Archive for the ‘Save Mother Earth’ Category

Coral Reefs Should Be Alive and Kicking

September 15, 2008

I stumbled upon this website called Reef Check Malaysia while surfing the net for Crocs shoes today. The Reef Check Foundation is actually an organisation that surveys reefs and collects data to assess reefs health. In fact, it is the world’s largest international coral reef monitoring organisation. Besides monitoring reefs, Reef Check also wants to create public awareness that although we humans are damaging reefs through some of our activities such as fishing and tourism, we are also the ones who are capable of nursing them back to health. It is really up to us.

According to the website, 34% of the world’s coral reefs are in Southeast Asia and we should also be proud that 350 coral species inhabit Malaysian waters. Coral reefs are actually tiny spineless animals and generally made up of “hard corals” and “soft corals”. (I didn’t know that, hehe.) Hard corals look like hard rocks as they secrete limestone that act as their skeleton. On the other hand, soft corals resemble trees or plants. These descriptions remind me of my own experience with coral reefs when I visited Lang Tengah and Redang. It’s another huge huge world down there with oh-so-beautiful coral reefs and fishes. The trip to Lang Tengah was really really memorable as we snorkelled all three days to our hearts’ content. We explored the waters like the ocean was ours. Haha. My cousin had an underwater camera then and he took beautiful pictures of the underwater world. I thought I’d share some of them here. =)

This should be the hard coral they are talking about. The yellow and blue little corals perched on top of the big coral are called “christmas trees”. They come in many colours; red, green, yellow, blue, purple. =)

 I’m guessing these are soft corals because they look like trees. See the anemones and clown fishes between the corals?

A bigger picture of sea anemones and clown fishes. I was really lucky to get to touch one of the clown fishes when I tried scuba diving. It was just for a very short moment when that clown fish actually thought my fingers were sea anemones. I felt the clown fish; it was rubbery, not slippery as we would have thought. It’s definitely unforgettable. 

Coral reefs are very important in the marine ecosystem. Besides that, coral reefs bring income to us too, through eco-tourism. As for me, I have always been fascinated with these underwater beauties, whether they are still (as in coral reefs or lazy fishes) or moving (as in swimming, as in fishes, turtles, etc). I have always loved snorkelling and hope that I will have a diving license one day. I would definitely want to see coral reefs very much alive and kicking whenever I visit the islands. What about you? So let’s just all play our small little roles in preserving the underwater world. =)

p/s: Fai Kor, jom. Haha.

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Rainforest Appreciation Walk, Botanical Gardens

May 18, 2008

This is my second volunteer event in Intel and this time it was to bring school children around the Botanical Gardens in Penang and teach them about the nature and impart values such as appreciating the beauty of Mother Nature, keeping our surroundings clean and free of trash and protecting the environment from harm in them. We were to tell them how important it is to take care of the environment so that the Earth will be a pleasant place to live in. This was how Intel Malaysia celebrated Earth Day.

I had an active role to play as I was assigned to collect names of volunteers from Penang Design Center (PDC). Euwing was in India so I was the one who answered all the questions, all the emails, all the IMs from PDCers, liaised with the organisers and arranged all the logistics for PDC volunteers including telling them where and what time to meet for the free shuttle and distributing T-shirts. My, PDCers are a bunch of enthusiastic crowd. What a week that was, I was juggling between this, my work and something personal. I am glad I made it through, I even comtemplated whether to go for the Walk as I was really tired, physically, mentally and emotionally. I was actually assigned to be a leader of one of the groups during the Walk but I just could not do it; I rejected the “offer”. I just wanted to be a participant and not worry about anything during the Walk and just enjoy the whole event. Luckily, the organisers got another person to replace me so then I was happy to be just participating.

Each group was given a set of questions, a trash bag and a map. We were to take the route shown on our maps, stop by certain stations, answer the questions and pick up rubbish along the way. I made new friends, fellow PDCers – Heng Yin, Jonie, Wai Min and Kean Foong – and school children – Geetha, Gayathri, Maha, Kuhan, among others (I forgot their names) –  ya, you would have guessed it, I was with a group of children from a Tamil school. =)

Picking up trash and answering questions

Most of them were Standard 6 kids and I think they are pretty smart. To a question, “Why is water important to us?”, one of them answered, “To regulate our body temperature.” Wow! Do I know this body-temperature-regulation thingy when I was in Standard 6? Maybe not yet. Haha. One girl by the name of Maha (if I remember correctly) walked beside me for practically the whole Walk. And she told me stories, about how often she comes for picnics in Botanical Gardens, how bad her school teachers for making them stay till 4pm everyday, how happy she was to be able to join this event, how she loves trees (nature), etc. One story stood out. She told me that some Indians, including her family, would worship the “cannon ball” from the cannon ball tree. If you have been to the Botanical Gardens, you would have seen the cannon ball trees lining the pathway just as you enter. The fruit does look like a cannon ball. Let me show you.

Cannon ball tree

According to her, they worship the cannon ball as they believe that one of the transformations of Lord Siva Lingam is inside this cannon ball. So they would pray and let the ball grow and erupt by itself. When the cannon ball erupts, its insides resembles Lord Siva Lingam. They would then be able pray to Lord Siva Lingam through that. See how important nature is to human beings? Protecting the nature does not only mean protecting our ecosystem, it also means protecting religious beliefs and cultures. Thanks to my new-found friend, I realised this.

The walk continued and I found myself pointing left and right, showing the kids different plants and trees and even a water treatment plant, going, “Look, that’s a staghorn!”, “Look, those are cactuses, you know?” or “Hey, there’s a water treatment plant here. You know what it’s for? It’s to give us clean water to drink and wash our stuffs”. One girl was looking for bamboo trees and we found it. “Look, your bamboo trees are here!”

Here are some plant pictures I took during the Walk.

Cactuses

Morning glories

I don’t know the name of this plant.

By the lily pond

Birds of paradise

 Candle tree

 I don’t know the name of this plant.

I don’t know the name of this plant too. I just know they come in two colours. =p 

Botanical Gardens is a beautiful place, I especially love the lily pond; very serene, very peaceful – good for your soul. =)

To wrap up the whole event, Euwing had another task for me; to take a group picture with the Friend Zy Nity banner.

Intel Boleh! PDC Boleh!

I went back home feeling happier after a week of distress. I think it was mainly because of the greeneries and the school children. They made my day. =)

To everyone, PROTECT OUR ENVIRONMENT, protect ourselves. =)

Blackle – Energy Saving Search

April 25, 2008

From now on, let us all use Blackle, the black Google. Change your homepage to blackle.com instead of google.com. You still get very similar search results; at least Wikipedia is always there.

Blackle saves energy and it is cool! I mean, a black background is definitely more cool than a white background right? I think I should start using a dark desktop background too, to save energy. It all adds up, little bits here and there. Hmm, should I give magicporridgepot a blackground change too? =)

So, now, instead of saying “I’m googling”, we should say “I’m blackling”! Sounds like “I’m blanking” though. But there’s good in it; the next time you feel like you’re blanking, just go blackling! Now it sticks! Haha.

Wikipedia should come up with a black version and maybe call it Darkipedia. Haha, lame.

Whales should be shot with Canon, not harpoons

April 25, 2008

This is interesting. I was reading through Edwin‘s blog and I saw this effort by Greenpeace to stop whaling in Japan. I decided to join in the mission simply because I harbour hopes of seeing a live whale one day when I have the chance (and the money).

You would want to see whales for yourself too, wouldn’t you?

Here’s the plan: tell Mr. Mitarai, head of Canon Japan to express disapproval of whaling in the Southern Ocean and call for non-lethal research methods in Japan.

Please click on tell Mr. Mitarai if you still do not get what I mean. =)

You will be sending a letter to Mr. Matarai in a while! Here’s mine.

I just used the template, it’s very easy! Then, you will have to confirm your e-mail address and here’s my confirmation. My letter should now be on its way to save the whales!

Send your letter now!

 

Love A Tree

April 25, 2008

Today is Earth Day. So, love the trees, the rivers, the ocean, the air and everything else under the sun.

This bag caught my attention the other day.

I bought this bag for RM2 and I’m going to use it the next time I go to JUSCO for groceries (I hope I remember). =)

What you can do with this bag:

1) Save some plastic bags.

2) Advocate recycling.

3) Get a RM2 discount every time you buy something in FILA, just remember to bring this bag along.

Play a part in conserving the environment. At least, advocate it and naturally, you will practise it.

Love a tree today!