19 May 2007
Quoting from an article on the BBC:
"State media say researchers identified more than 2,000 pictorial symbols dating back 8,000 years, on cliff faces in the north-west of the country."
Would history books be re-written?
Quote from an article on a Chinese site:
"The Damaidi carvings, first discovered in the late 1980s, cover15 square kilometers with 3,172 cliff carvings, featuring 8,453 individual figures such as the sun, moon, stars, gods and scenes of hunting or grazing. "
18 May 2007
From the Osprey website:
"It is with great sadness that we have to announce the passing away of Angus McBride, one of the world's most respected historical illustrators and a true friend of Osprey."
I have long admired his work in Osprey books, Lord of the Rings roleplaying rulebooks and supplements and a host of other books over the years. A great illustrator.
17 May 2007
I bought 'The Undiscovered Mind: How the Brain defies Explanation' by John Horgan a year ago at Kinokuniya at Liang Court. Somehow, I didn't manage to read it last year. Right now, I am racing through it. Intriguing! A survey of the field by an ex-Scientific American writer rather than yet another examination of case studies.
16 May 2007
Whether you are going for a hike, a run or simply exploring, this brochure, which can be picked up at the Ranger Station, is invaluable due to the map. The National Parks Board website has the same map online.
It is not unexpected that covert support would come from neighbouring Muslim states.
Quoting from an article in Army Technology:
"Militants from Indonesia may have trained southern Thai Muslims to decapitate or use other grisly tactics in their bloody separatist campaign, an Army spokesman said on Monday as another Buddhist man was shot and beheaded."
"You really need to know certain bones of the necks to behead someone and Thais don't really know how," Acra. "You need someone to be trained overseas or foreign trainers to teach them how."
The interrogation of captured insurgents suggested that foreign trainers, suspected to be Indonesian, were present in Thailand giving training through translators, he said."
Now, one wonders if support had been given by neighbouring Islamic states. It would not be unthinkable.
15 May 2007
13 May 2007
Here is a short guide to hiking in there. I am assuming that one would want to venture off the trail into the rainforest, for instance, visiting the ruins of the Shinto shrine as we did. However, if one would stay on the trail, well, one need not really bring anything actually. Shorts, T-shirt and sandals would be enough.
1. Respect nature. It can be cruel and unforgiving. In other words, be prepared. Know what you are capable of before heading in there. Have a plan.
2. Tell someone where you are going before you go. Tell them when you will be back.
3. Go with someone reliable. Don't go with girly men, whiners, people with ego problems, etc. In other words, go with people you can trust. When you are stuck in there with a sprained ankle or broken anke, it is not funny.
4. Have some semblance of fitness. One need not be a fitness guru though.
5. Good footwear. Sandals are alright only if they don't fall apart halfway. Extra pairs of socks would be nice.
6. Proper equipment. Get a proper compass. Not one of those on a watch strap. Those are a joke. One needs to be able to tell directions when one is in there. A torchlight can be useful. Waterproof the fragile items in case of rain. Put them in clear ziplock bags.
7. Bring enough water. Especially if one isn't very fit, one will consume more water. Water discipline can come in useful. Food is not really necessary. Three litres or four at least.
8. For women, tissues and toilet paper may be useful though one will hardly need to relieve oneself due to sweating.
9. Band-aids and anti-sceptic cream or liquid can be useful to treat small scratches.
10. Mosquitoes. Surprisingly, very few. Insect repellent can be useful though not necessary.
11. Long-sleeved clothing can be useful in warding off thorns.
12. Umbrellas or raincoats aren't necessary but if there is a heavy downpour, it is nice to have them.
13. Have a cut-off time. ie 3:00 pm. Go out when the time is up. The rainforest gets dark very early. ie 4:00 pm.
14. Keep one's trash in one's bag. Don't litter.
15. Don't go trashing the rainforest either.
16. Don't go capturing monkeys, slaying squirrels and gutting snakes.
17. Respect the old ruins. Please, don't light candles on the font and be an ass.
18. At the end of the day, this is Singapore, one need only walk in a east or west direction and one will hit a road or house. It's a garden compared to the real jungles in the surrounding countries.
19. Most important of all, have fun!
If you have questions, feel free to write me.
The following is a collation of images and commentaries of our hiking trip to the ruins of the Shinto shrine and our hike from the western edge of the Central Catchment Reserve to the eastern edge of the reserve:
Hiking in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve
On the Trail
The Rifle Range Link
A Verdant Landscape
The Petaling Trail
The Petaling Trail II
The Petaling Hut
The Depths of the Rainforest
The Concrete Structure in the Wilds
Stone Columns amidst the Wilderness
The Waters' Edge
The Flight of Stairs (Syonan Jinja)
Stairway to a Forgotten Past (Syonan Jinja)
The only way is up! (Syonan Jinja)
The View from the Top
The Ruins of the Shinto Shrine (Syonan Jinja)
The Ruins of the Shinto Shrine II (Syonan Jinja)
The View from the Top of the Rampart
The Ruins of the Shinto Shrine III (Syonan Jinja)
Descent (Syonan Jinja)
At the Northwestern Edge of MacRitchie Reservoir I
At the Northwestern Edge of MacRitchie Reservoir II
Resting at the the Bund
The Lost Structure
A Surprise at the Petaling Hut
At the Ranger Station
Island Club Road
Venus Link I
Venus Link II
Venus Link III
Venus Link IV
Venus Link V
Venus Link VI
Venus Drive Carpark
Kelvin's images: An Alternative View
All in all, this had been an extremely satisfying journey. We had started at 9:30 am and had stopped at 5:30 pm. We had been prepared. We had made plans and also a cut-off time. We had ensured that everyone in this trip were reliable, thinking people. No girly men, no whiners, no egotistical idiots. I have a few friends who I would term as girly men or neurotic or whatever. These would be liabilities if they should had come along. A great trip with great company and great people. I hope to do this again one day.
We have a more ambitious one in future which was originally dreamt up by Tony and Jon. This would be discussed later.
It was ironic as we saw people exercising within the air-conditioned glass enclosure of the club while there was a huge nature reserve with fresh air just a stone's throw away. It was akin to people visiting Sleeping Beauty's Castle in Eurodisney in Paris when the real castle in Bavaria which the fake was modelled upon was just across the border.
Jon was mistaken for a forest ranger due to his camouflage gear by some Vietnamese tourists with a strong American accent.
There were numerous visitors there.