Wednesday, 29 September 2010
Hosting a Show Is Not Easy!

Today in Australia one of the more popular news is one whereby the latest Australia's Next Top Model show host announced the wrong winner!

You should check this article out. There's also a video which you can watch, which is of much better quality than the ones I can find on YouTube. I wonder why is the news even delivered via an earpiece? Maybe now live competition shows will switch to using the envelope like awards shows.

From Failbook. I find the neighbour so funny!

But I'm impressed with the runner-up for being so sporting and comforting not only the rightful winner but the host as well. She looked more of a host, and the host looked like she lost a competition. I mean, it was so embarrassing, because she even made her acceptance speech and all, but when it was announced that it wasn't her, she still handled it okay.

Of course, there are those who think that the whole thing was a publicity stunt. I would say that it is a possibility, despite the models saying it wasn't. I wouldn't even know much about the show had this not happened.

I wonder whether the host still has a job after this?

Another thing I will be sharing with you guys is a would-have-been love story that I saw on Failbook. Just to help those of you who might not be clear about it, James is the one on the right.

Didn't that make you go 'awww if only one of them spoke up!'. So I guess the lesson here is to just say what you mean? Although I have to admit, it's easier said than done. I know of so many times when I wanted to say something, but decided not to in the end. There are also times when I said things that I wished I hadn't, or that I didn't mean, like just a few hours ago when I ended an email to the property manager with 'warm regards' when I really don't care about her.

My two week break is coming to an end, and although part of me wishes that I have more time to work on my assignments, but class will be a healthy break from living at my place. Also, daylight saving's starting soon I believe, which means that once again I will be 2 1/2 hours ahead of Malaysia.

Lastly, I'll just end this post with a trailer. It's called The Roommate, and it stars Leighton Meester from Gossip Girl. I wonder how it'll end. 

Read more
Sunday, 26 September 2010
"Take Me To Your Leader"

Today as I was scrolling through the news, one very interesting article caught my attention.

What's it about you ask? "The UN is to appoint an astrophysicist to be the first contact for any aliens".

Yay! Let's work together, humans and aliens.

Yes, you read it right! So when an alien life form finally arrives on Earth, they should be meeting 'an obscure Malaysian astrophysicist'. Those are not my words, but yes, an obscure Malaysian astrophysicist by the name of Mazlan Othman.

Some would argue that the job should fall to the US president, the leaders of Russia or the European Union. Others might suggest the Pope. One thing is certain: humanity's lack of a leader would not make a good impression.

Instead the UN is set to select an obscure Malaysian astrophysicist who is head of its little-known Office for Outer Space Affairs (Unoosa).

Mazlan Othman will describe her potential new role next week at a scientific conference at the Royal Society's Kavli conference centre in Buckinghamshire.

She will tell delegates that the recent discovery of hundreds of planets around other stars has made the detection of extraterrestrial life more likely than ever before - and that means the UN must be ready to co-ordinate humanity's response to any “first contact”.

I don't know which am I more insulted by, that this came out in Australian newspapers and not in Malaysian ones, or that they called the astrophysicist obscure. Granted, I've not heard of her either, but it seems that in Australia anyone who isn't in Australian newspapers are... unimportant. Or that's the impression that I get, anyway.

And I really don't see why the President of the US should be the first point of contact. If Mazlan Othman isn't suitable, then shouldn't the head of the UN be the first point of contact? I mean, it is the United Nations, where all the nations come under one roof. While many will say it's no different from having Obama meet the aliens (should they arrive), it still shows more of a united front. And Mazlan isn't the leader, she's just... an ambassador of sorts.

But thinking of the situation where aliens come to Earth really is funny. I mean, can you even imagine an alien on Earth?

What if one alien survived a crash, and wants to go back?

Can you imagine this scene in real life?

What if the aliens are alien-human hybrids with superhuman powers? Are we going to grant them permanent residency status? Or citizenship as Earthlings?

Can you really, really, imagine people looking like us, being aliens? "They're among us..."

Or, worst yet... what if they don't come in peace? What if their motive is to enslave Earth and bring us back to their home planet as slaves?

That's really disgusting, by the way. And you can't really tell what you're looking at, although I know it's the head since I've watched the movie (Star Kid).

Or what if they come in huge batches, like the ones from District 9 (by the way, that movie's really disgusting)?

Our world seems to be populated by alien culture already. They're always there, in popular culture.Whether it's a movie, book, or television series, aliens have always existed in our lives. So having aliens come to Earth would definitely be... intriguing to say the least. I wonder how racists will react. And should you ever see an alien, don't forget to inform Mazlan... if you're not locked up at Hospital Bahagia first!

Have a great week ahead folks!
Read more
Thursday, 23 September 2010
no image

I believe this will be the third time I'm mentioning this, but I am extremely excited that Harry Potter will be out this year! I'm just hoping I'll able to be back home when it's on screens. If not, I'll probably go to the cinema here anyway, I'm not missing out on the end!

I shall save a post on how I grew up with Harry Potter for when the movie's released. Right now, I'm going to talk about something I read recently that is really interesting. I was researching as part of my assignment, and I came across this guy who said that the new technologies of the internet isn't making society more democratic; it's just about making our private lives public.

When I reflect on it, I do find it true: So many of us sometimes want to tell something to the world for the sake of it. How many times have you thought of something to update on your Twitter account when you're lying on your bed? Hence, the many 'Good morning peeps!' you see on Twitter or 'Eating a wonderful piece of cake now!' (which, makes me wonder how someone juggles eating and updating their statuses).

And since I can't think of anything else to write, I'll just end this with yet another Harry Potter trailer:

P.S. I think I have mild OCD sometimes.
Read more
Sunday, 19 September 2010
Still So Cold!

Reading about summer vacation sure makes me envious. While most Malaysians would kill to enjoy some refreshingly cool weather, I am the other way round. I cannot wait for the summer to arrive. Yes you may think I'm crazy, but even now (at spring), the weather isn't much different from winter- cold and depressing.

It seems like everything I want comes from home.

And as if the weather, food and holidays is not enough, in October there is an exhibition tennis event, and Adam Lambert will be performing in KL.

Blue Mountain, Sydney. Great view, eh?

Seriously, the saying 'you don't know what you've got till you've lost it' is completely true. When I was here I started thinking about how nice my life prior to coming here was. Previously, I didn't understand people who would want to read food blogs, but now, I'm one of those people who hunts these blogs down on Google, bookmark it, and then scour it every now and then. No kidding, yesterday I was reading an entry about ikan kembung masak asam pedas and I got so hungry. Another day I remember reading something about a simple fried fish eaten with chillies and onions in soy sauce, and it made me realise what I'm missing out on. Yeah, it's just fried fish. But if you're saying that, I repeat: 'you don't know what you've got till you've lost it'.

Honestly, sometimes I get so tired of being in 'academia' and part of the 'intelligent' community that I just want to sit back and watch a movie that makes no sense and has no purpose other than scaring you or making you laugh, like Tomorrow When The War Began and Piranha. I mean, wouldn't anyone get tired if you're constantly reading about academic stuff? I just can't wait to get my hands on a fiction book, that I can actually get lost in, like the Percy Jackson series (which, by the way, is very good).

The Three Sisters, from some Aboriginal folk tale. Apparently three sisters were turned into that three rocks over there. That was at Blue Mountain, Sydney as well.

And if anyone hasn't heard, I recently got a housemate, which really makes me feel uncomfortable at times. Previously, the entire place was my territory, where I can move around freely and do what I want. Now, I am pretty much cooped up in my room most of the time. I think I'm just too used to living alone. But you know, I'm pretty sure it would've been a different story had he moved in earlier, because I've used to having my routine in a place that only I lived in for 6 months, and now I have to get used to a new routine. And I only have approximately three months left.

Tomorrow's Monday, but I won't have any classes since it's my two week mid semester break, or teaching break as the uni calls it. And like the first time, I'm dreading this a little. Because I don't think I have that many things to keep me occupied for two weeks (although I've got quite a lot on my plate). And it means staying at home (or rather, in my room).
Read more
Thursday, 16 September 2010
no image

Have you heard of people who, once they reach a certain age, start thinking about the meaning of life? Or perhaps you have thought about it?

I find that pretty interesting sometimes, the fact that we navigate life in stages- from wanting to go everything in our teenage years and youth, to wanting to do something meaningful later in life, to... I don't know what else. Seek answers? Spirituality?

Sometimes, I find that I think about the day when I will think about what the meaning of life is, and what would I do with the rest of my life. But I'm not going to bore you with that. My mid semester break's started, so I have two weeks off!

And as I've got writer's block, here's some funny videos. The last one's my favourite.

Read more
Sunday, 12 September 2010
Something To Keep Me Occupied

I am absolutely happy that the fall season has arrived in the US, because this means that all their TV shows are starting a new season. So whenever I'm bored I can be assured of finding a show that I will enjoy. I'm just hoping that I'll have enough time (and bandwidth) to watch them all.

I recently read a very interesting quote that I would like to share. James Baldwin said that 'the price one pays for pursuing any profession or calling is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side'.

To me, this is very, very true. Although I can't really say that public relations is my profession yet, I'm studying a whole lot about the media and the communication industry and so I would say that you learn a whole lot of things about it that you didn't even think about previously.

The Australian football match that I went to watch.

I believe most professionals out there would call PR 'spin'. Apparently, PR professionals make a living out of bending the truth. I wouldn't know about what's really happening in the industry, but at uni we definitely are always told to practice ethical PR. In fact, there are many things about ethical PR practice in the field right now, just that I guess not many people are aware of it. It's just like everything else. One bad incident and the reputation's tarnished forever.

That, of course, is the good side. The bad side that I've learned about PR is that it's not as fun as people would have you think. A lot of it also has to do with who you know. And in Adelaide, everyone knows someone, so for new people to break in, I would say that it isn't as easy. And from learning about the media, I really get to see how it imposes some ideals on us. Sometimes I resent knowing what I know, because I'll never see my favourite TV shows when I was younger in the same way again.

I'm sure the same thing happens to a lot of other people. You learn about the tools of the trade, and you realise, it's not as glamorous or nice as people would have you believe. So I guess in a way, that's why professionals are always disillusioned about their jobs- they know the dirty tricks.


Moving on, did you know that burglars target people now using Facebook? They basically use your Facebook to see whether you're at home. This website Mashable had an article about it today. I'm honestly not surprised by this, I mean, just look at how many people update their statuses for whatever they're doing. From waking up, to eating, to going out, to meeting friends, to sleep and the list goes on. And don't even get me started on the emo updates. Yes I'm guilty of this occasionally when I do say what I'm going to do although it seems pointless (like 'going to the market now!') but at least I'm not one of those people who do it 5000 times a day.

And since I'm ranting on things I'm annoyed about, I shall say this one more time. I am absolutely annoyed by people who say 'if I can do it so can you'. Just take a look at this video.

No kidding, I love Glee, but isn't that statement by Sue Sylvester true? Not everyone can succeed, and that's why you have 'fry cooks and bus drivers'. It's mean, but hey, I've heard a high school teacher say that in class once. The next time I hear someone say I would be very tempted to ask them why aren't they as rich and powerful as Bill Gates, or has as many Oscar nominations as Meryl Streep, or why didn't they create a search engine or a social networking site and became a billionaire before they turned 30.
Read more
Tuesday, 7 September 2010
Halfway Through

So what's been happening back home? I haven't been keeping with the news lately.

But I do know of the existence of an article in The Star about Australian english and accent!

Wag: If you don’t have a tail and wag school, you are playing hookie.

Footy: That’s rugby.

Strine (pronounced str-ain): E.g. I speak strine (or “Australian” as pronounced by non-English speaking people).

Strailia: The country where strailians live.

Handy to: E.g. handy to shops (conveniently located close to shops).

Pastie (pronounced pahstie): Looks like bad spelling for pastry but actually refers to a Cornish pastry which looks like a very big curry puff. Pasties have a varied filling of vegetable or meat, or a combination of both.

What the rest of the world calls bicycle, the Aussies call “push-bike”. Ute is their word for utility vehicle. “SLUG” is the acronym for single lock-up garage. “DLUG” is the acronym for a double lock-up garage (of course). “BIR” means built-in robe (wardrobe). “Yakka” is work, e.g. hard yakka.

I have to say, though, that it's pretty accurate. I disagree with footy as footy's only like rugby, but it's actually called the Australian Football League, which is really just the Australian version of 'football' (note: what Malaysians call football is soccer here), and it's pretty violent for a sport. I'm not surprised they get injured easily. But it can be pretty fun to watch.

I also found the 'strine' and 'strailia' very accurate. I mean that really is how the Australians pronounce the words. But when it comes to the acronyms, I have to say we Malaysians have ours too don't we? From UMNO to HINDRAF, to K.L and K.K (Kota Kinabalu, not Kota Kemuning), we have our own unique acronyms.

Moving on, I think it's been awhile since I posted a picture of my cooking? So anyway here's my long bean stir fried with kimchi:

Until today I still get amazed when my dishes come out quite tasty, for me anyway. Or another explanation would be the weather- it's so cold I really don't care about the taste, I just want to fill my stomach with food! But there's still one very basic dish that I've not mastered: Porridge.

Yes, porridge. I've tried once or twice since I came here, and yes, it's only a few times, but I think I've not had even the remotest success. Every time it gets too viscous, and it just looks like rice that was cooked with a little too much water. I do like porridge that's thick and viscous, but that was just way too solid. Maybe I'll try again soon.

And now, for the final part- videos.

The first one, is a video introducing Google Chrome OS. I'm not advertising or saying Chrome OS's good because I'm not using it, but I really like the way the video's made- really simple without any complicated looks.

The next two, is another two movie trailers, Takers and Eat, Pray, Love:

And finally, a video of Ryan Seacrest and Larry King singing Poker Face:

I never thought that Larry King was capable of making me laugh!
Read more
Saturday, 4 September 2010
What I Need...

Is a job! For the past few weeks I've been applying for jobs around, and I'm sad to say that I've not gotten one reply. Even as I'm blogging right now I'm applying for a position at Domino's.

Anyway, there's a blog post today on the CNN website called 'Connect the World', where readers are asked to talk about how they think the two countries are connected. Today, it was Sweden and Malaysia. It was extremely interesting for me, as mentions of Malaysia in the international media have been for me lately. I've been curious to see how we are portrayed in other countries. Certainly not too well over here considering I'm constantly told that I speak good English. But then again, can you really blame them for that impression? Especially after watching the hilarious video of the Teoh Beng Hock inquest? I think even I could win a case against Razak; he's just horrible at articulating himself in English.

Another picture of a building in my campus, taken by a friend.

TIME magazine also had an article about Malaysia. Reading that article made me realise what I like most about the Western media- their articles do not have any of the so called uniqueness of Malaysia that we're advertised to be.

Malaysia is that rare country with an unequivocal national narrative. It goes something like this: Malaysia's 28 million people, comprising mainly Malays, Chinese and Indians, make up a moderate and modern emerging democracy. Unlike members of other multiethnic countries, they respect one another's beliefs and values and share a commitment to achieving prosperity. The official religion is Islam, but other faiths are freely allowed and celebrated. This is one harmonious place.

Much of that narrative is true — but not all of it. Malaysia's economic miracle has stalled, and while the nation is, indeed, somewhat pluralistic, it is no melting pot. Indeed, it is a society where people define themselves first and foremost by race.

That pretty much sums us up, doesn't it? I definitely feel much more loyal to our country now that I'm abroad, but at the same time I also am much more critical. So it's like a double edged sword, clich├ęd though it is.

Mount Lofty Summit, highest point in Adelaide if I'm not mistaken. Gosh I miss hot weather!

And I realise that back home, it's holiday season again because of Hari Raya, isn't it? I don't get that here, only Labour Day on October 4th. Yes Labour Day's in October, not May, in Australia. So life goes on for me- I have assignments to do, classes to attend, responsibilities to fulfil. To the point that I'm actually feeling busy! But don't get me wrong. I do not mean that I'm always out and about.

I recently read something in a friend's blog that I completely agree with: Just because you are at home doesn't mean you have a lot of spare time. Here's what she has to say:

When somebody else says she's busy and subsequently posts 20398423 pictures of herself in parties or shopping malls, then she's vindicated. But somehow, when i say i'm busy, i don't quite qualify.

People think that each second spent indoors is like a gallon of wasted youth. But each minute i spend doing little things like ironing the clothes or folding somebody else's underwear, is another minute that my mother doesn't have to do it.

Each minute i spend talking to my brother is another that he doesn't feel alone.

Each word i write in this entry is another that you don't spend reading smut. (I hope.)

So really. Who is really wasting their time?

Some people can be supposedly "catching up with friends", but in actuality, they're just sitting across them at a lunch table, busy tweeting or typing "is catching up with long lost friends" on their facebook statuses.

So yes, I've been, busy. Because guess what? On a rainy and windy Sunday like tomorrow, I get to do my laundry, hopefully clean the apartment and get started on my assignment!

And here's two funny ads for you to enjoy until the next post (I highly recommend the first one):

Read more