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Saturday, September 6, 2008


Flash Lights or Torch Lights

pen light used by doctors and scientists.

A nice torch light for outdoor use : for lighting and for defence.

Typical heavy duty flashlight.

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Photo taken of a Pasar Malam Stall selling cheap flashlights made in China.

What is the history of flashlight like?

In 1898, Joshua Lionel Cowen invented a decorative lighting fixture for potted plants which consisted of a metal tube housing a light bulb and a dry cell battery. It failed commercially, and so Cowen sold his company and patents to Conrad Hubert that same year and turned his attention to building and selling model trains. Hubert renamed Cowen's company the American Electrical Novelty & Manufacturing Company and, recognizing the true potential of Cowen's invention, hired David Misell to produce a tubular flashlight for portable use.

They donated some models to the New York City police, who responded favorably to it.[1] These early flashlights ran on zinc-carbon batteries, which were poor at providing sustained currents; they would run down after a while and needed to rest before being usable again.[2] Since these early flashlights also used energy-inefficient carbon filament bulbs, this happened rather quickly, and consequently they could only be used in brief flashes, hence the popular name flashlight.

Source : Wikipedia.

Here's riddle we used to get as students many years ago.....Students loved riddles in the past. I do not know if today's students still like to crack their heads to get an answer for a riddle like this.

Four members of a band are walking to a night concert. They decide to take a shortcut, but must cross a bridge. Luckily they have one flashlight. Because of the varying size of their instruments, it takes each member a different amount of time to cross the bridge - it takes the first person one minute, the second person two minutes, the third person five minutes and the fourth person ten minutes. They must cross the bridge in pairs, travelling at the slower speed so if the one minute person went with the ten minute person, it would take a total of ten minutes. Since there is only one flashlight, one person must come back across the bridge, then another pair can cross. They only have 17 minutes to cross the bridge and still get to the concert on time. What order should they cross to get everyone across and get to the concert?

Scroll down for the answer at the bottom.

In those long ago days in Sibu and especially in the villages we all had to have a flash light each. My grandmother had one and she kept it very well under her pillow and she would take it wherever she went. When she visited us in Sibu she would also bring the flashlight in her basket. And we loved to play with her flashlight. But of course we also would help her buy batteries. She usually used Eveready batteries.

We needed flashlights when we went tapping rubber in the early hours of the morning if we did not use the carbide lamps or kerosene lamps. Hence a flashlight was often considered a thing of comfort to us. We would not be afraid when we had this life saver.

For us when we were older and living in town, we would use flashlights to read under our blanket as our mother would want us to sleep early and not waste electricity. We had a lot of fun under the bed also and pretended that we were hiding from bandits.

Later flashlights we learned that we could use them to send signals to save lives. Doctors used them to check our throats. But most important of all when we went camping flashlights were important for our various activities. So as Girl Guides and Boys Scouts most of us made full use of our own flashlights. It was always delightful when a Girl Guide brought along her father's huge torch light and we would bask under the special huge light in the outdoors. We felt comforted and secure whether it was in outside the tent or inside the tent. How wonderful it was to have light!

Today with such frequent blackouts it is good to have a few flashlights handy. Candles are of course our mainstay at times like these. But a flashlight in the car and in house is a must, even today.

What are your memories of using flashlights?

VEC158BD - Black & Decker V-3 million Power Series Flashlight

answer: First, the one minute person and the two minute person must cross the bridge, for a total of two minutes. Then the one minute person should come back with flashlight - total of three minutes. The five minute person and the ten minute person cross together next, making the total thirteen minutes. Now the two minute person goes back and (total now fifteen minutes) and gets the one minute person and they cross together bringing the total to seventeen minutes.


Bridge Over Lembangan River on the Igan Side


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This is the other end and less famous part of the Lembangan River which separated the Island of Sibu from the mainland. The Lembangan River used to be deep and wide, big enough for the Chinese junks to sail through in the 1900's. On the western side of the island of Sibu is the famous 360 mile-long, Rejang River which is now getting shallower by the day. The other end of this Lembangan River is what we now call Pulau Babi,a much written part and famous and also infamous for various social and economic activities.

When I was young I used to buy pineapples and bananas sold by the fishermen and farmers who came by their beautiful boats here as I lived just a stone throw away. In the evenings these boat men would park their boats in this river and sold their goods on the bridge. The small kerosene lights inside the boats at night gave us the shivers. We told each other ghost stories as we cycled home with our pineapples and bananas. The road is still called Bridge Road.

On the left of the photo were Malay houses of Kampong Datu, some of them belonging to my school mates like Onn SuutAbang Ibrahim, Yusuf Ibrahim and Hasnah Salleh. Now these houses are all gone because of urban development and the Malay Kampong has moved to Kampong Nangka. My friends have left town too for positions in other parts of Malaysia.

The landmark building along Kampong Datu Road is the Paramount Hotel.

In the distance you can see the Sanyan Building and the huge open park and RH Hotel.

Sibu has changed a lot and has a total image makeover. Sometimes I think it is a place in China.

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Friday, September 5, 2008

Foochow Road,Shanghai (1930-40's)

One of these days you might just chance upon this book. Buy it by all means. It will entertain you for days I believe!!

Several Foochow youths (both male and female) from Sibu had the opportunity to study in China and especially Shanghai. And they brought back tales worth listening to.

Some of the tales of course were repeated. Others were whispered amongst the men.

In bits and pieces I heard of the red light districts, the beautiful singers of the night clubs and well several of the guys from Sibu were particularly good in dancing. Most probably picked up from their student days in Shanghai. The ladies were shy and an aunt was a student nurse in one of the hospitals in China. It was quite an eye opener for her when she visited Shanghai .

One of the most well documented roads in China is the Foochow Road of Shanghai which runs west from the Bund (which is now very different from the olden days). Foochow Road was famous for brothels and bookshops.

The first photo depicts Hui Le Li (The Lane of Lingering Happiness). The lane was located at 726 Fuzhou Lu, and was famous for having 151 singsong houses (the polite name for brothels).

In the future I hope I can take photos of Shanghai to add to this posting.

Source : Tales of Old Shanghai

Foochow Restuarant as seen in "Rush Hour"

I was really impressed by Jackie Chan's "Rush Hour I" which features this Foochow Restuarant.

The film is really good and the restaurant is a good choice for his scenes.

It would have been even more authentic if some Foochow conversation was in the footage,instead of Cantonese or Mandarin.

If you wish to try some of the dishes,ask for suggestion and I suppose anything with the red wine sauce should be authentically Foochow. I have not been there myself so I cannot really say much. If you are somewhere around LA and you need to know something about Jackie Chan's Rush Hour I,you can go there if you like. And even take a photo.


First Sibu Youth in Yen Ching University Beijing 1934-1937

This photo is just so fantastic that I must post it. It is an old photo of the Yen Ching University Basketball Team 1930.

Grandfather was a stern man who insisted that his childen must be well educated and his wishes were granted because by a stroke of divine intervention that Rev Hoover a(1903-1935)and Mrs. Mary Hoover were sent to Sibu to help Foochows to achieve their dreams of prosperity and a good life. These remarkable Methodist Missionaries started many "firsts" apart from establishing the first girls' school,the Yuk Ying Girls' School and saw to it that girls were well educated. A few bound feet girls who were born in China were also in the school according to records. Boys were also educated alongside the girls and Rev Hoover even started a trade and agriculture school for them at Bukit Lan.

My aunts and uncles were thus educated by this important school even though there was very little money for education. The early days of the Foochow pioneers were days when money had to be stretched and prices of rubber were most unsteady. Many lived from hand to mouth and raising a large family was not easy.

My father,Chang Ta Kang, was a studious,quiet and bright boy and he pursued a serious education for himself. He became the first Sibu boy to graduate from Yen Ching University. He was the first batch of Sibu boys to complete Junior English School and when he was accepted by the Yen Ching University,Rev and Mrs. Hoover and my grandfather were extremely excited and happy. But unfortunately Rev Hoover passed away when my father was in his second year. My grandfather and Rev.Wong King Huo and many others went to Kuching for the funeral of beloved Hoo Sing Nan.

Not much was known about this university years ago because all books were confiscated by the Japanese when my father was arrested and inprisoned. My grandfather and other community leaders were courageous enough to ask for my father's release. However,my grandfather was brutally beaten in his endeavour to release his son. Perhaps it was because of several such war experiences many Foochows did not keep written records or books in their homes. Many photos were burnt or stored away. Termites according to some aunts also "ate away our memories".

Sometimes I wish we have a good archive where we can retrieve any information we need.

And on the other hand,my father suffered a lot of brutal beatings which were later attributed to his premature death at the age of 56.

It was only very recently that I could get information about Yen Ching University on the Net.


Yenching University was a union venture blending Methodist, Presbyterian, Congregational, American, and British strands. Predecessor institutions included the Methodist-supported Peking University and the North China College, which was established by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions and located in Tungchow, about twelve miles east of Peking. The union institution was originally known as Peking University, but in 1912 the name of the Chinese government institution in Beijing (called the Imperial University by Westerners) was changed to Peking University and it seemed wise to rename the Christian university Yenching University in order to avoid confusion. From 1916 to 1926 Yenching was housed in buildings in Beijing, but its site was deemed too small for the proposed growth of the University, so land was sought outside the city. Dr. J. Leighton Stuart became President of Yenching in 1919 and was a strong force in the development of the school.

Finally in the summer of 1920 a site was secured for the new campus five miles to the northwest of Beijing on the main highway to the Old Summer Palace and the New Summer Palace. The land had been a country estate developed by Ho Shen, Minister of State in the reign of the Emperor Ch'ien Lung, and was called Shu Ch'un Yuan, Garden of Modest Gaiety. When Emperor Ch'ien Lung died in 1789, Ho Shen was condemned to death by the new Emperor; his estate was confiscated and became part of the cluster of parks, palaces, gardens, and residences belonging to the Manchu Emperors.

The estate that became the core of Yenching University's new campus covered sixty acres and was landscaped with man-made hills, grottos, lakes, and islands. It had fallen into considerable disrepair when purchased by Yenching, but the underpinnings of a beautiful campus remained. The University purchased several surrounding plots of land and by 1925 200 acres were available for campus development, of which 116 were owned by the University.

Yenching's Construction Bureau, headed by Professor John McGregor Gibb, was kept busy for years as the new campus developed. The first building erected was a School of Religion building named for Bishop William Ninde of the Methodist Church. This was followed by a library named for Thomas and Janet Berry and a central administration building named for Bishop James W. Bashford. Bashford Hall contained a large assembly hall and administrative offices. To the left of Bashford was a recitation or classroom building named McBrier Hall, and to its right a science building housing the biology and physics programs.

The North China Women's College became the Women's College of Yenching University in 1920. It received support from the "Seven Oriental Colleges for Women" fundraising campaign to erect several buildings, including a recitation building named Sage Hall and an administraton building named Luella Miner Hall in honor of the first Dean of the Women's College.

Yenching began operating from its new campus in the fall of 1926, though the Dedication and Formal Opening of the campus were not held until October 1, 1929. The enthusiasm engendered by the new campus is reflected in the following description:
Entering the campus from the west through the gorgeous Alumni Gateway with its bright-red doors and pillars and gaily cornered cornices, and with its two fierce-looking marble lions constantly on guard, the visitors beheld a charming panorama of academic buildings, designed in Chinese style. The grass lawn ... was adorned with two lofty marble pillars, entwined with carved dragons reaching up to clouds which projected horizontally and thus seemed to be floating in air. Atop each pillar was a mythical animal. These pillars originally flanked the Imperial Ancestral Hall in the Yuan Ming Yuan (Old Summer Palace). These sculptures, plus the lions at the gate and two other mythical animals which flanked the entrance to Bashford Hall, had been rescued by the University from the ruins of the nearby Yuan Ming Yuan and installed on the campus by permission of the last Emperor of China, confirmed by the Mayor of Peking.

South of the main group of buildings was a large man-made lake, with the Luce Pavilion on an island reached by an arched bridge. A graceful octagonal structure with scarlet pillars supporting its roof, sheltered by an ancient pine tree, the Pavilion was financed by friends in Scranton, Pennsylvania, to honor Yenching's Vice-president, Henry W. Luce.

From a distance the most striking feature of the Yenching campus was its pagoda. Located on the southeastern border of the lake, the tower was a thirteen storied replica of an ancient Tungchow pagoda, but was used as a water tower. As Dwight Edwards, Yenching's historian relates:
Before it was built there was considerable debate whether it was seemly for a Christian institution to adopt a type of structure brought to China by Buddhist missionaries. But a study of the function of pagodas revealed that they had very wholesome associations and that, when the breeze stirred the little bells hanging from the successive pent roofs, the listener was expected to turn his mind to pure and exalted thoughts. So the pagoda was accepted, but not the proposal made by some members of the faculty that the smokestack be concealed in the water tower. The majority did not want to see smoke billowing out of the top of the pagoda.

This hexagonal pavilion was located on a hill near President J. Leighton Stuart's residence. Hours were announced by its great bronze bell, which had been cast by order of the Manchu Emperor Yung Cheng more than 200 years previously. The bell was decorated with imperial dragons and ocean waves, and was made to sound by a swinging wooden beam.

The Women's College buildings were clustered on the southwest portion of the campus. The two square buildings with Chinese roofs rising to a central knob-shaped finial were Miner Hall, and administration and student activities building, and Gamble Hall, the Dean's residence. These buildings were modeled after two small towers flanking the central tower over the main gate to the Purple Forbidden City in Beijing.

At a time when the Chinese government was largely utilizing Western styles for its new public buildings, because of their flexibility and lower cost, Yenching wanted to demonstrate its desire to preserve the best in Chinese culture, and adopted a modified Chinese style of architecture. Some of the faculty, including Dr. T. T. Lew, were more in favor of a Gothic style of architecture, but the architectural firm engaged by the University strongly supported the Chinese style, which it had already implemented on the University of Nanking and Fukien Christian University campuses. According to Dwight Edwards' account, when architect Henry K. Murphy first visited Beijing's Forbidden City, he "wandered spellbound for hours among the magnificent palaces there, which he described as the finest group of buildings in the world, matchless in stateliness and grandeur." The architects sought to replicate this sense of grandeur in a kind of modified "palace" architecture on the Yenching campus, creating structures with massive pillars and beams, overhanging curved roofs, and ornate, brilliantly colored decoration.

My thanks to the web pages which provide the information that I need after so many years of searching for more information of my father's alma mater and I believe that my father would be the only Sibu born Foochow to have attended this univeristy...
The American Context of China's Christian Colleges project is based at Wesleyan University.
For more information, please contact the Project Director or Website Coordinator.

Foochow Building in Singapore

Since my blog is a "specialist blog on things Foochow and about the foochow aspects of Sibu", I can give myself a treat by featuring things Foochow outside Sibu and even Sarawak once in a while.

Today's treat is this one:

Click here to view map
Foo Chow Building

Foo Chow Building is located near Tyrwhitt Road; near Plumer Road; near Jalan Besar; near Kitchener Road; 0.1 kilometre away from Allenby Road; Foo Chow Building is geographically located at latitude (1.3095 degrees) 1° 18' 34" North of the Equator and longitude (103.8585 degrees) 103° 51' 30" East of the Prime Meridian on the Map of Singapore.


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Day 1 at the Tents + Arlenis Pena for Lancome

So it's day one at the tents, and you know the Fashion Bomb is in the building:
Keeping it simple yet saucy, I threw on a Diane von Furstenberg Bolero, Zachary's Smile High Waisted Black Skirt, and Jenny Dayco Jewels. I also decided to dye my hair dark for's gonna take some getting used to!
Anyway, the BCBG Max Azria show was amazing! It featured Grecian style ruched dresses in flowing fabrics, forgiving enough for any girl from the rail thin to round.
Image Source
The collection was dominated by gray and beige jumpers and dresses, but pops of blue, hot pink, and green lightened up the mood. Another mood elevator: Spying newcomer Arlenis Pena stomping the catwalk!
I can't wait to see her in more shows!
The rest of the day is pretty chill, though I do plan on stopping into Rubin Singer and Nicole Miller. Then off to my party tonight! If you're in NYC, I hope to see you there!
*Speaking of Ms. Pena, WWD reports today that the Dominican Beauty was recently signed to Lancome...
....Odile Roujoul, president of Lancome says, "Arlenis possesses beauty, intelligence, charm and compassion...we knew she would be a wonderful addition." [WWD]
...looks like The Fashion Bomb didn't win Best Style and Fashion Blog. The honors went to Afrobella and Scandalous Beauty. Welp. It was great to be nominated?? Hey, and at least they had a Fashion Category this year! Thanks to all who voted!!! Peep the rest of the winners here.
*Pssst, I'm already capturing lots of Real Style:
Stay tuned next week for a full rundown including the next installment of Fashion Bomb TV!
*Check out a preview of Tracy Reese's Spring 2009 RTW collection:
Can't wait for her show on Sunday!

Mail Bombs: Celebrity Looks for Less!!

So today is day one of Fashion Week! As we speak, I'm probably taking in my first show of the season: BCBG Max Azria. Stay tuned for deets!
Still, it's Friday, and the show must go on...
...let get started!
First, Jesse says, "I was wondering if you could help me get Rihanna's look in the attached picture..."
"...I usually don't strive to copy celebrity looks, but I couldn't resist this one. Her shirt is the perfect fit and very Jerry McGuire-esque. I like the balance of the outfit- posh but with an "I'm not trying too hard" feel...."
Get Rihanna's steeze for less with the following:
1. Rio Sunglasses, $139. 2. O Oscar Belted Poplin Tunic Shirt, $20. 3. Juicy Couture Leather Chain Hoop Earrings, $58. 4.Steve Madden Madalynn Sandals, $109. 5. Linea Pelle Double Link Chain Belt, $52. 6. AG Jeans Dark Wash Stilt Cigarette Jeans, $87. 7. Kenneth Jay Lane Acetate Animal Print Cuff, $75.
Next, Wright asks, "Where can I find Solange's dress..."
"... or something similar?"
Plaid is the rule for fall, and you can get a Solange like transitional look with the following:
1. Bebe Plaid Belted Western Halter Dress, $119. 2. Adriana Papell Plaid Cap Sleeve Dress, $118. 3. Bebe V Neck Plaid Wrap Dress, $84.
Next, RC says, "I fell in love with this outfit Sanaa Lathan had on..."
"...Can you please help me find it or something similar?"
It seems Sanaa is balling in this $450 Black Halo Strapless Wool Stretch Jumpsuit:
If that's too much, you can go with this Riller & Fount Kioka Jumpsuit...
...which is a relative steal at $200.
Now I have time for just a couple wardrobe queries!
Kathleen from Blowing Rock, North Carolina says, "I love these Pedro Garcia shoes but at $475 I can not afford them..."
" you know of anything very similar??"
Hey! If you like the heeled sneaker look, you can go with these options:
1. JUMP Women's Sarah Sneaker, $70. 2. Hale Bob Women's Queen Pump, $52.
Lastly Andrea says, "I am going to a play at the end of Sep and I bought this cute dress..."
"...It's my style classy clean lines but a little sexy! I was wondering if you could show me some cute accesories and shoes that wouldn't be the usual choice of black, grey or silver that could go with it."
Sure. If you want this outfit to pop, take a hint from Glam Girl Hayden Panettiere...
...who accessorizes her all black outfit with hints of red and even an eye catching lip:
1. Aldo Fredda Shoes, $60 2. Crimson Croc Clutch, $68 3.Cole Haan Patent Leather Aurora Pumps, $165. 4. Nars Semi Matte Lipstick, $24.
That does it for today!
Adriana and I will be in the tents all weekend; and you'll be there for every minute!
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