Sunday, May 28, 2006

Singapore - a true test of the survival of the fittest

Did you hear the good news that a hawksbill turtle chose East Coast Park as a nesting ground? 76 little "turtlings" were eventually rescued and released into the sea. For a good read about this event, check out Siva's blog...

Quoted "If any of the hatchlings survive the many trials of life at sea, they will eventually return to Singapore in about 30 years! Wonder what sort of shore will greet them then. ..."

Come to think of it, I'm not sure that it was all that wise for the mother to choose Singapore....if she had a choice....With our unfriendly polluted waters and high shipping traffic, the poor things will have to fend for themselves out there! I will give my highest salute to those that make it back to Singapore 30 years from now....let's old would I be by then? Hmmm....

Anyways, I thought it opportune to remind others to celebrate the incredibly rich marine life bestowed upon us right here in tiny Singapore!

To find out more about the making of the video, go to ze related blog : Dances with Sharkmen

A series of backside events!

Hey kids, there's a new bike trail in town...

After spending a week deliberating with the MTB Tribal Bike Council on whether to reverse the BT trail, we decided to bite the bullet and JUST DO IT! Now, bikers can enjoy the other 50% of this trail which we all love so much....our famous Bukit Timah Nature Reserve reverse, anti-clock-wise direction, belakang.....! Hence....

Spent the past week workin' on the poster, drafting the cautionary words, reasoning with some super-giasu bikers who would rather not risk life and limb....! Several nights at Nik+Pling's place to construct the signage (kinda like revisiting our primary school arts and crafts lesson), fighting over signage material (can it withstand rain, itchy fingers, itchy backside, blind bikers???), and wondering how on earth to attach the little "lollipops" onto the poles? A pleasant visit to bras basah's "Art Friend" to purchase materials (yeah, they have A2 plastic holders!)! And comscotch and duct tape have never been more useful!

Took Friday off and met up with Maximuzz and Huimin to set up the trail! Given the heavy duty equipment we had to carry (hammer, poles, huge signages, scissors, tape, etc.), we left our trusty steeds in the garage! Couple of other bikers joined us in the then, it was getting really dark and the heavens threatened to thankfully didn't, but we had to "siam" all the lightning rods which were gettin' a tad bit too close for our comfort!

I was thinkin' to much work just for 2 it worth it? Will our MTBers bikers really appreciate it? Well, it's a good opportunity to get feedback from the MTBing community as to whether they would vote for a more permanent reversal say every 3 or 6 months!

Over the weekend, I could safely say there was probably a record-breaking gathering of bikers who came to celebrate the new trail! Even bumped into a couple of bikers I hadn't seen in eons! So, was it worth the effort? Well, just seeing the satisfactory smile on ze bikers' faces was....priceless!!!

Unfortunately, our dear friend, Yew Weng, kena a "suey" accident a short distance after the twin barrier heading towards the gravelling hill leading to Dairy Farm! And it wasn't even the result of the reversal.....just bad luck I guess! I didn't see him fall, but was informed that he'd fractured both the bones in his left forearm! Ouch! According to Professiore Chi, they're called the Radius and the Ulna...the bones, that is!

Becks dialled 995 and when asked where to locate the victim, she realised that she had no clue! She resorted to asking the victim, who was probably in extreme throbbing pain, "hey, what's the name of this road ah?"....He muttered something like "Dairy Farm.......", while holding onto his arm and making his way back to the tarmac on foot! Poor fella!

Chi sent me on an errand to flag the ambulance....since it's really a jungle in there and they may otherwise be driving around in circles! I cycled to the main road and waved at the approaching ambulance. Hmmm....that was pretty fast! Good!

The barriers were thankfully unlocked, so we unlatched the barriers and they drove past both barriers and disappeared in the direction of the victim, who was about 400 m away. Rina joined me at the gates and we waited for the ambulance to leave so that we could close the gates behind them. mins! Still no sign of them! What's taking them so long? If it had been someone with a super serious injury, this kinda delayed response would really suck!

Just as I had predicted, the ambulance was trying all means to make a 12-point turn to get back from whence they came! The vehicle took up the width of the tarmac road and there was nowhere for them to do a 180. Why not "gostan"? According to the driver, there was a section on the road which seemed risky to negotiate backwards. Guess ambulance drivers were never really taught to drive backwards!

Several bikers guided the vehicle to several potential turning spots. At times, the wheels sunk into muddy patches, and our biker friends had to assist in giving it a boost...from the backside! I can imagine how drama it all looked!

After bidding farewell to the relieved ambulance folk, Chi and the Angels continued to ride the rest of the trail, followed by a trailrun in the normal direction so that we had time to react when we see the incoming bikers. And it poured, and poured, and poured! We were totally drenched from head to toe! I was huffing and puffing coz I hadn't been exercising much! Sigh...gotta get back into shape!

Yeah! We're back at the carpark! Becks and Rina managed to contort themselves in the back of Mr Squink with 3 bikes! Amazing feat! I drove us to our regular kopitiam haunt along Dunearn Road and warmed up to some yummy bak kut teh with our "black" and "white" on the side!

Looking back, this series of back-bending events was a great sidetrack from my regular routine! One round of BT in reverse was just not enough for Firefly to kick ass! But dun worryz, I'll Be Back! Another weekend dedicated to setting up the race trail.

Just hope Yew Weng manages to get back into action soon! Here's wishin' him swift recovery.....the Steroid Sisters can't wait to trash him all over again! :)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Tribute to the Sipadan Victims

This was a short film which I submitted for the Asian Geographic video competition a few years ago which was selected as one of the top 5 short films. Thot it opportune to dedicate it to the victims that suffered the fate of one lousy human error in the recent Sipadan debacle!

Just imagine, it just takes 1 human error to undo thousands of years of coral growth...and to destroy the marine creatures, big and small, living within that reef eco-system!

To read more about this incident, go to :-
Finsonline Article on Sipadan - Tragic Incident

WildSingapore News
(Note Malaysia's response. *roll eyes* The article was actually brought to my attention by a fellow diver who's Malaysian....his sarcastic parting words "That's why i love my country. Malaysia Boleh!"

Other news articles

Just in case you're wondering "So, what's the big deal? They're just coral....are these things even alive? Don't see no blood or anyone screaming "please help me""......well then, you're in for a little education....

Read this and then think again :
Coral Reef Conservation in Malaysia

Sipadan was one of the best dive locations I have ever ventured to - I can still remember each dive (ahhhh....heavenly).....and that was more than half a decade ago! Unfortunately I hadn't taken up underwater videography back then, hoping to cover as many other dive locations as possible before treating myself to a second round of marine life unlimited at Sipadan / Mabul.

Some of the creatures and corals will be sorely missed as a result of this blatant act of human intervention! Sigh!!!!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Alien Training Video


Yes, indeed, this 16mm short is silent coz it was the first time we shot on 16 mm using an Arriflex 16mm camera. Me took a 16mm film course sometime ago and the 5 of us in class were asked to shoot our practice film in sequential order without any form of editing. I joined forces with fellow wacky Brian and we had a hell of a friggin good time shooting it! Tho' I trimmed it a little, it is largely as is!

I'd just like to say that I'm very lucky to have such supportive friends who wasted a whole Sunday multi-tasking as cast / crew / make-up artist / public amusement etc. etc.

By the way, their names are withheld just in case this short becomes a cult classic and they get paparazized on the streets of Sing-gar-pore! Hee hee!