Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sharing Nature Workshop @ SBWR

Shortly after the talk on Secret Shores of Singapore at the Theatrette in Sungei Buloh, Ria and I quickly don our workshop cap and made a beeline for the workroom at Sungei Buloh. Thanks to the coordination, hosting and especially food(!) provided by the staff of Sungei Buloh, we have arranged for a "Sharing Nature with Ordinary People" workshop for volunteers from SBWR, Naked Hermit Crabs and just about everywhere else! Several toddycats were also present, especially familiar faces from my Pedal Ubin group.

I couldn't capture everybody in the room with my camera but it was a huge crowd!

Although we only anticipated 24 people for the workshop, almost 40 turned up! There were a total of 39 people including myself and Ria. It was an excellent sharing session where guides of all experience level comes together to share problems and solutions for different type of situations a guide encounters out there in the "wild". Mainly with different type of visitors.

The workshop started with a general overview of where everybody are from - at least those 24 who preregistered - what their favourite and least favourite aspects of guiding were and a short discussion of each aspect. Discussions really got on the way with animated conversations and contributions from everybody when we broke out into smaller groups. Each group was tasked with a different type of visitors.

Group 1: "School Children" group

Group 2: "Photographers" group

Group 3: "Foreigners" group

Group 4: "RC" group

Group 5: "Mixed Families" group

We overran the time a little towards the end because there were just too much to share. I guess I forgot to introduce to the group that I was actually the note taker for the workshop so I guess people were wondering why I'm walking around taking photos of them! My job was to "instantly" transcribed the points discussed into the round up slides and other general miscellanea. All in all the sharing session had its share of laughter and good ideas! I think we all took away something useful from the workshop. We were expecting some role playing from the groups but darn, none gave us the pleasure of watching them play out the situations prescribed to them. I think next time we'll have to give specific instructions! *grin*

Feedbacks are still coming in from the participants but so far it's been very encouraging and we definitely hope to do this again for the other guides who were actually out on our shores and forests while we were at the workshop! We have not forgotten you - more workshops are definitely in the works.

Photos can be seen at my flickr set.

Read full article here

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Shore talk @ Sungei Buloh

The crowd at the talk! Empty seat vacated by yours truly to take the photo!

At the Secret Shore of Singapore talk by Ria Tan in the Theatrette of Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve. Look at the crowd! It's amazing. Seats ran out and the stairs are occupied and audience spill out the door!

Also present at the talk is the Masters of Environmental Management class on Environmental Management and Assessment. Dr Chua Ee Kiam, author of the recent book, Singapore's Splendours: Life on the Edge, is also here and will be saying a few words as well as a WWF Representative from Malaysia doing the hawksbill turtle tracking project in Melaka! Apparently, most of the hawksbill turtle in Melaka are tracked to the same place every year - off the Southern Shores of Singapore!

The WWF representative from Melaka, Malaysia sharing exciting news!

Coming up in the next 2 hours is another workshop for nature guides coordinated by Ria and myself and supported by Nparks sungei buloh volunteers as well as the Naked Hermit Crabs. The workshop is open to all nature guides in Singapore regardless of the place they guide at and the groups they guide with. Can't wait for that next.

This post has been brought to you by the new free wifi connection available at Sungei Buloh as well as many of the nature reserves and parks in Singapore. Thank you Nparks!

See more photos on my flickr set!

Read full article here

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Animal Birth Control ABC

Just a day after I wrote about the sterilization of my void deck felines, I saw these series of PETA advertisements on ecorazzi.

Image taken from ecorazzi and PETA

Indeed, it is as easy as ABC.

The poster writes:

"Nearly four million dogs and cats are put to death in the U.S. every year because there are not enough good homes. You can help prevent this - always spay or neuter your animals, and if you’re considering adding a dog or cat to your family, please adopt from your local animal shelter."
Read more about PETA's ABC Campaign. One must really applaud PETA's sensational media campaigns. It's everything that we have always talked about when thinking of how to reach the wider audience. Alright, but we're just not quite there yet with splashing paint on fur coats. Or even dressing up as a bear to greet the Queen of England when she visited Singapore.

On the home front, Cat Welfare Society works hard at the TNRM program - that stands for Trap-Neuter-Release-Manage system for "stray" cats. However, does that mean that if you keep cats at home or even a pedigree cat, that means you are excused from neutering your pets?

Recently a friend of mine bought a puppy - a labrador. The cutest girl that I've ever seen. But then when asked if he thought of neutering her, he came up with a blank. Considering that he's a dog trainer / handler with the army, I thought perhaps that he might wish to breed the pedigree but then he said that there are no such plans. That's when I asked him what if there are accidental pregnancies? She is a girl and dogs don't practice contraceptive! I guess I was on the same wavelength as PETA at that moment. Animals need help to practice birth control. Unless you intend to care for your pet and be responsible for its every birth then perhaps this is when you should start thinking about your ABCs.

Read full article here

Monday, September 24, 2007

Growing up

Cats grow up really fast and in the blink of an eye, a big pawed kitten has turned into a elegant feline within the short span of a year.

Pictured here is the free-roaming void deck feline who belongs to or possibly fed by the Malay family on the ground floor. I'm happy to see that from the signs of her tipped ear, she is now neutered! Her baby photos above were taken around May 6, 2006 and the below photo of her was taken around 1 week ago on 14 September 2007.

I sincerely believe that they are the same cat. The patches of black on the top of her head looks like a perfect match. I wonder if the family has voluntarily brought her to the vet for sterilization or it was done by feeders or volunteers around the area.

There used to be a lot of issues with this cat and her siblings randomly peeing, pooping and dirtying the void deck area, causing a lot of discomfort. I actually blogged about it a year ago! Regardless, there are no longer such problems in my void deck and this could most possibly be thanks to sterilization. The kitties no longer feel the need to mark their territories nor liable to accidental pregnancy resulting in more kittens in the area.

Looking at the kitty and these photos, it almost feels as if I am a proud parent looking at her baby all grown up. I was actually rather worried a while back because I haven't seen her for a long time but I chanced upon her a few days ago. What a relief!

Read full article here

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Happy Birthday Team Seagrass!

A birthday gift to Team Seagrass from Chee Kong (illustrator) and Monkey (colour and design).

This October would mark the one year anniversary of Team Seagrass which began when Seagrass Watch International first came to Singapore, marking the beginning of the excellent seagrass monitoring project in the shores of Singapore headed by two amazing ladies, Ria Tan and Siti Maryam Yaakub. Of course, without the many volunteers who commit their time and energy to the project, there would be no Team Seagrass!

So this is wishing everybody at Team Seagrass a Happy 1st Birthday and hopefully with many more to come!

And guess what? Team Seagrass is recruiting!

You can be part of this amazing and dynamic group, contributing to the long term monitoring and study of the fast disappearing seagrass communities around the world!

Find out more on Team Seagrass' website. You can also read about why it is important to monitor our seagrasses.

Read full article here

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Is there air pollution in Singapore?

This is a presentation I did for my Environmental Management and Assessment class which I subsequently got encouragingly good grades. It is in line with the air pollution series of posts I wrote on Metroblogging Singapore after witnessing disturbing emissions from oil refineries and power plants in the west of Singapore.

Now with Google Presentations, you can view my presentations with ease.

Read full article here

Google Presentation

Recently, Google launched yet another online desktop publishing application to add to its repertoire at Googles Documents. There has been so much talk about it on twitter but what finally tempted me to try it out for myself is this twit by Social Media guru, Mitch Joel.

"Google Docs Presentation is not PowerPoint. It's just basic text and images. Probably good for on-the-fly stuff, but not for what I do :("
I wanted to know if it was really that bad since I have always had good experience with the applications of Google Documents. Recently, I just got together with 3 other naked hermit crabs to compile a list of environmental issues in Singapore.

Google documents has always been useful during my thesis writing when I took quotes from different books into different documents and tag them for easy search when referring to them later. I also use it for collaborations internationally such as when writing my group agenda with the East Asian Seas youth in Thailand, Japan, China and Vietnam - before I even met them!

I also like the fact that in addition to collaborating, you can also use it to host documents by "publishing" your documents so that anybody in the world can read them but not edit them. You can also invite selected viewers only or invite them as collaborators.

It's always been more of a collaboration tool across space to me than an actual desktop publishing application.

Again, Google Presentation did not disappoint me. While I would rely on it for creating a professionally done presentation from scratch, the possibilities are endless with the web 2.0 features that it offers. I must give it credit for having some nice templates that caught my eye but what really impressed me is its "LIVE" presentation capabilities.

"LIVE" Presentation

Next time, you can give presentations to anybody anywhere around the world by using this free online application that allows you to present your slides easily to others. Yes, there are other softwares out there that already allows you to do so but few are free and accessible just an URL away.

The drawbacks are that there are no audio capabilities so I would not be able to explain my presentation to you verbally. However, Google Presentations combines Google chat so you will be able to "control" the presentation (which means all the audience cannot control the progress of the slides) and speak to your audience via google chat. You will see the list of audience attending via a chat window akin to an internet relay chat window. After you finish your presentation, your audience can even ask you questions and interact with you in the chat function. Best of all, all of this is logged in your gchat conversation log accessible in your gmail account.

Another drawback would be that all users are required to have a google account. None google account holders or those who are not logged in can view the slides but cannot interact with the rest.

Furthermore, for those who love heavy-duty high-resolution graphic-intensive powerpoints, take note! Google Presentations only take uploads of files up to 10MB maximum.

For me, I think I will still make my slides on keynote or microsoft powerpoint but once that is done, the possibilities are endless with Google Presentation. I can already dream of so many things I can do with it. Students who need to rehearse a presentation with their groupmates before the date of presentation? No need to meet! 2359hrs will see your group online, running through the slides together.

Just the other day, I was wondering if there was any way I could upload my presentation on air pollution in Singapore online in an easy way that would not require people to download the entire presentation. Now Google Presentations has solved my problem! It provides a good place to host desktop publications online for free! For trial, I've uploaded my presentation on air pollution for the Environmental Management and Assessment class I'm taking on Google Presentation and invited 5 friends as "audience" to join me.

Google Presentation
A publicly published and accessibe google presentation.

There's two ways of accessing the published Google presentations. First is to publish it like other normal google documents which would allow people to see the slide form. The other is to view it as a presentation only which is what I prefer.

After all the excitement, Otterman suggested an group ichat video conference and we ended up diverting our attention to other ways of connectivity but a mass conference is definitely not viable on the poor internet connection on campus and even on singtel. View the graphical evidence here.

Read full article here

Saturday, September 15, 2007

International Coastal Cleanup Singapore 2007

15th year into its running in Singapore, the International Coastal Cleanup is held worldwide on this day where people from coastal cities around the world come together to not just remove litter from our shorelines but also to collate and compile the data of what trash is out there. Such data is collected, compiled and sent to the international organizer, Ocean Conservancy who will then forward it to major agencies like United Nations where even UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and used the data in his speeches before. The International Coastal Cleanup started as early as 1986 where the first cleanup was organized by the Ocean Conservancy in Texas, USA.

Despite being a volunteer of the Raffles Museum who is the Singapore coordinator of ICCS, I have never actually participated in ICCS. Subsequently, I always get poked at for not having mucked in the mud or even gotten my hands dirty. Being flooded with work from school and my other ubin activities, I decided to commit to only being a participant with the NUS contingent this year and leave the organizational work to my dedicated friends and Toddycats counterparts.

Monkey hard at work, analyzing the categories of trash. Photo by Kenneth

Being a participant was very interesting. Sadly I didn't manage to get my hands very dirty because I was the data recorder while the 2 strong guys in my group did the hard work. However, classifying trash is not as easy as I thought! Deciding what category to classify a chair or bucket under can be really agonizing.

Continuing to work in the rain

It started to rain about 30 minutes into our trash elimination exercise. It was disheartening but we put on our poncho and continued working. It was also such great joy for me to see my toddycats friends again whom I hardly get a chance to meet these days.

It was inspiring to see them running around covered in mud and grime. Every one of them from Huaqin, Yueat Tin, Anand and Weisiong who were in the field with the participants to Anand the data manager in the SBWR workroom and even Kenneth the photographer of the day who sacrificed his camera to the rain. I enjoyed seeing their surprised faces when they saw me as they all know I was not involved in ICCS. Even familiar faces from the NUS Campus Sustainability Committee was welcoming. It felt like a reunion of old friends, out in nature, doing something productive. Kudos to everybody who worked hard today!

Kenneth, the official photographer

Best of all, I finally got to witness in person the students from the Singapore American School in action. Their spirit and gungho-ness touched and impressed me. From the youngest kids in grade school who asked for more bags of trash to haul out to the older teenagers who hurl bags and cart wheelbarrows. Compared to them, I should be ashamed of myself! I also finally met Kate who started it all. I asked her about a sea hibiscus leaf she held in her hand and she replied inspirationally that it's to remember what all this is about.

Singapore American School students emerging from the "wild"

"Why all the fuss? Besides being an eyesore, marine litter or debris can suffocate marine organisms, both invertebrate (for example, crabs and worms) and vertebrate (for example, fish, turtles, dugongs) animals and plants. Post-mortems have revealed up to six square metres of plastic in an individual mammal's stomach!

Most of the material in marine debris are plastics, metal and glass, which do not break down quickly, and this trash can pile up for decades and will not be cleared but for concerted human effort. ... The trash load is so high, it prevents the re-growth of plants and colonisation by animals.

Along with the 77 participating countries, we submitted country reports to the Ocean Conservancy, USA, a marine conservation group. With international data sets stretching back 14 years, they are able to make representation to the United Nations about the global problem, and to push for laws and enforcement against dumping trash in the ocean."

Taken from Battling the Curse of Marine Litter, written by Sivasothi in Nature Watch, 2001
ICCS is not just about mucking about in the mud or hauling trash. It's not just about picking litter or even recording it. At the end of the day, it's about making a concrete step to actually providing "arms" in the form of scientific data for protecting our environment. Of course by removing all these landmines from the beach and mangroves are also helping the organisms that live in these habitats.

It is also events like these that inspire me and keep me going by looking, knowing and learning about others and what they do, doing it together with them and feeling that we've done something today.

A NUS freshman who was inspired to do something and he did!

A first year student at NUS today who worked together with me told me that he's never been out in a nature area since secondary 2. However, after watching An Inconvenient Truth, he felt inspired to do something and make a difference, a small step in any ways and decided to participate in ICCS to make that first step. I truly admire those who take the first step and actually do something. I think this has been a great first step for him and I hope he feels that way too. And of course I pointed him to for more information on how you can learn and get involved!

Related Reads:
My ICCS 2007 Flickr Set
ICCS Wordpress Blog
ICCS Website
Ocean Conservancy Coastal Cleanup
Battling the Curse of Marine Litter

Read full article here

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Earthquake in Indonesia, Tremors in Singapore

Update on September 13:
It appears the earthquakes and tremors are yet to be over. Latest updates at the bottom of the post.

This is truly a classic case of the beauty of web 2.0 connectivity.

14 minutes ago at around 7.29pm, Otterman posted a vague message on

"So it was tremors, not a giddy spell. Adrian [lekowala] says neighbourhood getting out of flats in Sengkang... he's at ground floor now"

Photo by Lekowala in Sengkang

At 7.35pm, I reread the message and decided to investigate if there was an earthquake and by searching for "tremors singapore" on Google, the 2nd hit was NEA's website on "Latest Regional Earthquakes" which kindly provided me with the information I was looking for.

30 minutes ago at around 7.10pm, a earthquake of magnitude 7.15 on the Richter Scale was measured off the Southwest of Sumatra. The website reports that a "local tsunami may be generated near earthquake source but unlikely to affect Singapore". This really proves that NEA is on top of their updates. I am rather glad of their efficiency.

Location of earthquake at Sumatra in red square. Map from USGS.

However, it must have been rather serious for it to be felt all the way in Sengkang, Singapore. However, while I was happily sitting here in my office in NUS, I felt nothing and am still awaiting confirmation from Otterman if he felt the tremors or was it only Lekowala.

A class in Natural Hazard 2 years ago taught this monkey that our friends in the Eastern Singapore is more likely to feel tremors as the ground they are on are made of sedimentary alluvium material which is less stable than the granite and what not other hardier material that we are seated on.

Unbelieving that nobody else has picked up on this, at 7.44pm, I made a search on Google News and no news agency has picked up this earthquake yet. At 7.49pm, I again searched for news and see that Channelnewsasia has made a "breaking news" entry on their front page stating that a 7.9 earthquake has struck Indonesia. As usual, there are magnitude discrepancy during the first hour of the earthquake hitting. Google has also picked up a one line feed from Associated Press stating that a powerful earthquake has made Jakarta buildings sway. Apparently at 7.41pm, CNA has made a report of Singaporeans feeling tremors but did not mention any details of location, instead providing only background to the earthquake and past events.

I'm still waiting for images to come in and for Lekowala to show some photos or perhaps to blog about the tremors in Singapore!

7.58pm: Otterman said that he felt tremors not in NUS but at Holland Village. I stick to my original argument that Kent Ridge is on hardier ground, geologically. USGS reports the earthquake to be 7.8 but NEA has yet to make any changes. Subscribe to USGS's earthquake RSS feed from around the world to keep updated on the latest.

Photo uploaded by 9.

8.06pm: Found that at 7.35pm, a friend uploaded the earthquake location map (above) on flickr as well as the breaking news headline on CNN (below). The easy to use photo sharing mechanisms at work! Naturally he also blogged about it. Apparently at 7.14 Singapore time, all hell broke lose on the Hardwarezone Eat Drink Man Woman forum. Cowboybar is no slower with members posting about the tremors at around 7.20pm when a member felt the quake downtown. 5 minutes later, other members reported tremors from Bukit Panjang.

Photo uploaded by 9.

This sharing of information in real time, at different places in Singapore, sharing experiences and checking on friends is absolutely effective. Meanwhile, I am getting in touch with people on instant messaging programs. On the other hand, said friend is waiting for youtube videos of buildings shaking. Is that too optimistic? Depends on how badly it shook I suppose. This is indeed the age of information sharing and high speed connectivity.

Screenshot of Hardwarezone forum reporting on tremors. By Kingmeng

8.06pm: Otterman blogged about the tremors and updating me on MSN. He also blogged about the tremors from the March 2007 earthquake where he likewise did not feel anything on the Ridge. Nonetheless the SCDF Civil Defence handbook gives detailed guidelines on what to do in the event of an earthquake or aftershock tremors.

Taken from SCDF Website.

So far locations where tremors have been reported:

1) Sengkang
2) Woodlands
3) Serangoon North
4) Hougang
5) Punggol
6) Toa Payoh
7) Khatib
8) Ang Mo Kio
9) Admiralty
10) Anchorvale
11) Yisun
12) Bishan
13) Kovan

1) Bukit Panjang
2) NUS Bukit Timah Campus
3) Holland Village
4) Raffles Place
5) Bukit Batok
6) Alexandra
7) Tiong Bahru
8) Clementi
9) One Raffles Link
10) Jurong West (selected areas)
11) Chua Chu Kang
12) Yew Tee
13) Boon Lay
14) Harborfront

1) Aljunied
2) Bendemeer
3) Bugis
4) Marine Parade
5) Bedok Reservoir
6) Tampines (selected areas)
7) Whampao Drive
8) Mountbatten
9) Geylang East
10) Eunos
11) Pasir Ris (selected areas)
12) Little India
13) Kallang

Areas that reported NO tremors:
1) NUS (Kent Ridge)
2) Jurong (selected areas)
3) Tampines (selected areas)
4) Pasir Ris (selected areas)

At 7.25pm, a member on the Hardwarezone EDMW Forum reported "another round" which I am guessing refers to another round of tremors. This meant there were more than one which is really quite interesting. Were this the secondary waves, aftershocks or something else?

Many also reported that they were giddy, nauseous and felt physically sick. Some who evacuated reported seeing police and ambulance in their neighborhood to tend to any potential injured residents. There were reports of pipes being broken, ceilings cracked, water supply turning brown from pipe damages in addition to the usual swaying. Most people straightaway attribute their giddiness to possibly ill health instead of considering the possibility that the ground was shaking. Could this be due to lack of experience with earthquakes in Singapore? Some veterans (who probably live in tremor prone areas) said this was the worst tremor they have felt.

At 8.03pm, Channel news asia reports tsunami warnings being issued from Hong Kong, Malaysia and as far as Sri Lanka. Singaporeans as well should not be complacent as well if we are unlucky, and with the write geometry and strong enough magnitude, we would just see ourselves welcoming a tsunami. For now, I am just glad I am on high ground.

Likewise, Club Snap, a photography forum also has a thread with members reporting on experiencing tremors.

At 9.04pm, USGS website states 113 reports from Singapore of tremors as compared to no more than 20 from Indonesia, the place where it occured! This goes to show the wide gap in internet access within the region. Of course earthquake also means electricity being cut off. News report states that electricity and phones were disconnected due to earthquake.

9.45pm: saw Lekowala's photos of people gathering on the ground floor in Sengkang!

Lekowala even spotted somebody with a suitcase

See more photos from Seng Kang tremors here.

A discussion with my parents earlier reported that residents in the high floors at Teck Whye, Chua Chu Kang while those on the ground floor feels nothing at all. I guess that introduces another variable in the identification of tremor-prone areas. However, I am still assured that I am safe on Kent Ridge. But what if we had higher buildings on NUS, would I feel the shake? Engineering ultimately does determine the stability of buildings. Afterall the Japan Kobe earthquake was major because the buildings were unreinforced and not built to tolerate quakes.

10.03pm: watching Channel 8 10pm news now and it states within 2 hours, there were 3 earthquakes ranging from 6 to 8.0 magnitude. Tsunami alerts went as far as Sri Lanka and Australia but the alert has been called off [CNA].

Mainstream Media has also tapped on to videos taken by residents who called in to alert them of the tremors. No videos can be found on youtube yet. Reporters on TV also recount their own experience of earthquake at Caldecott Hill, in the news studio. Shenton Way Central Business District also saw evacuation.

I'm disappointed that mainstream media got video images before any bloggers did. Perhaps people have yet to upload their images on youtube. However, MSM-facilitated medium, Strait Times' Stomp saw many "readers" contribute their videos. I wonder if potential citizen journalists are lured by the exposure Stomp offers a piece of news and video as compared to one's own blog or youtube.

10.15pm: Found videos on youtube! Ironically, found youtube videos through google video and not directly via youtube's search function. 2 very short videos but here's a really haphazardly filmed one.

10.23pm: In order to explore the extent web 2.0 has been activated and deployed in the tremors, I made a search in various blog aggregators. Technorati finds at least 172 blogs about "september earthquake singapore". finds none but it could be due to poor search keywords. Likewise digg has yet to find me anything.

Comparatively, citizen journalists are so far "losing out" in terms of video quality. Journalists with ample resources gets tip off from viewers who then visit newsworthy site in the business district and interview those involved while we get shaky videos. Although Stomp does get quite better videos. Is this a hint that perhaps we should maximize the infrastructure and facilities provided for citizen journalists by mainstream media?

So far I've found one other person who has linked this blog post in addition to Otterman.

10.39: My friend, 9, who is also following the progress of the tremors reporting closely tells me that upon closer filtering of technorati searches, there are only 55 blog posts related to today's tremor event, as opposed to 172 which I reported earlier. However, I think some blogs may be lost accidentally especially since he is searching for mentions of indonesia while I am searching for Singapore events. To add to the count, he has also linked this post.

10.48pm: check Channel News Asia again and saw that they expanded their reporting on Singapore tremors. The magnitude of the earthquake has now been readjusted and confirmed at 8.5!

The kind reporters from CNA also gave a history of earthquakes in the region where Singapore felt tremors.

6 March 2007 - magnitude 6.6
6 March 2007 - magnitude 6.1
18 December 2006 -
29 March 2005 -

According to NEA, at 9.02pm, there was another earthquake in Southern Sumatra of magnitude 5.7. In fact, 10 minutes ago, at 10:40PM there was actually another earthquake at magnitude 6.3! USGS has also adjusted their estimate of the first earthquake to be at 8.2.

A complete list of earthquakes tonight at Indonesia according to USGS:
5.9 2007/09/12 10:40pm SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
5.7 2007/09/12 09:02pm SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
8.2 2007/09/12 07:10pm SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA

If you find theres a discrepancy in the magnitude of the earthquakes from different sources, that is because of the nature of earthquake magnitude estimation. Adjustments have to be made according to where the seismograph that picked up the earthquake is located [wiki].

11.49pm: This will be my last update so to enable me to resume regular programming. The media socialist group has highlighted the following blogsearch engines to find out who has been blogging about the tremors. These include Google Blogsearch and

5.28am: Got an email where Otterman suggested that this might be the first blog post in Singapore about the tremors felt here. The post was made at 7.15pm. At 12.01am I was reporting privately to the media socialist group that had yet to pick up on the tremors but at 12.27am, tinkertailor tomorrowed this post and I picked it up on tomorrow's twitter feed right now.

Interestingly, the reason why I am awake and updating despite earlier stating that was my last update is because, mostly, of this earthquake. Thanks to the earthquake and updating this blog post, I skipped dinner and ended up with pretty bad gastric pains which is why I am awake at this ungodly hour. Coincidentally, a TODAY reporter friend of mine wrote at 9.32pm about a stomachache and the earthquake on her blog as well. Maybe we do not give MSM enough credit. To be a mainstream media reporter is not all that easy either. Citizen journalists are not committed to cover every story that comes their way while reporters are bound my professionalism, and their job essentially, and have no choice but to. I look forward to reading her article on the earthquake in tomorrow's today's TODAY.

I'm also looking at some of the places that linked me and I am very impressed by what I've found!

First of all, estoy en espanol! I got linked in spanish on global voices thanks to Preetam!

Secondly, I found a blog dedicated to the use of technology changes that affect emergency management which I found absolutely interesting. Crisis, emergency, hazard management or whichever name you use, is absolutely pertinent and academically interesting for me. After reading so many posts, I must agree that hazard literacy is not very high in Singapore, probably due to our complacency and lack of exposure to hazards.

6.42am: USGS has yet again updated their earthquake lists. I can only imagine the worst in Indonesia right now. Original quake in Indonesia at 7.10pm now updated to 8.4. I am hoping all these relatively smaller quakes are after shocks. Hoping that my friends in Sumatra are alright. At around 1am, another quake was recorded further East in Indonesia near Dili. Since, no other quakes were recorded from Indonesia. Hopefully this is the end of the quakes for now.

A complete list of earthquakes tonight at Indonesia according to USGS:

5.3 - 2007/09/13 01:04am KEPULAUAN BARAT DAYA
5.9 - 2007/09/13 12:37am SOUTHERN SUMATRA
5.2 - 2007/09/12 11:35pm SOUTHWEST OF SUMATRA
6.0 - 2007/09/12 10:40pm SOUTHERN SUMATRA
4.9 - 2007/09/12 10:04pm SOUTHERN SUMATRA
5.3 - 2007/09/12 09:17pm KEPULAUAN MENTAWAI REGION
5.7 - 2007/09/12 09:02pm SOUTHERN SUMATRA
5.2 - 2007/09/12 08:21pm KEPULAUAN MENTAWAI REGION
8.4 - 2007/09/12 07:10pm SOUTHERN SUMATRA

Articles from Channel News Asia:
Singapore buildings sway after strong quake hits Indonesia, 12 September 2007 1941 hrs
Tremors felt most in homes in central Singapore, 12 September 2007 2227 hrs
The statement about Central Singapore being most affected seems to be based on very limited sample size of just Potong Pasir. I am sure Lekowala in Sengkang and people in Punggol and Hougang would feel very differently. Besides I consider that area Northeast Singapore
Many office workers in CBD evacuated from buildings, 12 September 2007 2331 hrs
Massive quake hits Indonesia, 13 September 2007 0047 hrs

13 September
12.07pm: The earthquakes has NOT ended yet! I was round. Shortly after I went back to sleep at 7.50am, tgwttihs said on twitter that she felt tremors and that's probably the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in the same Mentawai region in Indonesia! That happened at 7.49am and 7.50am we felt it in Singapore, give or take a few seconds response time to twitter that fact!

Just 30 minutes ago, annotated budak wrote on twitter that he felt tremors in Ang Mo Kio. Thinking he was joking, I checked the USGS website and saw that at 11.35am, there was yet another 7.1 earthquake!

I begin to see the trend that we feel tremors with earthquakes above magnitude 6.0. Sad to say I slept through it all, otherwise my home is either 1) on resistant geology or 2) my flat is not tall and vulnerable enough. I wonder how soon before Singapore real estate prices will be affected by areas where tremors are more prone.

I've smsed my friend in Sumatra this morning but have yet to hear from her and I'm getting really worried now actually.

Here's the list of earthquakes from USGS at 12.22pm:

7.1 - 2007/09/13 11:35am KEPULAUAN MENTAWAI REGION
5.5 - 2007/09/13 10:51am KEPULAUAN MENTAWAI REGION
5.9 - 2007/09/13 10:30am KEPULAUAN MENTAWAI REGION
5.0 - 2007/09/13 09:55am SOUTHERN SUMATRA
5.2 - 2007/09/13 09:49am KEPULAUAN MENTAWAI REGION
5.2 - 2007/09/13 09:38am KEPULAUAN MENTAWAI REGION
5.8 - 2007/09/13 09:26am KEPULAUAN MENTAWAI REGION
7.8 - 2007/09/12 07:49pm KEPULAUAN MENTAWAI REGION
5.1 - 2007/09/12 07:19am SOUTHWEST OF SUMATRA
5.4 - 2007/09/12 06:17am KEPULAUAN MENTAWAI REGION
5.1 - 2007/09/12 06:02am SOUTHERN SUMATRA
5.3 - 2007/09/13 01:04am KEPULAUAN BARAT DAYA
5.9 - 2007/09/13 12:37am SOUTHERN SUMATRA
5.2 - 2007/09/12 11:35pm SOUTHWEST OF SUMATRA
6.0 - 2007/09/12 10:40pm SOUTHERN SUMATRA
4.9 - 2007/09/12 10:04pm SOUTHERN SUMATRA
5.3 - 2007/09/12 09:17pm KEPULAUAN MENTAWAI REGION
5.7 - 2007/09/12 09:02pm SOUTHERN SUMATRA
5.2 - 2007/09/12 08:21pm KEPULAUAN MENTAWAI REGION
8.4 - 2007/09/12 07:10pm SOUTHERN SUMATRA

Selected Channel News Asia reports:
New quake hits Indonesia, tsunami alert issued
13 September 2007 0820 hrs
Indonesia hit by major aftershock; new tsunami alert issued,
13 September 2007 0921 hrs
Indonesia calls off fourth tsunami alert: meteorology agency,
13 September 2007 1043 hrs
Strong quake hits Indonesia; tremor felt in Singapore,
13 September 2007 1136 hrs

1.24pm: There was another earthquake.
5.2 - 2007/09/13 12:06pm KEPULAUAN MENTAWAI REGION

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Mystery of the dying ferns

Something is happening to the ferns!

This is quite a mystery to me as the bird nest ferns in the faculty of arts and social science in NUS all appear to have been met with a very hungry caterpillar or died off. More than 5 trees with a few ferns on each of these trees appear stricken with this predicament.

How it looks like normally

Could somebody perhaps explain to me or hazard a guess as to what may have caused this? Is this normal? I apologize for the poor photo quality. I will attempt to take more on Monday.

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