Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yearning For Cockamamies

Who can live without skin pictures?Skin was a much cheaper printing surface than paper in the 1960s.Remember the song? "Cockamamies, Cockamamies,Made from Human Skin.They will lift your spirits highHow they'll make you grin.Hide your blemishes and pimplesWipe away your molesDrape your flesh in CockamamiesPurify your souls...Flintstone FlintstoneFred and WilmaBarney, Dino TooClothe your flesh in

Your Dam River

What is a “dam river?”

A river with dams on it. Most rivers are dammed, and if they aren’t already, they likely will be one day.

What is "your" dam river?

Your dam river is a river you paddle on with dams.

You need to know how many there are, where they are located, what kind of flows are coming out of them and how they might affect the stretch of water you’re planning to paddle on.

You may have more than one dam river.

There are many rivers that I regularly paddle in Canada: the Ottawa, Madawaska, Gatineau, Rideau Canal system, Mississippi, and St. Lawrence rivers. And, there are other rivers I hit up and need to learn about when I travel.

Every time I want to paddle a river, especially a new stretch I don’t know, it takes research.

Where are the dams? Where are the rapids? How paddler friendly is it? How hard is it to navigate? Where is the put in and take out? What else do I need to be aware of? (There are alligators in some Florida rivers, and others affected by tides, or cruise ship activity.) How much gear do I need to bring or wear? What’s the weather report? How beautiful will it be? How much fun can I have?

You may even ask yourself sometimes if it is worth all this effort to paddle at all and take up cycling instead!

Now, where can I find all this information in one simple place or who can I call? Sometimes, that can be a reliable outfitter or another paddler who knows the area.

One of my dam rivers around home is the Ottawa River.

The sudden rise in the water levels on the Ottawa River really surprised me this past September when I was cycling past a favorite spot in Aylmer, Quebec. (See, I opted for the bike a lot this year.) All summer it had been a low dry stretch of river rock in this particular spot. Then, overnight, it became the exciting and dangerous roaring rapid you would normally see in the spring. I was wondering what the scoop was, and now just found the answer in an article about rainfall and dam behavior that I’ll share below.

And as I continue to research dams and explore just how much Paddling with dams is damned!, I’m discovering alarming things about dams. Things that include questions about public safety, environmental concerns, and of course the always forgotten socio-cultural aspect of what dams do to people! Not everyone and few other living-things benefit.

But, my focus will remain on dam information for paddlers. It is complicated and time consuming to find out what is happening with dams: finding maps of dam locations by river, dam flow rates and predictions, and someone to contact for real-time information.

The reason - dams are not owned and operated by any one authority. You’ll have to shop around on the Web to try and figure out who is responsible for the dams on your water, and surrounding land that they totally control with these things. Land they don't own or are responsible for can and is affected by dam behavior. Then see if the dam owner/authority has posted information you can find and understand, and decide if it might be safe to launch, paddle and take out on that water. I’m researching dams in Canada and the United States. This topic could be a full-time job for an army.

In this particular case on the Ottawa River in September 2010, it looks like heavy rainfall and dam releases caused the sudden and more obvious change in water levels. But when it comes to dams, especially hydroelectric dams, the bigger monsters that can open up when the demand for more power peaks, it can be even harder to know what to expect and when. This is something I didn't know or think about before.

Do you know where to go to get dam release news and alerts on waterways you paddle? Can you sign up for RSS feeds and email alerts? Do you know how many dams are on the river you paddle and where they are located?

Find a good resource, call someone, then post the useful links for your river(s) on your paddle website or blog so it becomes an easy reference for yourself and others.

Resources for you on one of my dam rivers – The Ottawa River (Ontario/Quebec, Canada):

Ontario Power Generation, Ottawa River dams

Ottawa Riverkeeper, information about dams on the Ottawa River

For more information about dams and the impact of dams worldwide see:
International Rivers - About Dams

Below are excerpts from the Ottawa Citizen/Yahoo news about the sudden surge on the Ottawa River in September 2010:
Wet weather, dam release creates sudden rise in Ottawa River, wreaks havoc with docks and boats
A sudden change in water levels on the Ottawa River (Ontario, Canada) in September 2010 surprised residents along the shore lines. They wound up with damaged docks and boats. September rains pushed just short of a record, and caused a sudden rise in the Ottawa River that surprised homeowners, boaters and even the experts.

The 90 millimetres of rain that fell upriver last weekend came downstream just in time to meet more rain falling here, raising the Ottawa River to spring-like levels from extreme lows.

Meredith Brown from the Ottawa Riverkeeper said the water rise was “not that inconsistent with how the dams operate. I’ve seen water levels go up twice (or) three times that much overnight because of dam releases.”

“Of course, nobody tells you, eh?” remarked a marina manager near Constance Bay.

The Ottawa River Regulating Committee posted this warning Tuesday evening on its website:

“As a result of significant rainfall, water levels along the Ottawa River are expected to rise for the next few days. Officials of the Ottawa River Regulating Committee would therefore like to alert residents along the river, particularly those that have wharves, docks and boats, to expect significant increases in water levels.”

But the “drastic” rise surprised even the committee, said spokesman Fergus McLaughlin.

“This year because it was so low and so dry, the (river) just shot up so fast that it was impossible to get a warning out.”

That’s because the computer can’t just add up the rain and spit out a perfect prediction, he said. There are too many variables, such as actual rainfall that doesn’t match the forecast, and a river that changes width and depth for every kilometre of its journey to the St. Lawrence.

More proof for my research on dams, that even if you can get data on dam locations, flow rates and predictions, and rainfall estimates, you can’t count on it. It’s a complicated network that can fool even the experts.

Ontario Power Generation put a warning on its website Wednesday about high levels and fast water in the Ottawa and Madawaska Rivers.

Isn’t that a little too late?

Early reports said Ontario Power Generation caused the change by opening up its Chats Falls dam at Arnprior. But Ontario Power Generation spokesman Ted Gruetzner said there was no major change there.

Passing the buck. Who does know what’s going on then?

Enough dam research for today. I’m off to plan something fun!

Seriously, I'm thinking skiing and I'm going to take some time to explore the paddlers that must paddle winter while the rest of us are happy for the time off to park and repair our boats! And I'm going to talk about yoga and cross-country skiing (maybe even snowshoeing) for paddlers who find winter tough. All things I was once convinced I hated!

Paddlers who don't know they love cross-country skiing yet . . . but will!
Let's talk yoga, a Greenland Paddle and healing a wrecked shoulder Happy and safe paddling to those of you who must paddle in winter!
The BaffinPaddler

hot december

Hey guys, sorry for the lack of posts lately. I've been working on my dissertation project and I have no time to do anything else, exept from my french lessons. Well, as you can see from the photos it's a weird phenomenon even for Greece as at this time of the year to still be HOT in Greece. We normally have already put on our winter clothes by now. Conversely, we did some surfing (photos coming soon) the previous days and we felt it was summer.

(uncle's vintage rayban sunglasses, topshop t-shirt, bershka jeans, office studded boots, bag with fringes from a random shop in athens and mums/grandmas vintage jewelry)
photos by Penny Diamantakou

Monday, November 29, 2010

Proton Saga Facelift at Thai Motor Show.

So I'm sort of a car maniac and I am proud of Malaysian Cars. Recently Proton released it's new Proton Saga facelift in Bangkok, Thailand. Very nice look to it, and they've added more new gadgets into the car. It still looks like a toy car though, but I bet the price for it would be quite reasonable.
Visit www.paultan.org for more information!
Jeffrey James

Cartoony, Graphic and Directly to the Point: Kurtzman's Hey Look

Harvey Kurtzman's "Hey Look" is UPA before UPA. It's also something more. It has the graphic qualities of "Gerald McBoing Boing" and "Fudget's Budget", but without abandoning its cartoony roots. It's similar to T. Hee's style, but with a lot more verve.Technically, Harvey has a lot of obvious great qualities but above and beyond them all is his ability to balance them graphically to convey a

Camqueen of the Year Crowned


Don't know if you guys saw this advert I did for the CamQueen of the Year contest?

Now the contest is finally over and can I say WOW???????

It was definitely a smash hit among Singaporean youth!! The contest generated 4.5 MILLION page views and 400,000 votes cast via facebook!!

Of course, it was a very interesting contest where contestants were urged to send in a photo of themselves before and after a makeover, so everyone was trying to prove that they can doll themselves up the best. And I must say among the contestants were many brave souls who put up their photos at... erm, well not their best. All for the prize of $5,000!

After a super fierce competition, the final winner was crowned *drumroll*:

And she is Tammy Tay!!

In case you are wondering why there's only one photo and the "after" is mysteriously replaced by bottles of Vitamin Orange/Lemon, it is not coz after her makeover Tammy looks like that. It's coz it's a...


Surprise! The contest was not judged by how drastically different your makeover made you look, but by your "before" photo. Yes, proving people can look beautiful even in their bare skin.

Like me with no makeup muahaha OK lah fine I did use some photoshopping.

Of course, health is the foundation of all beauty, and you can't be beautiful without being healthy!

Which is why Tammy was chosen, coz her glow and bright eyes say good health :)

Yes I love my make up and all my fake things ie false eyelashes and implants etc, but I also believe that having great skin (and teeth and hair actually) is the most basic rule to looking beautiful.

If you want glowy bright skin - Vitamin C is super vital.

Which can be sought from You c1000 vitamin C drinks!

The powerful little bottles contain a whooping 1000mg of vitamin C each, which your body desperately needs to produce collagen, fight signs of aging, stronger bones and teeth etc. Hiyah the health benefits of Vitamin C is super a lot lah can't be bothered to list them all out. It's awesome that's all!

The worst thing is our body does not retain or produce Vitamin C, which means you need to ingest appropriate amounts of it everyday!

And the easiest (and yummiest) way to to drink loads of You c1000. :D

When I was sick recently I drank like seriously 7 bottles in a day. Helped me recover fast! It's your best friend when you are beginning to fall sick I tell you.

Remember to get your Vitamin C for today!

Wow I'm addicted to the game on the website -_- ... Oh and also, You c1000 will be launching a new APPLE flavour soon!!

I'm excited to try!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Rapunzel Press Junket

Ok this is my favourite song from the Rapunzel: A Tangled Tale soundtrack - sang by Mandy Moore! I embedded it so that you can play the song while you read this post so got more AMBIENCE!!! LOL

So anyway here are the pics from when I went to California to watch Rapunzel way before you mere mortals (MUAHAHA) and to interview the stars!!!

I am in no way paid to write this so it's not an advert.

Flew SQ to LAX... I had a great flight there!

Press stayed at Disneyland Hotel. It's nice!

Day One... Michelle (Phan) came over and we were experimenting with the make-up + costumes etc for the next day's filming (watch video if you haven't already). Before we could finish gossiping I had to leave for the screening of the movie.

I give it... 4.8 stars upon 5!!!!!!!

Rapunzel is my favourite freaking princess!!! OK I might be a shade biased coz I like her long blonde hair. But she's funny and cheerful and just super cute and likeable. The 'prince', for once, is not a goody two shoes handsome dummy but smart and funny and is a... thief! AND HE IS SO HANDSOME WTF.

My favourite in the show HAS to be Pascal the chameleon though. Even though it's mute, it communicates all its emotions through exaggerated expressions and the changing of colours!! CUTE MAX!!

The movie is very fast-paced and makes you laugh, cry (I cried twice especially when I see the King's sad face wtf) and gasp in wonder at the beautifully animated lantern scene. Thousands of floating lanterns in 3D and some are floating towards you!! You can help but wanna try to grab it but end up looking quite idiotic grasping air.

I don't like the villain though... Mother Gothel is damn irritating!!!

The songs are just fantastic too. Who knew Mandy Moore had such a princessy voice??

I didn't really like Princess and the Frog (the last Disney princess movie - poor people... meh) but Rapunzel far outstrips it. It deviates quite a bit from the original Brothers Grimm tale but I love how they changed it. :)

Overall it's super enjoyable. I think everyone should go watch it. All the reviews I've read so far are raving about it.

Day 2 I set out to interview the voice actors and directors!!

Up till today I can't believe I met and spoke to real Hollywood stars wtf!!!

Attire for the day

Woke up super early so I decided to camwhore first!

Oh Pascal, how I love you!! 

So happy they gave us a Pascal toy each. 
Got red and blue Pascals but obviously green is the nicest!! 
(Coz red is angry and blue is sad)

Halloween themed disney


LOL more

They just can't get his nose right!! Oh wait this one's ok. Hahaha

Press pass

Waiting for my turn inside the stripey tent. There were many (real) tv hosts there too. A lot of pretty girls! *stressed max, not real reporter

Escorted to interview the directors first. They were hidden behind the black cloth!

I'd soon be sitting in that chair talking to them

Yes they are guys doing a princess movie!

Interviewing Donna Murphy who is the voice actress for Mother Gothel. She's hiding inside!

And done... Next up is Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi!!




Hahahha... I didn't manage to get pics with the rest of the cast coz we only had a very very limited precise 4 minutes with each group. When I reached Mandy and Zachary I smartened up and skipped the manager to ask the stars directly for a pic while my mic was being fastened.

They were of course really nice (impressive since they were being asked the same questions over and over again since early in the morning I bet) and chirpy and said yes!! Even told me to stand in between them wtf.

I didn't know what I expected but of course there was no paparazzi and there were about 10 people with them, some handling cameras others handling other admin duties etc. It was... strangely normal.

And they were... human. Just like me!!

When I left the manager shouted at me and said "You know you were not allowed to take pictures with them."

I was mortally afraid she'd ask me to delete (I might beg) but she left it at that. Suck on it bitch I got the pic hahahaha! On a side note Mike very angry that Zachary had his hand on my shoulder -_-

Interested to watch the interviews?? Check out the Clicknetwork video HERE!!

I was done for the day!! Back to hotel... Where I met:

Pluto Goofy!! Geez I can't believe I couldn't remember if this is Pluto or Goofy. Getting OLD!

Michelle already arrived at the hotel and she was preparing for filming!!

And I must camwhore with my completed look!!

I don't care what all the naysayers say, I think the 
make up she and I created really looks like Rapunzel's!!

Anyway my camera's soft skin mode got rid of all my drawn on freckles so I had to put more on with photoshop.

With Michelle!

I hate her** her skin is so nice and her nose is so small and her teeth are so white!!! Why so chio?? *Cue Wa meng ti wa meng ti song*

** Michelle's haters are very dumb and would take it literally so just to clarify, that was sarcasm.

Disney princesses FTW

Ok last of the camwhoring shots

Here's Michelle lying on the bed posting up the pictures we took. So efficient!

After that we went for dinner at a restaurant nearby...

Erm I only took one miserable picture of my soup...

And one more of Michelle drinking the same thing.

She changed her blue contacts to brown coz she didn't like the blue ones but she went out with Ariel's red eyebrows!! HAHAHHA She's damn funny love her!!


Ok this is the end of the pictures from the trip. But because I loved the movie so much, I got inspired to draw some of the stills!!

When I was young (like 10, 11), I used to draw Disney Princesses all the freaking time. My favourite was Ariel!! I remember I had her bedsheets and I drew pictures of the tiny Ariels on the sheets. It was so fun!!!

And I have not drawn anything in like a billion years - forgot how much I enjoyed doing it.

So I just took up a pencil and some blue-tack - just to explain I didn't have an eraser, but blue-tack works too - and started doodling:

What do you think?

Original HERE. I drew it while looking at the original on the computer. It's not traced.

I know right? All this time you thought I was some talentless bimbo.

p/s: Read this again but super fast so you end before the song does HAHAHA

p/p/s: I am deleting all comments from now on comparing my looks and Michelle's. We are not twins, not even same race - no need to compare please. I don't give a shit if you think she looks better or I look better, please keep such tactless opinions to yourself.