Bizarre Foods

on Thursday, July 30, 2009

What has been the most bizarre thing that you have ever eaten? I am not terribly adventurous. I do like trying new foods and cooking styles but I do not stray far from common farm animals. I am a bit of a disgrace cause Chinese have a reputation of eating anything with legs except tables and chairs. Heck, Chinese even eat things with no legs whatsoever.

How do we know that Adam and Eve was not Chinese? Cause if they were Chinese, they would have eaten the serpent and not the apple. Haha. A little theologically inaccurate joke.

Asia is famous for its variety of fried insects, monkey brains, dog meat, snake hearts, sharks' fin, bear's paws etc. I am sure you know what I mean. If you don't, then you should watch the TV program "Bizarre Foods" and follow host Andrew Zimmern as he eats the most bizarre, frequently foul and often stomach churning food items from around the world.

As I said, I am quite wimpy about bizarre foods. However, I have eaten raw rat liver (accidentally), fish stomachs with herbs (perut ikan), bison meat and bird's nest soup (which is actually made from swallow's saliva), just to name a few. As a Malaysian, I am proud to have eaten the famously odious smelling king of fruits.......the durian, which interestingly is one of the very few foods that Andrew Zimmern will not eat.

Every now and then, some smart ass will come by and leave a comment on this blog about how squirrel is on the menu in some parts of the world. Mark, you know who you are! Sadly though, it is true. In a recent episode, I watched Andrew Zimmern explore the Appalachians, USA, and hungrily consume squirrel brains. Now that, to me, is so bizarre. How can anyone eat something so cute?

Final 28 on the Wonder List

on Saturday, July 25, 2009

Last year, I posted about the on-line voting for selecting the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
The process began with nominations from around the world which resulted in over 440 nominated sites. The top 77 sites are then reviewed by a special advisory committee and this has result in the selection of the 28 finalists.

The 28 finalists are as follows (in alphabetical order);

  1. Amazon (South America)
  2. Angel Falls (Venezuela)
  3. Bay of Fundy (Canada)
  4. Black Forest (Germany)
  5. Bu Tinah Shoals (United Arab Emirates)
  6. Cliffs of Moher (Ireland)
  7. Dead Sea (Middle East)
  8. El Yunque (Puerto Rico)
  9. Galapagos (Ecuador)
  10. Grand Canyon (USA)
  11. Great Barrier Reef (Australia)
  12. Halong Bay (Vietnam)
  13. Iguazu Falls (South America)
  14. Jeita Grotto (Lebanon)
  15. Jeju island (South Korea)
  16. Kilimanjaro (Tanzania)
  17. Komodo (Indonesia)
  18. Maldives (Maldives)
  19. Masurian Lake District (Poland)
  20. Matterhorn (Switzerland/Italy)
  21. Milford Sound (new Zealand)
  22. Mud Volcanoes (Azerbaijan)
  23. Puerto Princessa Underground River (Philippines)
  24. Sundarbans (India/Bangladesh)
  25. Table Mountain (South Africa)
  26. Uluru (Australia)
  27. Vesuvius (Italy)
  28. Yushan (Taiwan)
Well, only two of the sites I voted for in the first round has made it to the finalists. They are Angel Falls and Milford Sound.

I guess my final 7 choices from the 28 finalists will have to be;

  1. Angel Falls
  2. Milford Sound
  3. Amazon
  4. Great Barrier Reef
  5. Galapagos
  6. Halong Bay
  7. Dead Sea

If you would like to VOTE, go HERE.

Dark Eclipse of the Paper Moon

on Thursday, July 23, 2009

Disclaimer:- In the last post, I attributed my disappearance as being in the shadow of Jupiter. When I did that, I had no idea that this week would be the Super Mother of All Solar Eclipses. Was it just coincidence? Perhaps, but then again the antenna in my brain that was placed there by visiting Jovian space creatures may have kept me sub-consciously in tune with cosmic happenings. Which ever, I am back, refreshed and raring to blog!

The title of this post is "Dark Eclipse of the Paper Moon". It really consists of three sub-posts below which are all unrelated and is being told in reverse order.

I know I am a bit late with this post but last Monday was the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and man's landing on the moon. Or rather the alledged landing. Yes, folks, this squirrel just loves conspiracy theories and one of my favorites is the theory that the lunar landing was all a hoax staged for propaganda and morale benefits.

As the theory goes, it was the Cold War. Russia won the race to space by sending a cosmonaut into orbit. Communism seemed like it was gaining ground all over the world. President Nixon needed a "victory" to shore up American morale. Also we all know how upright and truthful Nixon was. Some bright spark spin doctor suggests that the USA can win the race to the moon via Hollywood technology.

I know the Mythbusters have done a special on TV and have declared the lunar landing conspiracy theory to be a myth but die hards like me .......well, die hard.

The above picture shows a fully lit astronaut descending the stairs in the dark shadow cast by the lunar module (see dark shadow on ground). Bear in mind the only light source is the sun. How is it that the astronaut so brightly lit? Mythbusters claim it is from reflected light from the surrounding surfaces. I find it hard to believe. Flat surfaces reflect light at an angle away from the incident light. It should not light up someone on the darkside of an object.

The above photos show another problematic aspect of the evidence of the lunar landing. The cameras used had crosshairs etched onto the lens as reference points. This will result in clearly visible crosshairs on every photograph and the crosshairs can only be always in front of any images recorded. Yet, if you look at the label "L", you will see that the crosshair is behind the equipment. There are quite a few of these examples.

The real cute thing is that Hollywood then makes a movie about a fake Mars landing called Capricorn One. Take the truth of a fake lunar landing and make it look like a piece of fiction. It's like hiding a hoax in plain sight.

Enuff said. Let me know what you think.

The grand celestial show on Wednesday turned out to be a bit of a wash-out in most places as the sky was full of clouds. In Malaysia, we had a solid bank of low clouds so we could not even see the 20% eclipse we were expecting.

It is interesting to note that in many parts of Asia, the eclipse of the sun is still viewed with superstition and many will not look at it out of fear. Pregnant Indian women are being told not to go out but to stay in bed for the duration. Of course, these people are probably wiser than those who continue to ignore advice and look directly at the sun without proper shielding. With the eclipse traveling across such wide areas of dense populations, statistically, there must be quite a number of newly blind idiots.

I have experienced a partial eclipse before and it was strange to see the shadows and the reduced light. I too would have freaked out if I hadn't been taught about it in school. It can be very awesome and intimidating.

However, this time round, it was mostly just rainy.

Malaysia suffered a different sort of darkness. It was not the eclipse of the sun but it may turn out to be an eclipse of justice. It certainly brought a lot of darkness into the lives of one family in particular and the nation as a whole.

On the 15th of July, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission raided the offices of Members of the State Assembly in Selangor who happen to belong to opposition parties to the Federal Government to investigate alledged misuse of constituency funds. Somehow, the political secretary to one of the State Assemblymen, Teoh Beng Hock, was asked to accompany the officers back to their office to help in their investigations.

It was important to note that Teoh was said to have gone voluntarily and he was a witness and not a suspect. Yet the next day, the 30 year old was found dead on the 5th Floor of the Commissions offices, apparently having plummeted to his death from the 14th Floor. Although, it is known that he was still being interrogated even at 3 am., MACC officers claim to have lost touch with his whereabouts after that.

Teoh was due to marry his pregnant girlfriend on the very next day. Instead, she mourns him at her funeral. How could this young, idealistic public servant who was not even a suspect but voluntarily helping in investigations, ended up tragically killed while at the Commission's Offices?

We hope that there will be no cover up and justice will be done. Then at least this pall of darkness can be lifted just a little.

Teoh's girlfriend and his unborn child face a future without him.

I think it is time to get out from the shadows.

Casualty of Work

on Thursday, July 16, 2009

Just in case, the moons of Jupiter are aligned with the rings of Saturn which might possibly lead someone out there in the vastness of the universe to have noticed that this squirrel hasn't been making his usual's all because of a four letter word...."W O R K".

Yup, this squirrel is being overworked and exploited by the evil world order. So have a good week and I will try to reappear into the sunlight on the other side of Jupiter's shadow.

In the meantime, the following picture expresses my feelings.

Kurious Kat

on Saturday, July 04, 2009

My friend Kat has tagged me to do this meme. She was supposed to tag 8 others to do it but she only tagged me. So, I think it is reasonable that I tag no one but feel free to do it is you want and let me know if you chose to do so.

And now Kat, because you wanted to know.........

What is your current obsession?
Having used Window based computer systems all my life, I am considering getting my first Apple computer for my photos and video work. It's turning out to be a huge life changing decision for me as an Apple costs almost double the price here. I am currently obsessively reading up on Apple and talking to anyone who has used one.

What are you wearing today?
An old but comfortable T-shirt commemorating the 2nd Annual Taste of Banff Festival, Lake Louise in 1994 and brown shorts and brown moccasins. I remember trying bison at the Festival.

What’s for dinner?
Dim Sum! I know this is usually eaten for breakfast or lunch but this particular restaurant has a 30-45 minute waiting time during the day so my wife and I always go at dinner time when there is no queue. We do this about twice a month.

What’s the last thing you bought?
Apart from groceries, I recently bought a book about Malaysian Highland Orchids for a friend.

What are you listening to right now?
I recently came across someone who Ecuador who plays Native American music in Malaysia. I am listening to his CD.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
There is a tranquil pool fed by a river stream in the middle of the rainforest in Endau Rompin National Park (Johor), Malaysia. Crystal clear waters and surrounded by the jungle.......peace.

Which language do you want to learn?
Spanish. I just like the sound of it. I'm a big fan of Spanish music but it would be good to understand the lyrics. Otherwise, I've also admired Gaelic.

What do you love most about where you currently live?
The fact that you can get Malay, Chinese, Indian and other ethnic foods almost anytime of the day. In fact, I love this a bit too much.

What is your favorite colour?
Aquamarine or any blue-green combination.

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?
Similar to Cindy, any T-shirt which commemorates a place that I have been to.

Describe your personal style?
Casual and sloppy.

Name a famous person you share a birthday with.
Apparently, I share a birthday with the British author, Roald Dahl (1916 - 1990).

What are you going to do after this?
Watch some TV and then sleep.

Your favorite smell?
Smell of bacon in the morning.........yummy. But okay, favorite smell would also be the smell of rain. That is so refreshing.

Do you collect anything?
Selected comic books like Bone and Groo. Used to collect commemorative tea-towels to remember places I visit. Now it is T-shirts and photos.

What makes you follow a blog?
Interesting and honest people with interesting and honest things to say. People I can learn things from.

Do you like to comment on blogs or just lurk?
I lurk ever so briefly but then I like to leave comments cause I like the interaction.

What’s one thing you dream of doing?
Whitewater rafting down the Colorado or the Amazon.

What is your biggest regret?
Not helping a friend when I had the opportunity.

What is your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
Curl up with a book and doze off.

Do you have a tattoo?
Nope! Absolutely not my thing.

Do you play an instrument?
Up to 6 chords on the guitar but little else.

Who was your hero (or "shero") when you were a child?
David Livingstone.

If you find a spider in your house, would you: a) kill it, b) leave it alone, C) capture it and release it outside? (This is my added question)
Leave it alone.

Independence Day?

on Friday, July 03, 2009

The majority of the readers that come by my humble blog are actually from the US of A. After I kind of went overboard in my exultation of the Red Maple Leaf and the land of Dudley Do-Right in my last post, I wondered if I should post on the Independence Day celebrations of the United States. Strangely, when I visited most of my regular American Blogs, I did not find a single post about the 4th of July. However, even so, I realised it was only right that I did.

So to all my American readers and visitors, "Happy Independence Day!"

Cherish your hard won independence and protect it. You came so close to losing it after that debacle of an election in 2000 when you could not decide Bush or Gore. Soon after, this letter was drafted purportedly by John Cleese and sent to the American was a notice of revocation of Independence.

To the citizens of the United States of America, in the light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories. Except Utah, which she does not fancy. Your new prime minister (The Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a minister for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed. To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. You should look up revocation in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up aluminium. Check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and 'neighbour', skipping the letter 'U' is nothing more than laziness on your part. Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters. You will end your love affair with the letter 'Z' (pronounced 'zed' not 'zee') and the suffix ize will be replaced by the suffix ise. You will learn that the suffix 'burgh' is pronounced 'burra' e.g. Edinburgh. You are welcome to respell Pittsburgh as 'Pittsberg' if you can't cope with correct pronunciation.

Generally, you should raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. Look up vocabulary. Using the same twenty seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. Look up interspersed. There will be no more 'bleeps' in the Jerry Springer show. If you're not old enough to cope with bad language then you shouldn't have chat shows. When you learn to develop your vocabulary then you won't have to use bad language as often.

2. There is no such thing as "US English". We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of -ize.

3. You should learn to distinguish the English and Australian accents. It really isn't that hard. English accents are not limited to cockney,upper-class twit or Mancunian (Daphne in Frasier). You will also have to learn how to understand regional accents - Scottish dramas such as Taggart will no longer be broadcast with subtitles. While we're talking about regions, you must learn that there is no such place as Devonshire in England. The name of the county is Devon. If you persist in calling it Devonshire, all American States will become shires e.g. Texasshire, Floridashire, Louisianashire.

4. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as the good guys. Hollywood will be required to cast English actors to play English characters. British sit-coms such as Men Behaving Badly or Red Dwarf will not be re-cast and watered down for a wishy-washy American audience who can't cope with the humour of occasional political incorrectness.

5. You should relearn your original national anthem, God Save The Queen but only after fully carrying out task 1. We would not want you to get confused and give up half way through.

6. You should stop playing American football. There is only one kind of football. What you refer to as American football is not a very good game. The 2.15% of you who are aware that there is a world outside your borders may have noticed that no one else plays American football. You will no longer be allowed to play it, and should instead play proper football. Initially, it would be best if you played with the girls. It is a difficult game. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which is similar to American "football", but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like nancies). We are hoping to get together at least a US Rugby sevens side by 2005. You should stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the 'World Series' for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.15% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders,your error is understandable. Instead of baseball, you will be allowed to play a girls' game called rounders, which is baseball without fancy team strip, oversized gloves, collector cards or hotdogs.

7. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry guns. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous in public than a vegetable peeler. Because we don't believe you are sensible enough to handle potentially dangerous items, you will require a permit if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

8. July 4th is no longer a public holiday. November 2nd will be a new national holiday, but only in England. It will be called Indecisive Day.

9. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and it is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean. All road intersections will be replaced with roundabouts. You will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time,you will go metric with immediate effect and conversion tables. Roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips. Fries aren't even French, they are Belgian though 97.85% of you (including the guy who discovered fries while in Europe) are not aware of a country called Belgium. Those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut and fried in animal fat. The traditional accompaniment to chips is beer which should be served warm and flat. Waitresses will be trained to be more aggressive with customers.

11. As a sign of penance 5 grams of sea salt per cup will be added to all tea made within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, this quantity to be doubled for tea made within the city of Boston itself.

12. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all, it is lager. From November 1st only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer,and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. The substances formerly known as American Beer will henceforth be referred to as Near-Frozen Knat's Urine,with the exception of the product of the American Budweiser company whose product will be referred to as Weak Near-Frozen Knat's Urine. This will allow true Budweiser (as manufactured for the last 1000 years in Pilsen,Czech Republic) to be sold without risk of confusion.

13. From November 10th the UK will harmonise petrol (or Gasoline, as you will be permitted to keep calling it until April 1st 2005) prices with the former USA. The UK will harmonise its prices to those of the former USA and the Former USA will, in return, adopt UK petrol prices (roughly $6/US gallon- get used to it).

14. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun.

15. Please tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us crazy.

16. Tax collectors from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all revenues due (backdated to 1776).

Thank you for your co-operation and have a great day.

John Cleese

Thankfully, you have chosen wisely for now with President Obama and motherland England have their own scandals to deal with; so your Independence seems safe for the next few years.

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