Friday, September 28, 2012

Have A Wonderful Weekend

Hello my lovelies, how was your week? It's been a busy week for me. Thank God everything went quite smooth. Here are a few ideas for your weekend:

-- Jak-Japan Matsuri, until Sept. 30. Workshop, exhibition, cycling event, culinary, edu fair. Japan Week until Sept. 29 at Plaza Senayan. Closing ceremony on Sept. 30 at 10:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. at Monas. For more info, check out the embassy's official website 

-- International Documentary Film Festival, until Sept. 29, Erasmus Huis. Check the schedule and movie synopsis here

And to close this underwater-themed week, I hereby present you a video by BBCEarth on Indonesia's coral reef wonderland :).

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Currently Obsessing These Waterproof Cameras

My Fuji MPix compact camera decided to die when I went to Lviv last June. I don't know what's wrong. I've changed the battery but it just refused to go on. I had it since 2006 and despite the fact that it was too bulky and too old-fashioned for a compact camera, I still love it dearly.

I've dropped it to the repair shop last Monday. The repair guy texted me on Tuesday, saying that they couldn't repair it because...they no longer had the spareparts. What the #3!$?

RIP my dear Fuji MPix. It's been a wonderful six years...

Anyway, now that I have a new hobby of going underwater, I think I should buy a waterproof camera. The camera housing for diving purposes is too expensive. So I'm thinking to have a waterproof camera just for snorkeling events. Below are my current sources of constant headache, sleepless nights and wishful thinking.

1. Pentax Optio WG-2 

 Photo taken from here. You can also read its features there.

This will go in accordance with my red Pentax K-x DSLR camera. They'd be like brothers (or sisters). Since I called my red K-x Merah, I'd have no problem to find a name for this cutie (Delima!). Pentax also released this camera type with GPS, but the one with GPS is not available in red. Alas, woe is me. Price: Rp 3,190,000 with 4GB memory card in Oktagon and JPC Kemang

2. Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3/FT3

Photo found here

The picture is of an orange Panasonic Lumix. But it's also available in red too. In terms of specs it ranks above Optio WG-2, which means more numbers on the price tag. I've never used a Panasonic camera, although I was familiar with the voice recorder (which lasted for around 5 years, quite durable). 

I checked Oktagon and they no longer have this type. They have a newer version (Panasonic DMC TS-4/FT4, which is priced at Rp 3,950,000, with 4 GB memory card and pouch). Meanwhile, JPC Kemang offers it for Rp 3,965,000 with 4 GB memory card and pouch. Does it mean the FT3 is cheaper now? *optimism brews*

3.  Olympus Tough TG-810


The reviews is positive but never tried an Olympus before, so a little bit doubt. Oktagon has the latest version of TG 820 at Rp 3,380,000 plus 8 GB memory card, while JPC Kemang also offers TG 820 at Rp 3,450,000 plus 8 GB memory card. The TG 820 is also available in red! Be still my heart. 

4. Nikon Coolpix AW100

Taken from here

I tried one of the Coolpix series. I know the quality of Nikon. But not really sure about this waterproof one. Anyone ever try this camera? So far it's the lowest priced in this group. Price: Rp 2,640,000 in Oktagon and JPC Kemang

5. Canon Powershot D20

Photo source

I've also tried Canon. But again, doubting the underwater version. More confusions. So help me God. Price: Rp 3,745,000 in Oktagon and JPC Kemang

For now, let's save the money first. 

P.S. Here's the link to Oktagon and JPC Kemang

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Under The Sea And Dreaming

A holiday-maker enjoys snorkeling near Gili Trawangan in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, on Saturday. The Trawangan Sea is famous for its rich biodiversity, coral reefs and beautiful sea creatures, especially turtles. Tourists can choose among three small islets in the area: Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno. (Antara/Noveradika. Photo taken from here)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ithaa, The Undersea Restaurant

I saw this restaurant in a TV show titled something like World's Extreme Restaurant and my heart skipped a beat. Some Google searches later, I opened a bank account to save money to go there :P.

Located in Maldives, Ithaa (which means pearl in Maldives' native language Dvivehi) is the world's first undersea restaurant. It lies five meters under the sea, surrounded by vibrant coral reef that offers a 270 degrees of panoramic underwater views.

Designed by New Zealand-based design consultancy company MJ Murphy Ltd, the restaurant is 5-by-9 meter in size and has a capacity of 14 people. The menu of the restaurant depends on the catch of the day and prices range from US$120 to $250.

Could be a great place to lounge when I don't feel like diving :).


Photos from here

Monday, September 24, 2012

Seven Dream Diving Spots

I read an article featuring Indonesia's seven best diving spots in Garuda Indonesia's inflight magazine. I've been dreaming about those places since then. For now, I can only save, save and save while waiting for the day when I can go there. 

The original article is written by Rahadiansyah. I rewrote it and added a few information here and there about the places. The listing goes as follows...

1. Raja Ampat, West Papua
Wayag lagoon. I got this photo while perusing kaskus, but there was no information on the photographer. If you know, you are so allowed to send me an angry email (containing the credit info, of course) and I'll give the credit where it is due.

Known as the Amazon of the seas, the Raja Ampat islands are a diver's wet dream. According to the WWF, the first comprehensive survey here discovered almost 1,000 species of tropical fish -- with a large proportion of those has previously been unknown. Raja Ampat comprises more than 1,500 islands, four of which are quite sizeable (Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo).

In an environment like this, liveaboards is the best way to explore the area. "For land-based diving, Misool is the best," explains Cahyo Alkantana, underwater-wildlife filmmaker and host of Kompas TV's Teroka. Compared with Indonesia's other diving havens, Raja Ampat is expensive. However, according to Divemag Indonesia chief editor Riyanni Djangkaru, the higher prices here are understandable when one considers the riches on offer. "There are no cheap diamonds," she asserts.

My colleague Peeyutz who had been there said that the best time to visit is December-February. Also take precaution on malaria as the area is one of the malaria epidemic areas.

Highlights: Manta, walking sharks, glassfish

2. Komodo National Park, East Nusa Tenggara

Komodo dragon on the land. Source

Manta rays under the water. Source
This national park was recently included among the New7Wonders of Nature. The marvels of nature are not only found on the land, in the shape of those iconic giant lizards, but are also found in the sea in the form of all kinds of fish and coral.

"This National Park is like a department store. It's all here, from the little creatures like crinoid shrimp to big fish like manta rays," says Anton Hendrawan, producer of Trans 7's Dunia Air program. One unique thing about the spot is the way sea creatures are relatively easy to be approached. "Once I bumped into a turtle here," Riyanni Djangkaru enthuses.

Highlights: Hammerhead shark, giant trevally, manta

3. Weh Island, Aceh

Both photos are from here 

Nine months before the 2004 tsunami hit Aceh there was a commotion on Weh Island, which lies just off the province's north coast. A mega-mouth shark was stranded on the island's shore and this was only the twenty-first ever recorded sighting of the mega-mouth shark in the world. The mega-mouth sharks have not reappeared since the tsunami, although Weh still attracts divers by the score due to its great collection of marine wildlife.

"There's a lot of hard coral here and its character is macho, very manly," says Delien Yusuf Sulaiman, underwater photographer. For those looking for new sensation, Fransiska Anggraini, Scuba Diver AustralAsia Indonesia's chief editor, recommends the Sunrise Dive package from the Lumba-lumba Diving Center.

Highlights: Barracuda, bigeye trevally, Napoleon wrasse.

4. Bali

Mola mola in Bali. Source

The so-called Island of Gods is Indonesia's preeminent beach, nightlife and hotel zone. For divers, it is the top destination for observing mola mola (ocean sunfish). "August is the peak time to see mola mola," says Erwin Kodiat, co-founder of Nudi Pixel and D Scuba Club.

Nudibranchs are another Balinese diving attraction. According to Nudi Pixel website, Bali boasts the most species of nudibranch in the world."In his book, Helmut Debelius claims that Bali is the capital of sea snails."

Highlights: mola mola, nudibranch, bobbit worm

5. Lembeh Strait and Bunaken Marine Park, North Sulawesi

Mantis shrimp with eggs in Lembeh strait. Photo by Mike Bartick

Hairy frogfish, also by Mike Bartick. Both photos are found here

Bunaken's main attraction is a steep undersea wall that is home to hundreds of species of fish and coral. Another strength of this marine park is its easy access, as it lies just a 30-minute boat ride from Manado coast. Meanwhile, nearby Lembeh is a favorite with fans of muck diving.

"The amount of trash on the seabed does not make for pleasant undersea vistas. However, the trash itself gets used by many strange creatures as places to live," explains Anton Hendrawan.

Highlights: Blue-ringed octopus, nudibranch, flamboyant cuttlefish

6. Cendrawasih Bay National Park, Papua and West Papua

A man swims with a whale shark in Cendrawasih Bay. Photograph by Michael Aw for National Geographic. See the original photo here

This national park is famous for its collection of corals. Recently, a new attraction has emerged: the world's biggest fish whale shark. Their body can reach up to 12 meters in length, about the size of an average bus. In many equatorial countries, whale sharks are only seen during certain seasons. However in Cendrawasih Bay, they have been swimming all year round. "It doesn't depend on the month. There are always a minimum of five whale sharks," explains Cahyo Alkantana. "The last time I was here I saw 20 whale sharks ranging from 12 meter to 15 meter in length."

Highlights: dugong, whale shark, wobbegong

7. Alor, East Nusa Tenggara

Shot by Winnie Leung in Alor. Photos are found here

Many divers claim that Alor is the best diving destination in Indonesia, although it only has four operators offering regular tours to the area. On the other hand, divers can have as much space to conduct exploration."Perfect diversity, overflowing quantity," says Riyanni Djangkaru."In Raja Ampat, I struggled to find mandarin fish. But in Alor, almost every spot has them." Alor has around 50 diving spots, most of which are only suitable for experienced divers.

Highlights: frogfish, nudibranch, skeleton shrimp

OK, now let's get back to work. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Photo, Comic And Movie

New arrivals: A nine-year-old Bengal tiger named Manis, which means "sweet" in English, feeds her newborn cubs at Mangkang Zoo in Semarang, Central Java on Wednesday. Manis gave birth to four cubs on Tuesday night -- the first time during her six years living in the zoo. (JP/Ainur Rohmah) Source

Oh wow, isn't that photo above a perfect one to wrap up the Big Cat's Cuteness week? The tiger mom must be very busy tending to her cubs this weekend. How about you? 

Anyway, if you don't have any plans this weekend, here are a few events that take place this weekend.

-- Pacu Jawi photo exhibition, Bentara Budaya Jakarta, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
-- Comiconnexions, a comic exhibition, Goethe Haus 

-- Alle tijd, a Dutch movie, Erasmus Huis, 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
-- Old Indonesian cinema Tiga Dara (Three Girls, 1956), Sept. 22, 6-9 p.m., Museum Bank Mandiri. Free. Reservation:
-- La leggenda del pianista sull'oceano, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Sept. 22. 
As for me, well, my parents have caught the decluttering bug. So I may be sorting my stuffs the whole weekend. It's going to be emotional as I tend to keep the stuffs most people will throw away without wincing. The reason is usually because I want to give the stuffs another life.Wish me luck!

Have a fun weekend, my lovelies!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

PON Photos

Indonesia is having its annual sport event named the National Games (PON) in Pekanbaru, Riau. Despite the corruption allegation surrounding the event, there are some fun moments captured in a frame. Below are some pics I found on the sport event. 

Firework sky: Fireworks light up the sky over Pekanbaru during the opening ceremony of the 18th National Games (PON) at the Riau Main Stadium in Riau on Tuesday night. The country's biggest sport championship will run from Sept 9. to 20 and will involve more than 7,000 athletes from 33 provinces. (Antara/Nyoman Budhiana) Source

Graceful agility: Jakarta gymnast Dinda Defriana performs during the rhythmic gymnastic final at the 2012 National Games (PON) at the Rumbai Sports Center in Pekanbaru, Riau on Saturday. Dinda won the gold medal for the event with a total score of 87.059. (JP/Jerry Adiguna. Source)

Simultaneous smile: Jakarta’s synchronized swimming team performs a technical routine at the National Games (PON) at the Rumbai Aquatic Center in Pekanbaru, Riau, on Monday. Jakarta came in first with a total score of 72.20. (JP/Jerry Adiguna) Source

Head over heels: Sepak takraw athlete from East Java, Syaiful Rizal (blue shirt), tries to smash the ball while Gorontalo athlete, Hendra Pago, blocks it during the sepak takraw grand final at the 2012 National Games (PON) in Pekanbaru, Riau on Friday. The Gorontalo team defeated East Java 2-1 and won the gold medal. (JP/Jerry Adiguna) Source

Fab four: West Nusa Tenggara's (NTB) runners gather to celebrate after winning the National Games' (PON) Men’s 4 x 100m Relay at the Rumbai Athletic Stadium in Pekanbaru, Riau on Thursday. The four won the race in a time of 40.17 seconds. (JP/Jerry Adiguna) Btw, I like the purple mask :) Source

 Romanian rage: A Romanian national who declined to be named and a relative of a South Kalimantan wrestling coach, Auerel, flips a wrestling mat in protest of a referee’s decision during the 120-kilogram wrestling semifinals at the National Games between South Kalimantan wrestler Tawar Setiawan and Agustaf Enderson of East Kalimantan in Pekanbaru, Riau, on Tuesday. The match was halted due to the incident. (JP/Jerry Adiguna) Source

P.S. The last photo's heads originally said 'flipping out', but I can't help to change them to Romanian rage, because Newsweek needs to know that when provoked, everyone (not just Muslims) can get angry from time to time. 

P.P.S. On a lighter note, Gawker provided a different take on the Muslim rage definition :)

Have a terrific Thursday!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

...And They Live Happily Ever After. Maybe.

Sleeping Beauty recreated: A Canadian-Ukrainian artist Taras Polataiko looks on at one of the Ukrainian women, dressed in white wedding gowns, who take turns sleeping on display in the museum for a couple of hours every day during his new art project called 'Sleeping Beauties' in The National Art Museum in Kiev, Ukraine, on Friday. Based on the fairytale 'Sleeping Beauty', the idea of the art-exhibition is for visitors to look at a sleeping girl, and, if they feel the urge, kiss her on the lips. If a sleeping beauty opens up her eyes she's obliged by a legal contract to marry the man. (Photographed by Efrem Lukatsky for AP, photo is found here, read the news here)

Since I've posted about the beast (tiger) in the last couple of days, let's talk about the beauty. Almost all children fairy tales end with Dame in Distress marrying the Prince Charming and "...and they live happily ever after", but that's not how it works in real life. I think it's time to rewrite those tales.

Meeting a person you fall in love with does not always end up with marriage. And even if it does, marriage does not always give the happily-ever-after effect. You'll most likely have arguments with your significant other, and it's normal because each person come from different families enforcing different values. Or perhaps you'll share the burden of your significant other's extended family (this conclusion is the result of watching too much infotaintment *sigh*).

Now that we're living in a modern era, everyone can have their own happy ending because happiness does not always come in the shape of a knight in a shining armor. Happiness is within you :).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Wild Cats In Cage

Two cubs of the flat-headed cat, more popularly known as wild cats, are put in a cage after local hunters caught them in Sungai Pinyuh in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, on Wednesday. The cats, which have been listed as endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature since 2008, are sold for Rp 125,000 (US$13.07) each. (Antara/Jessica Helena Wuysang. Found here)

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Tiger/Lion Hugs

The reason behind these photos is the following photo

Yann Martel's Life of Pi will soon hit the big screen! Photo found here

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Talking About Age

While I'll be a year older by the end of this year, I've never felt worry about my age or how I look. Ignorance is bliss, indeed. I should start taking care of my health, though, such as doing one-hour jogging or consuming more vegetables and fruits. Or I'll be having the following conversations 12 years from now.

#1. Don't Dig Your Own Grave
Situation: My boss (BEE) showed us a photo of the office's news room back in the 1990. He was in the picture along with other editors (now senior editors).
Jac   : Oh my God, you looked so handsome back then!
BEE : What do you mean 'back then'?
Jac   : Um, I mean you looked different. But different in a good meaning. I mean...
BEE : Did I look better then? (then turns his face on Fem and I) She's digging her own grave.

#2. Bad At Math
Me   : So when was the picture taken?
BEE : Twenty two years ago, if I'm not mistaken.
Me   : How old were you?
BEE : Twenty two years old. Now I'm 32 years old, of course.
Me   : You're bad at math, boss.
BEE : I know.

#3. Anti-aging
BEE : Hey, I got this anti-aging product. Would you like to have it?
Me   : So you think I need the product? Why?
BEE : You're very sensitive, you know.
Me   : Yes, I learn from the expert. Thank you for the product.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Not A Rainbow-Colored Bird, But Still Too Cute To Die

A zookeeper feeds a sick Cendrawasih, (bird of paradise) at the Surabaya Zoo in East Java on Monday. The zoo management stated that many of its animals suffered from various illness. The zoo has more than 4,000 animals. (Antara/M Risyal Hidayat). Photo source

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Rainbow Chicken

Chicks on sale for Rp 4,000 (42 US cents) each at Gawok Market in Sukoharjo, Central Java, on Monday. The chickens are dyed bright colors and typically sold to children. (Antara/Herka Yanis Pangaribowo). Source

Monday, September 10, 2012

Rainbow Kindergarten

Since I've mentioned the rainbow trend, I've seen many rainbow-colored stuffs around. Rather than keeping them with me, I thought of passing the information to you.

Today I want to take you to Ecole Maternelle Pajol, a four-classroom kindergarten in Pajol, Paris's 18th arrondissement

Parisian architecture office Palatre&Leclere restored this 1940s building by keeping its structure and giving new colors.

If this does not make the kids excited for school, I don't know what will.

Photos are found at The Cool Hunter

Friday, September 7, 2012

Performing Arts And Festivals

My dearies, what are your plans this weekend? In case you don't have any plans, here are several things you can do in the capital this weekend:

-- a dance performance by Kreativitat Dance  Indonesia, until Sept. 8 at 8 p.m. at Jakarta Playhouse. Art director: Farida Oetoyo. It is part of Festival Schouwburg X The Legend.

-- a theater performance titled Indonesia Kita, Maling Kondang with Butet Kartaredjasa, Djaduk Ferianto and Agus Noor until Sept. 9 at Graha Bhakti Budaya, Taman Ismail Marzuki.

-- Creative Entrepreneurship Festival until Sept. 8 at Taman Ismail Marzuki.

-- Comiconnexions goes Festival at Goethe Institut Jakarta until Sept. 23

Hope you have a good one :).

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Rainbow Cake Craze

Earlier this year, a colleague predicted that rainbow cake would be a hit. She was correct. The best part is the rainbow palette is applied in other cakes too!

Lapis legit pelangi (Rainbow sweet layered cake). Source

Lidah kucing. Source

P.S. BEE once said that Indonesians had the ability to take something from another culture and reshape it a better thing. He cited rendang (meat served with spicy curry), which was originated from Indian cuisines and lapis legit, which was originated from a Hungarian dessert called dobostorte. I wonder what dobostorte taste like.