Strovek Writes

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

QiGong in Botanical Garden




IMG415
Originally uploaded by strovek


There are various groups performing Qi Gong in various parks in Penang and around Malaysia.

This is a picture of the group that does it on Sunday from 8 am to 9 am. The group is very popular and normally break into subgroups during the weekday adjourning at various spots on the island.

Bamboos

I thought I would share with your some beautiful bamboo trees I saw near the Botanical Garden in Penang.

These are the green ones:



These are the yellow ones:


Bamboos are used in a lot of Chinese arts and Feng Shui to ward off evil spirits. You can get some information here.

Play with words

I was thinking the other day the following sentences:

  1. A bear carrying baby.
  2. A bear-carrying baby.
In the first statement, the bear is carrying the baby and in the second statement the baby is carrying the bear. However, when you say both sentences, the sound almost the same. So the question is how do you differentiate the two.

Any suggestions? Or is my thinking flawed?

Increase the amount of items recycled

Back when I was studying in the U.S., the cans from our can drinks can be returned to the convenience store and the stores will pay you a nickel (5 cents) for it. I know it is not much but this encouraged people to save the cans for recycling.

Even if the person actually drinking does not bother to return the can, somebody will. We can use this concept to encourage more recycling.

What if all road users were to follow rules?

Imagine if you will that all the drivers were to follow the rules? Keeping to their lane, signaling when they want to turn and moving to the right lane.

I often wonder, how much better our traffic situation will be if this happens. It would be a nice experiment to conduct because in reality most of the traffic jam which we encounter are due to people jumping queues, slowing down due to curiosity, jumping red lights, speeding and moving too slowly.

All road users have a role to play - pedestrians, drivers (of all vehicles).

Let us try to make our roads smoother and safer :)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Excellent Children Learning Sites

Today I was introduced to an excellent site to help children learn. The URL is as follows:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/children/

It looks like an excellent site to help learn English, Maths and Science.

eFiling for Malaysian Income Tax

This is the third year for e-Filing for Malaysia's Income Tax and I have to say that the process has improved dramatically.

In the first year, it was necessary to download the PDF for each person you want to file it for. There was also problems and teething issues in submitting the form.

On the second year, due to the above problem, the whole process completed ported to web based instead of dependent on Acrobat Reader. This made the filing much simpler but the printing was terrible. The pages did not align properly. Also with the electronic certificate, if you made a mistake and tried to get a new certificate, you had problem with Windows and had to create another account to redo the certificate. The other issue was since the certificate was embedded into your PC, you could not change the computer without losing the certificate (or for that matter lost it if you had to reinstall Windows).

This is the third year, it looks like the certificate is now stored on the server. The form is web based so it was easy to submit and finally, for printing, the output was in PDF so the alignment of the pages are now correct and it is easy to save a soft copy. Finally, the process of getting a new pin number was done very efficiently (unlike the previous years).

So I say bravo and thank you for the improvement :)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Carps - Symbol of Wealth and Prosperity

There are a lot of carps in the Out Door Theme Park at Genting Highlands. In fact, some have witness truck loads being loaded in the pond.


I took several photos here for those who have not been there to enjoy.



See the waterfall just behind the fish pond:




Recently, they have started selling fish food for visitors to feed them.

Notice the carps are very hungry, so much so some of they will swim on top of each other to get at the food.



For those who are interested in the significance of carp, more information can be found here.

24 Filial Stories - Story 14 - Story 10

Continuation from the previous post:

Story 14: Wrestling a tiger to save father



Story 13: More food for Mother



Story 12: Lying on Frozen pond for Carps



Story 11: Feeding the Mosquitoes



Story 10: Breast feeding the Mother In Law

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Delicious Breakfast - Sar Hor Fun and Roti Chanai

I thought I would share some of the breakfast option in Penang.

This is noodle fried with gravy on top. It is called Sar Hor Fun (there are some other variations of preparation but this is my favorite) and the best part is it cost only RM3/plate (US$0.85). For those interested in knowing how to prepare it the formula can be found here.



This is an Roti Chanai. You can think of it as an Indian Pancake served with curry. It cost RM0.60 per piece (US$0.17). You can learn how to make it here. However, for those who have not seen it, the preparation is rather entertaining and can be seen here.

Monday, March 17, 2008

View From Cable Car Genting Skyway

Look at the beautiful of the tropical forest observed from the cable car going up to Genting Highland from the Genting Skyway. This happens to be longest cable car in South East Asia.












Look @ the mist covering the forest:


Look at the height of the pillars supporting the Cable cars:


Notice this pathway that is used for some of the maintenance work





Saturday, March 15, 2008

Getting Money back from your Petrol

When filling up petrol for your car in Malaysia, it is possible to get some money back.
The rate of return can be increased with the combination of credit card (see my previous post on getting money back from your credit card).

BHP Petrol (previously known as BP)
You can accumulate points either using BHPs own card or using Genting's World Card.
Swipe your Genting card after your credit card - some of the stations require you to go to the counter.
If you accumulate the points using Genting's Worldcard, it is equivalent to cash
Points will expire after 3 yrs.
100 points = RM 1/-
Unfortunately the points can only be redeemed in Genting Highland.
Return rate is 1%.
Additional Note: You can accumulate more points for other participating merchants.

Shell
Points can be obtained using Bonuslink.
Very important note that you are required to Swipe your Bonuslink card 1st before your credit card (different from all other stations). Failing which you will not accumulate any points.
Points accumulation is 1 liter per point.
25% bonus for Vpower petrol
Note that the points expire after 3 yrs if not redeemed.
You can then use the points to redeem for:
Parkson RM50/- for 4800 points
Parkson RM10/- for 960 points.
Return rate is 0.53%
Additional Note: You can accumulate more points for other participating merchants.

Esso and Mobil
1 point for each RM1/- petrol
You can redeem RM 15/- with 1000 points
Swipe your Smiles card after your credit card.
Return rate is 1.5%
Note that you can also use the point for purchase of other items in the petrol station but the rate will be much lower.
Additional Note: Points can only be accumulated from Esso and Mobil station and only for petrol purchases.

Petronas
Points are accumulated using Realrewards.
Swipe your mesra/realrewards card after your credit card.
1 point for RM1/- petrol
Points don't expire.
I will update this later. Since the website is currently down.
Additional Note: You can accumulate more points for other participating merchants.

Caltex
At one time provides stamps but only redeemable for items in the shop.

24 Filial Stories - Story 20 - 15

This is the continuation of the filial stories from the previous post:

Story 20: Spring and Fish



Story 19: Cooling and Warming the Bed



Story 18: Red Mulberry, Black Mulberry



Story 17: Entertaining Parents as a Clown



Story 16: Concern Over Father's illness



Story 15: In Search of Mother