Saturday, 18 July 2009


Before you continue reading, let me warn you that parts of this post might be disturbing or make you uncomfortable. Proceed with caution and at your own risk.

This is our favourite char koay teow stall at Teluk Air Tawar. You can see our tiffin in the foreground. The guy pointed to the chicken rice stall and said that those "white things" (polystyrene foam of course) are "bad". I said the brown paper which he is using is also not so good because it's got a very thin layer of plastic laminate. Yah, he says. But what to do? I said, "tell your customers to bring their own containers". Cannot lah, he saids. Don't sell them lah, if they don't bring own container, I instigated. Then how to cari makan?, he asked.

One day I saw him peeling off the "skin" from the sausages and asked him why. He said that stuff is no good. I asked him what it is made off. He doesn't really know. I tried pulling off pieces and I said to the Char Koay Teow man, "it looks like plastic!" Does your Char Koay Teow man care so much about your health? (p.s. at home, my wife has been insisting on removing the "plastic" for years.)

Below are some random photos from my walks on campus.

Came across this experiment at HBP. The fan spins very fast when the air-con compressor is spewing out all the hot air. The spinning fan then generates electricity which is stored in a battery or perhaps can be directly used to power some appliance. Hey, here's a thought. The compressor spins the fan which generates electricity and if we feed back the electricity to the air-con unit, what to we get? Zero energy? Maybe close to zero? Well, this is one of the ideas you will find in the literature - recycling the waste energy. But here's more food for thought. It seems designers are able to now design buildings which are so comfortable that you don't need air-conditioning. Not possible in Malaysia?

The left is the original inter-locking pavements (which I hate). They wanted to create more space for pedestrians (and hurrah for that) so in comes a contractor who laid concrete slabs over the roadside drain to extend the pedestrian walkway. Sounds like a good idea. But our Class F contractors are really hopeless in their quality of work. It's a visual nightmare walking along the path. Perhaps we should change our thinking. Instead of just giving this small time contractors jobs, we should invest in upgrading their skills at the same time. Budget for pre-training - all class F contractors should be sponsored for skills development before being given jobs.

This piece of work is another good intention not quite right. There is actually a natural stream which runs from probably the Durian Valley or somewhere now buried underground in concrete pipes. When we did the campus planning, one of our suggestion was to bring back nature, dig up the culverts and pipe and recreate the natural stream. Now even the opening has been covered over. See the black metal covers? When there is a really heavy downpour, I anticipate that water will come rushing out of those covers and flood the place. Storm water is now recognised as an asset and the thinking now is to recovere our natural water courses. Back to the drawing board.

I hate banners, for some reason. This is what I call the banner farm. Yah good that we have given them a place to hang themselves - but banners are all over the place despite this. But what caught my attention was the CONVEX banner. Are your eyes playing tricks on you too? Do you see double? Yes, the same banner next to each other. But the content is even more disturbing. It says that limited numbers of application forms are available for people interested to take up stalls to do business at the Pesta Konvo (coming August). Hurry! And you have to pay for the forms. I wonder if it is to control wastage of the forms or to make money out of the forms. Both reasons to me doesn't make sense. Lestari? -ve 1.

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