Da Vinci Code

My wife and I went to see the "Da Vinci Code" last Wednesday. We loved it.

I have read the book before. Unfortunately, I have also read "Angels and Demons" too and my mind had juxtaposed the two together into one confused mixed-up version. I thought there were going to be hi-tech jet, the CERN and Hassassin killing the cardinals. But, it took only a few minutes into the movies to get my mind to realign to the correct story line. I believe Ron Howard has been successful in bringing the book to the screen because watching the movie felt almost like reading it.

I notice that a lot of reviewers on this movie have been rather critical of it. Who can really blame them when there has been a lot hypes surrounding the book and subsequently the movie. It started with Dan Brown on National Geographic, if I am not mistaken, tried unconvincingly to claim that the book was based on historical facts. He should've just accepted the fact that book has been a work of pure fiction. And a few weeks before the premier of the movie, NatGeo and Discovery Channel featured a barrage of programs that more or less debunked the various claims in the book. They for sure made you well-informed but they kind of spoiled the fun in watching the movie if you ask me. My wife, on the other hand, thought that these programs helped her in understanding the movie because she has not read the book.

Don't worry, I don't think any good Christian would have abandoned his faith due to this book/movie. Those who have done so would have done so with or without it. "What matters is what you believe," as Tom Hank has said in the movie. And I thought his hair looked just fine too.


Lucy and Danae: Something Silly This Way Comes

Something Silly This Way ComesFinally I found this book. MPH at Mid Valley Megamall had two copies and I grabbed one of them. So, quick! Rush there if you want to get a hold of the other one. Two weeks ago I went to Kinokuniya KLCC to see if it had it but I had to come back empty handed.

I love this book. I think my 6-year-old daughter would love it too — if not for the satire, for the nice rendition of these two lovable characters. The book is a kind of "Lucy and Danae: The Beginning." It explains how Lucy, the horse, ends up as Danae's pet companion. And not without some help from her little sister, Kate. While the two girls are diametrically opposed, you would love Kate just the same (see below).
Unfortunately, the Church of Danae has not yet been founded in this book. I guess I have to wait for the sequel.

Naughty Kate

Taliban is back

Not in Afghanistan but in Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population. A woman was caught by the moral police while she was waiting for a bus at night. And later she had to explain to the court why she brought with her a lipstick and a compact! Worse, she was called a prostitute by the crowd outside. This is a very disturbing development. While this movement of putting the blame of moral decay on women is not yet widespread in Indonesia, it seems to be growing at an alarming rate. If left unchecked, Indonesia could really have a problem. Raden Adjing Kartini must be rolling in her grave.

Web Version of Kamus Dewan is on the Net!

(Please see Kamus Dewan moved for latest updates.)

Oh, why did it take this long for me to find this gem? I have been looking for a reliable online Malay dictionary for so long and it did not occur to me to type ‘kamus dewan’ in a Google search. That would have directly led me to the Karyanet site which hosts the online Kamus Dewan. Actually, I was trying to see if the word ‘koda’ in my ‘Koda.Karma‘ blog site name is a sanctioned Malay word. Apparently not, according to Kamus Dewan. In retrospect, ‘Kod.Karma’ would have sounded just as good. Oh, well.

Incidentally, Karyanet hosts more than just Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) online dictionaries. It is a place for budding writers to publish their original work. Maybe, I should sharpen my Malay writing skills and become a karyawan at Karyanet. I could get paid for doing that.

Karyanet and DBP should be lauded for making the Malay language more accessible. The online Kamus Dewan alone will get me coming back every so often. But the website is rather busy and the navigation is rather bad. It is easier to find the online Kamus Dewan from Google search than the Karyanet menu system! And the popup thanking me for using Karyanet which appears every time I right click on a link (actually not just links, everything) is extremely annoying. You see, I wanted to open the link on a different tab on my Firefox but Karyanet tried to prevent me from doing this. I ended up disabling “Disable or replace context menu” in my Firefox advanced Javascript preference.

Moving My Witty Quotes Pages to another Blog

Now that WordPress supports adding another blog for the same account, I am moving my Witty Quotes pages into another blog I call Kosa.Kata. I find using pages is rather constraining with its artificial hierarchical organization as opposed to categorization in blog entries. And presentation of a page and their child pages is not intuitive enough for visitors. I will therefore re-post the existing quotes and new ones as blog entries instead of pages.

Calvin and Hobbes Versus Lucy and Danae

My wife and I have a stack of Calvin and Hobbes compilation books we have collected some time back which went underutilized until recently. Suddenly, my 6-year old daughter has developed an interest in Calvin and Hobbes and she has been reading them regularly ever since. Her dream, she has shared with us, is to transmogrify somehow into Lucy so that she could teach Calvin how to properly treat a girl, I guess.

But recently, I found Lucy and Danae from the Non Sequitur comic strip when I included it in my personalized Google homepage. I had never really paid attention to Non Sequitur before this. I could not help but notice certain similarities between Calvin and Hobbes and Lucy and Danae. The only thing is Danae is girl and her imaginary friend is some kind of a horse. Not to mention that Danae is more clever than Calvin. I think I will introduce Lucy and Danae to my daughter and I am sure she will be elated. She may have a hard time understanding the dark humour but she will be able to relate better with Danae.

In the beginning... 

Half-past-six Country with No Guts

Oh, dear! I just love Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. He can't stop being in the spotlight. Even after he has stepped down as the Prime Minister. He uttered those words (see doubletongued.org for help) in reference to the current Malaysia Administration's backing down from continuing with the second "scenic" bridge connecting Malaysia and Singapore. The bridge was one of the mega-projects Tun Dr Mahathir started. I am not too sure about the value in continuing with this project when it is pretty clear that Singapore does not want it. It is akin to the impossible requests made by Puteri Gunung Ledang (Singapore), which included a golden bridge, mind you, when Sultan Melaka (Malaysia) asked her to marry him in Hikayat Hang Tuah.

Whatever. But one mega-project of Tun that I really love is Putrajaya and the efficient government services that come with it. I spent the whole morning from 9am to 12:30pm today at the Indonesian Embassy to retrieve my housemaid's extended passport. In contrast, it took less than half an hour to get her renewal permit pasted in her passport at the Immigration Department of Malaysia in Putrajaya. Kudos Putrajaya!

If you need to extend the passport of Indonesian housemaid, it is better to get her alone to both request for the extension and then collect the passport at Indonesian Embassy. You could come back later to pick her up or give her some money to take a taxi back home. That will save you from an extremely excruciating experience.

As for Tun and the current Administration, it will be fun to watch them. It feels almost like a sport.

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