Wednesday, October 21, 2009

An old ladys' curse

Drag Me to Hell. Thank goodness I didn't waste $$$ in the cinema verison!


Was quite disturbed after watching "Drag me to Hell". No, I wasn't even spooked with the movie! As some people know I just don't like watching horror movie coz of the spook factor that lingers on. I stayed away from movies like Saw and Hostel. Am still spooked with Nightmare on Elm Street series!!!


Now why am I disturbed with this particular movie? You'll have to watch it to find out what I mean. The following comments are ONLY MY PERSONAL VIEW. IT IS IN NO WAY TRYING TO BE FUNNY WITH ANY OLD LADY AND THIER "BLACK MAGIC".

First of all, Christine Brown as the character. Ok, she's a bank loan officer at a bank in LA. I for on will not EVER employ this person as the loan officer. Why? Cause she is NOT a person with eye for details. When one works with numbers, one has to be detailed, be it as in checking certain things twice, making sure that certain statements/paper works are in order. I may not work with numbers, but having influenced by parents' need for detail, and their most preferred line "a black & white" due to their line of profession (a mechanical design engineer & an accounted clerk, I say this is a no-no in banking.

Then there's the CG of the movie. It sucks. Notice how fake the eye balls and the hand of the old lady. One wonders if the old lady is a robot! Freddie Kruger has more realistic scars and what nots that. The story line is not really realistic in a way. Something is just missing. For example she's a vegan, OK. But is being a volunteer at a puppy shelter got anything to do with being a vegan? DUH!?! Don't get me wrong, but it just sends out the wrong signals. I love animals, even own dogs for that matter but I eat meat.....

So apart from being shocked & surprised, being scared on a scale of 1 to 10.... Well, for me it'll be a 3.

So I'll have to stop being a critique for this movie here, as to not to offend any Gypsy old lady who would give me the Lamia curse!! *shivers


As far as curses are concern, I come from a country where black magic/dark arts are practiced. That doesn’t mean that I totally believe in them and it also doesn't mean that I don't believe it exits. It does but then again, if one leads a correct path of life to the Almighty and do not offend any persons (by being arrogant, cheat, lie etc), I don't believe that curses will work on these people. But I do believe that the person who puts a curse on others will get what is waiting for them later.... What goes around comes around. By the way, people who dabble with curses/black magic etc are playing with fire while adding more oil onto the fire.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Neighbourhood Patchwork Expo

Happy dance...

I was quite surprised to received a flier saying that it'll be in a school cafeteria, running for a week starting from the 16th till 24th October . Since the school (middle school) is just basically across the street, I decided to go have a look.

And turn....

And SMILE!!

Its free entrance (YAY!) and all the lovely work done are made by a regional patchwork club. the lady at the entrance I think was quite taken by me as I was the only Asian there and she kept on asking me if I'm into quilting etc etc... I told her that I'm just a beginner trying to learn the ropes from books and "sifus" at NNC! LOL! Told her as well, it was an enriching experience having to frog and redo some (well a lot) of blocks on Owens' quilt. Took me ages but I did finish it in time for winter.... LOL!

The patchwork/quilts were sooooo...... LOVELY! There aren't words to describe them. The use of other materials like beads, feathers, organza, wool and ribbons were really what made some pieces stand out in terms of theme. There's two with Japanese theme, teapots, scissors, African, flowers, reflections..... I would say about 80% of them were hand quilted! I mean WOW! I don't think I can spend all my attention hand quilting a piece. I don't have that kind of "stamina", if you know what I mean....

Then there's this particular piece with miniature flowers that were actually hand sewed! Man, I am just lost for words with the attention to details that lady has. There's one thing though, I didn't know that one could piece together using metallic threads... And also by using variate colour threads... Hmmm, I learnt something today! ;)
As with most art expos, there are bound to be some pieces being put on sale. But the question is how do you put a price in a piece that take long hours of pin pricks and painstakingly put together? There's one GIANT quilt (about 173x220cm) is selling for CHF3500.-!!!

And BTW, I didn't go with Owen. God knows he'll be running around, touching those lovely pieces and as if we weren't poor enough, mummy has to fork out a fortune to buy a piece that he solid with his grubby hands! *shivers

So instead after my walk around quilts, I brought him out to walk amongst the falling autumn leaves and to the park. He had fun making noises while walking (or rather stomping) on them. Then he picked up some leaves and start dancing around with them! LOL! It was fun watching him having fun....

PS: FOR FULL PHOTO REPORT PLEASE CLICK HERE!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The end of De Fil en Aiguille?

Just got news that my favourite mag is closing shop (thanks Rose of NNC!). Its so SAD!! So I went to look up on other French bloggers to see if its true. Here's a letter from the editor herself to a French blogger :

http://clarelis.canalblog.com/archives/2009/10/07/15337128.html

This is a copy/paste thing, please use the Google translator...


A nos chères lectrices,

Toute la rédaction a appris la semaine dernière (à notre grande surprise) que nous étions en cessation de paiement.

Nous avons, pendant 12 ans, essayé de donner le meilleur de nous même à nos lectrices, et avons toujours fait ce métier avec passion.

Nous savons peu de choses sur notre avenir : la direction nous a informé qu'un liquidateur judiciaire allait reprendre les comptes de la société et c'est lui qui prendra désormais toutes les décisions.

Croyez bien que nous sommes toutes désespérées de cette situation pour nos lectrices, et pour toute la grande famille de passionnées du fils que nous étions.

Depuis que la nouvelle s'est propagée, nous avons reçu un certain nombre de témoignages de soutien, de compréhension, très chaleureux, de la part de nos lectrices. Nous en sommes très touchées et chacun d'eux nous va droit au coeur

Merci encore pour votre fidélité et encore une fois, croyez bien que nous sommes navrées d'avoir ce sentiment "d'abandonner brutalement" nos lectrices contre notre volonté.

Sophie BESTER (rédactrice en chef) et Judith DESSONS (rédactrice en chef adjointe)

Looks like I'm gonna have to look for another cross stitching mag to buy from now on. So sad that its such a sudden end to a 12 years running magazine. Its even worst I think for the employees and designers attached to the mag, that the directors of the company decide just to drop the bomb. I hope subcribers could get their refund....

Here's one kept mag that I find quite good. Main & Merveilles by Les Editions de Saxe, its a little bit more expensive than DFA. Why I like it? Partly its because there's Isabelle Haccourt-Vautier (French XS designer). I love her charts... ;) BTW, to those following Isabelle's mystery sampler chart, there's part 5 and 6 out now for down load. Any one wants to do a RR on that?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Finished! AT LAST!!

Close up of the case...
This pic is SUPPOSED TO TURN!!! @%&? blogger!!!!

Here's my latest finish! Its mum's birthday gift; a glasses case. Paul gave me an idea of what to make for my mum. And its FINALLY finished! Yes, I know, I know! I'm such a slow stitcher that I've got to make this first in time to make it for her birthday in November! LOL! Imagine if I were to make Christmas tree ornaments! I'll have to start in summer or even spring just so that it'll be ready for Christmas! LOL!

So why is it that I'm such a slow stitcher? Well for one, I'm a L-A-Z-Y ass! LOL! Then, there are times I do wander off doing something else that some how manage to catch my interest; like reading OR worst still starting on yet another project. May be while stitching a piece, I got bored half way. Especially if its a big piece and have repeated patterns. I think I should stitch smalls or even medium sized pieces so that it'll at least make me concentrate on finishing it!

The case with satin cords.


Oh BTW, its my first time stitching on black linen. I would not say that I "love" it, in fact thank GOD I have pretty good eye sight now (with glasses of course!), its was pretty challenging to "stab" the needle on the fabric the correctly! And I did this with the help of my clear dinning table. Had to hold the fabric slightly up so that light go through and that I could see the grains....

Mum was complaining about how she can never find her glasses where it should be. Trust me, even if its right in front of her or on her head, she just can find it! So I made an attached cord with it, so that she'll be able to wear it around the neck at all times! Made it black coz I think clear colours are pretty easy to get dirty or stained.

So now, next on my plate is to finish up my other half done pieces! Otherwise hubs would not let me get new stash - one of the worst case scenarios he could think of now..... :( And here I'm saving up for Feb 2010 craft show in Paris....

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rude people

I really like this video by YouTuber, Englishteaboy. Watch the whole vid to get what I mean, by clicking on the title. What he said is quite true, people are just rude these days. Especially in the city.

I mean, won't it be nice to live in a place where people are just nice to each other? Won't it be nice if that sales person at least smile or say hello to their customers; not just coz they are getting a commission out of your purchases OR you're just good lookin (!!). Even if they don't do it, why don't we take the first step by being nice instead? I'd bet it'll make their day.

In his video, he mentioned that no one says G'Day (he's an Aussie) any more. Well ... its not quite that do-able when you live in a city. Even if one does it, it'll make him/her wanna past out due to the fact that they'll be greeting everyone while on their way to work/school etc.

However, not that I think people are just rude by not saying thank you, please, hello, cutting the queueing, but they also lack common manners. Common manners like closing one's mouth while yawning, sneezing outwards to other people (not only its rude but its one sure way to contaminate others with your germs!), speaking with a full mouth, by holding doors open for the person behind, ignoring seating priorities for pregnant women/old persons etc etc. I mean won't it be nice to not to have experienced these small or menial things that will ruin our entire day? I know I will have a great day just because someone in front hold the door open for me and not slam them in my face!

But then again I do wonder at times, are be being rude by saying you're welcome to someone who had not said thank you in the first place? There are times like these that a simple you're welcome could give one a blank look, a fuck off or whatever look from the receiver....

Let me be clear here, I'm not trying to be the patron of saint of social manners but I do try to make it a point everyday to be nice to other people first. The saying "do onto others what you want other to do onto you" rings clear. And I know we would all LOVE to live in a better and nicer place!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Random thoughts

Random thoughts

Some of the things that I do wonder and think about ALL day and it sometimes tend to keep me up at night...

1) Firing a gun. Wonder what's that like? I 'd love to try that out some time in the future. Well, I almost did it when a friend who owns several hand guns and a couple of shotgun offered to bring me to the shotting range. Wonder if the offer still stands?

Don't get me wrong, I'm normally not a viloent person, just the idea of handling a gun makes me curious.

2) Does thinking about someone else; ex-crush or lover, qualify as cheating on your spouse? What I meant to say is that, having the what ifs on our past relationships and also perhaps having day dreams about some one else other than the person you're with means that we going to cheat on them? Or does it means something else deeper? Deeper like, it's time to spice up our life as a couple? Deeper like, we are or will be having problems in our current relationships? Or I'm just being delusional? I just don't know what it all means now. Think it time to chat with the shrink?

3) Been having some really unhealty thoughts this past week. Unhealtly such as wanting to take off alone some where until futher notice. To party like mad like I used to. Well, not really MAD as per say. But just chill, you know with friends. To hit the trails if I can. The more I try not to think about it the more I'd like to do it. After having Owen, I feel like I'm just stuck here. Like I'm not really moving forward. I enjoy being a mum and all. But there's still something missing. It feels like I've not fulfil it just yet.

May be it's time I take a solo trip to recharge. To think about things I wanna do and to rethink my goals.

4) On the subject of infidelity. What would you do if that person does not even admit what they did was down right horrible and hurtful. But instead blame us for their behaviour? I'll be just totally lost for words and I won't waste my time trying to reason with them. I mean what's the point?!?

If this would to happen to our relationship; one of us falls out of love, we would just find a way to work things out for both of us. I mean there's just simply no point being unfaithful behind each others backs right? Truth, my friends is the way to live a sane life...


So you now know some of my strange thoughts. What about you? I'd bet you have some like all "normal" people do.


Sent from my iPod

Monday, September 07, 2009

Visiting the house of Cailler

Maison Cailler, Broc

Was a pretty nice Sunday. So with nothing much to do, we decided to go up to Broc for a visit to the Cailler (Nestle) chocolate factory.

Welcome to chocolate alley.... Owen and hubs

Caillers was one of the oldest chocolate making factory in Switzerland - since 1819. The location Broc, is very idyllic. With the green mountains (snow capped in winter) and hectares of farm land (mainly for milk production), the whole area screams "TYPICALLY SWITZERLAND"!!! LOL!

The chocolate alley....

OH! BTW, did I mentioned that the factory visit was a free visit? Even better was they give out free samples of chocolates! YUMMMMMYYYYY!!! Owen was so happy with this of course! LOL!

Some of the old chocolate making moulds.

So back to the main topic here... :p They show you some of their methods of chocolate production. Don't think they'll show people their WHOLE methods though. We saw how cocoa was roasted, processed into delicious chocolate before mixing other ingredients like milk, nuts, caramel, honey etc etc.... At the end of the visit, there's this small corner where they show case some of their history. From the 1st chocolate wrapping paper, the founder to the machines that was previously used in their factory.

1930's Nestle's "stamps"; small gifts hidden in chocolate bars then.

As such no visit would be complete without making a stop at their shop for a couple bars of chocolate right? BTW, this visit is not recommend if one is on diet! As it is, we smell like chocolate even after we reach home... hehehehehee...

PS: pictures were NOT good as was taken with my lousy phone camera... Time to change the phone! hehehehehe...

The end of barbecue summer...

Keeping the rolls warm in the oven...

It has been rainning for most of last week and for this coming week, although it looks good but its still windy during the day and cold in the evenings. Yup, summer is going away pretty soon.

Like every year, our building had a pot luck barbecue on Sunday. It was not bad meeting up with some of our neighbours although almost half did not turn up. Think its because this event tends to run till late and most of those who did turn up are middle aged rather than seniors... I think they might be afraid that they'll fall asleep half way while roasting this meat! muahahahahaha.....

Which reminds me, I did experienced some senior clients that fall asleep in the restaurant while I was working some time back. Had to wake them up when food was served, then they'll fall asleep again after eating and wake them up again when its nearly closing time!! We were pretty much being nice to them... :p

Not bad-lah... hehehehe...

For this barbecue, I made fried spring rolls, some fish & prawn crackers and for, dessert cassava cake - AKA bingka ubi kayu/manioc cake. Was my first try and it wasn't bad. It has been a long while since I ate this, once only fairly recently at a family friends bbq party when we were at La Rochelle, France.

Another yummy close up....

I've no idea it was so easy to make! If I've known earlier, would have made them more often. Just need grated cassava, coconut milk, a couple of eggs, some sugar, some salt and some grated coconut (optional). Mix them together and bake for about 1 hour or until cooked.

We're having bbq party again this coming Sunday with some friends, by the lakeside this time - if weather permits! I think I'll make them again for dessert.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Paris - Rochefort trip

One of the tower by the sea, La Rochelle town.

Was a late summer trip this time to the in-laws. As usual there was lots of eating involved! LOL! So this time I did not forget to take some meds for indigestion, you know for just in case for all those GOOD FOOD.... I love eating for pleasure but then again having too much pleasure will upset the usual running of the system... :p

The boys: Hugo, hubs, Jean-Marc (BIL) and Owen.

August is the height of summer here, where by temperatures could reach 38°C or 40°C in some parts of Europe. Yes, global baking is in for this century.... Had to slap on SPF 50 sun block almost everyday Owen and I was out this time around.

We drove from here to Paris - 5/6 hours drive, stayed over at 3rd SIL place. Then drove for another 5 hours to Rochefort, this time with BIL and friend - Hugo. THANK GOD BIL brought Hugo along for this trip! hehehehehe... Reason? He's very (VERY) good and patient with kids! I mean the guy could and can play for hours with Owen! Its just AMAZING!!! I mean I couldn't get through the day without having either a headache, brain drain and being tired at the end of the day being with the little guy.... :p

Owen checking out older cousins' Nintendo DS...

Any ways, this time around we Rochefort & La Rochelle is basically crawling with tourists - as per usual but there's more French tourists than English speaking tourists. Guess with the bad economy, people tend to not leave the country for summer holiday. Which is good, coz the money stay within the country thus stimulating income for the locals.


Don't think he'll let Owen have his turn though....

FINE! I'll just play with your toys. :p

We went to the beach, of course. But I really do not like the beach we went to this time. There's more pebbles, washed up corals/some small trash, and the water is not clear as it was cornered off by the municipal to make a pool like thingy instead of open sea. So THAT makes the water stagnant, cloudy and most of the time smelled like algae... YUCK!!! Its nice to swim as there's basically NO waves coming into the man made bay/lagoon. BUT I'd rather swim in the open sea!

We tried to go to Ile de Rè this time but it'll take us 3 hours of traffic jam to get there.... So the beach sucks this time. At the very least we did a nice beach in Malaysia! hehehehe.... With warm, crystal clear water that is!!!

BTW, this just come to my mind. If peeing in the swimming pool is forbidden, what do you think about peeing in the sea? I think its yucky to pee in the sea, but many people just do it! SO DO NOT ACCIDENTALLY GULP SEA WATER AS THERE MIGHT BE PEE YOU'RE DRINKING!! HAHAHAHAHAHA.... OK, enough of this.

The little ones "recharging their batteries with some chips!

Owen had a GREAT time playing with all his cousins (they are all BOYS) while we're in Rochefort. The little ones slept at around 11pm every night while we're there. We've been having problems with going back to the old routine with his sleeping time ever since we got back. ARRGGHHH.....

Back after 4 years.... This time with a little one!

Besides that, we were invited by the Boisselier (I hope I got the name right!) - a very close family friend, for a paella dinner. It was huge!! And it was really good with all those fresh seafood. They have a beautiful home. Their home is where hubs came to pick me up when we got married in 2005. We had our evening wedding reception on a boat. I was a good experience....

The GIANT yummy paella... :D

Its so nice to see them again as they do travel a lot ever since their retirement. I love their court yard. They planted an olive tree in the middle, some roses on the sides and apparently an orange and a prune (or was it a peach?) tree in big pots. I would love to have a court yard/winter garden if we ever could afford to buy a house here.

Would love to go back the next time. And this time I'll make sure we'll go to Ile de Ré...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Medieval Festival 2009 Aigle


This is a back dated post.


Meaning to blog about this last 2 weeks ago but as usual things come up. So here goes....

1st of August was Swissyland's national day. Since the whole country was on a standstill, with some exceptions of course, we decided to head off to Aigle (means eagle in French) for their Medieval festival . It was a really nice and hot day; cloudless skies!!

Aigle is a vineyard district not far from our place, about 35 mins drive. When we arrived in town, it was pretty strange as virtually EVERYTHING is shut and there was NO ONE on the streets to say that there's some kind of festival going on! Hubs kept on asking me "Are you sure there's something going on?!?"... That was not untill we decided to park the car and walk towards the chateaux where it should be held. Now chateaux Aigle is a small castle - ok, make that minuscule... In fact, I won't even think it should be called a chateaux!

Any ways, we had to pay for entrance (CHF15.- per adult) for us and Owen gets to go in for free since he's below 6 yrs old. Walked thru a couple of guards (teenager with spears!) and then a long cobbled/pebbeled path to be welcomed by actors dressed up in middle ages costums. From the hair styles down to wooden clogs! Well, we don't call them actors if they don't act real right? hehehehe...

There were huts/stalls selling their wares, from candles to fur, knives, swords (I swear!), tapestry, clay ware, baskets, clothing etc etc. They even show how the items that they sell were made during the middle ages. We went around and the interiors of the chateaux. It was quite interesting to see how, when and where the grapes were planted, trimmed, plucked, distilled and the final product; wine. The tools used were show cased as well as the hundreds of old wine labels from almost all over the world.

Food was interesting as well. They have a huge barbecue pit at the entrance of the chateaux with chickens. The BBQ chicken were really good by the way. Food were served in plates and bowls made out of coconut fibers and the spoons were of thin wood if I'm not mistaken. I doubt that we would pay for the same price if plates/bowls were made out of wood! They made really delicious apple juice as well there. It was served in jug form with tumblers, hand made pottery I should think. It was about 35°C or 34°C but the juice stayed cool, which was an excellent thirst quencher.

We had fun discovering the chateaux and the festival. Here I leave you with some photos from our outing at my WEBSHOTS album.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

THE WRITING WAS ALREADY ON THE WALL SO LONG AGO

For your reading enjoyment.
This has been going on for far too long. The MACC acts like God. They kidnap families and torture those they arrest. They threaten those they interrogate with death if they refuse to talk.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin

The writing was already on the wall very much earlier. Alarm bells were wailing like banshees. But this was largely ignored. It was ignored because it was Malaysia Today that had triggered the alarm bells. Malaysia Today is not the most reliable source. It does not offer the best of information. What Malaysia Today dabbles in are rumours and innuendoes.

When the Anti-Corruption Agency, now called the MACC, kidnapped the family of a police inspector, Malaysia Today raised the alarm. They had kidnapped the wife and child of a police inspector who had investigated a Chinese underworld boss on the instructions of a higher-up with the rank of ASP.

The inspector was just doing what his boss had ordered him to do, and that was to open a file and launch an investigation into the activities of the Chinese prostitution, loan shark, drugs and gambling syndicate. And this resulted in the detention of three syndicate bosses.

What the MACC wanted the police inspector to do was quite simple. They wanted him to change his report so that the three underworld bosses can be freed from detention. And he would have to do that if he wants to secure the release of his family.

The police inspector refused to do that. Instead, he made a police report. And so did his wife. But nothing was done about the matter. The MACC officers were not arrested and dragged to court on kidnapping charges.
The MACC then leaked information to the media that they are investigating a very senior police officer, the Director of the CCD, for the crime of not declaring RM27 million worth of assets. The fact that MACC investigations come under the Official Secrets Act was not a hindrance. After all, the OSA is only used against opposition supporters and not against those who serve those who walk in the corridors of power.

Nevertheless, the Director of the CCD was finally not charged for not declaring RM27 million in assets. He was charged for using police property for his personal reasons, something that all government officers, ministers and politicians do blatantly every day of the week. But his real crime is that he detained several Chinese underworld bosses who control the prostitution, loan shark, drugs and gambling business all over Malaysia.

Then they arrested the lawyer who acted for the CCD Director. The MACC officers came to his office on the eve of Hari Raya and handcuffed him after roughing him up like one would do to an armed bank robber. To ensure that the lawyer suffered the greatest embarrassment this Hollywood-style arrest was done in full view of the entire office.

Malaysia Today wrote about all this. Malaysia Today not only wrote about all this but Malaysia Today repeated the stories again and again to make sure no one would say they somehow missed the story. But still nothing was done. No one denied the story. More importantly, no one did anything about what Malaysia Today revealed.

The MACC has been a tool of those who walk in the corridors of power for a long, long time. Officially, Barisan Nasional has 14 component members with Umno as the lead partner. Unofficially, Barisan Nasional has seventeen component members. The Election Commission is the fifteenth component member of Barisan Nasional, the Malaysian police the sixteenth, and the MACC the seventeenth. They all serve the interests of Umno and the Prime Minister.

The writing was already on the wall very much earlier. Alarm bells were wailing like banshees. But this was largely ignored. It was ignored because it was Malaysia Today that had triggered the alarm bells. Malaysia Today is not the most reliable source. It does not offer the best of information. What Malaysia Today dabbles in are rumours and innuendoes.

“Where is the smoking gun?” they ask. “Show me the body!” they demand. No gun, no body, then no crime has been committed.

Well, today, there is a body. It is the body of a most unfortunate Chinese opposition member who was arrested and tortured by the MACC officers. Yes, he was tortured. And he was tortured because the MACC wanted him to talk.

But he could not talk. He could not talk because there was nothing to talk about. The MACC wanted him to finger his comrades in the opposition. They wanted him to implicate his friends in the opposition for various crimes that the MACC alleges had been committed by those in the opposition.

He tried to explain that he is not being stubborn. He tried to explain that no crime had been committed. He tried to explain that he could not possibly implicate his comrades in the opposition for various crimes if these crimes are merely a figment of the MACC’s imagination.

So they continued to torture him. And he could no longer stand the torture. After all, he is not the macho type of man. He is but a gentle man who only wanted to get married this weekend. That was all that he wanted.

They threatened to kill him if he refuses to talk. With tears running down his cheeks he begged for mercy and pleaded with them not to harm him. They threatened to throw him off the top floor if he refuses to talk. Sobbing like a baby he went down on his knees and begged for his life.

They dragged him across the room and opened the window. Then something went terribly wrong. It was supposed to be just a threat. They just wanted to put fear in him. They did not really want to throw him off the top floor.
They just wanted him to see what the ground floor looks like from the top floor.The unfortunate young man panicked. He went ballistic when he saw the distance he would have to travel before hitting the ground floor. He struggled. They could not hold onto him. Gravity took over and the life of this young man was prematurely snuffed out.

The MACC then announced that they had released him the night before. They failed to announce that they had not released him from custody but released him from this world. Then they suddenly found his body the day after. He jumped. He committed suicide. He took his own life. He was never tortured. He was not dragged to the window with the threat that they would teach him how to fly.

This has been going on for far too long. The MACC acts like God. They kidnap families and torture those they arrest. They threaten those they interrogate with death if they refuse to talk.

And now one young man has really died. But no one will be punished. No one will be punished because they will say the young man took his own life. Why he took his own life no one knows. He was never tortured. He was never threatened with death. He was not made to look how far down the ground floor is. He was not accidentally dropped when he panicked and struggled and they could not get a good grip on him.That is what they will be telling you and me later today.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One down, the rest of rakyat to go!

Its truly a sad, sad week for Malaysians. Another true blue Malaysian has fallen while in custody of so-called Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on July 16th. The man, Teoh Beng Hock, was a political secretary for a village assemblyman, was being called in by the commission to investigate the misused of public funding (about RM2400.- OR USD 700.-). WTF???? How about the millions missing from abandon projects and submarine purchases?

Mr Teoh has join the list of names that has fallen : A. Kugan, Samiyati Indrayani Zurkarnain, Francis Udayappan, etc etc etc. The question now for me is who will be the next victim? Could we just let the police force and whatever so-called law enforcement to continue to harass, torture and finally murder another law biding, tax paying rakyat without prove and without any possibility of seeking legal aide?

Some time ago, an online acquaintance asked me if I do follow news from Malaysia. Well to answer your question; yes I do follow them most of the time online. My sources mainly comes from Malaysia Kini and Malaysia Today. OH! Not forgetting that thanks to YouTube, I could even watch Media Rakyat! The main reason why I don't blog about them often is that I don't have facts at hand and I can't totally be dependent on online sources (for you'll never know which is which).

Plus, ever since I'm residing overseas, my vote does not count!?!? WTF?!?!? What are they afraid of? That overseas vote can and will give the opposition the winning vote? If the present ruling party has done nothing wrong, then why be afraid of it? Unless of course they know that some persons in the ruling party messed up and tried to over up issues such as the growing lists of mysterious death while in detention.

It is not to say that I can't do anything, I can. And so can you Lim! Stop saying; what to do? its the government. the government should do this and that blah blah blah blah... Why are we so content of the few brave ones doing things for us while we as the people should be the one who must demand what is rightfully ours! In every struggle, there will be sacrifices to be made. Are we just to afraid to take risks for the benefit of our children? Or are we just plain afraid of what might come after us and bring us even more problems? Oh, right the ISA, the police force, the MACC and the whole lot of our corrupted government.

Let me remind you, Dr. Martin Luther King died for the rights of African-Americans, Nelson Mandela had to do time in prison, our own Tun Razak had to deal with the Brits and then the communist for our independence. Let me also remind you that, not all overseas government and police force are better one time ago. Even some the Brits’ government officials are accused miss using public funds for personal gain. And who exposed them? The tabloids of course!

Malaysia is still a growing nation. Our future direction or path can not be the one Myanmar/Burma has taken, nor how the Chinese has always governed the country. It is up to us, the average people to improve it, to make it better for our children to live in. The real question is; are we willing to take risks to improve things? Only you know the answer.
*Rakyat - the people in Malay language

Whose the gold digger now huh?

Just got to read this on Weird News off MSN - "San Francisco's gay penguin has a change of heart". Now what would you think when you read the headlines? Strange right?

It says that for penguins real estate means a lot, which is true in a way - which reminds of a book called The Genetical Theory of Natural Selections..... I have not read the book but I heard that its not bad if you're into social studies etc.

Any ways, if penguin could be gay and decides to be straight (does that make the said penguin a bisexual?) just coz he could get the bigger piece of the "pie", in terms of survival, I seriously don't think its all wrong. Even we humans do it all the time. I seriously think at least about 30% of all divorces is due to money issue. And its not unheard of some women/men decides to marry that significant other for money/title/status. Not to mention that it creates delicious scandals and many will predict how long the marriage will last. That's what sells papers, tabloids and boost ratings for stations and or bogs! The $ sign once again.

So lets say that "happy" couple wants to divorce based on irreversible differences which could also mean $$$$, especially when the other half is a billionaire/celebrity. Look at Britney and Kevin (how much did they settled for again? 1Mil? Not bad. Even better was Trumps' divorce with 25mil...... So much money, more that all of us make in this lifetime!

Then there was a time when Mrs. Simpson was labeled as a gold digger. But then again Edward VIII gave up the crown. That’s just too bad…. OH! And there's Heather Mills!! She got about £24.5 or some where around there from Paul. I rather pity the women; she was the black sheep amongst women for a time.

Time and time again, these things happen in our humans' "natural selections" (women will always go for men who could provide; good genes etc). I don't really see the point of actually writing about of a penguin going bi just coz he could get a few meters of space and probably good genes too!!! Probably there's nothing to write about and they are desperate to get ratings/sell papers...

Friday, July 10, 2009

A month ago...

I was home in KL and man! Its a total change from the last time I was back; Feb 2007. Partly because this time around, we went back to OUR own house in which we bought some time back. Its kinda strange to own a house but it FEELS GREAT! I've never own anything expensive and that will see that thing having more value than it is right now.

Any ways, it was really great to be back home. Got to meet up with NNC members for Stitching Bee (which reminds me: got to re-learn how to crochet!), to practically STUFF myself silly with local food (which BTW will burn off due to the heat here! LOL!), to meet up with old school friends (you know who you are! IT WAS A BLAST GUYS!) for lunch & dinner, spent some family time at Redang island, fabric/dress/book shopping (good thing I didn't actually max out this time!) was good, got myself a new pair of glasses (its RED this time round) and finally managed to catch Transformers at the cinemas with hubs, sis and her husband.....

And guess what?! I manage to FREAKING FORGET MY CAMERA ON THE AIRPLANE WHEN WE LANDED IN ZURICH! ARRRRGGHHHH.... Why, oh why does it have to be me?!? It has been 2 weeks now, and there's no news from it. sigh... Oh well, no use crying over spilled milk eh?

So if you guys are wondering where are the pictures from our trip, just don't bother. It'll take my sister and dad AGES to get her to mail me pictures anyhow. :p IF I'm LUCKY, it'll be here on 31/12/2009!!!!
Any how, there's loads to blog about the trip but I'm just not in the mood to do it now with the camera gone and all. Perhaps later in the week....

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Disneyland Trip

Look! Its Clint Eastwood!


At the Disneyland Park entrance.

Was meaning to blog about this earlier but as usual the thing got to me! :D

I like the Mikey clock tower...

I finally got to visit Disneyland for the first time. Oh! I mean the one in Paris not Florida.... Would love to have gone to the one in Florida but then again this also mean that either one of us would have to win the lottery jackpot! LOL!!!

At their Mainstreet USA

Was just over the Labor day weekend that we took off to Paris. Stayed at the in-laws place for a night and was off the following day early. It was rather cloudy then but thank goodness it didn't rained! We went with my 2nd SIL, which was great since their 8 year old could entertain Owen and vice verse.

A show was going on...

Was nearly noon by the time we arrived at the Santa Fee hotel (located within the parks' ground). Took their shuttle to the park right after checking in and boy, we were really excited! Well, its more Owen and I were really looking forward than hubs. Disneyland or any other park similar to this is just not his thing... :p As far as crowd goes, its really not that crowed as it supposed to be being the labor day weekend and what nots. There were more foreigners than French but then again, I guess the French would prefer Astrix Park to Disneyland...

The Phantom Manor

Which is scarier? This?

Or this?

We managed to go on rides that weren't that violent A.K.A.: the slow rides with no screaming involved, after having to wait in lines in an average about 40 mins. Which is still not bad since it could be worst - 1 to 2 hours!! We did the Phantom Manor (the decor is not bad & Owen wasn't scared!), visited Sleeping Beauty's castle, the Studio Tram tour, Mad Hatters' Tea cups and Its a Small world water ride, the Cars Race Rally and the Disneyland Railroad ride. Saw their Main Street parade and the Stunt Show Spectacular as well! I manged to go on the Twilight Tower of Terror ride with SIL.... Let me tell you that my heart went straight to my stomach with that ride! LOL! At least I kept my breakfast & lunch inside of me! hahahahaha..... The "cast members at the Tower were really convincing as well as funny.
Owen enjoying the view with papa from atop of Sleeping Beauty's Castle & eating popcorn! :D

In between, I managed to sneaked in a few visits to their boutiques. And there's soo.... MANY boutiques there! Despite the fact that its pretty expensive, we still got some souvenirs like t-shirts for the kids, pins, mugs, key chain and not forgetting photo album. I guess Disneyland is a mega money making "magic" machine, not so much of the original magic now is it?

Piglet ears Owen....

And silly mama trying to act like Piglet! LOL!

Owen was so excited and hyper the entire trip! Although he did nap a little admits all that's going on and noises around us.... He had nightmares and woke up crying several times during the first night which makes both of us looking like zombies the next day. Think they would hire us as cast members with us looking like that? hehehee.....

It was a fun trip although we didn't manage to visit all that we wanted to. Perhaps next time when Owen is a little older and could actually appreciate the visit more than this time around. By then I think we would probably go to the one in Florida, if budget permits.. TIME TO BUY LOTTERY TICKETS! LOL!!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Storing and organizing... What joy! :p

My hap hazard flosses for now...

Looking at my ever growing floss, sewing threads, ribbons, buttons, fabrics collection; its really high time I buckle up! My ribbons and buttons collection so far has not reach its "critical" limit as yet, its all wound up and placed in zip lock bags in my sewing/stash cabinet. As for fabrics, it really has come to a stage where the initial cotton covered carton box is over flowing. Time to get a new box? hehehehe.... And oh! Most of newly acquired fabrics will be wash as soon as it crosses the door. That way I don't worry about if I've wash them or not. For the moment, they reside in zip lock bags. Depending on cut size, they'll either be in the lowest drawer of the cabinet OR the box.

The big ones in the box. About the yarn, I tried to crochet!

My sewing/stash cabinet from Ikea.


The small pieces of fabrics, mainly FQs together with my felts and XS fabrics.

For flosses I initially organize them by colours but now I totally give up on this idea as I don't find that its working for me... :( So yesterday I spent half a day labelling and reorganizing my flosses into zip lock bags by number. Mind you, I don't like to do it all over again, so I'm thinking its best to do it now and add additional bags as I go. There's still 200 over colours not in there! What joy in future "stashing expedition"!
I think its easier to find the colour I want by number. I think later I'd have to go look for a big piece of cardboard. I want to make dividers that will fit my current plastic drawers on wheels. I think it shouldn't be hard to make. Here's the link if anyone is interested. Now the only problem would be; to keep Owen AWAY from my floss on wheels!
P/S: Here's another link to storage system ideas for your crafts & studio!

Monday, April 13, 2009

There are no words

to describe what I'm feeling now, AFTER watching a horrific video on Stomp. In this video, it shows a domestic maid abusing a child, probably about 3 or 4 years of age at that time, by stepping on to of and kicking her!?!?

I'm just lost for words when I saw it. As a human being, I can't understand what has gone into the head of that woman. I mean; how could a fully grown adult step on and kick a poor defenceless little girl? OK fine, she might have gotten angry that the little girl didn't listen to what she said but then again, kicking and stepping on her? COME ON!

These abusive actions brings me ask these questions:
  • Are we Asians so dependent on maids on our daily lives that we forsake the safety of our children in quest of fortune and fame for ourselves? *this video was shot in Singapore.

  • Why are we employing unqualified domestic helpers? Unqualified as in having no basic knowledge in cooking, cleaning and or taking care of young children. Is it because we're afraid that it'll costs us more these helpers with basic knowledge? But then again, I think it'll costs us even dearly when we got to find out what the final results might be.

I think being as domestic helper is a hard job as it is stressful. Its even more difficult when its a live in helper who is a foreigner that does not know how his/her employer will treat them.

To me each occupation has its hazards, no matter how menial it may seem. You may think that a domestic helpers' job is easy but have you ever thought off the stress a person is going through when he/she doesn't know what they are doing and is trying to actually please their pay master with their limited knowledge?

I'm not trying to defend the maid caught abusing the little girl in the video. By all means, what she does is wrong and has to be punished, as we all reap what we sow! We all heard stories about how employers abuses live in domestic helper and horror stories about how domestic helpers lie, cheat, steal from us and abuse our loved ones under their care. But still we have to step back and think on a better solution so that these incidents will stop.

I may not know what IS the best way but at the very least, equipping them with basic knowledge of cooking, cleaning, taking care of children and dealing with difficult situations; either from employers and or children, can be one way. Another way would be dialogue through an intermediary between employee and employer. I believe that there's no bad solution, there's always a better one.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Earth Hour 2009


It was a pretty dark and yet eventful night. At least Owen wasn't afraid of the dark when we flick the lights off at 20:30 on 28th March 2009. I lighted up 3 candles, hubs was watching TV (there was France vs Lituania game): I'd love that he not watch it, and Owen was trying to blow then candles!!

It was pretty funny as, he thought that we're going to have cake after blowing the candles! Its our fault actually - we taught him to blow candles during his and hubs birthday.... :p And then after realizing that there was not cake, he decide to bring out the picture books so we can play "point and say" - well, I say and he point! LOL!

While we were doing that, it reminds me of the frequent electricity cuts back home. We had fun then - no need to finish our homework if it lasts throughout the night! LOL!!! But then again, we had some hot, sticky and uncomfortable night without the ceiling fan on.... It also reminds me of some nights we spent at our grandparents place in Kuala Pilah as kids. Back then there were no street lights and to go back to grandpa's house after visiting the bicycle shop (15 mins walk) when it was dark, we had to either carry a heavy torch light (you know the BIG sliver ones that will knock you out if get hit on the head?) OR the kerosene lamp. I like the kerosene lamp and my parents still have them at home!

I think Earth Hour brings me back to my childhood days when things were pretty much simpler and life was on a slower pace. I think Earth Hour also brings us (family and friends) closer as in; we'll actually talk to each other with candle lights WITHOUT the noise or distraction from TV/radio/computer etc. I don't want to have to think that some family living under one roof, text/IM each other while at home!! THAT would be strange and SAD.....
Well, I think Earth Hour should not be just an "event". It should should be practiced every day in our daily lives as often as possible. Now I'm not talking about lighting up the candles everyday... Candles can be VERY DANGEROUS when they are light up without supervision!!! I'm saying that we should turn off the lights when not in the room, simply just turn off the standby mode on electrical appliances when you're done with them, turn off running water while brushing your teeth, recycle etc etc. All gestures no matter how small or menial they may seem, if everyone does it; it DOES make a lot of difference not only on your wallet but to our home on this planet.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I've never

eaten artichoke before. Nor have I ever cook one, ever! So I dare myself to buy 2 on Friday and try it out on Sunday.... Since I have no idea how to cook them (or eat them), I looked up for some recipes over the Internet (GOD BLESS THE PERSON WHO MADE WWW HAPPENED!!) and prepare it accordingly.

1st off I have rinse it, cut away the stem, remove some bottom leaves and then give it a "haircut" - there are some really unpleasant small "thorns" on the leaves, which makes it HELL to eat afterwards! LOL! And then I steamed them in my rice cooker (got to thank the Japs for rice cooker!) for about 45 mins.


Pretty when opened up aren't they?

I wanted to bake them at first but decided to go ahead with steaming them 1st before popping it into the oven stuffed with Parmesan+breadcrumb+olive oil+fresh herb mixture. To stuff, 1st I have to "open" up the leaves like a flower but gently as to leave the leaves in fact, then removed some leaves and the fuzzy part in the middle. I baked them for about 15 mins over 190°C pre-heated oven. Sorry, there's no picture of the finish product as I was in a hurry to dig in! LOL!




I like this coz its really full of veg and white meat! YUMMY!


I like broccoli!

But I did took some pictures of my Baked Chicken and Quick Fruit Tartlets, made from this Irish cook mag I mentioned on my last post here. Its called "Easy Food - taking the "but" out of cooking" mag. I twigged the the Baked Chicken recipe - sub the chicken with turkey as that's what I got on hand -, and I would really reduce the amount of mayo and mushroom soup used in this recipe. Plus would rather not add in curry powder as I think it tastes funny.




My "quicky" fruit tratlets.... :p

As for the tartlets, that turned out alright. I won't be using raspberries the next time as they turn out S-O-U-R!!!! Same with Kiwi. The base I use puff pastry - store bought!! Making puff pastry from scratch is really scary!!! Made them when I was attached with the pastry department during my kitchen internship some years back..... I actually don't mind making them IF (and only IF) I have a proper working surface - AKA bigger kitchen! LOL!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday brunch/late lunches

I always like Sundays.... No wait, like is really an understatement. LOVE is more like it! LOL! I mean who doesn't? Unless of course if and when you have to get up early to get to work on a Sunday. Can't blame you, I've been there and I utterly HATE IT WHEN THAT HAPPENS!! Its not that I don't like working on Sundays, as there's plenty to do when you work in the hotel industry, as the hours just breezes by! Its just that getting up in the ungodly hour of the day just to get ready for work that I utterly detest.

Sunday brunch/late lunches is what I look forward to on every weekend. Mum used to make awesome late lunches when we were kids. We usually have heavy breakfast at the wet market, and then we'll prepare lunch once all the purchases were put away. She use to make slow food - dishes that take hours to cook but is gone in the matter of minutes! LOL! I always love it when she'd make pork stew with some kind of pickled veg (I don't know what its called in English BTW).



Creamy peach melba breakfast bread - I love the sweet burnt creamy yogurt "droplets":p

Ever since I have time on Sundays, I try to make something special or experiment a little. Some times it works, some times it doesn't. If it doesn't, I'd throw out the recipe! LOL! Made Creamy Peach Melba Breakfast bread (Light & Natural cookbook - Brand Name) today. Its really not bad except that I made too much! hehehehehe.... We don't have peach yet, so I substitute with strawberries instead - its strawberry season in Spain. Swiss berries will come soon end of April. i think the next time I make this again, I'll have to cut out the cream as I find that there's just to much protein/diary in this recipe.

OH! I bought an Irish cooking mag yesterday and I can't wait to try out some recipes in them. They look so darn good in pictures that is.... Wonder how it'll turn out? Will blog about it next week! ;)

Friday, March 13, 2009

The sinking feeling...

Its just one of those days when I made my first cake that sank!! LOL! Ever since I learned how to bake eons ago, I've never made a cake that sank.... A hard one yes but never, ever with that sinking effect....

Hubs' cake that sank....


But still it looks alright once its upside down! LOL!

In fact, the cake was meant to go to my Filipino girlfriend who's going back to the Philippines for a month and then GOD knows when I'll see her again after that.... I guess I know what went wrong, the over beating of the batter. Owen was with me in the kitchen when I was busy, and as always he'll be "busy" as well. Guess you can say I was busy bakin', busy saying "Owen! NO!", busy keeping his grubby paws off the kitchen counter, etc etc.....

The other cake with banana & chocolate chip filling

So in order to "save" the cake, I made the hole extra wide, mix the cake up with some mashed bananas and chocolate chips and popped it back in the oven for about 10 mins. BTW, that same day it was hubs' birthday as well! ARRGGHHH!!!!..... Oh well! Better luck next time! Owen did had a great time helping papa blowing out the candles though. Here's a small clip of them... :D

video

Owen & papa

Friday, February 27, 2009

So what's on my mind?

There's just so much stuff on my mind these days. Wanted to blog about it but its just plain laziness that got in the way! LOL!

First off, one of my girlfriend in London had a revelation when she turn 30; to stay single for a little while longer. Well I truly support her decision on that coz I too feel that being single is not a bad thing as a lot of people might think. I've enjoyed my time being single and most of the time alone as well. Its not that I don't have many friends, just that I like the quiet, the ability to think things through myself and most of all the freedom to be selfish!

Some people think that (especially hubs) going to the movies, shop and dine alone is horrible and sad. But contrary to popular believes, its not. When you think about it, its really quite liberating in the sense that you don't need to please the others by compromising what you want to do, see and or eat. Being alone besides being liberating, its gives me time to feel my own self worth, to recollect self esteem and basically have a little breather from having people around me all the time.

Second, due to recent events that spur the rage, the sadness and most of all the need to urge to protect the someone close to my heart that got me thinking: what is LOVE in the first place? Does LOVE really lasts a life time? If it does, what happens after that? See, Ive seen people going lovey dovey when they first met and after a couple of months (or years) down the road, they split up! I know, it happens but why do people say it when they don't mean it? Did the person say it in the spur of the moment?

Love makes all of us makes mistakes as when it happens, all logic and reason will be thrown out of the window. That is why I think some people will take the vicious cycle of loving the wrong person and making the same mistake all over again and again and again. I'm not saying that I didn't make this mistake once a upon a time, I did in fact but I learnt not to do it twice.

To the persons I hold dear to my heart: I do hope that you'll take time off to reflect on your past mistakes as you've paid dearly for the lessons. Take time off to be single, time to be alone to think about what will be your next step, time to love yourself, to re-evaluate your self esteem, and self worth - as no one will give you those unless you give it to yourself.

To end this, I give you the song Love Hurts written by Bryant and Boudleaux, as I feel that there are some truth if not all in it. However, I'm not saying here that we shouldn't love but we must learn from what we get or give from it, for them we'll be strong enough.


Love hurts, love scars
Love wounds, and marks
Any heart, not tough
Or strong enough

To take a lot of pain
Take a lot of pain
Love is like a cloud
Holds a lot of rain

Love hurts
Love hurts

I'm young, I know
But even so
I know a thing or two
I learned, from you

I really learned a lot
Really learned a lot
Love is like a flame
It burns you when it's hot

Love hurts
Love hurts

Some fools think of happiness
Blissfulness, togetherness
Some fools fool themselves I guess
They're not foolin' me

I know it isn't true
I know it isn't true
Love is just a lie
Made to make you blue

Love hurts
Love hurts
Love hurts

I know it isn't true
I know it isn't true
Love is just a lie
Made to make you blue

Love hurts
Love hurts
Love hurts

Curtains

this is a back dated post
I've finally finished my kitchen curtains! This has been an on going thing from WAAAAYYYYYY back - last year! LOL! The cross stitching section has taken me some months to do instead of a few weeks. Yes, yes, its partly due to things that seems to pop up but mostly due to plain laziness...


Its my wonky kitchen curtain! lol!


Took me about the whole night just to tack, sew, frog and re-sew the voile. I didn't know voile is such a difficult material to handle for my 1st time. Luckily, I've adjusted the thread tension and changed the needle (for light material) before I start. Otherwise it would have snag and ruined the fabric...

The XSed motif taken from Fil en Aiguille mag - forgot which issue!

But then again, I don't mind if the fabric is ruined.. hehehehe.... See since I'm into recycling, I don't see why I have to buy new fabric when I could just reuse my old curtain (it was pre-made from our last apartment) that is sitting in my fabric box. Besides, I felt that its great that we get to re-use stuff that is still in good shape instead of buying new ones. At times like these it feels good to be stingy! LOL!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Giant snake fossils found!!

This is just beyond any words. That goes to show global warming has its trends. And yes I do believe that there are big or even gigantic creatures out there in the deep. We may not believe that they exists as we've not seen them... yet!


Scientists find world's biggest snake
'Titanic' boa fossils provide clues to past tropical climate.
Roberta Kwok - Nature News (www.nature.com)



An artist's reconsturction of Titianoboa cerrejonensis - Jason Bourque

Researchers have found fossils of the biggest known snake in the world, a discovery that could shed light on the climate of the tropics in the past.

The scientists estimate the snake lived 58 to 60 million years ago and was around 13 metres long. The giant, found in northeastern Colombia, dwarfs modern pythons and anacondas which usually don't exceed 6-6.5 metres and are thought to be the largest living snakes.

Since snakes are poikilotherms that, unlike humans, need heat from their environment to power their metabolism, the researchers suggest that at the time the region would have had to be 30 to 34 degrees Celsius for the snake to have survived. Most large snakes alive today live in the South American and southeast Asian tropics, where the high temperatures allow them to grow to impressive sizes.

A vertebra of a modern Anaconda (left) and (right) a vertebra from the Titanoboa.Ray Carson - UF Photography


"We've taken the snake and turned it into a giant thermometer," says lead author and vertebrate palaeontologist Jason Head of the University of Toronto in Canada, who says he "just about screamed" when he first saw the size of the fossils.
“We've taken the snake and turned it into a giant thermometer.”
Jason Head University of Toronto in Canada, who says he "just about screamed" when he first saw the size of the fossils.

Head's colleagues discovered fossilized vertebrae and ribs from 28 individual snakes in an open-pit coal mine at Cerrejón. The vertebrae's structure suggests the snake is closely related to the boa constrictor, leading the team to name the species Titanoboa cerrejonensis, or 'titanic boa from Cerrejon'. By comparing the shapes and sizes of the two best-preserved vertebrae to those of living snakes, the researchers calculated that the snake was 12.8 metres long and weighed 1,135 kilograms.

King of snakes
"It is hands-down the largest snake ever confirmed," says Harry Greene, an evolutionary biologist at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, who was not involved in the work. "I think it's really spectacular."

Using models1 based on the largest modern-day snakes and their estimate of the Titanoboa's size, the team calculated how hot the tropics must have been 58 to 60 million years ago, a period known as the Palaeocene. The mean annual temperature would need to be at least 30-34 degrees Celsius to support the snake's metabolism, the researchers report in Nature2. This range matches previous estimates from Palaeocene climate models that assume high atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations3.

The results support the idea that the temperature difference between the Palaeocene tropics and higher-latitude regions was as large as it is today, even though the higher latitudes were much warmer during that time. This counters the so-called 'thermostat' hypothesis, which predicts that tropical temperatures would stay fairly stable even as other parts of the world heated up.

The study offers a "really big piece of evidence" to researchers trying to estimate Palaeocene climates, says Lisa Sloan, a climate scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz. But Greene cautions that the team based their temperature calculations partially on the largest known size of an anaconda today, which the study pegs at 7 metres. This number is "very conservative" and could be as high as 11 metres, Greene says, which would lower the corresponding temperature estimate for the Palaeocene tropics.


References

  1. Makarieva, A. M. , Gorshkov, V. G. , & Li, B.-L. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. 272, 2325-2328 (2005).
  2. Head, J. J. et al. Nature 457, 715-717 (2009).
  3. Shellito, C. J. , Sloan, L. C. & Huber, M. Palaeogeogr. Palaeoclimatol. Palaeoecol. 193, 113-123 (2003).