Thursday, 30 December 2010

Yokohama Blue Hour

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Yokohama Blue Hour
New year wishes from Yokohama, Japan! After months of hiatus from the Flickerverse, it's back to action! True, with the chilly weather outside, it's more tempting to stay in the bed. But I'm not ready to let my skills go into the gutter yet.

Last week's trip to Marunouchi didn't return satisfactory yield. But Monday's trip to Yokohama was worth it.

This photo was taken from the roof of Yokohama Ferry Terminal (横浜港大さん橋国際客船ターミナル). The terminal is a unique building by itself. But more than that, the rooftop offers a 360-degree panoramic on Yokohama. This view, facing north-west, is where Minato Mirai is located. I believe this is the only place where you can get all of Yokohama's famous landmarks in a photo! From left to right: Red Brick Warehouse, Landmark Tower, Cosmos Clock 21, Yokohama Grand Intercontinental Hotel. Head over to the photo's Flickr page for the version with added notes.

Monday, 15 November 2010


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There're two things that make me insomniac — Caffeine, and the longingness for you.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Masochistic Environmentalism

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"We don't need the air-conditioner. Let's just leave the windows open. With the breeze, it's cool enough."

Cool. Yeah, freaking cool. It's 35゜C out there. Jeez.

Never mind if you're soaked in sweat working in the lab. No a/c, please. Global warming, remember? Reduce CO2 emission! Do your part in energy conservation!

Welcome to Japan. This is where people really do care about saving the environment. It's not about saving endangered whales, though. (I doubt anyone misses the dodos.) Japanese environmentalism is all about climate change. After all, no Japanese would want to see the archipelago become the second Atlantis. Which is why the nation is determined to cut CO2 emission by 25%.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Bike Revolution

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Beijing :: Tricycle and Bike
China is known as the kingdom of bikes. Most streets in Beijing are designated with bicycle lanes. So if you're in Beijing, visiting places on a bike might be a good idea. Beware though, if you're on the busier streets. Chinese drivers can be horrifying. It is not rare to see a car or two driving on the pedestrian lanes!

While a big part of the population now own cars, bicycles of sorts still remain as a popular mode of transportation in Beijing.

There's the tricycle, which is favored by street hawkers selling fruits and ice-creams and cold drinks. Then there's the modified tricycle taxi, which resembles an upgraded Thai tuk-tuk with an armor shield around it. Then, there's the electric bike (a.k.a. "e-bike"), which is so quiet that it takes the unwary pedestrians by surprise.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Cult of the Apple

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Two days before May 28, hundreds of people started lining up in the streets of Ginza. Tension flared as policemen attempt to keep the sidewalks open amidst hordes of fans. No, dude, they weren't waiting to shake hands with the Pope. Haven't you been following the news? It was the launch of the iPad, dude!

Still remember the time when iPhone was launched? We thought it was the coolest gadget ever invented! Who could have thought the guys would size it up to make a ubercool gadget? They call it the iPad. Whoa! My friends have one, so do my neighbour's pet dog. I ought to get one for myself too. In fact, I would get one for my grandma's 81-st birthday too.

Out of the Sandbox, Template V3

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After a week's tweaking, the new template is finally out! It has been tested on Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. (For your reference, out of the five major web browsers, Chrome ranks number one in terms of performance while IE ranks the last.) Although I have tried my best to optimize it to IE, there is no reason to forgo the many features not supported by the browser. During the development of this template, I felt the urge to walk up to the developers of IE and wag the middle finger at them.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Template V3.0 Sneak Preview

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It took me a year to realize that this template that I am using is not compatible to Internet Explorer. Alignment and PNG issues render the blog as disastrous as a plastic surgery gone wrong.

I am not going to go on another bout of IE bashing (I have done that before). But when the new template is completed in the next few weeks, I'll perhaps make a quick roundup of the possible cross-browser discrepancies.

Until then, here's a list of new features to look forward to.
  • Unleashing the fun of jQuery - Already in place are a transitional slideshow and a cool Facebook-inspired tooltip implementation. It's so addictive that I find it hard to tone down on adding new extensions!
  • Possibly some HTML5 tags - Which, unfortunately, IE users won't be able to enjoy without the Chrome Frame addon. (Another reason to jump the wagon!)
  • A better blend-in for the Twitter feed.
And finally, a sneak preview of what is to come!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Kek Lok Si, 極樂寺

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Lanterns and Pagoda
On the hillside of idyllic town, Air Itam, stands Penang's famous landmark, Kek Lok Si (literal meaning: Temple of Supreme Bliss). The temple is now more than 100 years old and is also the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia.

The pagoda (as can be seen in this photo) - the main structure of the temple - houses 10,000 Buddha statues. During the Chinese New Year, the temple is lighted up with lanterns for 30 days (7pm-12am for the first 15 days; 7pm-10pm for the other 15 days).

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Ribs of Steel

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Ribs of Steel

Tokyo International Forum, 東京国際フォーラム
Completed in 1996, this futuristic glass atrium was designed by New York architect, Rafael Vinolyl. The building is supported by an innovative truss system, which is shaped in the likes of a ship's hulk. Amazingly, the only structures that hold up the whole building are the two beams on either ends. The walkway in the building slowly winds up from the lower floors to the upper floors and is linked from one side to the other on certain floors.

Tokyo International Forum is a stone's throw away from Yurakucho station, and slightly further than that from Tokyo station, both of which are the main stations in the heart of metropolitan Tokyo.

See where this picture was taken. [?]

Saturday, 23 January 2010

House of God

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House of God
"No photos", says the sign.

Uh, what?


This is the St. Mary's Cathedral, located in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo. Despite its humble scale in comparison to the famous Gothic cathedrals, it awes its worshipers in its unique design. After all, it is the work of the renown architect, Tange Kenzo.