Saturday, 25 October 2014

Creepiest Halloween destinations

New Orleans has been singled out as one of the creepiest places to spend Halloween.

Edinburgh, New Orleans and Rajasthan have been identified as among the most haunting, scariest destinations in the world for getting your chill on in advance of Halloween.

The list, curated by, shines the spotlight on cities that offer the best “creepy tours around the world,” deliciously frightful itineraries that take visitors through cemeteries, prisons, bridges and forts, purportedly haunted by unhappy spirits and shadowy figures of the dead.

Here’s a sample of some of the best places to get your spook on:

New Orleans, Louisiana

A New Orleans Ghost Tour presents a striking contrast to the lively music and color traditionally associated with the city, by showing visitors its darker, more sinister side, namely via Madame LaLaurie, a 17th century socialite known for the heartless, brutal torture tactics she used on slaves. The tour also sheds light on the city’s vampire past.

Salem, Massachusetts

In the 17th century, mass hysteria beset a small New England town, in which a group of locals were accused of practicing witchcraft. The town would execute 19 women at the famous Salem Witch Trial in 1692. Participants of the Spellbound Tour are taken to the old Witch Dungeon, and the second oldest cemetery in the US.

Rajasthan, India

Urban lore has it that the Bhangarh Fort is the most haunted place in India. Story goes, the fort is cursed by a scorned sorcerer, angry that his love for the palace princess was not returned. Naturally, he placed a curse on the palace, sentencing its residents to death. To this day, the site prohibits visits between sunset and sunrise, and locals claim that no one who has stayed in the ruins after sunset has returned.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Ghost hunters would have a field day in the Scottish capital, said to be a hive of paranormal activity and ghost sightings. When the plague caused massive die-offs in the mid 1600s, people were left to die in hidden underground streets and tunnels that became mass graves. Tours take participants through the city’s labyrinthine underground like Mary King’s Close and to the South Bridge Vaults, said to be haunted by ghostly locals.


Two dead in US school shooting after online warnings

Students from Marysville-Pilchuck High School grieve during a vigil at the Grove Church on October 24, 2014 in Marysville, Washington. - David Ryder/Getty Images North America/AFP

LOS ANGELES: A US student who had issued chilling warnings on Twitter opened fire in a school cafeteria on Friday, killing at least one person and critically injuring three before taking his own life.

Terrified classmates dived for cover as the gunman, identified by media reports and fellow students as Jaylen Fryberg, launched his attack in a school in the northwestern state of Washington.

Police said the investigation was still ongoing and would likely continue into the early morning Saturday.

"This continues to be an active homicide investigation. We want to make sure we do this right and have all of the right answers," local police spokesman Robb Lamoureux told a press conference late Friday.

As with previous such shootings, the episode revived debate on gun control, even though the gun involved was legally acquired.

"I heard one loud bang and I was wondering what it was. Then I heard about four or five more. People started screaming and people started getting to the ground and going for the nearest exit," said a student identified as Jordan.

"So I hit the ground. But after he'd already put some bullets into the backs of students," he told CNN.

The shooting, just the latest in a long line of such rampages in the United States, erupted in Marysville, 55 kilometers north of Seattle.

Lamoureux declined to identify the shooter or comment on online suggestions, including on Fryberg's social media posts, that the attack might have been triggered by a failed romance.

"The shooter died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound," he said earlier in the day.

Television footage showed swarms of police descending on the Marysville-Pilchuck High School as students, some with hands on heads, came out of the sprawling campus, which has some 2,500 students.

A student identified as Austin told KING 5 television how the gunman was initially "quiet" before opening fire on fellow diners.

"There was just a big group of kids... He was quiet. He was just sitting there. Everyone was talking. All of a sudden I see him stand up, pull something out of his pocket," he said.

"At first I thought it was just someone making a really loud noise with like a bag, like a pretty loud pop until I heard four more after that, and I saw three kids just fall from the table like they were falling to the ground dead."

'Tortured Twitter posts '

Fryberg, a Native American, left a series of tortured posts on Twitter, suggesting a teenager used to handling guns, and hinting that a failed romance may have triggered the shooting.

One post on Instagram showed him brandishing a hunting rifle.

"Probably the best BirthDay present ever! I just love my parents!!!!," he posted in a message accompanying the photo.

In his final post on Twitter on Thursday, Fryberg had stated ominously: "It won't last...It'll never last...."

It won't last.... It'll never last....— Jaylen Fryberg (@frybergj) October 23, 2014

Earlier, in August, he had issued threats to an apparent love rival: "Your not gonna like what happens next."

But some schoolmates voiced shock after the attack by Fryberg, reportedly a popular student.

"When I saw him, I was like, oh my gosh, that's Jaylen. I would have never expected it would have been him out of all people," student Rachel Heichel said.

Joanne Roberts, a doctor at Providence Medical Center, told local TV station KOMO that three young people were in a "very critical condition" after the shooting.

Two female patients were being treated in the Providence ICU while two males were in the ICU at Harborview Medical Center, according to the Marysville Police Department, which said all were under age 18.

CNN reported that one of the boys had been critically injured, while the other was being treated for a jaw injury.

Previous mass shootings, like that which killed 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut in December 2012, have triggered intense debate about America's relatively lax gun control laws.

The weapon used in Friday's attack was not identified, but Doug Dawson of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) said that it had been "legally acquired," declining to comment further.

Marysville police chief Rick Smith said the shooting should be a wake-up call.

"It's time for us to act, and not just talk anymore," he said. - AFP 

Organiser apologises over 'I Want to Touch a Dog' event

AZMI: The programme was not meant at all to suggest that Muslims should keep dogs as pets.

PETALING JAYA : The organiser of the event, 'I Want to Touch a Dog', held last Sunday has apologised for causing unease among Muslims.

Syed Azmi Alhabshi stressed that the event was not intended to deviate Muslims from the faith, distort Islamic teachings, ridicule Islamic scholars or promote liberalism. 

He said the event was held merely to help the public overcome their fear of dogs and how people may treat the animal in the context of Islam.

"The programme was not meant at all to suggest that Muslims should keep dogs as pets. It was only to stress the point that the dog is a creature of Allah," he told a media conference here today.

Also present at the press conference were co-organiser Norhayati Ismail, Syed Azmi's lawyer Syahredzan Johan, and Ustaz Iqbal Parjin who was invited to the event to give a briefing on the cleansing ritual for Muslims who had touched dogs.

"I admit that the programme had its weaknesses. I sincerely apologise to those whose feelings I had offended or whom I had put into trouble.

"I also want to apologise to those who had come to the event with a genuine intent to learn and not otherwise," he said.

He did not stay to respond to reporters' questions after giving the statement. Syahredzan subsequently explained that Syed Azmi had to leave in a hurry for security reasons.

"I was with him yesterday when he was bombarded with more than 2,000 insults and death threats over Facebook, short message service (SMS) and WhatsApp.

"It has made him afraid to appear in public, to be intimidated with warnings about 'breaking his bones', and death threats," he said.

The lawyer also dismissed claims that Syed Azmi was an apostate.

Meanwhile, Norhayati said the gesture by some Muslim participants to hug and peck the dogs at the event held on Oct 19 at Central Park, One Utama here, happened outside of the organisers' control.

"We could not fully control the crowd but we succeeded in helping them to overcome their fear of dogs and how to handle a dog in an emergency and doing the ritual cleansing after that.

"We have no intention to hold another event ... we understand Muslims' sensitivities," she said.

- Source: Bernama

Relau besi disangka tempayan

Dr Wan Shamsudin (empat, kanan) bersama sebahagian ahli PSMCK dan penduduk melihat keadaan relau besi yang ditemui di Kampung Chichar.
Dr Wan Shamsudin (empat, kanan) bersama sebahagian ahli PSMCK dan penduduk melihat keadaan relau besi yang ditemui di Kampung Chichar.

ALOR SETAR - Penemuan terbaru khazanah purba di Kampung Chichar, Jeneri, dekat sini, dilihat terus membuktikan kehebatan industri pembuatan besi awal abad masihi di Kedah.

Pengerusi Persatuan Sejarah Malaysia Cawangan Kedah (PSMCK), Datuk Dr Wan Shamsudin Mohd Yusof berkata, artifak sejarah ini dikenal pasti sebagai relau besi.

“Melalui kaji selidik dilakukan PSMCK, kami dapati dua struktur yang mulanya disangka penduduk adalah tempayan besar sebenarnya relau besi.

“Malah, objek terbenam dalam tanah berkenaan didapati memiliki nilai sejarah tinggi. Ia menyerupai relau ditemui berhampiran Sungai Batu, Lembah Bujang,” katanya.

Lebih mengagumkan, menurutnya, melalui pemerhatian, relau besi baru ditemui berkenaan dianggarkan berusia 1,000 tahun.

Dr Wan Shamsudin berkata, faktor relau berbentuk bulat digunakan untuk melebur besi yang masih lengkap dilihat membuktikan kehebatan pembuatan besi Kedah.

Oleh itu, katanya, mereka mengharapkan sokongan semua pihak khususnya kerajaan negeri dalam kaji selidik dilakukan demi menjejaki warisan tersembunyi Kedah.

Malah, katanya, penemuan artifak sejarah sedemikian dilihat berpotensi dijadikan produk pelancongan dan tarikan terbaru negeri ini.

Sebelum ini, penemuan terbaru khazanah purba dalam tanah dianggarkan berusia ratusan tahun mengejutkan rata-rata penduduk Kampung Chichar, Jeneri.

Difahamkan, tujuh relau besi di Kampung Gading, Jeniang, kira-kira 17 kilometer (km) dari tapak penemuan lokasi terbaru diletakkan di bawah tapak tanah bersejarah Jabatan Warisan Negara.

- Sumber: Sinar Harian 

Dendam orang mati: Seram, mendebarkan

SEJAK dahulu lagi, terdapat bermacam-macam jenis kepercayaan karut, mitos dan legenda yang dipegang atas alasan kepercayaan dari nenek moyang.

Ada di antaranya adalah kepercayaan terhadap angka 4 (di Asia) dan 13 (di Barat) yang dianggap sebagai angka yang membawa malapetaka.

Sebagai contoh banyak bangunan di negara-negara di Asia Timur dan Asia Tenggara, mengelak menggunakan tingkat 4 tetapi dinamakan sebagai tingkat 3A dan sebagainya.

Mengikut kepercayaan sesetengah orang Cina di Malaysia, nombor 4 adalah angka yang harus dihindari kerana hampir dengan sebutan yang membawa maksud “mati”.

Kepercayaan sebegini dinamakan sebagai “Tetraphobia” dan diangkat menjadi tema di dalam filem terbaru terbitan KRU Studios yang diberi judul “Dendam Orang M4ti”.

Jason Chong (pengarah filem Belukar dan Ular) telah diberikan kepercayaan bagi menggarap filem ke-20 keluaran Kumpulan Syarikat KRU ini yang juga merupakan filem seram kedua terbitan KRU Studios (selepas Karak).

Dengan lakonan mantap Lisa Surihani, Fizz Fairuz, Miera Liyana dan ramai lagi, “Dendam Orang M4ti” menjanjikan satu kelainan bagi genre filem seram yang pasti membuat penonton rasa berdebar dari babak ke babak sehingga ke akhir.

Misteri gangguan tingkat empat

Seram dan mendebarkan. Itu gambaran yang dapat penulis berikan mengenai filem terbaru terbitan KRU, Dendam Orang Mati atau dieja dengan “Dendam Orang M4ti”.

Filem yang mengisahkan Lena tersedar dari koma selama dua tahun dan hilang ingatan akibat kemalangan.

Keadaan bertambah mengelirukan apabila diperkenalkan kepada isteri baru Shahrul, Min di flat lamanya di tingkat 4 yang kini menjadi tingkat 3A.

Lena mula mengesyaki sesuatu yang buruk telah berlaku flat tersebut dan mula berdepan dengan kejadian-kejadian aneh yang menyeramkan.

Gangguan seram ini memberikan lebih tekanan terhadap Lena yang terasa diabaikan oleh suaminya, Shahrul yang berbelah bahagi antara isteri mudanya dan Lena.

Dengan mengangkat tema kepercayaan kaum Cina terhadap angka empat, tidak keterlaluan untuk mengatakan, filem Dendam Orang Mati berjaya digarap lebih seram dan mendebarkan daripada beberapa filem antarabangsa.

Pendek kata, dari mula lagi, Jason telah berjaya 'menangkap' perhatian penonton dengan misteri seorang budak kecil yang akhirnya memberi ketakutan kepada Lena ketika dia terjaga dari koma.

Menariknya mengenai filem ini, ia digarap dengan penuh tanda tanya dari awal filem hingga membuatkan anda terfikir, siapa kanak-kanak tersebut? Mengapa Lena koma? Apa kaitan Lena dengan flat tersebut? Siapa Sharul dan sebagainya.

Persoalan demi persoalan yang ditimbulkan pada permulaan cerita inilah yang akan membuatkan anda berasa teruja untuk mengetahui apa yang akan berlaku seterusnya dan seterusnya.

Penyusunan plot yang cukup teratur menyebabkan ia memberi satu dimensi baru terhadap filem seram di Malaysia.

Lisa 'hidupkan' Lena

Selain dari jalan cerita yang mantap, antara faktor lain yang menarik perhatian penulis adalah kelainan dalam lakonan aktres cantik, Lisa Surihani.

Jika selama ini Lisa dilihat lebih selesa menjayakan watak lembut, antagonis, kali ini, Lisa keluar dari zon selesanya dengan membawa watak psiko.

Tanpa solekan, berjalan tempang dan diselubungi pelbagai misteri dan tanda tanya, Lisa berjaya 'menghidupkan' watak Lena dengan begitu baik sehingga membuatkan orang simpati terhadap dirinya pada awal.

Namun misteri-misteri yang dihadapi dan siapa Lena yang sebenarnya hanya diketahui pada pertengahan filem sehingga membuatkan anda terfikir, siapa yang jahat sebenarnya?

Selain itu, lakonan Miera sebagai Min juga tidak perlu dipandang enteng. Mengemudikan watak antagonis dengan baik, percubaan Miera sebagai seorang isteri yang menggoda berjaya menarik perhatian penonton, biarpun Miera sendiri pertama kali membawakan watak
sebagai isteri.

Manakala Fizz pula, pada pandangan penulis, lakonannya seperti biasa, tidak ada kekurangan, namun tidak ada pula sebarang kejutan.

Pendek kata, beri apa sahaja watak pada Fizz, dia berjaya membawanya dengan baik.

Kekurangan sudut teknikal

Dari sudut teknikalnya pula, biarpun cantik dari sudut sinematografi dan pencahayaan yang cukup sesuai dengan mood seram, namun kekurangan dapat dilihat jelas dari sudut teknik janaan komputer (CGI).

Apatah lagi, dengan filem-filem hebat KRU sebelum ini yang pernah dihasilkan dengan CGI, sentuhan CGI dalam filem Dendam Orang Mati ini agak mengecewakan.

Kekurangan ini sekali gus menjejaskan sedikit mood tatkala melihat roh orang mati dan perubahan suasana di tingkat empat yang menggambarkan betapa misteri, dan penuh dengan dendam.

Namun, pujian boleh diberikan kepada krew terlibat dan Jason sendiri yang berjaya membina set tingkat empat yang sebenarnya di bina dalam sebuah gudang.

Biarpun nampak kurang realistik, namun tetap berjaya memberi satu kelainan tanpa perlu berada di lokasi sebenar.

Jadi bagi anda yang ingin mengetahui siapa Lena dan apakah jawapan kepada soalan-soalan yang menghantui Lena, jangan lupa menyaksikan filem Dendam Orang Mati yang sudah bermula sejak 23 Oktober lalu.

- Sumber: Sinar Harian 

Siapa pengganti Anwar sekiranya dipenjarakan?

Kata Anwar, ketiga-tiga pemimpin parti mempunyai hubungan yang rapat antara satu sama lain, khususnya dalam jawatankuasa antara parti.

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim akan membuat rayuan akhir bagi mengetepikan hukuman penjara lima tahun yang dijatuhkan di Mahkamah Rayuan pada 7 Mac lepas.

Rayuan akan didengar oleh Mahkamah Persekutuan pada 28 dan 29 Oktober ini selepas beliau didapati bersalah meliwat bekas pembantu peribadinya, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Persoalannya, siapa bakal menggantikan peranannya sebagai Ketua Pembangkang dalam Pakatan Rakyat (PR) sekiranya beliau dipenjarakan?

Menjawab kepada The Malaysian Insider (TMI) pada Sabtu, Anwar berkata perkara tersebut ada dibincangkan dalam parti sebelum ini.

"Mereka ada bincang perkara ini sebelum ini. Semuanya berbalik kepada persefahaman asal kita. Di mana mesyuarat (pimpinan PR) diadakan, ia akan dipengerusikan oleh parti yang menjadi tuan rumah.

"Jadi, kalau di PKR, Dr Wan Azizah akan pengerusikan, kalau PAS, Hadi dan begitu juga dengan DAP” katanya dalam temubual ekslusif dengan TMI di rumahnya di Bukit Segambut.

Kata Anwar, ketiga-tiga pemimpin parti mempunyai hubungan yang rapat antara satu sama lain, khususnya dalam jawatankuasa antara parti.

"Peranan mereka tidak boleh diperkecilkan, tidak berapa betul kononnya peranan Anwar ini terlalu penting atau tiga pimpinan itu sangat utama.

“Ia (kepercayaan begitu) mungkin bagus untuk ego saya, tetapi itu tidak benar," kata Anwar.

PR sebelum ini pernah berhadapan dengan kemelut politik berikutan krisis parti dalam memilih Menteri Besar Selangor.

Semasa kemelut tersebut, Presiden PAS Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang yang juga ahli kanan Majlis Syura Ulama, unit tertinggi dalam parti, secara terbuka menolak langkah menggantikan Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim yang dikemukakan PKR dan disokong DAP.

Menurut TMI, jika Anwar dihantar ke penjara sekali lagi, PR mungkin berdepan dengan cabaran yang lebih besar berikutan perbezaan pendapat dengan PAS.

Dalam menjawab persoalan tersebut, Anwar dilihat mempertahankan presiden PAS itu.

"Saya tidak setuju dengan pandangan negatif yang orang cakap tentang Hadi. Saya mungkin tidak setuju dalam semua perkara dengannya, tetapi dalam isu ini (perpaduan PR)... Dia bersama kita semasa di Parlimen dan kami berbincang panjang.

"Beliau mungkin tidak hadir dalam mesyuarat PR, disebabkan sakitnya atau berada di luar negara. Tetapi beliau hantar satu pasukan (para pembuat keputusan tertinggi)." jelasnya.

Dengan penyelesaian krisis Menteri Besar itu, Anwar yakin PR mampu kekal walaupun beliau terpaksa ke penjara untuk kali kedua.

“Keupayaan PR bersatu bukan semata-mata bergantung kepada diri saya” katanya kepada TMI.

- Sumber: Astro Awani

Microsoft drops Nokia name from smartphones

Microsoft drops Nokia name from Lumia smartphones

WASHINGTON: Microsoft said Friday it was dropping the Nokia name from its Lumia smartphones, rebranding following the acquisition earlier this year of the Finnish group's handset division.

The rebranding is "a natural progression as all devices that once came from Nokia now come from Microsoft," said Tuula Rytila, senior vice president of marketing for phones at Microsoft.

"Lumia is now part of a compelling family of Microsoft products like Xbox, Windows and Surface along with a range of services such as Skype, Office and Bing."

In an interview on the Nokia conversations blog, Rytila said there was no specific timetable announced but that "we are looking forward to unveiling a Microsoft Lumia device soon."

Microsoft will keep the Nokia for entry-level phones, such as the Nokia 130, under a license agreement between the companies.

The acquisition for more than $7.5 billion was completed in April.

Nokia was the world leader in mobile phones until it was challenged by Apple's iPhone in 2007 and later Samsung.

Microsoft has struggled to gain market shares for its Windows Phone devices. According to the research firm Strategy Analytics, Windows had just 2.5 percent of the smartphone market in the second quarter, mainly from Nokia and a small number of other manufacturers. - AFP 

Canada PM hid in a closet during attack: reports

This image from a close-circuit video released by police on October 23, 2014 shows supected shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau (circled) running towards the Canadian Parliament. - Peter McCabe/AFP

OTTAWA: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was shoved into a closet when a gunmen stormed parliament, local newspapers said Friday.

According to MPs cited anonymously by the daily Globe & Mail and others, Harper spent as much as 15 minutes in the tiny space off a meeting room where he and his Conservative caucus were meeting.

Just outside the room, a firefight was erupting in the main Hall of Honor between the gunman and security forces that ended in the assailant's death.

Harper initially sought to escape the room through a side door but was urged to stay put.

"Someone knew there was a closet there, so they stuck him in there," a source told the Globe & Mail.

Others in the room reportedly thought he was gone.

Meanwhile, several Tory MPs began fashioning spears out of flagpoles to protect themselves.

"These guys were up there holding these spears ready to impale anyone who came in," the source said.

News images of the frantic scene also showed antique tables and green leather chairs stacked against the door as a barricade against the gunman. - AFP 

Muhdalena ditahan di R&R Ayer Keroh


JOHOR BAHRU - Muhdalena Ahmad, yang melarikan diri daripada tahanan polis di Hospital Sultanah Aminah (HSA) di sini, semalam telah ditahan semula di Kawasan Rehat dan Rawat Ayer Keroh, Melaka pada 3.05 minit pagi tadi.

Ketua Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Johor Datuk Hasnan Hassan berkata kejayaan dalam tempoh 24 jam itu adalah hasil tindakan pantas polis dan maklumat yang diterima daripada orang awam.

"Suspek kini ditahan di bawah Seksyen 224 Kanun Keseksaan kerana dengan sengaja lari daripada tahanan yang sah. Suspek ditahan reman sehingga 25 Oktober 2014," katanya.

Beliau bagaimanapun tidak menyatakan bagaimana wanita itu boleh sampai ke kawasan rehat dan rawat berkenaan.

Sementara beliau berkata, tiga anggota polis iaitu dua lelaki dan seorang wanita turut ditahan untuk membantu siasatan kes mengikut Seksyen 223 Kanun Keseksaan kerana dengan cuai membiarkan seseorang lari daripada pengurungan.

Mereka juga ditahan reman dua hari sehingga esok, katanya.

Muhdalena, 30, wanita yang terlibat dengan kejadian amuk di depan Kompleks B, Jabatan Perdana Menteri di Putrajaya dua tahun lepas dimasukkan ke HSA pada Ahad lalu kerana bersalin, namun didapati hilang dari hospital itu pada kira-kira 9 pagi.

Beliau sebelum ini merupakan tahanan di Hospital Permai, Tampoi.

Suspek pernah dituduh di Mahkamah Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur mengikut kesalahan Seksyen 506 Kanun Keseksaan dan Seksyen 7 Akta Bahan Kakisan, Letupan dan Senjata Berbahaya.

Pada akhir perbicaraan, suspek dimasukkan ke Hospital Permai atas perintah Mahkamah Putrajaya mengikut Seksyen 348 Kanun Prosedur Jenayah (Akta 593) demi penjagaan selamat orang yang dibebaskan. 

- Sumber: Bernama

Switch Off 2014: What is exactly the deal?

Is it true that the biggest setback of this campaign is the lack of public support?

KUALA LUMPUR: As a fresh graduate with a passion for filmmaking, I'm tired of hearing the same things repeatedly: Is there a job for you?Does it pay? Isn’t it worse than labour, working odd hours?

It’s even sadder to hear that some people in the filmmaking industry just shrug the matter off as “that’s how it is”.

But my biggest pet peeve is when my peers exclaim, “Malaysian film sucks-lahhh” but no one seems to be doing anything to make it better.

And I’ve tried to explain that it’s not that Malaysia has no good directors or storytellers; there is so much more to the movie, the process involved from the script to the screen, and yet something somewhere falls short and it is unfair to say that all Malaysian films are mediocre.

It’s similar to when a salesperson is trying to sell you their product, but no one will listen, and it gets frustrating. What do we have to do to earn the respect like other professions?

So, when the Switch Off 2014 campaign came to the light of my knowledge (and it was only because I write on local arts and entertainment), I was delighted to know that there are still fighters in the film industry, whose intense passion burns bright to light the path to the betterment of the industry.

These are real people who have been in the industry for over two decades and have seen nothing but decline. They are also exhausted with constant lamenting on the situation of the industry and have had enough of round table discussions that amount to nothing. It is time to revamp our dying film and TV industry.

As I became interpellated deeper into the on-goings of Switch Off, I began to realise that despite the judicious demands, the rest of the campaign seems the total opposite: the sudden conception and rushed execution of the campaign, and the poor build-up to the November 11 solidarity event, the lack of action plan from the day of the press conference up until the handing of the memorandum, and the fact that there is no official website for anyone curious to refer to.

The 11 demands seemed to have originated out of thin air, suddenly slapped onto the film and TV industry. Discussions may have been made, but where are the minutes of meetings? Who exactly was involved in the making of the demands?

How exactly were the 11 demands decided? What was the process involved in coming up with the demands? In the press release, there are mentions of “issues” and how requests for meetings with the Ministry and FINAS have fallen on deaf ears, but what exactly are the issues?

An outsider will never know the oversimplification of issues in the film and TV industry, which brings the need to bring more light to the situation and the issues of the industry.

If I did not attend both the Switch Off rally and press conference, I would never have been aware that people have been paid the same amount for the past 20 years, or that a recent Deepavali advertisement (aired by a certain TV station) featured actors from India rather than our homeland, that major TV stations refuse to air local content because it doesn’t help with ratings, and that major TV stations gain billions of revenue per annum but the production budget never reflects their financial standing.

As someone who studied to be in the industry and not yet aware of all this, what does that speak for the public? The campaign becomes a very closed-off, niche battle for the workforce of the industry.

But for a change to happen, one as substantial as Switch Off’s 11 demands, the public should be the biggest stakeholder in the campaign. Revolution is not possible without the support of the public at large.

A film may not be made without the workforce of the industry, but what is an industry without the public to consume it? Thus, I feel the public deserves a right to know how our local filmmakers are unfairly treated in the system.

The public is oblivious to what happens behind the screen as they only see the glamorous film stars and are not aware of the tedious processes to make a film from scratch. Unlike the political Blackout 505, filmmaking and creative arts are only for the passionate, for people who love it. Malaysians seem to have lapsed into paralysis when it comes to fighting for the abstract. We don’t do anything unless we see something concrete. As filmmaking is a creative process, no one will care for the art if the output is not gratifying enough to garner support to defend the rights of the people who make the film.

Therefore, there is the pressing need to highlight more on the issues plaguing the industry rather than the campaign itself. Perhaps another one of the problems is transparency.

A decent dearth of data on the entertainment industry is extremely hard to come by because it involves private and confidential business figures, production costs, etc., and distribution of film or TV content are things pretty much left in the dark for anyone outside the industry.

There is no doubt that the aims and objectives of the campaign are a good cause, and there are points which I agree upon, for example: the need to have one coherent act to govern the workers of the creative content industry; the emphasis on the 70 per cent local content wajib siar to promote our films and TV dramas; to create Malaysian content so we could sell it as a cultural export rather than segregated into the three main languages; and to enforce a standard payment rate to prevent underpayment to workers.

The biggest setback for this campaign is the lack of public support.

Film is a mass media, so where are the masses? Perhaps it is too early in the campaign to tell, but it is essential that Switch Off engages public support and gathers enough momentum as soon as possible if the campaign is to be a success in achieving their goals in the long run.

- Sumber: Daily Seni, Wendy Sia

Johan juara Super Spontan, bawa pulang Toyota Camry dan RM100,000

Johan telah menewaskan lima peserta lain dan membawa pulang hadiah wang tunai RM100,000, sebuah Toyota Camry dan trofi 

KUALA LUMPUR: Mohamad Yazid Lim Mohamad Aziz, 31, atau Johan 'Abe Macho' muncul juara Super Spontan 2014.

Johan telah menewaskan lima peserta lain dan membawa pulang hadiah wang tunai RM100,000, sebuah Toyota Camry dan trofi.

Naib Juara menjadi milik Shahrul ‘Super Gayung’ yang menerima wang tunai sebanyak RM50,000, diikuti Shuib ‘Raksasa Comey’ ditempat ketiga bersama wang tunai berjumlah RM25,000. Masing-masing telah menerima trofi Super Spontan 2014.

Manakala Achey (Acik Gelek), Yus ‘Sugar Kane’ dan Tauke ‘John Senah’ masing-masing berada di tempat keempat, kelima dan keenam turut membawa pulang wang tunai sebanyak RM5,000 berserta sebuah trofi.

Hadiah telah disampaikan oleh Ketua Kumpulan Saluran Premium Astro, Nizam Sani.

Gelanggang akhir Super Spontan 2014 yang berlangsung di Melaka International Trade Centre (MITC) pada malam Jumaat, telah disiarkan secara langsung di Astro Warna (saluran 132) dan Mustika HD (saluran 134).

Program ini turut menampilkan Afdlin Shauki dan Adlin Aman Ramli sebagai pengacara, Ray dan Hanif sebagai pengadil perlawanan manakala Amir Raja Lawak sebagai pembantu pengacara.

- Sumber: Astro Gempak

'Kami ingat anak buaya'

Kejayaan menangkap ikan seberat 70 kilogram dan sepanjang hampir dua meter menjadi tumpuan penduduk termasuk belia.
Kejayaan menangkap ikan seberat 70 kilogram dan sepanjang hampir dua meter menjadi tumpuan penduduk termasuk belia.

PASIR MAS – Penduduk Kampung Seberang Merbau teruja kerana berjaya menangkap ikan patin hampir 70 kilogram, malam kelmarin.

Norisan Mustafa, 35, berkata, ikan patin sepanjang hampir dua meter itu ditangkap menggunakan teknik ‘jeremai’ di Sungai Lubok Jong.

Menurutnya, kenaikan paras air di Sungai Lubok Jong kerana hujan sejak beberapa minggu lalu, menyebabkan ikan mula memenuhi kawasan di sini.

Norisan berkata, seramai 10 penduduk meletakkan pukat jeremai pada jam 10 malam dan selang 30 minit kemudian mereka dapati perangkap mula mengena.

“Disebabkan keadaan terlalu gelap, kami ingat anak buaya terperangkap kerana ekornya mengibas ketika jala ditarik ke atas.

“Selepas empat penduduk berusaha mengangkat pukat jeremai itu, barulah kami dapati ia adalah ikan patin terbesar pernah ditangkap di sungai ini,” katanya.

Sementara itu, Abdullah Mohamad, 50, berkata, inilah kali pertama penduduk berjaya menangkap ikan seberat dan sepanjang ini.

Selain ikan patin katanya, penduduk berjaya menangkap beberapa guni ikan sungai, baung, tapah dan lambak.

Katanya, kebiasaannya penduduk berjaya menangkap ikan patin seberat kurang daripada 20 kilogram seekor.

“Kejayaan ini meningkatkan lagi semangat penduduk untuk menangkap ikan ketika musim tengkujuh,” katanya.

- Sumber: Sinar Harian 

Penjaga kunci Kaabah meninggal dunia


MAKKAH - ARAB SAUDI. Penjaga kunci tradisional pintu Kaabah, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Taha Al-Shaibi meninggal dunia di Hospital Raja Khaled, di sini pada usia 74 tahun.

Memetik laporan Aran News, beliau dinamakan sebagai penjaga kanan kunci pintu Kaabah selepas kematian bapa saudaranya, Abdul Aziz Al-Shaibi kira-kira empat tahun lalu.

Difahamkan, Dr Saleh bin Taha Al-Shaibi akan mengambil alih tanggungjawab itu berikutan ia telah diamanahkan kepada anggota keluarga tertua Al-Shaibi sejak zaman pra-Islam.
- Sumber: Sinar Harian, 25 Oktober 2014 

Honda's pedestrian-detecting technology is coming soon

Loyal Honda fans, crisis averted. You don't have to switch to Subaru, Volvo or Ford if you want their anti-collision technology, now that the Japanese automaker has officially announced its own. The company has just launched a new and enhanced driver-assistive system called "Sensing," which, true to its name, can sense vehicles and pedestrians that might be blocking your way. 

Using a radar hidden in the front grille coupled with a camera on the windshield, the system can detect whether you're in danger of colliding with another vehicle or a person crossing the street. It then gives you both audio and visual warnings if so, gently applies the break if you still haven't after a while, and then brakes hard in your stead if you'rethisclose to running somebody over or smashing against another car.

Other than that, the system can also make sure you're driving in the middle of the lane, as well as recognize traffic signs and show them on the infotainment display. 

Honda's Sensing technology will launch alongside the newest Legend luxury sedan (known in the US as the Acura) before the year ends, though the company promises to load it onto more models in the future.

- Source: Engadget 

Guna Twitter minta bantuan PM

Sukar untuk dipercayai namun itulah hakikatnya!

Seorang mahasiswa dikatakan mengalami kesempitan wang bagi membeli buku dan kelengkapan pembelajaran sehinggakan dia mengambil keputusan untuk mengadukan masalah itu kepada Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak menerusi laman sosial Twitter.

Keluhannya itu nampaknya berjaya membuka mata Perdana Menteri yang kemudiannya mengambil keputusan untuk merealisasikan skim bantuan Baucar Buku 1Malaysia (BB1M).

Bermula pada 2012 sehingga tahun ini, bantuan diteruskan dan diberikan kepada pelajar khususnya mahasiswa Institut Pengajian Tinggi Awam (IPTA) dan Swasta (IPTS).

Ahli Majlis Tertinggi Umno, Datuk Irmohizam Ibrahim berkata, ia membuktikan bahawa tidak sukar bagi golongan belia dan anak muda negara untuk berinteraksi dengan pimpinan tertinggi asalkan mereka menggunakan saluran yang betul.

"Kita kena faham, hierarki perjuangan. Setiap idealisme anak muda yang dibangkitkan perlu selari, beri impak kepada kesejahteraan negara.

"Sebagai contoh, idealisme Baucar Buku dibangkitkan melalui tweet seorang pelajar kepada Perdana Menteri. Itu membuktikan Perdana Menteri kita dengar luahan rakyat, tak ada masalah untuk mengadu masalah atau mewujudkan interaksi antara pemimpin, asalkan tahu adab," ujarnya.

Beliau berkata demikian menerusi forum 'Idealisme Generasi Muda Dalam Perjuangan Politik: Ilusi atau Realiti?' yang diadakan di sini, semalam.

Tambahnya lagi, negara masa kini amat memerlukan idealisme golongan generasi muda demi membangunkan negara.

"Mahasiswa perlu bersifat idealisme, tidak trikat dengan mana-mana parti.

"Mereka yang boleh berhujah dengan fakta dan apa yang dihujahkan adalah demi kebenaran," katanya lagi.

- Sumber: Sinar Harian

Usahawan cetuskan fenomena 'donut selfie'

Usahawan Karen X Cheng mencetuskan budaya 'Donut Selfie'.

Dengan pelbagai cara untuk merakam selfie dan juga beberapa aplikasi untuk mencantikkan gambar ada, mungkin ada yang bertanya... adakah ada cara lain untuk selfie? Tentu sekali!

Seorang bekas pekerja Microsoft, Karen X Cheng memperkenalkan “donut selfie”.

Karen, yang merupakan pengasas ‘100 Challenge’ yang menyeru orang ramai untuk belajar sesuatu yang baru untuk 100 hari, tidak sangka akan mencetuskan fenomena 'donut selfie'.

Pada mulanya beliau ingin mencari sudut yang sesuai untuk selfie. Tanpa disedari, beliau merakam video dan hasilnya adalah satu video dengan pusingan 360 darjah. 

Merakam ‘donut selfie’ tidak susah. Anda hanya memerlukan telefon pintar anda merakam video anda dengan pusingan 360 darjah seperti donat.

Untuk lebih kreatif, anda perlu rakam beberapa video dengan persekitaran yang berbeza. Cantum kesemua video untuk menghasilkan 'donut selfie' yang unik berlatar-belakangkan persekitaran yang berbeza.

Usahawan itu telah menubuhkan satu laman web iaitu donutselfie.comdan kini sedang mengumpul ‘donut selfie’ dari seluruh dunia.

Berikut adalah beberapa ‘donut selfie’ yang dimuat naik di YouTube:

- Sumber: Agensi

Dua wanita termasuk seorang anggota polis ditahan memiliki dadah

Dadah yang dirampas termasuk erimin 5 dan ecstacy.

KUANTAN: Dua wanita termasuk seorang anggota polis ditahan kerana memiliki sepuluh butir peluru dan sejumlah dadah di sebuah rumah di kuarters Jabatan Pertanian Karak dekat Bentong, semalam.

Sepasukan polis dari Balai Polis Karak yang membuat serbuan pada 1.21 tengah hari itu turut merampas peluru jenis 0.38 serta dadah yang dijumpai dalam beg milik anggota polis berpangkat Lans Koperal itu.

Difahamkan, dadah yang dirampas termasuk tiga biji pil disyaki erimin 5 anggaran berat 0.88 gram, dua biji pil kuning dan separuh biji pil biru disyaki ecstacy berat kasar 1.23 gram dan dua batang jarum suntikan.

Dalam beg yang sama, polis turut menemui kad kuasa dan pas keselamatan polis dan dua telefon bimbit.

Hasil pemeriksaan lanjut terhadap kediaman itu, polis menemui satu tin yang mengandungi satu paket plastik lut sinar berisi serbuk dan ketulan kristal disyaki syabu anggaran berat 0.51 gram dan satu batang jarum di penjuru kaki katil dalam sebuah bilik.

Berikutan penemuan tersebut, anggota polis yang beralamat di Jalan AU/1, Ampang Ulu Klang, Kuala Lumpur dan rakannya yang merupakan warga Indonesia dari Jakarta masing-masing berusia dalam lingkungan 30-an itu ditahan untuk siasatan lanjut.

Berdasarkan siasatan awal, suspek mengaku dadah tersebut diperoleh daripada seorang lelaki Cina di Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.

Sementara itu, Ketua Polis Pahang, Datuk Seri Sharifuddin Ab Ghani ketika dihubungi mengesahkan penahanan suspek dan pihaknya akan menjalankan siasatan lanjut termasuk mengenal pasti individu lain yang terbabit dalam kes berkenaan.

Kedua-dua suspek kini ditahan reman di lokap Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah Bentong untuk siasatan lanjut.

"Kes disiasat mengikut Seksyen 8 Akta Senjata api berikutan penemuan 10 butir peluru dan Seksyen 12(1) Akta Dadah Berbahaya 1952," katanya.

- Sumber: Bernama

Shooting a 4K film with Samsung's NX1

In an effort to make a push for its recently unveiled Samsung NX1, the South Korean company is now recruiting celebrities to help along the way. 

As part of this, Samsung has revealed that Joseph Gordon-Levitt, known for roles in movies like 10 Things I hate About You and The Dark Knight Rises, is set to shoot a 4K UHD film entirely on the NX1 flagship camera

The production, titled In a City, will see Gordon-Levitt travel across the world to explore the daily lives of people and capture what makes every place unique. Samsung's partnership with the actor is also going to include working with the community from hitRECord, a production company founded by Gordon-Levitt which focuses on creating different categories of online videos. 

In a City is expected to be released on December 11th, and it'll be available to watch on theSamsung Camera Facebook and YouTube pages.

Samsung NX1

- Source: Engadget 

Pahang layak ke final Piala Malaysia

Penyerang Pahang, Matias Ruben Conti (kiri) meraikan jaringan dengan rakan sepasukan Mohd Saiful Nizam Miswan ketika menentang Kedah pada separuh akhir kedua Piala Malaysia di Stadium Darul Makmur di Kuantan, malam ini. 
- Foto Bernama
Penyerang Pahang, Matias Ruben Conti (kiri) meraikan jaringan dengan rakan sepasukan Mohd Saiful Nizam Miswan ketika menentang Kedah pada separuh akhir kedua Piala Malaysia di Stadium Darul Makmur di Kuantan, malam ini. 

PAHANG berjaya menempah slot ke perlawanan akhir Piala Malaysia selepas menumpaskan Kedah dengan agregat 6-3 pada perlawanan separuh akhir kedua di Stadium Darul Makmur di sini, malam ini.

Skuad Tok Gajah berpesta gol di halaman sendiri apabila berjaya mencipta lima gol tanpa balas.

Pada babak pertama perlawanan, tuan rumah selaku penyandang Piala Malaysia dilihat berusaha bermati-matian mencari gol awal untuk memberi semangat ekoran ketinggalan 1-3 dalam perlawanan separuh akhir pertama di Stadium Darul Aman, Alor Setar.

Skuad Tok Gajah berjaya memecah kebuntuan seawal minit ke-4 menerusi Matias Ruben Conti yang menanduk bola masuk ke gawang lawan selepas menyambut tendangan sudut Azidan Sarudin.

Gol kedua Pahang pula hadir pada minit ke-25 menerusi R. Gopinathan yang merembat kencang di dalam kotak penalti untuk menewaskan penjaga gol Kedah, Saiful Amar Sudar.

Pada minit ke-29, Azidan sekali lagi menjadi pencetus apabila melakukan hantaran silang sebelum disambar oleh Conti untuk meledakkan gol ketiga untuk Pahang.

Conti muncul penjaring hatrik pada perlawanan ini selepas menjaringkan gol keempat Pahang pada minit ke-36 rentetan gerakan menarik Dickson Nwakaeme yang menggelecek ke dalam kotak penalti sebelum melakukan hantaran kepada penyerang berbisa itu.

Pada awal babak kedua perlawanan, Kedah dilihat beraksi agresif melakukan serangan ke arah kubu Pahang untuk mengurangkan defisit gol, namun berjaya dikekang barisan pertahanan skuad Tok Gajah.

Pada minit ke-73, Nwakaeme beraksi cemerlang apabila melakukan larian dari tengah padang sehingga masuk ke kotak penalti sebelum merembat kencang membolosi gol lawan, menjadikan keputusan 5-0.

Presiden Persatuan Bola Sepak Malaysia Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah dan Presiden PBNP Tengku Abdul Rahman Sultan Ahmad Shah hadir menyaksikan perlawanan. 

- Sumber: Bernama

Peraturan nombor pendaftaran, cermin gelap dan lampu 'strobe'

Penguatkuasaan peraturan baharu berhubung penggunaan cermin gelap akan dilaksanakan bermula 1 Mei tahun depan.

Peraturan baharu itu menetapkan VLT bagi cermin belakang dan sisi penumpang belakang dikurangkan daripada 50 peratus kepada 30 peratus, manakala kadar VLT bagi cermin hadapan dan sisi pemandu dan penumpang hadapan pula masing-masing kekal pada kadar 70 peratus dan 50 peratus.

Sementara itu Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan (JPJ) akan melaksanakan Operasi Khas terhada pemilik kenderaan yang menggunakan lampu ‘strobe’, lampu High-Intensity Discharge (HID) atau xenon dan saiz nombor pendaftaran tidak mengikut spesifikasi bermula 1 Nov depan.

- Sumber: Astro Awani

Friday Fives: The Top 5 Japanese beauties of the 1970s.

Once upon a time, the Japanese made beautiful cars. What are the five cars that made our list? By Arvind Kumar

The Bee Gees had nine No. 1 Billboard hits during the 1970’s, including the longest reign of 27 weeks at the number one spot. The 70’s also brought on one of the largest oil crisis in the century upon the trade embargo imposed by the members of OAPEC. 

Therefore, the demand for American V8 muscle and large displacement British cars dwindled into obscurity. This marked the dawn of an era for the economical Japanese car. But these Japanese beauties show you don’t necessarily have to trade great styling and performance for fuel economy. This is CAR’s top five best looking Japanese cars from the 1970’s.

No. 5: 1973 Honda Civic 
(Photo Source: Crwpitman) 

Well, it’s more cutesy than gutsy but there’s no denying that its elegant proportion and low slung hatchback design can still turn a few heads today. Elegant detailing in the form of gills and a pronounced powerdome nicely compliment bright work around the front and rear tail lights. Plus, for a nameplate that stands stronger than ever, this car started it all.

No. 4: 1975 Mazda Cosmo
Also known Mazda RX-5 in some markets, the Cosmo was produced from 1975 to 1981 in either Coupe or Fastback form. The Cosmo also featured Mazda’s famed Wankel-rotary powerplant. This Grand Tourer was marketed as a personal luxury car for the discerning driver and was a sales hit, shifting 55,000 units in the year it was introduced. It’s not hard to see why because, the Cosmo’s low and wide proportions exuded suave charm which echoed the American pony-cars of the time. The Cosmo would also come to spawn another Mazda great, the legendary RX-7. 

No. 3: 1975 Toyota Carina 2000 GT
(Photosource: TTTNIS) 

Sold between 1970 and 1977, the Carina was marketed as a step-up from the more pedestrian Corollas of the time, but tucked under the more luxurious Corona models. Sort of the working man’s Celica Supra. Available in wagon, sedan or the more desirable coupe format you see here. And desirable it is – with its nip and tuck front and rear haunches, flanked by streamlined glass house proportions. You get a sense, this car was designed with simplicity and functionality in mind. And all the better for it.
No. 2: 1976 Toyota Celica Liftback 2000 ST
(Photosource: Charles01)

Affectionately known as the Mustang Celica, there was no better example of a homage to the famous American pony-car. The Liftback body-style was introduced in 1973 but it wasn’t until 1976 when the car finally was imported to other markets. All Liftbacks had flat-noses, and there was no B-pillars to dull the clean silhouette from front to back. Another cool feature is the tail-lamps which had five individual light-strips just like Mustangs of the era. You know what they say, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. 
No. 1: 1975 Datsun 280Z
(Photo source: 76Datsun280z)

You can’t have a Japanese car countdown without a Nissan making an appearance somewhere. The Datsun 280Z which would also come to be known as the Nissan Fairlady Z, featured a rear-wheel drive 2-door sports coupe. A sales and competitive racing success, the 280Z still holds high regard amongst car enthusiasts today and is rapidly becoming a sought after modern classic. Well, there’s no arguing its curvaceous coke-bottle sheet metal, gorgeous barrelled front wings and integrated headlamps still look sensational today as it did in 1975.  

- Source: Astro Publication