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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Meeting Dr Jane Goodall

a number of times she has come to Singapore, and yet i never had the time to go down to meet her. today, i did. i had the car, i drove to geylang east library and we waited for her…… and she came. and boy was there a loud loud applause. what a feeling it was to finally see this woman who’s defined what studying animal behaviour is all about!

she is such an inspiration and to hear her talk abt her passion almost brought me to tears a couple of times (but you know its a full hall and there were adults and kids around and of course i didnt want to embarrass myself).

when asked abt how she managed to go to africa to study chimps, she said (apart from the support from her mom), “if you really want something, you work hard, you find opportunities, you’ll find a way”

its all abt using the opportunities. sometimes, creating the opportunities, like im starting to do for myself. perhaps a little fast sometimes even for my liking. but, im glad im doing what im doing now for myself cos i really want to be happy. :)

when asked abt how she is able to get over the negatives, and still find the passion, she recounted this story of someone she met during her travels. this guy told her this story abt how he managed to get the rapidly depleting numbers of black robins back up.

“when the whites introduced cats to the country, the numbers of black robins went terribly down. this person, having a special interest in black robins, kept asking the govt to allow the birds to be preserved in another area, though countless times got rejected. by the time the govt accepted his proposal, there were only 27 black robins (in the whole world). he brought all these 27 birds to this other area where there were no natural predators. of these 27 birds, only 1 was female, and her mate happened to be sterile. usually these birds stay together when they pair up, but this single female happened to mate with a younger male and eventually laid 2 eggs. his man took a risk and took away the 2 eggs and left it at another bird’s nest to be harvested. this stimulated the black robins to lay another 2 eggs, which once again he took away to be harvested by some other birds. and this stimulated the black robins to lay the final 2 eggs. all 6 eggs hatched, and were fully grown and they continued to mate naturally. now, there are over 400 black robins in the world.” (this should join the list of 5 species that cheated extinction.)

Dr Goodall said, the success stories of how ppl help these animals in need motivate her to continue. she said that he told her, “things may go wrong in your life, but dont give up”

and you know what, as appropriate as this seems for me, things might have gone wrong in my life, but, happiness can be found and i dont want to give up on life yet. :)

after the talk, i desperately wanted a pic with her… but there were all these ppl who wanted her autographs and she had to visit all these booths and i was so afraid that she’d just go off once she was done with them, then i might have been a little anxious trying to ask the ppl around her 3 times whether i could get a pic with her. i hope they werent too irritated with me… :(

when i finally did get the chance, she remarked, “i waited years to get to the chimps, surely you could wait 10 minutes?” hahaha………….. it wasnt 10 min… it was half an hour… but thats alright. i knew she had booths to see and i sure hope those kids knew how gifted they were that she spoke to them and shared their stories. and she knew i was trying to get to her. after the photo, i told her how it was such an honour to meet her and that she is an inspiration. we smiled, shook hands and parted.

and then i wanted to jump up and down, but you know like its a public library. so i behaved like a demure girl.

but, you know what, i’m really really really glad i met Dr Jane Goodall. Its such a fulfilling experience to hear from someone who passionate abt chimpanzee and animals. and abt how its all abt whether the younger children can believe in the cause.

normally i never put up photos of myself, but i think this is something im really proud of. :)

here’s the photograph with her. the 78 year old lady who has accomplished SO much and has been a pioneer in the field of understanding primate behaviour. so close that they are her friends. i feel so blessed. :D

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2011 in i-Bio, i-Learn, i-Marvel

 

2 acc in 1 week………

hired car in perth. [17th June 2011, 2.30pm]

i saw the tree behind just milliseconds before it hit.

truck hits my side mirror [23rd June 2011, 10.20am plus]

im not putting up the pic cos its pending settlement.

[pic not inserted]

im not quite sure if i should be thanking my stars and planets for still being alive, or see this as the start of my series of bad-lucks-to-come……..

either way, im not happy.

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2011 in i-Drive

 

Protected: its not her fault…

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Posted by on June 22, 2011 in i-Sad, i-Wish

 

moving on with our holiday…

im flying tmr, and im still heading back to sch to settle some documents before i go off!!! but hey, im gonna disappear for the next 1o days, and i cant wait. for some reason, im nervous – perhaps feeling im a little more complacent. knowing that i am not responsible for students makes me feel a little more relaxed, which might not necessarily be too good…

but going through whatever i have, it seems ive covered almost everything…. so…. hmmm….

so im all packed. backpacking in winter will be exciting.

it’ll be my first winter trip, and yet its to a non-snowing place! how sad!

but i must say i feel so blessed to have friends who offered me a whole lot of things which means i had to spend lesser money! thanks to Wong and Wong! for the winter stuff and advice and everything else… :)

nevertheless, winter shopping has ripped a hole in my wallet, and im gonna be spending more…… but hey, it cant discount the experience i’ll gain! see you all in 10 days!

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2011 in i-Happy, i-LiveMyLife

 

knobbly haven at Cyrene Reef

it was my first every trip to Cyrene with Team Seagrass, and i was ever so looking forward to it!

it was an early morning trip and the first boat we sat in was so warm and welcoming! the waters were so choppy i just couldnt get a stable shot!

we finally neared cyrene, but i think they docked at the wrong spot. the 2nd boat ferried us to nearer the shore and we had to use a ladder to get off the boat and with almost half our bodies submerged in the water (imagine the red guy being so tall and he was already half in!), we slowly and cautiously walked to the sand bar.

and the first thing that made me smile? a pair of terns. it was the first time i saw them and these birds were so unaware of our existence that they flew past us several times without any fear. they are beautiful…. beautiful! :) so amazed i was, i didnt even take out my cam to snap a shot of them. i just stood there and watched them fly past me.. :) here though, is a video of terns…. just to remind me of how beautiful they are.. :) my new favourite birds!

my next new favourite animal is the sea urchin. such cute creatures, i really wonder how they throw on top of themselves all those stones and grasses to camouflage themselves!

i spotted tiny tiny anemonies among the sea grasses… so tiny!

a fan shell

we saw this eagle land quite close to us on this uninhabited place.

a jellyfish trapped in a pool of water.

flatworms!

some egg or something??

here a thunder crab! a big one.

and a tiny one. spot the crab!

spot the crab yet again!

sea cucumber

sand dollars were spotted

the best this is……….. this place is a haven for knobblies! so many colours and so many patterns, these knobblies are just amazing! i

couldnt get enough of them, and they couldnt resist showing!

  

  

  

  

  

  

 

more and more and more knobblies!

KS did mention that knobblies are abundant in this place…. and he set us curiously looking for this creature called a galloping seastar

KS had a lovely video of it on his hp, and i cant seem to find one on youtube. so… im sry  i cant share…

so involved everyone was, i didnt want to leave the place!

but we kinda had to leave…

it was the best weather we could ask for. drizzled for a bit, but, at least it wasnt scorching hot or raining heavily. :) great trip out!

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2011 in i-Bio, i-Marvel

 

flora and fauna and all the green in Hanoi

its been almost 2 weeks since i came back. the service-learning trip to Mai Chau Provice in Hanoi, Vietnam was great. though a little different from my previous 2 experiences, it was still a great experience… it’ll probably be my last service-learning trip by sch cos i think other trs also need to get the opportunity to organise. unless of course no one else is interested/unable to commit due to family stuff, i wouldnt mind going again. :)

here are the snippets of the nature in vietnam.

the alarm clocks!

a nice yellow caterpillar…. i think its a moth caterpillar.

another moth caterpillar..

spot the mountain goats

the geese that the students walked behind of..

a family of cows

grasshopper

a bee buzzing around a flower.

a lazy cat

a fish in the aquarium in the hotel.

 

the greenery was amazing… though Kerala was still nicer. but who cares… as long as there’s natural green and mountains all around you, the trip cant go wrong!

a lady who’s up early to prepare food… the leaves for home, the stalks for fish!

the meanders from the airplane… :)

a bit of some other different things we noticed!

a buildings there apparently are taxed on the width of the building.. so they build narrow buildings, but longer and taller…  here’s an example!

the chairs and tables are also miniature! haha… as a measure, you can see that the seat of the chairs is at the same level as the step to the shop entrance!

here’s a simple way to earn money with very little capital!

the trip was fulfilling, as is always when you help others.. GS is back in vietnam again, 1 week after returning from the trip! she wants to absorb more of their culture! its always great travelling and seeing other cultures. maybe someday, i’ll go back (without students!)

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2011 in i-Travel, i-Typical

 

aperture, shutter speeds and ISO….

not in a million years did i think i’ll enjoy carrying a DSLR around……. but when my dearest Sony Cybershot LCD screen went blank 2 weeks before my Hanoi trip, i panicked! i had to use my dad’s DSLR. with much coaching from 2 photographers who went on the trip, i trialed and error-ed and mostly ended up with “anyhow try and see which configuration ends up with the correct colour quality”

but hey………….. some of my shots did end up nice. some  of them i intentionally took in certain angles, thinking that it’ll be a good idea. so if its not, feel free to give suggestions on how to improve.. and here’s my first showcase of my first experience my Canon EOS 500D during my overseas service-learning trip to Hanoi, Vietnam.

1) what’s out there for me? 

2) I’m coming! I want one too!

3) Let’s go back and tell the rest! Everyone will be so happy!

4) The amazing colour of a simple smile.

5) The beautiful colours of the mountain during sunset

6) A gentle stream – a symbol of peace

7) My Hotel Room

8) A myriad of flowering trees

9) Double take with water

10) Singapore Airlines

its my first attempt at trying to not just snap something… and im still learning. hopefully my next trip, i’ll have more time to experiment and take better angled shots and shots that tell a story! :)

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2011 in i-Shoot

 

its the tiny little things. many many tiny little things.

its not even the big things. its the tiny little things.. the little bits or pieces here and there thats cramping up my already quite cramped up mind.

this is a list i did today, for the tiny little things that i need to settle by friday so that i can have a restful trip. (dont forget the big things that i also need to do.)

a few more things came to my mind after i uploaded this! its all this miscellaneous thats making me feel so disorganised!

but hey, with so many portfolios, even the prime minister of Singapore is busy… whats my workload compared to him right…!

slowly… in strike at a time! i can do it!

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2011 in i-Blabber, i-Typical

 

ACRES response to RWS statements on captive dolphins

(I am including this here cos i want this to reach out to more people….. please understand the cruelty that RWS is inflicting on these mammals which really actually ought to be left where they are at their best)

“RWS’ statements are in bold…

There will always be differences in views regarding captive animals in zoological organizations, but we believe that well-run facilities providing strong conservation takeaways make a tangible difference to animal conservation.

ACRES in-principle is not against the keeping of animals in captivity but we must focus on keeping animals that can cope with captivity. ACRES and over 7,000 people that have joined us in this campaign are not campaigning for the closure of the Marine Life Park. We agree that zoos have an important role to play but again, we are calling for RWS to focus on housing species which can cope with captivity and to also run an attraction that can indeed play a proper role in education and in-situ conservation.

Dolphins (and whales) are the only grouping of animals which governments have banned zoos from keeping in captivity. Progressive countries such as Chile and Costa Rica have banned the capture and display of dolphins, recognising that these animals belong in the vast open oceans.

We should also note that and learn from other country’s experiences. Mexican Senator Jorge Legorreta Ordorica (Chairman, Committee of Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries) was so dismayed at the plans of RWS that he wrote to Singapore’s National Development Minister about it. Senator Jorge wrote that Mexico’s international reputation was dented as a result of its importing 28 Solomon Islands dolphins in 2003. At least 12 of the dolphins have since died.

“Mexico’s experience with this single import led to our government imposing an outright ban on importation and exportation of live cetaceans for entertainment purposes and this ban is still in place,” the Mexican senator said. He urged Singapore to consider Mexico’s experience and ‘the disturbing mortality’ of the animals when evaluating applications for the permits to import such dolphins.

In the United States alone, over 150 million guests pass through aquaria and zoo facilities each year. Reports and testimonials have shown that zoos and marine parks have inspired personalities to illustrious careers in animal care, conservation and veterinary science. While television documentaries and other media play a great role in creating awareness, deeply personal encounters with the animals – learning about their behavior, care and needs of species from their caregivers first hand – have shown great impact on fostering awareness and advancing protection of the species.

Since RWS is using the United States as an example, it should also follow the progressive example set by other facilities in the United States with regard to dolphin captures. In the late 1980s, facilities in the United States implemented a voluntary moratorium on collection of bottlenose dolphins from the wild, and this remains in place.

As mentioned above, we do agree that zoos have an important education role to play but it must walk the talk and must focus on ethical practices both in terms of animal care and animal acquisition.

In addition, the reality is: What can RWS really teach its visitors about dolphin protection? Would it not be an irony and contradiction for RWS to ask their visitors to protect dolphins when they themselves obtained 27 individual dolphins from the wild and two have now died?

Scientific data over the past decades point to the fact that bottlenose dolphins can thrive within marine parks. Dolphins in parks have lived in excess of 40 years, double the average life span of dolphins in the wild. Dolphins in the wild do not enjoy a totally carefree life; they fight for survival from predators, fishing boats, and pollution. Dolphins have also bred successfully in marine parks, an important measure of successful adaption of dolphins to human care. Today, the success of these breeding programmes provides us with valuable insight and knowledge into the propagation of this and other marine mammal species.

If the above was true, why didn’t RWS acquire their dolphins from captive sources but instead bought dolphins caught from the wild. It is true that wild dolphins do not enjoy a carefree life but they do enjoy freedom and the choice of where to go, what to eat (live fish), who to socialise with and they will not be forced to perform behaviours they don’t want to do.

Marine parks the world over provide an important source of not just funding, but expertise for marine mammal science. These facilities engage in constant exchange of knowledge and expertise. Most have established laboratories, veterinary care and husbandry practices, in addition to contributing heavily to a host of of marine mammal research and conservation projects that exist today. Established parks are an important generator of long-term, structured and sustained efforts to advance marine mammal science, which range from field research and water quality studies, to reproduction and physiology, as well as rescue rehabilitation.

The RWS Marine Life Park (MLP) has been developed along the preceding principles. It is designed to exceed international standards for animal care and welfare, and is working towards international accreditation in those areas. Dolphins die in facilities, as they do in the wild. We do not take death, or even illnesses, of our animals lightly. We were deeply saddened by the loss of two dolphins to a water and air-borne bacterial infection last year. No medical expense or effort was spared but we could not save them.

Marine parks are indeed an important source of funding and RWS should focus on funding in-situ conservation work (in the wild) instead of contributing to one of the threats dolphins face in the wild.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a leading authority on the environment and sustainable development, the threats facing the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins include live capture for oceanariums.

Furthermore, catching more dolphins might drive species such as the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin towards extinction. IUCN states that “their preference (Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins) as a captive display species makes them vulnerable to depletion from such catches.”

If dolphins can thrive in captivity, why then did 2 of RWS wild-caught dolphins die? The explanation should not just be dolphins die in the wild as well.

RWS has stated that they have “a world-class team of experienced professionals and animal experts” and it is their “mission to provide our animals with top-class care, and to treat them with respect.”

RWS has also stated that “its dolphin enclosure will ‘far exceed’ internationally recognised minimum space requirements for the animals” and that “care and well-being of the dolphins are of paramount importance”.

RWS further mentioned that bottlenose dolphins “are very adaptable to living in controlled environments”.

ACRES has consistently reminded RWS of the difficulty in keeping dolphins in captivity. Despite our appeal, RWS went ahead and purchased wild-caught dolphins. Two of the dolphins (in Langkawi), of the species which RWS had stated is “very adaptable to living in controlled environments”, have now died.

We should also remember that RWS housed the dolphins in appalling conditions in Langkawi during training. The dolphin enclosures failed to meet the European Association for Aquatic Mammals Standards for Establishments Housing Bottlenose Dolphins.

The enclosures failed in terms of: Not meeting minimum pool dimensions, poor maintenance, failure to provide shelter, excessive noise, poor water quality, not having sufficient/adhered to emergency procedures and not having a sufficient/adhered to programme of measures for illness prevention and control.

Besides the small size of the enclosures, the location of the enclosures was a major concern. The location was completely unsuitable for dolphins due to the high boat traffic (from a jetty and a private marina).”

please support this cause. RWS will get its profit even without having captive dolphins.

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2011 in i-Sad, i-Wish

 

a story in 6 words

a colleague posted this link up on FB. and i was wondering how impossible it would be to evoke an entire emotion in 6 words.

i read some of the posts and its really marvellous what some of these ppl wrote. 6 words is alot of words. :) the following are just some of my favourite. and maybe, the rest, i just dont get it…

“God, I think I’m an athetist”

“But neverthelss…. why shouldn’t I try?”

“Seed. Child. Adult. Womb. Earth. Space.” – my favourite 6-word story. super like!

“The mirror broke; I lost myself.”

“Memories mean smile and grief together.”

“We kissed, I lost my fears.”

“Close your eyes, you will see.”

“Breathe, I am here now child.”

“2 bloody dollars and a wheelchair.”

“Upon getting lost, I found life.”

“Have mercy friend, Lie to me.”

“My favourite place? In your arms.”

“Yesterday I imagined. Today a reality.”

“I’m only lonely when you’re here.”

“I started and then people followed.”

“Kissed enough frogs. Where’s Prince Charming?” – HAHAHA! darn funny or what! speaks volumes of her frustration! haha!!!

“I was born, someday i’ll die.”

“We are the same. Just different opinions.”

“Your mother is dying of cancer.”

this idea came about cos of this man Paulo who once wrote a story in 6 words. “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” leaves the whole plot to your imagination doesnt it..

you can read more at this site. haev fun!

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2011 in i-Marvel

 
 
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