Archive for flashback

Highlights of 2016

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

Year 2016 is coming to an end and it’s the time again every year to compile a list of major happenings which occurred this year. The following are the top 10 highlights that best define 2016 and will give you a much needed wonderful flashback of 2016 that is concluding soon.

Pokemon Go

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Most of us must have downloaded this mobile app game ever since its release in July (or months later in some countries). It’s a location-based augmented reality game which players can locate, capture, battle and train Pokemon creatures who appear on screen as if they were in the same real-world location as the players. It turned into a global phenomenon as the game has been downloaded over 500 million times and becomes one of the most used mobile apps in 2016.

US Election

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The Presidential Election for the United States of America took place in November 8. It observed the neck-to-neck battle between Republican candidate, Donald Trump and Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton with Trump emerging as the surprising winner as earlier polls all indicated that Clinton will win this race to get into the White House. The election became the most talked about topic in Facebook and has affected the global markets.

Brexit

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A referendum was held in June to decide whether United Kingdom should leave the European Union. The outcome is ‘Yes’ with 52% votes supporting for the UK exit. This has led to worldwide markets going down as well as the resignation of UK Prime Minister, David Cameron who strongly supported for UK to remain in EU. Theresa May is then elected as the new Prime Minister.

Rio Olympics

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Rio 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games were held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Olympics in August and Paralympics in September) despite all the issues the country currently facing such as Zika virus outbreak, high crime rate, political scandals, etc. Brazil successfully organized the world’s largest international multi-sport event in a very modest budget.

Zika Virus

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Widespread epidemic of Zika fever, caused by Zika virus, has started in 2015. In January 2016, World Health Organization (WHO) officially announces an outbreak of the virus worldwide. It began in early 2015 in Brazil before it spread to North and South America, Southeast Asia and islands in the Pacific. It is particularly of bigger concern to pregnant women as the virus may cause birth defects. In November, WHO announced the end of this epidemic.

PPAP

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A short video clip of a man dressed in yellow animal print costume, dancing and singing to a very weird music is shockingly making a wave worldwide, particularly in Asia. The original video in YouTube by Piko-Taro has garnered 100 million views, and that is not counting the number of parodies and covers that have been made ever since. Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen….

Mannequin Challenge

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This one is more of a hit in the West than in Asia. It’s a viral Internet video trend where people remain frozen in action like mannequins while a moving camera films them, usually with the song ‘Black Beatles’ by Rae Sremmurd playing in the background. Some of the notable celebrities who have participated in this challenge are Beyonce, Adele, Britney Spears, Ellen deGeneres, Taylor Swift, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, etc.

IS Attacks

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It’s sad to know that Islamic State (a terrorist group) is still carrying out deadly attacks across the world this year. They have been here for many years and the growth of this extremist and violent group is a huge concern worldwide. It has painted a very negative image to the religion of Islam. Some of their attacks this year include 3 coordinated bombings in Brussels, Belgium that killed at least 32 people, a suicide blast in Lahore that killed 75 people and an attack in Istanbul International Airport that killed 45 people.

Flight Tragedies

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This year is also another unfortunate year for aviation. FlyDubai Flight 981 crashes on March 19 while landing at Russia due to poor weather, killing all 62 people on board. EgyptAir Flight 804 crashes on May 19 with 66 on board over the Mediterranean en route from Paris to Cairo. On November 28, LaMia Airlines Flight 2933 crashes at Cerro Gordo en route to Medellin, Colombia. It was carrying the Brazilian football team Chapecoense. Only 6 survive among 77 passengers and crews. On December 8, Pakistan International Airlines Flight 661 crashes at Havelian while en route from Chitral to Islamabad, killing all 42 people on board.

Deaths of Famous Stars

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It’s sad to know that these legendary stars or influential figures have passed away this year. They are David Bowie (a singer, songwriter and actor) who passed away due to liver cancer at age 69 on January 10, Alan Rickman (famous for portraying as Professor Severus Snape in Harry Potter film franchise) who died of pancreatic cancer at age 69 on January 14, Zaha Hadid (most famous woman architect) died due to heart attack on March 31 at age 65, Prince (musician famous for his song ‘Purple’) died due to medication overdose on April 21 at age 57, Muhammad Ali (a boxer and activist who became one of the most celebrated sportsperson in 20th century) passed away due to septic shock on June 3 at age 74, Anton Yelchin (a young Hollywood actor famous for his role in recent Star Trek film franchise) died due to freak accident on June 19 at age 27 and Bhumibol Adulyadej (King of Thailand and was the world’s longest reigning monarch) passed away due to long illness from his old age on October 13 at age 88.

Hopefully it will be a much better year next year with more joyful news or events in 2017.

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

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My architectural highlight of 2016

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2016 by vincentloy

Year 2016 is coming to an end. It is the year when I stopped working (have worked for almost 4 years) and started my postgraduate study on architecture in Curtin University, Perth, Australia. If everything went well, I will be graduating with a Master of Architecture end of next year.

During these first two semesters of my study this year, I have undertaken two studio projects. The first one is to design a masterplan to rejuvenate the site of the present Perth International Convention Centre and its surrounding (for my Urban Design Studio in first semester). My concept is to create a Waterfront City, maximizing the potential of the river that has a lot to offer and enhancing various linkages to the CBD at north, Elizabeth Quay at east, King’s Park at west and Swan River at south. 3 images to best describe my project below:

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(Copyrights reserved to the images above. Please do not use the above images without my permission)

The next one is to design an indoor archery centre in Whiteman Park (for my Integrated Design Studio in second semester). The challenge of this project is that the building has to be low-cost, quick and easy to be built and maintained, phased, flexible to cater to other functions, and responds well to the present site and the archery sport itself. My idea is to create an archery ‘poly-house’, a warehouse-like structure enveloped with random polycarbonate cladding for passive design strategies and aesthetic purpose. 3 images to best describe my project below:

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(Copyrights reserved to the images above. Please do not use the above images without my permission)

Now, I’m looking forward to one more project (Complex Design Studio) next year before my Thesis project in my final semester. I’m hoping for an interesting design brief for my Complex Studio next year.

The three architectural websites that I have visited the most in 2016 remain the same as in the previous years:

www.archdaily.com

(The best website out there to check on countless amazing architectural projects every year with well-written articles and images. What’s great is that the website has new articles daily)

www.skyscrapercenter.com

(My favourite category in architecture – skyscraper. This is the database by Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat on all skyscrapers around the world that is constantly updated)

www.skyscrapercity.com

(Another site on skyscraper. This one is forum-based and is the best platform for me to view on latest images or updates of completed, proposed and under-construction skyscraper projects)

The three most striking architectural projects built in 2016 that captured my most attention are: (The three images below are from Archdaily)

World Trade Center Transportation Hub by Santiago Calatrava

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Antwerp Port House by Zaha Hadid Architects

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VIA 57 West by BIG

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The three most talked about events or happenings of the year that are related to architecture are:

15th Venice Architecture Biennale this year from 28 may to 27 November and is directed by Pritzker Prize winning architect, Alejandro Aravena.

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(Image above from DesignBoom)

The Floating Piers project by Christo and Jeanne-Claude at Lake Iseo, Italy that made its round in social networking sites mid of the year when it is opened to the publicfrom June 18 to July 3. The project is now dismantled.

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(Image above from Blog.Daum)

And the heartbreaking news of the death of Zaha Hadid, one of world’s most famous architects and is arguably the most celebrated woman architect of the generation. She died on March 31, 2016 at age of 65 due to heart attack.

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(Image above from Architect Magazine)

That’s it for my architectural highlight of the year 2016.

List of 2016 films that I have watched, top 10 highest grossing films of the year and my selection of the best.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 20, 2016 by vincentloy

It’s the time of the year again for me as someone who loves to watch movies to compile a list of films released this year (2016) that I have watched. I didn’t produce many movie reviews this year as I find it unnecessary to flood my blog page with excessive posts on movie reviews. I also think that my reviews are not at the professional level and at the same time, I felt lazy to write too much of them. Anyway, I will still give my rating to each films released this year that I have watched below. This post is like a recap to 2016 films.

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Hollywood films:

(The asterisks after the movie’s title indicate the number of stars I awarded for that particular movie with 5 as the maximum. The top 10 movies of the year are highlighted in bold)

  1. Home Invasion. **
  2. Uncaged. *
  3. Cabin Fever. **
  4. Deadpool. ****
  5. Kung Fu Panda 3. ***
  6. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny. **
  7. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. **
  8. London Has Fallen. ***
  9. The Fifth Wave. ***
  10. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. ***
  11. The Divergent Series: Allegiant. ***
  12. The Finest Hours. ***
  13. Pandemic. **
  14. The Jungle Book. ***
  15. The Huntsman: Winter’s War. ***
  16. The Boss. **
  17. Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre. *
  18. High Rise. **
  19. Captain America: Civil War. ****
  20. Louder Than Bombs. **
  21. 10 Cloverfield Lane. ****
  22. Bite. ***
  23. Gods of Egypt. ***
  24. X-Men: Apocalypse. ****
  25. Now You See Me 2. ***
  26. Zootopia. ****
  27. The Conjuring 2. ****
  28. Alice Through The Looking Glass. ***
  29. The Brothers Grimsby. ***
  30. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows. ***
  31. Warcraft. ***
  32. Finding Dory. ****
  33. The Angry Birds Movie. ***
  34. Independence Day: Resurgence. ***
  35. Central Intelligence. ****
  36. The Shallows. ****
  37. Me Before You. ****
  38. The Legend Of Tarzan. ***
  39. The BFG. ****
  40. Clown Town. *
  41. Green Room. ***
  42. Ghostbusters. ****
  43. Star Trek: Beyond. ****
  44. The Purge: Election Year. ***
  45. Viral. ***
  46. Suicide Squad. ***
  47. The Secret Life of Pets. ***
  48. Summer Camp. ****
  49. Don’t Breathe. *****
  50. Skiptrace. ****
  51. Ice Age: Collision Course. ***
  52. Café Society. **
  53. Goat. *
  54. Blair Witch. ****
  55. Lights Out. ****
  56. Mechanic: Resurrection. ****
  57. Jason Bourne. ***
  58. Deepwater Horizon. ****
  59. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. ***
  60. Sausage Party. ***
  61. Doctor Strange. ****
  62. Ouija: Origin of Evil. ***
  63. Pete’s Dragon. ***
  64. The Neighbor. ****
  65. Ben-Hur. ****
  66. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. ****
  67. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. ****
  68. Snowden. **
  69. The Magnificent Seven. ****
  70. Sully. ****
  71. The Thinning. ****
  72. Spectral. ****
  73. Sugar Mountain. *
  74. Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies. **
  75. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. ***
  76. Kubo and the Two Strings. ****
  77. Max Steel. ***
  78. The Great Wall. ****
  79. Passengers. *****
  80. Swiss Army Man. ****
  81. Moana. ****
  82. Arrival. ****
  83. Florence Foster Jenkins. ****
  84. La La Land. *****
  85. Patriots Day. *****
  86. Hacksaw Ridge. ****
  87. A Monster Calls. ****
  88. Manchester by the Sea. ***
  89. Jackie. ***
  90. Lion. ****
  91. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. ***
  92. Allied. ***
  93. Underworld: Blood Wars. ***
  94. Stray Bullets. *
  95. Shut In. ****
  96. Hidden Figures. ****
  97. Hell or High Water. ***
  98. The Founder. ***
  99. Recovery. ***
  100. Moth. *
  101. Monster Trucks. ***
  102. The Horde. **
  103. Ballerina. ****
  104. Ozark Sharks. *
  105. 31. *
  106. It Stains The Sands Red. **
  107. Killing Ground. ***

Chinese (mainland China and Hong Kong) films:

(The asterisks after the movie’s title indicate the number of stars I awarded for that particular movie with 5 as the maximum. The top 3 movies of the year are highlighted in bold)

  1. The Mermaid. ****
  2. The Gigolo 2. **
  3. The Monkey King 2. ***
  4. From Vegas to Macau 3. **
  5. My Wife is a Superstar. ***
  6. Buddy Cops. ***
  7. House of Wolves. ***
  8. Kidnap Ding Ding Don. **
  9. Line Walker–The Movie. ****
  10. Let’s Eat. ***

South Korean film:

(The asterisks after the movie’s title indicate the number of stars I awarded for that particular movie with 5 as the maximum.)

  1. Train to Busan. *****

Japanese film:

(The asterisks after the movie’s title indicate the number of stars I awarded for that particular movie with 5 as the maximum.)

  1. Shin Godzilla. ***

So far, as of October 2017, I have watched a total of 119 films that are released in 2016. Yes, besides reaching the 100-mark milestone, a record that is also accomplished for 2015 films, I have also passed the 110-mark. Hollywood films account for more than 100 alone. That’s a huge accomplishment!

Here below is the top 10 highest grossing films of 2016.

  1. Captain America: Civil War – US$ 1.153 billion.
  2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – US$ 1.056 billion.
  3. Finding Dory – US$ 1.028 billion.
  4. Zootopia – US$ 1.023 billion.
  5. The Jungle Book – US$ 966 million.
  6. The Secret Life of Pets – US$ 875 million.
  7. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – US$ 873 million.
  8. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – US$ 814 million.
  9. Deadpool – US$ 783 million.
  10. Suicide Squad – US$ 745 million.

Four films have crossed the US$ 1 billion milestone this year, with two of them being the animated movies. All the top 10 highest grossing films of the year have gained over US$ 700 million respectively.

Now is the last segment where I will pick the best out of all the movies this year that I have watched. Kindly be noted that only films that I have watched will be in this selection lists and I may have left out many other movies that are praise-worthy too:

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My Selection of the Best for 2016 Hollywood Films 

Best Motion Picture: La La Land

Best Director: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Best Leading Actor: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

Best Leading Actress: Natalie Portman (Jackie)

Best Supporting Actor: Simon Helberg (Florence Foster Jenkins)

Best Supporting Actress: Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)

Best New Performer: Lewis MacDougall (A Monster Calls)

Best Cast Ensemble: Hidden Figures

Best Original Screenplay: La La Land

Best Adapted Screenplay: Arrival

Best Film Editing: La La Land

Best Cinematography: Arrival

Best Production Design: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Best Art Direction: La La Land

Best Visual Effects: Doctor Strange

Best Sound Editing: Hacksaw Ridge

Best Original Score: La La Land

Best Original Song: ‘Another Day of Sun’ – La La Land

Best Action Choreography: Deadpool

Best Costume Design: Jackie

Best Make-Up and Hair-Styling Design: Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Animated Film: Kubo and the Two Strings 

Best Horror or Thriller Film: Don’t Breathe

Best Science-Fiction or Fantasy Film: Passengers

Best Youth or Superhero Film: X-Men: Apocalypse

Best Bizarre or Comedy Film: Swiss Army Man

My Selection of the Best for 2016 Chinese Films:

Best Motion Picture: Line Walker-The Movie

Best Director: Stephen Chow (The Mermaid)

Best Leading Actor: Nick Cheung (Line Walker-The Movie)

Best Leading Actress: Charmaine Sheh (Line Walker-The Movie)

Best Supporting Actor: Show Luo (The Mermaid)

Best Supporting Actress: Zhang Yuqi (The Mermaid)

Best Action Choreography: Line Walker-The Movie

Best Visual Effects: The Mermaid

Best Sound Effects: Line Walker-The Movie

Best Production, Costume, Make-Up and Hair-Styling Design: The Mermaid

Recap of 2015: Major world news or events in this year.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2015 by vincentloy

When it’s almost the end of December, it’s as usual the time for me to write a post about the major events or news we all heard of for this year that is going to an end very soon. This is like a recap or flashback to major happenings in 2015 and it’s something that almost all newspapers would do too on the last day of the year. I prefer to do this a bit earlier instead, so that I felt I’m the first one to cover this hot annual topic every year. Okay…here it comes for the 16 major events that were important to be a part of the history for year 2015:

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January 3 – 7, 2015

A series of massacres in Baga, Nigeria and surrounding villages by jihadist group, Boko Haram killed more than 2,000 people. Local media reported that only about 150 people were killed in this mass killing, in a huge contrast to the figures reported by Western media. Boko Haram later became allies with IS militants beginning March 2015.

March 24, 2015

An Airbus A320-211 operated by Germanwings crashes in the French Alps, killing all 150 on board. The crash of the flight named Germanwings flight 9525 which was a scheduled flight from Spain to Germany was deliberately caused by the co-pilot who intended to commit suicide.

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April 2, 2015

148 people were killed, the majority of them students, in a mass shooting at the Garissa University College in Kenya, perpetrated by another militant terrorist organization named Al-Shabaab which has link to Al-Qaeda. The gunmen took over 700 students hostage, freeing Muslims and killing those who identified as Christians. The siege ended the same day, when all four of the attackers were killed.

April 25, 2015

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake strikes Nepal and causes over 9000 deaths in Nepal (most affected with over 8800 deaths), India, China and Bangladesh. It was the worst natural disaster to hit Nepal since 1934. The earthquake also triggered a massive avalanche on Mount Everest that killed 19 people. Hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless with many villages flattened while multiple centuries-old buildings were destroyed at UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu Valley. Few weeks later on May 12, another massive earthquake at 7.3 magnitude struck Nepal again and killed additional 218 people.

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May 1, 2015 – October 1, 2015

Expo 2015 was held successfully in Milan, Italy for a period of 6 months. It is an universal exposition held once in every five years at different major cities across the world. The theme of the expo is ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’ with food being the principal focus. The expo which had participation of about 145 countries, 17 organizations and 21 business partners attracted over 22 million visitors.

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June 25 – 26, 2015

IS militants claimed responsibility for four attacks around the world during Ramadan period including the Kobani massacre at Syria, Sousse attacks at a tourist resort in Tunisia and a mosque bombing in Kuwait. These various attacks resulted in approximate nearly 300 deaths.

June 30, 2015

A Lockheed C-130 Hercules plane operated by the Indonesian Air Force crashed into a crowded residential neighborhood in Medan shortly after take-off from Soewondo Air Force Base, killing 143 people including 22 others on the ground, marking the second-deadliest air disaster to ever occur in Medan and the deadliest crash in Indonesian Air Force peacetime history.

July 14, 2015

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft performed a close flyby of Pluto, becoming the first spacecraft in history to visit the distant world. It is also the first time the world is offered a clearer view of this small planet, Pluto.

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September 11, 2015

A crawler crane toppled over onto the Masjid al-Haram, the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The tragedy killed 111 people and injured nearly 400 people. That was the time when the mosque was preparing for the Hajj pilgrimage. It is the deadliest crane collapse in modern history.

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September 24, 2015

A stampede occurred during the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and the tragedy killed at least 2,200 people and injured more than 900 others, while more than 650 were reported missing. It is the deadliest Hajj disaster in the history. The annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca turned awful this year with this crowd collapse tragedy.

September 28, 2015

NASA announces that liquid water has been found on Mars, one of the biggest discoveries and revelations regarding this planet.

October 10, 2015

A suicide bomb killed at least 100 people at a peace rally in Ankara, Turkey, and injured more than 400 others. The attack was the deadliest of its kind in Turkey’s modern history and was suspected to be linked to the IS militants.

October 23, 2015

Famous English singer, Adele released ‘Hello’, the lead single for her latest studio album ’25’. The song received critical acclaim with praise to the song’s lyrics and Adele’s vocals. The song broke multiple records and attained international commercial success while its Vevo video on Youtube has been viewed over 600 million times. The song had also been extensively covered, and even made into parodies, becoming a global hit in a lightning speed. It ultimately becomes the most famous song released this year.

October 26, 2015

A major earthquake of magnitude 7.5 hit Hindu Kush region and caused nearly 400 deaths in Pakistan (affected the most with nearly 280 deaths), Afghanistan and India.

October 31, 2015

Flight KGL9268, an Airbus A321 airliner en route to Russia from Egypt, crashes near Al-Hasana in Sinai, killing all 217 passengers and 7 crew members on board. Shortly after the incident, IS militants claimed responsibility to the attack while early investigations revealed that bomb by terrorist is highly likely to be the culprit behind this crash.

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November 13, 2015

Multiple attacks claimed by IS militants in Paris, France that killed about 132 people. This coordinated terrorist attacks were done in various locations across the city including nearby a stadium, a cafe, a restaurant and inside a music venue. The attacks were the deadliest on France since World War II. Besides that, the country had already been on high alert since the January 2015 attacks in Paris that killed 17 people, including civilians and police officers.

It’s sad to see another year filled with many tragedies from the unavoidable natural disasters to the ones caused by the people themselves which should be highly condemned. I also felt annoyed with the increasing number of attacks done by the extremist terrorist groups across the world in recent years. Whether you like it or not, it is a fact that these violent groups were mostly linked to Islam. Islam is a good religion but these groups have brought the name of the religion down. I’m not against any religion but these groups (IS, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, etc) should be eliminated fully as soon as possible to prevent them from bring chaos and terror again to this world. On the other hand, we also witnessed quite a number of plane crashes again in this year. Very heartbreaking to see all these news. Let’s hope that 2016 would be a much better year with more positive events.

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

A look back into events that defined year 2014.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2014 by vincentloy

It’s unbelievably quick that another year is coming to an end. There were some good moments in the year that we were happy for but in 2014, it seems that there were more bad news that left us saddened and wondered why did that happened. While it appears that there is lesser natural disasters in 2014 (we are thankful for that) but on the other hand, more traumatizing man-made tragedies were witnessed this year. This made me realized that there is a balance in everything. We’ll see the good and the bad inevitably.

2014

In just few days before 2014 concludes, it’s a good idea to recap on major events that defined this particular year;

Ebola

The re-emergence of the deadly virus Ebola was the biggest health talking point in 2014. The virus developed in several countries in West Africa and has since spread to other African countries, Spain and the United States. The virus is known for its particularly high mortality rate – approximately 71% of infected patients die from the virus – and for its eye-watering effects, which include internal and external bleeding as well as heavy vomiting. There are currently over 18 000 cases and about 7 000 deaths (true figures may be three times higher) reported from this virus outbreak that captured the world’s attention from the seriousness of this disease.

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ISIS

2014 saw the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, an extremist group otherwise known as ISIS, who moved across Iraq and other areas with the objective of capturing Baghdad, the capital city, and transferring control to their group. The group has received widespread condemnation for its appalling human rights record, and in particular for the savage beheadings of their enemies, including two American journalists, one American, and two aid workers from Britain.

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Israel – Gaza Conflict

While I’m not that clear or knows in detail on the history of the conflict between Israel and Palestine, what really saddened me is their conflict that escalated into war at Gaza Strip. Tension that first started from land border and humanitarian crisis between the two regions reached its peak this year in early July when three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas members and then seven Hamas members killed from Israeli airstrikes in tunnel explosion. Thereafter, seven weeks of Israeli bombardment, Palestinian rocket attacks, and ground fighting resulted in deaths of over 2200 people. It was only until end of August when an open-ended ceasefire was announced.

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Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and Flight 17, and other aircraft disasters in the year.

This is the first time my country made it to the worldwide headlines and sympathy for at least two times this year, but for something very tragic. A mystery captured the imagination and broke the hearts of the world in March when Malaysia airlines flight 370, which on March 8th was supposed to travel from Malaysia to Beijing, suddenly disappeared, seemingly leaving not a trace of the fate of the plane. Though a full-scale search and rescue was conducted, the plane’s whereabouts or the bodies of those on board have yet to be determined eventhough it is reported earlier that the plane is presumed to have crashed into the Indian Ocean.

The aviation industry suffered again in July, when Malaysia Flight 17 crashed in Ukraine, killing 298 people on board, including 15 crew members after it is believed to have been shot down by missile. An international investigation is currently on its way to find out the truth and the event has caused widespread economic sanctions by Europe and United States on Russia, the country supporting the separatist group in Ukraine which is believed to be responsible for the downing of the plane but has not been verified yet.

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Also not to forget two other unrelated aviation disasters that happened in July this year. TransAsia Airways Flight 222 from Kaohsiung to Magong crashed and killed 48 people in Taiwan and Air Algerie Flight 5017 that killed 116 people on board the plane en-route from Burkina Faso to Algeria but went down in Mali. On 28th December (just yesterday), another plane, AirAsia Indonesia Flight QZ8501 carrying 162 people was reported missing on its route from Surabaya to Singapore. It’s seriously a bad year for aviation.

Korean Ferry Sank

In April 16th, 2014, a South Korean ferry MV Sewol en-route from Incheon to Jeju Island capsizes and sinks after an unmanageable cargo shift, killing more than 290 people (mostly high school students on board) and also 2 rescue divers. The ferry carrying 476 people is believed to have made unreasonably sudden turn to starboard that resulted in the ship tilting, hence the disaster. According to the Coast Guard, the sudden turn caused the cargo to shift to the left, causing the ship to experience an incline and to eventually become unmanageable for the crew. Overloading of cargo is also seen as a contributing secondary factor to the sinking of the ship.

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2014 in Sports

2014 must have been a tiring year for athletes, sportsmen and sportswomen across the world as it is the year filled with many international sporting events. Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup, Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and Incheon 2014 Asian Games all took place this year. The most memorable sport moment of the year would be the semi-final match between Germany and host nation, Brazil in FIFA World Cup 2014 when Germany won by a huge 7-1 margin in goals that left Brazil in huge distraught. It is even called as the most humiliating defeat in World Cup history. Germany eventually went on to win the Cup for their fourth time after defeating Argentina in the final.

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My country, Malaysia had shown poorer performances particularly in Commonwealth and Asian Games this year. The country did not achieve the already-lowered gold medal target set in both of the games, and is also involved in doping cases (one for our wushu athlete in Asian Games that resulted on us surrendering our gold medal back to the games, and another one for our world number one men single player in badminton, Lee Chong Wei whom had been tested positive in drug in BWF World Championship held in Denmark this year). We also failed to win the Thomas Cup this year given the bright opportunity when China is kicked out, but lost out to the surprisingly great Japan team in the final, and it’s their first ever win of the Cup.

Rosetta Spacecraft

On November 12th, Rosetta, a spacecraft launched by the European Space Agency, landed on Comet 67, making it the first mission to successfully land on a comet nucleus. It was a remarkable achievement for mankind for myriad reasons, but perhaps the most impressive fact is that the spacecraft – which is the size of a fridge – could travel hundreds of millions of miles and land on a 2.5 mile wide asteroid. As the Guardian Newspaper put it, that’s like firing a shell from London and hitting the head of a nail in New Delhi, 4,000 miles away (FOUR thousand!).

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The achievement of the European Space Agency should be heralded, as should every piece of good news that comes our way. In an age when a lot of what we hear is bad, evil, or outright terrifying, it’s worth remembering that there is still plenty of good out there in the world. Let’s all try to make sure that we hear some more of those good moments in 2015.

Also let us not forget these two songs that were such a worldwide hit this year and eventually spawned countless cover versions; ‘Happy‘ by Pharell Williams and ‘Let It Go‘, the original song for the current world’s highest grossing animated film, ‘Frozen’ that was released in 2013. And the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which is first started as a movement to attract and encourage more people to donate to ALS Foundation (for patients with motor neuron disease), but then went viral across the world after participation of thousands of celebrities and popular international figures.

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The massive protest in Hong Kong that demanded for universal suffrage from China on their election of the Chief Executive also made headlines in global news as the demonstrations took well over two months from late September to early December. Many protesters used umbrellas for defense against the police, and hence that has become the representative symbol of the movement known as ‘Umbrella Revolution‘, but ended with no positive outcome.

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That’s all for some very memorable highlights for the year 2014. This is a really good time to look back to our recent past and hope for a much better and positive years ahead.

(Part of this article is contributed by Helen Jones, a freelance article writer. Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web.)

A brief recapture of the World and Malaysia in 2013.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2014 by vincentloy

As year 2013 has just ended an hour or two ago, it’s now the best time to re-capture and highlight back on major events or happenings that occurred within the year. I have done this kind of compilation in my blog here for several years already. For 2013, after a bit of research and flashback as usual, there are 5 major world events of the year worth mentioned, and then narrowed down to another list of 5 major events occurred in my country (Malaysia) alone. I will keep this short and direct.

The World in 2013.

February 15 – A meteor explodes over a Russian city, injuring almost 1500 people and damaging few thousand buildings. It is the most powerful meteor to strike Earth’s atmosphere in over a century. It was the largest known natural object to have entered Earth’s atmosphere since 1908.

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April 24 – An eight-storey commercial building collapses near Dhaka, Bangladesh. It is the deadliest non-terrorist structural collapse in modern times, killing 1129 people and injuring over 2500 people.

Eight-story building collapses in Dhaka, Bangladesh

End of 2012 till August 2013 – Extensive mass protest in Egypt, with huge-scale demonstrations and widespread violence against the Egyptian government led by President Morsi, whom is finally deposed in a military coup d’etat. No exact figure of deaths and injuries could be confirmed, but predicted to be at least a thousand of people.

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July 22 – Birth of Prince George Alexander Louis, the first child of Prince William and Catherine (Duke and Duchess of Cambridge). He is third in line to succeed his great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II as the British monarch after his grandfather and father. The arrival of this royal baby certainly made it to universal popularity.

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Early November – Typhoon Haiyan struck East Asia. Countries affected are Micronesia, Southern China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the worst hit is Philippines. Over 4000 fatalities confirmed, over 1500 missing, over 20 000 injured, and damage totalling up to over a billion dollar. The typhoon is the fourth most intense tropical cyclone ever observed.

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Extra: Famous Deaths in 2013

March 28 – Richard Griffiths (English actor, famous for his portrayal as Harry Potter’s uncle)

April 8 – Margaret Thatcher (former UK Prime Minister, known as the Iron Lady)

November 30 – Paul Walker (American actor, famous in Fast and Furious film franchise as one of the main leads)

December 5 – Nelson Mandela (1st South Africa’s President, Nobel Prize Laureate)

 

Malaysia in 2013.

March – Lahad Datu standoff. Arrival of Sulu intruders with objective of territorial claims at Sabah had caused shootouts between them with local army. Over 80 killed of whom 68 are the Sulu intruders. This so-called ‘war’ had led to curfew in Lahad Datu town and the death of 9 heroic Malaysian army and 7 innocent civilian lives.

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5 May – The country held its General Election. Barisan Nasional (National Front) retained the federal government but with decreased majority, while the opposition pact, Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Alliance) won more popular votes but still lost surprisingly. Their loss is due to the imbalance of division (malapportionment) of areas. Indelible ink is also used in this election.

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June – Air pollution over Peninsular Malaysia, with the worst affected being the southern region, together with Singapore. This is due to the extreme haze from forest fire at our neighbouring Indonesia. There was a point when API (air pollution index) reading reached 750, the highest ever recorded in decades, which caused declaration of emergency in several areas.

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21 August – A bus carrying 53 passengers down from Genting Highlands plunged into ravine. Killing 37 people and injuring 16 others, it is the worst road disaster in the country’s history.

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November – Official completion and opening of the Penang Second Bridge. Construction started in November 2008 and it spans over 24 km with 16.9km over water, thus making it the longest bridge in South East Asia. The construction faced tough challenges including design revision, several delays, and also a collapse incident of a ramp leading to the bridge that killed a person mid of this year.

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Mostly, major events that happened in 2013 were not of something positive or joyous. Unfortunately, they are mostly filled with destructions and disasters. The year is over and let’s hope that there are more happenings next year that we are to be happy for. 2014 would be a year mostly for sports as there would be at least four major international sporting events going to take place; Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup, Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Is there any major global happenings that took place last year that I have left out and of which you thought worth to be included here? Feel free to comment.

(All images and information in this post are from various solid sources throughout the world wide web.)

Me in 2012…my three most unforgettable events of the year.

Posted in Interesting Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2012 by vincentloy

After writing down a re-cap of the world in 2012 in my previous post, it’s time to narrow the topic down to what’s big happening to me throughout this particular year. So, this individualistic post would allows me to express my three most unforgettable events of the year, and perhaps even more to that below.

1. Memorable oversea trip to India during Chinese New Year.

Me and my family went out for oversea trip every Chinese New Year. This year, we went to a place that earlier we never thought of going actually. It’s India. We decided to go there as the cost is less burdening and that India has one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Taj Mahal. The trip took only 6 days if I’m not mistaken, and I enjoyed every single moments I had within that duration of the trip. Besides visiting the extremely beautiful Taj Mahal and some other fascinating tourist attractions, I get to see also ‘special’ things that I will never get to see in my country (camels, poops everywhere, a vast land where hundreds of people are doing their ‘business’ publicly, homes to the extremely poor, abundance of awful-looking bus still in operation, etc). Somewhere in the middle of the year, I also had trip to Malacca (A Famosa Resort and Malacca Town) with my sisters and trip to Singapore (study trip by company).

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(The majestic Taj Mahal at Agra is definitely the highlight of my trip to India.)

 

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(The symbolic red buildings that represents Malacca Old Town, one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site.)

 

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(The very beautiful skyline of Singapore. Now I wish to have a longer trip to this place soon.)

2. The year I stepped into working career.

After my graduation at the end of last year, I enjoyed few months of break while at the same time applying for Master study in architecture at oversea. Many have already had their programme started and application closed, and so my choice is very limited. For that reason and also not to put a heavy financial burden on my dad, I decided to go for job instead. This year marked the first time I went for job interview, the first time I successfully get hired into this profession of architecture, and the first time I become an architect after getting my degree. Although life can be quite boring and stressful from this profession, but I won’t give up, and will not stop from gaining essential working experience that would allows me to climb further in my future career.

3. Lost my grandma, then lost my car.

My beloved grandma turned 86 this year. She had been very healthy for all those years until 2012, when her health showed sign of deteriorating after accidentally falling down twice. She gets very forgetful and easily caught in extreme emotion (typical for people of this age), and the worst is that she kept taking medicines (she thought she didn’t) until that leads to many more illness later on (damage to internal organs). She passed away in August this year. May my beloved grandma rest in peace. Then, not long after in November, I lost my car that I had been driving for several years. There are so many cars along the side road at the time and it’s my car that got stolen. Bad luck. It’s really making my life inconvenient after that, and I had to move back to stay with my dad now (previously staying at my eldest sister’s home when my car is present). I don’t want to lose anything more. That’s enough.

I wouldn’t say that 2012 is a great year to me, but I’m still happy of this year that I went through it in a healthy state. There are ups and downs that I faced this year, but that is inevitable as part of our growing process and I face it calm. This is the year I turned 21, which then allows me to do many things already (enter casino, participate in election, etc). There isn’t any major birthday celebration (as supposed for people reaching 21 years old) as my grandma’s recent passing disallowed me to celebrate within a year according to Chinese belief, but I am not blaming it on anyone. I’m okay with it. Last but not least, this is also the year I spent most of my time in blogging here actually. Haha….thanks for reading on what I had been through generally this year.

(All images in this post are taken by myself. Kindly credit if you wish to share the images somewhere else)