Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Australian Museum's climate change reminder postcard

It seems I WILL be going to Sydney next week after all. I'm leaving on Monday, and I'm so happy that I get to go! Incidentally, I received a postcard today, which I sent to myself while I was in Oz back in June. It was from an exhibition called "Climate Change: Our Future, Our Choice," that I saw at the Australian Museum.

It was a very, very cool exhibition. It talked about pollution, carbon emissions, energy efficiency, sustainable living, endangered wildlife etc. In the exhibition, they had a station where you could stop and write a pledge to do something about climate change. You then put the cards up onto a peg on the wall, and leave it there until they mail it back to you, to remind you of your pledge. It was such a cool idea that I couldn't resist making a pledge.

While I'm happy to report that I have stuck to my pledge, I forgot all about the postcard until it arrived on my desk this afternoon (see above). Here's the back:

Horrible handwriting, I know, I'm surprised that the postal workers managed to get my address right. I'm even more intrigued by the lack of a postal mark...

To see more pledges from the exhibition, go here. Vote Earth!

1.com.my newsletter

Pin, who I work with on a4trip.com and 1.com.my, has decided to put his 1.com.my posts on paper! I helped write and edit stuff for him and it's been great to see the results online, and now as a newsletter! Thanks for sending me a copy Pin, nice picture!

PS: Pin got my son a cool "save the earth" t-shirt, which he bought during his trip to the UK.Thanks Pin! It's so cute!

Mooncake mania @ Venusbuzz.com

The mid-autumn festival is here, and mooncakes are everywhere these days. I'm yet to have one, but I wrote something in honour of the tasty treat for Venus buzz:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Show me the door

I’m a collector, and I love collections, particularly when items have been lovingly amassed through a period of time (is it any wonder why I work in a museum?). It could be a large collection or a small one; it could have been collected over a lifetime or over a weekend. All the same, collections provide a glimpse into the lives and personalities of people. While I was in Sydney earlier this year, I had the good fortune of visiting the State Library of New South Wales. There, I saw a collection of dance party fliers, collected between 2001 and 2005 by Jurgen Wegner. The collection of advertising ephemera, dubbed “The partyART portfolio”, captures a glimpse of Australian social life. Due to Mr Wegner’s foresight, the collection is now celebrated as part of national heritage.

I was thrilled therefore, to stumble across another collection of ephemera, this time of door hangers, posted onto the Internet by Michael Lebowitz, founder and CEO of Big Spaceship, a digital creative agency in Brooklyn, NY. The eclectic collection actually belonged to his late grandfather, and through a purposely-dedicated website, Michael introduces us to the collection by saying, “When my grandfather passed away last year, my family gathered to go through his belongings. He had been in the foreign service and he had filled a whole wall of his study with hotel door hangers from all his travels throughout the world. They're really beautiful, in aggregate, and I wanted to share. Enjoy.”

The collection of 55 door hangers is truly a joy to behold. Some people might think that it’s too small a collection to make a fuss about, or that the door hangers themselves are not very special, but somehow, collectively, they are. The collection may merely serve to show us where someone’s grandfather had travelled and stayed, but part of us wishes that we might find something as precious should we have to suffer the misfortune of losing a loved one. Click here to see the collection.

My favourite of the lot is the owl-themed one from the Manila Hilton pictured above.

Image via Michael Lebowitz

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Red haze blankets Sydney

When I got the chance to visit Sydney back in June to bring an exhibition to the Art Gallery of NSW, I was so very happy to be shot of the filthy gray haze that was blanketing my hometown. Although it rained non-stop for about the first 3 days after we arrived Down Under, I didn't mind one bit. The air was clean and so sweet, my lungs felt like they were in heaven.

I was shocked, therefore, to learn that the tables have been turned. Just as the skies over the Klang Valley have cleared up, Sydney's skies have turned an awful - RED! The Boston reports that, "A pall of red dust blown in from the Outback clogged the skies over Sydney on Wednesday, diverting international flights, disrupting ferries and prompting a spike in emergency calls from people suffering breathing difficulties."

Is this armageddon-like event a natural occurence or another sign that the earth is in trouble due to global warming? I can't wait to hear how the experts will weigh in on this one. There's a good chance that I might get to return to Sydney in less than a month's time to bring the exhibition home, and I find that I actually 'want' to experience this red-sky phenomenon for myself, although I hope for the sake of Sydneysiders that this will soon pass. It can't be fun living that way... I live in PJ and work in KL after all, so I've experienced quite a few (forest-fire induced) hazes which were downright awful and depressing.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Watching (and reading) Watchmen

Writer: Alan Moore
Artist: Dave Gibson
Colourist: John Higgins
Publisher: DC Comics

I encountered Watchmen probably through Empire magazine, which my husband buys all the time. When I first laid eyes on the costumed heroes of the movie version, I thought "Wow! Those guys look cool." Silk Spectre's latex costume, in particular, made my jaw drop. I mean, it looks "painful", how can she even walk in that thing? It's undeniably hot though.

Anyway, unlike my husband, who loves action movies and comics, I wasn't really keen on watching another movie about superheroes. So when it showed on our plane ride to Sydney back in June, I opted for Coraline instead. After all, I had been dying to see Neil Gaiman's work on the big screen, in stop-motion animation no less! But, I digress.

A few months ago, looking for something to lull me to sleep, I watched Watchmen upon my husband's recommendation.

I hated it.

I didn't get it.

I told my husband so.

Fast forward a few months, and I woke up one morning to a feeling of utter "revelation". I felt like I finally understood what the Watchmen movie was all about. It was weird, because I hadn't even been thinking about it. Perhaps images from the movie were subconsciously burried in my mind.

I began researching the characters, and sought to learn more about the graphic novel. I got to read a few pages of the comic online, and was in awe of the writing and visual style. I'm beginning to see why the world thinks Alan Moore is a genius (albeit, one who seems to hate everything, and has quite a few choice words for Hollywood).

I confess, I've never read a comic or a graphic novel, which I believed would only appeal to fan boys. I was wrong. This all reminds me of a lesson I learnt from Holly Black, author of The Spiderwick Chronicles. She had said in an interview that a writer should read everything they could get their hands on, even the back of ketchup bottles, because it'd improve their writing exponentially. It's common sense, I know, but my lack of awareness on comics, and the stereotypes I had perpetuated in my own mind, had held me back from discovering the medium.

But, now that I've discovered it, I feel so spiritually "renewed." My dear husband, suportive of my new found "obsession," got me the full set of Watchmen e-comics to read today. I've only managed to read a few pages, but I'm already so into them. Someday, I'm going to get the series for our home library.

Needless to say, I'm really excited about having found something new and exciting to sink my teeth into. It's all thanks to my husband, who has always known the joys of comics; venom-spitting Alan Moore, who believes his masterpiece is unfilmable; and the movie itself, which has been described as "a flawed masterpiece." I'd have to agree with that assessment, because the movie wasn't perfect, but I think Zack Snyder did a good job, and so did his cast of actors. If only they'd use a little LESS sex.

PS: My favourite Watchmen? Rorschach! Why? Because he kicks ass! Jackie Earle Haley was perfect as Rorschach, and that voice - OMG. He's made me a big fan, what an amazing actor! I want to see all his movies now, even the Bad News Bears, which was made the year I was born. Am I excited that he's playing Freddy Kruger? Oh yeah!

The Comedian comes in second... which is kinda weird, because I initially hated his morally-corrupt behind. He rapes women and shoots pregnant girlfriends, this is not a likeable character, but I guess I understand now that he is a parody of makind's savage nature. Jeffrey Dean Morgan was the perfect guy for the job. Very cool.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Twinkle toes

I'm turning 33 this month, and as an early birthday present to myself, and to usher in Hari Raya, I went and bought myself some new clothes and 2 pairs of skimmer shoes. To be honest, I'm not one of those girls who's crazy about shoes and handbags, but I've been wearing the same old worn out pair of black sandals everywhere... so it's time that I gave these poor tired feet the TLC they deserve.

I've been working so very hard too... so I think this is a good splurge, but, don't get me wrong, I'm ever the thrifty girl, so these shoes aren't that very expensive or anything. I like them, they're cute, and they make me feel young. I've been dressing up like an old frump for God knows how long :P

Friday, September 4, 2009

History in the making @ Venusbuzz.com

In a recent article published at Venusbuzz, I provide some ideas on getting children excited about history by making the most out of everyday opportunities.

Welcome 2019: Time to Grow

Happy New Year everyone! I'm so so excited for 2019 and everything that it'll bring. I'm starting the year with gratefulness for...