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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Iceberg.

Remember this movie?

Well of course, who wouldn't.

No I'm not here to talk about the movie, or Leo DiCaprio, or Kate Winslet.

There have been various theories as to why the Titanic sank. We all know it as: the side of the ship hit an iceberg, water flowed in, within hours, it sank. After some deeper research I conducted yesterday, it's extremely interesting to find out various aspects of the incident, both scientifically and spiritually.

Perhaps the most popular alternative theory is that the ship sank due to a mummy's curse. To me the fascinating thing is that this 'theory', which is of course false, caused other stories to arise, making the topic more and more convoluted and complex.
Here is the excerpt from a book published in 1992, called Amazing Spooks and Mysteries by Peter Edlin:

The Mummy's Curse

In 1910, Douglas Murray, an Englishman, bought an ancient Egyptian mummy-case in Cairo. The case had contained the mummified body of a princess who had lived in Thebes in 1600 BC. Just a few hours after he had purchased the case, the American who had sold it to him died mysteriously. Following the American's death, Douglas Murray learned that the princess had been a member of a powerful religious cult and she had placed a dreadful curse on anyone who dared to disturb her final resting place.

Murray was an experienced Egyptologist and he had learned many stories of curses, so he paid very little attention. But then, a few days later, he was on a shooting expedition when his gun went off in his hands. He was so badly injured that his arm had to be amputated from his elbow. Then, on the journey back to England, two of Murray's companions died suddenly. A few months later, two of his Egyptian workers also died in mysterious circumstances.

Murray decided that he must get rid of the accursed mummy-case, and a lady offered to buy it from him. Almost immediately, her mother died, and then her boyfriend left her. When, eventually, she fell desperately ill, her lawyer persuaded her to return the mummy-case to Douglas Murray.

Murray presented the case to the British Museum, where a photographer and an Egyptologist both suddenly died. Finally, a New York museum agreed to take the case and it was shipped to America on a new, 'unsinkable' ship - called the Titanic. The Titanic hit an iceberg and sank, taking with her almost 1500 people - and the dreaded mummy's curse.

So there you have it. That's one version. Apparently the princess was in actual fact the Princess of Amen-Ra. According to some sources, the best documented version of this tale never mentions Douglas Murray. In other instances, it is portrayed that the ghost story was originally concocted by two Englishmen named William Stead and Douglas Murray.

Stead and Murray crafted an elaborate horror story about a mummy that was brought to England and set up in their drawing room. The morning after, everything breakable in the room was destroyed. Some time after they invented their mummy tale, they were visiting the First Egyptian Room of the British Museum and noticed the coffin lid of the Priestress of Amun. They concocted yet another story that the look of terror and anguish in the face depicted on the coffin lid indicated that the coffin's original occupant was a tormented soul, and her evil spirit was now loose in the world.

This is an excerpt from a source describing the situation when the mummy case was at the British Museum:

The staff at the museum reported hearing loud banging and crying noises coming from the coffin at night. Things were thrown around the exhibit room without explanation. Finally a watchman died. Then a photographer took a photo of the coffin. When he developed it, the image that appeared was so horrifying that the photographer killed himself.

Other sources depict this famous scenario after the photographer had killed himself:

Soon afterwards, the museum sold the mummy to a private collector. After continual misfortune (and deaths), the owner banished it to the attic. A well-known authority on the occult, Madame Helena Blavatsky, visited the premises. Upon entry, she was sized with a shivering fit and searched the house for the source of "an evil influence of incredible intensity." She finally came to the attic and found the mummy case.

"Can you exorcise this evil spirit?" asked the owner.

"There is no such thing as exorcism. Evil remains evil forever. Nothing can be done about it. I implore you to get rid of this evil as soon as possible."

But no British museum would take the mummy; the fact that almost 20 people had met with misfortune, disaster or death from handling the casket, in barely 10 years, was now well known.

The truth is that the Priestess Amun coffin lid (British Museum item No. 22542) is still sitting quietly in the British Museum's second Egyptian room, where it can be seen today.

Another twist to the tale presents us with this:

On the 12th April 1912 the Titanic was crossing the Atlantic on her way to New York on her maiden voyage. All seemed to be going well on the voyage. A group of eight people gathered in the first class smoking room to discuss the meaning of life.

One of the group was William T Stead, the English journalist and spiritualist. As the evening progressed Stead began to tell a ghost story which would open the flood gates to legends and myths surrounding the Titanic and her sinking for decades to follow.

He boasted that he was not superstitious as he pointed out that his story began before midnight on the 12th April and ended shortly after midnight. The story concerned the finding of an Egyptian Mummy and the translation of the inscription on the Mummy's case. The inscription warned that whoever should verbally recite the inscription would meet a very violent death.

The seven other members listened with sinister curiosity. Could Stead have been serious? Was there such a curse? Where was the Mummy - surely not onboard the ship they were travelling on?

Seven men out of the eight went down with the ship, including Stead himself although he had already had a premonition about his death some time before. The only survivor from the group was Fred Seward, who later when asked about the Mummy story told them that he would never dare retell it.

There was no Mummy on board the Titanic. The only Mummy in question was the Priestess of Amen-Ra. Her coffin lid did not leave its display in the British Museum and so was never onboard the Titanic.

However, the British Museum was never presented with the actual Mummy. Mr Taylor and the Egyptian Artefacts team think it is most probable that the Priestess' remains were left behind in Egypt. It is perhaps this fact that William Stead used to concoct his macabre tale.

Convoluted? Sure is. See what I mean?

After such an incident like the sinking of the Titanic occurs, what would usually happen is that the investigators will find out how the particular incident could have been avoided. In the case of the Titanic, it has to do with the iceberg impact:

It has been speculated that the ship could have been saved if she had rammed the iceberg head on. It is hypothesised that if Titanic had not altered her course at all and instead collided head first with the iceberg, the impact would have been taken by the naturally stronger bow of the hull and damage would only have affected the first or, at most, first two compartments. This would have disabled her severely, and possibly caused casualties among the passengers near the front of the ship, but would not likely have resulted in sinking since Titanic was designed to float with the first four compartments flooded. Instead, the glancing blow to the starboard side of the ship caused buckling in the hull plates along the first five compartments, more than the ship's designers had allowed for.

Also:

Originally, historians thought the iceberg had cut a gash into Titanic's hull. Since the part of the ship that the iceberg damaged is now buried, scientists used sonar to examine the area and discovered the iceberg had caused the hull to buckle, allowing water to enter Titanic between her steel plates.

Yes, there are many other details but then this post would just become way too much of a headache, both for me and for you. So yeah, there it is.

Science and the supernatural.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Question.

How does one explain the following general assumptions:

Girls love chocolate, whereas not all guys do.

Guys are afraid of cockroaches, girls are scared of lizards.

Girls loathe egg yolk, while guys don't mind it.

There are bound to be more. Care to add to the list?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ox.

As the year of the ox draws near, I begin to think about many things to expect (or to not expect) in the near future.

This is the year I make it, or break it. Well not really, but to a certain extent, it is so.

After completing secondary school and soon to be A-Levels, I will enter tertiary education. I will finally be in a programme I really will enjoy, regardless of the inevitable hard work, stress, difficulties and so on that awaits.

It's incredible how I can still remember the first day I was in Standard One. I had a few friends, but the one whom I remember the best was Nabil. To this day I will never forget his name, although I can't remember what he looked like then. It's amazing how 11 years have passed since then, and I am standing on the brink of the first part of real success, or failure of course.

I have always had the impression that the United States of America is a terribly overrated country. Fine, there's Hollywood and Barack Obama amongst other things but the one thing that really gets me is the fact that many Americans just don't know enough about the rest of the world. Ask any regular American citizen and you'll be extremely lucky if he knows where Malaysia is on the map. And that's just one thing they're completely ignorant about.

Sarah Palin said after casting her vote on Presidential Election Day: "I will not tell you who I voted for, because I believe that I have the right to keep my vote private." Fine, that's justified. Then, she went on: "That's what I think is so amazing about America, the democracy." When I heard that, I was like, hello woman, you're not the only democratic country in the world. My mother herself refused to tell us who she voted for one year during elections. And she's just one citizen of this country.

Still, there is no denying that America is certainly the land of opportunities. One can definitely go far if things go right for him or her.

I made up my mind I want to study there. That was how I felt a few months ago. Now? I'm not as sure as I was before.

As some of you know I auditioned for Yong Siew Toh, Singapore last year in March. Obviously I didn't get in, if not I wouldn't be typing this now. After hearing stories which I shall not discuss here, from friends in YST, I became less and less keen on becoming a student there in the future.

But now I'm starting to look at things realistically. No, I'm not saying I want to study in YST.

But do note that I'm not saying I want to study in the US either.

Come on, I'm only 17 years old. I'll be 18 this year. Something struck me a few weeks ago. Maybe I'm not ready to leave to study in a country so far away. I've started THINKING again. And I mean really thinking. At this point in time, I can't really tell you where I'd rather go to study music.

This has to be the biggest thing that will happen to me this year of the ox.

My audition for YST is in one and a half weeks. My audition for the Asian Youth Orhestra is in three weeks. The first camp of the new MPYO season begins in six weeks. I start receiving my offers (if I get any, that is) in something like 10 weeks. Before you know it, it's fall 2009.

The music continues.

My god. Mindless ranting again.


Mocha Java Kee Wira Bulat. I miss him.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Outrage.

I can't believe what I just realised.

On Sunday morning, as I was reading the newspaper, I was surprised to find my review for the Twilight Soundtrack in the Variety section, so soon anyway. I was further surprised to see the rating I had given it: 3 stars, instead of the 2 stars I remember very clearly. Then I thought to myself: "Well, I was after all contemplating whether to give it 2 or 3," and I just left it.

Barely 10 minutes ago, I opened the word document I had used for the review. My jaw dropped.

The soundtrack deserved 2 stars, and that's the exact number of stars I had given it. That was the exact number I had put in the review. That was the exact number I saw in the word document.

But that was not the number which appeared out in the paper.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Recharge.

Today was an interesting day.

Had the chance to play some viola duos with Andrew. Learnt about many things involving music, local music society, amongst other things. Also got a new (well not really new) distraction to do with my left hand fingers which I have really, really started worrying about. =\

Got a call from AUNTY AUDREY HO about an upcoming chamber concert which will feature Dvorak's American Quartet in its entirety!

The String Hoppers reunite!

And I'm one of the players!

Yes!

Okay, stay positive now. It may be in June, which might be a crazy month in terms of things NOT to do with music and which may include my inability to make it for what MIGHT be my last MPYO camp, but I will play in the quartet. I will.

I WILL, YOU HEAR ME?

Looking forward to the next camp, although I barely know the repertoire apart from Beethoven 5, Blue Danube and OMG E.T.! YES! Duncan you must be overjoyed we're playing Mahler 5. If I'm not mistaken the Adagietto was the one you had on your blog music player right? Great stuff.

Worried about the viola section in terms of numbers though. We really need fresh blood next camp, and ADEQUETE AT THE LEAST THEY MUST BE! Gosh there are so many jokes out there, dissing violists. And it's funny how violists themselves can laugh at themselves (e.g. me) when telling or listening to the jokes.

This must have been one of the most random posts ever. And the fact that I'm actually blogging about what's happening in my life wtf. What happened to that vow eh?

Now on to my toughest review yet, Dave Koz.

Yeah you know, the guy who you can hear saying something along the lines of: "This is Dave Koz, and you're listening to Light FM".

***

So there's a string quartet in a football field.

At each corner of the field, there are the four players - 1st violinist, 2nd violinist, violist, and cellist.

50 bucks - thrown into the middle of the field. Yeah, right in the circle.

Who's gonna get there first?

The cellist, of course!

Why?

Well, the 1st violinist ain't gonna budge, why would he be so desperate for a measly 50 bucks?

The 2nd violinist ain't budging either, why would he make a move without the 1st violinist making a move himself?

And the violist?

HE AIN'T SEEN NOTHING LIKE THE 50 BUCKS SO HE DOESN'T EVEN KNOW WHAT IT IS HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

SORRY ANDREW! IT WAS JUST TOO GOOD!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Jumble.

Sometimes, there are so many things to blog about at one time. Today I felt as if there was inspiration to write about first and foremost Manchester City's insane bid for Kaka, my thoughts after watching the programme 'The Secret' the other day, the Kuala Terengganu by-election, last minute loss of tickets for a concert I was really looking forward to and several other things which I can't seem to remember - there were so many.

There are so many things I have been thinking about recently, and because of the sheer volume of thought, my mind has become so ahdcoepbmsocmfuckingvkaoxcekcrazyqpxkl. So instead of blogging about those issues, I'll leave this link for all ye Twilight fans.

Click here.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Truth?

Got this off Dexter's blog, not as if he tagged me, but what the heck.

Found it quite interesting, slightly different from your usual tag. I'll modify it a little by adding some description to the statement for some.

The rules:

Bold the statements that are true to you.
Italise the statements that you WISH are true.
Leave the Fibs alone.

I miss somebody right now.

I dont watch TV these days.

I own lots of books. (not personally, but my house is filled with books.)

I wear glasses or contact lenses.

I've tried marijuana.

I have been in a threesome.

I have been the psycho-ex in a past relationship.

I believe honesty is usually the best policy. (USUALLY, haha)

I curse sometimes.

I have changed a lot mentally over the last year.

I carry my knife/razor everywhere with me.

I'm TOTALLY smart.

I've broken someone's bones.

I'm paranoid sometimes. (quite often, actually)

I would get plastic surgery if it were 100% safe, free of cost, and scar-free.

I need money right now. (not really, but i wouldn't mind some)

I love sushi.

I talk really,really fast.

I have long hair.

I have lost money in Las Vegas. (haven't even been there)

I have at least one sibling.

I have worn fake hair/fingernails/eyelashes in the past.

I couldn't survive without Caller I.D.

I like the way I look. (sometimes!)

I am usually pessimistic. (i try to be as optimistic as i can)

I have a lot of mood swings. (not that much nowadays, though)

I have a hidden talent.

I'm always hyper no matter how much sugar i have.

I have a lot of friends.

I am currently single.

I have pecked someone of the same sex.

I practically live in sweatpants or PJ pants.

I love to shop. (this is fairly subjective, i must say)

I enjoy window shopping. (not really, cause i end up not buying anything, so yeah)

I don't hate anyone.

I dislike them.

I'm a pretty good dancer.

I have a cell phone.

I believe in God. (i don't have a religion, but i believe there is a god up there and i believe in him)


I watch MTV on a daily basis.

I have passed out drunk in the past 6 months. (haha, never been drunk, merely high!)

I've rejected someone before.

I have no idea what i want to do for the rest of my life. (not fully sure, but at this age, no one is, right?)

I want to have children in the future.

I have changed a diaper before.

I've called the cops on a friend before. (that would've been fun)

I'm not allergic to anything. (at least i think i'm not)

I have a lot to learn.

I have been with someone at least 10 years older or younger. (*cough* older *cough* XD)

I have tried alcohol before. (socially)

I have made a move on a friend's significant other or crush in the past.

I think that Pizza Hut has the best pizza. (the cheesy crust or whatever is like ZOMG)

I have used my sexuality to advance my career.

I watch Spongebob Squarepants and i like it. (haha, used to)

I have dated a close friends's ex.

I am happy at this moment!! (okay, very subjective again)

I'm obsessed with guys. (JUST JOKING)

I study for tests most of the time. (reluctantly)

I tie my shoelaces differently from anyone I've ever met.

I can work on a car. (i can't even drive dammit)

I am comfortable with who I am right now. (fairly, yeah)

I have more than just my ears pierced. (my ears aren't even pierced)

I spend ridiculous money on makeup.

I plan on achieving a major goal/dream.

I'm proficient in a musical instrument. (proficient enough)


I worked at McDonald's restaurant.

I hate office jobs.

I love sci-fi movies.

I went college out of state.

I like sausage.

I fall for the worst people.

I adore bright colours.

I can't live without black eyeliner.

I don't know why the hell i just did this stupid thing. (actually, not really)

I usually like covers better than originals.

I can pick up things with my toes. (very few things haha)

I can't whistle.

I can move my tongue in waves, much like a snakes slither.

I have ridden/owned a horse. (yeah, a horse which threw me off)

I still have every journal I've ever written in.

I can't stick to a diet. (well, not as if i actually DIET DIET, but yeah, still)

I talk in my sleep. (the other night i was having a dream where people were making me feel extremely frustrated, and i woke up shouting "FUCK YOU ALL")

I try to forget things by drowning them out with loads of distractions.

I have jazz in my blood.

I wear a toe ring.

I have a tattoo. (probably never gonna get one)

I am a caffeine junkie.

I will collect anything, and the more nonsesical, the better.

I only clean my room when necessary.

I love being happy. (dood, who the hell doesn't)

I am an adrenaline junkie

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Discovery.

And I thought I won't be listening to metal anytime soon.

Nah, not really. I haven't been, it's just that I've noticed ever since I added the HTML link for the live traffic feed on my blog, there have been some visitors from all over the WORLD arriving at my post: SHROUDED DIVINE Review. I gave the album 4 and a half stars.

I decided to check up on the Swedish progressive death metal band In Mourning, which produced the exceptional album Shrouded Divine, and found out that my favourite song on the record, The Black Lodge was named best metal song of 2008 and the album itself was listed among the top 20 of the year. I was really surprised to find out about this cause In Mourning are such an unknown band (which is good, of course), but I feel glad that such talent is recognised instead of your usual Triviums, Avenged Sevenfold (they're not even metal ok Kit Leong), and other 'great' bands.

So yeah, just a little discovery of sorts, to find people from other continents visiting my blog for this particular reason.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dvořák.

This man was pure genius.



Antonín Leopold Dvořák was a Czech composer of Romantic music, who employed the idioms and melodies of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia. His works include operas, symphonic, choral and chamber music. His best-known works include his New World Symphony (particularly the slow movement), as well as his Slavonic Dances, American String Quartet, and Cello Concerto in B minor.

For more about Dvořák, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton%C3%ADn_Dvo%C5%99%C3%A1k

I am proud to have had the opportunity to actually play a few of Dvořák's famous works.

May last year it was the American String Quartet in F major with Jia Rong, Lu Ee and Dylan. A month ago, the stunning Cello Concerto in B minor with the MPYO, with MPO cellist Tan Poh Joo as soloist. Previously, Symphony No. 8 and of course, one of the most well known symphonies of all time, Symphony No. 9 (New World Symphony), both of which were with the MPYO, of course. Every time I play a work by Dvořák, the enthusiasm is always there.

Just watch/listen to these. Pure awesomeness.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vlci-kCEaKE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj0GMQCi3gY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gfYV6AlIZw

Okay, some of you may already know this. Dvořák composed concerti for piano, cello and violin. So did he play either of the three instruments? Well, violin, yes. But primarily what did he play?

VIOLA.

DAYUMN. WHERE'S THE VIOLA CONCERTO, EH?!!