Categorically Random

Awesome FTW part 2

Is there no end to the violence? *shakes head*


Filed under: Random Awesome

What If… KL is a Transformer?

Yonks ago, I used to read these comics by Marvel called “What If”. The premise of the stories are how things would be if there were different circumstances, for example… “What if Spiderman Joined the Fantastic Four?”. DC comics also had a similar series titled “Elseworlds” in which they looked at things like what if Superman grew up in the Soviet Union and succeeded Stalin. All the stories had familiar faces and places, but there will be a twist and the story will look at how things could have happen in such circumstances.

It was a fun, light read.. made me wonder on how a lot  of things would have happened under different circumstances. In this spirit, I’m going to present to you my own “What If” series…

After I saw Transformers 2, a film about giant alien robots fighting each other and Her Royal Hotness Megan Fox, a thought struck me.

What if KL is a Transformer?

OK, if KL was going to transform itself into a giant robot, We have to just assume that the KL Transformer can just take bits of KL here, some bits of KL there to make it’s giant robot form. It doesn’t have to be places next to each other coz if I needed to look for places and buildings that are next to each other, my head will explode and we wouldn’t want that do we?

Now we have that out of the way, let’s try to think rationally through this very important question.

The head: This is an easy one. The head has to house it’s brains and what more can be more appropriate than the National Library? I dropped by the National Library a few months back to do some research and I was pleased with the amount of local references and books there. And it only cost you RM2 to be a member! And to top it of, the design of the building is based on a ‘tengkolok’, an old school head gear for the Malays.

Body: I needed something strong, to be the spine of the robot. Options run from the spiritual such as mosques and temples and commercial buildings. But I think I’ll settle down for the Bank Negara building. Our national bank issues out money dammit! It’s like.. “ooo, I think I need RM50million tomorrow, let’s call the printers and tell them to print a bunch”. You can’t get any more powerful than that!

Hands: Hands are used to pull and carry things (among other things). I view the robot hands as a metaphor, the pulling and pushing and cajoling of the country’s prosperity via corporate and commercial entities.. These are the big companies that employ hundreds of thousands of people and produce goods that we all need.

Legs: This was much easier. I wanted something that is solid, a figurative base to the robot. I chose the KLCC building as Petronas is the custodian of our nation’s oil reserves, and the the wealth generated by oil goes back into to the people, making it the base of the nation (I’m reaching, am I?)

And thus, KL Transformer v1 is complete!


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Kepong: A Calculation

Let’s move on from giant steps to something I have given a lot of thought to (when I say a lot, it usually means 3 seconds as my mind tends to wonder somewhere else rather quickly…look at that nice keyboard, shiny).

My friend James who’s a kite enthusiast always goes to this place in Kepong to er… play with his kites. You can’t miss it if you drive down the MRR2, you can see a few kite enthusiasts with their super agile aerodynamically efficient kites made of… I don’t know, bits of the Space Shuttle and eagles I guess. The place is called the Kepong Metropolitan Park, lovely place.

Anyway, everytime I go to Kepong.. I wonder to myself.. why is it called Kepong? If it’s from the Bahasa Melayu word ‘kepong’ it means ‘to surround’ but kepong has a distinct military flavour to it. And as I mentioned before, my mind tends make silly connections… such as… oh you know, things like how many tanks does it need to kepong Kepong?

Let’s assume something very ordinary: for example, a huge foreign army is on the warpath, and they want to conquer the best piece of land for kite flying in the world. They plan to send all their M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank in order to lay siege to Kepong, maybe they also want those bits of the Space Shuttle in the kites back. But their generals are in a quandary.

How many tanks should they send?

Let’s help those silly generals with some simple calculations.

FACT: Kepong has an area of 11.42 square km.

I’m going to lazily assume that Kepong is in the shape of a square (as noted by a commentator in my previous post, I ain’t no Charlie Eppes).

To get a length of the side to Square Kepong, we look at the square root of its total area (11.42km) which is 3.38km. The length of all 4 sides is than calculated to be 13.52km or 13,520m.


A mean looking Abrams tank

An M1A1 Abrams has a width of 3.66 meters.

Therefore to get the number of tanks: 13,520/3.66 = 3,694 tanks. There you go kids, it will require that amount of tanks, sitting next to each other with zero gaps in between. After some deft maneuvers, they will eventually surround Kepong.

But before we worry that our prime kite flying land will fall to foreign hands, I’m sure Kepong’s favourite daughter and very own  Superwoman will save the day. You go girl!


Pro graphic for people who don't like to read "Kepong: A Calculation"

Filed under: Random Calculations, , , , , ,

Awesome FTW part 1

Check out at 1:06.. Jay-Z can drink AND rap at the same time! He da man!

Filed under: Random Awesome, Random Songs,

Setapak: A Calculation

I like the TV series Numb3rs. It’s about this maths genius who helps solve crimes for the FBI by using mathematics.

Let’s do something similar today, lets use maths to possibly describe how we get names.. and today’s subject is Setapak, KL.

Setapak in Bahasa Melayu is literally translated to “One Step”. From Cousin Wiki, we gathered that it was named thus due to its figuratively close location to KL. Another explanation is the name is a tribute to “Batu Tapak”, an orang asli headman. Both explanations sound logical and they make sense.

.. but what if, Setapak was not named figuratively. Or named after a person.

What if Setapak is literally named? Maybe years ago it was so small that it was literally “One Step” in area. But times have changed, it’s a big suburb of KL now. How big would the person be to have a single step that bridges the Setapak of today?

Let’s crunch some numbers:

First, we need a control point. Using the highly scientific process of obtaining accurate measurements, I used an old measuring tape and eyeballed the length of my step to around 65cm and I’m 1.7m tall. Therefore, My height to step ratio is = 1.7/0.65 = 2.615

I’m going to lazily assume that the Setapak area is the Wangsa Maju parliamentary area which is 13.91 square km. I’m also assuming that Setapak is in the shape of a box to make the calculations (and my life) much easier. To get the length of each side of that box, we look to square roots. And that is 3.72km. We will use this number as the length of the step.

Therefore we can safely assume that in order to have a step of 3.72km, our person needs to be 3.72×2.615 = 9.7km tall. Yup, if Setapak was named today it will be named after a giant 9.7km tall! That is more than 21 Petronas Twin Towers tall!


Pro graphic for people who don't like to read "Setapak: A Calculation"

Whatever the origin of the name Setapak, it’s a place called home to more than 150,000 people, a healthy mix of Malays, Chinese, Indians and others.

Or viewing it from another angle, how many steps would it be to walk from end to end? The answer is 3.72/0.00065 = 5,723 steps. Limaributujuhratusduapuluhtigatapak just doesn’t have the same ooomph as Setapak right?

Filed under: Random Calculations, , , , , ,

“In Rafa We Trust”

Fulham 3 Liverpool 1. Nothing much to say apart from nice tactics and subs there Senor Rafa. May you manage the Scousers forever!

Filed under: Random Football, , ,

Surviving a Falling Lift in KL

I was in a lift (our Yankee friends call it ‘elevators’ for some strange reason) the other day at a tall-ish building in KL and the lift wasn’t functioning normally. It kinda.. moved around more than what lifts normally do. It wasn’t a very comfortable lift ride to say the least.

Suddenly morbid thoughts crossed my mind. What if by some freakish incident, the lift cable snapped and the lift fell down? Would anyone survive the fall? Would the lift even fall down? Maybe there’s those brake things and other clever stuff that smart people put into the  lifts so that it doesnt fall down, killing all passengers and incurring legal lawsuits for the bosses of those smart people.

The question bugged me and so I turn to Uncle Google and the other members of my family for a satisfactory answer.  The end result of my research is as follow:

Apparently there are numerous failsafe devices attached to lifts.

  • Firstly there’s redundant numbers of cables, so if one breaks, the others will still hold the lift up.
  • Secondly, there’s the safeties which apparently will slow down the lifts should the cable breaks.
  • Thirdly, there’s a shock absorber system that should cushion the impact should the lift still fall.

But, just playing Eeyore, what if all the cables snap, the safeties fail, and the absorber down below didn’t work, due to whatever reason ie: catastrophic material failure or *gasp* mismanagement of funds?

What if we’re caught in a falling lift and our lives flashed before us? Well count yourself lucky that in that flashing life of yours, you managed to stumble upon this blog and remember this tip:

In case you’re in that lift and there’s space… lie flat on the floor, face down and cover your head with your hands. This is to spread out the force of impact when the lift hits the floor.

Hopefully by following the tip above, your odds of surviving goes up.

So there you go gentle readers,  a tip on surviving a falling lift in KL. It kinda makes you wonder if next time you’re squeezing yourself to get inside a lift full of people.. is it really worth that few minutes you gain but on the other hand lose in the available lie down space in case something goes wrong??


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Filed under: Random Tips, , , ,

Hello world!

To celebrate this little cog’s entry into the great machinery called the blogosphere, I present to you my first entry  in the form of a song by a Malaysian band called One Buck Short. The song is titled 10.04.

What’s so cool about the song is it’s about some stuff that happens in one of the greatest movie ever made… no silly, not the Senario series but the silver screen masterpiece by Mr Zemeckis.. Back to the Future.

In the spirit of “Buy Ori”, I won’t put rips that are readily available on Auntie Youtube… as it’s just plain wrong and the band needs to eat and do whatever people in bands do.

And heaven forbid, I don’t want my first blog entry to resemble a some teenager’s blog with cut and pasted lyrics… I do have my pride y’know so Uncle Google would be your best friend.

Listening to the song, I spotted 4 direct references to the movie. These are:

  • Song title. 10:04 is the time which lightning struck the clock tower
  • Enchantment Under the Sea: the theme for the highschool dance
  • Earth Angel: first song Marty played during the dance
  • Marty singing Johnny B Goode: another song Marty McFly played during the dance

This song pleasantly surprised me as the tune is great and catchy and anyone who sings about BTTF is cool beans in my book. So go buy their CDs and support the Malaysian music scene.

Filed under: Random Songs, ,