Month: June 2013

A tale of Orang Laut and Singapore River

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orang laut 01According to legend based on the history of pre-Rafflesian time of Singapore, Orang Laut or Sea Gypsies was the communities who lived ‘in the numerous bays, inlets ad creeks surrounding Singapore.’

 Half of them lived on water, in little canoes that could scarcely stretch themselves.  The water lodgings were equipped with 1 or 2 cooking pots, earthy jars and mats made of pandanus leaves that allowed shading from sun and rain.

Major-General William Farquhar

They spent most of their time on boat, where birth, marriage and death took place therein.  As they were accustomed to life on the boat, they are easily recognized with their wadding gait on land.

  The other half of these people lived in huts on the banks near Kallang River and at the wider portion of Singapore River.

  During the times of British settlement, Major-General William Farquhar (1774-1839), the First Resident and Commandant of Singapore was appalled by the Orang Laut wearing no clothes, so he distributed money, clothes and rice to them.  Their children were terrified by the newcomers, merchants, laborers from all over the world.

One even jumped into the sea and got drowned when people approached near their boats.

And now, if you attempted to jump into the water, hoping to stay closer to the legendary tale, I think that is the only best reason I could agree upon.

orang laut 02

More than cloud and sky

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Booted eagle spotted at Seletar By courtesy of
Booted eagle spotted at Seletar
By courtesy of

According to a local article written by photographic journalist, Lee Tian QI (李天锜), about 30 numbers of birds of prey transited through Singapore as migrant in September.

Chinese Goshhawk spotted at Seletar. By courtesy of
Chinese Goshhawk spotted at Seletar.
By courtesy of

They flew all the way from Northern Hemisphere to Southern Hemisphere, some stay for 1 or 2 days, while some stay up for a few months.

Crested Honey-buzzard spotted at Seletar. By courtesy of
Crested Honey-buzzard spotted at Seletar.
By courtesy of

During the stay, the birds frequently visited Sungei Buloh, Seletar, Changi and Jurong Lake, where most of the wetland and mangrove are.  While others look for footprints, the avid interest of Lee prompts him to hunt for ‘birdprints’.

He had experienced witnessing a Japanese Sparrow Hawk chasing a group of birds.

Eastern Marsh Harrier spotted at Changi. By courtesy of
Eastern Marsh Harrier spotted at Changi.
By courtesy of

I thanked him for the great discovery and generously sharing this information with us.  Ever since reading the article, it is not just sky and cloud appearing in my eyes whenever I looked up to the sky.

Japanese Sparrow Hawk spotted at Lorong Halus Wetland. By courtesy of birdgroupsingapore
Japanese Sparrow Hawk spotted at Lorong Halus Wetland.
By courtesy of birdgroupsingapore

There are more things beyond that.  I believe this is what the writer is trying to tell us.  There is certainly something to look for on this little red dot.

Why are white flowers more fragrant than others?

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white flower 02Did you notice why white color flowers gives out stronger fragrance than other colored flowers?

 Plants bear flowers for fruits and propagation.  It requires helps from external sources like insects and wind to pollinate.

 One way to invite insects is to cosmetic or beautify oneself so as to enhance the chances of visiting.

white flower 01Nature has its way for survivor and its objective to live.  White flowers present themselves by offering unique scent to potential visitors just like the strategy that applies to all beings.

 If you sight a frangipani flower wearing a pure white gown waving at you, please do not doubt its intention, it’s as pure as its scent!

Hazy song

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The song is inspired by the haze pollution cause by neighboring country lately.

hazy song 04PSI is climbing

Ionisers are overwhelming

Everyone grabbing masks and start fanning

PSI three twenty

CSI still on going

Headlines shouting over the sky scraping

No more outdoor fine dinning

No more star glazing

No more picnics and camping

Return me the green

Return me the trees

Return me the sunbeam

Return me the ice cream under the summer breeze

hazy song 02Haze, haze, go away

I’m not used to seeing your face

Haze, haze, go away

I can’t see my lover’s face

hazy song 03

Everyone is choking

Asking doctors to give medical leave

Bosses asking,

What had happened to our sales margin?

Boss, boss, can’t you see we are drowning?  We are drowning!

No more bargaining

No more daydreaming

No more moonlighting

No more lying and blaming

Get back to the street

Get back the sparkling margin

Get back to your own seat

Get back to the client’s face until they can see

hazy song 01Haze, haze, go away

I’m not used to seeing your face

Haze, haze, go away

We got something had to say

PSI – Pollutant Standards Index

CSI – A popular criminal drama in America.

What’s the story beneath this island?

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What character does it carry?

singapura 01In Sanskrit, it signifies Singa for a lion and Pura for a city.  “Lion City” is the complete word.

 In 1160, Sri Tri Buana, Sang Nila Utama, the ruler of an ancient kingdom saw the white shore of this little island, described by the annalist.

 He asked, “what is that stretch of sand, we see yonder?”

 “Your highness, that is the land called Temasek”.  One of the companions replied.

By courtesy of
By courtesy of

When they reached the shore, he saw a strange animal “very swift and beautiful”, with a bright red body, its head jet black and its breast pure white.  The beautiful animal has the size of a he-goat.

 The companion said, “Your Highness, I have heard that in ancient times, it was a lion which has that appearance”.

By courtesy of
By courtesy of

Sang Nila Utama then established a city at Temasek and name it Singapura.

 This is a short story about how the name of my country came by.

Why are tree trunks in round tube form?

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round tree 01Have you ever wonder why tree trunks are all round in section but not in other shapes?

 Life form always made its way towards the most adaptable and comfortable environment.

 That applies to plants too!

round tree 02Based on the same circumference, area for a circle is the largest among other shapes.  Trees made used of this natural advantage and cleverly channel the nutrition through this concept.

 Shapes in circular are more resistant to external damaging.  Imagine a square or flat surface tree trunk will provide a suitable angle for animals’ chews and gobbles.

round tree 03Round shapes also provide less wind resistant, an ideal way to bypass the impact of wind force from the external surf.

 This great wise man on earth inspired the shape of the lamppost.  It takes hundreds of, millions of years of self-development to acquire the stage now.

Day in, day out, we take things for granted.  So, do we know the moral of the story now…?

I’m a Hercules

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rhinoceros beetles (
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Rhinoceros beetles are named after their long strong horn. This hero is the champion among them for horn length. Their horns use to fight rival males and impress female. It can interlock, push, lift and slam down or even snap off enemy’s head.

rhinoceros beetles (
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It can live up to 2.5 years and reach up to 20 cm in total body length.

By courtesy of
By courtesy of

Rhinoceros beetle is one of the strongest animals in the world. It can lift more than 800 times its own body weight. Imagine a person weight of 60 kg, how much can he carry base on 800 times power? The answer is 48 tones! For that, I salute him as a Hero Hercules in the insect kingdom!