Thursday, January 31, 2013

CCTV-Smashing Game

Image credit:

There’s a new street game in town. Well, in Berlin, Germany actually! Activists have created “Camover” where they move through public spaces in disguise (although not essential), smashing CCTV cameras, recording the act and uploading it to YouTube for points.

The rules of Camover are simple: Mobilize a crew and think of a name that starts with "command", "brigade" or "cell", followed by the moniker of a historical figure (Van der Lubbe, a Dutch bricklayer convicted of setting fire to the Reichstag in 1933, is one name being used). Then proceed to destroy as many CCTV cameras as you can. Finally, video your trail of destruction and post it on the game's website – although even keeping track of the homepage can be a challenge in itself, as it is continually being shut down.

Camover is certainly a very challenging game. The authorities will surely consider this as an act of vandalism. Or is it? Can it be considered as a form of valid protest?

Totalitarian regimes are well-known for unleashing the punishing, spying gaze of the “secret police” (think KGB, Stasi), whose surveillance was always couched in the language of "public protection" and "crime solving". Today, CCTVs are extensively used by not just the government but also businesses and corporations. Given that the footage can be seized, often in secret, in the name of "combating terror" and similar rubrics – they are, therefore, really an extension of government surveillance.

It is a matter of perceptive.

This afternoon I was in the city – Changkat Raja Chulan – to attend the demo meeting for Olympia College located in Bangunan KWSP. As this was again a Division B initiative, I gave an opening address on behalf of Meyyappa (Division B Governor) as I was the most senior officer present. Other than this 5-minute contribution I sat out this meeting because there were already sufficient role players.

And in the evening, I was in Jalan PJS1/46 in Petaling Utama where I delivered CC speech #10 (titled ‘A Box of Chocolates’) – thereby completing my CC manual in a record time of 29 days. I must record my sincere thanks to my evaluator Sew Chang Wei for his kind words. Also, it gladdened my heart to note that the IME Toastmasters Club is still very much active and with management support, continue to attract new members.

Himpunan Hijau Becomes Political

Environmental group Himpunan Hijau decides to become political. Its president Wong Tack said the group was doing this to ensure a government that respects its people. So come GE13, it will throw its weight behind Pakatan Rakyat and vowing to see BN off in six parliamentary seats in what is referred to as the Pahang "green corridor" – these being Kuantan, Indera Mahkota, Temerloh, Raub, Cameron Highlands and Bentong.

The group's advisor Wong Chin Huat said the campaign would also focus on 14 state seats which make up 63.6 percent of the 22 needed to topple BN in Pahang for a simple majority. There are 42 state seats altogether in Pahang.

It is worth emphasizing that the aim should not be to vote BN out of the Green Corridor. Rather the aim is to vote the BN government out of this country.

Yesterday, I was at The Royal Lake Club that is nestled in KL's Lake Gardens for the Elite Toastmasters Club meeting. There I delivered another speech (titled ‘Protests’) from the Competent Communicator manual. My only complaint was that the meeting started awfully late. At 9:10 PM. Still, I am going to be forgiving because the speeches and evaluations were really praiseworthy! I know this is very uncharacteristic of me but it goes to show that speeches I often listened to at Toastmasters meetings nowadays are, more often than not, just tolerable. And the English can be abominably appalling. I must confess that I certainly enjoyed this particular meeting.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Year of Natural Scotland 2013

Scotland has enlisted Shetland residents to seduce you to visit Scotland! Discover how Shetland ponies are celebrating the Year of Natural Scotland 2013 – with their very own knitted jumpers!

A great opportunity to explore Scotland. If you didn’t know, Scotland is full of natural beauty. From stunning natural and historic landscapes, art inspired by nature and surprising wildlife, you can find nature right on your doorstep. Don't miss the chance to experience the great Scottish outdoors for yourself! I spent four wonderful years in Scotland – I can vouch for the authenticity of this claim!

Yesterday, I was at the PJ Trade Centre in Damansara Perdana. Gamuda staff are keen to start a Toastmasters club and I was tasked with putting a team together and organizing a demo meeting. I also took the opportunity to deliver a speech (titled “The Magic”) which went well.