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The World in 2017: Recap of Major Events of the Year

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2017 by vincentloy

2017 is coming to an end soon. As with my blog’s tradition, I am here compiling a post that looks back at some major events or viral happenings throughout this one whole year. It’s time for a flashback of 2017 as we prepare to welcome 2018. Here below are the 10 events that are highly representative for year 2017.

Trump, Trump and Trump

Ever since Donald Trump is officially inaugurated as the President of the United States of America early this year, there has been many news, reports and comments regarding him (mostly negative). His iconic hairstyle or gestures have been parodied countless of times. His tweets are also grabbing everyone’s attention with his hilariously unprofessional or unreasonable comments that should not have come out from a President at all. His remarks on North Korea and Kim Jong Un, Jerusalem, fake news, etc have sparked so much controversies. He is certainly the man of the year, but for mostly negative reasons.

Despacito Everywhere

A Mexican music video in YouTube is definitely not to be missed out. The music video ‘Despacito’ by Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee broke record as the YouTube video with highest number of views in history. Currently, it has accumulated over 4.5 billion views! Up to this day, I still have no idea what the song is about and I also have no idea why it is such a massive hit worldwide.

Las Vegas Shooting

On the night of October 1, 2017, a gunman named Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers at a music festival on the Las Vegas strip in Nevada, leaving 58 dead and 546 injured. He fired more than 1100 rounds from his suite on the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay Hotel. About an hour after Paddock fired his last shot into the crowd of 22,000, he was found dead in his room from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His motive is still unknown. The incident is the deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in the United States. The shooting reignited the debate about gun laws in US.

Tragic Earthquakes in central Mexico and border of Iraq and Iran

Two massive earthquakes occurred this year. First was a 7.1 earthquake on September 19 at Central Mexico that kills around 350 people. The second one was a 7.3 earthquake on November 12 that strikes the border region between Iraq and Iran , leaving at least 530 dead.

Manchester Arena’s Bombing

A terrorist bombing attack occurred at an Ariana Grande’s concert in Manchester, England on May 22, 2017. It killed 22 people and injured over 100. A shrapnel-laden homemade bomb was detonated as people were leaving Manchester Arena following a concert by the American singer Ariana Grande.

Grenfell Tower Fire

A massive fire broke out at the 24-storey Grenfell Tower block of public housing flats in North Kensington, West London on 14th June 2017. It killed 71 people and over 70 injuries are reported. Police and fire services believe the fire started accidentally in a fridge-freezer on the fourth floor. The rapid growth of the fire is thought to have been accelerated by the building’s exterior cladding, which is of a common type in widespread use. This sparked review of building regulations and fire safety not only for UK itself but also for other multiple countries.

North Korea In The Spotlight

North Korea has been condemned by international community particularly in this year for multiple actions that include test firing a ballistic missile across the Sea of Japan, conducting nuclear tests, and threatening to initiate attacks. Further sanctions have been imposed on the country by various countries across the world and also by the United Nations.

Truck Bombing in Somalia and Sinai Mosque Attack

On 14 October 2017, a massive blast caused by a truck bombing in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, killed at least 512 people and injured 316. The attack is the deadliest in Somalia‘s history, and it is is also the third-deadliest act of terrorism in recorded history, surpassed only by the 2007 Yazidi communities bombings and the September 11 attacks in 2001.

On 24 November 2017, the al-Rawda mosque in Egypt was attacked by roughly 40 gunmen during Friday prayers. The attack killed 311 people and injured at least 122, making it the deadliest attack in Egyptian history. Islamic State is the suspected perpetrators behind this attack.

WannaCry Ransomware Attack

The WannaCry ransomware attack was a May 2017 worldwide cyberattack by the WannaCry[a] ransomware cryptoworm, which targeted computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system by encrypting data and demanding ransom payments in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. The attack began on Friday, 12 May 2017, and within a day was reported to have infected more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries.

Paris 2024, Los Angeles 2028

The International Olympic Committee has officially announced on September 13, 2017 that Paris is awarded the right to host 2024 Summer Olympic Games while Los Angeles will be hosting the 2028 edition of the games. Hence, there will be no bidding event for 2028 games.

We observed mostly ruins, disasters, attacks, tragic news or negative stuff for this year. Let’s hope that we will be seeing more positive events next year.

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

 

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Hong Kong stars assembled at Genting for TVB Star Awards Malaysia 2017.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2017 by vincentloy

TVB Star Awards Malaysia 2017 was held on 25th November 2017 at Arena of Stars, Genting Highlands to recognize the most favourite TVB series, shows, actors and actresses this year as picked by the Malaysians and the professional judges. It was attended by over 20 Hong Kong celebrities (Michael Miu, Jessica Hsuan, Ruco Chan, Nancy Wu, Kristal Tin, Edwin Siu, Benjamin Yuen, Priscilla Wong, Joel Chan, Elaine Yiu, Sisley Choi, Ali Lee, Raymond Cho, Matthew Ho, Natalie Tong, Vincent Wong, Samantha Ko, Chris Lai, Rebecca Zhu, Ben Wong, Zoie Tam, Fred Cheng, Benz Hui, Paisley Wu, etc) and similar to last year’s award ceremony, the emcee for the evening is the award-winning actress, Carol Cheng with her usual working partners; FAMA along with several others (so many emcees this year). To look back at the nomination list and my predictions, here’s the link to my previous blog post;

https://vincentloy.wordpress.com/2017/11/07/nomination-list-and-my-picks-for-tvb-star-awards-malaysia-2017/.

Here’s the full result for the TVB Star Awards Malaysia 2017:

My Favourite TVB Variety Programme: The Sisterhood Travelling Gang

Opinion: I enjoyed this show that has this group of six female artists (Paisley Wu, Myolie Wu, Nancy Wu, Selena Li, Mandy Wong, Elaine Yiu) going on a trip to Australia together. But personally, I actually enjoyed ‘Spirits on Vacation’ more that has the similar concept but with the cast from ‘House of Spirits’ drama in 2016. The latter is more entertaining.

My Favourite TVB Enrichment Programme: All Things Girl Malaysia Edition

Opinion: No comment as I have not watched any of the enrichment / informative programmes.

My Favourite TVB Host In Variety Programme: Maria Cordero (Maria’s Auspicious Recipes)

Opinion: I’m sure there are other better hosts in the nomination list than Maria Cordero. I find that she is a bit too loud when she speaks which may be disturbing at times. I think the organizer decided to award her since she has the free time to come over to Malaysia this weekend for this award show.

My Favourite TVB Drama Characters x 17:

A General, A Scholar And An Eunuch – Kristal Tin, Edwin Siu, Raymond Cho, Rebecca Zhu

Line Walker: The Prelude – Michael Miu, Benjamin Yuen, Priscilla Wong

The Unholy Alliance – Ruco Chan, Nancy Wu

My Unfair Lady – Jessica Hsuan, Natalie Tong, Samantha Ko, Chris Lai

Legal Mavericks – Vincent Wong, Sisley Choi, Ali Lee

Tiger Mom Blues – Ben Wong

Opinion: The organizer should cut this down to 10 recipients. Having 17 winners are too much and reduces the ‘weight’ of this award. The winners that are not that deserving are Rebecca Zhu, Samantha Ko, Chris Lai and Ben Wong. Their spots should be for Kenneth Ma and Grace Wong (My Dearly Sinful Mind), Elena Kong (Tiger Mom Blues) and Nina Paw (The Unholy Alliance).

My Favourite TVB Most Improved Actress: Zoie Tam (Dead Wrong, My Unfair Lady, Legal Mavericks)

Opinion: Yes. I’m glad that people did not forget Zoie Tam’s good but tragic role in ‘Dead Wrong’ despite her other minor roles later this year. She is good and the competition this year is weak in this field.

My Favourite TVB Most Improved Actor: Matthew Ho (Tiger Mom Blues, A General A Scholar And An Eunuch)

Opinion: As expected. He has contributed solid performances in both of the mentioned dramas above.

Most Favourite TVB On-Screen Couple: Ruco Chan & Nancy Wu (The Unholy Alliance)

Opinion: Again. People just cannot get away from linking Ruco with Nancy since last year. I actually prefer Joel and Elaine pairing more in the same drama (The Unholy Alliance). I can feel more chemistry from the latter pair.

Most Favourite TVB Drama Theme Song: ‘Hands in the Sand’ by Hana Kuk (My Unfair Lady)

Opinion: I still cannot understand why ‘Forget Myself’ by Hana Kuk as the ending theme song for ‘Line Walker: The Prelude’ did not even get nominated here. It is such a beautiful song and has even won in Singapore’s Starhub TVB Awards last month. It should have won easily here. It shows that the organizer just simply compiling up the nomination list (especially this year when some totally not deserving get nominated, some deserving but got snubbed, some did better in the other drama but got nominated in the other drama instead, etc) without doing some homework first. Anyway, I thought ‘Walk With You’ by Kayee Tam for ‘My Unfair Lady’ will win then. But still, in the end, it lost to the other unknown song in the same drama; ‘Hands in the Sand’ by Hana Kuk. No idea that I have heard this song before. I wonder how the Malaysians and the professional judges vote on this one. Very poor decision.

My Favourite TVB Actress in a Supporting Role: Elaine Yiu (The Unholy Alliance)

Opinion: She won the same award last year. Her extensive yet good crying scenes in ‘The Unholy Alliance’ helped her a lot. Already expected both she and Joel will win supporting categories since they are left out at the favourite drama character awards handed out earlier.

My Favourite TVB Actor in a Supporting Role: Joel Chan (The Unholy Alliance)

Opinion: Finally. Joel is one actor that has not win anything in the past years but is very deserving. His performance in ‘The Unholy Alliance’ is excellent. Malaysia awards decided to award to different person from the Singapore awards last month. That’s wise as I find both Owen Cheung and Joel Chan are equally good (same for Jacqueline Wong and Elaine Yiu in supporting actress category). By the way, his winning speech was great and touching!

My Favourite TVB Actress in a Leading Role: Jessica Hsuan (My Unfair Lady)

Opinion: When you have a heavyweight actress attending, the whole situation changes. Ali Lee could no longer continue her luck after her win at Singapore last month. Nancy Wu has won this twice in a row and her performance in ‘The Unholy Alliance’ is just average. Jessica Hsuan is good in ‘My Unfair Lady’ but I felt anyone can just take this award for this year. The competition for most favourite leading actress this year is weak because you have to get the powerful Kristal Tin in ‘Destination Nowhere’, Elena Kong in ‘Tiger Mom Blues’ or Nina Paw in ‘The Unholy Alliance’ out of the picture.

My Favourite TVB Actor in a Leading Role: Michael Miu (Line Walker: The Prelude)

Opinion: A surprise of the evening. Michael Miu is a solid veteran actor but his performance in ‘Line Walker: The Prelude’ is conventional. I think Vincent Wong is the more deserving winner as his role as a blind lawyer in ‘Legal Mavericks’ is challenging and he nailed it. And too bad, Kenneth Ma’s ‘The Exorcist Meter’ will only be nominated for next year. If not, he will give a strong competition in this category this year.

My Favourite TVB Drama: Legal Mavericks

Opinion: I am happy with any of the top three dramas (Legal Mavericks, Line Walker: The Prelude, The Unholy Alliance) winning. Wow…Malaysia awards’ outcome is very different from the Singapore one. Now, I’m excited on how the result will turn out for the final awards at Hong Kong.

The organizer should change the design of the award trophy. It looks so massive and out of place. On the other hand, there are too many unnecessary and boring performances between the awards announcement. It’s great to see Kingdom Yuen, May Law, Michael Miu and Jessica Hsuan attending this awards ceremony (they seldom attend any public events especially award show). Benz Hui is funny as always. Anyway, it’s a wrap up for Singapore and Malaysia now. Now, it’s time to head back to TVB’s home, Hong Kong for the upcoming TVB Anniversary Awards which will be held in January 2018 instead of the typical slot in December every year. The date for the Hong Kong awards is pushed back this year to accommodate for the much larger 50th anniversary celebration for TVB station and to allow for the remaining two anniversary dramas (‘My Ages Apart’ and ‘Heart and Greed’) to finish airing before the awards.

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

Winners at the World Architecture Festival 2017.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2017 by vincentloy

World Architecture Festival 2017 was held recently in Berlin, Germany from 15 to 17th November. This annual festival contains events for the architecture industry and one of the main highlights of the festival is the awards presentation. The festival honors architectural projects across the world in various categories and will select a project to be declared World Building of the Year. Here below is the full list of winners for this year’s World Architecture Festival:

Completed Buildings

Civic and Community – Streetlight Tagpuro, Tacloban, Philippines (Eriksson Furunes + Leandro V. Locsin)

Display – The Smile, London, United Kingdom (Alison Brooks Architects)

Housing – Superlofts Houthaven, Amsterdam, Netherlands (Marc Koehler Architects)

This housing project receives this year’s newly created award; Director’s Special Award. 

A new co-housing concept that aims to create a global network of local building co-operatives, judges said the concept is “a game changer – a replicable and transferable model which could extend in terms of scale.”

Culture – The Palestinian Museum, Birzeit, Palestine (Heneghan Peng Architects)

House – Binh House, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (Vo Trong Nghia Architects)

New and Old – Post earthquake reconstruction and demonstration project of Guangming Village, Zhaotong, China (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)

This project is also the winner for World Building Of The Year.

The project was initiated in response to the catastrophic Ludian earthquake in 2014, which destroyed most of the traditional rammed-earth buildings in the village of Guangming. When replacement materials such as brick and concrete proved to be too costly for most of the village’s residents, the architect team developed a new technique of constructing rammed-earth homes that will be more resistant to future seismic activity.

A prototype house built for an elderly couple was completed last year, proving the method could provide a safe, economical, comfortable, and sustainable reconstruction strategy for the village and the wider region of Southwest China.

The judges believed this to be an extraordinary project in terms of the scope of ambition, exemplified in the addressing of profound problems facing ordinary people. They applauded the re-use of traditional material and construction methods but with the addition of new technology – combining ancient wisdom with modern know-how.

The judges were also impressed by the iterative research process which could be re-applied to anywhere in the world affected by seismic problems and low levels of wealth. “The architects succeeded in translating ‘four walls and a roof’ into something which, through architectural commitment, becomes a project that is much more profound,” WAF Programme Director Paul Finch commented. “This building is a demonstration that architecture is just as relevant in the poorest of communities as it is in the richest.”

I am delighted that the juries decided to go for architecture that is really useful and resistant rather than picking those fancy designs. This is a fresh direction.

Office – Co Op Kyosai Plaza, Tokyo, Japan (Nikken Sekkei)

Production, Energy and Recycling – The Farm of 38 – 30, Afyonkarahisar, Turkey (Slash Architects and Arkizon Architects)

School – East Sydney Early Learning Centre, Sydney, Australia (Andrew Burges Architects)

Sport – US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, United States of America (HKS)

Health – Westbury Clinic, Johannesburg, South Africa (Ntsika Architects)

Higher Education and Research – Maersk Tower, Copenhagen, Denmark (CF Moller Architects)

Hotel and Leisure – Vegetable Trellis, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (Cong Sinh Architects)

Mixed Use – Westminster Bridge Road, London, United Kingdom (Allford Hall Monaghan Morris)

Religion – Bushey Cemetery, Bushey, United Kingdom (Waugh Thistleton Architects)

Shopping – Victoria Gate, Leeds, United Kingdom (ACME)

Transport – Transformation Chemnitz Central Station, Chemnitz, Germany (Gruntuch Errnst Architects)

Villa – Bach With Two Roofs, Golden Bay, New Zealand (Irving Smith Architects)

Future Projects

Leisure-led Development – Bodrum Loft, Bodrum, Turkey (Tabanlioglu Architects)

Competition Entries – New Cyprus Archaeological Museum, Nicosia, Cyprus (Pilbrow & Partners)

Health – Desa Semesta, Bogor, Indonesia (Magi Design Studio)

Experimental – Sharjah Observatory, Mleiha National Park, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (3deluxe Transdisciplinary Design)

Office – Viettel Offsite Studio, Hanoi, Vietnam (Vo Trong Nghia Architects)

Civic – Consulate Building, Staff Housing & School Complex, Karachi, Pakistan (edgeARCH)

Infrastructure – The Bridge, Ras, India (Sanjay Puri Architects)

Commercial Mixed Use – Battersea Power Station Phase 2, London, United Kingdom (WilkinsonEyre)

Education – Aga Khan Academy, Dhaka, Bangladesh (Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios + SHATOTTO Architecture)

Culture – Kulturkorgen – A Basket Full Of Culture, Gothenburg, Sweden (Sweco Architects)

Kulturkorgen6-Sweco Architects

House – Queenstown House, Queenstown, New Zealand (Monk Mackenzie Architects)

Masterplanning – Sydney Fish Markets, Sydney, Australia (Allen Jack + Cottier Architects)

Residential – Goksu Residences, Istanbul, Turkey (EAA Emre Arolat Architecture)

My country, Malaysia did have few projects that were able to make it to the finalists. However, none of them succeeds to be listed as winner. It shows that there are a lot to do to improve the architectural field in Malaysia.

(Images and information in this post are from Archdaily)

References:

https://www.worldarchitecturefestival.com/

https://www.archdaily.com/883888/guangming-post-earthquake-reconstruction-project-wins-world-building-of-the-year-2017

https://www.archdaily.com/883761/2017-world-architecture-festival-announces-day-1-award-winners

https://www.archdaily.com/883814/world-architecture-festival-reveals-day-2-category-winners-of-their-2017-awards

 

 

TVB celebrates its golden jubilee with its grand anniversary gala.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2017 by vincentloy

TVB, the largest television station in Hong Kong celebrates its 50th anniversary recently in a grand fashion. Its dramas have been accompanying me for over 20 years. Despite the criticisms of having poor dramas in recent years, facing lack of talents and with many good artists leaving the station, it is undeniable that the station is the home that have trained many superstars we saw today. It is undeniable that the station is the home for all the classic series that we remembered till this day. It is undeniable that the station has had impacted lives of over millions of Chinese not only in Hong Kong or China but also throughout the world where there is Chinese people.

Since it is TVB’s grand golden jubilee, I would not want to miss the chance to watch its 50th Anniversary Gala last evening. The scale of the show is noticeably upgraded but there is still more that can be done. Since it is their golden jubilee, they should have some sort of fireworks display too to celebrate this significant occasion. The show should have been extended to 3 hours rather than the typical 2-hours time to allow for more performances. Celebrities who attended the show are Liza Wang, Eric Tsang, Carol Cheng, Nat Chan, Simon Yam, Ray Lui, Wayne Lai, Kristal Tin, Nancy Wu, Ruco Chan, Kenneth Ma, Vincent Wong, Benjamin Yuen, Wong Cho Lam, Ding Dang, Pakho Chau, Nancy Sit, Michelle Yim, Susanna Kwan, etc. Besides than Simon Yam and Ray Lui, I was actually expecting more heavyweight stars (formerly TVB artists) to attend the show.

It is also very obvious that the front segment of the show is heavily inspired by the movie ‘La La Land’ with the similar musical score. The performances by the 50 male artists and the 50 female artists are too ordinary and boring. They could have done much more (something challenging?). It is also very obvious that the singing by the artists are pre-recorded (I can see clearly the lip-sync by almost everyone). The ones not doing that are the three singers performing at the last section of the show and hence, you will noticeably hear poor live singing. And what are the three singers (from various countries) doing here? I thought they would be singing classic TVB theme songs. Totally irrelevant for that part. While I admire the ‘Hidden Heroes’ segment that honors all the less-known frequent faces in the past dramas, the way it is executed by ‘Fuk Luk Sau’ team (Wong Cho Lam, Louis Yuen, Johnson Lee) is awkward.

Besides that, too much time has also been wasted for excessive advertisement and segments showing the prizes that will be handed out for the evening (the 2-hour show is already not enough!). The one great section of the show that I enjoyed is the ‘recruit’ sketch by Eric Tsang, Kristal Tin, Wayne Lai, etc. The scene with Kenneth Ma and Bob Lam is particularly hilarious. The scene with FAMA who tries to imitate Carol Cheng and Eric Tsang is also funny to watch. This year’s gala show is certainly much better than last year but I was still slightly disappointed that the organizer didn’t want to further elevate it up. And when is this year’s TVB Anniversary Awards going to be held? Until now, there has been no news or date announced for the awards. There is speculation that the awards will be pushed to January next year. Does that mean from now on, the TVB Anniversary Awards will be held on January every year or this schedule only occurs for this year? This will mess up the standard annual schedule.

I’m particularly excited for this year’s best actor and actress race (forget about most favourite male and female characters’ categories). Out of sudden, Kenneth Ma is rising to be a top contender for this year’s awards due to his strong performance in the currently airing ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’. Before that, Vincent Wong is at the top of the pack in terms of the chance on winning the best actor since he has won at the Singapore’s Starhub TVB Awards and is rumored to win the same at TVB Star Awards Malaysia to be held this week. I’m picking Kenneth as he has been much longer in the industry that Vincent and he is really good in ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’ to my surprise. I find that it is a bit too early to hand in best actor to Vincent Wong. For best actress, I’m rooting for Kristal ever since I saw her performance in ‘Destination Nowhere’ early this year. There is no other strong contenders but I have a feeling that Kristal may not win in the end. What do you think of the gala show and the best actor and actress race this year?

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

Today marks the 9th anniversary of my blog!

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2017 by vincentloy

My blog is celebrating its 9th birthday today! It is now 9 years old. Wonderful!

28th September 2008 was the day I first created my blog here under WordPress platform and I wrote my first ever post in a very informal and brief delivery. Now, I have over 1900 posts containing multiple informative articles, critical news and analysis, content reviews, or just a personal diary of what I have been going through from time to time. At first, I didn’t expect that my passion in blogging would come to this far, and not to mention that I have produced over 1900 posts to date. I have to be very excited and proud of myself for that!

Actually, in these few months, I do have a lot more in my mind to write in my blog here. However, I don’t have the time for it as I’m currently being overwhelmed with my thesis work. I promised that I will get back to my blog here actively right after I finish my thesis. And that would be end of this November. Two more months to go and I’m free to return to my hobbies (blogging included).

One more year to go and my blog will be reaching the one decade anniversary’s milestone. And for now, Happy 9th birthday to my blog again and wishing for me and my blog to have another awesome 9 years ahead!

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

16th anniversary of 911 and new iPhone X release!

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2017 by vincentloy

Two days ago, 11th September 2017 marks the 16th anniversary of the tragic 911 terrorist attacks in the United States. A news that had the world stunned and in shock. The image of the World Trade Center twin towers collapsing after being hit by passenger planes still haunts the minds of millions of people especially the Americans. 16 years have passed, and all shall move on. There is a small tribute ceremony held to mark this particular anniversary on the Ground Zero site, now redeveloped into a Memorial Park with the finished new 1 WTC tower. Some have commented to only organize such memorial ceremony once in every five years, rather than once a year as a sign for people to move on from this sorrow memory.

 

I disagree in my personal opinion. You can have 364 days a year to ‘move on’ but why not just take a single day in a year to look back to the past and remember this tragedy and the lives lost from it. It’s not a big request. A simple tribute ceremony as a gesture of respect once a year is still reasonable. At the end of the day, we do not wish to see any more terrorist attacks happening in this world. Attacks of such proportion in September 2001 on the US is terribly wrong. Every time I re-watch the clips of the news coverage or videos taken by the public during the twin towers’ attack and collapse, I’m deeply saddened. These terrorists are inhuman for doing such nasty things.

And, the day after (yesterday) is also a big day in US. Apple has just announced its latest release of the new iPhone X (and iPhone 8 and 8Plus, Apple Watch Series 3) yesterday to the public in a grand product launch event. It is also the first grand event that is held on the Apple’s new campus that is shaped like a ring (or a huge alien ship) that reportedly costs US$ 5 billion dollar to construct. What an expensive building. I contributed some for it too since I am an iPhone user. I’m a bit excited for its new iPhone X (X means 10 in romans to mark the 10th anniversary of the first iPhone release back in 2007). It has glass on the phone’s back for wireless charging ability, facial-recognition feature to unlock phone, absence of home button, screen filling up the whole front of the phone, latest operating software (IOS 11), better camera technology, etc. All these new features may have been done by the other smartphone brands earlier but hey, now it’s Apple’s turn. Due to its branding, hence all of its products are super expensive.

But I’m still attracted to it somehow. Will I buy? No. My previous iPhone 5 died last year. I can no longer wait for this new phone and so I bought the iPhone 7 in October last year. Now, even my iPhone 7 is considered out-dated even it is just one-year old. If my previous iPhone 5 can survive for another year (last until now), then I will certainly go for this new iPhone X. But it costs a whopping US$ 999 at least. Crazy…On the other hand, nobody really wants to talk much about the other products; iPhone 8 and 8 Plus which is just a slight upgrade from iPhone 7. As for the new Apple Watch Series 3, its new features are the ability to make and receive calls and surf internet. A very small gadget but with multiple advanced functions. Will I buy it? No. I don’t think I need it. Fancy and cool stuff but not necessary. I’m fine with just the smartphone. And on top of that, it’s very costly!

There are more and more great smartphones out there by other brands. Hence, I think Apple do really need to further step up their game in their future products. This new iPhone X may looks awesome but still there is nothing really ‘breakthrough’ or very ‘wow’ from it.

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

 

29th SEA Games, Kuala Lumpur 2017 closes on the Merdeka Eve

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2017 by vincentloy

After about two weeks of competitions, the 29th South East Asian (SEA) Games in Kuala Lumpur 2017 has finally came to an end. The closing ceremony was held yesterday in the same venue, Bukit Jalil National Stadium on 30th August 2017. That’s also the Merdeka Eve (a day before Malaysia’s 60th anniversary of independence).

The ceremony fell short of excitement as there isn’t any performance by the next host country, Philippines. The host country of the next games has to deliver a performance in the usual tradition of the closing ceremony. However, Philippines had only decided to host it not long ago, they had no preparation to deliver a performance in that short notice, and that they wished to save the budget for the games’ hosting two years later. Hence, a no show from them. It was just a simple and formal handover ceremony from Malaysia to Philippines. This games also see among the worst performance by Philippines as they only won 24 gold medals, well below the 50-gold medal target they set earlier. Well, I’m sure they are going to do much better in the next edition as it is going to be hosted by them. Home advantage.

Same goes to Malaysia this time. Home advantage. And adding that with some obvious biased decisions by the judges in several sports in this games. The end result is an extraordinary victory for Malaysia in this games. We collected 145 gold medals, 92 silver medals, and 86 bronze medals, for a total of 323 medals. That’s more than enough to top the medal tally (Thailand came in second with 72 golds, we get more than double of that). Our last biggest achievement in this games was way back in 2001 (also held in Kuala Lumpur) when we won 111 gold medals. We set 111-golds as our target this time too and we accomplished far beyond that. Despite all the biased judgements and organizing sports that Malaysia is good at (typical for any host countries), I have to still admit that Malaysia really did a good job here. Well, it’s quite easy to win medals here. We have to move on after a word of congratulations! We have to raise our bar high by aiming to win more medals in bigger games like Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games.

Back to the closing ceremony. The ceremony was very boring. There is no cultural performance by the next host country (Philippines) as stated earlier, and there is only a very short performance by Malaysia to end the games. Other than that, it was all the formal stuff (handover, extinguishing of flame, national anthem, parade of athletes, etc). After that, the ceremony is dedicated as a Merdeka countdown celebration with over an hour of boring singing. The song choices are very poor (all Malay songs with no universal appeal) that did not highlight the diversity of the nation. How do you expect people from other countries to enjoy this? Even I as a Malaysian do not like this too. I thought there would be a grand countdown to Merdeka but that is not happening. Instead, we got a speech from the Prime Minister which is a happy news for all Malaysians too because he announced next Monday as an additional public holiday to mark the success of the country in this SEA Games. I think that’s the only one good thing that comes out from his mouth. Well, that holiday didn’t mean anything to me as I’m now here in Australia for my study. Sad…

 

  

All my people back in my country is enjoying this long 5-day of holiday combining Independence Day, Hari Raya Haji, the weekend, and this one extra special public holiday. I’m jealous of that. After the Prime Minister’s speech that ended past 12am, there is no official countdown to this historic day to my major disappointment. Even the fireworks that end the ceremony are not much. Everything in the opening ceremony is much better. This closing ceremony is like ‘well, we shall end the games by just showing how proud we are to be the overall champion of the games…that’s it’. No effort, no creativity, and no ‘wow’. This also belittles the participants from other countries and foreign audiences.

There would be this 9th ASEAN Para Games (sports for the disabled) to be held next month. After that, we say goodbye to KL (still a good host despite all the negative issues like wrong flags, biased judges, bad bus drivers, bad supporters’ attitudes, etc). Next SEA Games, Manila 2019!

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