Happy Merdeka To All Malaysians!

Posted by : foongpc | Saturday, August 30, 2008 | Published in


Malaysia is celebrating its 51st Independence (Merdeka) Day on 31st August.

Despite some things that you may not like about Malaysia, you have to admit that when you list out all the good things about this country, the good simply outnumber the bad by a wide margin!

So let us count our blessings and be thankful that Malaysia is our country.

Monica tagged me with this Merdeka meme and in return I would like to tag the following people.

bengbeng, cbenc12, tekkaus, synical and happysurfer

By the way, five of you are lucky as you are on list no.31 which is the day of Merdeka.

Have fun and have a wonderful Merdeka Day!

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1. Add your site(s) to the list if you're a proud Malaysian Blogger!

2. Pass this tag to as many Malaysian Blogger as you know, or if you're interested but nobody tags you, just include yourself voluntarily. Show some patriotism!

3. Once you've done posting this tag, leave a comment HERE! and you will be visited by a Malaysian local fruit, Mangosteen by the name of Mango! and added to the Master List.

4. Update list regularly to ensure every Malaysian Blogger gets equal link benefit.

I am a proud Malaysian blogger
1. mangosteenskin - Saya anak Malaysia! 2. Life is too short to be ordinary - Malaysia Tanahair Ku! 3. Sha's Love & Passion - Aku Anak Merdeka 4. A room of crazy scrapper - Merdeka!Merdeka! Merdeka? 5. Fliffy - Aku Patriotik, Sayang Malaysia ! 6. Rizal 7. haniz - Merdeka Forever! 8. Prozak Nation 9. CarolPinky - Proud Malaysian! 10. Mariuca - I heart Malaysia! 11. Emila’s Illustrated Blog - Saya Anak Malaysia juga 12. Simple Life - Sam - Saya Anak Malaysia 13. Shemah's My Sweet Escape - Live, Enjoy and Love.. MALAYSIA! 14. Mariuca's Perfume Gallery - Made in Malaysia! 15. Yani-Tennitodoku-Proud to be a Malaysian-MERDEKA! 16.Bluecrystaldude from My Little Black Pot - Saya Harap Malaysia Terus Maju! 17. Apples of the eyes 18. Snapshotcap - Freedom of choice is made for you my friend :) 19. Anaheus 20.Confessions Of A Breathing Tote Bag 21. A Great Pleasure - Malaysia is a food paradise ~ simply yummy~licious! 22. Mummy HnH - Harith and Hannah - MERDEKA 51st Celebration!!! 23. Shafie - I'm Here For U Malaysia 24. Nessa - Happy 51st Merdeka, Malaysia! 25. marvic 26. Deasya 27. Asian Mutt International 28. Point Blank - Sokonglah Pelancongan Domestik, Malaysia Cantik Indah Nian! 29. Turn-u-Off 30. My Very First Blog - Be Thankful You're Malaysian! 31. You're next!

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How Grateful Are You?

Posted by : foongpc | Friday, August 29, 2008 | Published in


How many times do you pray to God to ask for something? If you are a religious person, you may be doing this often. If you are not, you probably did it once or twice during those desperate times when you wanted something so badly.

I don’t claim to be a very religious person, or an expert in religion.

But I was reading through this excellent and deeply spiritual (but non-religious) book called “Conversations With God” by Neale Donald Walsch for the second time recently. And it simply inspired me to write this post today.

In the book, Neale was questioning God whether prayer works. Whether God will grant him what he asks for. Here’s God’s reply to him.

“You will not have what you ask, nor can you have anything you want. This is because your very request is a statement of lack, and your saying you want a thing only works to produce the precise experience – wanting – in your reality.

The correct prayer is therefore never a prayer of supplication but a prayer of gratitude.
When you thank God in advance for which you choose to experience in your reality, you in effect, acknowledge that it is there …. in effect. Thankfulness is thus the most powerful statement to God; an affirmation that even before you asked, I have answered.

Therefore, never supplicate. Appreciate.”

Let’s reflect on this for a moment. Every time you want to create something or want to have something, are you always hoping or wishing for it? Do you pray and hope it’ll come to you? Or do you feel grateful that it’s already on its way to you?

When you pray for something badly, you will very likely experience the wanting, and not what you want. But if you are grateful because you trust that you will receive what you want, then you will very likely get it.

So here’s how you can shift the energy from wanting to the feeling of already having it and feeling grateful.

Step 1 – Write down what you want eg. increase income, better health, better relationships etc.

Step 2 – Write down how you feel about what you want.
Impatient? Frustrated? Disappointed? Or grateful?

Step 3 – If you feel anything other than grateful, choose this very moment to feel completely grateful and trust that what you want is on its way to you. Say “Thank you” at least 3 times to emphasize your feelings of gratefulness and know that what you want is already being materialized.

Step 4 – Erase all doubts and forget about this exercise. Just let go and allow the Universe to bring it to you.

Some people may ask, how can we practise gratefulness in times of trouble when we don’t feel like feeling grateful? Read this Trusting Life article for the inspiration.

Do you know that feeling grateful about what you have can actually attract more good things to you? It's the Law Of Attraction that can never fail you. When you are focused on being grateful for the good things in your life, the Universe will somehow bring more of those good things to you!

So let’s be grateful and thankful everyday, shall we?

How To Measure Loudness

Posted by : foongpc | Wednesday, August 27, 2008 | Published in


I went to the gym the other day and saw a few people working out with headphones on. It seemed that listening to their favourite music while working out helped to improve their workout performance. Or perhaps to cure their boredom.

Whatever the reasons, it was fine with me until a guy came next to me while I was doing some seated dumbbell presses. I could hear the strong rhythmic beats coming out from his headphones and he was standing a few feet away!

Now I am not complaining about noise pollution here. All I’m saying is, does this guy treasure his ears? If he’s trying to exercise his ear drums, it’s surely a damaging way of doing it!

There have been many reports stating that listening to loud music through headphones is a common cause of hearing loss. And what is worse is that you won’t realize you are losing your hearing because the effect is not instantaneous, but is progressive over time.

Hearing damage usually results after long-term exposure to loud noise, but according to Merck website, even brief exposure to extremely loud noise can permanently harm hearing.

So how loud is considered loud and damaging to our hearing?

Photo from Travelitis

Here’s how we measure loudness. It is measured in decibels (dB) based on a logarithmic scale. This means that an increase of 10 dB represents a 10-fold increase in sound intensity, and a doubling of the perceived loudness. Thus, 20 dB is 100 times the intensity of 0 dB and appears 4 times as loud; 30 dB is 1000 times the intensity of 0 dB and appears 8 times as loud.

For example,

0 dB - the faintest sound heard by human ear.

30 dB - whisper, quiet sound of a library.

60 dB - normal conversation, sewing machine, typewriter, ringing telephone

90 dB - lawnmover, shop tools, heavy city traffic
(8 hours per day is the maximum exposure without protection)

100 dB – chainsaw, pneumatic drill, snowmobile
(2 hours per day is the maximum exposure without protection)

115 dB – loud rock concert, car horn, sandblasting
(15 minutes per day is the maximum exposure without protection)

140 dB – gun muzzle blast, jet engine
(Noise causes pain and even brief exposure injures unprotected ears)

180 dB – rocket launching pad

Generally, protection is recommended for sound levels above 85 dB.

How would you know if you are not already suffering from some hearing loss? Well, if you experience the following symptoms, it may be serious enough to warrant an appointment with your ear doctor.

Ringing or buzzing in the ears
Difficulty in understanding speech
Slight muffling of sounds
Difficulty understanding speech in noisy places or places with poor acoustics.

So the next time you wish to listen to your favourite songs on the headphone, remember to turn the volume down a few notches!

My Top 5 Horror Movies

Posted by : foongpc | Sunday, August 24, 2008 | Published in


I love horror movies! Do you?

When I mention horror movies, I’m referring to movies about ghosts, ghouls, vampires, exorcism and whatever that is related to the other worldly stuffs. And what better time to talk about horror movies during this Hungry Ghost Festival which is still ongoing till the end of the month.

However, I am quite disappointed with horror movies that are being churned out nowadays. They are either poor imitations of the good ones or they are so lacking in the horror element I actually yawned watching them! In fact, I have stopped going to the cinemas to watch horror movies nowadays because I think I’ll just be wasting my money!

I also cannot understand people who go watch horror movies in cinema and they cover their eyes during those scary scenes. I have a friend who is like that. She covers her eyes every time she thinks a ghost is going to appear. And I’m like... excuse me, this movie is not free, you know? Are you going to waste your RM10 ticket to cover your eyes? Me? I’ve paid for my ticket and I better get to see all the horror stuffs with my two eyes wide open!

Anyway, here’s my top 5 horror movies of all time.

Warning: If you have not seen any of these 5 movies before and you are planning to watch them, please don’t read any further as spoilers abound.

Some scenes from "The Exorcist"

The Exorcist is the first horror movie that really gave me the shivers. I was quite small when I first saw it and as you can imagine, I had sleepless nights after watching it. Linda Blair was so realistic in her portrayal as the girl possessed by a demonic spirit she really deserved the Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. The way she threw profanities, spewed vomits and rolled her head 360 degrees had audiences in shock. In fact, I heard a few cinemagoers actually fainted during those scenes!

And it was much later in my adult life that I learnt that everything in that movie was done without any special effects! Certainly beat all those horror movies laden with special effects nowadays!

This movie had such a profound impact on me I had always used it to rate other horror movies. I had to admit though, when I watched The Exorcist a second time in later years, I found the first half of the movie quite boring, although the second half still gave me the shivers.

The creepy elevator scene from "The Eye"

The Eye (original Hong Kong version, not the USA remake) is to me, the scariest movie and the most entertaining! This is the kind of horror movie I like – good storyline, good acting, and have all the horror elements I want from a movie of this kind.

And if you saw this in the cinema, you would have got a bonus you cannot find in the DVD releases – a female ghost flashed on the screen before the actual film started. It was a shock tactic and it scared me to hell!

The scenes of the ghost in the creepy elevator, the old lady that appeared out of nowhere in the hospital, the female ghost that visited the restaurant and licked those meat with her long tongue, the female ghost in the calligraphy room that attacked Mun, the lead character – all these scenes are truly scary and classic!

This movie also won Angelica Lee Sin-Je, the leading actress who happens to be a Malaysian, a best actress award at the 2002 Golden Horse Film Festival and again at the 2003 Hong Kong Film Awards.

Nowadays if my friends were to ask me to watch a horror movie, my first question will be - is it better than The Eye or at least as good? If not, forget it!

Disturbing scenes from "The Ring"

The Ring (or Ringu in Japanese) is another great horror movie. Not only was it scary and spooky, it was thoroughly disturbing. In fact, this movie, released in 1998 was the highest grossing horror film in Japan and considered the most frightening.

I remember watching this on DVD and it certainly freaked me out. I found the video scenes watched by the victims highly disturbing. The ending where the ghost of the vengeful child came out of the TV screen was such a shock and totally unexpected I’m rating it a true classic scene in horror movies!

Although the USA remake in 2002 did a pretty good job, I still think the original Japanese version is the best.

"The Sixth Sense" Trailer

The Sixth Sense did a great job at giving me the most surprising ending for a horror movie. I did not see it coming, none at all! Who would have thought the leading character played by Bruce Willis is a ghost?

I won’t say it’s the scariest movie – certainly not as scary as The Eye (at least to me) but it’s such a clever film I totally enjoyed it.

This movie immortalized the line “I See Dead People” spoken in the movie by Haley Joel Osment who incidentally was nominated the Academy Award for Best Actor In A Supporting Role in 1999.

A scary scene from "Shutter"

Shutter is a 2004 Thai horror movie that claimed to be more scary than Ju On (The Grudge) and The Ring. The Grudge? Yes definitely. The Ring? Maybe. But certainly not as disturbing.

What attracted me to the show was the claim the producers made about the photos and images they used were of actual ghosts. I also like the idea that you can capture ghostly images with your camera, so to all bloggers who like to take pictures, beware!

There were lots of scary scenes, but one very humorous scene that stuck in my mind was the toilet scene where the lead character Tun, played by Ananda Everingham thought it was a ghost in the toilet next to him when it was just a transvestite or a ladyboy as they are called in Thailand. Very funny that!

The ending was another surprising shock when it was revealed the reason why Tun weighed heavier than usual – the ghost was sitting on his shoulders all the time! Now that freaked me out big time!

There were a few more horror movies that I enjoyed but did not make it to my Top 5, although they are worth a mention. They are The Omen, The Blair Witch Project, The Exorcism Of Emily Rose and Inner Senses.

I also like A Nightmare On Elm Street (Parts 1 and 3 only) and Child's Play although both are more like slasher movies than about ghosts.

And then, there are some successful horror movies that I don’t think deserve it. These are Ju On (the original Japanese later remade as The Grudge for USA version) and Dark Water (both Japanese and USA version), both of which are a waste of my time and do not scare me at all!

I’ll probably talk about them in my future posts, but in the meantime, do tell me what is your top 5 horror movies.

Do You Have An Emergency Fund?

Posted by : foongpc | Friday, August 22, 2008 | Published in


In one of my previous posts, I talked about the Rule Of 72. I mentioned that placing money in Fixed Deposit account is like losing money as the interest rate offered by the banks are much lower than the current inflation rate.

A lot of people already knew this and they are looking for investment vehicles that can earn them 8%, 10% , 12% returns or even higher. Nowadays, you can invest your money in so many things. There are the stock market, unit trusts, properties, forex…. and many more.

But what most people forgot is to have an emergency fund before investing in anything at all.

Emergency fund is extremely important. Unexpected things can and do happen. What if you lose your job? Or what if you meet with an accident and cannot work for the next few months? Without an emergency fund, you may have to incur credit card debts which will take years to settle.

Imagine having no money to buy essential items like food! You won't want that to happen just because most of your money is locked up in properties or in stocks. You may not be able to sell your properties in a short time. And you won’t want to sell your stocks at a time when the market is not favourable. That would be a major nightmare!

So how much do you need? You should have an emergency fund that is equivalent to at least 6 months of your monthly expenses. That means if you spend an average of RM2,000 every month, you will need to have at least RM12,000 in your emergency fund.

Where’s the best place to keep your emergency fund? You may want to place it in liquid investments, so that you can take your money out at short notice. A good place will be the Fixed Deposit Account. Savings Account is suitable also, but since Fixed Deposit offers a higher interest rate, the latter is preferred. In Malaysia, you can also place your money in the Amanah Saham funds managed by PNB as it offers a much higher returns.

If you do not have an emergency fund, forget about any forms of investment! Forget about the share market, the unit trusts and buying properties. You are certainly not ready yet until you have an emergency fund that can last you for 6 months.

Start building up your fund today. It’s never too late! Every month, save 10% of your take home pay and use it to build your emergency fund. Once the fund reaches the required amount, then and only then can you start the real investment game!


Posted by : foongpc | Wednesday, August 20, 2008 | Published in


Today is a special day. No, it’s not my birthday.

It’s 20082008

20th August 2008. A Double Match.

It happens only once in a lifetime! You’ll never get such a number again. So I guess I would like to wish everyone a wonderful day!

Last year, the special day was on 20th July. That gave us 20072007.

So next year it will be 20th Sept which gives us 20092009.

But what is all this preoccupation with numbers, you say? What’s the big deal? Actually, no big deal but we Chinese people just like numbers that sound good. In fact, nowadays, even non-Chinese people like good numbers.

Of course how good a number is depends on who you are talking to.

For the Chinese, number 8 sounds like “fatt” in Cantonese and “fa” in Mandarin both meaning prosperous in English so it’s very popular. That is why the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics was held on the 8/8/2008 at exactly 8 seconds, 8 minutes and past 8pm.

However, Chinese people will go all out to avoid the number 4 that sounds like “sei” in Cantonese and “si” in Mandarin, both meaning death in English.

You will usually find houses with numbers like 14 changed to 13A. 14 in Cantonese sounds very close to “sat sei” or sure to die in English. Or number 24 changed to 23A simply because 24 sounds like "yee sei" meaning easy to die.

The number 3 is considered very lucky for the Chinese because it resembles “saang” in Cantonese meaning life in English. Therefore, number 13 is an excellent number as it sounds like “sat saang” or sure to live.

This contrasts directly with the Westerners who think that number 13 is an unlucky number. Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day for Western people. There were also 13 people at the Last Supper and Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus was the 13th person to sit at the table.

In Scotland for instance, there is no number 13 gate at the airport. If you notice, there is no number 13 car in Formula One.

Recently, I entered the lift of a 23-storey condominium and was surprised to see the buttons for the 4th, 13th and 14th floor missing. They had replaced the number 4 with 5 and 5 with 6 and so on, so that the numbers on each button above 3 do not reflect the true floor. I realized then that the 23-storey building was really only 20 storeys high!

The number 6 sounds like “liu” in Mandarin meaning flowing or smooth going, and a lot of people in China and Hong Kong like to use a few digits of number 6 to symbolize a life that is very smooth flowing with no big obstacles and hardships.

However, several digits of 6 like the number 666 is considered demonic to Christians and in Western culture as it is known as the number of the Beast.

According to feng shui expert Joey Yap, all these unlucky numbers are simply superstition and have nothing to do with feng shui. Someone staying in house no.4 does not mean he will suffer bad luck especially if his house has good feng shui.

However, not all feng shui experts agree with this, certainly not Lillian Too. She has sometimes been accused of mixing superstition with feng shui, but maybe that's her biggest selling point!

Whatever it may be, do not take these numbers issues too seriously! Just trust your own instincts. If you are uncomfortable with a certain number, trash it and replace it with a number you like.

By the way, are you going for the Lillian Too's 2009 Feng Shui Extravaganza on 11th January 2009 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre? Ticket price is only RM48 until 30th September 2008, after which the price will increase in stages every month.

I"ll be going of course, not because I'm a believer in everything Lillian Too says, (I prefer to follow Joey Yap's advice actually) but just to enjoy her talks which is often filled with lots of humour and jokes. So if you are going, see you there!

The Warning

Posted by : foongpc | Monday, August 18, 2008 | Published in


In one of my previous posts, I mentioned about a person I knew who can see dead people. She is my friend Thomas’ mother. (Thomas is not his real name)

You can read about the post I See Dead People here.

After my first experience at Thomas’ house, I was reluctant to visit him again. But Thomas called me several times. He said he wanted to meet me because he wanted me to introduce his insurance agent to me. At that time, I was looking for an insurance agent.

Of course I tried to arrange a meeting outside his house. I said, why not meet up at that nice restaurant in 1Utama? But he said he had prepared food for me, so it’s hard to say no.

And so I went. When I arrived there, his mom was asleep inside her room. I heaved a sigh of relief. After talking to the agent and some chit chats, I was about to leave when Thomas' mom came out from her room and greeted us. She said I did not look good. I freaked out. What did she mean by that?

She quickly asked if I was having any trouble lately, and I said no. When I asked her what was wrong with me, she said my face looked a little dark. She asked me to be careful in the coming days although she would not comment further.

Now that’s the not the kind of advice I would like to hear. Anyway, I tried to brush it off and went back home.

A few days later, I was walking to my car parked at the basement of a shopping mall when I noticed the door on the driver’s side of my car was open. Someone had pried open the door and opened the boot and stolen my bag which contained about RM3,000!

I really did not know how the thief knew I had money kept in the bag but I guess he must have spotted me keeping my bag inside the boot and suspected the bag must have contained some money. So I learnt a lesson that is, never keep your bag inside the boot of your car in full view of the public.

Anyway, when I visited Thomas again the following week, I told his mom what happened and she just beamed and said, “I told you to be careful, didn’t I?”

Actually, after this incident, I was very relieved even though I lost about RM3,000. At least it had nothing to do with dead people!

The Rule Of 72

Posted by : foongpc | Sunday, August 17, 2008 | Published in


Do you know what is The Rule Of 72?

In finance, the rule of 72 is a method to estimate your investment’s doubling time. The rule of 72 states that if you take 72 and divide it by the annual percentage returns, it will give you the number of years your investment would double.

For example, if you invest RM10,000 at a 4% annual interest rate, it will take 18 years for your investment to double to RM20,000.

72 divide by 4 equals 18

Most banks in Malaysia currently pay up to 4% interest for money placed in Fixed Deposits.

Now you know how long the money in your Fixed Deposit will double in amount!

18 years is a long time, isn’t it? Don’t you wish you can double your money faster? You can! Just place your money in investments that give higher interest rates, like in unit trusts, for example.

The rule of 72 can also be applied to calculate the time taken for the value of your money to be reduced to half. Just take 72 and divide it by the inflation rate.

For example, if the inflation rate is 4%, the RM10,000 that you have today will be worth only RM5,000 in 18 years time.

Again, it is 72 divide by 4 equals 18

Now, you will no doubt notice that if you keep your RM10,000 in the Fixed Deposit account in the bank today, in 18 years time, the amount will double to RM20,000. However, in the same number of years, the inflation will see to it that your RM20,000 is halved to RM10,000 in value.

In other words, your money did not really double! What a bummer!

What’s worse, the Government recently announced that the Malaysian inflation rate is at 7% !! With the rise in petrol price and just about everything else, your personal inflation rate may be even higher than 7%!

Using the rule of 72, your RM10,000 in the example above will be reduced to RM5,000 in value in the short span of about 10 years!!

72 divide by 7 equals 10.2

Is there any point then, in putting your money in the Fixed Deposit? Your money is losing value even as it sits there!

So how do we ensure that the value of our money grows at a higher rate than the inflation rate? The answer is to invest your money with an investment rate that is higher than the inflation rate.

Looking at the current high inflation rate of 7%, you will need to invest your money in things like unit trusts for example, that can give you annual returns that is higher than 7%.

Kiss The Rain

Posted by : foongpc | Friday, August 15, 2008 | Published in


Someone gave me the piano score to this wonderful song. I played it on the piano non-stop for the past few days. It was terribly addictive and I love the melody so much!

The song is called Kiss The Rain. Here's the song played by the composer himself, Yiruma. He's a talented South Korean piano music composer with several albums to his name.


Are You Spooked?

Posted by : foongpc | Thursday, August 14, 2008 | Published in


Today is the 14th day of the 7th month of the Lunar Calendar. So happens it is also the 14th day of the month on Western calendars. If you are Chinese, you will know it’s the Hungry Ghost Festival day!

Are ghosts and evil spirits more powerful today? I don’t know but it’s better to play safe.

Most of us have stayed in hotels before. It is widely known that a certain hotel in Genting Highlands is haunted. It is an urban legend among Malaysians but if you do not know which hotel, read about it at Spooky Corner.

Now let me tell you some beliefs of hoteliers.

Every single hotel, there is at least a permanent room which should be left vacant at all times. No matter how full the hotel is, they are not to sell that room to any guest. It is said that the special room is "reserved" for those "special visitors".

So, if you plan to stay in some hotel, always book in advance. Try to avoid walk-in. If the receptionist tells you there's no more room available, do not insist or try to bribe them to give you a room. If you do that, most of the time the room you have will be that "special room".

Sometimes those "special visitors" might go to other rooms also, so here's some tips on how to protect yourself.

1. Before entering your room, always knock on the door first, even if you know the room is vacant.

2. After you enter the room, if you feel very cold suddenly, immediately leave the room quietly and go to reception to request for a change of room. Most of the time the receptionist will understand and will consider your request.

3. After you enter the room, immediately switch on all of the lights, and open the curtain to let the sun light in.

4. Before you go to bed, arrange your shoes so that one of them is upside down. Some say this is representing yin & yang to protect you while you're asleep.

5. Always leave at least a light on while you're sleeping, preferably the toilet's light.

6. If you're staying alone and they have given you a twin bed, do not, I repeat, do not sleep with the other bed vacant. Instead try to put some things like your luggage on the other bed before you sleep.

7. When you enter your hotel room, look for the Bible. Some hotels place the Bible inside a drawer. Well, some do, some don't. But, if upon entering, you see the Bible on the table, DON'T STAY IN THAT ROOM! It means "special visitors" are there.

If you see the Bible opened up on the table, LEAVE THAT ROOM IMMEDIATELY and request a change of room!!! It means the "special visitor" is really creating trouble in that room!!

If you are reading this on your laptop in a hotel room right now, and you see the Bible or some sort of religious book opened up on the table, heed my warning and LEAVE YOUR ROOM NOW!

Of course ghosts are not limited to places like hotels. What better place to linger than those dark, creepy places like inside the cinema?

Here's what I've been told about cinemas. A lot of people like to rush and be the first person to see a particular movie before everyone else sees it. Are you one of them?

Let me tell you this. Do not attend the first screening of any movies in the cinema. By the first screening, I mean the first time that movie is being shown in that particular cinema hall. The reason? The first screening is meant for "the special audiences".

However, if you insist on going, then sit somewhere in the middle of the cinema hall. The first and last rows are reserved for them. Be warned!

Actors Who Died In Their 20's

Posted by : foongpc | Tuesday, August 12, 2008 | Published in


Will it happen? The Dark Knight is coming close to sinking Titanic in terms of worldwide revenue! The Dark Knight is certainly a very good film, in fact I dare say the best Batman movie of all. But to beat Titanic, one of the highest grossing movie of all time - will that be possible?

Photo from Wikipedia

Is Dark Knight's success due to the star power of the late Heath Ledger? A big possibility. Heath was at the height of popularity when he died of drug overdose. What a waste! He had so much potential, yet died so early. He was only 28.

With this in mind, I would like to pay tribute to those young Hollywood actors who died early in their career and their life. They had so much potential yet their life was cut short. As a result, they became legends in the Hollywood movie industry.

Photo from James Dean Gallery

James Dean, considered one of the greatest legends of the 20th century, was most famous for his role as a rebellious teenager in Rebel Without A Cause. He died at the age of 24, on Sept 30, 1955, after an automobile crash on the highway near Paso Robles, California. During his time, he was idolized by both men and women. His name was mentioned in the song American Pie sung by Don McLean and was even used as title of songs by The Eagles and Goo Goo Dolls.

Photo from Official Sharon Tate Fansite

Sharon Tate, a model and an actress was most famous in her Golden Globe nominated performance in Valley Of The Dolls. She was married to famous director Roman Polanski and was eight and a half months’ pregnant when she was murdered by followers of Charles Manson in Los Angeles on Aug 9, 1969. She was only 26.

Photo from Wikipedia

Jon-Erik Hexum, the star of popular sci-fi television series Voyagers! was a sex symbol during the height of his popularity. He was also famous for his relationships with Heather Thomas and Emma Samms. Hexum died on Oct 18, 1984 at the age of 26 after accidentally shooting himself in the head with a prop gun loaded with blanks on the set of CBS series, Cover Up in Los Angeles.

Photo from Brandon-Lee.com

Brandon Lee, son of martial arts film star Bruce Lee seemed to have suffered the "family curse" as he had died at the age of 28, almost 20 years after his father and before the release of the film that catapulted him to stardom. On Mar 31, 1993, Brandon was accidentally shot on the set of The Crow in Wilmington, North Carolina. Many fans believed his death was a result of foul play, but the police ruled it out.

Photo from Goddess Musings

River Phoenix , the older brother of actor Joaquin Phoenix, was hailed as highly talented by film critics. He was nominated for an Oscar for best Supporting Actor in the movie Running On Empty , portrayed the young Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade and acted opposite Keanu Reeves in My Own Private Idaho and Robert Redford in Sneakers. Known for his squeaky clean image, it was indeed a shock to his fans when River died at the age of 23 on Oct 31, 1993 from a drug overdose outside a night club in Los Angeles.

Photo from Who's dated Who

David Strickland, best known for his role as boyish rock music reporter in the NBC sitcom, Suddenly Susan starring opposite Brooke Shields suffered from bipolar disorder and had a history of drug and alcohol abuse. He died at the age of 29, after hanging himself in a hotel room in Las Vegas on March 22, 1999. Apparently, he chose not to take the drug that control his bipolar disorder on the day of his death.

Photo from Suicide.org

Jonathan Brandis, achieved teen idol status after acting in Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi TV series, SeaQuest DSV. He dabbled in directing and scriptwriting and also acted in several movies before his popularity started to go downhill. Out of depression, Jonathan committed suicide by hanging himself in his home in Los Angeles on Nov 12, 2003. He was rushed to hospital but died from his injuries. He was only 27.

Photo from Papermag

Brad Renfro, made his movie debut in The Client and acted in many prominent movies including Sleepers opposite Robert de Niro, Kevin Bacon, Dustin Hoffman and Brad Pitt. Much of his career was marred by substance abuse. He died at the age of 25 on Jan 15, 2008 a day after reportedly spending the previous evening drinking with friends. His death was due to drug overdose.

Tragic? Yes, most definitely.

An Award For My Very First Blog

Posted by : foongpc | Monday, August 11, 2008 | Published in


It’s been over 3 months since I officially started blogging. I still consider myself a newbie in the blogging world. There are still a lot of things to learn but I'm enjoying every minute of it!

So it was a total surprise when fellow blogger Beng Beng of My Longkang left me a comment about him giving me an award. I quickly hopped over to his blog and there I found this award waiting for me. Well, I have to admit that he is one of my regular readers and it feels good to be recognized by him. Thanks Beng Beng!

As promised, I have now placed this award on my blog and in keeping with the tradition of this award, I will now nominate seven blogs that I sincerely feel deserve it as well.

By the way, I read lots of great blogs out there and it was not easy to present this to only seven of them.

And so, here’s my seven recipients of this award in no particular order.
They are (drumroll pls)…

QuaChee of QuaChee's Blog

CC of Quaint Melody

My Bug Life of Foodie & Travel Bug

Bongkersz of The Flaccid Mind

Falcon of Songs Of Innocence & Experience

Reena of Reenashwina

Acura of Signs Of Life

Now, for those who receive this award, there’s a little “reciprocal” rules that you must do. I didn’t make this rules, so it’s up to you to make a link back to me or not.

The award may be displayed on a winner’s blog.
Add a link to the person who you received the award from.
Nominate up to seven other blogs.
Then add their links to your blog.
Add a message to each person that you have passed the award on to in the comments section of their blog.


Let The Games Begin!

Posted by : foongpc | Saturday, August 9, 2008 | Published in


It was 6.45pm on Friday and I was trapped in a massive traffic jam in New Town, PJ. What the hell was happening?

It was bumper to bumper crawl. This was very unusual. I tried to navigate through the traffic and tried and find the best route home. I’d be damned if I miss the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics!

Oh, that’s it! Only then did I realize what the traffic jam was all about. People all rushing home to catch the Olympics!

I was hungry but with the traffic condition like that, I think I’d just forego my dinner outside and head straight home. Trouble was, the clock kept ticking but my car was not moving much. I was beginning to lose my patience. It was 7.50pm and I was no where near home! Maybe I should just have my dinner at a mamak stall and watch the Olympics on the TV there.

Luckily, for me, and to cut the long story short, I managed to reach home at 8.25pm.

But with no Astro and relying on RTM, it would make no difference even if I came back later because they only broadcasted it at 8.40pm after the news. What the crap! The opening ceremony started at 8.08pm and RTM, our official Olympics channel showed the live telecast about 30 minutes late!

Better than nothing, of course so I watched the opening ceremony and all. It was a great opening – truly grand and entertaining. I liked the part where a giant translucent globe came out from the stadium floor and acrobats walking around it as if defying gravity.

But the best part has to be the lighting of the Olympic flame. This was where we see six-time Chinese gymnastics gold medallist Li Ning carrying the torch being hoisted up to the top of the stadium and then did an incredible “kung fu style” walking the entire circumference of the stadium before sending up a torrent of flame that spiraled upwards to the huge cauldron and lighting the Olympic flame. Simply cool!

And then of course there were the fireworks!

Here’s some photos taken from Yahoo Sports.

I only found the part where all the countries came out on stage a bit tedious and boring.

Still overall it's a successful opening ceremony to the Games. And RTM had the nerve to end the live telecast prematurely before the fireworks show was over! Who wants to watch the RTM commentator in the studio talking nonsense when there's live fireworks on display? Please RTM, if you can't give us a decent live telecast, stop promoting yourself as the official Olympics Channel!

Anyway, here's wishing the Beijing Olympics a great success!

I See Dead People

Posted by : foongpc | Friday, August 8, 2008 | Published in


I see dead people.

That’s not from me, thank God. It’s just a famous line spoken by Haley Joel Osment from the equally famous movie, The Sixth Sense.

Yet, I have met a person in real life who can really see dead people. I’m not joking.

She’s none other than my friend’s mother.

It happened a few years ago when I visited my friend’s house one afternoon. For privacy reasons, I’m not going to reveal my friend’s real name, but let’s just call him Thomas. I was at Thomas' house to talk about a certain money making scheme and his mother, an elderly lady who occasionally dabbled in fortune telling and feng shui, was in the kitchen.

Suddenly, his mother called out to her son and we both ran into the kitchen. She was looking out the kitchen window towards a row of houses across the road. She pointed to one of the houses and asked us if we see an ugly middle aged man sitting outside the house.

Of course we saw no one. But she continued to describe the man as sad looking and rather ugly. He was sitting all alone his head drooping down looking at his hands which was on his lap.

Did you know my hair was standing on its end? We both know what she saw, and we just told her we saw no one. Or rather, there’s no human we saw.

From that day onwards, I knew Thomas' mom was gifted with this ability to see dead people. And I tried my best not to visit him anymore after that, although as you will soon read in my upcoming posts, that’s not going to happen.

What Is Your Excuse For Not Working Out?

Posted by : foongpc | Wednesday, August 6, 2008 | Published in


What is keeping people from working out? Despite knowing full well that exercise is important to keep us healthy, and is recommended by virtually all doctors, people are still reluctant to work out. I have spoken to a number of friends and found out that people do really have a lot of excuses when it comes to working out!

Here are some of the more popular excuses.

I’m so busy I’ve no time to exercise!

Gym memberships are too expensive – I can’t afford it!

I’ve tried to exercise but did not see any progress or improvement

Exercise is boring!

I’m too tired to exercise!

Let us now look at each of these excuses one by one.

I’m so busy I’ve no time to exercise!
This is most popular excuse used to validate the reason for not exercising. In fact this is such a common excuse I am fed up with it!

Firstly, there’s no such thing as no time. It all boils down to priorities and time management. Ask yourself, is exercise a priority? Is health a priority? If it is, then you have to make time for it! If it is not, ask yourself why not. Do you want to be healthy and enjoy your life? Or do you rather be busy working your job and making lots of money but later find that you cannot enjoy your wealth simply because you are too sick?

As for time management, we are all too aware that there is only 24 hours in a day. What you need to do is to stop wasting time on unproductive things like watching too much TV, chatting too long on the phone, spending too much time cleaning and tidying your house etc. When you cut out these stuffs, you will be able to find the time to work out.

And by the way, no one is asking you to spend 2 hours working out! If you are short of time, 20 minutes may be all you need!

Exercise should comprise of cardio and weight training. You don’t have to combine both exercises at one go. Why not do cardio on one day and weight training on the next?

To save time, limit your cardio to just 20 minutes. By employing the high intensity interval training, you don’t need to exercise for 1 hour or more to lose weight. What’s more you can see better results!

As for weight training, limit it to 45 minutes. Do not do isolated exercises, concentrate only on compound movements like squat, bench press, deadlifts, chin ups and dips because these exercises train more muscles at one go and therefore, saves you time. For example, a bench press works the chest, shoulders and triceps all at the same time.

Gym memberships are too expensive – I can’t afford it!
Admittedly, the price of everything is rising. So why not save money by not going to the gym?

Cancelling your gym membership may save you some money, but really, do you honestly think it’s cheaper to be sick or to be healthy? Medical fees are not cheap nowadays. It’s better to invest in your health now than to pay for it later!

Besides, who says you need to go to the gym to exercise? There’s a lot of nice public parks where you can go jogging for free. What’s more, you get to enjoy the nice scenery while exercising instead of the four walls in the gym! Or you can go play tennis or badminton with your friend. Instead of going to the gym to lift weight, buy your own dumbbells and barbells. It’s certainly a lot cheaper in the long run.

And if you have been using a personal trainer and it is burning a hole in your pocket, stop using one! You really don’t need a personal trainer once you have learnt all the basics to weight lifting. You definitely don’t need a personal trainer for your cardio workouts – so stop wasting your hard earned money! If you really need help from your personal trainer to track your progress, cutting down your sessions with him or her to just once a month is good enough.

"I've tried to exercise but did not see any progress or improvement"
There are many reasons why you don’t see any improvement or progress. One of them is having the same fitness routine week after week, month after month. Our body is very clever to adapt. If you use the same routine ie. same movements, same reps, same intensity, the body will get used to it and you will reach a plateau. Therefore, change your routine at least every 8 sessions of the same workout. Also, each workout, try to have some progression, ie. Increase either in reps or weight. You need to keep your body guessing so it does not adapt!

Another reason is overtraining. After an intensive workout, you need a good rest. Don’t exercise excessively or you will suffer. Your immune system will weaken and you will feel tired all the time! Believe me, when you are tired, you won’t feel like working out! Not working out equals no progress.

The third reason could be your unrealistic expectations. If you expect to lose 10kg within a month, or you expect to build a body like Will Smith within 3 months, you are really deluding yourself. Whether to lose weight or build muscles, you need time to achieve it, so a false expectation will make you give up easily.

One way to track your progress is to note down every workout on a log book. When you see the small progress recorded in your log book, you will be more motivated to continue working out.

"Exercise is boring!"
To make your workout more interesting, vary your routines. Doing the same routine every day will definitely bore you to death! You can also try to have a change of environment. For example, instead of exercising in the gym, go to the public parks to have your workouts. Also, having a workout buddy will make exercise more interesting, and both of you can help to motivate each other. Just make sure your buddy is at the same or almost the same fitness level with you.

"I'm too tired to exercise!"
If you are too tired to work out, then you need to work out! Seriously! After a session of exercise, you will find yourself less tired and more energetic due to better blood circulation.

Tiredness also could be due to overtraining as mentioned above.

Or it could be due to lack of rest and sleep. Do not underestimate the power of sleep. It is during sleep that our body repairs itself. Our muscles grow when we sleep, not during the workout session in the gym! If you don’t sleep enough, you will find no improvement to your workout because your body does not have the opportunity to repair itself. If you have problem sleeping, you might want to try some of the tips provided in A True Account By An Insomniac.

After reading this, I hope you will have no more excuses for not working out!

50+1 Malaysia Book Review

Posted by : foongpc | Monday, August 4, 2008 | Published in


Since getting my hands on this book 50 + 1 Malaysia by QuaChee and his team, I had been reading it from the very first page. Now I have come to the last page. And what do I think of it?

There is one very obvious feeling from reading the book. I feel a great love for my country Malaysia. I have always loved Malaysia and with this book, my love grows even more!

I would have to say to my fellow Malaysians – the grass is not always greener on the other side. Despite the political situation in this country, I still say Malaysia is the place to be. Malaysia is my home, and the best place to be on planet Earth. How else can you explain countless foreign expatriates setting up their second homes in Malaysia?

Anyway, back to the book. I thoroughly enjoyed myself reading it! I like the fact that terms and words that are eccentric to Malaysians are properly explained. Words like lah, syiok, alamak and so on. Foreigners reading this book will have a better understanding on how we talk. At least they would better appreciate Manglish, also known as Malaysian English.

The first chapter on things that are truly Malaysian is a wonderful read and very comprehensive. It covers everything uniquely Malaysian from the orangutan to lion dance, from gasing to Ah Long and 4D or empat ekor. It even mentioned what is known as Malaysian Time and what is this very popular open house concept and balik kampong, which are things you can only observe in Malaysia and nowhere else.

The second chapter on food is definitely my favourite subject. Malaysian food is so tasty and unique a foreigner once told me that after having eaten Malaysian food, he found his own country's food bland and boring in comparison! And this book has very good description of my favourite foods (with very good pictures too!) like onde onde, pineapple tarts, satay, nasi lemak, roti canai and even Ramly burgers and of course the famous durian!

What really makes this book different from others of the same genre is the comments given by individuals. For example, one of the comments on eating the onde onde – how biting it and letting the gula melaka juice bursts in the mouth makes me salivate to no end. Wonderful!

The third chapter on places to visit is a must-read for foreigners and locals alike. Honestly, I haven’t been to every one of those places and I claim to know Malaysia – how embarrassing! The book definitely provide a good guide to famous places like Jonker Street in Melaka, Kek Lok Si Temple in Penang, Sipadan Islands in Sabah, Taman Negara in Pahang, Tasik Kenyir in Terengganu, and the Mulu Caves in Sarawak. These are must-visit places in Malaysia.

Besides knowing what places to visit, you must also know what are things you can and must do in Malaysia. This book gives a good guide on all that in the fourth chapter but what surprises me is it even mention things like driving along the North-South Highway, shopping at hypermarkets and having a Malaysian wedding among the list of things to do! How comprehensive is that!

The fifth chapter is interesting, especially to a foreigner who have never been to Malaysia. It talks about cultural events and festivals in Malaysia. I’m quite surprised Bon Odori and even Loy Krathong were mentioned as these are not really Malaysian festivals, but nevertheless celebrated here as well.

I love the sixth chapter which focus on Malaysian celebrities and famous people. What I like is the “up close and personal” interview with these stars like Anuar Zain, Amber Chia, Hannah Tan, Jaclyn Victor, Fish Leong, Michael Wong, Maya Karin, Mawi, Nicol David, Siti Nurhaliza, and our own Angkasawan (astronaut) Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor among others. If you want to know what these celebrities love about Malaysia, go get this book!

Finally, the last chapter is a chapter on love. Yes, what Malaysians and even non-Malaysians love about Malaysia. It is a loving dedication to our beloved country and may even make you cry.

Overall, this is a great book to have. I have only one complaint – the book is too small! If only it’s bigger, the words would be easier to read! However, that’s a small matter compared to so many benefits you can get, therefore I highly recommend this book. Priced at RM51, it’s worth your money. But here’s good news. For a limited period of time you can order it online at The Malaysia Page for only RM35!!

Before I end my post, I would like to thank QuaChee for the message he personally left on the last page of my book. Yes, I truly enjoyed the book and it has inspired me- thank you! I’ll be looking forward to your next book!

Beware Of The Hungry Ghosts!

Posted by : foongpc | Saturday, August 2, 2008 | Published in


One word. Horrible!

By now you may have already heard or read the news about the lorry that rammed into seven vehicles on the Cheras-Kajang Highway last Friday, killing two people and leaving five others in critical condition.

I shuddered at the thought. Reminds me of a scene from Final Destination.

Look at these photos of the accident taken from Star Online.

It seemed that the lorry driver had lost control of his vehicle and hit a motorcycle, killing the motorcyclist on the spot, before jumping the divider and crashing onto oncoming vehicles on the opposite side of the highway. Dear God!

Does this have to happen during this dreaded month? You know what I’m talking about, especially if you are Chinese. Call me superstitious, but I noticed such accidents happened a lot during the “Hungry Ghost” month.

If you really take notice, there seems to be more people dying during this time of the year. At least that’s what I observed every year without fail. Maybe I’m being superstitious, but don’t you notice there seems to be more funerals taking place around your neighbourhood?

For those of you who think it’s a total nonsense and ghosts don’t exist, what’s more hungry ghosts, well maybe you are right, then again you may be wrong. Who the hell knows?

But Hungry Ghost Festival is still very much celebrated by the Chinese in Malaysia in this modern age. This is evident from the sight of many food offerings and burning of joss sticks by the road side during the night.

Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, do not under any circumstances stand too long at these road side offerings as you are actually in the company of ghosts! Or worse, do not attempt to steal or take any of the food being offered or you may just incur the wrath of the hungry ghosts! The ghosts may just follow you back to your house! Now don’t say I didn’t warn you!

OK, time to end my post here. As I was writing this post, I was interrupted by a sharp clanging sound coming from my kitchen. Needless to say, I rushed to the kitchen and found my stainless steel ladle on the floor. How did it get there?! I’m shaking a little. If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is!

So very sorry to end this post prematurely, there’s more I want to talk about, but clearly not tonight. I’m still shaking. Bye for now.