Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Amazing Way to Tie Your Shoes

I received an email attachment from my brother about shoelace. I usually do my shoelace once when I buy the shoes, and never again. But I'm still amazed by how cool some of the methods are.

My favourite - Lattice Lacing

See more at Ian's Shoelace site.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Miniature Earth

If the world's population were reduced to 100, it would look something like this.

You and me are really really fortunate.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Maaf Zahir Batin

It's the end of Ramadan today and the celebration starts. In Malaysia, we call it the Hari Raya Puasa or Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

I take this opportunity to learn a bit more about this festival and its meaning. I found this article that explains the meaning of Maaf Zahir Batin, which means "forgive my physical and emotional (wrongdoings)".

I seek your forgiveness for things that I have done wrong in the past. If I have offended you in anyway, that was never my intention.

Selamat Hari Raya Puasa.

And then I'm thinking about Ketupat and Rendang

Images from Wikipedia.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

VideoTrace: Rapid interactive scene modelling from video

Cool 3D modelling application developed at Adelaide U, appeared in Siggraph 2007.
VideoTrace: Rapid interactive scene modelling from video

Thanks Danno.

Conference photos at Modena are up

Four days of the International Conference of Image Analysis and Processing (ICIAP) in Modena.
I split them into two albums, first one is the conference part - talks, posters, my presentation, my hotel, cool buildings, interesting toilet, etc. and the second one is the highlight of welcome cocktail at the Ferrari Museum and the very grand conference dinner.

2007_09_10-13 Conference days2007_09_11-12 Galleria Ferrari & Conference Dinner

If you want more, there are more photos on the conference website photo page.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

6.7% interest RaboPlus + $50 cash

Damned! I've already had an account with them as I blog about it here and here.

Anyhow, you the reader can take advantage of this:

As an SMSPup member, apply for a new 6.70% pa RaboPlus online savings account between Sunday 7th October and Saturday 13th October 2007 and we'll kick start your savings with $50 when your account is opened.
Important Note: To take up this offer, please quote SMS1007 in the promotional code field when you apply online. Conditions apply**.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Amsterdam Photos are up

Yeap the photos are up.

Let me recall on the trip a bit. Before I set foot on Amsterdam, I had on my list several things I know about it - Tulips, Van Gogh, Red light district and diamond. I set out to see the later 3 and I did.

I reached Amsterdam late at night. It took me some effort to get to the Shelter City hostel as it's all dark and I didn't have a proper map of the area. But luckily a nice officer at the train station helped me up. Dutch people are nice. :)

Then I checked in the place, pretty crowded 8 beds dormitory. All other beds are already taken. I got a bed on top. The locker is outside the room. So I chucked my stuffs in the locker and went out for a night venture.
It's funny that the hostel is a Christian hostel with big "Jesus loves you" sign on the wall to greet the guests. But I found it rather strange that it is actually located within the red light district. And some of the girls' business locations are just besides an old church. Sin and savior have never been so close together. I have this irony in mind and one of the volunteer (a nice German girl with fantastic voice, and she played the guitar singing one song she wrote. I'm like melted) there shared a great vision with me that the church should really be at the dirtiest or sinnest place on earth, those people are the one most in need of salvation. I was awe struck, well said!

Anyhow, I did go deep into the redlight district as an observer of life in the very different part of the world. Lots of girls dressed in bikinis pose in their own windows to get business. Some are really good looking, but there are also some which made me pace faster. The good thing there I guess is the "No pimp allowed" law there, so all the girls will get what they get paid for without another layer of exploitation.
Another surprise I get is that I actually felt quite safe walking around there alone. It's very different from my imagination of mafia, sex trade, gang fight, guns and marijuana. I did see people rolling marijuana and smoking it in pub.

I took a boat trip on the day. It's a great way to experience the many canal and see the leaning buildings. They say "Nothing is straight in Amsterdam", the road at funny angles with each other, the buildings are leaning left and right, and even the people, hehe, it's the gay capital!

I went to Van Gogh Museum and learnt that he's another very sad and depressed artist. Artistic wise, there are nice paintings to see. That's all I can say. Haha! Oh, a surprise is that there are some Japanese geisha painting (typical Japanese style) that Van Gogh drew to learn different style of drawings.

I went to a diamond polishing factory to admire many diamonds and unexpectedly caught a Chinese tour group. So I got some free guided tour with an exclusive diamond sale behind locked security door. The factory has some Chinese employees to take care of the rich Chinese buyers. It's good to be Chinese. Haha! A random Caucasian tried to sneaked in like me and got told off without much difficulty.

After the diamond tour, I had all the things I wanted to see checked off my list!

Another interesting thing was the dinner. I went to a pub to have dinner - some sort of chilli mussel with salad, for 10 Euro. I ordered it and got myself a Heineken to sip. When it finally arrive, it's a huge pile! Pretty tasty, I can't help but to count them, it total at 70+. Great dinner!

I think that's about it for my Amsterdam 2 nights 1 day tour. Now go hit the photos.