Monday, July 27, 2009

Farewell to Yasmin Ahmad

Taken from theSun. Written by Bissme S.
PETALING JAYA (July 26, 2009) : Close to 200 people turned up
to pay their respects at the funeral of talented filmmaker Yasmin Ahmad,
who passed away at 11.25pm on Saturday.
The multi-racial crowd, many of them in tears,
at the funeral this morning was testament to
Yasmin's ability to reach across ethnic
and cultural boundaries in both her films
and the television commercials she created for Petronas.
The prayers took place at about 10am at
Masjid Abu Bakar As Siddiq at Section 19/7A, Subang Jaya
before her body was taken to the Muslim burial ground at USJ22.
Dotted among the crowd of family and friends
were celebrities and politicians, including
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon,
Air Asia CEO Datuk Tony Fernandez,
8TV CEO Ahmad Idzam Omar,
singer Jaclyn Victor, film director Suhaimi Baba
and actor Rosyam Nor.
Yasmin, who collapsed after suffering a stroke
and undergoing surgery for cerebral hemorrhage on Thursday,
had been creative force in the advertising and film industry,
having won awards and accolades both locally and internationally.
Her interracial love story Sepet (2004) was accorded
the Best Film Award and the Best Original Screenplay Award
at the Malaysian Film Festival 2005.
It also bagged the Asian Film Award at the
Tokyo International Film Festival 2005,
and the Grand Prix Award at the
Creteil International Women's Film Festival in the same year.
Her other films included Gubra (2006),
Mukhsin (2006), Muallaf (2008) and Talentime (2009).
The 51-year-old Muar-born Yasmin, who was married to Abdullah Tan Yew Leong,
began her career as a copywriter with Ogilvy & Mather
before joining Leo Burnnett, where she rose to become its creative executive director.
Yasmin's sudden death leaves a void in the local filmmaking industry,
and her legacy will be long remembered.
Award-winning actress Azean Irdawaty,
who worked with Yasmin on Talentime,
told theSun she was in Singapore when she heard about Yasmin’s death.
She rushed back just in time for the funeral.
“I am glad that I managed to see and kiss Yasmin for the last time,” said Azean,
who, in her rush to make it to the mosque, ended up leaving her luggage at the airport.
Azean, who has been diagnosed with breast cancer,
remembered an incident during the press conference for Talentime,
when the actress said she did not mind if the movie was to be her last.
"It is ironic that it ended up being Yasmin's last film instead,"
she told the Sun in a phone interview.
Fellow director Othman Hafsham, when met at the funeral,
was effusive in his praise for Yasmin.
“She is a director who speaks her mind and her films reflect this,” he said.
“Only in this country was her movies considered controversial.
But in international film festivals, they all accept her movies.
Indeed she has became a role model for many aspiring director out there,” he said.
Actress Ida Nerina who is currently recovering from a bad fall,
sent a text message to theSun to share her thoughts on Yasmin .
“Yasmin's passing is tragic loss to the us, the selfish living,” she said.
“Yasmin Ahmad was more than just a talented creative director.
She was a loving daughter, wife, mother, sister and a teacher
to many of us who are fortunate to have had her to sweep us off our feet.
“Yasmin was fiercely patriotic and a true Malaysian.
I think she has taught many of us to trust our gut when being creative.
But truth be known the most important lesson Yasmin Ahmad
taught me was humility,” she added.
Independent filmmaker and author Amir Muhammad
was also similarly affected by Yasmin's death.
In an SMS, he said: "I still haven't fully processed this yet.
So I can only say I will miss her terribly but her courage and her compassion
will be felt for a very long time among an audience that will only get bigger."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Facts on Reticulated Python

The Reticulated Python is one of the gigantic snakes in the world.
It is also one of the few snake species, which can be kept as pets.
It is found in Southeast Asia in countries like
Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
It is also known as Java Rock Python and Regal Python.
Its scientific name is Python reticulates.
It belongs to the python genus and the phytonidae family.
It is considered the longest snake in the world,
with the longest specimen that has been recorded to date to be about the same,
or a little larger than the longest anaconda.
Reticulated pythons range 10-20 feet in average,
yet the largest one was recorded at an immense 33 ft
and weighed in well over 300 lbs (136 kg).
Reticulated pythons hatch from eggs.
The female snakes may lay over 100 eggs at a time.
The eggs are white in color and have a soft, leathery shell.
The female pythons wrap their powerful bodies around their eggs
until they are ready to hatch.
This particular behavior is known as brooding
and it prevents the eggs from getting too warm or too cool.
The eggs need to remain close to 89 degrees Fahrenheit
during the incubation period, which lasts around 85 days.
The young pythons come out by cutting a slit
in the eggshell with their egg tooth.
The young pythons do not take long to grow independent,
and can begin searching for their food themselves in no time at all.
It must use its coloration and reticulated pattern
to hide from predators and to hunt for food.
It has the largest girth of snake species.
It lives on a variety of small to medium sized mammals as well as birds.
It has on rare occasions, killed and consumed humans.
It catches its prey with its backward-curving teeth,
and coils its powerful body around it,
squeezing until the victim dies.
Then it swallow its food completely.

Reticulated pythons are at home on the ground,
in caves or in trees and they have adapted to live
near the human habitation where they hunt
rats, chickens, ducks, domestic dogs, cats and pigs.

In spite of being dangerous, these pythons make good captives.
But the keeper should be trained well enough
in handling such large species, so as to ensure safety of himself
and as well as that of the snake.
They are non-venomous creatures, having an attractive appearance
that makes them quite popular among snake lovers
and by the leather industry.
People working with these snakes have often
reported them to show exceptional intelligence as well as awareness.
Small pythons can easily be captured and tamed,
but adults are dangerous as they can deliver vicious bites,
and their powerful coils may be too much for a human being to handle.
Its lifespan in the wild is up to 20 years
and in captivity it is known to live more than 20 years.
It is a nocturnal and solitary snake.

Friday, July 3, 2009

More Langkawi!

I could actually set up a snake sanctuary in Langkawi!
I love all these snakes which belongs to my adopted father, Pak Sani (the Snake Man).
He has thought me a lot on how to handle wild snakes!
I must say that it's not easy when you first encounter with a wild snake!
Reading the snake's body language is not easy! :)
I can't wait to hunt for more snakes in the jungle!
Lots of Reticulated Python in Langkawi!
The longest Malaysian python!