29 February, 2012

Low Cost Technology

Pile Driver by wanhashim
Pile Driver, a photo by wanhashim on Flickr.

This is my first time encountering this type of low cost technology to drive piles in its location. Just using available timber materials, the equipment can be used anywhere desired. Due to the abundance of timber materials, this techology can be made available to everybody. Of course, this technology has its own limitation. The obvious limitations are in term of type of piling materials that can be used (concrete vs. timber) and the length of piles. Obviously, this technology is applicable to drive timber piles and only for very short pile depending on the height of the equipment being set up.

27 February, 2012

Monument of Equator in Pontianak

Tugu Khatulistiwa

Monument of Equator (Tugu Khatulistiwa) located in the city of Pontianak is one of major tourists attraction. Pontianak is one of the cities in the world where there is a special monument being constructed to indicate the exact location of equator line around the world.

In 1928, one international expedition led by Dutch Geographer had come to the City of Pontianak to define point of Equator Line. Thus, a monument was built in the form of pillar and arrow to define the point and line of the Equator in Pontianak. Since 1930, the monument was rebuilt and perfected so that the monument is preserved as it is today. The following picture is the original pillar and circle indicating the point and line of equator in the city of Pontianak.

Tugu Khatulistiwa

Every year during March 21-23 and September 23 on noon, the shadow of the monument and other things around the monument disappear (i.e. there is no shadow). This confirm the fact that the monument lies on a 0 degree latitude. It was told that during that period, there is a major celebration on going in the city of Pontianak to celebrate the occasion.

25 February, 2012

Road Maintenance

Traveling from Kuching to Pontianak, Indonesia provides us with several uniques experiences. One of the unique experiences are road maintenance activities along the main road.

As can be seen below, the road were repaired using cement materials. The work area is secured from road traffic using easily available materials.

Road Construction

Road Construction

Someone among the construction workers ensured that traffic were slowed down to prevent untoward road accidents. Even signages were erected to ensure road users slow down their vehicles while passing through the stretch of road being maintained.

Kurang Kecepatan

Another road repair being carried out as shown in the following picture. I assumed that they had purposely dug the road for installing utilities crossing the road. Somebody among them will ensure that traffic were slowed down to prevent untoward accidents.

Road Construction

Road maintenance activities were carried out as in the following pictures.

Road Construction

Interestingly, someone will ensure that road users will contribute cash to help funding the cost of repairing the stretch of road. However, the contribution is not compulsory as one can imagine while traveling on toll road. Most drivers were kind enough to contribute some amount of money to ensure that the road are passable and comfortable to travel on.

Donation for Road Construction

However, at the the back of my mind, I am really concerned about the safety of the workers repairing the road as shown above because most of them did not adhere to the proper safety standards while repairing public road.

20 February, 2012

Trips to Pontianak: First Day

Last Thursday, we were heading to Pontianak, Indonesia from Kuching. The distance from Kuching to Pontianak using land transport is more than 300 km and the travel time using express bus is about 7 to 8 hours.

Due to the long journey, there are several experiences that were observed by us. There are a number of accidents along the way.

A trailer skidded and landed on the opposite site of the highway.  Luckily there is no other vehicles involved in the accident. This accident occurs along the Semarahan-Serian Highway.

  Trailers Skided

On the way to Pontianak along the new stretch of the highway, we saw another accident involving trailer. This time the trailer was Jack Knifing while negotiating the sharp bend downhill. Read HERE for the definition of Jack Knifing accident.

  Traffic Accident

An accident just happened a few minutes before we reached this stretch of road and this was the worst accident that we encountered along the way. The accident involved a lorry and a motorcycle. From my observations, one of the victims was unconscious and another one sustained serious injury. Both of the victims seemed to be not wearing safety helmet. The accident caused traffic in both directions to stand still.

Fatal Accident Involving Motorcyclists

Both of the accident victims were moved to the road side to allow other vehicles to be able to pass through the road.

  Accident Victims

06 February, 2012

Contra-Flow Bus Lane System Being Scraped

It was reported that the contra-flow lane system for buses introduced in Brickfields will be removed after a few days of trial period. Traffic flows will revert to one-way from Jalan Sambanthan towards Jalan Sultan Abdul Hamid. The removal of the newly introduced system was due to the feedback from residents, business operators and the Brickfields Business Council.

This is a classical trial and error methods introduced by the relevant authorities to solve matters related to traffic. It certainly won't work because the issues raised after the implementation of the system are as expected.

Now, the trend in developed countries is to convert the one-way system into two-way systems and provide more on-street parking bays in order to achieve the following objectives:

1) Reduce accidents involving pedestrian as vehicles travel slowly on the two-way streets system.
2) The economic activities along the newly converted to two-way streets are increasing because pedestrian can easily patron and visit the business activities located along the street. Compared to previously when the road was a one-way street, commuters could hardly find out what are the available businesses along the street since they are overwhelmed by the traffic congestion and the urgency to travel quickly along the one-way street.
3) The concept of accessibility versus mobility are more defined by introducing the two-way street. Accessibility is a way to provide more access to pedestrian to access businesses located along side the road. Mobility is meant for highways and freeways to transports as many vehicles as possible within a short amount of time.

Hope that the relevant authorities involve in handling traffic will make sure that thorough study are being carried out to ensure the success of such system that are going to be introduced. After the study then the trial period can be conducted to evaluate the real situation and to provide minor adjustment along the way in order to make sure the proposed system will be successful.

Refer to this link for more news about the contra-flow lane system.

05 February, 2012

Source of Eerie Sound Over Semarahan

Source of the strange noise over Samarahan in the wee hours of Jan 11 and Jan 12 was found to be coming from an oil palm plant at kampung Endap as reported HERE. The report was based on initial study and investigation carried out by the national Space Agency (ANGKASA) and the meteorological department.

However, referring to the initial witness (Firdaus) from this news report, the sound wasn't come from that factory. However, the witness need to be verified since it came only from that one person only.

The strange noise was heard by most people staying in the Semarahan areas. In case that you wanted to hear the strange eerie sound, visit this link.

I am just wondering why the strange sounds occurred only during the two specified days and only during the wee hours when everybody suppose to sleep. Also, the owner of the oil palm plant did not say a single word regarding the strange phenomenon. I hope to hear the sound again in the future so that I can record the snoring sound for my own collection.

Elevated Pedestrian Bridge

Elevated pedestrian bridge at PWTC LRT Station is almost completed. The pedestrian bridge provides access to pedestrian commuting using the LRT without having to endure the tropical Malaysian weather and also the nasty Malaysian traffic condition. The walkway is interconnected with the surrounding important destinations.

Elevated Pedestrian Structure

The walkway provides cover for pedestrians from the environ i.e.  tropical suns and rains. Due to the open nature of the walkway, it also safe for pedestrians to use it during day or night without afraid of being attacked by unscrupulous muggers. At night the walkway is also sufficiently lighted.

Elevated Pedestrian Structure

At certain locations, the access to the walkway is using staircases which is not convenient to elderly or handicapped.
Elevated Pedestrian Structure

I hope that this will be a future elevator for the use of those who are really in need of it. But the elevator is accessible only from this side of the road. What about the other side of the road which is not provided with elevator. May be they will think about it in the future so that everybody will be able to use the facilities.

Pedestrian Elevated Bridge

01 February, 2012

Pay 10 Times

IMG_1705 by wanhashim
IMG_1705, a photo by wanhashim on Flickr.
There are several ways to deter shoplifters. One way is to let them pay 10 times the price of the item. I am not sure they have the amount of money in the first place which led them to pick the items illegally. I am not sure whether they will surrender to the police either unless they are prosecuted for shoplifting.