Monday, March 21, 2011

The Demise of our HRH The King's Mother

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sekitar Pengkebumian Bonda Agong

KUALA LUMPUR, 21 Mac -- Angkatan Tentera Diraja Malaysia mengusung jenazah bonda Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tengku Ampuan Bariah Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah di Pangkalan Udara Tentera Diraja Malaysia (TUDM) Subang di sini, hari ini.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin dan Permaisuri Agong, Tuanku Nur Zahirah berkenan mengiringi bonda baginda yang mangkat, Tengku Ampuan Bariah Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah di Pangkalan Udara Tentera Diraja Malaysia (TUDM) Subang di sini, hari ini.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin dan Permaisuri Agong, Tuanku Nur Zahirah berkenan mengaminkan doa semasa bonda baginda yang mangkat, Tengku Ampuan Bariah Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah sebelum berangkat melalui Pangkalan Udara Tentera Diraja Malaysia (TUDM) Subang di sini, hari ini.
Turut berangkat Sultan Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.

Turut sama Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak dan isteri Datin Rosmah Mansor, Timbalan Perdana Menteri Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Menteri Belia dan Sukan Datuk Ahamd Shabery Cheek dan Yang di Pertua Melaka Tun Khalil Yaakob dan Menteri Besar Selangor Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

Bonda baginda mangkat di Hospital Seri Kota, Klang, Selangor pada 1.22 pagi tadi dan dibawa pulang menaiki pesawat C130 TUDM ke Istana Maziah, Kuala Terengganu untuk penghormatan terakhir dan urusan pengebumian.

super moon

Very close encounters of the 'super moon' kind: Amazing pictures of our lunar neighbour... the nearest it's been in 20 years

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 5:29 PM on 20th March 2011
Look to the skies tonight and you might just notice something different. For the first time since 1992, a 'super moon' is shining down on us. That means it is brighter and closer to Earth than unusual. Here, we present a gallery of lunar snaps to celebrate the rare phenomenon...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Super Full Moon

March 16, 2011: Mark your calendar. On March 19th, a full Moon of rare size and beauty will rise in the east at sunset. It's a super "perigee moon"--the biggest in almost 20 years.
"The last full Moon so big and close to Earth occurred in March of 1993," says Geoff Chester of the US Naval Observatory in Washington DC. "I'd say it's worth a look."
Full Moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the Moon's orbit. It is an ellipse with one side (perigee) about 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other (apogee): diagram. Nearby perigee moons are about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than lesser moons that occur on the apogee side of the Moon's orbit.
Super Full Moon (movie strip, 550px)
Above: Perigee moons are as much as 14% wider and 30% brighter than lesser full Moons. [video]
"The full Moon of March 19th occurs less than one hour away from perigee--a near-perfect coincidence1 that happens only 18 years or so," adds Chester.
A perigee full Moon brings with it extra-high "perigean tides," but this is nothing to worry about, according to NOAA. In most places, lunar gravity at perigee pulls tide waters only a few centimeters (an inch or so) higher than usual. Local geography can amplify the effect to about 15 centimeters (six inches)--not exactly a great flood.
Super Full Moon (moon illusion, 200px)
The Moon looks extra-big when it is beaming through foreground objects--a.k.a. "the Moon illusion."
Indeed, contrary to some reports circulating the Internet, perigee Moons do not trigger natural disasters. The "super moon" of March 1983, for instance, passed without incident. And an almost-super Moon in Dec. 2008 also proved harmless.
Okay, the Moon is 14% bigger than usual, but can you really tell the difference? It's tricky. There are no rulers floating in the sky to measure lunar diameters. Hanging high overhead with no reference points to provide a sense of scale, one full Moon can seem much like any other.
The best time to look is when the Moon is near the horizon. That is when illusion mixes with reality to produce a truly stunning view. For reasons not fully understood by astronomers or psychologists, low-hanging Moons look unnaturally large when they beam through trees, buildings and other foreground objects. On March 19th, why not let the "Moon illusion" amplify a full Moon that's extra-big to begin with? The swollen orb rising in the east at sunset may seem so nearby, you can almost reach out and touch it.
Don't bother. Even a super perigee Moon is still 356,577 km away. That is, it turns out, a distance of rare beauty.

Author: Dr. Tony Phillips | Credit: Science@NASA
More Information
1Footnote: Less-perfect perigee moons occur more often. In 2008, for instance, there was a full Moon four hours from perigee. Many observers thought that one looked great, so the one-hour perigee moon of 2011 should be a real crowd pleaser.
Lunar Perigee and Apogee Calculator
What are the "Perigean Spring Tides"? Do they cause coastal flooding? -- an explanation from NOAA

Japan crisis:16 March 2011 Last updated at 17:05 GMT

Japan crisis: Safety concerns

A couple check a Chinese Embassy noticeboard The Chinese embassy in Tokyo is assisting Chinese nationals to return to China
Japan's Emperor Akihito has said he is "deeply worried" about the crisis his country is facing following last Friday's earthquake and tsunami.
He spoke after technicians were forced to temporarily abandon a quake-crippled nuclear plant as radiation surged.
Here BBC News website readers discuss plans to evacuate or sit tight.

Juita Mohamad, returned to Malaysia

Juita Mohamad "I was very concerned about the nuclear crisis"
I am a student who has been living in Shinjuku in Tokyo. I decided to leave Japan on Monday and return to Malaysia.
I was afraid that I would not reach the airport in time as transportation services were being cut back, so I left in plenty of time.
Now most of my friends living in Tokyo are having trouble getting to the airport as transportation services dwindle and taxis are constantly full.
I left Japan because I was very concerned about the nuclear crisis. It was a difficult decision to make but I felt that the situation could deteriorate in an instant so I decided to trust my instinct and leave the country.
Hopefully I will stay in Malaysia for two weeks but it could end up being longer.
I don't think that the government is being transparent about what is happening.
After the earthquake I was afraid to fall asleep due to the ongoing aftershocks. By Sunday, food in the convenience stores and supermarkets had gone.
A lot of my friends have now left Tokyo.
I am back at home, but worry deeply about friends who remain behind, and I praying for their safety.

R. Tunaley, left Tokyo for Okinawa

We got out of Tokyo on Sunday on one of the first Bullet trains running to Nagoya, we stayed with my wife's family.

Start Quote

It was very emotional leaving Tokyo”
End Quote
After problems with the second and third reactor I decided to get the family to the airport and on the first flight to Naha in Okinawa.
I left with a pair of jeans, some socks, undies and two shirts, plus my girls.
It was very emotional leaving Tokyo under these circumstances as what has happened is devastating.
It is incredibly surreal to pick up a bag with the bare minimum and just move away. As this situation deteriorates you begin to question whether you can ever go back to what you have walked away from.
Tokyo is only about 150 miles away from the Fukushima plant and with a family it was too risky to stay.
Over the past two days we have heard of five other families from the Kanto region who have decided to leave.
There are some travel document issues for my wife so she cannot fly to the UK unless she renews her passport and she cannot do that unless she returns to Tokyo, so we cannot leave Japan.
Japanese people are fantastic in these situations. I just saw a woman on the news who received her first hot rice cake and hot miso soup in five days and she was so thankful.
We are staying in a hotel now and my little girl is colouring, playing with the one soft toy we took from home.

Robert Emmett, making plans to evacuate son from Tokyo

I am concerned after hearing the Emperor speaking on television, because for him to do something like this is extremely rare.

Start Quote

We are being told that there is no need to panic”
End Quote
It leads me to believe that the situation has either deteriorated or could do so.
I am putting plans in place to evacuate my 13-year-old son to Birmingham in the UK as as a precautionary measure. He can stay with my sister there.
I am hearing reports that other embassies are evacuating their citizens, that helped me make my decision.
I have work commitments so cannot leave that easily. As a family we are still debating the situation. We are being told that there is nothing to panic about but reports are conflicting so it is difficult to make a decision.
The shop shelves are empty and petrol stations are closed, and many people are not able to get to work while students have been told to remain at home until further notice.

Louis Chung, Canadian in Sendai, plans to stay for now

Louis Chung "I am trying to stay as positive as possible"
Amidst all that's happened so far, the anxiety many people here feel is compounded by the vague nature of the information that's been provided, or even the lack of information.
With the fluidity of the situation and the lack of concrete information, it's almost impossible to make informed decisions. One can only speculate, and hope for the best.
Right now it seems like some embassies are offering their nationals options to leave the area. So far the Canadian embassy has not done this. For me, I don't think that it is quite time to leave.
I am trying to stay as positive as possible. There is no gas for heating homes or for cooking.
In terms of the nuclear reactor, from what I have read there is no risk to human health as yet.
Where I teach, we have got in touch with some students who are due to start their course and have rescheduled their entrance until the end of the month.
We are unable to get in touch with some others to reschedule them but I am hoping they are ok.

UK Foreign Office advice

UK nationals are being asked to confirm their safety by contacting the Foreign Office (FCO) on +44 (0)20 7008 0000. That is also the helpline number for people concerned about friends and relatives in Japan, and 5,480 people had called it as of Tuesday night.
A bus has been organised to take Britons from Sendai to Tokyo on Thursday. It will leave from the consular response centre at the ANA Holiday Inn at midday local time (0300 GMT).

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Japan! Who next?

Agency: Damaged container may be causing smoke, radiation spike

By the CNN Wire Staff
March 16, 2011 -- Updated 0600 GMT (1400 HKT)
Click to play
Evacuations at damaged power plant
  • Authorities say latest smoke spotted may be caused by containment vessel breach
  • Workers are allowed to return to the plant after an evacuation order is lifted
  • Plant managers may remove part of two reactor buildings to prevent more explosions
  • A fire and explosion Tuesday at the Fukushima Daiichi plant led to temporary radiation spike
Tokyo (CNN) -- Officials asked workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to evacuate temporarily Wednesday after a white cloud of smoke rose above the plant and radiation levels spiked.
Workers were "asked to withdraw to a safe area," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said. Authorities later allowed them to return after radiation levels dropped, the Tokyo Electric Power Company said.
Radiation levels at the plant have surged and dropped repeatedly over the past few days. The most recent spike "probably" occurred "because the containment vessel in reactor No. 3 has been damaged," a spokesman for Japan's nuclear safety agency later told reporters.
Edano said the smoke or vapor above the plant may have been caused by breach in the containment structure around the No. 3 reactor's containment vessel -- the steel and concrete shell that insulates radioactive material inside.
Radiation and human health
Officials monitor radiation
Gallery: Japan reeling after massive quake
Explainer: Producing nuclear energy
It was the second visible sign of trouble at the earthquake-damaged nuclear plant Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, firefighters battled a blaze in the plant's No. 4 reactor building.
Since the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the resulting tsunami Friday, the plant has suffered a series of setbacks that have heightened fears about the possibility of widespread radiation contamination.
A hydrogen explosion took place at the plant's No. 2 reactor Tuesday. Hydrogen explosions had previously occurred in the plant's No. 1 and No. 3 reactors.
Another fire had broken out Tuesday in the No. 4 reactor. While it burned, radiation levels at the plant increased to about 167 times the average dose, the International Atomic Energy Agency said.
That dose quickly diminished with distance from the plant, and radiation fell back to levels where it posed no immediate public health threat, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said.
But the deteriorating situation and concerns about a potential shift in wind direction that could send radiation toward populated areas prompted authorities to warn people as far as 18.6 miles (30 kilometers) from the plant to stay inside.
"There is still a very high risk of further radioactive material coming out," Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Tuesday, asking people to remain calm.
In all, the plant holds six reactors. At the time of Friday quake, Unit 4 was shut for maintenance and all fuel from the reactor had been moved to its spent fuel pool. Units 5 and 6 were also shut at the time of the quake, but both its reactors are loaded with fuel, the IAEA said.
About 200,000 people living within a 12.4-mile (20 kilometer) radius of the plant already had been evacuated.
Authorities also banned flights over the area.
Between Units 3 and 4, Japanese authorities said they had measured radiation dose rates of up to 400 millisieverts-per-hour, IAEA reported. That's equivalent to about 2,000 chest x-rays per hour, the agency said on its website. "This is a high dose-level value, but it is a local value at a single location and at a certain point in time," it added.
As a result of the monitoring of about 150 people from around the Daiichi site, 23 have been decontaminated, IAEA said.
White smoke rising from power plant
Radioactive material leaks from plant
Will Japan nuclear crisis linger?
Map: Fukushima Daiichi
The number of nuclear workers who remained on site has been slashed from 800 to 50.
"Their situation is not great," said David Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University. "It's pretty clear that they will be getting very high doses of radiation. There's certainly the potential for lethal doses of radiation. They know it, and I think you have to call these people heroes."
Although the plant's three functioning reactors shut down automatically when the quake occurred, the tsunami that followed swamped the diesel generators that provided backup power to the reactor cooling systems.
Crews restored backup power, but problems keeping the reactors cool forced plant officials to take the drastic step of flooding them with seawater. Still, pressure buildups, problems with valves and a failure to fill a generator's gas tank led to hydrogen explosions and other problems.
Tuesday's events appeared to escalate the situation: Edano said the radiation releases from the explosion and fire were the first that appeared to pose a threat to human health, if only briefly.
On Monday, an explosion in the building housing the plant's No. 3 reactor apparently damaged both a water-filled chamber at the base of the reactor and the reactor containment unit itself, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano told reporters Tuesday.
Damage to the core involved about 5% of its nuclear fuel, Amano said.
It was unclear how much radioactive material may have been emitted, what kind of health threat that could pose or when the danger would end.
"There are enormous quantities of radiation," said Dr. Ira Helfand, a member of Physicians for Social Responsibility, which opposes the use of nuclear power. "The containment is not nearly as good as around the reactor cores themselves. The potential for a major release of radiation from those sites is very real, as we saw last night with the fire."
Japanese officials told the IAEA that radioactivity had been released "directly into the atmosphere" during Tuesday's fire in the No. 4 reactor, the U.N. watchdog organization said.
Crews put that fire out, and by Tuesday afternoon, Edano said, radiation readings -- which had reached dangerously high levels at the plant earlier -- had decreased.
Still, concerns about radioactive fuel boiling off its coolant and igniting continued Wednesday. Plant operators and government officials initially considered using helicopters to drop water into the cooling pond through the damaged roof of the reactor building, but rejected the idea when they discovered that the spent fuel pond was too far from the hole in the roof, a Kyodo News report said.
In addition, Edano said, cooling systems at two other reactors, No. 5 and No. 6, were "not functioning well."
Plant managers were considering removing panels from the buildings housing those reactors in an effort to prevent the hydrogen buildup that officials believe caused the other explosions, the IAEA said.
Edano said earlier that he could not rule out the possibility of a meltdown at all three troubled reactors at the plant.
A meltdown occurs when nuclear fuel rods cannot be cooled and melt the steel and concrete structure containing them. In the worst-case scenario, the fuel can spill out of the containment unit and spread radioactivity through the air and water. That, public health officials say, can cause both immediate and long-term health problems, including radiation poisoning and cancer.
If fuel rods inside the reactors are melting, "the million-dollar question is whether that melting will be contained," said James Walsh, a CNN contributor and research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's security studies program.
At present, the long-term impact on public health from the crisis appears minimal, Brenner said.
"I think, at this point in time, there's no real evidence that there are health risks to the general population," he said.
The weather has emerged as a key variable, but on Wednesday morning, winds were blowing out to sea, CNN Meteorologist Sean Morris said.
Radiation levels in Tokyo, about 225 kilometers (140 miles) southwest of the plant, were twice the usual level on Tuesday. But the concentration -- 0.809 microsieverts per hour -- posed no health threat, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said.
CNN's Stan Grant, Steven Jiang, Sabriya Rice and Richard Greene contributed to this report.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


A phone call that ended at 2:45p.m had triggered my sick mind to drop these lines... I am still fatigue with flu, cough and cold and feeling very sick this instant.

Subhanallah!  Something has triggered me to write this wonderful experience with wonderful people whom I have come across unexpectedly, who have walked and trodden my path of life and have SOMEHOW saved my "Lives" with their good hearts... each one of these experience was Allah's ways to show His Greatness.  He works with His Kuun Fayakuun.  and it shall happen.
The STAR newspaper (cannot remember the date, the month was probably October in the year 2003) was placed on an empty seat next to me after he has finished reading it.  I took the window seating leaving the middle seat empty. He had occupied the first seat and  was dressed in a black shirt and (probably black trousers too)... I cannot remember this part so well.  Somehow a little conversation broke the silence between us both. 
"Are you going to KT or living in KT?" was the silence breaker question!
"Going to KT" said I politely.
"Are you on the job?" He seems to pursue further.
"Nope.  Am only visiting my son who is schooling there", now the answer gets longer.
"What about the father, not coming along?", a trap question I called it. Hahaha.
"Nope!" said I abruptly.
And so the little conversation went on and on until the plane landed.  We went our separate ways soon after loading an additional phone number each on our mobiles.

The land of chemistry... that's how it all started. Apart from visiting Hafiz in his school frequently, the short stay in KT was not so boring after all.  It was spiced up with intermittent calls, laughter and new stories to share.  Apparently he is the flight engineer with the aircraft  of a major airline in the country. I and him were sharing similar place of studies... we were both schooling in a boarding school. That's about all that we have in common.  And oh yes... we were both chatter box.

Then came one particular December in 2004... I was helping my cousins with the wedding preparation and there was this familiar number flickering on my mobile.  It was him.  Asking how I had been and how was my business?  It was in the position equivalent to what the Malay proverb says "Shoving a pillow to a sleepy person"... Gosh!  That was the moment I have been praying for...

Something beyond expectations:
I was awarded with this particular project that I had no fund to start with.  Incredible wasn't it?  Yes, IT WAS.  I was supposed to complete my deliver and installation by February 2005.  I had started measuring for preliminary quotation since seven months ago and by this time, I have lost hope of getting and have put the file away.  On one Friday afternoon, a caller's voice on the other end gave me this ray of hope... a hope I have since shelved ... Allah knows best!
"Mam, could you come over to our office after the Friday prayer and we should have some discussion regarding your quotation that was so long shelved?"  was that hopeful remark on a Friday.
"Insyaallah, I would, " said I.  I was thinking on a fast lane.  Even if they don't give me the whole entire building, a few would just suffice. I would have always prayed for a job that is halal from all forms of evils.

I have just came back from another project site that was not meant for me!  The whole buildings were fully  curtained. My quotation was the lowest twice.  Yet I was not awarded the project.  The law says, the lowest should get it!  Although deep down I was a little slighted, but I did not give up hope.  I kept on praying hard so that Allah would replace me with a new project, which is easier to perform, with bigger margin, cleaner in ever sense of the word and easier in every way ... INDEED my prayer was answered.

At 2:30 p.m  I was  already seated waiting for the officer to invite me into his office.  After a brief discussion
I agreed to have my final measurement taken by the people from the factory before the installation could be done.  How much did I get?  I was given the whole entire building to put up the vertical blinds...Alhamdulillah.

AS I WAS WALKING towards my car... my thoughts run wild!!!!!!!  Ya Allah, from where shall I get the money for the "down payment" to the factory?  I have absolutely no idea at all.  No to factoring, no to credit lines, no to No NO No NO!  Nothing!  Never mind, with this faith strongly held inside me, I reached home which was my office too.

What struck me hard and transpired next  was that, this is merely an absolute  Help from Allah coming my way... to help raising my not-fatherless-children.  

The phone call from him was just a normal conversation.  Then he went on asking how was my  business and I have not forgotten to relate him the project that was not meant for me and also the one with no fund to begin with.

"How much you need?" He asked me such a question???? It was unbelievable.
"I have no idea yet until I inquired from the factory" I replied with my ears still in disbelief.
"Ok, make it quick.  Let me know the amount and  I should be able to help you".  He gave an assurance.
 "Alhamdulillah syukur!!!!!!!!! Okay, I would do that next day and thank you,"  said I. 

The help at the wedding preparation went on smoothly and I left my cousin's place shortly after mid night.

The following day..
After the negotiations with the factory and setting the date to deliver and install, I had then reverted to him and informed him the amount that was required.
"Okay, I shall ask Amir, my son, to put this amount into your account by tomorrow" was his promise. 
My, oh MY!  How shall I ever repay his kindness? His noble deed???
One particular morning during one of phone conversations with him I said,
 "I have never met anyone so kind, so helpful as you.  I have just met you, hardly know one another and here you are dare helping me???" I remarked.
"YOU have asked for help from Allah and Allah sends through me"... was his reply.
My goodness, are there many good Samaritans out there? Most I have come across, would not dare helping with such an amount.  Most would probably just belittle you ... trying to do a project with no capital???

Another incident that struck me was...
One day my MPV broke down and I was helpless ... have no one to turn to for help.  I prayed hard and one night an old classmate called me over the phone.  After a short while the conversation was cut off.  Apparently her phone was out of batteries.  The next morning after my Subuh Prayer, the same good Samaritan was on the phone asking me how I was.  And I told him about my car which was giving me a scary ride along the steep hilly slope of Ipoh on a rainy day with no proper braking system on except its ABS ...
"Don't worry my dear, help is on its way from Allah" was his short remark and it was indeed a remarkable one!
Indeed help came... almost abruptly after he put down his phone.
"Sorry about the phone last night.  The battery was flat. I remember the last thing I have asked was how's your car?" She came just on time to refresh the hanging conversation of last night.
"Oh yes, the car lost its braking system.  I wasn't sure what was wrong with it but it was at the mechanics for a while now.  Him not knowing where to get the spare parts and all"  said I.
"I have this reliable mechanic near my house and we could have your car towed over and meanwhile you could have my Mercedes  to use"... another unbelievable remark!!! Indeed it was unbelievable.

Anyway, I was lent her Merc and her Pajero for almost a month.  The mechanic found the spare part from Senawang and managed to trace the root problem to my MPV.  It was the servo pump which had stopped functioning.

People who have hearts of gold are rare to find... May Allah Bless them and their families with good health, long life and stay in High Iman and Taqwa always.  Amin.

this posting is dedicated to the one with a heart of GOLD>