Saturday, June 12, 2021

176 Million Cases and the Red Radar Timepiece


Okay, the global caseload is 176 million and 3.8 million deaths. 

By now, it is crystal clear that we are dealing with a virus that spreads far more easily – probably more than twice as easily – as the version that emerged in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019. 

The Alpha variant, first identified in Kent, UK, performed a large jump in its ability to transmit. Now Delta, seen first in India, leapt even further. This is evolution in action. 

We must now ask if we are doomed to a never-ending parade of new and improved variants that get harder and harder to contain? Or is there a limit to how much worse coronavirus can become? 

Only time will tell. 

Talking about time, Bell & Ross, the high-end watch maker revered by timepiece cognoscenti everywhere have re-released one of the brand's most emblematic and boldest designs. 

Their Red Radar model was first introduced in 2011 – it’s a non-conformist timepiece that provides a radar-inspired way of reading time. I think it's really cool! Its graphics reproduced the scanning motion of the light beam on a radar screen with realism. 

The display is composed of two concentric discs, which are fused with the dial. The external one displays the hours and the inner one shows the minutes. They replace the traditional hours and minutes hands. 

To read the time, you’ll have to use the two small planes, which are screen-printed and appear to fly over the dial. 

Finally, a red central hand displays the seconds, like the scanning bar found on a real radar. 

The other cool thing to finalize the display of this highly innovative piece is the sapphire crystal, which is red-tinted and that features the hour and minute scales printed on the inner side. 

The Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Red Radar Ceramic (ref. BR0392-RRDR-CE/SRB) will be limited to 999 pieces and available as of July 2021. It will retail for €3,900. 

If I can afford, I would want it, for sure!

Friday, June 11, 2021

Mother Takes Fight Against Indigenous Deaths in Custody to the UN


Australia’s justice system must have been found wanting because a mother (above) and a team of high-profile lawyers have filed a complaint over her son's death in custody to the UN Human Rights Commission. 

Advocates say it is one of the first cases of an Indigenous death in custody in Australia to be brought to the United Nations. 

Indigenous man David Dungay Jr died after being restrained by five prison officers in a Sydney prison in 2015. In fact, a video later shown at the 26-year-old’s inquest had captured his final moments: his labored breathing and muffled screams under the pack of guards. "I can't breathe", he yelled repeatedly, before losing consciousness. 

FYI, none of the guards faced disciplinary action. 

"The government and the prison had a duty of care to keep David safe, with people who were trained properly to keep him alive. The system failed, and David lost his life because of that failure", the mother had maintained. "My son had a right to live". 

The legal team is also seeking to put pressure on the government over their record on Indigenous deaths in custody. [Note: I  had blogged about this very issue in my June 08, 2020 post titled "#GeorgeFloyd: A Timely Reminder for Aussies"]. 

You may or may not know but aboriginal people have the highest rate of incarceration of any group in the world. Since 1991, at least 474 Indigenous people have died in custody. 

While Aboriginal people don't die at a greater rate than non-Aboriginal Australians in custody, they are vastly overrepresented in the criminal justice system. 

And governments do have a responsibility to hold people accountable when they take a life. 

Leetona Dungay, the complainant is right when she said: "That's why we need to go to the international stage to seek justice – to shame our government into action, to expose systemic racism that runs throughout the justice system. Black lives do matter".

The Vegetable Series by Hermès

The Hermès brand is famous for its oh-so elegant bags. 

And they're very, very pricey because they're handmade. It takes high-brow craftsmanship and attention to detail to make them. In a sense, you can say that the meticulous process of manufacturing these bags is an art.

Their Birkin bags are an investment piece, and can cost around $12,000 on the low-end and $200,000 on the high-end. 

But their new series looks very different, even bizarre. That's because these bags are made of real vegetables! 

Three types of bags are currently posted on the fashion brand’s official Instagram account, reinterpreting the iconic Birkin through creative arrangements of asparagus, cucumbers and cabbages.









“Enjoy the detour as classic Hermès bags inspire art good enough to eat”, read the caption on the post by artist Ben Denzer, who is responsible for the vegetable bags. 

And if you don’t like vegetables, there are also bags made from fruits like apples and bananas – although they didn’t make the final cut actually.


Would anybody be foolish enough to want to buy them, I wonder?

Thursday, June 10, 2021

175 Million Cases and Post-Covid Caution


Covid-19 infections and deaths are still rising in many parts of the world and already surpassing 175 million cases. 

Anyhow, it's good to know that governments are finally getting their acts together and feverishly working hard to get their populations vaccinated.

The world will only be safe when enough people have protection thanks to natural infection or vaccination, and the virus is no longer able to easily spread. Until that days arrives, there remains a risk that novel variants will arise as the pathogen mutates, potentially negating immunity gained from earlier exposure.  

One country that deserves special mention is obviously China because the country is doing exceptionally well in this regard – more than 800 million doses have been administered in China as at Tuesday. 

Another thing to note is that even for patients who have recovered from Covid-19, don’t think the worst of the virus is over. It is wise for them to maintain proper care and that they endeavor to strengthen their immunity and prevent any further health issues that may arise. 

It is said that they can get complications from Covid-19, including cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, neurology or psychiatry, and even more serious conditions such as multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) or autoimmune conditions.

I'm glad that I'm fit as a fiddle. At the risk of repeating myself, I steadfastly believe that our own immune system is the best defense against Covid. And that's because it supports the body’s natural ability to defend against pathogens and resists infections.

Let's face it. Viruses will always co-exist with us. Truth be told, we have survived thus far and I have no doubt that as we look ahead, we will continue to not only survive but thrive as well. We should know that we humans are a resilient species. 

Stay strong, stay safe. 

Malaysia's Covid Caseload Stays Stubbornly High

Malaysia’s new Covid-19 cases climbed back up to 6,239 yesterday, following two days of slump in our daily numbers to below the 6,000 mark. Monday and Tuesday had recorded 5,271 and 5,566 cases respectively. 

And if you must know, 15 new clusters were detected on Wednesday – all but two involving workplaces. 

Like many Malaysians, I am upset that we seem incapable of containing Covid-19. We do more wrongs than rights – and that, of course, explains why our infection and fatality rates are going through the roof. We are cursed with twats and idiots in the Cabinet as well as the same types in charge of the government machinery. 

One case in point. A video depicting officers from the Immigration Department rounding up 202 migrants – they released 46 who had legal documents and detained 156 others who had none – in Cyberjaya, Selangor on Monday went viral. The detainees were subjected to a mass disinfection exercise to supposedly prevent the spread of the coronavirus – and it has drawn consternation from public health advocates.


In case, the authorities are dumber than dumb – they should know that spraying an individual with disinfectant – one press report identified it as Dettol – directly onto their bodies is not a proven way of killing bacteria. 

As Head of the Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy Azrul Mohd Khalib said efforts to prevent Covid-19 from spreading should be guided by the science and evidence of what works to be effective. 

He emphasized that cleanliness and personal hygiene are extremely important, and that it has been widely known since July 2020 at least, that disinfection exercises have little or no impact on the transmission of Covid-19. 

Besides the fact that it has no demonstrable benefit, direct spraying of disinfectant on people is not only demeaning and degrading, it also violates human dignity. 

We should go back to basics. This simply means focusing on self and strict adherence to SOPs. 

In fact, undocumented migrants are one of the most important groups to vaccinate, given the high migrant worker population in this country. If we don’t consider them, I don’t think we can achieve herd immunity. 

If half of the Malaysians in the country have yet to register for the vaccine, imagine the enormous challenge it will be to get the two to three million undocumented migrant workers vaccinated. 

#KerajaanBodoh #KerajaanGagal

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

India Battles Black Fungus


As a devastating second wave of Covid-19 ebbs with less than 100,000 new cases reported on Tuesday, India is battling mucormycosis (commonly referred to as “black fungus”), a rare fungal disease with a high mortality rate. 

On Monday, the country’s Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said the country has more than 28,000 cases of the fungal infection. 

While black fungus has been found in India before, the current spike in infections is among people infected with COVID-19 and those who have recovered from the disease. 

The outbreak is putting tremendous pressure on the health infrastructure, especially on the availability of Liposomal Amphotericin-B, the last-line drug being used to treat black fungus and which, according to health authorities, is in short supply in the country.

I just read that Liverpool are planning a pre-season friendly that will see Steven Gerrard (left) return to Anfield as manager of Scottish champions Rangers. 

Gerrard left Liverpool in 2015 and has returned since as a player for the Reds’ legends side – but this will be the first time he has been in the Anfield dugout. 

The iconic former captain led Rangers to the Scottish title in his third season in charge north of the border, their first title in 10 years impressively achieved after amassing 102 points and conceding just 13 goals in 38 games. 

Due to the pandemic, Liverpool’s pre-season plans will see them remain more local than typically in a summer and there will be at least one Anfield friendly scheduled. 

Jurgen Klopp has given players an extended break of seven weeks, opposed to the usual six weeks, with pre-season to begin for non-international players on July 12. A training camp in France or Austria is planned, depending on respective government restrictions nearer the time. 

But a friendly against Rangers, at Anfield, in late July is being penned in – and it could be a match that sees a full capacity at Anfield for the first time since March 2020, should government restrictions allow.

Gerrard won’t be the only former Red returning to Anfield, along with winger Ryan Kent, plus backroom staff Gary McAllister, Michael Beale, Tom Culshaw and Jordan Milsom. 

It should be a great occasion at Anfield. Let’s hope this pans out!

WFH Has Really Caught On

Work From Home has really caught on in a very big way.

Now, it appears that once American office workers got a taste of the freedom by working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, they don’t want to let it go. They’re really enjoying the freedom that comes from the flexibility of remote work.

And so, more studies are showing that these people are even willing to quit their jobs, relocate or do whatever they need to do in order to continue enjoying this WFH environment. 

Check out this news report:

I betcha this is true everywhere else too.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Shadow Puppets

Whilst checking out Boing Boing, I stumbled upon “Shadow Puppets”, a 10-minute animation about the "Orwellian life of a man whose sole job is to push buttons – and discovers freedom by making shadow puppets".

Animated in a stark black and white palette, this beautiful yet tragic story by Chuck Gamble depicts a man's bleak existence in a totalitarian work environment where his only source of joy and freedom comes from making shadow puppets with his hands. 

When an act of cruelty inflicted upon the man leads to the loss of his fingers, he must find another way to make his shadow puppets.

 

This is a phenomenal short animation with soul. I don't know about you but it gives me mixed feelings. I sense both dread and hope. 

I like the fact that its inked, sketchy, black and white animation style gives this film the feeling of an artistic comic book. The artistic originality of this film makes it stand out as a story of human cruelty and finding the light within the darkness.

This film was made in 1994 and featured at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Harith Iskander on Cigarettes and Alcohol

Did you read my post on Saturday about cigarettes and alcohol? 

Here’s Harith Iskander’s take on the same subject:

This is yet another confirmation that the Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Rosol Wahid is a twat and an idiot. 

174 Million Cases and the Original 1886 Coca-Cola Recipe


The world has notched another million cases, bringing the total to 174 million.

Zambia is country #94 to join the C100K grouping. 

And for your info, Malaysia has come a long way. We're ranked #39 in the world.







For those who know me, Coca-Cola is my #1 all-time favorite beverage. 

The product that has given the world its best-known taste was born in Atlanta in Georgia, USA on May 08, 1886. 

Dr. John Stith Pemberton, a local pharmacist produced the syrup for Coca-Cola, and carried a jug of the new product down the street to Jacob's Pharmacy, where it was sampled, pronounced "excellent" and placed on sale for five cents a glass as a soda fountain drink. Carbonated water was teamed with the new syrup to produce a drink that was at once "Delicious and Refreshing", a theme that continues to echo today wherver Coca-Cola is enjoyed!

And this morning, as I was scrolling YouTube, this video came to my attention and which I'm gonna share here. 

You'd better believe it – it’s the original 1886 recipe for Coca-Cola:

 
Let me invite you to join me in enjoying delicious and refreshing Coke, anywhere, anytime!



Sunday, June 6, 2021

Malaysia's Covid Situation is Grim


Malaysia’s Covid situation is grim. 

Todate, the caseload has risen to 616,815 and the total number of fatalities has climbed steadily to 3,378. There are currently 86,628 active cases with 890 patients in ICU. Of those cases, 444 are in need of ventilators.

The country logged 7,748 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, 7,452 on Saturday and 6,241 on Sunday. 

In addition, MOH had detected 23 new clusters on June 04, of which 12 were from workplaces. The following day, there were 24 new clusters and 17 of them were workplace clusters. And today, there were 30 new clusters – 18 of them were workplace clusters, 10 of which were linked to factories. 

By now, it is plainly obvious that letting so many companies to operate during the June 01 to 14 total lockdown is a totally reckless decision by the government. 

Nothing in place now promises a reversal in the upward trend of infections and deaths, and the vaccine rollout which commenced on February 24 remains at a snail’s pace. 

In fact, it has been reported that as of Tuesday, 2,002,345 Malaysians had received their first dose while 1,104,873 have had both. 

We are a long way off our target because to achieve herd immunity, the government had wanted to vaccinate 80% or 25 million of the country’s 32 million population by year end. And so far, the inoculation campaign exposes a system that is slow and often overly bureaucratic.

Health Director-General Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (right) brings more distressing news when he informs Malaysians today that there’s been an alarming increase in sporadic Covid-19 cases in the country since April 2021. He attributes it to the emergence of a number of new variants that have a high infectivity and fatality rate spreading through the community. 

Nothing seems to be going right for us right now – and Malaysians are no longer surprised because we already know that our backdoor government are downright hopeless. 

#KerajaanBodoh #KerajaanGagal

"Third Eye" for Smartphone Zombies

Anyone holding a smartphone could use an extra eye to help keep their wits about them as they screen-blindedly go about their daily business. 

That's where Korean postgraduate student Paeng Min-wook comes in. Studying innovation design engineering at UK's Royal College of Art and Imperial College, the 28-year-old, with tongue partly in cheek, has created the "Third Eye," a beeping strap-on contraption that watches where you're going so you don't have to.

 

The device, part of an artwork Paeng has called "Phono Sapiens", opens its translucent eyelid whenever it senses the user's head has been lowered to look at a smartphone. When the user comes within one to two meters of an obstacle, the device beeps to warn of the impending danger. 

Paeng's invention uses a gyro sensor to measure the oblique angle of the user's neck and an ultrasonic sensor to calculate the distance between the robotic eye and any obstacles. Both sensors are linked to an open-source single-board microcontroller, with battery pack. 

His demonstration of the device in Seoul, South Korea this week garnered attention from passersby. 

Paeng plans to develop a camera module for the Third Eye and a linked mobile phone application – but he has no plans to commercialise his invention. Methinks, he'll change his stance given potential demand.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Essential Cigarettes and Non-essential Alcohol

In Malaysia, we seem to love promoting idiocy! 

The Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Rosol Wahid said yesterday that the sale of cigarettes is permitted despite it not being listed as an essential item, as it is “essential to cigarette addicts”!

But the sale of alcoholic drinks is prohibited. 

And this is because liquor is categorized as a non-essential item by the National Security Council.

In fact, police even ordered the liquor store of TMC supermarket in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur to close and news of the incident was plastered all over social media.

The above is just nonsensical.  


Yesterday too, The Vibes reported that both the Senior Minister for Security and the Inspector-General of Police had expressed surprise at the actions of the Brickfields police team for ordering the shutdown of the TMC liquor store. 

The former reportedly said: "Premises that sell alcohol (closed)? Even the 7-Eleven that sells alcohol is (allowed to) open". And the latter, meanwhile, was quoted as saying that he was unaware of the incident. 

We are saddled with a non-essential government populated with non-essential politicians who are hell-bent on ruining this country. Malaysia is brimming with twats and idiots. 

#KerajaanBodoh #KerajaanGagal

An update as at Thursday, 07:30 AM. According to Bernama, 128,150 companies with some 1.57 million employees have been given approval to stay operational during the 14-day lockdown.

This is a disappointing state of affairs because it contradicts the actual purpose of having this lockdown in the first place! I don't believe Malaysia is serious about reining in Covid-19!

173 Million Cases and Revisiting Italy's Covid Origins


The Covid caseload is going up steadily and it has reached 173 million cases and 3.7 million deaths.

That aside, here's an interesting development that for some reason, is not covered by Western media. 

The World Health Organization confirmed to the Global Times on Wednesday that the UN agency are working with researchers in Italy and a reference laboratory to retest the samples of a study that suggested the coronavirus may have been circulating in Italy since autumn 2019, earlier than in Wuhan in China's Hubei Province. 

The study titled “Unexpected Detection of SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies in the Pre-Pandemic Period in Italy” released in November 2020 by the National Cancer Institute (INT) in Milan showed that Covid antibodies were detected in the blood samples of 111 of 959 individuals enrolled in a lung cancer screening trial between September 2019 and March 2020. Most of the volunteers were from Lombardy, which was the first and hardest-hit region of Italy by Covid-19. 

Chinese observers said this indicates that international experts have started tracking down the origins of COVID-19 outside China – and the tracing work may move to cover more countries that reported early evidence, including the US. 

The US has been trying very hard to pin the Covid blame on the Wuhan Institue of Virology – its latest attempt to undermine China. 

But you and I know it's just another made-up story. America is pathetic.

Lip Art

Meet Andrea Reed, a makeup artist, photographer, and model from Victoria, BC, Canada, who goes by the name girlgreybeauty on Instagram.

She is best known for turning lips into colorful masterpieces:























Friday, June 4, 2021

HarmonyOS 2.0

Originally announced in August 2019, the Huawei HarmonyOS 2.0 operating system was officially launched on Wednesday. 

HarmonyOS 2.0 is defined as a smart device operating system for the era of the Internet of Things (IoT). It enables seamless interactions among a wide array of device forms, from earphones and automobile head units to smart TVs and mobile phones. It treats different smart devices into a single super device, behind which all devices work collaboratively and share their resources. 

In fact, Huawei is not unlike Apple whereby it has a single software platform that extends in all directions, providing a total experience to customers that buy into its ecosystem of products.

Methinks, this is the beginning of breaking the duopoly of Android and iOS over the operating system for mobile Internet devices.

On Tuesday, I was involved in a 3-hour session “Communicate with Confidence" with Ahmad Fakhri and company – using Microsoft Teams. 

A good session conducted in both English and Malay.






Why Public Speaking is Important and Update 12

I’m sure there are many who will ask why is public speaking important. 

It’s pretty obvious really. Everyone encounters a situation where public speaking skills are necessary. It could be at work, school/university, or in your personal life. 

And you'll want to:

  • Share information 
  • Motivate listeners to make a change 
  • Win over your audience 

Not to mention, career benefits: 

  • Bring people together 
  • Career advancement 
  • Become a thought leader 
  • Sales – the art of persuasion is mandatory 
  • Stand out in the workforce 

As well as making new social connections: 

  • Get comfortable in social settings 
  • Find supporters 
  • Increase your professional network 

And undoubtedly, there are the personal benefits: 

  • Boost confidence 
  • Improve communication skills 
  • Enhance critical thinking 
  • Learn to argue 
  • Be a better listener 
  • Personal satisfaction 

And when you can appreciate all of the above, at the very least, you’ll want to equip yourself with public speaking basics. 

Public speaking is one of the most effective ways to get your message across. 

With public speaking, you can influence the world around you. If you see something that needs to change, use public speaking to change it! 

Every public speaking opportunity you come across is a time to spread your influence for the greater good. That’s why World Speech Day is there for you!

Here's this week's update:



The Top 25 WSD 2021 videos as at today, 07:30 AM Malaysian time: 

  • Sanjanaa Kanthan – 2347 views (2319) 
  • Velleny Jivel Jinau – 1727 views (1635) 
  • Simon Gibson – 1240 views (1224) 
  • Yosshveina Jega Theesan – 1206 views (1198) 
  • Tashvein Jega Theesan – 1173 views (1158) 
  • Amirah – 1155 views (1146) 
  • Karyn Yadlyn – 1126 views (1036) 
  • Christal Wong – 1119 views (1035) 
  • Vellvie Jivel Jinau – 936 views (922) 
  • Santhy Dewi Pillai – 631 views (609) 
  • Sumithra Devi – 607 views (595) 
  • Joyce Tan – 539 views (519) 
  • Annie Tsen – 526 views (526) 
  • Ooi Mei Ling – 492 views (482) 
  • Robyn Grace Leo – 476 views (455) 
  • Chong Kai Zhen – 435 views (410) 
  • Janany Ganabatirau – 433 views (432) 
  • Vashnavy Ragupathy – 405 (376) 
  • Thanuja Kunasekaran – 394 (333) 
  • Haari Shamundiswary – 392 (284) 
  • Ahmed Tarek Fawzy – 385 views (385) 
  • Mathew Varughese – 367 views (362)
  • Ilham Firdaus – 363 views (363) 
  • Chin Hui Ling – 357 views ( – )  
  • Karan Z’vyr – 347 views (340) 

[Note: The figures in parentheses indicate the number of views from the last report published May 28, 2021]. 

A reminder: If you’ve not subscribed to the said channel, please do so because you’ll be showing your support for CV+ and World Speech Day! 

#unexpectedvoices #worldspeechday #worldspeechday2021kualalumpur #worldspeechday2021johorbahru