All in the name of Religion


religion-dose-three-things-quite-effectively-divides-people-control-people-deludes-people

(Personally I am not a true blue atheist but then again, religion for me is something personal between me and the Supreme Being and not to be imposed forcibly to anyone else. Quote source: http://www.thequotepedia.com)

Read these first:-

In the month of Ramadan this year, we are seeing and listening to things that hardly can be called as good and blessed religious activities.

First we had a couple of men throwing grenades into a crowd of people in a pub and although there were denials first, the IGP now have confirmed that it was indeed a terrorist attack.

Police have confirmed that the Movida night club bombing last week was the first ever successful IS attack on Malaysian soil.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the attack, which left eight people injured, was carried out by locals who were directly instructed by IS member Muhamad Wanndy Mohamad Jedi from Syria.

“Since the attack on June 28 to July 1, we have arrested 15 people including the two men who threw the hand grenade,” he said.

It was confirmed that two of the 15 were also policemen

(Source)

And elsewhere around the world, there was more bloody news of acts committed in the name of religion.

A wave of suicide bombings hit three Saudi Arabian cities over a 24-hour period.

The attacks came on the heels of massive jihadi assaults in the Muslim world last week that have been been tied to ISIS; analysts believe that this string of assaults in Saudi Arabia could be the work of the terror group.

There has been no claim of responsibility.

Two of the attacks failed but four people were killed in the third, all of which appear to be coordinated — targeting both Saudi security forces and Western interests.

(Source)

And before that, a good number of foreigners were gunned down in Dhaka and where suspects were once studying in Malaysia and the Government is considering bringing in more workers from Bangladesh – a recipe for disaster?

Bangladeshi police are continuing to investigate Friday’s deadly attack on a Dhaka cafe, amid shock at the elite background of most of the suspects.

They include the son of a government politician, along with university and elite public school students.

Twenty hostages, two policemen and six suspects were killed in the raid. One suspect was arrested.

The so-called Islamic State (IS) group said it was behind the attack but the government has denied this.

Nine Italians, seven Japanese, one US citizen and an Indian were killed in the 12-hour siege at the Holey Artisan cafe in the Gulshan neighbourhood. One Italian is unaccounted for.

(Source)

And there were more terror attack much nearer to Europe

Thirteen suspects, including 10 Turks, have been formally charged over the Istanbul airport suicide bombings, the deadliest of several attacks to strike Turkey’s biggest city this year, the Dogan news agency reported.

Turkish officials have pointed blame at the Islamic State jihadist group (IS) for Tuesday’s gun and bomb spree at Ataturk airport which left 45 people dead including 19 foreigners.

The suspects, who are in police custody, were charged with belonging to a terror group, homicide and endangering the unity of the state, Dogan reported, without providing the foreign suspects’ nationalities.

(Source)

It is time to be more alert and put priority on moderation, good understanding and tolerance between the many religions and races in this country. Hope the authorities are on high alert and dumb politicians (and little Napoleons who have too much free time on their hands) have come to their senses to ensure they don’t cause any problems with their foolish acts and words. After all, you just need an idiot and small spark for an uncontrollable forest fire.

Selamat Hari Raya and Happy Holidays all

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Radioactive Sea Dump


(The crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, conveniently situated next to the Pacific Ocean is now using the same ocean as dumping ground. Image source: http://www.eternian.wordpress.com)

In case you had opted to your waste time and concentrate on the sleazy “alleged sex video of an opposition leader” over real issues facing the world, here is a quick recap of something that happened last few days:-

Workers at Japan’s quake-hit nuclear plant have begun dumping water with low levels of contamination into the sea to free up room to store more highly radioactive water leaking at the site.

About 11,500 tonnes of water will be released into the sea at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The water to be released into the sea contains some 100 times the legal limit of radiation – a relatively low level, says the BBC’s Roland Buerk in Tokyo.

“As it is not harmful to people’s health and as it is necessary to avert an even bigger danger, we decided it was inevitable,” said Hidehiko Nishiyama of Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (Nisa).

(Source)

And this:-

Tepco says the low-radioactive water it intends to deliberately release into the sea has iodine-131 levels that are about 100 times the legal limit.

But it stressed in a news conference on Monday that if people ate fish and seaweed caught near the plant every day for a year, their radiation exposure would still be just 0.6 millisieverts. Normal background radiation levels are on the order of 2 millisieverts per year.

Getting the mildly contaminated water off-site would permit the emergency staff to then start pumping out the turbine building and the much more radioactive liquid in its basement.

(Source)

An interesting statement – “that if people ate fish and seaweed caught near the plant every day for a year, their radiation exposure would still be just 0.6 millisieverts”. Did they tested this hypothesis on a real person or it is all about statistics & formulas or statement made on assumption that people are dumb?

The latest news from Japan is that they have managed to stop the nuclear leak and if we think that we have overcome the worse, this is rather unsettling:-

“The situation is not under control yet,” said Thomas Grieder, Asia analyst at forecasting firm IHS Global Insight.

“Tepco’s decision to displace the contaminated water into the ocean reflected the urgency of clearing the turbine buildings and trenches of radioactive water so as not to damage equipment needed for restoration of cooling systems.”

“It’s only going to get worse. They are going to be forced to make a tough decision soon.

What they are going to have to release is likely to be highly radioactive. The situation could politically be very ugly in a week,” said Murray Jennex at San Diego State University, who specialises in nuclear containment.

“To put the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe in perspective, Chernobyl involved a single operating reactor core,” said Kevin Kamps from Beyond Nuclear, a US radioactive waste watchdog.

“Fukushima Daiichi now involves three reactors in various stages of meltdown and containment breach, and multiple (spent fuel storage) pools at risk of fire,” said Kamps.

(Source)

11,500 million liters of low-radioactive water (as reported, equivalent size of 5 Olympic sized swimming pool) has been officially dumped into the Pacific Ocean and untold amount may have been leaked into the ocean since day one of tsunami.

(Fancy eating fish with 6 eyes? Dumping low radioactive water may not be harmful to humans in the short term but what about long term? Image source: http://www.edwardcheever.wordpress.com)

Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says that the low-radioactive water is not harmful to people’s health but have long term effect of this has been studied? What about the effect on the marine life around the place where the low-radioactive water was dumped? Have we not learned anything from the Chernobyl disaster where the effect on health is still felt some 25 years after the disaster?

India took a more drastic action by banning on all food imports coming from Japan for 3 months or more. What about in Malaysia? I’m surprised we have not raised the alarm although sale of seafood in the local market have dropped drastically. Our Health Minister had said that “Malaysia is taking steps to ensure the imported food from Japan is not contaminated by the radiation leaked from the Japanese nuclear power plant” but did not disclose further details.

Brisbane Flood


Click here for more stunning, interesting photos

(An aerial view of the submerged runway at Rockhampton airport on January 6, 2011 in Rockhampton, Australia – Photo by Jonathan Wood/Getty Images)

The last time I saw something similar is when I was flying over from Dubai and we had to stop at Dhaka on transit. Bangladesh had seen one of the worst monsoon season just couple of days earlier and as we neared the capital, all we could see is brown, murky water.

There were patches of land, occasionally on the sea of water and there was people, cattle and everything that the people managed to save in time on this small patches of land. In fact, there was way too much water all around us, I thought we just going to pass over the airport. At the end, we did land but I realized that the airport is only part of the land that was not flooded.

We were even surprised to see a long line of passengers waiting for the plane – some even boarded with wet clothes and bags and a sad face that explains it all – leaving the loved ones with an uncertain future whilst they fly away from the flooded city. Due to the worsening flood, we did not wait for long and soon we were back on air, leaving the flooded country with a sense of relief.

Brisbane fared slightly worse with the runaway sticking up like a sore thumb but things are still bad over there with 200,000 people affected. Back at home, we have not been doing too good either.

Rebooting the Internet


This may be very old news in the internet age but here’s something interesting if case you have missed it…

(The smart cards that is going to be lifeline when the internet comes down. Image source: Popular Science)

From the Internet:-

…it turns out there are now seven individuals out there holding keys to the Internet. In the aftermath of a cataclysmic cyber attack, these members of a “chain of trust” will be responsible for rebooting the Web.

A minimum of five of the seven key holders – one each from Britain, the U.S., Burkina Faso, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, China, and the Czech Republic – would have to converge at a U.S. base with their keys to restart the system and connect everything once again.

Each key has an encrypted number which is part of the DNSSEC root key that by themselves are useless, but combined they have the ability to restart the Internet.

Most major servers are a part of DNSSEC, as it’s known, and during a major international attack, the system might sever connections between important servers to contain the damage.”

DNSSEC (domain name system security) is a new online security system that ensures people reach a genuine website, rather than a look-alike pirate site.

(Sources here, here and here)

Can you imagine a life without the internet?

We use it on daily basis for work, social interaction, business and entertainment. Imagine if you cannot use the email, watch video on Youtube, update your status on Facebook, write down your thoughts and information on your blog, check on certain location on Google Map, do online banking, purchases and bill payments, get the latest breaking news, do research. Just imagine how isolated life will be.

Cyber attack is real and it has affected countries as whole – in 2007, Estonia was under a series of cyber attacks which crippled the internet across the country. Banks, government departments and the national media all found their websites swamped by a tidal wave of spam which took them down (Source: BBC)

So, no matter where we are in the world – we are all connected to the internet one way or another. It is good to know that ICANN is taking precautions in the event of a major cyber attack (the one that usually comes out in James Bond movies) but what about us, in Malaysia? How well we are with readiness and when it comes to cyber security?

(Incident response and security teams around the world – the lack of data for Africa and Middle East is not so assuring. Image source: FIRST)

In Malaysia, we have CyberSecurity Malaysia which comes under the purview of Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Malaysia (MOSTI). CyberSecurity Malaysia also handles MyCERT – The Malaysian Computer Emergency Response Team that provides emergency response to computer security related emergencies as well as assistance in handling incidents such as computer abuses, hack attempts and other information security breaches.

That is fine but what about webmasters, businesses and individuals who let themselves vulnerable to cyber attacks? I lost count of seeing people connecting to the internet without a proper anti-virus, anti-spam, software updates and firewall in place – even in this internet age. Many of the websites which requires people to input sensitive information are still using unsecured webpage (ASTRO finally took up notice and has secured webpage for account holders but GSC is still stubborn as hell).

The more vulnerable computers out there, it is easier to launch a massive cyber attack. Good knowledge is good but what cannot be excused is ignorance on purpose. We will never know when one will hit us online.

Read Also

Bloody Ignorant Webmaster

Largest Oil Spill


Photo caption: A May 17, 2010 satellite image provided by NASA shows a large patch of oil visible near the site of the Deepwater oil spill, and a long ribbon of oil stretched far to the southeast. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Wednesday that a small portion of the slick had entered the so-called loop current, a stream of fast moving water that circulates around the Gulf before bending around Florida and up the Atlantic coast. (AP Photo/NASA). (Image source and more photos here)

In case, you been busy with other matters

BP’s COO Doug Suttles has announced that operation Top Kill, a plan involving the pumping of heavy mud, concrete, and junk into its gushing oil well 5,000 feet deep in the Gulf of Mexico, has failed.

The next step, the New York Times reports, is a “lower marine riser package cap,” in which workers plan to saw off the riser and put a device on top to capture the oil. So far, the leak has resulted in the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

Experts say anywhere from 504,000 to 4.2 million gallons a day are escaping from the well that ruptured after Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon platform (leased by BP) exploded on April 20.

Recently, scientists have discovered that a massive amount of the oil has not risen to the surface and could be lurking 1,000 feet or more under the surface of the gulf. One plume is an estimated 22 miles long. PBS has a running estimate, based on several evaluations of the flow rate (BP has not acknowledged a definitive figure).

(Source: Fast Company)

504,000 to 4.2 million gallons a day or estimated 180 million gallon leaked todate or 681 million litres (1 gallon = 3.78541178 liters). That is enough to cover a full tank for 17 million cars (rough estimate).

Meanwhile, we are having same problem over here:-

The Department of Environment estimates that 16km of shoreline have been polluted by the oil spill from the collision of two vessels in the Singapore Strait.

DOE director-general Datuk Rosnani Ibarahim said clean-up efforts were in progress and over 18,911 litres of oil had been collected so far.

(Source: TheStar)

More oil spill means shortage of supply to end consumers and that is seriously affect the oil price.

Earth Hour: KL not dark enough


(Switching off the lights is a symbolic act to show that we care for the environment. Image source: http://www.greenroofs.com)

It looks like many Malaysians are also still in the “dark” when it comes to the environment and efforts being taken on the conservation

From theStar:-

SATURDAY night was the second time Malaysia participated in the Earth Hour programme. Generally however, Kuala Lumpur was a letdown because the city was still bright. What happened on Saturday might be due to the lack of promotion by the organiser, the WWF.

Meantime, Bernama reported this:-

Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) recorded only a small drop in demand during Earth Hour Saturday night, with a load reduction of 203 megawatt (MW), as compared to 550MW registered during the same energy conservation campaign last year.

High power consumption during the current hot weather might have contributed to the lower reduction in energy consumption during this year’s Earth Hour, it said in a statement Sunday.

You know what? I have to agree – this year’s Earth Hour was a big turn down compared to the last year’s Earth Hour. Considering that this is not the first time we are participating in the “event”, we should have knocked off more megawatts. And I don’t agree that it was attributed to the current hot weather. We just asked them to switch off the light, not the air-conditioners, although, switching them off as well would have been great.

It is also true that there was not enough promotions to get more people participate (last year was better). At least, some people in my neighbourhood including yours truly participated and promptly switched off their lights for the event.

And in light of Earth Hour, let me share a story that my buddy, Alex told me last year after we had participated in 2009’s Earth Hour.

Alex said that in his neighbourhood, the hype of the Earth Hour has been overwhelming so much that his neighbours have been well ready for the event. Some opted out for camping on the outside. Some opted to just stand out and see the lights go out for an hour. And when the time came to switch off the light, all lights went off. All except for one, that is.

The most of the lights in the house was shining brightly. And immediately that attracted the attention of the neighbours who participated in the event. A small commotion started and to the neighbours’ surprise, even one stray dog got into the act by barking at this house which has lights on. The neighbour who had the lights on was alone in the house. His wife and his daughter were out shopping.

So when they returned, they were surprised to see the commotion and the daughter who knew about Earth Hour, rushed in and within seconds, the lights in the house went off. Strangely the stray dog which was barking suddenly stopped barking and went off on its business.

The neighbour, who had the lights on, sheepishly walked out and realised that all the nights in the neighbourhood were off too. He remarked that he was not aware that there is an event called Earth Hour and the meaning of the event until he was “briefed” by his daughter.

The success of the event called Earth Hour is solely depends on people’s awareness and continued promotion of the event. And to ensure that Earth Hour does not end up as “one hour in a day”, “a day in a year” event – the organisers need to tie it with continued promotion and environment issues so that one can capitalise on the event.

And as every year, more people are made aware of the issues facing the country and the world on environmental issues; we can expect some small change in attitude on how people are going to take care of the environment.

Read Also

Earth Hour 2009

Alternate Energy in Malaysia