Friday, May 25, 2012

Japan's Skytree - World's Tallest Tower

The Tokyo Skytree, holder of the record for the world's tallest tower has opened to the public. About 8,000 visitors took the high-speed lifts up to the observation decks of the 634m (2,080ft) tower on its opening day. Eager visitors have reportedly waited in line for more than a week to purchase tickets for the building's panoramic views.

Tokyo Skytree will provide services for digital radio and TV transmission, as well as an aquarium, theater, academic institutes and regional heating and cooling facilities. Tokyo's current broadcasting tower, Tokyo Tower, is at 333 m (1,093 ft), and is no longer tall enough to give complete digital terrestrial television broadcasting coverage because it is surrounded by many high-rise buildings.

Two observatories are open to the public, at 350 meters and 450 meters. The latter features an “air corridor” - a glassed walkway. Simulations have shown Tokyo Skytree is able to withstand an 8.0-magnitude earthquake, according to Hirotake Takanishi, PR manager for the Tobu Tower Skytree holding company. 

The lower observation platform houses a restaurant and shops, many of which sell something related to the tower's 634-meter height. The tower's official color is “Skytree White,” which has slight bluish undertones. Though it can show many night-time color combinations, the tower’s default illumination is blue or purple. Blue is to reflect the image of the once-blue Sumida river, while purple symbolizes miyabi, the popular purple kimono color from the Edo era. 

The Sky Tree was confirmed by Guinness World Record in November as beating the record previously held by the Canton Tower in China, which stands 600m (1,968 and a half feet) high. Under Guinness World Records guidelines, a tower is a structure in which less than 50 per cent of the total height is useable floor space. The world's tallest building and also the tallest free-standing structure on land remains Dubai's Burj Khalifa, which stands at 828m (2,717ft).


Monday, May 14, 2012

Eating cupcakes without adding any calories?

Don’t you ever wish you could stuff yourself with all kinds of delicious treats without feeling guilty about putting on weight? Just read an article that we’ll be able to do just that.

Familiar with electronic cigarettes? They are ingenious cigarette like gadgets designed as an alternative for smokers who just can’t put the habit away. Basically they turn a nicotine containing liquid into vapor that is allegedly a lot safer than tobacco smoke. US based company Vaportrim was apparently inspired by e-cigarette technology to create a similar device that is meant to help people lose weight. Their particular health aids apparently allow users to inhale delicious sweets like vanilla cupcakes or blueberry muffins without the many calories that usually come with them. 

The colorful vaporizers take advantage of the taste-smell connection. According to their research, 70% – 75% of what we taste is actually smell. So as you inhale delicious vapor, smell and taste receptors send messages to the brain, which in turn releases hormones telling your body it’s full. Apparently, studies have proven that the sense of smell triggers feelings of fullness before our stomachs do. So, by enhancing taste and smell, the inhalers help you feel full faster, so you eat less and lose more weight. There is a wide choice of flavors because it comes in 14 different flavors to choose from.

Being advertised by Vaportrim as the world’s first calorie-free dessert, it sounds great in theory, but does it really work? I wonder... It just looks more like e-cigarettes without nicotine marketed as a weight-loss products.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

"SUPER MOON" on 6th May 2012

"Super moon" phenomenon, known as a perigee full moon, means the Moon appears up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than when it is furthest from the planet. The Moon’s distance from the Earth is not always the same due to the elliptical shape of the orbit and variations in the gravitational attraction between the Moon, Earth and Sun, but it was the closest it will get to the Earth this year and appeared larger because of that. 

At its peak, it was about 356,400km (221,457 miles) away from Earth as compared to its usual distance from Earth of 384,000km (238,606 miles). However in Malaysia, we did not have the chance to observe this phenomenon because the Moon rose at 7:32 pm.  

It may have been only an optical illusion, but a sight to remember to those who are able to view it. The moon is always beautiful and a full moon is always dramatic. The "super moon" rewarded many moon gazers with bright, crisp detail of the full moon's craters and basins. The biggest and brightest full moon of the year on Saturday night, graced the skies and glowed around the world.

In Brazil it illuminated the landmark Christ the Redeemer statue. In Florida, fishermen worked their lines amid the moonlight in Bal Harbour. And near Athens, tourists watched as the moon rose behind the Temple of Poseidon.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Wesak Day at The Buddhist Maha Vihara Temple

This was my 6th year observing the Wesak Day celebration at the Buddhist Maha Vihara Temple in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur. Buddhists celebrated Wesak yesterday by paying respect to Lord Buddha on his birthday. Wesak Day is held to commemorate the birth, enlightenment (nirvana) and death (parinirvana) of Lord Buddha. The year 2012 marks the 2,556th Buddha Era.

This year, we went over early in the morning as we didn't want to get caught in the heavy traffic and crowd there. Arriving at the temple at about 9am was a good choice. Parking was always an issue when it comes to Wesak Day but we were lucky. Got one, not too far away from the temple.

The weather was just nice and drizzling from time to time not like the previous years when we were drenched in our sweat. Coincidentally, our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was there too together with a few others. Here are some of the photos taken...