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Monday, December 29, 2008

Girl and virginity

I was at Malaysia's most popular tech forum and saw a guy who asked this...

Is virginity really important nowadays (to girls)?

Someone answered him...

If her name is Mary, yeah, it's important.

Another one added this...

If the name is Olive, u need extra.

ROFL, LMAO!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Good things must share-share... :)

*this is NOT a sponsored post*

You know, USM (my varsity) filters the World Wide Web and thus some sites are off-limits to us. :(

But... But! (Gosh... I can't hide my excitement, LOL) Today, I was led to a wonderful discovery that brings me hope, light, whatever blabla and I'm so exhilarated right now! :D

Presenting http://www.atunnel.com, a marvellous web site that defends your anonymity on-line and lets you surf those banned or blocked websites through their server! C'mon, tell me this is an amazing discovery!

I just tested surfing a banned website from my home through their server, and voila, it works! Can't wait to unleash its fullest potential when I return to Penang on Monday. And in case you're wondering, I'm home for the weekend + Muharram public holiday. :)

P/S: If you've already known about this moons ago, I'm so gonna kill you for not telling me this earlier! Hmpphhh!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Track those telephone numbers!

Getting bugged by someone you don't even know on your phone? Frustrated over prank calls from an unidentified number? Oh my, but don't you ever let these ruin your otherwise beautiful day!

With the help of Who's Number Is That.com, you can now embark on a phone number trace to hunt those mysterious callers down from all over America (including Alaska and Hawaii) at your home's comfort! With just a little information, the identities of the callers will be revealed to you in no time.

Besides the reverse phone lookup service, they are also ready to free you from those annoying telemarketers with another brilliant service! Wanna know more? You can read the details at No Call List Information.

When all is done, I'm sure you'll get your smile back in time for this Christmas season! :D

Joyeux Noël

To all my friends,

Merry Christmas

Hope you guys have a wonderful one this year! And don't forget to hit the gym after all those parties, turkey dinners, and merry makings!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A friendly reminder to my readers

Dear readers,

I notice quite a number of you are still unaware of my new blog at soleilian.com where I blog about my school life, travel tales, gastronomic adventures, and some occasional rants. I did inform you guys about it on this blog after I launched it in late October. As for tiMes JoUrNaL, I mainly reserve it for my personal rants, socio-cultural views, etc.

Please kindly take note of this. Thank you.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Cities, Cities, Cities

Some interesting facts about the mega cities around you...

  • Which city has the most buildings with a minimum height of 90m? Many would answer NYC. But no, it's HK! Apparently, the bustling Pearl of the Orient has more than 3000 buildings which exceed 90m in height while the Big Apple comes in a distant 2nd with about 900.
  • Only 4 cities are given full points (12) in the performance rating of world cities: London, Paris, New York, Tokyo.
  • Moscow boasts the most U.S.-dollar billionaires of any city in the world, followed by NYC and London.
  • Awarded a total of 227 stars, Tokyo has the most Michelin-rated restaurants in the world, which is more than thrice of NYC's total and twice of Paris's total. However, it should be noted that Tokyo houses more than 160,000 restaurants, versus New York's 25,000 and Paris's 13,000.
  • Istanbul, Turkey's largest city is the only city in the world that straddles 2 continents ~ Europe and Asia. The great imperial capital of the now-extinct Christian Byzantine Empire and the Muslim Ottoman Empire also acts as a pivotal bridge between the Christian West and the Muslim East.
  • London is home to the largest number of Muslim converts in the Western world, with over 100,000 White British and 35,000 Black Caribbean converts.
  • Zürich, Switzerland's financial heart is the world's wealthiest city by personal net earnings in the 2008 rankings. It is also the city which offers the best quality of life this year.
  • London is cited as the world's most expensive city in the same year.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Reverse Phone Number Trace

Ever wonder who's that sneaky person behind the number that shows on your phone screen? Someone's been playing a prank on you with an unidentified number? Having too many missed calls from someone you don't even know?

Fret not, as you can now trace phone numbers from all over America (including Alaska and Hawaii) with the fabulous Reverse Phone Number Trace! With just a little information, the identities of the callers will be revealed to you instantly. One thing for sure, your worries will no longer come back to haunt you!

Galerie d'image II

Since I'm so lazy to blog these days, I'm gonna post some pics that I took with my trusty Sony Ericsson K800i...

Living room
Living room

Fungi
Fungi found in front of my university's museum

Orchids
Orchids

Plant
Plant

I'm so lookin' forward to lay my hands on the super cool Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX3 in order for me to churn out awesome macros with bokeh effect. *start saving bucks*

Nationwide Phone Lookup

There are countless gatherings and separations in our lifetime. Acquaintances may come and go. Upon college graduation, friends are forced to separate and move on for a brighter future. Some decide to stay, some prefer to move elsewhere to seek for better opportunities. And with the arrival of Christmas in less than 10 days, it's time to send warm greetings to your loved ones, especially those best pals of yours whom you have not seen for years. But the thing is, how on earth are you going to send them Christmas cards if their locales are unknown to you?

Provided you still keep their phone numbers, you can easily track your buddies down with Nationwide Phone Lookup. The service runs through a large database based on the information provided to look up for an identical match. The results will be shown to you in a matter of seconds. Isn't that great?

And oh, the service covers the whole of America, including the far-flung states of Alaska and Hawaii. :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Conversion of houses of worship: Change of religious affiliation (Part I)

Throughout history, once a territory fell into the hands of an invading enemy, the places of worship of the conquered territory were usually converted to the religion of the new masters. Those territories that strongly resisted invasions instead of peacefully submitting themselves to the enemies were the ones that suffered the most.

Global distribution of Christianity and Islam
Global distribution of Christianity (red) and Islam (green)

Christianity and Islam are the world's two largest and most widespread religions, each claiming 2.1 billion and 1.5 billion followers respectively. The combined population of Christians and Muslims account for more than half of the world's 6.7 billion people, and their communities can be found in nearly every country in the world. Historically, religious zeal and the devotion to spread the one true religion to the infidels or non-believers were the strongest propellers behind the countless inter-religious wars and conflicts that plagued both religions. Even till this day, regions that lie on the fault line where Christianity and Islam collides are usually the victims of these sporadic events, like what happened in Indonesia and Nigeria.

Here are some of the most prominent houses of worship which have been converted to the religion of the new masters upon conquest:


La Mezquita de Córdoba, Spain
La Mezquita de Córdoba, Spain

The Great Mosque of Córdoba (
La Mezquita de Córdoba) in the Andalusian city of Córdoba, Spain. Before Spain fell into the hands of the Muslim Arab-Berbers (the Moors) of North Africa, this building was a Christian Visigothic church. After the Umayyad Caliphate (بنو أمية Banu Umayyah) was overthrown by the Abbasid Caliphate (العبّاسيّونal-‘Abbāsīyūn), the Umayyad capital in Damascus, Syria was relocated to Córdoba and thus marked a significant transition point in the history of Europe.

At a time when much of Europe plunged into the Dark Ages where economic and intellectual activities came to a halt, Córdoba flourished to become Western Europe's largest city and emerged as an important centre of culture, education, and politics. The Mezquita was subsequently enlarged and was once the 2nd largest of its kind in the Islamic world.


La Mezquita de Córdoba, Spain
Church within a mosque: European additions with Islamic columns and arches

After the Christian Spaniards recaptured Córdoba from the Muslims in the year 1236, the mosque was consecrated as a Christian church along with the 1000-plus mosques in the city. While most of the mosque exterior is retained to this day, European features and chapels were added to the interiors to celebrate its new role as a church and a prized Christian possession.

The successful Christian Reconquista gave rise to the nationwide Spanish Inquisition, a notorious ecclesiastical tribunal which actively sought to Christianize the non-Christians of Spain. During this period, Muslims and Jews were either expelled from Spain or forcibly converted to Christianity. As a result, Islam remained virtually non-existent in Spain until the arrival of Muslim immigrants from North Africa in the latter half of the 20th century.

Today, the Mezquita continues to serve as the principal Roman Catholic cathedral of the Diocese of Córdoba, and is the city's most popular tourist attraction.


La Giralda, Sevilla, Spain; Hassan Tower, Rabat, Morocco
La Giralda, Sevilla, Spain (left) & Hassan Tower, its sister tower in Rabat, Morocco (right)

The Giralda (La Giralda) in Seville/Sevilla, the capital of Andalucía in southern Spain. Originally built as the minaret of a large mosque, the Giralda was converted into the bell tower of the adjacent Cathedral of Seville (the world's largest Gothic cathedral) which was built on the grounds of the previous mosque upon the Reconquista. The top of the tower is the result of European additions, featuring a cross and a bell. Once the world's tallest tower, the Giralda shares near-similar designs with its sister towers in neighbouring Morocco.


San Giovanni degli Eremiti, Palermo, Sicilia, Italy
San Giovanni degli Eremiti, Palermo, Sicilia, Italy

St. John of the Hermits (San Giovanni degli Eremiti) in Palermo on the southern Italian island of Sicily/Sicilia. Built in the 6th century, this church was converted into a mosque when the island fell into the hands of the Arabs 2 centuries later. The Norman conquest of Sicily in the 11th century helped to re-establish Christianity on the island, with the mosque being reconstructed as a church, a role it remains so till this day. Unlike the Spaniards, the Christian Normans were tolerant of the Arab Muslim culture until the outbreak of a series of Muslim rebellions which led to the eventual demise of Islam on the island in the mid-13th century.

to be continued...


Image credits:
Dbachmann | UK Flower Girl | GrahamColm | Fabos | lucioforterepubblica

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Air mattress

Have you guys heard of an air mattress before? I'm sure most of you did. Although it's not a new invention, it's probably one of the coolest things out there and a must-have for regular campers, picnickers, or even normal households!

These waterproof airbeds are made from durable nylon and are perfect for any setting that requires a bed or a comfy seat. They are so easy to set up and store so you won't have trouble moving it around. Isn't that great?

So guys, go check it now if you're interested! :)

Monday, December 01, 2008

My baby nephew

Baby nephew

Say hello to my baby nephew! He's about 5 months old now, and weighed 8 pounds plus at birth. Yup... Definitely a huge boy, and a chubby one too! :D