Sunday, October 19, 2014

Allamanda


Allamanda is a genus of perennial plants belonging to the Plant Family Apocynaceae. The plants have long stems having trumpet-shaped flowers. The plants are vines that can climb up the heights of tall trees. Often, when grown within an environment covered with trees the plant can climb to the top of the trees and decorate the trees with their blight coloured flowers.


The most common is Allamanda cathartica with yellow flowers. But other types are also available in the nurseries. One such species making it way up in popularity in Malaysia is the pink Allamanda or Allamanda blanchetii.

The leaves vary among species. For example,  Allamanda cathartica has shiny leaves but
Allamanda cathartica has dull coloured leaves with fine hairs on the surfaces.





 Allamanda cathartica


Allamanda blanchetii.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fruit Smoothies Yogurt

Nowadays fruit smoothies are becoming very popular among the youngsters. It has the advantage of fibre retention over regular fruit juice drink. The regular fruit juice drinks are strained before serving, while in the smoothies the fibres are macerated to fine particles. The smoothies are therefore thick and can give the feel of full stomach when taken to a large portion. This feeling can be enhanced by adding corn flick or oats.

Several fruits can be used in proportions according to personal liking. I have tried several combinations such as the one shown in the photo below:

1. Half a banana
2. A slice of  pineapple
3. One green kiwi fruit
4. A small slice of lemon with the skin
5. Half of regular size tomato
6. Half of sweet pepper (green or red)
7. A small portion of dried yellow raisin
8. A portion of corn flake/oats (amount: personal preference)
9. Milk (amount: personal preference)
10.  Natural yogurt (amount: personal preference)
11. Concentrated fruit juices (to add sweetness, if needed)


Selected fruits

Blending

1. Blend the raisin and corn flakes in cold water until no large pieces remain.
2. Add other ingredients and blend well.
3. Add ice cubes and bled well.
4. Pour into a glass
5. Put Hershey's chocolate on top to add  flavour



Final product

The fruit can be varied, but the tomato and the sweet pepper are essential ingredients to give a unique taste that "tickle" the base of the nose.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Bored, Depressed and Lonely?


Feeling bored, experiencing loneliness and feeling depressed? And you are either desperately want yourself to be on top of yourself, but not knowing what to do, or your are letting yourself to be overwhelmed by your sorrow.  Either way to are not on the path of a winner.

Stop wasting you precious life. Seek attention of Allah.

Follow these lectures:

1. He Who Has No One Has Allah - Navaid Aziz  (Click)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2sa5ymA8SE

2. The Existence of God & The Purpose of Life - Abdur Raheem Green (Click)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYXVcGs1rcA

3. The Purpose of Life - Abdur Raheem Green  (Click)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_BEHKYxroE

Allah says He will attend to anyone who seeks His attention. Speak to Him directly with open heart :



(1) Surah Al-Baqarah 2:152

"Oleh itu, ingatlah kamu kepadaKu (dengan mematuhi hukum dan undang-undangKu), supaya Aku membalas kamu dengan kebaikan; dan bersyukurlah kamu kepadaKu dan janganlah kamu kufur (akan nikmatKu).

"Then do ye remember Me; I will remember you. Be grateful to Me, and reject not Faith."

"So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me."


(2) Surah Al-Baqarah 2:186

"Dan apabila hamba-hambaKu bertanya kepadamu mengenai Aku maka (beritahu kepada mereka): sesungguhnya Aku (Allah) sentiasa hampir (kepada mereka); Aku perkenankan permohonan orang yang berdoa apabila ia berdoa kepadaKu. Maka hendaklah mereka menyahut seruanku (dengan mematuhi perintahKu), dan hendaklah mereka beriman kepadaKu supaya mereka menjadi baik serta betul"

"When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way."

"And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me - indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided."

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Bored and have nothing to do




Have you ever heard such phrase being uttered by someone? Do you ever experienced boredom with no idea what to do?  Has ennui ever set in you that you do not feel like doing anything all day?  Have listlessness and loneliness ever overcome you that you feel like crying aloud? 

If the answer is yes, would you let that negative feeling drags you deeper and deeper into solitude? Or you would rather find antidote to it?

In the literature the meaning of boredom is given as follows: "From a psychological perspective boredom is not a lack of things to do but a lack of engaging things to do. It is also the lack of interest in and difficulty concentrating on the current activity". Thus, When life gets boring, nothing seems to be joyful to do. In fact, when boredom sets in, the person inflicted with it may not have interest to be engaged with things that are routinely done. If the person has to do the task, then the job is usually done satisfactorily. This may be due to the inability of the person to concentrate on the job that he is doing. 

Thus, allowing oneself to be in a state of prolonged boredom constitute an act of letting precious time of one’s life into waste.  

Brothers and sisters, 

Time is an precious aspect of one’s life.  For, time is entrusted upon every soul in that each and every second of it, must be spent to good use.  The word ‘good use’ here has to be returned to the purpose of one’s existence on the face of the earth.  Since the purpose of human beings on the earth is to serve Allah, the God, then spending allotted time of one’s life without doing anything, or not doing anything which can be construed as in service to Allah, has to be deemed wasteful.   

What is the purpose of the creation of human? 

In the Al-Quran Allah says  (translation):

"And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me". (Az-Zariat 51:56; Sahih International)

"I have not created the jinn and mankind to any ends other than they may worship Me". (Az-Zariat 51:56; In the Shade of Al-Quran by Syed Qutub).

The significance of preventing time wasting in life can be understood by giving purposeful attention to the hadith (Prophet Muhammad’s traditions) below: 

"The two feet of the son of Adam will not move from near his Lord on the Day of Judgment until he is asked about five (matters):- 1) about his life - how he spent it; 2) about his youth - how he took care of it; 3) about his wealth - how he earned it; 4) and where he spent it; 5) and about that which he acted upon from the knowledge that he acquired."

Thus, in letting oneself to be dragged into prolonged boredom, one would find in the Hereafter that the amount of time that has been wasted is unjustifiable.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Petunia at Registan Square



Registan Square is in Samarkand. It is a complex of three huge and beautiful buildings, which used to be  Mosque, religious schools or Madrassah, and a public building.  The complex is a reminiscent of the great empire during the  fourteen and fifteen centuries. The complex is still in the stage of restoration.  At the square that is situated in the centre of the complex, there is a beautiful garden that I cannot resist to present it here.

The plants found in the garden are planted in the shape of a square at the outside and a circle in the center. At the centre of the circle is planted an Agave plant and surrounding it are found Petunias. Petunia is a genus of ornamental plant with more than twenty five species.  The flowers have various shade of colours from white, pink to red. The Plant belongs to the family Solanaceae.










For more information about Registan and Uzbekistan follow this link:  http://www.visituzbekistan.travel/sightseeing/samarkand/registan-square-samarkand/


Monday, September 15, 2014

Hippeastrum sp


Hippeastrum is genus containing  bulb-forming plants (bulbous plants) belonging to the Family Amaryllidaceae.  The plant grow very well in the tropics and subtropics. The genus Hippeastrum have many species. Hybridization process has resulted in obtaining hybrids with more beautiful and colourful flowers.

There was a controversy on origin of Amaryllidaceae plants.  Molecular techniques has recently been used to separate and identify the members of the family Amaryllidaceae and related families. Now it is claimed that plants of the Amaryllis group have originated from Africa, while plant of the Amaryllidaceae group have originated from South America.





Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Pseuderanthemum carruthersii



Pseuderanthemum is genus belonging to the  plant family Acanthaceae. This genus has many species. The species Pseuderanthemum carruthersii (Seem.) Guillaumin is a perennial shrub. It is claimed to native to the Pacific Islands of Polynesia and  Melanesia. But it is has been found in tropical countries including Malaysia, where it is grown as an ornamental plant.

The plant has broad leaves, with leaves either purplish or green with yellowish veinal areas.  The green-leaf varieties are commonly known as El Dorado, Golden Net-Bush and Yellow-vein Pseuderanthemum, while the variety with purplish leaves is commonly as purple false eranthemum. Flowers are small and are borne in inflorescence. Each flower has whitish petals, whose proximal end are coloured purple.





Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Cashewnut Orchard

Chapter 12

After lunch we drove a short distance to the mosque to offer the Zohor prayer. The adzan or call to  the prayer had just finished when we entered the most compound. We quickly walked into the mosque and took our ablution. At the prayer hall, the people were already standing in straight line call saf, physically and spiritually ready to begin the prayer.

Suddenly, the person standing on my right touched and shook my hand. I looked at him and it was Dr. Abdur Rahman.  I smiled back at him and the congregated prayer began.  Once the utterance of the expression of "Allahu akbar" was made, everyone will be engaged in one-to-one communication with the Creator. Because "Allahu akbar" means Allah is The Greatest, all other things are put aside.  The heart, mind and the body submit only to Him until the prayer ends.

"Alone?"  Dr. Abdur Rahman briskly asked as soon as the prayer ended.

"No. With relatives. And you are with this jamaah?" I asked in return, partially surprised at his ability to apportion his time towards calling people to Islam.

"Yes. It would be good for you to join us here after the Maghrib prayer today. We will be talking about the importance of having and nourishing our iman in our heart."  He spoke reassuringly of his conviction  to strengthen his belief and enjoin others to do the same. He said, his group were spending three day in the mosque to achieve the mission.

"I can't promise you that I can come back here this evening." I answered with a appropriately chosen words. "But if you are still here tomorrow evening I will make a point to come and join you here."

He smiled. "Insya Allah. Allah will give you strength and free you of hindrance."

I excused myself and he parted to join his group members who were sitting in a circle.

"He is a doctor in the hospital. He and his group are spending three days in this mosque to call peoplae to spread the word 'la ila ha illallah'", I explained to Mr Abdullah the people that I was talking to after the prayer.

Mr. Abdullah replied that similar group of people have also made visits to the surau in his village. He approved it for the reason that the number of village folks that come to the surau to perform the five daily prayers in congregation has increased.

When I was alone in my house that night, I spent some time to ponder of what have I contributed to my religion for the life that I have spent on this earth.

"We work hard day and night to achieve success and comfort for the short span of life on this earth. But we are all ignorant of the importance of the preparation that we have to make for our everlasting life in the hereafter." Dr. Abdul Rahman voice echoed several times in my ear while I was closing my eyes to begin my sleep for the night.

 But from the same eyes oozed out tears that I couldn't stop for a while. "Oh Allah, help me. Give me taufiq and hidayah so as I can come closer to You."


Monday, September 1, 2014

Plumeria

Plumeria is a genus of tree plant with about eight species. The plants belong to the Family Apocynaceae. The stem are not particularly made of hard wood. The stem undergoes branching at a distance of about 0.3 - 0.6 meters, giving rise to three branches at each level of branching. This means that after three levels of branching there will be about 27 branches.  Flowers typically arise at the tip of each branch.  The stem when cut cause white latex to ooze out of the cut surface.

The flowers  can have rend, pink, yellow or white flower. The strength of the colour may be of  softer of brighter shades depending on the species or cultivars. Each flower has five petals. Sometimes the petals may contain more than one colour.  The plant is grown as ornamental in pots or on the ground and are found in many countries all over the world. Plumeria-loving even form societies that appreciate Plumeria






Thursday, August 14, 2014

Theater of Dream




Manchester United in 2014

The 2013-2014 Season had not been a bad season. Getting a 7th place is somewhat expected for a team that suddenly had to adjust to a new manager/coach following the departure of long serving manager with strings of success in domestic competition and Europe. Replacing someone with an achievement of 13 EPL and 2 UCL titles is very hard for a new manager. During his 26 years tenure, Sir Alex Furgeson steared the club to four  UCL finals. He could be considered unlucky since the two losses suffered in the UCL finals were against the all-concuring  Barcelona team managed by Pep Guardiola. For those who have attention to blame SAF for the current United misfortune, please read the article "JAMIE CARRAGHER: Don't blame Sir Alex Ferguson for Manchester United's freefall".

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2738126/JAMIE-CARRAGHER-Don-t-blame-Sir-Alex-Ferguson-Manchester-United-s-freefall.html#ixzz3Bw0jYofD


In the previous season season David Moyes was under great preasure to prove his worth as 'the chosen one', since he was said to be handpicked by SAF.  Contrast in play (tactics) appeared gradually, departing from the quick counter attact of SAF. Slow build up in attack (with more time consuming back-pass) and the more frequant crosses from the flank might contributed to fans becoming restless and impatient. Onother    frequent comment made by frustrated fans was that the manager changed the lineup, which won the previous week/game.  It is okey with a slow buld up, but it must be followed byt quick burst/spurt of defense spliiting move thrugh the middle one the attack is nearing the box. This kind of attack is successessfully executed by Barcelona and Messi.  Had Manchester United won four drawn games and drew two or three lost games, fourth place finish was of high possiblility.

How would it end up in 2014-2015?  It is anybody's guess. But the results so far are disappointing.

16.8.14 Manchester United 1-2 Swansea City      EPL
24.8.14 Sunderland 1 – 1 Manchester United       EPL
26.8.14  MK Dons 4-0 Manchester United         COC
30.8.14 Burnley 0-0 Manchester United              EPL

Personally, I am not of the opinion that Manchester United season is over. The club has had suffered losses in their first two games and yet end up being champions. On another occassion the team was unbeaten in their first 15 games and yet failed to land the champioship.  Currently the team has a better game plan than before. With injured players recovering, execution of game plan should improve. I do hope that the club pays more attention to individual coaching so as to harness individual skill such as stopping the ball, ball control and delivery.  The goal is to enhance passing accuracy and fluidity in defence splitting and counter attack . This skill hopefully reduces the frequency of giving the ball away after one to three passes, thus improving "shot-at-goal to percentage possession" ratio.

To illustrate the importance of shot-at-goal to percentage possession compare the statistics for the Burnley  vs  Manchester United   and  Tottenham   vs  Liverpool  games.
---------
 Tottenham     vs        Liverpool
0               Goal scored            3
7             Shots at  goal           17
61%     Time of Possession     39%
--------
Burnley     vs    Manchester United
0            Goal scored              0
9               Shots at  goal         7
36%     Time of Possession     64%
-------

Comparing the two games, Liverpool with very good  "shot-at-goal to percentage possession" ratio won easily despite 39%. In contrast, Manchester United who enjoyed 64% possession fared miserably in term of "shot-at-goal to percentage possession" ratio. With that amount of advantage in percentage possession, Manchester United should have at least doubled their sot-at-goal, and thus double their "shot-at-goal to percentage possession" ratio

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Bread of Uzbekistan

The Uzbeks have passion for bread.  This passion is translated into shapes, decoration, texture and taste of the breads.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Crossing the river


 There could be some useful thing on the other side of the river






 Could there be another way to know other than crossing the river?


Kuching Water front

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Life of Final Messenger

The Life of Final Messenger

Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu 'alaihissalam (peace be upon him) is the last messenger that has been sent by Allah to the mankind. He was sent to all mankind from the time he assumed prophethood at the age of forty until his death. As soon as he assumed prophethood, he preached that there is only one God. No one should worship others as god. For this he received aggression and opposition from the people of Makkah where he preached for 13 year. Some people called him madman or man possessed. This kind of accusation still persist until today. Even though authentic information about the life of Prophet Muhammad is now available at finger tips in various languages, many people still choose not to know the real picture of the most noble human being ever created by Allah. Perhaps by following the lecture series on The Life of Final Messenger, 29 in all, you can be enlightened on this subject.

Prophet Muhammad SAW come from a rich and noble family. But after assuming prophethood he and his family were poverty stricken due to the aggression and boycott of the people of Makkah. After migration to Medina he continued to live a poor life even though he could have accumulated riches.  Whatever riches that were brought to him, he would distributed all of them to the poor and needy people. He stayed in the mosque while the riches were distributed, and he would not return to his house until all of the riches had been distributed. When he died, he left nothing to be inherited by his family.      

It has been said that there had been about 120,000 Prophets and Nabi (both are messengers) for the purpose of reminding their people that there is only one God and that mankind must worship only Him.  Further, individuals must follow the teachings of the prophets of their time. This is because when a new prophet is sent, he may continue teaching the teachings of the previous prophet with little additions or modifications. In other cases, the new prophet brought with him major additions or modifications. The additions or modifications are brought to suit the era during which the individuals and communities were present.

Of the 120,000 Prophets and Nabi, only 25 of them are mentioned by their names in the Al-Quran. The first Prophet, Adam, was in fact the first man created by Allah. Then, Allah sent prophets to the various communities all over the world. The successions of Prophets ended when Prophet Muhammad was sent to the desert lands of Arabia. Prophet Muhammad had lived between 570- 632 AD, which means that Prophet Muhammad SAW was sent some 600 years after the previous Prophet, that is Prophet Jesus Peace be upon him.  Although Prophets were often sent to a community alone, there were cases when more than one prophet were contemporaries.

Lists of Lectures
by Mufti Ismail Menk




Part I

If the Youtube Image is not visible please click this link Part I


Part II

If the Youtube Image is not visible please click this link Part II


Part III


If the Youtube Image is not visible please click this link Part III



The rest of the lecture series can be obtained by searching from this link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTI8xORtPO0


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Holmskioldia sanguinea


Holmskioldia sanguinea is a perennial plant belonging to the plant Family Verbenaceae. It is native to tropical Asia. The stem divides near the base and forms long thin branches. The flowers are unique in that they have the shape like a hat or cup and saucer. Thus the plant has common names like cup-and-saucer-plant or mandarin's hat plant. The flower colours range from orange red to pale red or red.









Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Anthurium plowmanii

Anthurium plowmanii is an evergreen plant belonging to the pant Family Araceae. It is said to have originated from South America. It has become very popular in Indonesia and fetches high price when sold as ornamental plant. It is said that the more ruffled the leaf perimeter is, the higher is the price tag on it. The love for the ruffle has earned the plant the nickname "Gelombang Cinta", which means "Wave of Love". In Malaysia the craze for this plant is not obvious.






Friday, June 13, 2014

Furcraea foetida


Furcraea foetida belongs to the plant  Family: Asparagaceae. It has been reported that Furcraea of twotypes, which are the green non-variegated type and the yellow-green variegated type.  Two names have been given to the variegated type, which are Furcraea foetida 'Variegata' and  Furcraea foetida  'Mediopicta'. I really haven't have time to check whether they are the same or two different varieties. The presence can beautify the landscape.

Picture taken in Selangor, Malaysia

Picture taken in Pahang, Malaysia

Picture taken in Tuban, Terengganu, Malaysia




Picture taken in Tuban, East Jawa, Indonesia



Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hippobroma longiflora


Hippobroma longiflora is a herbacious weed plant from the plant family Campanulaceae. It is native to West Indies but is now found in other parts of the world including Malaysia. It is reported that the plant sap contain toxic substances which can irritate when exposed to them. The flowers are white cylindrical at the base and end with five petals. 

This picture was taken at Tuban, Indonesia

This picture was taken in Selangor, Malaysia





Monday, June 2, 2014

Ipomea batatas


Ipomea batatas is commonly known as sweet potato. It belongs to the plant family Convolvulaceae. Sweat potato is a creeping plant with broad leaf having the shape of a heart. The plant is cultivated due to the production of edible starchy tuberous roots. Traditionally the tuber content is white but modern varieties have various colours including orange and purple.

The plant can be easily grown by vegetative propagation using  stem cutting or the stem-root junction of the tuberous roots.  Tubers that have been harvested for few weeks can be let to sprout new shoot at the junction between the tuberous root and the stem. One thing about plant that everyone should know is that the root does not ordinarily form any kind of shoot sprouting from it. Thus one can differentiate between tuberous stem and tuberous root, such as the tubers of potato and sweet potato.







Sunday, May 25, 2014

Leptospermum brachyandrum

Leptospermum brachyandrum is a woody shrub or tree from the plant Family Myrtaceae.  The genus Leptospermum has many species that are mainly found in Australia. Yang plant has slender stem and branches that bear many leaves that are characteristically small. This makes the stem bend over. When pruned properly the plant looks very beautiful. Bonsai of this plant has been shown to be a good piece of decoration. Like the leaves, the flowers are also very small. The petals are white. The plant can be confused with Salix babylonica (Plant Family: Salicaceae) which is commonly called weeping willow. Due to inadequacy in botanical knowlidge, this plant may actually be Salix babylonica.









Saturday, May 24, 2014

Cordyline fruticosa


Cordyline fruticosa is an ornamental plants from the plant family Asparagaceae.  Cordyline fruticosa is one of the 15 species of this family.  The Genus is said to be native to the countries in southeast Asia, Melanesia, northeastern Australia, the Indian Ocean, Polynesia. Based on leaf colour, the plant can be grouped into three types, which are green type, red-brown type and mixed type.  The plant can be easily grown and requires minimal care.








Dracaena reflexa

Dracaena reflexa, is an ornamental plant belonging to the the plant family Asparagaceae. Basically there are two types,  which are the non-variegated and variegated types. The former has a nickname song of Jamaica and the later song of India. In Malaysia, both types are commonly found in buildings as potted plants or on the ground  in house compound or recreational areas.  The plant can be easily grown and requires minimal care.