Archive for February 2012

The Cultural Dancers at the CNY Cultural & Heritage Celebrations 2012   Leave a comment


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These are the Cultural Dancers from a secondary school in Penang.

SP Lim

Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you. — Marsha Norman

Wedding Dinner   Leave a comment


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I attended a colleague’s brother-in-law wedding dinner at Stone Bay Restaurant, Penang. Food was so=so.

SP Lim

Ex-Sandiilands Staff Dinner on Saturday, 25 February, 2012   Leave a comment


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Ex-Sandiilands Staff Dinner on Saturday, 25 February, 2012 was held at the Taipan Fins Restaurant of Northam All-Suites Hotel, Northam Road, Penang. This was the very first British MNC – Multi-naional Company, which I joined after my pupilage at the Penang General Hospital in 1976, yes …. so many years ago. The staff of this trading company was a friendly lot and we had kept meeting up for many years even the current company had ceased to exist in name. Thank you to the endless effort of Mr. Leong Chee Thim, Penny Ong and Rosie Ng for keeping this get-together dinner going for so many years where friendship is re-kindled and re-newed.

SP Lim

The Pikom PC Fair at Straits Quay Convention Hall, Penang   1 comment


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The Pikom PC Fair is being held from Friday, 24 February to Sunday, 25 February, 2012 at the Straits Quay Convention Hall, Level 6, Penang. Though the exhibitors are lesser in numbers but the venue is big enough but slightly too high up especially for those who had bought larger items to carry to the car.

SP Lim

Writing is a struggle against silence. — Carlos Fuentes

HDR photography   Leave a comment


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HDR – High Dynamic Range imaging or photography shall normally involve capturing an image in 3 or more exposures in raw format but can also in JPEG but colour saturation is more difficult to control. In the processing of these raw photographs in the Photomatix Pro 4.0 in my case, I usually like to process in “Painterly” format so as to clearly define these HDR photos compared to conventional ones. However, these tone-mapped photos can be likeable or hated by those viewing these photos. Well, when Van Gogh or Picasso painted their art works, quite similiar scenario ought to happen. So?

SP Lim

From Wikipedia

In image processing, computer graphics, and photography, high dynamic range imaging (HDRI or just HDR) is a set of techniques that allows a greater dynamic range between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than current standard digital imaging techniques or photographic methods. This wide dynamic range allows HDR images to represent more accurately the range of intensity levels found in real scenes, ranging from direct sunlight to faint starlight, and is often captured by way of a plurality of differently exposed pictures of the same subject matter.

In simpler terms, HDR is a range of techniques geared toward representing more contrast in pictures. Non-HDR cameras take pictures at a single exposure level with a limited contrast range. This results in the loss of detail in bright or dark areas of a picture, depending on whether the camera had a low or high exposure setting. HDR compensates for this loss of detail by taking multiple pictures at different exposure levels and intelligently stitching them together so that we get a picture that is representative in both dark and bright areas.

The two main sources of HDR imagery are computer renderings and merging of multiple low-dynamic-range (LDR) or standard-dynamic-range (SDR) photographs. Tone-mapping techniques, which reduce overall contrast to facilitate display of HDR images on devices with lower dynamic range, can be applied to produce images with preserved or exaggerated local contrast for artistic effect.

Seeking Stone Carvings of Lion and Qilin ( Keelin in Hokkien )   Leave a comment


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We. Eng Soon, Teong from HTT Padang and myself, went on a search and seek mission for either two stone carvings of Lion or Qilin or Keelin. These two stone carved Lions or Qilins or Keelins shall be placed outside a Temple, Association or Clans’ Temples. Hok Tek Tong, a Twa Peh Kong Temple in Padang, Sumatera, Indonesia wanted to purchase two Stone Guardian Lions or Qilins for their Temple on occasion of their 160th Anniversary next year of 2013. Armed with photostat copies of photographs of both creatures we visited two agents for such stone carvings which are usually imported fronm China. There are various sizes available and also one can also place make-to-order sizes. Quotations were obtained for 1.6 metred size, 1-8 metred size and that of the preferred 2.0 metred. It was estimated that a 2.0 metre sized qilin made of the premium green stone will weigh about 2.3 tons each with the stone base. The quality of the stone to be used also plays a big part in the eventual pricing plus the container cost to Belawan Port near Medan. A stone carving can cost RM15,000.00 to RM20,000.00 each excluding transportation and customs duties. The carvings of the stone carvings shall commenced in the factories in China and shall be completed in 3 to 4 months’ time including shipment to Penang Port. From Penang, the stone lions shall probably be transported by sea to Sumatera. Indonesia for HTT.

SP Lim

From Wikipedia
Chinese guardian lions, known as Shishi (Chinese: 石獅; pinyin: shíshī; literally “stone lion”) or Imperial guardian lion, and often incorrectly called “Foo Dogs” in the West, are a common representation of the lion in pre-modern China. They have traditionally stood in front of Chinese Imperial palaces, Imperial tombs, government offices, temples, and the homes of government officials and the wealthy, from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), and were believed to have powerful mythic protective benefits. Pairs of guardian lions are still common decorative and symbolic elements at the entrances to restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and other structures, with one sitting on each side of the entrance, in China and in other places around the world where the Chinese people have immigrated and settled, especially in local Chinatowns.

The lions are always created in pairs, with the male resting his paw upon the world and the female restraining a playful cub that is on its back. They occur in many types of Chinese pottery and in Western imitations.

Appearance

The lions are traditionally carved from decorative stone, such as marble and granite or cast in bronze or iron. Because of the high cost of these materials and the labor required to produce them, private use of guardian lions was traditionally reserved for wealthy or elite families. Indeed, a traditional symbol of a family’s wealth or social status was the placement of guardian lions in front of the family home. However, in modern times less expensive lions, mass produced in concrete and resin, have become available and their use is therefore no longer restricted to the elite.

The lions are always presented in pairs, a manifestation of yin and yang, the female representing yin and the male yang. The male lion has its right front paw on an embroidered ball called a “xiù qiú” (绣球), which is sometimes carved with a geometric pattern known in the West as the “Flower of life” The female is essentially identical, but has a cub under the closer (left) paw to the male, representing the cycle of life. Symbolically, the female fu lion protects those dwelling inside, while the male guards the structure. Sometimes the female has her mouth closed, and the male open. This symbolizes the enunciation of the sacred word “om”. However, Japanese adaptions state that the male is inhaling, representing life, while the female exhales, representing death. Other styles have both lions with a single large pearl in each of their partially opened mouths. The pearl is carved so that it can roll about in the lion’s mouth but sized just large enough so that it can never be removed.

According to feng shui, correct placement of the lions is important to ensure their beneficial effect. When looking out of a building through the entrance to be guarded, looking in the same direction as the lions, the male is placed on the left and the female on the right. So when looking at the entrance from outside the building, facing the lions, the male lion with the ball is on the right, and the female with the cub is on the left.

The Qilin (Chinese: 麒麟; pinyin: qílín; Wade–Giles: ch’i-lin) is a mythical hooved Chinese chimerical creature known throughout various East Asian cultures, and is said to appear with the imminent arrival or passing of a wise sage or an illustrious ruler.[1] It is a good omen that brings rui (Chinese: 瑞; pinyin: ruì; roughly translated as “serenity” or “prosperity”). It is often depicted with what looks like fire all over its body. It is sometimes misleadingly called the “Chinese unicorn” due to conflation with the unicorn by Westerners.

I loved words. I love to sing them and speak them and even now, I must admit, I have fallen into the joy of writing them. — Anne Rice

The Finale ( Part 14 ) of the Hong Yi Concert 2011 in Penang   Leave a comment


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This is the finale of the ” Hong Yi ” Concert which was held in Dewan Sri Pinang last September, 2011. I was travelling back from Xiamen via Hong Kong but the flight was delayed in Xiamen, China. When I landed at Bayan Lepas Airport in Penang. I went straight and took a shower and was late for the First Act. Anyway, some photos were better than no photos.

SP Lim

A metaphor is like a simile. — Author Unknown

The Master Hong Yi Concert Part 13   Leave a comment


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This is the part 13 of the long concert.

SP Lim

Sometimes when I think how good my book can be, I can hardly breathe. — Truman Capote

The Master Hong Yi Concert Part 12   Leave a comment


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The Master Hong Yi Concert was coming to the finale after Parts 12 and 13.

SP Lim

Easy reading is damn hard writing. — Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Master Hong Yi Concert Part 11   Leave a comment


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The Master Hong Yi Concert continued.

SP LIm

The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it. — Benjamin Disraeli