Thursday, June 22, 2006

The "warm" glow of fireflies

In Sungei Lebam, Desaru, Joshua held a firefly in his hand. He exclaimed "It was quite warm but it didn't burn my hand".


"Just about 100% of a firefly's light is given off as light.

By comparison, a normal electric bulb gives off only 10% of its energy as light, while 90% is wasted as heat"



Read here for more Firefly Facts

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The "warm" glow of fireflies

In Sungei Lebam, Desaru, Joshua held a firefly in his hand. He exclaimed "It was quite warm but it didn't burn my hand".


"Just about 100% of a firefly's light is given off as light.

By comparison, a normal electric bulb gives off only 10% of its energy as light, while 90% is wasted as heat"



Read here for more Firefly Facts

Spider-eating wasp


Picture0043
Originally uploaded by lekowala.
This spider has been immobilised by the wasp's sting and is going to be eaten alive very slowly perhaps by her larvae. It is interesting to note that the sting is an evolved adaptation of the ovipositor so only female wasp and bees sting.

Picture taken last year at the Macritchie Board Walk after exiting from the Tree-top walk

Spider-eating wasp


Picture0043
Originally uploaded by lekowala.
This spider has been immobilised by the wasp's sting and is going to be eaten alive very slowly perhaps by her larvae. It is interesting to note that the sting is an evolved adaptation of the ovipositor so only female wasp and bees sting.

Picture taken last year at the Macritchie Board Walk after exiting from the Tree-top walk

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The goat that haunted me


Where's Billy
Originally uploaded by lekowala.
There's a goat under that pile of kids. I remember I was just surveying the school compound when out of the blue, this kid came running to me from 20 metres, carrying a goat almost as big as himself and asking a "fataw". That scene is running in my head. If I may offer a metaphor, that moment was like a beautiful snowflake formed at the confluence of heaven and earth.

So its left me totally dazed and confused. Its made me think that I have missed the point, and I'd like to think that most of us are oblivious to that point being sorely missed in out lives.

A close description of the situation about people who missed the point is keenly spelt out by an article written by Adrian Tan"Why we are unhappy even in good times"

"POLITICIANS and civil servants around the world share the view that voters are always unhappy (and ungrateful)."

"This means that our efforts to make ourselves happier, by working harder so as to earn more and spend more, are often self-defeating because others are also earning and spending more. We do not get much happier and neither do others.
And working harder in order to be wealthier could make us more unhappy if we do not have enough spare time. For, interestingly, rivalry over income does not extend to leisure, as the same Harvard study shows."

Whilst I agree that lots of people are unhappy trying to maintain their urban cage (see "Rage against the machine"), I think the main issue here is not leisure but a sense of purpose. Leisure can be dissipative and leave one spent. Why build a cage, work to maintain it and then from time to time leave it and only to return to it? As the sentinel puts it- the nest has a natural and easy relationship with the sky. Recently I saw people with a sense of purpose; and even though they are displaced, there is no hint of despondency nor a hint of sadness but a clear and focussed purpose and their lives become meaningful. Have we found meaning in our lives...?

Friday, June 09, 2006

The goat that haunted me


Where's Billy
Originally uploaded by lekowala.
There's a goat under that pile of kids. I remember I was just surveying the school compound when out of the blue, this kid came running to me from 20 metres, carrying a goat almost as big as himself and asking a "fataw". That scene is running in my head. If I may offer a metaphor, that moment was like a beautiful snowflake formed at the confluence of heaven and earth.

So its left me totally dazed and confused. Its made me think that I have missed the point, and I'd like to think that most of us are oblivious to that point being sorely missed in out lives.

A close description of the situation about people who missed the point is keenly spelt out by an article written by Adrian Tan"Why we are unhappy even in good times"

"POLITICIANS and civil servants around the world share the view that voters are always unhappy (and ungrateful)."

"This means that our efforts to make ourselves happier, by working harder so as to earn more and spend more, are often self-defeating because others are also earning and spending more. We do not get much happier and neither do others.
And working harder in order to be wealthier could make us more unhappy if we do not have enough spare time. For, interestingly, rivalry over income does not extend to leisure, as the same Harvard study shows."

Whilst I agree that lots of people are unhappy trying to maintain their urban cage (see "Rage against the machine"), I think the main issue here is not leisure but a sense of purpose. Leisure can be dissipative and leave one spent. Why build a cage, work to maintain it and then from time to time leave it and only to return to it? As the sentinel puts it- the nest has a natural and easy relationship with the sky. Recently I saw people with a sense of purpose; and even though they are displaced, there is no hint of despondency nor a hint of sadness but a clear and focussed purpose and their lives become meaningful. Have we found meaning in our lives...?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Sound Horn


Sound Horn
Originally uploaded by lekowala.
My fav sign in Tamil Nadu, on the back of every truck, bus and van. The din of the road greets you in the morning and wears off late into the night.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Classroom under tree - Tamil Nadu


Classroom under tree
Originally uploaded by lekowala.


The shade under the tree was where the first class was held 15 years ago. Classes are still conducted under the tree for the older students. I'd describe the place as idyllic, no rushing about and the people smiling more than the average joe and jane in Singapore. The mud paths less threatening than the streets of Denver and the air less polluted than London town. A small boy came running to me laughing, carrying a goat that was as big as him for a picture to be taken. Then more little children came and started to prance around and laugh. Such hearty laughter. Gee, these people were really happy.

The next day we sat in the huts of some villagers and had some sweet tea. The huts are barely the size of a small room and are divided into living room and the bedrooms. I sank into a plastic chair sipped on super sweet tea and in one of the huts stared at the posters of Jesus and St Anthony. The sunflecks that fell into the huts from the tatched roof sent me into a nice lull. I felt really at home in the mud huts.

One of the lady teachers told us of how, before she found refuge in the village, she had walked for 3 days for 210 km carrying her 2 year old daughter. I cannot even begin to imagine it. I can't even carry Matthew for an hour without complaining...

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Sound Horn


Sound Horn
Originally uploaded by lekowala.
My fav sign in Tamil Nadu, on the back of every truck, bus and van. The din of the road greets you in the morning and wears off late into the night.

Classroom under tree - Tamil Nadu


Classroom under tree
Originally uploaded by lekowala.
The shade under the tree was where the first class was held 15 years ago. Classes are still conducted under the tree for the older students. I'd describe the place as idyllic, no rushing about and the people smiling more than the average joe and jane in Singapore. The mud paths less threatening than the streets of Denver and the air less polluted than London town. A small boy came running to me laughing, carrying a goat that was as big as him for a picture to be taken. Then more little children came and started to prance around and laugh. Such hearty laughter. Gee, these people were really happy.

The next day we sat in the huts of some villagers and had some sweet tea. The huts are barely the size of a small room and are divided into living room and the bedrooms. I sank into a plastic chair sipped on super sweet tea and in one of the huts stared at the posters of Jesus and St Anthony. The sunflecks that fell into the huts from the tatched roof sent me into a nice lull. I felt really at home in the mud huts.

One of the lady teachers told us of how, before she found refuge in the village, she had walked for 3 days for 210 km carrying her 2 year old daughter. I cannot even begin to imagine it. I can't even carry Matthew for an hour without complaining...