Zane (played Cal Hockley in the film, the fiance of Rose) , James Horner (music composer of the film), John Landau (the producer of the film), etc. Too bad, Leonardo diCaprio was not there…a bit of disappointment.

The director of the movie, James Cameron whom had just returned from the expedition to Mariana Trench, the world’s deepest spot, did attend the premiere too. His wife, Suzy Amis attended with him too. That’s definitely showing his overwhelming love and support to his movie in which he described as a ‘timeless classic’. Well, I believe after the screening of this movie again, this time in 3D beginning next month, the movie would grossed further, and there might be high possibility that it will becomes the world’s highest grossing film once again, toppling ‘Avatar’ which is also directed by James Cameron.

The scale of this world premiere is definitely not as massive as the world premiere of ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2’ which I have also watched last year. However, I can still feel the excitement of millions of people waiting to watch it in big screen again, or even for the first time, probably because they are too young when it is first released back in 1997. I am one of them, and I certainly wish to watch ‘Titanic’ in 3D on big screen next month, as that must be adding very much depth to the movie which would further enhance the cinematic experience.

Looking at just the new trailer of the movie in 3D itself is already very much captivating. It is obvious that there are quite a huge improvement over the visual of the movie especially at some very iconic scenes. It is said that they have worked for 60 weeks just to convert the original motion picture into 3D successfully with much works to do in within. So, this is no ordinary conversion; it’s a careful and detailed conversion. I would love to see the movie in cinema for the first time and to see the movie in 3D for the first time, despite having to have watched it numerous times before from television and laptop. Well, this 3D version has already received positive feedbacks at the moment.

(Last two pictures are from http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/03/27/titanic-in-3d-kate-winslet-james-cameron_n_1382807.html)

 

Today’s Google Doodle dedicated to Mies van der Rohe, the father of modern architecture

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2012 by vincentloy

This is interesting. After so many years of looking at different Google Doodle’s designs, there is finally a Google Doodle designed in relation to an architect, and the architect is Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The doodle is to commemorate the 126th birthday of Mies van der Rohe whom has passed away over 40 years ago, but has left his everlasting legacy in modern architecture.

Along with Walter Gropius, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer, Mies van der Rohe is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modern architecture. I remembered that I have studied on each of them from their famous works to their distinctive design styles that help to contribute to what architecture is now. I learnt about all that from culture class which is very beneficial to my knowledge in modern architecture.

Mies van der Rohe is one of those architects that I admire. I have even selected a project from him for my assignment in Architecture Techniques class which is very important and heavily-emphasized which taught us on presentation skills. I have chosen Barcelona Pavilion, which for me is indeed a very simple yet fascinating structure based on reflective properties of materials, independence of structure and fluid open plan concept.

Well, there are many other architectural masterpieces contributed from his hands. Some famous works are the Seagram Building, Tugendhat House, S.R. Crown Hall, and Farnsworth House which is the structure that is shown in today’s Google Doodle. Well, his works did receive some criticism too, but overall, his designs are well-accepted internationally.

He even pursued an ambitious lifelong mission to create a new architectural language that could be used to represent the new era of technology and production. Mies’ architecture was guided by principles at a high level of abstraction, and his own generalized descriptions of those principles intentionally leave much room for interpretation. Yet his buildings are executed as objects of beauty and craftsmanship, and seem very direct and simple when viewed in person.

Every aspect of his architecture, from overall concept to the smallest detail, supports his effort to express the modern age. The depth of meaning conveyed by his work, beyond its aesthetic qualities, has drawn many contemporary philosophers and theoretical thinkers to continue to further explore and speculate about his architecture. He strived towards an architecture with a minimal framework of structural order balanced against the implied freedom of free-flowing open space. He called his buildings “skin and bones” architecture. He sought a rational approach that would guide the creative process of architectural design. He is often associated with the aphorisms “less is more” and “God is in the details“. Well, I like his famous quote of ‘less is more‘, and many people now must have heard of it.