October 24, 2006

oct 06 - 01

[021006] no more Orchard - PSI = 73


normal day in February with Orchard partially obscured by heavy rain:


[021006] nth incident of hui3 rong2 - accidentally sliced some skin off nose with sword at N*S wushu training. didn't realise it at first, tip of nose just felt numb & a little wet....=P

[041006] lousy afternoon of microinjection - 8 needles! & e first needle broke when a colleague rested her elbow on it (it was lying on e table) *duh* e rest got irreversibly clogged.

[051006] much better luck with microinjection - total of 453++ cells (kept losing count) with ONE needle =))

yet another farewell card, selected by HP:


yet another colleague (e 7th?) decides that either research life, Life Sciences &/or Singapore simply isn't for him/her....

[061006] PSI = 80


Ayer Rajah Telecommunication Complex tower (e 6 red lights) from NUS Raffles Hall bus stop....at 11+pm, one could not make out e outline of Swissotel from Plaza Sing....

from CNA online:

The war of fog: industry insists it's fighting Asian haze
Posted: 06 October 2006 1130 hrs

PANGKALAN KERINCI, Indonesia : As thick haze chokes Southeast Asia and drifts across the Pacific, the pulp and paper industry, blamed for failing to prevent the burning of vast swathes of Indonesian forest, says it's doing its best to fight the scourge.

According to Greenpeace, forest clearing for acacia pulpwood and oil palm plantations is the leading cause of illegal fires and suffocating haze which has closed schools, disrupted air traffic and caused widespread breathing problems.

The annual illegal burn-off in Indonesia, which officials have been accused of doing little to stop, sees acrid smoke billow across the region, with Malaysia, Singapore and southern Thailand usually worst affected.

This week, the haze had also spread 3,600 kilometres (2,250 miles) to smother islands in the western Pacific.

But giant companies like Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Ltd. (APRIL) and Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), among the world's biggest pulp and paper producers, say they are committed to fighting the fires -- even though their plantations keep expanding.

"We use only mechanical methods to clear the land," said Brad Senders, APRIL fire, safety and aviation manager. "We don't want to contribute to the smoke and haze."

Both companies have their headquarters in Singapore and are part of powerful conglomerates -- Sinar Mas for APP, Raja Garuda Mas for APRIL -- controlled by tycoons.

Sukanto Tanoto, boss of Raja Garuda Mas, which has interests in palm oil, construction and energy, was named as the richest man in Indonesia by Forbes Asia magazine last month.

Net plantable areas under APRIL management cover more than 400,000 hectares (nearly a million acres) and the company's mill near this city of Pangkalan Kerinci is the second biggest in the world in terms of designed production capacity.

APRIL uses around 9 million cubic meters (nearly 12 million cubic yards) of wood annually for its yearly production capacity of 2 million tons of pulp. APP capacities are similar.

As of the end of June 2006, APRIL says it has planted about 300,000 hectares of acacia, but still acknowledges that 55 percent of the wood it uses comes from natural forests.

This angers conservationists, who are concerned that rare wildlife, such as Sumatran tigers, Sumatran elephants and birds, face extinction.

"We need the wood as raw material for pulp and paper. Why would we burn it? We do not want charcoal mixed in chips," APRIL's Senders, presenting his team of firefighters which is equipped with a water-dropping helicopter.

Dressed in red overalls and equipped with radio transmitters, their goal is to get to fires within two hours of receiving a report, flying by helicopter equipped with portable water pumps, hoses and axes.

"Since 1996, APP has insisted that its fiber suppliers implement a strict no-burn policy," said company spokeswoman Aida Greenbury.

The company claims to have more than 600 trained fire officers and three full-time fire-suppression helicopters to patrol the forests and control fires.

But environmental groups insist burning is continuing in APRIL and APP concessions.

"We found some evidence that there are hotspots in their concessions and the concessions of their sub-contractors," Rully Syumanda from Walhi, the Indonesian branch of Friends of the Earth, told AFP.

A coalition of three non-government organisations in Sumatra's Riau province asserted that from January to August this year, 8,876 hotspots were detected there.

By associated pulp mill, APP contributed to 745 hotspots and APRIL 523, with the remainder unknown or unidentified groups, the coalition said in September.

"Unfortunately, fires still do occur in APP operating areas," Greenbury concedes.

"These are frequently started illegally by villagers seeking to clear land so that they can plant oil palms, rubber or other crops."

WWF's Indonesian species conservation director Nazir Foead agrees that small companies are enticed to burn.

"For small companies doing palm oil, the best and cheapest way is to set fire. You don't need bulldozers," he said. - AFP

for those in Singapore complaining about e haze, perhaps they could try wasting less of stuff like APP's Paseo brand tissues & APRIL's PaperOne A4 paper?

[061006] SBS customer feedback:


[101006] how people found this blog through Google search over e past week:

Kanagawa - "fingerprint pad fetal"
Nigeria - "skyscrapers in Abuja Nature and Locations"
Jakarta - "orchard plaza massage"
Amsterdam - "toys outside thailand khom loy"
Texas - "kitten ate chocolate"
Canberra - "prefect whole school teacher slipper punishment sir"
Singapore - "kway chup holland close drive market"
Nova Scotia - "small handphone cross stitch kits"
Singapore - "jurong east cat abuser caught" (how i wish!)
Hong Kong - "fangus"
Honolulu - "bulbuls missing tails or losing feathers"
Taipei - "Akha photo"
Thailand - "beautiful life j drama wallpaper"
Amsterdam - "pang naga prok" (are you also born on Saturday?)
Singapore - "two giant helium balloon and NDP 2006 and Singapore"
Kobe - "Pang Naga Prok" (another one born on Saturday, like e Amsterdam guy?)
Missouri - "yatsuhashi kyoto cinnamon"
Boston - "animal scroll kozanji"

[131006] from Hurting, haunting, hoping in Bangkok Post Outlook:

In concluding this talk, let me recite before you the writing of one of Siam's greatest poets - Angkarn Kalyanapongse. It is a conversation between a father and his daughter.

Father told his daughter: "What are dewdrops? Dewdrops are the tears of Time."

The daughter asked: "Why does Time weep? Is Time so sad, Papa?"

Father answered: "Time weeps because it has to leave us to a faraway land in the waves of the irreversible Wheel of Time."

But that Time cries is not only due to sorrow.

"Because dewdrops are also pleased to pay respect to the Sun, to be able to mirror the true values of all seven rays of sunlight as their gift to the world. Yet, dewdrops grieve since in their immediate evaporation, they have to bid farewell to us. They cannot remain to polish our glances so that we could profoundly appreciate rainbows and other beauties. Thus, with glee or in grief, Dewdrops are the Tears of Time."

I choose to end this talk with the poet's words because they are sadly beautiful. Through beauty, truth can be seen. Truth seen through the eyes of beauty will allow us to continue to live as human beings in reality with the strength to believe in the Good.

Chaiwat Satha-Anand teaches 'Violence and Nonviolence in Politics' at Thammasat University. This essay, translated into English by the author, is an edited version of his keynote address given at Thammasat University on October 6, 2006, the 30th anniversary of '6 Tula '19'.

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