Thursday, 26 June 2008

Haiku spammed on Flickr~

divejunkie here is back from her unannounced hiatus ^_^ Photos are slowly being updated on Flickr again (yesh, KS n zhu-ge, I *still* owe you guys quite a few shots....) And it seems the budak is on a roll today! Using his words, I have been "haiku spammed" on Flickr~~ Probably the first day I'm receiving so many comments on Flickr! Here the the photos and haikus (all done by the the duck since I am most definitely not so literally gifted.... Overall I like the light-hearted spin on my recent intertidal trips to Cyrene and the RF refresher at Hantu ^_^

WARNING: All haikus are presented in their entirety, so be prepared getting a taste of duck's sense of humor and outspoken-ness..... Some don't really make sense w/o the original captions so click on the photos to get to the original Flickr photo pages ^^

IMG_1299 20080523 (by juanicthstream)
your star comes up short
it went for a nip and tuck
and now moans its luck

IMG_1252 20080523 (by juanicthstream)
don't count your sea stars
before they hatch to harbour
evil schemes that suck

IMG_1191 guess wat's happening here! (by juanicthstream)
the humanity!
can't stars have sex on the beach
with some privacy?

IMG_1189 tale of 3 echinoderms (by juanicthstream)
see this sordid scene
it costs just a sand dollar
you shameless fella

IMG_1188 picnic on the beach (by juanicthstream)
you sure tis the spot
to bake and burn our bodies
under the hot sun?

IMG_1185 on baby dolphin (by juanicthstream)
five folks in a boat
plus a fishy friend with cam
who forgot the ham?

IMG_1182 silhouette of a duck (by juanicthstream)
i deem this pic foul
it flatters not what's in truth
a fine feathered fowl

IMG_1176 Ivan n KS (by juanicthstream)
what a bad morning
to have herps hounding your day
with flashes of ray

IMG_1259 20080523 (by juanicthstream)
your dull little star
might be a knob or two short
of its set of chips

IMG_1155 anemone clownfish in a field of tentacles (by juanicthstream)
emo is nemo
for soon he'll wake to find
he's now a she-mo

IMG_1123 juvenile CMR (by juanicthstream)
you having fun guys?
aren't you too young to engage
in tentacle porn?

IMG_0999 almost stranded (by juanicthstream)
is that a hole there
in the bottom of the boat?
oh we are so sunk

IMG_0993 preparing to leave (by juanicthstream)
my stars and garters!
i forgot to bring along
my hat and putters

IMG_0934 sam  wondering if the seastar is getting mad...
finger me not sam
or you shall taste the flavour
of sand-blasted ham
Click for the rambling...

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

SoulJa - Sotsugyo [graduation]

歌:SoulJa 作詞:SoulJa 作曲:SoulJa
遊んだあのブランコ コンビニ前待ち合わせの場所
初めて告白した人 思い出詰まったあのグラウンド
川辺に沿ってくあの道 思い出せば歩いてた毎日
昔暑い日にした水遊び 夏休みの終わりの祭り花火

君とまいた 花の種実り 色あせないため心に
大事にするmemory 誓い 無くしたくない so離さない
未来のこと これからのこと 何が起こるかわからないけれど
扉のむこうに待つ 景色の方へと 歩き出そう

僕たちはこれからどこへ行き そこでは何を見る
今までのこと 今までの顔 忘れずに前を進む

いつの間にか時は流れた 過去の日々はどこへと消えた
短いようで長かった日々が 流れるのが早すぎた
少年時代の夢は無限大 広がる世界に希望がいっぱい
この気持ちneva wanna say"good-by"

休むことなく地球は巡る その上で僕たち前進む
それを見る 太陽道照らす 夜には月が僕たち励ます
これから会う明日よ 君は僕たちとともに どこへどう 導くだろう
過去よ今まで マジありがとう

僕たちはこれからどこへ行き そこでは何を見る
今までのこと 今までの顔 忘れずに前を進む

僕たちはこれからどこへ行き そこでは何を見る
今までのこと 今までの顔 忘れずに前を進む

僕たちはこれからどこへ行き そこでは何を見る
今までのこと 今までの顔 忘れずに前を進む
Click for the rambling...

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

The Legend 太王四神記 [태왕사신기]

I don't really do drama reviews in general but somehow after blitz-watching Tae Wang Sa Shin Gi, I can't help but have this need to try and make some sense of all the thoughts floating around in my head at the moment (or maybe it's all part-n-parcel of sleep deprivation...)

WARNING: Plenty of spoilers and psycho-analysis ahead, mixed in innocently amidst the rambles.... Read at your own risk though I will try to organise the mess of thoughts as best I can.

(1) Mixing fantasy with history....
Tae Wang is loosely based on the reign of the 19th monarch of Goguryeo (ancient Korea), Gwanggaeto aka Go Damdeok, with elements of the four guardian beasts gods (Baek-Ho 白虎, Jujak 朱雀, Hyeon Mu 玄武, and Cheong Ryong 清龍) brought in as well. (The wikipedia entry on this MBC 2007 series states that this "addition of fantasy to a Korean historical drama (사극) makes this series unique and distinguishes itself from its predecessors in Korean television series".) Well, it's actually the mention of these 4 guardians that pipped my interest, especially reading about them in Chinese and Japanese manga and books. (Respective Chinese and Japanese names corresponding to the Korean ones - Bai Hu/Byakko, Zhu Que/Suzaku, Xuan Wu/Genbu, Qing Long/Seiryuu). Not sure about the Korean 4 guardians but the Japanese and Chinese ones are definitely referring to the same 4 celestial guardians (having Chinese origins) that rule/protect the 4 compass directions.

The ending in the drama series really diverts from the actually demise of Damdeok where he "dies" around his mid-20s after he breaks the Heavenly Bow. The real life benevolent ruler died of an illness in his 40s. Was a kinda abrupt ending, when he kinda just left in that white light. I was expecting some slightly more reluctant expression since he's yet again separated from his beloved Sujini soon after their reunion...

(2) main characters...
I must say, Bae Yong Joon did a good job on acting out Damdeok. Wasn't impressed by his acting in Winter Sonata but at least Tae Wang here left me with a good impression. He acted Hwanoong in the earlier episodes as well but I guess portraying a god means that you just need to look cool and majesty (and tear on demand too) but Damdeok really demonstrated a number of dimensions, making the character even more believable. This wise, merciful, peace-loving ruler actually CAN make mistakes (and also spends a hell lot of time grieving on his mistakes), yet still does his bestest to keep true to his naively idealistic beliefs. Unlike the two semi-villains (Kiha and Hogae, will talk about the good guys first ^_^). He actually made my heart melt in a few of the scenes, so NOW I finally understand why he's so popular with ladies.... Slow, aren't I? But yar, the way he treats every single of his subjects lives as important, and some of the really wise decisions makes me think of Juuni Kokuki. Such a brilliant ruler should be allowed to live and maintain peace and prosperity for like a few centuries if possible! What I like is how Damdeok judges tense situations and relieves the tension by saying something playful and light-hearted, putting his followers at ease. Really charismatic leader,and from the drama it is easy to see how and why history remembers him as one of the great rulers.

Next, we have the 4 guardians of the 4 symbols - Hyeongo (Hyeonmu), Chero (Cheong Ryong), Jumuchi (Baek-Ho) and Kiha (Jujak). Each of them is endearing and loveable in their own way (yes, even Kiha, though I only liked her before she went batsy after Damdeok's dad's death...). Oh Kwang Rok's portrayal of the blurblur-cannot-really-fight-but-real-good-at-strategising Hyeongo is just perfect! Him as the slightly-out-of-it fatherly village elder, as well as Sujini's guardian just reminds me of a gruff teddy bear, really nice grandfatherly figure. A tad bit too insightful at times, he also comes across as clumsy Gandalf, especially when his Hyeonmu symbol (in it's staff form) reacted to Damdeok's "dark rage" and bright light shined forth (in LOTR2 fashion, just that Hyeongo had no white horse to charge forth on!) Easily my favorite of the lot!

Chero (played by Lee Phillip) is the brooder of the guardian quartet. Guess that's what being behind a mask for 17-18 years can do to one. Looks great in his blue aura and blue-themed armor. ^_^ But still think he lacks expression, even when he recalls Cheong Ryong's memories of Sae-Oh and looks like he's at least half in love with Sujini.... *resists urge to give Chero a nice big hug* How to describe this character? Would appear to me that his heart was frozen since that fateful day his father plunged the Cheong Ryong symbol into his heart in a desperate bid to protect it from the clutches of the Hwacheon. And after Damdeok came and broke his "curse" by retrieving the symbol, his heart slowly thawed (with the help of the ever lively Sujini)....

Park Sung Woong acting as Jumuchi some how just reminds me of Abe Hiroshi in
TRICK. They don't look anything alike but... Could it be the facial hair and the "I'm tall big and kinda stupid" look on their faces? ^_^ Still, to see such a big, strong, courageous fighter be reduced to a blubbering idiot in front of his lady love is kinda cute, yar? And to see all his friends rally around him and creating opportunities for the couple is just as sweet~~

Which brings me to Kiha (played by Moon So-ri). Really didn't like her as the war-crazed Kajin but her Kiha is really complex. I place her in the semi-villain category because you can see her constantly wavering between good and evil, much like many of us in our daily lives. Of course, we don't have such a heavy burden or curse or power resting on our shoulders but still. Am pretty amazed that she didn't turn completely insane after she recalled her childhood memories that were sealed by the Hwacheon. Betcha she would have turned entirely evil by the end of the series if not for her recalling her sister and her mother's last words. Am also pretty amazed that she wanted a chance to fall in love with Hogae in her next life. Would say that the two of them are perfect for each other, as two people played out by fate/destiny, caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, and slipping down the slope of darkness.

And since I've brought up Hogae, the other semi-villain, let's discuss him next. Just to get this off my chest. Yoon Tae Young looks so hot in the last few episodes in his beard and shorter wavy hair, just like some Spanish pirate of sorts! Too bad it was just for a couple of episodes *dang* With that fangirl moment outta the way, yes, I would say that Hogae deserved better. He was so endearing and cute as a kid (before his mum died. stupid woman, so power hungry and desperate for her son to be king....). Pity he let his vengence drive his life from that point in his life. Personally, I think either Damdeok or Hogae could have been the next Juushin king. Look at their inherent characters and qualities as little boys at eleven. Just that Damdeok had a more "normal" upbringing prior to his dad being crowned king, whilst Hogae was basically THE prince in everybody's eyes. Too cosseted for the blow that was dealt when his mother's death. Must have felt like a double betrayal since he's cousin and close friend Damdeok was actually playing the fool in front of everybody at that point in time. Since then the bitterness, in addition to his reckless hotheaded nature..... Poor kid. If he and Damdeok were on the same side Koguryeo would truly be a prosperous country.

Last but not the least, there Sujini (Lee Ji-Ah), the incarnation of Hwanoong's love, Sae-oh, and Damdeok's second love. Also, the sister of Kiha, which is probably what brought some balance to Kiha's unstable existence with/against the Hwacheon. Sassy, brave, outspoken, streetsmart, forgiving, loving, charming. The kinda heroine I like! Can't stand those porcelain "princesses" who just know how to look pretty and be bitchy. Sujini is truly a real beauty, and it certainly was fun seeing the love blossom between her and Damdeok. Especially when (they reunite years later and) Damdeok finally admits that she is where his palace is. *melts* She's just one of those characters that brings the sunshine and cheer into a scene. Kinda difficult to believe that Tae Wang is LJA's debut drama. Looking forward to see how she fares in Beethoven Virus when it starts airing next month. Pity she spent most of the series with short hair. She looks way better with her long locks!

(3)some bloopers caught on screen...
Despite the general praise I have for the series, there were also a number of bloopers that made it on air. What's the editing and post-production team doing?! Pretty sure that these aren't the only ones present, especially since I tend to fastforward during the slower moving scenes....

First one that got me cringing, the scene where Hwanoong's teaching Sae-oh how to control the power of the "Eye of the Pheonix". He asks her to hold the pendant in onw hand (she uses her left), while he raises her right hand to direct the fire power. The wide angle shots shows her left hand constantly on the pendant BUT the close-ups of Hwanoong lifting her right hand show that her left hand's actually still hanging by the side of her torso! Obviously taken in a few different takes but must the editing and checking be so sloppy?

Still in the time-frame of 2000 years ago, when we see Kajin pouting over the loss of her power, her shoulder tattoo and single strap on her dress seem to change sides as they like when the camera shows her front and back views......

Fastforward to the scene when Damdeok and his followers are confronting Hogae in the streets of Khitan, Chero launches an attack and and in the closeup of him on the ground, you see him wearing black woollen gloves(?!) when the scene started with everybody in their bare hands..... Hmmm.....

The last blooper that I noticed was in the scene taking place at the Hoyeon minister's place. Where it's like 8-9 years later and Sujini is basically doing some hiding from Damdeok and co. You see her at a doorway observing Damdeok, and the next thing you know, there's one of those big grey woolly microphones doing a little peek-a-boo behind her.

Pretty sure that there are even more slips as I only notice these "mis-adventures" upon re-watching, so it's either this were just too obvious, or those parts of the story made me bored that I started to notice all these random things. Seeing how much I like the show, think it's more of the former than the latter.......

Pictures taken from
Click for the rambling...

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

「きみは愛されるため生まれた」 당신은 사랑받기 위해 태어난 사람 (You were Born to be Loved)

My blog stalkers readers must think I am mad. I go without any updates for ages and ages and suddenly I put up 2 entries in a row. Stumbled upon this song on Bookbinder, and as I read the lyrics, I felt my eyes tearing... It's just such an encouragement to me since I have been feeling somewhat blue these past few weeks (yar, I know it doesn't show but...) Such a poignant reminder that yes, I am born to be loved, and the one up there is kinda giving me a loving hug in the form of this song. Yes, I am sitting here typing this with tears in my eyes (no, they have yet to fall, so jiejie don't call me a crybaby!). Yes, the one that was put up is in Japanese but I found out that it's actually a Japanese version of a Korean gospel song, so I'm putting up both versions. I don't know how close the lyrics are since I don't know Korean. Here's the English translation for those of you who don't know Japanese or Korean.

You were born to be loved
And you are receiving that love through your life.
You were born to be loved
And you are receiving that love through your life.
The love from God that started since the beginning of your birth
Becomes connected with us meeting each other.
You were born to be loved
And you are receiving that love through your life.

kimi wa aisareru tame umareta
kimi no shougai wa ai de michiteiru
kimi wa aisareru tame umareta
kimi no shougai wa ai de michiteiru

eien no kami no ai wa
warera no deai no naka de mi wo musubu
kimi no sonzai ga
watashi ni wa dore hodo ookina yorokobi deshou

kimi wa aisareru tame umareta
ima mo sono ai uketeiru
kimi wa aisareru tame umareta
ima mo sono ai uketeiru

(Korean lyrics and the pronounciation taken from here)

당신은 사랑 받기위해 태어난 사람
Dangseenun sarang badgi wehae taeonan saram
당신의 삶 속에서 그 사랑 받고 있지요
Dangseeneek salm sokeso gu sarang badgo eetchiyo
당신은 사랑 받기 위해 태어난 사람
Dangseenun sarang badgi wehae taeonan saram
당신의 삶 속에서 그 사랑 받고 있지요
Dangseneek salm sokeso gu sarang badgo eetchiyo

태초부터 시작된 하나님의 사랑은
Taetchobuto seechakdwon hananomeek sarangun
우리의 만남를 통해 열매를 맺고
Uroeek mannamrul tonghae yeolmaerul maechgo
당신이 이 세상에 존재함으로 인해
dangseenee yi saesang-eh chonchaehamuro eenhae
우리에겐 얼마나 큰 기쁨이 되는지
uro-eh-kehn orlmanakun geebumee duwochee

당신은 사랑 받기 위해 태어난 사람
Dangseenun sarang badgi wehae taeonan saram
지금도 그 사랑 받고 있지요
chigumdo gu sarang badgo eetchiyo
당신은 사랑 받기 위해 태어난 사람
dangranun sarang badgi wehae taeeonan saram
지금도 그 사랑 받고 있지요
chigumdo gu sarang badgo etchiyo


Also, this guy kindly put up the chords for the song too!
Click for the rambling...

News for the day - fish live birth fossil!

This is probably the most interesting thing in my Google reader this morning. Amazing how the occurrence of live birth in fishes was at least 375 million years ago or so! Pretty amazing, isn't it?

(Image as posted on REUTERS from handout by Museum Victoria, Melbourne)

This marks the oldest fossil record of live birth, and who's to say that laying eggs has to develop first and is a more "primitive" way of procreation? Interestingly enough, this particular species of armour-plated shark-like fish has been named Materpiscis attenboroughi ("materpiscis" meaning ‘mother fish’) in honour of Sir David Attenborough, my personal wildlife hero. He has been given this honor since he drew attention to the Gogo fossil sites in Kimberley, North Western Australia in the Life on Earth (1979) series. The fossil was discovered in a 2005 Museum Victoria expedition, and amazing that soft tissue such as the umbilical cord and york sac have actually been fossilized. (Soft tissue generally rots away the fastest, before fossilization can occur, which is why most fossils are bones and hard tissue)

This is just too exciting! Makes me itch to get myself on a plane for Down Under!

Links to some of the news articles:
Museum Victoria (Do check this one out as this has a nifty video showing how the tail-first birth may have occurred)
Discovery Channel news
Click for the rambling...