Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It's My Daughter's 9th Birthday !

Happy Birthday Erika ! No matter how many birthday come and go,you'll always be my little girl and you grow sweeter with each passing years. By the way, I know you love skateboarding and i will fullfill your wish to visit your grand ma & grand pa again in Kyoto and  snowboarding in Biwako Valley !


All the world is birthday cake - so take a piece but not too much!

Our menu of the night - super size prawn !

Seabass with Ginger

Mud Crab

Naomi & Erika enjoying their meals.

The birthday girl gets a special treat from her mom at Bamboo Restaurant at Kuah, Langkawi.


Interested parties are welcomed to reproduce or quote materials published in this blog with the condition  that they are
credited to
http://hasnulyakin.blogspot.com/ to avoid misunderstanding.Thank you.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Next Instalment of the Twilight Saga : Breaking Dawn !

Breaking Dawn is the fourth and final novel in the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. From its initial print run of 3.7 million copies, 1.3 million were sold in the first 24 hours of the book's release, setting a record in first-day sales performance. Now, teenagers across the world are anxiously awaiting the next instalment of this vampiric movie series.According to the report, Twilight Saga- Breaking Dawn is to be split into two parts, the first of which is scheduled for release on November 18, 2011 and the second part of the movie will be theatrically released on November 16, 2012. Again, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn" illuminates the secrets and mysteries of this spelbinding romantic epic that has entranced millions.I doubt that there is anyone left on the planet that isn’t aware of the movie or books publication! 

Breaking Dawn is the fourth and final novel in Stephenie Meyer’s hugely popular Twilight saga.

How many times had I stared at Edward and marveled over his beauty? How many hours – days, weeks – of my life had I spent dreaming about what I then deemed to be perfection? I thought I’d known his face better than my own. I’d thought this was the one sure physical thing in my whole world: the flawlessness of Edward’s face. I may as well have been blind. For the first time, with the dimming shadows and limiting weakness of humanity taken off my eyes, I saw his face. I gasped and then struggled with my vocabulary, unable to find the right words. I needed better words.

Bella Cullen, Breaking Dawn, Chapter 20, p.390

In Breaking Dawn - Bella and Edward are married, but their honeymoon is cut short when Bella discovers that she is pregnant. Her pregnancy progresses rapidly, severely weakening her. She nearly dies giving birth to her and Edward's half-vampire-half-human daughter, Renesmee, but Edward injects Bella with his venom to save her life and turns her into a vampire. A vampire from another coven sees Renesmee and mistakes her for an "immortal child". She informs the Volturi, as the existence of such beings violates vampire law. The Cullens gather vampire witnesses who can verify that Renesmee is not an immortal child. After an intense confrontation, the Cullens and their witnesses convince the Volturi that the child poses no danger to vampires or their secret, and they are left in peace by the Volturi.

Imagine if Twilight was just about the love triangle between Bella, Edward and Jacob...no vampires, no wolves, nothing...just the 3 of them? Wouldn't that be boring ?

As all the hype about this started up around me, I decided to buy all four books and read them within a month ! As I finished Twilight- I read it all over again !

I’m excited that they have set the date, but I wish it was sooner. It is a long time to have to wait. But I’m so thankful that the process is all underway. For Team Edward and Jacob - Dont forget that Breaking Dawn - Part 1 to hit theathers November 18th,2011 !


Images : Credit to Yahoo.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tokyo Disneyland - Magical Kingdom.

" Tokyo Disneyland.To all of you who come to this happy place, welcome. Here you will discover enchanted lands of Fantasy and Adventure, Yesterday and Tomorrow. May Tokyo Disneyland be an eternal source of joy, laughter, inspiration, and imagination to the peoples of the world. And may this magical kingdom be an enduring symbol of the spirit of cooperation and friendship between the great nations of Japan and the United States of America "

Anyway, I just wanted to share our memorable family trip to Disneyland.A superb experience for the Nana & erika and a "crazy" experience for the parents like me & Naomi.

Cinderella Castle is the fairy tale castle at the center of Tokyo Disneyland- the Magic Kingdom in Tokyo Japan.It is serve as worldwide recognized icons and the flagship attraction for their respective theme parks.


"It's a small world" is a Tokyo Disneyland's boat cruise past iconic scenes from around the globe populated with cherubic dolls singing a song of world peace.

Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins! These pumpkin castles, jack-o-lanterns, scarecrows and fall decorations are all part of Halloween time at Tokyo Disneyland! When can you enjoy these beautiful decorations? Between mid-September and November every year at Disneyland!

The photo above is pretty amazing ! Although overall image may indicate an underexposures, I just ignore it and shoot. What a fantastic colour !

Tokyo Disney Land Dream on Parade.Another colourful event ! 

We all were surrounded by beautiful dancers with beautiful and colorful costumes.

I always hope that Disneyland will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world !

The magic and wonder of Disneyland – Oni-san return here again with the family and feel young again :)

Before the race photo - Naomi & Nana

Some of Disneyland Attractions have restrictions depending on height, age, health or disabilities. Children under age 7 must be accompanied by a grownup (16 or over) on all Disneyland Attractions.Disneyland Attractions which have Boarding Restrictions :

Pirates of the Caribbean
Big Thunder Mountain
Splash Mountain
Beaver Brothers Explorer Canoes
Peter Pan's Flight
Snow White's Adventures
Pinocchio's Daring Journey
Dumbo The Flying Elephant
Castle Carrousel
Pooh's Hunny Hunt
Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
Gadget's Go Coaster
Goofy's Bounce House
Star Tours
Space Mountain
Grand Circuit Raceway
Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek!

Browse this site for Disneyland secrets on how to be arrive to Tokyo Disneyland without knowing a word in Japanese. http://www.tokyo-top-guide.com/Disneyland_Japan.html

Enjoy !

Kyoto's Winter Journal.

There is nothing quite like the beautiful sight of Kyoto's temples & shrines under a heavy blanket snow during winter. From my experience, visiting and living in Kyoto has been a wonderful journey to me. The town is not too big compared to Osaka or Tokyo, and it’s a nice place to live. By the way, I am planning to fly back to Japan maybe at the end of this year or  next February to learn skiing and snowboarding at Biwako Valley in Shiga. I was told that there was awesome snow powder there and many snowboarders in Kansai region recommended this place.

Kyoto's winter. However, Kyoto is not that cold in winter and the temperature usually around 3-5C during winter so you don't feel that it is 100% winter. I have always wanted to visit Kyoto in snowy weather, but so far no luck. However, heavy snow continued to hit Kyoto during February 2011 ! 
( Photo courtesy of Sachiko Ozawa - My sister in law who currently live in Kyoto, Japan ) .

It was only a mild winter when i was there in December 2009. Winter always leaves pretty amazing pictures and images in our memories through time. And sometimes, there's nothing more relaxing that a nice winter scenery. In Japan, those are specially beautiful, surrounded by nature and with all sorts of magic and mistery in them.
( Photo was shot at Kiyomizudera Shrine in Kyoto )

There’s no better taste of Japanese culture and history to be found then the near-limitless supply of ancient must-sees on offer in Kyoto. I appreciate the beauty of this shrine and it helped me allow into my life and I hope you enjoy these pictures of Kyoto's scenery too!
To miss it off a Japanese itinerary would be utter insanity.
( Photo was shot at Kiyomizudera Shrine in Kyoto )

Kutsuki Snowboard & Ski Playground is just 30km from our home in Kyoto,Japan! For those who've been here, the artificial snow and snowboard destruction of the slope &  "pipe to pipe" is amazing.

And talking about snowboarding-Maybe I can learn something from Isenseven !
(or probably not !!) 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ghost Ship: The Flying Dutchman - Are They Real ?

Do you still remember The Flying Dutchman, the infamous supernatural ship given to Davy Jones by his love, the sea goddess Calypso, who granted Jones captaincy with the duty of ferrying the souls who die at sea into the next world for ten years in the blockbuster movie Pirates Of The Caribbean ?  Do you know that The Flying Dutchman is based of the famous maritime ghost ship of the same name which, according to legend is doomed to sail the seas for all eternity because it's captain foolishly cursed God after sailing into a horrible storm off of the Cape Of Good Hope, vowing to round that cape even if it took him till Judgement Day ? 

Well, the myth of The Flying Dutchman is believed to have occurred in 1641 when a Dutch ship sank off the coast of the Cape of Good Hope. The myth of the Flying Dutchman deals about a ghost ship that could not make a port, condemned to sail the oceans endlessly. It perhaps originates from 17th century nautical folktale. Sightings in the 19th and 20th periods report the ship shining to be with ghostly light. It is said that if hailed by another ship, its crew will try to send messages to land or to people long dead.

 The Flying Dutchman is one of the most famous ghost ships even though much of the story is legend some of the legend are actual facts. The Flying Dutchman set sail from Amsterdam in 1860 sailing for Batavia, which was a port in Dutch East India with Captain Hendrick Vanderdecken at the helm.

This apparition of the ship has its roots in both Dutch and German folklore. The most collective is the account about a Captain Hendrick Vanderdecken, who set sail in 1680 from Amsterdam to Batavia, in Dutch East India, and disappeared in a gale while circumnavigating the cape. It has been told that Vanderdecken disregarded the danger and pressed on into the fangs of the cyclone. The ship sunk, sending all onboard to their deaths. As castigation for his imprudence Vanderdecken and his ship are condemned to spend eternity fighting the tempest at the Cape. Poignantly the dame Vanderdecken means “on deck” in Dutch. There is another version of the tale. It is about Captain Bernard Fokke who was recognized for the uncanny haste of his trips from Holland to Java and people said he was in coalition with the devil. A third version replaced the name to van Straaten, and however a fourth account claims the captain’s name was Ramhout van Dam. Among all versions of the stories, the ship was never named. The source to the “Flying Dutchman” seems to label the cursed captain and not the ship itself. From different claims, the captain refuses to withdraw amidst the face of the storm. In yet other stories, some dreadful crime happens on the ship, or the crew is hit by the plague and is not permitted to enter any port. For whatever the caused, the ship and its crew are doomed to sail forever. While there is wide-ranging covenant that the Lost Dutchman is simply a fable, there have been genuine reported sightings of a 17th Century sailing ship battling the elements at the Cape of Good Hope over the years. Possibly the first publicly testified sighting occurred in 1835 when a crew of a British ship was rounding the cape and witnessed a “ghost ship” heading in the cloak of a severe storm. The British crew said the ship seemed to be on a collision path, but then it abruptly vanished.

 The Flying Dutchman by Albert Pinkham Ryder c. 1887 (Smithsonian American Art Museum)

Flying Dutchman, Selected Sightings

Many people would suggest that the Flying Dutchman is just a legend and folklore, but there were reliable claims that the Dutchman was sighted and was agreed by most witnesses.  All of these were in the Cape of Good Hope. Lighthouse keepers reported seeing her.
  •     1823: HMS Leven skipper, Captain Owen logged two sightings in his log.
  •     1835: Crew on a British ship saw a sailing ship heading towards them in the middle of a storm. It appeared there would be a collision, but the ship suddenly no where to be found.
  •     1881: Three crew of   HMS Bacchante including King George V, saw the ship. The next day, one of the men who saw it fell from the rigging and died.
  •     1879: The crew of SS Pretoria saw the apparition of the ghost ship.
  •     1911: A whaling ship nearly struck with her before the ghost ship vanished.
  •     1923: British Navy crew saw the ghost ship and sent documentation to the Society for Psychical Research, SPR. Fourth Officer Stone wrote the findings of the fifteen minute sighting on January 26th. Second Officer Bennett, a helmsman and cadet also witnessed the ship. Stone drew a picture of the phantom. Bennett verified his explanation...
" It was a very dark night, overcast, with no moon. We looked through binoculars and the ship's telescope and made out what appeared to be the hull of a sailing ship, luminous, with two distinct masts carrying bare yards, also luminous; no sails were visible, but there was a luminous haze between the masts. There were no navigation lights, and she appeared to be coming close to us and at the same speed as ourselves. When first sighted she was two-three miles away, and when she was within about half a mile she suddenly disappeared. I shall never forget the 2nd Officer's startled expression - 'My God, Stone, it's a ghost ship ".

  •     1939: Another sighting of the Flying Dutchman. Admiral Karl Doenitz  of the German submarine kept the recorded sightings by the U-Boat crews.
  •     1941: People at Glencairn Beach sighted the apparition ship that disappeared before she collided into rocks.
  •     1942: Four observers saw the ghost ship arrive Table Bay, and then disappeared. Second Officer Davies and Third Officer Montserrat, HMS Jubilee, saw the Flying Dutchman. Davis recorded it in the ship’s log.
  •     1959: The Straat Magelhaen ship nearly collided with the ghost ship.

The Flying Dutchman - From  An Old German Print.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Magnificent Seven - World Most Deadliest Snakes !

Every year, almost 2 million people worldwide get bitten by snakes  including by non-venomous species and between 10,000 and 50,000 of these bites kill the victim. India has the biggest snake bite death toll, with around 11,000 lives lost. In some other parts of the world, notably remote area in Africa, the number of people bitten and killed by poisonous snakes was thought to be greatly under-estimated. Many victims in these regions do not seek or get medical help and their deaths go unrecorded .

Read on to know the seven deadliest snakes in the world ( based on the toxicity of snake venoms , caused fatalities, personality and aggressiveness into account).

1. The Black Mamba.

The black mamba uses its speed to escape threats, not to hunt prey. It is known to be capable of reaching speeds of around 20 kilometers per hour (12 mph), traveling with up to a third of its body raised off the ground. Over long distances the black mamba travels 11 to 19 kilometers per hour (6.8 to 12 mph), but in short bursts it can reach a speed of 23 kilometers per hour (14 mph), making it the fastest land snake.
Unlike most poisonous snakes where the venom travels slowly through the blood stream, allowing a victim time to get treatment and to isolate the poison using a tourniquet, the black mamba’s poison goes straight for the nerves, attacking the central nervous system and shutting down major organs. Twenty minutes after being bitten you may lose the ability to talk. After one hour you’re probably comatose, and by six hours, without an antidote, you are dead !
The black mamba is regarded as one of the most dangerous and feared snakes in Africa due to various factors. Nevertheless, attacks on humans by black mambas are rare, as the snake usually avoids confrontation with people.

2. The Rusell Viper

This is a large snake with an average length of 0.7 to 1.3 meters and a maximum length of 1.7 meters.The Fangs are large and the tail short. The ground color may be dark brown, brownish-yellow, or brownish-gray.This snake is primarily nocturnal (especially during hot weather). Lethargic during day, but can be quiet active at night. Usually keeps to the shade of bushes and grass growing along paths, where due to its characteristic body color and pattern, it is difficult to be located. It shelters in rodents burrows, old termite mounds, rock crevices, piles of leaves, or other debris. Also found near human dwellings searching for prey. May be active during day in cool weather.

Can be very excitable. Coils and will hiss when disturbed. When excited, body will vibrate and emit a low rasping sound resulting from scales of one part of coiled body rubbing upon another. It generally strikes only at objects within its effective striking range, but may strike quickly without provocation. The venom of this snake can deliver 2 to 3 times the lethal venom dose and causes most of the snakebite fatalities in the areas where it occurs.Death from septicaemia, respiratory or cardiac failure may occur 1 to 14 days post-bite or even later. Russell's Vipers cause thousands of deaths each year in Asia and is the main cause of death in Sri Lanka & India

3. Egyptian Cobra

Probably everyone of us has heard about Cleopatra and the snake that killed her , the egyptian Cobra ! The Egyptian Cobra is the most common cobra in Africa and is responsible for many deaths there. It typically makes its home in dry to moist savanna and semi-desert regions, with at least some water and vegetation (never in desert regions). The Egyptian Cobra may also be found in oases, agricultural grounds, hills with sparse vegetation, and grasslands. They frequent human habitat areas and often enter villages and houses, searching for prey such as rats and chickens, which feed on human garbage.

Cobras have several methods for delivering their deadly venom to their prey. Some cobras can spit their venom into a victim's eyes, causing extreme pain and blindness. However, the most common and well known method of venom delivery is injection into a victim's body through their bite.The only way to save the life of a victim of a cobra bite is to inject the appropriate antivenom shortly after the patient has been bitten or put him on an artificial respirator otherwise the victim will die within 30 minutes.

4. The Mozambique Spitting Cobra

Mozambique Spitting Cobras can be very docile but also very fierce. Mozambique Spitting cobras are active and curious snakes Live prey items will be hunted down fairly quickly and they will often hold there prey in their mouth, when they let the prey go they will hunt it down again and keep on biting.

It is considered one of the most dangerous snakes in Africa. It can spit its venom and Its bite causes severe local tissue destruction (similar to that of the puff adder). Venom to the eyes can also cause impaired vision or blindness.This species is the most common cobra of the savanna regions of the tropical and subtropical Africa. The distribution includes Natal, Low veld south-eastern Tanzania and Pemba Island and west to southern Angola and northern Namibia. Younger specimens are much more frequently encountered in the open at daytime. Unlike the  Egyptian Cobra, this species prefers localities near water, to which it will readily take when disturbed.

5. Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the largest venomous snake in North America. This species has the reputation of being the most dangerous venomous snake.Some reach 8 feet (2.4 meters) in length and weigh up to 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms).Inhabits upland dry pine forest, pine and palmetto flatwoods, sandhills and coastal maritime hammocks, Longleaf Pine/Turkey Oak habitats, grass-sedge marshes and swamp forest, mesic hammocks, sandy mixed woodlands, xeric hammocks, salt marshes, as well as wet prairies during dry periods.

Feared as deadly and aggressive, diamondbacks are actually highly averse to human contact and only attack in defense. Most bites occur when humans taunt or try to capture or kill a rattlesnake. They can accurately strike at up to one-third their body length. Diamondback venom is a potent hemotoxin that kills red blood cells and causes tissue damage. Bites are extremely painful and can be fatal to humans. However, antivenin is widely available throughout the snake's range, and bites rarely result in death.

6. The Inland Taipan

The most toxic venom of any snake. Maximum yield recorded (for one bite) is 110mg. That would porbably be enough to kill over 100 people or 250,000 mice. With an LD50 of 0.01 mg/kg, it is about 10 times as venomous as a Mojave rattlesnake and 750 times as venomous as a common cobra. It can grow up to 2.5 meters.Inland Taipan is found in South Australia. It inhabits in black soil planes and lives in holes where it feed on mice and other small rodents. This venomous snake is found in different colors ranging from dark to brownish olive green, but its colour doesnt remain constant but changes in different seasons. It has also dark markings on its skin which absorb heat in winter and reverse it in summer.No fatalities have been attributed to this species, and all known bites have been to people who keep them in captivity or actively seek them out in the wild.

7. Australian Brown Snake

Brown snakes are highly venomous and are found in mainland Australia, but not on most offshore islands, nor in Tasmania.Brown snake venom contains potent presynaptic neurotoxins (toxins in venom that cause paralysis or muscle weakness). Also present are postsynaptic neurotoxins, which are less potent but more rapid acting than the presynaptic neurotoxins. Their venom is very toxic, and can be fatal; even juveniles have caused human fatalities. About 20% of brown snake bites result in significant envenoming, requiring antivenom therapy, but for this minority of cases, envenoming is often severe and potentially lethal. There are usually at least 1-2 deaths from brown snake bite every year. It is therefore essential all cases be managed as an emergency, requiring rapid application of first aid and urgent medical assessment. For those cases with systemic envenoming, which may develop in less than 15 minutes after the bite, antivenom therapy is the principle treatment. In most such cases 4+ vials of CSL Brown Snake Antivenom will be required intravenously to reverse the severe coagulopathy (bleeding disorder).

P/S - King Cobra was not in the list because of the venom may not be the most deadly as comparison to the above snakes.

How Are Snake Bites Treated?

Call for emergency assistance immediately if someone has been bitten by a snake. Responding quickly in this type of emergency is crucial. While waiting for emergency assistance:
  • Wash the bite with soap and water.
  • Immobilize the bitten area and keep it lower than the heart.
  • Cover the area with a clean, cool compress or a moist dressing to minimize swelling and discomfort.
  • Monitor vital signs.
If a victim is unable to reach medical care within 30 minutes, recommends:
  • Apply a bandage, wrapped two to four inches above the bite, to help slow the venom. This should not cut off the flow of blood from a vein or artery - the band should be loose enough to slip a finger under it.
  • A suction device can be placed over the bite to help draw venom out of the wound without making cuts. These devices are often included in commercial snake bite kits. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Langkawi Mangrove Swamp - Just Another Outing.

Another mangrove tour that take me into the deep of mangroves swamp. The mangrove swamp is a wetland that submerged at high tide and its placement between the shore and the coral reef in tropical areas makes it a crucial part of the ecology of the coral reef itself - hence its placement in this section otherwise dealing with oceanic habitats. 

Langkawi Mangrove - where nature reveals its flawlessness.Everything flows harmoniously in here and the diversity of the most extraordinary Langkawi plants and wildlife in all its splendor.

A likely looking mangrove jack haunt

Mangrove Jack ( Siakap Merah) .They are also known as red bream, sea perch
The mangrove jack or jack is also called red bream or red chopper in some areas and, less commonly, dog bream or red perch. Mangrove jack are occasionally confused with two similar or closely related fish; the sometimes poisonous red bass and the fingermark bream.

Shimano’s reels are arguably the most versatile and trusted brand. I've been using this reel for the past 5 years to fish mangrove jack and seabream. 

 There are several species of hermit crabs in and around the mangroves.They are easily spotted by looking for fast-moving snail shells that rock back and forth instead of gliding smoothly over the mud!

Todak Fish ( Swordfish ) - The most common species in mangrove.

And why does this hermit crab need another shell ?

Ikan Ubi or True Goby are relatively small, typically less than 10 cm (4 in) in length.   Several gobies are also of interest as aquarium fish, such as the bumblebee gobies.

Mangrove crabs are crabs that live among mangroves and may belong to many different species.  They keep much of the energy within the forest by burying and consuming leaf litter. Along with burrowing in the ground, this crustacean can climb trees to protect itself.
These shy crabs were quite abundant on the roots of the mangroves at Langkawi.

Another colourful crabs

Could this belong to Davy Jones ? The fictional character in the Pirates of the Caribbean.

What am I ? - This is actually the most common metal on earth, iron. It is used a lot because it is very strong and cheap. Iron is the main thing used to make steel.

Life cycle of the Mangrove.Mangrove shoots at the Mangrove forest near Tanjung Rhu, Langkawi.

Tanjung Rhu - The blue mountainous area behind the Island was actually  Tarutao Island in Thailand !

All images copyright © 2011 Langkawi Ink.Com. All rights reserved.

Interested parties are welcomed to reproduce or quote materials published in this blog with the condition  that they are credited to http://hasnulyakin.blogspot.com/ to avoid

misunderstanding. Thank you

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

'Top Gun' 25 Year Anniversary - And I Still Need For Speed !

Top Gun opened on May 16, 1986 -  25 years ago to the day. It became the highest-grossing film of that year, boosted recruitment numbers for the Navy, and launched many careers. Top Gun is the story of macho students of an elite US Flying school for advanced fighter pilots compete to be best in the class, and one romances the teacher. It's been more than two decades since Tom Cruise took our breath away in 'Top Gun' as Lt. Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell. In the time since, however, not everyone involved kept flying high.

Hailed as my favorite movie of all time, Top Gun was more than just F-14′s turning and burning. It encompassed a generation during a time when patriotism was at an all-time high when President Reagan was still in office.

Happy Top Gun Day & 25th Anniversary !

Here's Kelly McGillis with her Top Gun co-star Tom Cruise when they were 28 and 23 years old, respectively, in 1986 while filming TOP GUN.

Twenty-five years ago, Tom Cruise first felt the need for speed in "Top Gun," a testosterone-fueled adventure about Navy fighter pilots. Cruise plays Lt. Pete Mitchell, a rebellious pilot who rightly earns the call sign "Maverick."

The legendary Grumman F-14 Tomcat . Who can forget our childhood's Top Gun movie which featured Tom Cruise and F-14 Tomcat fighters.


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