05 November, 2008

What About the Fourth Passenger?

According to this report, it has not been decided whether the fourth passenger will be summoned for not wearing rear seat belt since the normal saloon car is only equipped with three seat belts. The normal size of Malaysian family is more than four people including the passenger and they will be more likely wanted to know whether they are allowed to carry all of their family members in one saloon car. What they have to do is upgrade to MPV or van if they can afford it. Otherwise they have to wait for the decision later.

04 November, 2008

How Safe is the Milk Product?

According to an article appeared in the Wall Street Journal, "protein powder" of uncertain origin has been used as a cheap way to fool dairy companies' quality checks. Farmers used the "protein powder" to fool the dairy companies' about the fat contents, protein contents and freshness. The article has listed down all possible ingredients of the "protein powder" and one of the ingredient is of course melamine.

According to the article, the underlying problems remains i.e. flaws in farming methods and relatively lax supervision. Flaws in farming methods is due to lack of capital and know-how to adhere to good dairy-farming practices.

02 November, 2008

Daylight savings

As Malaysian, we are not bothered very much about daylight saving until we visit or stay in the Western Countries. If you happen to visit or stay for example in the United Kingdom or United States during the daylight savings time, you will most likely showing up earlier to an interview or to work. Refer to this article if you wanted to know more about the history of the daylight savings.

01 November, 2008

Melamine Scare

After tainted baby formula milk, now it is eggs tainted through chicken feed. The compound has been detected in eggs sold in Hong Kong and South Korea. It is just a reminder of the widespread use of melamine throughout China's food production.

What will be next?

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Originally uploaded by wanhashim
View of MAS airplane arrived at heathrow Airport. At Heathrow airport the airplane is sprayed with disinfectant for some reason before the passengers are allowed to disembark.

18 September, 2008

Accident related to the use of cell phone

Recently, a worst train crash ever in the US resulted in 25 people were killed when a commuter train plowed into a freight locomotive near Los Angeles. It was reported that the accident was caused by the failure of the commuter's train to stop at a red light.

Star LRT

According to this blog, the accident might be caused by the engineer responsible may have been text messaging on his cell phone during the accident.

09 September, 2008

The Benefits of Vigorous Physical Activity

U.S. researchers said that vigorous physical activity can help even people genetically prone to obesity to reduce weight. This study shows that physical activity is still a good way of reducing weight besides keeping an eye on individual diet.

08 September, 2008

Sharper Eyes in the Sky

Recently a new high-resolution satellite has been launched from Central California Coast. The satellite will enable a much smaller object on earth to be clearly visible. You can imagine the use of such images in any possible applications.

27 August, 2008

Rainy Story

For the country with a lot of rain such as Malaysia might wanted to learn from China on how to prevent rains at certain location during significant outdoor events. The method is more effective than using "Bomoh Hujan" or rain shaman usually used by Malaysian to counter the rainy situations. Hopefully, rain will soon be back at the location otherwise dry spell will be prevalent causing haze and they need another dose of chemicals to attract more rains.

According to the news media, meteorologists dispatched eight planes to release rain dispersal chemicals and fired 241 rockets into incoming clouds to ensure a dry Beijing Olympics closing ceremony.

26 August, 2008

Benefits of Jogging

Wanted to know more about the benefit of running or jogging, check out this site. You might wanted to know the benefits of jogging and its effect on your body especially if you are getting older.

25 August, 2008

Tracking the transport system

Hopefully, the public transportation issues can be resolved with the recent visit by the prime minister. This similar issues had been highlighted before in my previous post.

The problem is very real and also need some kind of common sense to solve. However, it really needs the prime minister to give them a ride and without any police entourage, then he can experience the transportation problem himself. Hopefully, that will not be the end of it because the problem has been the same ever since and it will become worst if nothing is being done due to the population increase and due to the high fuel price.

read more digg story

24 August, 2008

Broadband Service

It seems that the long waited broadband service is back in this area. That what they have been promising when we kept on complaining about the service before that within a month they should correct the problem associated with the service.

Refer to my previous post here about the connection problem in this area.

Now here is what the service look like.



The 3G bar dwindles between 2 or 3 bars. Sometimes the bar goes down to only one bar. The HSDPA high speed broadband is available as shown by the letter "H".


Well we are glad that the service is being resumed even though the connection strength is only two or three bars. Hopefully, they will keep improving the service from time to time. With that kind of service will improve on the digital divide within the area. Also, hopefully that they will improve on their customer support aspects which problem has been highlighted in my previous post.

23 August, 2008

Congratulations

Congratulations to Nik Mohd Habibullah Nik Mohd Nizam and Sharifah Nasriah Wan Obeng for their wedding ceremony being held on the 17 August 2008.


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Fuel Price Reduced Today

Petrol and diesel price drop by between eight sen and 22 sen a litre from today. The price of RON97 petrol will be reduced by 15 sen to RM2.55 a litre from RM2.70, while RON92 would be 22 sen less at RM2.40, from RM2.62 The retail price of diesel would drop by eight sen to RM2.50 a litre.

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Is the quantum of decrease big enough to affect your standard of living? One thing for sure is that the price of foods will never be lowered whenever the fuel price is being reduced. Thus, by gaining one or two liters of fuel for every fill will not affect much your savings.

So, it is better for you not to start changing your fuel saving driving behavior.

22 August, 2008

Human Trackers

I thought that only vehicle need to be installed with tracking devices so that the vehicle can be traced via satellite in case that it is stolen. Once traced, the vehicle can be immobilized and recovered. However, in Mexico, even human can be tracked via satellite using implant chips.

In Mexico, according to the report, they use the implant chips embedded under their skin to enabled them to be traced in case they were being kidnapped since the kidnapping rate in Mexico is very high.

if you are interested, there is a company that can do it for you. However, you have to pay monthly fees for the service.

11 August, 2008

Motorcycle Lane

Motorcycle lane is used to separate motorcycles from other types of vehicles thus will reduce the number of accident fatalities involving motorcyclists. Picture below shows the dedicated motorcycle lane separated from the highways using flexible pole. However, as can be seen in the picture, a motorcyclists did not want to use the motorcycle lanes and thus contributing to the still high accident rates involving motorcyclists.

That is why human behaviour is still the main factor contributing to the high accident rates.

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09 August, 2008

Another effect of Fuel Price Increase

An indirect effect of increases in fuel price is an increase in fatalities involving motorcyclists. In order to cushion the effect of the increases in fuel price, vehicle owners likely to switch their mode of transport to less fuel consuming transport i.e. motorcycles.

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According to a report by Berita harian, 9 August 2008, the number of road accident fatalities involving motorcyclists increases within the past six months. According to the Director general of Jabatan Keselamatan Jalan Raya (JKJR), the increases might be due to the increases in motorcyles registrations due to the increase in fuel price.

The following are some statistics from the report.

January until June 2008 : 3,305 fatal accidents
January until June 2007: 3,015 fatal accidents

Increases of about 9.6% or 290 fatalities within the time period (211 fatalities involved motorcyclists and pillion riders).

Motorcycles registration increases by 30% in the past 6 months according to the director General of Jabatan Keselamatan Jalan Raya (JKJR), Datuk Suret Singh.

28 July, 2008

Mango Tree

Mango Tree

Mango Tree is a restaurant in Kuching. The restaurant serves mainly Thai cuisine because the restaurant is a chain restaurant originated from Thailand.

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Mango Drink
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Mango Fish is a famous dish being served at the restaurant.

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One of the specialty rice being served is Pineapple Rice.

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24 July, 2008

Horse-Trot Dance

Kuda Kepang

Kuda Kepang or A Horse-Trot Dance is one of Johor's traditional dance. With a beat of gendang percussion, a gong and cak lempong (small gong" five or more dancers gracefully moved on the seated two dimensional "horse" made with pleated ratan.

The head of the pack would steer the dance by staying close to the dancers. Kuda kepang was once a form of totemic worship.

Nowadays it is performed as a form of a cultural show for its great entertainment at weddings and other ceremonies. The dace is originated from Java.
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20 July, 2008

No Service

For the past one and a half months, I am having problems connecting my computer to the Internet. I am using a wireless USB modem using one of the service provider broadband services. For the past one and a half month, it will be a very lucky day if I could successfully connecting or dialling up my USB modem to the network. Once connected, the line sometime get cut off and made you feel irritated because most of your work was lost.

For your information, the place that I am staying did not have fixed line telephone service and to opt for Streamyx service is out of the question. The only way for communicating to the world is through their wireless services.

Feeling cheated because of paying exorbitant Internet connection fee monthly but cannot get the service, I had made several call to their online help service. As usual they will ask you about the problem that you are having and they will jot something down. They insist that there is nothing wrong with their network and they will promise that some technical people will call me within the next 48 hours. After waiting for a little bit of 48 hours, still the call that you are waiting is not in sight. Thus, I made another call repeating what I had said earlier and they also repeat what they had said earlier saying that another technical person will call me back within the next 48 hours.

I just cannot figure it out where does that 48 hours come from. Is that indicate their level of service to their customer by keeping their customer in the dark about the problems that they are encountering. This time they promise that they will ask the technical people to call me immediately on the same day. Yet I did not receive any call that day but they called the following day late in the afternoon. Well, after I described to the technical person what was my problem, they suggested that I use their recommended USB modem which is Huawei model E220.

Fine enough, I bought the modem which is as shown in the following picture.

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Unluckily, I still have problem with the Internet connection and the following message always popping up my computer screen. I purposely blackout the network provider because I don't want you to know which network provider that was.


I don't think the connection problem has anything to do with my account because I always pay my bill on time. Also, I don't have any problem connecting to the Internet while I was at another location as shown in the following figure.

After tired of waiting, I have no choice but to call the customer service number again and explaining to them that I had followed what they had been advising me to do and still I cannot get the connection. This time after hearing my explanation, they filed another report and now they requested my street address for further investigation.

Wow, after several days of calling, then they realised that it might have something to do with their own network. As usual, I had to wait for another 48 hours for the technical person to call me back. It seems to me that their technical persons are so busy with technical problems that is why they have to wait for that 48 hours long. I wonder why there is too many technical problems for them to handle. Are they short of staffs? Or are their customer service so lousy? It has been their motto to call back their customer well after the 48 hours period had expired.

Well, just getting upset with the network connection, finally after more than 48 hours later, I received a call from their technical persons saying that indeed their network within the area do experienced some problems i.e. their network is too congested since the past one and a half month.

That is the last thing that I wanted to hear actually because after waiting for several series of 48 hours and they tell me that yes indeed they do have problems. Do they have some kind of mechanism to detect that kind of problems instead of relying on a customer like me who had been waiting or wasting several 48 hours just to let them know that they have problems.

The good news is that they promise to look into the matter for the next three weeks in order for them to sort things out. What are they thinking actually? Do I have to pay monthly subscriptions fee just to let them say for the next 48 hours or for the next three weeks than hopefully I will get my problem solved.

To tell you the truth, I don't have a choice and I have to pay them the subscriptions fee upon due because it is so pathetic that the Internet connection is so bad and there is no other service provider for me to turn to as an alternative. Thus, that is the real answer why they can afford to take them 48 hours to respond to you and then to promise for the next three weeks because they know that there is no competitors around for me to turn to.

But I hope that they start to learn to treat their customer accordingly.

A typical telecommunication tower within the area.
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The telecommunication tower.
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16 July, 2008

Real Time Information on Parking

According to The New York Times , San Francisco will test 6,000 of its 24,000 metered parking spaces using a wireless sensor network that will announce which of the spaces are free at any moment. The wireless sensor is a device that can be glued on the pavement to monitor the presence of vehicle on the parking lot.

According to the report drivers will be alerted to empty parking places either by displays on street signs, or by looking at maps on screens of their smartphones. They may even be able to pay for parking by cellphone, and add to the parking meter from their phones without returning to the car. Thus with the technology, it will be a hassle free to renew your parking charges especially if you are still waiting in a queue.

Hopefully the technology which was introduced by streetline will help in reducing traffic congestion due to slow moving vehicles looking for empty parking spaces.

13 July, 2008

Dr Michael DeBakey

The world-famous cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. Michael DeBakey, who pioneered bypass surgery and invented a host of devices to help heart patients, has died at the age of 99.

DeBakey died Friday night at The Methodist Hospital in Houston from "natural causes," according to the report. He had treated heads of state, entertainers, businessmen and presidents, as well as people with no titles and no means.

He invented the roller pump while still in medical school in 1932. The pump became the major component of the heart-lung machine, beginning the era of open-heart surgery. The machine takes over the function of the heart and lungs during surgery.

Basically, he has improved the human condition and touched the lives of generations to come.

Read HERE for more.

12 July, 2008

This Story will Make you More Afraid of Flying

If you are afraid of flying in an aeroplane, you might not like the recent 2nd near collision incident as reported by the Associated Press.

At the John F. Kennedy Airport, two airborne planes, one landing and the other taking off, came within a half-mile of colliding in the second such incident at the airport in a week, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

According to the report, a Delta Flight 123 (a Boeing 757) was arriving at the airport Friday when the pilot decided to abort his landing and execute a "go-around" — a routine procedure often used during heavy congestion. That caused the Delta flight to intersect with the flight path of Comair Flight 1520 (a Bombardier CRJ9), a regional jet that was taking off on another runway. Both planes came within 600 feet of each other vertically and a half-mile horizontally, the FAA said.

The first incident in the week occurs on saturday involved a Cayman Airways flight which was landing at JFK when the pilot decided to abort the landing a fly around the airport again as a LAN Chile jet was taking off. Their flight paths crossed, bringing the planes within about 200 feet of each other vertically and a half-mile horizontally.

According to the report, The FAA moved quickly to change takeoff and landing procedures at JFK on perpendicular runways — the kind of runways involved in both incidents.

If I were you, don't worry because such an incidents only occur at Airports with two perpendicular runways and usually occurs at very congested airport.

I admired the quick action taken by the FAA to ensure such an incident will not occur in the future. They only notice two near collision incidents and have taken a stern action by enforcing new procedures to change the way takeoffs and landings on perpendicular runways are sequenced.

Read HERE for more.

11 July, 2008

Biggest Helicopter

Boeing, partnering with Calgary, Alberta-based SkyHook International Inc., is developing a new helicopter JHL-40 which will be the biggest helicopter ever being designed. The helicopter will be able to carry a sling load of nearly 40 tons and transporting it up to 200 nautical miles (230 miles) without refueling.

The JHL-40's planned payload will be approximately twice the maximum load that the Mil Mi-26 (currently the world's largest helicopter) can lift.

Read here for more.

10 July, 2008

Another reason to watch out for your waistline.

In research presented at a meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, scientists found that obese men have worse sperm than normal-weight men.

The study were carried out by analyzing the sperm samples of more than 5,000 men in Scotland, and divided the men into groups according to their Body Mass Index. Men who had an optimal BMI (20 to 25) had higher levels of normal sperm than those who were overweight or obese.

Fat men had a 60 percent higher chance of having a low volume of semen, according to the research. They also had a 40 percent higher chance of having some sperm abnormalities.

The researcher also found other factors affecting men's sperm count: underweight men were just as likely to have the same problems as obese men, smoking, alcohol intake, history of drug abuse, and age.

The study also confirmed that "Male fitness and health are clearly linked to a man's fertility".

Read Here for more information.

06 July, 2008

Morning Glory

Morning Glory is a species of flowers that is quite amazing. The flower only bloom in the morning and retracted back in the afternoon. In order for your to enjoy the beautiful colors of Morning Glory flowers, it is only in the morning as the name indicate. By afternoon, all of the flowers retracted.


The pictures below shows full bloom morning Glory.

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Several of full blooming Morning Glory.
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Partially bloom Morning Glory in the morning.
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In the foreground is a partially bloom Morning glory and in the background the flower had bloomed yesterday and just waiting to fall down to the ground.
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New flower emerged in the morning and waiting for the right amount of sunlight to fully bloom.
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Another view of emerging flower in the morning.
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Picture below shows the completely retracted Morning Glory in the afternoon. The flower only bloom's once per day and after that the flower will fall to the ground.
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02 July, 2008

Which Country will be Next?

After Japan's 890-metre (2,900-foot) Tatara Bridge, which was the longest cable-stayed bridge, the new world's longest cable-stayed bridge has officially opened in eastern China, linking the two banks of the Yangtze river.

Facts about the world's longest cable-stayed bridge:

Name: The Sutong bridge

Length: spans 1,088 metres (3,570 feet) over China's longest waterway, Yangtze river and links the cities of Suzhou and Nantong. Located 108 kilometers (67 miles) upstream from the mouth of the Yangtze River.

Number of lanes: six-lane bridge

Travel time: Cut the travel time between Shanghai and Nantong to one hour from the previous four hours.

Construction cost: 1.15 billion dollars

For more information, read HERE.

Which country will be next to break the world's record?

01 July, 2008

Fire Drill

It is good to hear that EX Central was carried out last Thursday. The exercise involved collaboration from KL Sentral, Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB), Express Railway Link (ERL), RapidKL, taxi drivers, business traders and the public from 11am to 1pm.

Through the excercise, the Government Agencies and Private sectors readiness will be accessed in case of bomb threat, Fire or other emergencies such as earthquake.

Read more HERE.

30 June, 2008

Atom-Smasher

What is Atom-Smasher?

Atom-Smasher or collider consists of a ring of supercooled magnets 17 miles in circumference attached to huge barrel-shaped detectors. The ring, which straddles the French and Swiss border, is buried 330 feet underground.

At full power, two beams of protons will race around the huge ring 11,000 times a second in opposite directions. They will travel in two tubes about the width of fire hoses, speeding through a vacuum that is colder and emptier than outer space.

What it is used for?

Scientists will use the collider to hunt for signs of the invisible "dark matter" and "dark energy" that make up more than 96 percent of the universe.

The theory could resolve many of physics' unanswered questions, but requires about 10 dimensions — far more than the three spatial dimensions our senses experience.

How much data being generated by the collider?

15 petabytes of data, the equivalent of a stack of CDs 12 miles tall which will require a high speed global network of computers to analyze the data.

Read more HERE.

29 June, 2008

How Would You Cope with Flight Delays?

Fifty-two passengers on a Chinese airliner whose flight was cancelled due to bad weather refused to disembark and instead spent the night on board the plane. The passengers boarded for their 8 p.m. (1:00 a.m. EDT) flight from Beijing to the eastern coastal city of Yantai, but after more than three hours of sitting on the tarmac, the airline cancelled the flight, the Beijing Morning Post said.

They refused to admit the flight delay because they were travelling on a very tight schedule where they have to attend a meeting.

Regardless of their disobedient, the airline crews keep on providing them a usual service by providing food and drinks.

Flight delays are still a problem facing airline industries in China and hopefully the airline can cope with the influx of tourists during the coming Olympic game.

For more story, click HERE.

26 June, 2008

What about your opinion on Malaysian Taxi Services?

According to the recent poll carried out on the status of Malaysian Taxi services, the results shows that the services are among the worst in the world.

The survey was carried out by The Expat Magazine which has a monthly circulation of 6,000 copies. The surveys 200-odd respondents, comprising expatriates from 30 countries, gave their opinion about Malaysian taxi service in comparison with 22 other countries.

The most frequent complaint was of overcharging and taxi drivers refusing to take passengers who did not agree to pay a flat rate much higher than the regular fare.

The survey covered five main aspects, namely taxi quality, courtesy of drivers, availability on the street, availability by phone and driver job knowledge.


What about your opinion?

Click HERE to read more.

25 June, 2008

Railway Bridge


Railway Bridge
Originally uploaded by wanhashim
View of a railway line scaling a mountainous region on the way from Tehran to Mazandran. The railway is still operational and the train will circulate the mountain in order to reach the top so that the gradient of the railway will be manageable and not too step.

24 June, 2008

Typical Business Scenario

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What started as a single stall selling local produce now become an everyday Night Market along a street in Desa Ilmu. Due to the increase in population at Desa Ilmu, the previously single stall has managed a profitable business because he received a lot of customers. It is very convenient to stop by the road side and get locally produce at a very cheap price.

Naturally, other enterpreneurs don't want to miss the opportunities and they too started to get their share of the market. Soon followed by others and as you can see in the picture above that most of them just sitting alongside the road due to oversaturated market to cater for not so many potential customers.

Well, that is a typical scenarios whenever you feel that your business started to be profitable and out of sudden others also wanted to jump in to be profitable. In economic term, the supply and demand will play its role and what does it indicates to you is that you will be back to square one i.e. you are trying to make ends meet. However, at least as a customer, I can get more choice and get a much cheaper price. But for the enterpreneur, they have to move to other locations for a much more greener pasture.

23 June, 2008

Rainbow


With a correct combination of moisture and good angle, a rainbow suddenly appeared at the horizon. The rainbow was viewed from a newly open hotel in Bayan Baru, B-Suite, located next to Bukit Jambul Complex. Its location is also just a walking distance to a popular Kayu Nasi Kandar. The hotel room is similar to an apartment style hotel room. By the way, it is an 18-storey hotel. The only problem is that there is no Coffee House in the hotel. So your room is for sure does not come with a complementary breakfast.Hopefully, the coffee house will be on their way soon since it is still a brand new hotel.

However, the rainbow disappears as soon as the sun is getting higher in the horizon.


Picture below shows the B-Suite Hotel viewed from Kayu Nasi Kandar Pulau Pinang.

B-Suite

Consider riding an LRT

Star LRT

LRT is becoming popular as a mode of transport due to the increase in fuel price. Is LRT a choice for you?

The answer depends on your own situation. Off course it is not my choice here since there is no LRT available. However, if I do visit KL, I will certainly give it a ride. However, the experience of using LRT is not always pleasing since during peak hour, it is too crowded and all of the acceptable privacy space had been violated. You have to endure the smell, the crowd, etc. during the entire ride.

To make the matter worst, you cannot get taxi services during peak hours when you arrived at the designated station. I cannot understand the taxi driver business plan. Everytime the road is congested during peak hours, they will run away from the customers. Their reason is always traffic jam. Logically, they have to take every opportunities to get customers when other taxi drivers don't want to do that. I don't see that they will be losing anything to transport passenger during peak hours because their taxi runs using meter. The slower the taxi, the higher the figure being spurted out.

22 June, 2008

prawn


prawn
Originally uploaded by wanhashim
A view of a prawn as a land mark in Kota Semarahan. There is something fishy about the prawn i.e. its colour. I prefer the colour to be red instead of blue. I am not sure whether there is any blue prawn or the prawn will become red after being cooked.

Kayak

Start of the 1000m kayak race held at the UNIMAS lake. The race is part of the intervarsity race held from 14 to 22nd June 2008.
All teams wanted to be a champion
Halfway to the finish line and they look tired.

Almost there.

Team supporters are very anxiuos at the pier watching the final race.

The winner of the 1000m race.

21 June, 2008

Strong Wind


Just wanted to share an aftermath of a quite unusual strong wind that occurred here in Kota Semarahan early this week. The picture shows the aftermath of the wrath of the mother’s nature. However, the victims are usually only small structures such as the car shade as shown in the picture.

The strong wind was followed by heavy rain that lasted for about half an hour and then the weather was back to normal. I am not sure whether it is part of the monsoon season (unlikely during the middle of the year) or just a typical El-Nino phenomenon disturbing the weather pattern throughout the world currently.