Saturday, 27 January 2007

An Inconvenient Truth... Again!!!

Whoppee!!! Blog surfing DOES pay off.... Found out from Monkey's blog that there would be a couple of free screenings for Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" in NUS ^^ This is a chance for those who did not manage to catch it last year when it was screened, so PLEASE GO AND WATCH!!!! Details as shown below:

Date: 2nd February 2007 (Friday)
Time: 7pm – 9pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre 16, School of Business

Date: 8th February 2007 (Thursday)
Time: 7pm - 9pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre 28, Faculty of Science

Click for the rambling...

Friday, 26 January 2007

Life is short...

Dearest Linda,

I may not have known you long or very well but you have made an impression on my life. Your smiles, your cheerfulness, your entire sunny disposition really brightened up my day. Especially when going for SPS stuff at the end of the day. Can't believe that you are gone. Gone just like that. Not knowing what happen, just a couple of impersonal emails received today, to inform us that you went away on Wednesday 24 Jan 2007. I do hope you went as painlessly as possible, even as I join the many who have found you dear and would miss your presence. Really regret not meeting up with you after those couple of semesters together at SPS. Really. Your presence HAS made a difference in my life. I may not be able to remember the exact topic of our discussions, but I always went away thinking and pondering more. Really never thought that I would never get a chance to even say hi anymore. Even as I try to wipe away these tears and get on with life, I do hope you are at peace and that your family would pull together. God bless....
Click for the rambling...

Sunday, 21 January 2007

First Semakau walk of the year ^^

Was out stalking shore critters yesterday. Yar, I know... I had to miss the first ReefWalk for this.... Found out later that they saw a nudibranch as big as a person's face (?!) Don't know if I should believe them or not.... Be prepared for a long, long entry!!

We started off the journey in a torrent of rain, with Ron trying to get us to interact a bit more since it IS an opportunity for the trainees to get to know the experienced guides. Got to the landfill area quite relaxed thanks to the light hearted atmosphere. Still raining so we waited in the canteen area. Between Semakau mangoes and table tennis, we had enough to keep us entertained.

Thankfully we didn't have to wait long, and soon we were on our way to the entry area via bus, and had a glimpse of one of the completely filled cells. Nice patch my grassy area over our burnt trash. Mr Poi's a real nice driver, even filling in more information about the filled cell for us ^^

Here we have arrived at the entry area, at the stairs leading down to the last sheltered area we would have.

And looking back at the bus...

Peiya's expression says it all, doesn't it? ^^

A quick intro to some plants and butterflies while waiting for the light drizzle to come to a complete stop.

After bashing through the forest with muddy sploches everywhere, we were greeted by this amazing area of HUMONGOUS reef flat. Tried to take a panoroma of it but forgot to change the settings, resulting in this badly done patchwork photo of part of the reef flat area. So HUGE!!!! Simply unbelieveable!!! Please click on the thumbnail to see the full scope of it. ^^

After oogling at the amount of reef/shore exposed, we started off exploring in drips and draps.

Saw so many things that I can't remember what I saw in what order, so will just present some of them here. The complete range of photos are in my Yahoo! photos.

Here's looking at ya, baby!! Baby cuttlefish!!! Only around a 1-2cm in length. This was the only decent shot I got of it. The focus on the other one was off.

One of the many nudis out in throves yesterday. Can't remember whose finger I used for a scale though....

Got scolded by E1 for not bringing down my camera the very first time we saw this Gymnodoris rubropapulosa nudibranch just off the breakwater where the replanted mangroves at Semakau while diving.

Not being an anemone person, can only tell that this is a branched anemone....

If you think this is yet another anemone, think again. It's actually a Heliofungiid, a type of solitary free-living mushroom coral. In other words, a hard coral. The tentacles somewhat resemble that of the bulbous anemone that tomato clownfish are associated with. Easily mistaken since unlike most hardcorals, these tentacles are out ALL the time.

One of the most common residents of Singapore's natural shores, the hairy crab.

Yet another commonly seen crab not just in Singapore, but seen them along Paya beach at Tioman Island in West Malaysia. Plese correct me if I am wrong but I *think* it's a sesarmid crab.

Big, fat sandfish sea cucumber. Well, it seems like the edible species of sea cucumbers are named something or another "fish". Also saw the stonefish sea cucumber but by the time I got there, waters too murky to try taking any shots. Oh well...

This fella was found amongst the seagrass field, right next to our zone of death. Can you guess what it is? It's the mouth of a synaptid sea cucumber, and they can grow REALLY REALLY long. Think this one that we saw was 1m-odd.

Another encouraging thing we saw all over the reef flat. Tonnes and tonnes of coral recruits. Something that I have yet to see at Kusu... SOOOOoooo cool seeing so many of them popping up nearly everywhere ^^

Looks like Davy Jones' locks (think pirates of the Caribbean), right? Kinda gross. This is a soft coral, one kind of dead man's fingers. ^^

I spy with my little eye a Fugu!!! This little guy was flopping about in a series of pools. Refused to keep still for a photo and kept mucking up the water.

Guess this was the reason it was so skittery. The photo's blurry but it's an attempt at a close-up of a big ugly laceration on the poor puffer.

Introducing the noble volute!!! This is the first one we saw, rather early in the evening some more.

Close up of the nicely patterned mantle. Love the orange patches. so chio~~~ *fangirls*

Then someone spotted this clump of unusual looking stuff. Looked like some kind of eggs, though only confirmed it with Zee later. These are noble volute eggs!!! A reall first for me ^^ Big thanks to Zee for the ID-ing!!

And this was the bigger one that we spotted just as we were ending the walk. Probiscus and all out, mantle nicely spread. PERFECT photo opportunity, man!!

The icons of the CJ guidebook, the knobbliy sea stars!! First time seeing them, so big!!! Pity we don't get them at Kusu. Big and colorful, definitely appeal to visitors. ^^

Up close with an arm...

And the 5 pinnacles up close... Why do they look so looming?

That's because they are THIS big!!! Practically giants compared to the dull colored common sea stars that are almost everywhere.

This fragile looking feather star aka crinoid is a familiar friend to me. But it's the first time I see one in the intertidal area!! And apparently it's a first for a Semakau walk too!

Samson found this!! A cushion star ^^ Also a first for Semakau walks. So glad I decided to tag along with Ron when he went in search of this cushion star!! Since I also caught a glimpse of a small octopus near the cushion star, though we did end up pretty far fromt he entry point....

Cushion star texture. Why's it so bumpy? It's an echinoderm, so related to crinoids and sea stars and sea cucumbers, and thus the bumpy skin. Darn... just short of a sea urchin sighting....

Dusk starts to fall but there's a bunch of us (kinda led by Ron here) at the far end of the flats... near those evil looking chimneys that are puffing out fumes....

Minus Ron, it's definitely a juxtaposition of nature and urbanisation... Oh those evil buildings in the background.....

Time to head back... See the light at the far end at the edge of the trees? That's our entry/exit point.... But wait, the sightings have nto come to an end!!!

What could this be? Looks like another anemone, but wait! It's pulsating....

It's an upside down jellyfish!!! Or at least it was until we turned it over ^^ It looks greenish because it has algae in it (are they zooxs too?) So they usually are found upside down, so as to expose as much of the algae/zoox to sunlight as possible, thus the name.

With this, the show-and-tell session comes to an end, and by right, that would have been the end of the day for me as well if I hadn't gone over to Marina South to join the rest of the RWers.... At least I got Zee to ID the clump of eggs, got introduced to yet another guide, plus had an interesting ride home with Elain, DW, and Kim Yong in MS's car. ^^ Including this excerpt of the car conversation(s) just for entertainment value (if any):

With just 2 passengers left in the car....
KY: "So where do you stay?"
J: "Boon Lay"
KY: "MS, where you staying now?"
MS(rather nonchalantly): "I'm staying over at her place"
KY: "Oh, OK."
= 5-10 seconds of silence =
KY: "Wait a minute...."
*J & MS laugh*
MS: "No la... Going back NTU...."
Shows what sleepiness does to thought processes.....

Oh, and other takes on yesterday's exploratory walk.
Til the next low tide then~~~
Click for the rambling...

Overdued post on Pulau Jong....

Finally dived off Pulau Jong sometime after Christmas last year but only just sorted out the photos and stuff today. *paiseh* Just a quick post before I go sort out yesterday's Semakau walk photos... Hee... Thankfully not to many photos to share since I was doing LIT for HX on this dive. The nicer ones are here but the full bunch is in my yahoo albums (also updated more random photos).

Nice big CMR

Yet another nice big fella ^^

Couple of photos of my first cuttlefish caught on camera!!!

Thorny oyster
Click for the rambling...

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

movie spree ^^

Seems like I have been spending more time in the cinemas watching movies the past few weeks that I have been in the entire of 2006... Haha... Interestingly enough, all three of them are all non-Chinese movies caught at the JP GV, and I felt they were all more or less worth it. Gonna do a quick movie (sorta) review here with links to the official movie sites, actually more on my impressions than on the actual plot themselves since those are easily available online.... Caught the first 2 with Wai and the last one was with MS... at the very least I now have a couple of movie kakis to catch shows near home ^^

(1) Confession of Pain 伤城
This one is a pretty straight forward usual way of telling a story in a film media, basically the story of a guy through his friend's eyes. Pretty interesting how the entire story unfolded. Rather slow going at parts but the character developments are rather interesting to watch, definitely carrying on the present fashion of making characters more believeable by projecting both the good and bad sides, thus making them more 3D and realistic to us. No real surprises in the plot (at least not to me) though the 2 leads (Tony Leung and Takeshi Kaneshiro) did more than justice to their respective characters of best friends ^^

(2) Death Note 2: the Last Name デスノート
Finally get to catch Ryuk and L on the big screen!! *fangirls* Honestly speacking, nothing very special about this Japanese movie except that the plotline diverges from the original manga. Like the change in the plot much more than the story in the manga with the introduction of M and N... Though the pity about L~~

(3) One Last Dance 茶舞
Wonderful mindboggling Chinese movie. Love the filmatography!! It's just like a very well choreographed dance~~~ Francis Ng is just perfect for the role of the gentlemen assasin ^^ *swoons* My favourite scene was the one that was showing Ko at a nightclub chatting up the girls. That entire scene was shown using polaroid photos being stacked on top of each other as the scene unfolds, with the conversation going on as pernormal. Absolutely brilliant I say!! Definitely recommend this movie to all me friends... Just maybe not after a long day since this is more of a thinking show than an unwinding one.... Probably one of the few times that an unplanned movie turned out to be a great choice ^^
Click for the rambling...

Monday, 8 January 2007

Let the lessons begin....

Only taking one module this semester but the Monday lectures are at 8am!! *whines* Plus the fact that SEA conservation taught by a couple of cynical (though inspiring researchers and mentors) is rather depressing..... Just that my semester has just started on a depressing note and that the rest of the module seems to the same. Probably not gonna be discussing much on marine conservation, except for the one guest lecture that Prof would be doing. Really makes me wonder as to whether what I am doing at the moment is going to have any impact on our environment, be it Singapore or SEA or the world. How does studying the settlement and post-settlement survivorship in Pocillopora damicornis fit into the bigger picture of it all? *sigh* Sounds pretty much like what Wai voiced out before... Can just only hope that whatever little that I am doing is like helping each and everyone of those stranded seastars and whales and dolphins... Just hope that we are not causing unnecessary damage to the environment.... *hefty sigh*

In the meantime, the group project sounds promising. No details have been ironed out so far but it seems that we would be working/proposing some possible modules that Conservation International would provide to developing countries with some aid in the education of conservation. Promising, eh? Degree of practicality/feasibility? I have absolutely no idea... Will just have to see how it all goes ^^
Click for the rambling...

Sunday, 7 January 2007


Here's presenting the fully functional version 2 of ASHIRA ^^ Revamping this from the original Legolas layout has caused me to learn a little more about CSS along with refreshing me rusty HTML (and has also made me realise that having blogger codes of any kind tends to cause HTML to behave strangely) If and when I find the time to dissect an iFRAMES layout in a bit to do my own, this blog would definitely be ifted up more!! In the meantime, I love this layout that combines God, blue-ness, and the sea, all-into-one.

The copyright is still up since the bulk of the coding is still MyrrhLynn's, though I sadly cannot remember where I got the main picture from. It's cropped from a wallpaper I found sometime back.

*jeeps* Have to wake up early for the first Tropical Conservation lecture tomorrow and I still haven't typed in the data for my experiments!!! Just couldn't resist tinkering with ASHIRA... Especially since it's the start of the new tear!! Not to worry, only taking Tropical Conservation this semester (and crashing a couple of extra modules) ^^ *back-to-work, back-to-work*
Click for the rambling...

Saturday, 6 January 2007

And so the new year begins....

*PHEW* finally managed to change my blog layout. The year-end break has been real short, and somehow packed (I have no idea how I managed to busy myself), so I just used one of MyrrhLynn's layouts that are available on her Daystar website. Back to simple table coding, so no more messy scripts lying all over ^^ At least this time round I sorta understood most of the coding, though I still feel sorely out of practice~~ Slightly cheery-er, greener color scheme to start me year off! Loads faster too!! Too tired (after making sure all the linkies and stuff work) to actually make something that is more uniquely mine but managed to find quotes and user pics that actually match nicely ^^ Just wait til I have time to fiddle around again.. if ever that is!! *grr*

Good news is that the link to the photos is sorted out. Just a common link to the albums page of my yahoo photos but that should be it... At least til I fiddle with Picasa and see how it compares... And before I forget,

Click for the rambling...