Archive for July, 2015

128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur; Beijing chosen to host 2022 Winter Olympics and Lausanne for 2020 Winter Youth Olympics.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2015 by vincentloy

The 128th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session is currently on-going at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 30th July to 3rd August 2015. Eventhough my country did not get to host any Olympic Games yet, but I’m already glad that we got to host an IOC Session this year, an important agenda in Olympic calendar. The IOC Session is where the meeting of all the members of the International Olympic Committee takes place, and is also the event when host cities for future games will be selected.

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia defeated Lima, Peru to be the host of the 128th IOC Session. It’s a great start to introduce the country to the Olympic body before seriously planning for bids in future games. Recently, Prince Imran, the chairman of the session’s organizing committee, chairman of Malaysia’s National Olympic Council and also the President of Commonwealth Games Federation, suggested a joint bid with Singapore to host the prestigious Summer Olympic Games in 2028 or 2032. Joint bid proposal is made possible after the Olympic Agenda 2020 recently introduced by the President of IOC, Thomas Bach. He also mentioned that the committee would be glad if the games can be held for the first time in South East Asian region.

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Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak whom also officiated the opening of the IOC Session yesterday agreed and strongly supports the joint bid proposal. On the other hand, Singapore finds the concept interesting and may give it a try together soon. So, let us wait and see. Since either of these two countries can’t host the games on their own, a joint-hosting job will be a great solution. I would love to bring Olympic Games to Malaysia (and Singapore together) in 2028 or 2032. Malaysia had previously hosted 1998 Commonwealth Games while Singapore had hosted 2010 Youth Olympic Games. When both join hands, it will be easily a successful bid. However, there would be many new details and conflicts on this proposed collaboration, and let’s hope it all works out.

Back to the on-going IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur. Today is the day when the voting is conducted to choose the host city for 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games and the bigger 2022 Winter Olympic Games. The results are as follow; Lausanne, Switzerland defeated Brasov, Romania to be the host city for 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games. This Winter Youth Olympic Games is very new in Olympic history as it had just started in 2012 with Innsbruck 2012, and then second edition coming soon in Lillehammer 2016. Beijing, China defeated Almaty, Kazakhstan to be the host city for 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Beijing will be the only city to host both Summer and Winter Olympic Games in history. Wonderful. Congratulations to both Lausanne and Beijing. We look forward to the games in your city in near future!

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

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Tom Cruise shines again in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2015 by vincentloy

For spy intelligence and action-centred films, I always enjoyed two film franchises which are based on that themes; James Bond and Mission Impossible. Both will have new films up this year, and the latter had it out first with ‘Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation’. It’s the fifth installment in its series which first started almost two decades ago that revolves on agent Ethan Hunt whom has to perform many daring actions to solve cases. The first three movies were way back many years ago, and as far as I can remember, those are great movies. The fourth one, ‘Ghost Protocol’ is for me, the best of the series so far.

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After watching this latest ‘Rogue Nation’ movie, I can say it’s second or third best of the franchise while ‘Ghost Protocol’ remains my most favourite. Second or third best doesn’t mean it is not good. It currently enjoyed very fairly positive ratings and I’m bound to rate the same. In this fifth movie, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) with his team has to eradicate the Syndicate, an international rogue organization formed to destroy their Impossible Mission Force (IMF) organization. The film starred Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, etc.

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I was quite excited in the beginning as the movie is already commenced with Tom Cruise hanging outside the flying plane. Wow…and I was further thrilled when an aerial view of my city, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) is shown in a shot (few seconds only) at the beginning of the movie where one of Ethan’s teammate has to fix a signal issue on top of KL Tower. I was hoping for more from the plane scene but it doesn’t contain any further stunts besides than just having Tom Cruise outside the plane (and he get into it and flies out with bombs). But I have to really commend Tom Cruise’s courage to film that scene in real, just with a safety belt that is erased in the final cut for the movie. Safe or not safe, I won’t do that, but Tom Cruise did it. He is really a good and a real action star in Hollywood. On the other hand, I was also hoping for more scenes in my country, but nope…KL only exists in the movie for a two-second quick unnoticeable shot. Hmm…a bit disappointed.

But that doesn’t really ruin my mood to look forward as the story progresses. However, I find it a bit hard to follow the details as the story development goes more and more deeper. It’s slightly complicated for me to digest. I’m actually not really happy with the plot element for the Syndicate. It does nothing besides than having few members (weak and easily defeated by Ethan), and only knows how to manipulate Ethan and the girl to do works for them. They have no big evil plans and the whole Syndicate thing is weak. I’ll just put that aside and focus on the actions.

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Fortunately, the movie still delivered on some fantastic stunts and action sequences. Tom Cruise nailed the challenges. Despite being in the age of 50s, he is still great in this role that requires the most energy and courage out of him. However, the actions here especially in the final part are not dramatic or intense enough to put me at the edge of my seat. ‘Ghost Protocol’ is still better in this. The other cast did very well, and I’m glad that Simon is given heavier role here. He is also the one delivering the humorous parts of the movie most of the time. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation’ a total of 7.4. Still interesting but not as exciting as its predecessor. On the other hand, I still have ‘Spectre’, the latest James Bond movie due to be out later this year.

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

‘Jurassic World’ past 1.5 billion mark, and its sequel is confirmed!

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2015 by vincentloy

I still couldn’t get rid of my current frustration and temper for the political tensions escalating right now in the country. If you missed out what I’m talking about now, just check out my previous blog post, written just two hours earlier. Now, let’s change the mood and talk a bit about movie. It’s not another movie review that may have quite dominate my blog in recent years. I would like to apologize if you are not that interested into my not-so-professional movie reviews all over my blog. I just found out that I love to write my opinions on movies of the year that I have watched in recent years. Not a serious movie critic, but just an interest in me that transformed into blog posts uncontrollably. Haha…sorry ya…

I believe most of you have watched ‘Jurassic World’ since its release over a month ago. If you haven’t, then you should go before it is going to be out from cinema soon. Everybody goes for the movie, and even my two very small nephews enjoyed it. It generally received positive reviews (from me too at this link: https://vincentloy.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/movie-review-jurassic-world-2015/) and is a smashing hit in worldwide box office. It successfully revoked the nostalgia in us, reminding us of the first Jurassic Park movie that we watched when we are still very young. The final fight scene in ‘Jurassic World’ is epic too…

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‘Jurassic World’ is not only one of the over twenty films managed to score over US$ 1 billion in grossing, but also capable of becoming one of only four movies in the world that accumulated over US$ 1.5 billion in history. That’s just another milestone broke by ‘Jurassic World’, the fourth film of the popular ‘Jurassic Park’ film franchise that has broken many earlier box office records like biggest opening of all-time, fastest to 500 million, fastest to 1 billion, and now fastest to 1.5 billion. I guess it couldn’t go past 2-billion mark. It’s just seems very hard. Anyway, it’s still already a massive success story for ‘Jurassic World’ in both box office and in critics’ opinions.

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With current box office figure stands at 1.542 billion, the movie now drives past ‘Furious 7’ (1.511 billion) to be the highest grossing film of the year. Up till today, it accumulated USD 624 million in domestic box office and an additional USD 918 million at international market. Terrific figures! ‘Jurassic World’ also triumphs over ‘The Avengers’ (1.519 billion) to become world’s third highest grossing film, only behind James Cameron’s untouchable ‘Avatar’ (2.78 billion) and ‘Titanic’ (2.18 billion). I guess the final box office intake of ‘Jurassic World’ would be well over 1.6 billion as it is still performing well in US and is not even opened yet in Japan.

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Another good news is that the sequel for this highly successful ‘Jurassic World’ is confirmed and will be out by June 22nd, 2018. Main cast, Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard will be returning. Awesome! Can’t wait for more actions from the dinosaurs (and that two main stars) on the big screen! Now I’m wondering what would be the story in this sequel is about? Remember that the villainous scientist, Dr. Wu managed to get off the troubled island with the dinosaur embryos in ‘Jurassic World’. How can the park’s authority able to restore public confidence on the island’s safety after the tragic event in ‘Jurassic World’? And how about those escaped flying dinosaurs? Wouldn’t they reached mainland already and create further chaos? And lastly, what would they name the sequel as? ‘Jurassic Park’, ‘Jurassic World’ and then? ‘Jurassic Universe’? Haha…Or simply just ‘Jurassic World 2’? Too many questions now…And I want to see more from mosasaur. Can’t wait for two more years!

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

Countless political scandals on-going. And things get worst today when a new Deputy Prime Minister is announced.

Posted in Explosive News and Results on July 28, 2015 by vincentloy

Hmm…it’s all bad news in newspapers! I’m tired of countless pile of shit from the on-going investigation into the 1MDB issue, and several others pertaining our Prime Minister (and his wife…she can never hides), and also the terrifying drop in our currency value. I believe most of the people (including me) do not really know the real facts or have clear knowledge of the scandal 1MDB is facing currently, hence we shouldn’t judge the matter straight away. However, what’s the point of investigating the company when the parties investigating it are believed to be also on the company’s side? Dumb. And till now, there isn’t any outcome yet. The investigation is so slow, ineffective and pointless. There must be something not right to it with billions of ringgit missing as reported.

Then, let’s not forget all the negative issues surrounding our leader. Wouldn’t want to elaborate further on that one as everyone had their eyes to see what’s happening. Malaysians are not stupid. And now, news companies which report facts on 1MDB and are not in alliance with government are even banned (Sarawak Report and now The Edge). Where the hell is our media freedom, and also our freedom of speech? Furthermore, unstable government leads to unstable economy. It has some sort of effect on each other. In the end, we are all suffering. Currently, our ringgit value is at the 17-year low to US dollar. Now, USD 1 equals to RM 3.81. Crazy. Our money has no value now. All these crisis contributed to the worst for the country and its people (us). Damn.

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And recently, our Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin stood up criticizing 1MDB openly. That’s a good action, but definitely not well received by Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib. Hence, we had a shocking news of a cabinet reshuffle today and our Home Minister, Datuk Zahid Hamidi is appointed to replace Muhyiddin as the new Deputy Prime Minister. Oh My God…things are getting from bad to worst! What a crap! Zahid is previously known to be very racist. Doomsday for this multi-cultural nation….haiz…It is so obvious now that whoever is going against Najib’s administration, you will certainly end up in some place bad no matter how high your position is (former PM, deputy PM, PM’s brother, etc). What kind of government is this? It’s too oppressed! You just make more people to hate you further…

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Stupid moves…stupid moves. My father told me that this is like the same scenario back in 1998 when the Prime Minister at that time, Tun Dr. Mahathir dismissed his deputy, Anwar Ibrahim as the latter was always against his government policies. Looking from a playful side, I believe there must be more and more political dramas coming up…and our newspapers are going to be packed with all that! So, we have sit back and enjoy (actually not enjoy, it’s suffer) the drama. It’s a mess in the country now and on the other hand, it’s a huge embarrassment in the eyes of foreign nations. What kind of democratic government is this if it cannot even accept and learn from criticisms?

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

12 Coolest Office Spaces In The World.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2015 by vincentloy

Have you ever feel bored and moody while working and your surrounding office environment makes it even worse for your day? Have you ever wish to complain of your poor and dull working environment to your employer but afraid of doing so? Here is a list of 12 coolest and most well-designed office spaces in the world that will make you jealous. This list is compiled from ‘Architecture and Design’ website by MMK on July 18th, 2014; most of the article is shared here in my blog from the original source at this link: http://www.architecturendesign.net/12-of-the-coolest-offices-in-the-world/.

Some offices can be boring and stifling, but definitely not these (below). Not all work spaces were created equal – some can reduce workers’ morale while others can keep them happy and inspire them to be more energetic and creative. For companies like Google, which require smart, creative and in-demand workers, such offices offer a competitive edge when trying to attract young and intelligent employees.

There are many different ways to make an office cater to its workers. Some of these offices feature athletic equipment that helps workers reduce stress or get their blood flowing (which is always important if you sit behind a desk all day). Others feature lounges where workers can relax and feel at home. At some, the offices are designed to encourage workers to think more creatively or playfully. Some of the ideas used in these offices overlap with some amazing home design ideas, while others are specific to a work environment. This makes sense, however, since offices can sometimes seem like a second home!

1 | Selgas Cano Architecture Office

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2 | Google

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3 | Inventionland Design Factory

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4 | Pallotta Teamworks

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5 | Dropbox

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6 | Airbnb

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7 | Facebook

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8 | Nokia

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9 | Urban Outfitters

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10 | Lego

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11 | Zynga

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12 | White Mountain Office

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How I wish I can get to work in any of these offices…I’m sure you have the same thought too or perhaps your office is also as cool as those shown above. If that is so, then you are a very fortunate and enjoying employee. Who doesn’t like at least a bit of ‘FUN’ in the office?

(Information and images in this post are from this source: http://www.architecturendesign.net/12-of-the-coolest-offices-in-the-world/)

Raya holiday is over! And a movie review for Ant-Man (2015).

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2015 by vincentloy

Ahhaa…time flies. Raya holiday is over. Despite not going out for a vacation as we usually have during Raya holiday, we still have plenty of activities to go through for the days. I went to Raya open house by Prime Minister at Putrajaya (my earlier post already described about it), tried on a newly opened and very cheap Japanese restaurant in my neighbourhood (the sushi were good), played and won quite a lot in rummy game with family, ate my favourite fruit; durians which are only available during its season, went to Malacca for a quick food trip with my sister, and watched two movies. I have written a review for ‘Harbinger Down’ film earlier, and now it’s time for ‘Ant-Man’ by Marvel.

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‘Ant-Man’ is the latest film by Marvel after ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ this year, and it introduces a new superhero to the spotlight from the already huge ensemble of superheroes in Marvel Cinematic Universe. ‘Ant-Man’ up to the big screen! In Marvel story, once a person wear the Ant-Man suit, he can shrink to size of an ant and revert back to original human size, can have telepathic communications with insects and be the leader of the insects’ army, and is very quick in combat when he is in ant-size. In the movie, Scott Lang whom is previously a burglar have to redeem himself for his daughter by taking up the job by Dr. Hank Pym as an Ant-Man to save the world by preventing the Ant-Man technology from landing into the hands of bad people.

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The movie performs well and distinguishes itself from the many other Marvel films already released earlier mainly because of the ‘getting small’ part. That’s the main element of the story not present in other superhero films thanks to the ability of the titular character to shrink in size. Superheroes are mostly big, but now we see a superhero as small as an ant and he is great in it! The plot is quite typical and predictable whereby we have a villain (that’s a must) with his own shrinking-in-size suit creation named Yellowjacket, then a doctor that realizes a big problem and find a guy who wants to give a good image to his daughter to be the hero and save the day. Not that complicated and I like how the story in this movie links back to many Marvel subjects (like Hydra, Avengers, SHIELD, etc). The connections are plenty and are awesome.

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When we see a superhero film, we will certainly concentrate on its actions! Yup..Ant-Man delivered on that. It’s a fresh thing to see superhero battling it out in a small scale while people hardly notice it. The ‘strangeness’ and the ‘smallness’ from that situation are advantages for the film. Eventhough some action sequences are too quick and messy (many things going at once that can get me dizzy sometimes), but overall I enjoy them. Paul Rudd is wonderful in portraying the Ant-Man, while the other cast also did considerably good works in their respective roles. There are also bits of humour throughout the movie for a good entertainment. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Ant-Man’ a total of 7.7.

Not bad. I didn’t have any high expectation before watching this movie and now I’m quite impressed. Well done, Marvel. You produced another brilliant work from a new superhero despite not receiving very good box office return this time. Anyway, Ant-Man would still now join the Avengers in future movies. And if you haven’t watch it, please stay until the very end of the credits of the movie for one mid-credit and one post-credit scene.

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

First time to Hari Raya 2015 Prime Minister’s Open House at Putrajaya.

Posted in Interesting Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2015 by vincentloy

As already explained in my previous post, we are very free and boring on this Raya holiday. We basically have nothing to do. My dad asked me if I would like to go anywhere. The first thing that came to my mind is ‘why not we go to Open House at Prime Minister’s residence in Putrajaya?’. It’s a great idea and everyone agreed. We have been to Raya open house before but never to the national-level ones. Since I roughly know the location and I’m quite familiar with Putrajaya, hence I’m the one driving. Once we reached there at about 11am+, the Seri Perdana Complex (official residence of Prime Minister) was already crowded with many people from all walks of life. Good to see that. It’s the One Malaysia spirit that I’m very happy of. No matter what races you are, you are welcomed…a very positive message behind the open house concept.

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We had to queue and waited for about half an hour before we get to enter the lobby of the huge mansion. The tents and few fans couldn’t save us from being ‘melted’ by the glaring Sun and ‘squeezed’ by hundreds of people at once. While we are queuing, there is one Chinese (not sure whether he is Malaysian or Singaporean) clad in ‘baju kurung’ and commented to his friend that this is not a queue. There are so many lines and people just push and try to squeeze through unlike in Singapore where there would be lines in order and also special access for the disabled and elderly in the event of an open house like this. Then, his friend replied that ‘This is Malaysian culture ma….!’. Haha…agree with that statement.

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Unfortunately, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife, Datin Sri Rosmah Mansor were not there when we were finally in the air-conditioned lobby. Where are they? I’m hoping that I could shake his wife’s hand so that maybe one of her rings drop off and I can get it unnoticed. Haha…joking…joking. Anyway, I still managed to shake hands with Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Minister of Defense, Datuk Seri Hishamuddin. There also some other ministers in the lobby at that time but I don’t really know who they are and I don’t even care of their presence. We were not given much time in there as there are many people behind us. After that, we were handed a box of biscuits and a small glass container as souvenir respectively.

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Time to head for free lunch served nearby. A huge tent sheltering a stage, rows of served food and beverages, and chairs with many smaller tents around to occupy as many people as possible. There are a variety of Malay, Chinese and Indian food served (nasi briyani, chickens, lambs, curry puff, cakes, fruits, fried noodle, roti canai, satay, putu ayam, ketupat rice cake, ice-cream), but I have no mood to eat a lot because it’s too hot and crowded in there. It’s even so hard to find a chair to sit. We saw some people came here prepared with plastic or paper bags to take away the served food. Isshh…Bad actions…Some Malaysians would turn uncivilized once there are free stuff. And rubbish are everywhere. Haizz…

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That’s the last picture of the day. Scenic view of the lake, Putra Mosque and Prime Minister’s Office Building. We left after spending about two hours in the complex. That is our first experience visiting the Hari Raya Open House by the Prime Minister at his official residence in Putrajaya. Too bad, couldn’t see him.

(Copyrights reserved to all the images in this post)