Wednesday, August 4, 2010



A potent and wonderfully creative eco-message from WWF.

Over the years, WWF has come up with a series of very creative posters with very potent messages promoting environmental awareness. I thought this one was the very best I've seen.

View some of the many others at these sites:

Our earth is a truly beautiful place. It's our home. Let us all conserve it.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Into The Groove

A touch of nostalgia....I'm a great fan of music from the 80's and not surprisingly, one of my favourite songs, if not my favourite song ever, is Madonna's Into The Groove from 1985.

It was 25 years ago to the day in 1985, Madonna finally got her first UK No.1 Hit Single after coming very close with Like A Virgin (3), Material Girl (2) and Crazy For You (2). This opened the floodgates to 11 other No.1 hits that followed.

This song was featured in the movie Desperately Seeking Susan, a forgettable movie which starred Rosanna Arquette and of course Madonna herself. The hit music video consisted of footage from the movie itself.

I first heard this song when she performed it on Live Aid back in July 1985. I still remember staying up to catch her performance.

My very own Into The Groove single..

It's very catchy dance tune has endeared me over the years and this remains my very favourite till this day.

The music video clip...courtesy of YouTube.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Trekking the Mesilau Trail

I've always been a fan of hiking in cool conditions, nothing more appealing to me than a mosquito and leech free hike. So when a bunch of good friends were going to climb Mt. Kinabalu, I jumped at the chance to tag along for a hike.

I first walked on this trail some two years back when I climb Mt. Kinabalu and recalled the fond memories and experience I had.

The Mesilau Trail is an alternative route to climb Mount Kinabalu. It starts from Mesilau Nature Resort near Kundasang. The trail is about 6km long and joins the Summit trail near Layang Layang (2,702.3 meters).

Unlike the Summit trail from the Timpohon gate, the Mesilau Trail is far more scenic and involves less "giant staircase" type climbs which is an unpopular feature of the Summit trail.

The Trail passes through beautiful flora, waterfalls, and rope bridges, and includes long morale-sapping downhill stretches.

So to enjoy a good hike, start the day with a hearty breakfast........

Then take a good look at the trail map to get a sense of direction and prepare for an adventure...

And finally... gather a group of good friends for good company...essential for all hikes.

The trail starts with a steep climb which works the cold leg muscles, and after some measure of discomfort and unnatural shortness of breath, the climb gets easier as the steepness tapers off and gradually shifts downwards. From here, we get to slowly appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds us.

The Kinabalu Balsam (Impatiens platyphylla), is commonly found throughout the trail, adding colour to both sides of the trek.

There are many streams crossings.

Followed by a kind of rope suspension bridge.

If you are in the mood for some mischief, then wait for your more faint-hearted friends to cross, then start swaying the bridge and hear them scream in panic.

The bridge crosses a section of a stream downstream of a delightful waterfall.

Distance markers can be both a blessing or a bitch.... depending on how you viewed them. It's a bitch if you find that you have another 6.5km to go after what you perceived to have walked for what felt like an eternity.
What they are undoubtedly good for...serving as a good support for people needing to catch their breath.

The Kinabalu Giant Earthworm (Pheretima darnleiensis) is one of many unique creatures found here. The Kinabalu Giant Earthworm (not be be confused with the Kinabalu Giant Red Leech) has been known to grow up to length of 70 cm. They are mostly observed after heavy rain.

This unfortunate worm appears to have been trampled on by a hiker, quite possibly by one of my friends.

The paths are wide and mostly foliage free, making it rather easy to navigate through.

Rest areas are few and some distance in between. Empty ones are gratefully filled by the fast tiring gang.

The pitcher plant, Nepenthes Rajah Kinabalu, is commonly found on this trail. My friend Sathya just squeals in uncontrollable delight each time we come across one of these.

A conifer tree standing proudly in the mist. The flossy stuff hanging on the branches is a type of lichen, and it's not part of the tree. Kinda gives the tree a mytical aura.

Another type of conifer tree....looking quite like a giant bonsai sitting a top the hill.

Beautiful plants are in abundance.

As the climb reached higher altitudes, there were more and more of such ferns. It's whitish tinge gives it a snow covered look.

Messages left by earlier hikers.

The end of the Mesilau trail, as it joins the Summit way up the other way down.

A final Kodak moment before we parted ways....the gang will continue their conquest of Mt Kinabalu, while I make a dash downhill before they shut the Timpohon Gate for the night.

The Summit Trail while not particularly exciting, is dotted with more rest areas and proper toilets.

Ah...made just minutes before 5pm. The hike had taken a good seven hours....and that's a lot of calories burnt (3000 + according to my heart rate monitor).

The hike was rewarding. Will look forward to doing it again, perhaps with a lighter camera and better food pack.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Striped Beauty - For How Long?

The Tiger is a magnificent animal...its striped coat makes it the most recognizable and most beautiful in the feline family. The Tiger shares the distinction as the King of the Animals with the Lion. However, unlike the lion, the Tiger is in dire straits. The very existence of the Tiger is greatly threatened.

It's amazing that the population of the Tiger dwindled from 100,000 to less than 2,000 in just 100 years. After thriving for more than 1.6 million years, the Tiger now finds itself possibly suffering the same fate as the dodo.

So what can we do to help? Stop buying Tiger products? Donate to conservation causes? Write blogs to promote awareness? Not quite enough, for the situation is dire. We use our power of the vote to get our MPs and legislators to take firm and decisive action. Stop the destruction of forests. Stop the poaching. Give the Tiger a fighting chance.

How can we bear to see such a beautiful creature disappear from the face of this earth. Once it is gone, the loss is permanent. Our future generations will only get to appreciate the Tiger in CGI, photographs, video...but it is far from the real thing.

Let's do our bit. Many people have already dedicated their time by writing about the survival of the Tiger, straight from their hearts. Take the time to read their pleas for the Tiger.

The Tiger needs our help. Let's give it our very best effort.

The tiger is our national animal. Our heritage. But today only less than 500 of them remain in the wild. As Malaysians, we need to stand up and protect our heritage. Speak to your children. Speak to your leaders. Every one of us can make a difference.

For further information, please visit MYCAT (, WWF Malaysia ( and the Department of Wildlife & National Parks (

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Crouching Tiger, Vanishing Forests

The Tiger is a truly magnificent animal....certainly my favourite animal (well...along with the very cuddly Giant Panda)...and also happens to be the world's favourite animal too, according to a poll conducted by the Animal Planet.

Well, well, our favourite animal is in terrible danger... ...danger of extinction. We all claim to love the Tiger, but we seem to love ourselves a lot more. We want more land, so we clear the forests..the home of the our favourite animal. Yes, there are many Tigers in captivity but the Tiger is not a house pet. The Tiger belongs in the forests.

The Tiger is the king of the Malaysian jungle and is a proud animal. Yet we find bloggers having to unite and write about their plight and promote their cause for survival. It's fate now rests with uncaring people, seeking to gain dominance over a world they forgot they share with other creatures.

The world is certainly large enough for both human and tigers...but only if we realise we need to share the world with them and do not let our greed for more land to take away their home.

Save the forests, save the Tiger.

The tiger is our national animal. Our heritage. But today only less than 500 of them remain in the wild. As Malaysians, we need to stand up and protect our heritage. Speak to your children. Speak to your leaders. Every one of us can make a difference.

For further information, please visit MYCAT (, WWF Malaysia ( and the Department of Wildlife & National Parks (