Aug 31: Renewable Energy Fashion & the Solar ChickenOver 10,000 took part in renewable energy campaign, part of their major Smart Power Campaign.
HEC's media releases are a frequent source of fine information. But sometimes they are full of unintended amusement, often just begging to be made fun of, like the photo above. A few possible alternate captions:
Here's another little gem from HK Electric's marketing people. Doesn't the Lamma Power Station above look so pretty and soooo green! You can email this little Flash animation to your family, friends and foes by clicking here.
Aug 30: What Colour Is Your Brain Today?
Lamma-zine Artist of the Month of August 2006: Tamara Norris!
Click below to read the rest of Tamara's Artist Statement & view her Art Gallery!
Aug 29: The Trials & Tribulations of a Forum Administrator
"The Story of the Valiant But Ultimately Futile Battle of Lamma-Gung Against the Vile and Loathsome Link Spammers"
Administrating an Internet forum like the one on this website used to be quite easy and simple. Weekly full backups, pay the quarterly hosting bill, helping a few new members to register or reset their lost passwords, giving some occasional advice on netiquette (online behaviour guidelines, like "No personal attacks!"). That was about the extent of it, a few hours per week at the most. Idyllic, innocent days...
Nowadays, the all-pervasive online spam flood has spread from emails to forums. There's a heated arms race going on between so-called "link spammers" and forum administrators like myself. Search engines are ranking websites by number of other websites linking to them, giving them more traffic and more business resulting from this traffic. The website link in the profile of any forum member does count and will help that site to attract more traffic via the search engines.
More and more spammers simply automatically register thousands of new fake members in forums all over the Internet. Most of the recent member registrations in our 1552-member forum are spam these days, despite various anti-measures I've set up over the last few months, when the spam avalanche started:
Some of these spam members even post messages automatically in random topics, promoting the spammer's websites: cheap tickets, free tattoo designs, all types of pharmaceuticals, any type of shopping, but some of them pornographic. The forum moderators or administrator have to hand-delete these spam messages as soon as they see and recognise one. The administrator then has to delete the fake members individually as well. Sample names: comprar-viagra-espana, slitherz2040, pornnnn, baranow129.
Next step in this ever-escalating spam wars: preventing fake registrations by asking unique questions with unique answers when a new member registers, something a registration robot could not answer automatically. Quite a number of changes will be necessary in the forum program to make this possible.
Aug 28: Playground Public Toilet Humour
Aug 27: Happy 16. Birthday, Saheb!
Do you remember your own 16. Birthday, that magical age when you felt like becoming almost an adult, your parents finally treating you less like a child and the future looked so full of promises and possibilities? Yeah, me neither...
Well, anyway, this is the next year of Lamma's Generation Y coming of age. Born in 1990, many of them were born on Lamma and brought up in HK's international school. Many of them are multi-national, multi-racial, brimming with self-confidence, having travelled the world already, a very special breed indeed. The Net Generation, Millennials, iGeneration, Second Baby Boom, Google Generation, Myspace Generation, MyPod Generation (from the fusion of "Myspace" and "iPod") are just a few of the monikers that the media have applied to them in a futile attempt to categorise them.
This is the generation that grew up with the Internet, PCs, CDs, DVDs, video games, mobile phones, for whom the moon landing and the cold war are just ancient history, having been born after the Berlin Wall fell and even after the Tiananmen Square Massacre. It would be most fascinating to read their very own blogs...
Saheb, son of Prafull Ambekar (proprietor of the Deli Lamma) turned "Sweet 16" today. Of course, the proud dad threw a big party (free snacks, Happy Hour all day!). Saheb, the very popular founder/captain of the Lamma Football Club invited all his friends, so it was a full house, of course. Just look at all the girls below attending the party of this very handsome lad. I'd have done (almost) anything at that age to be that popular...
A few more of the pictures I took at yesterday night's party (click to enlarge):
Aug 26: 'Power Station Beach Energizes Canine Capers'
Aug 25: 'Artist's Conk Is a Large Polypore'
Today, exploring the neighbourhood after a photo shoot at the children's playground, Parksy the Soundman pointed me to these beautiful mushrooms. He categorically and vehemently denied that these are his own "magic mushrooms".
Bigger than a large hand, they're growing out of the trunk of a 5-storey-high tree that was severely damaged in typhoon Prapiroon. The most unusual, snow-white edge and bottom is what attracted me first.
In the wet and humid mushroom-friendly weather recently, these have been growing rapidly in the last few weeks. They expanded through and around the long needles fallen on them from the tree they're feeding on as parasites. See the white bottom of the toadstools below, where the very long needles have become incorporated into the fungi:
Posting these pictures in our "Flora & Fauna" forum got a quick reply from our very active, most helpful and extremely knowledgeable moderator Alan:
P.S. On Lamma, even the mushrooms are artistic!
Aug 24: 'My Life on the Island'
There are so many good (and a few great) photographers living on Lamma Island, they've got their own group on the Internet's largest photo sharing website Flickr. The Lamma group has been founded by Laudable Lamma Luminary Mr DickStock and has grown to 13 members now, including yours truly (see above).
Let's highlight the Lamma photographs of a little-known photographer in the "Lamma" group, Natrine. All that she likes to reveal about herself is: "I'm Female and 27." She also gets loads of German comments for most of her photos...
Have a look at her amazing photos of Lamma Island by clicking on my little thumbnail collage below, from her "My life on the island" Flickr set of photos. Or click here for a Flickr slide show!
Aug 23: $1,000 Reward for Finding Tommy!
Tommy went missing yesterday in Ko Long Village. He's a real house cat who doesn't like sleeping outside and comes when called by name. More info in our forum!
$1,000 buys a lot of drinks on pet-loving Lamma, or a lot of cat food! Let's start a stampede of people swarming all over Ko Long and neighbouring villages, checking out every potential hiding place, inspecting every nook and cranny, turning over anything a cat could hide under...till they'll find Tommy and return him home safely! Let's hope for some good news very soon!
Aug 22: 'Gum on My Bum'
Today, we've got another Lamma ferry story – but with a different twist – from our new Lamma forum member Ji Woo, a first-time Lamma-zine contributor.
He has the rare talent of writing about a mundane but annoying event in an amusing and entertaining way, showing the true Lamma spirit: smirking in the face of adversity. After initially being upset about his gummy misfortune, he overcame it and even made lots of fun of it and himself! Ji Woo, a truly worthy Lammaite!
After Ji Woo's initial message below – posted in our forums – a typically unruly discussion ensued and it was confirmed that "poo on da shoe" is even worse than "gum on da bum". Our "virtually reborn" Ghost Teacher Spinoza – haunting the forums again during this year's double Chinese ghost month – insisted on his very-hard-to-believe innocence in this gum matter. But then he digressed as usual and uttered the dire and horrendous threat of "singing sea shanties in a tragic baritone on the 8:15 AM ferry". Truly an urgent case for imminent application of HK's anti-terror laws!
P.S. Say hello to Ji Woo when you see him on the ferry, now that everybody has a good idea about how he looks like. One more tip: He might NOT look Asian...
Aug 21: Lama Walks on...
The Lamma-zine has recently published an obituary for one of the most popular dogs in Yung Shue Wan, the late Dalai (Aug 4: First, Last Rays for Dalai, Her Fluffiness)
How are his family and siblings doing after this sad loss? Petri has submitted a picture of Lama taken yesterday on Main Street, plus a very suitable hit song:
Petri - Human Companion of the late Dalai:
"Lama (brother of Mandela and late Dalai) braving the elements today. It should be noted that he's kitted out with Liverpool FC's new yellow wet-weather away outfit for quadrupeds!"
"Walk on, through the wind
Walk on, walk on
Aug 20: Scanner Jam Art Jam
I was scanning this flyer for Tamara's Art Jam (see Aug 13) when my new 2nd-hand scanner broke down right in the middle of scanning. Instead of the flyer (right) I got this intricate black bit pattern on my screen (below left)!
It inspired me to play around with it and finally generate ALL the computer graphics below from this single hardware error pattern, in one long happy afternoon and evening, full of creative vivid vibrations. Tamara's flyers seem to have an amazing, creative impact on some people (and their scanners! ;-)
Using my updated Photoshop program (CS 2 with many added filters, mostly "Kai's Power Tools"), it was a great performance test for my new, very fast PC (3GHz dual core Intel CPU). The new PC rocks! The scanner jam initiated an art jam, kind of poetic justice, isn't it?
I know I had promised not to show any of my computer graphics anymore in public because I never got any kind of feedback. I assume this means that nobody actually likes or dislikes them enough to tell me?
But you know what? I don't really care and will continue to generate these graphics occasionally. These computer art jams are just too much fun and there could be more in the future! Beware!
Aug 19: Cuddly Little Fruit Bats Love Longans!
Rarely ever have we seen good photos of local bats on Lamma. Petri the Batmaaaan shot all of these from his balcony, flashing these "fruity bats" the other night with his pocket cam. Yes, these cute little critters love the deliciously sweet & tangy longans which seem to be just the perfect size for their snouts! The longan fruit season is coming to an end, but they're still at it and can be seen in action after midnight.
The cute title of this story was written by Petri as well, in addition to all the pictures and the words below! I love Lamma-zine contributors like him!
How to take photos of bats in flight at night? Petri offers this little beginner's guide for Lamma's legions of talented and passionate hobby photographers:
Set your camera to the highest resolution, widest angle and get as close as possible! Fix the focus to the estimated distance. Set the ISO to 50 to keep graininess low, reduce the flash intensity (you'll get all-white "snow bats" otherwise!). No idea how to avoid the massive white "red-eye" effect, though.
Switch the screen off to keep it from distracting the very shy bats and simply hold the camera in your outreached palm (while staying very still yourself) until you can hear one of them in a tree near you. Then just point in the general direction and pull the trigger! Happy hunting! (Click to enlarge Petri's great photos.)
Aug 18: Swarming Dragonflies
Big swarms of dragonflies are enchanting Yung Shue Wan Village in late summer, looking for a mate before dying. For some unknown reasons, the swarms seem attracted by this black sunroof netting above.
Swarming dragonflies will forever remind me of HK's short but blazingly hot dotcom boom summer, lasting just one single summer in the year 2000. The Li Ka-shing-financed "corporate dotcom startup", where I was the General Manager and Creative Director, had a dragonfly in its logo. It died end of Aug 2000. I vividly remember the huge swarms of dragonflies dancing quietly and solemnly outside our brand-new office's windows. It looked like a "death watch", mourning our startup's sad demise...
Aug 17: 'Ode to the Lover of Mrs Kay'
Aug 16: Lamma on 'Lights Out' Night
First and 2nd picture by Roz Keep, 3rd picture by Lamma-Gung
All these photos were taken shortly after 8pm on Aug 8. There were just a few houses actually switching their lights off...
Congratulations to the organisers and volunteers of the Lights Out HK campaign anyway! The massive publicity generated to raise public awareness of HK's fast-worsening air pollution was the real success story and it put some pressure on the main polluters! Well done!
Aug 15: Police Campaign: 'Fight Against Juvenile Crimes'
This Outlying Islands police publicity campaign of the Crime Prevention Bureau was recently launched on Cheung Chau Island. The opening ceremony photos on CD-ROM were just hand-delivered by "Senior Inspector Woooo-Woooo!", eh, SI Joe Wu, when he spotted me and Lamma-Por in Blue Bird Rest. Here's the best from the launch ceremony (click small images to enlarge them):
The Road Show on Sat, Aug 12 in front of YSW's City Hall and the Police Box featured police videos and posters about fighting juvenile crimes, but also the winners of the Islands-District-wide "Poster/Colour Drawing Competition". (Click below to enlarge and see more of the children's drawings):
I've been interviewing "Senior Inspector Woooo-Woooo!" recently about why they picked "Juvenile Crimes" as this year's campaign theme:
He made it very clear that juvenile crime is NOT rampant and wide-spread on Lamma, fortunately. A bit of drinking and other recreational drugs, shoplifting, some low-key, usually non-violent triad activity and occasionally unruly behaviour seems to be the full extent of local juvenile crimes. No very serious crimes – like groping, graffiti or gang warfare – at all! Let's hope that Lamma remains a pretty safe and peaceful place!
There were also stacks of leaflets available at the Road Show, some of them pretty interesting and very informative (click below to enlarge). Some of them (PC/Internet tips, hiking, cycling) are still available inside the G/F of our City Hall (opposite HSBC):
Aug 14: Road Show @ The Police Box
Ever wonder why this funny cube above is colloquially called "The Police Box"? Well, besides the obvious shape and modular, pre-fabricated construction of our "Police Report Centre" (boooring name!), it's very reminiscent of an iconic British TV series that's been running, on and off, for decades. The second season of the latest incarnation of this Sci-Fi series is being aired on HK terrestrial TV right now: "Dr. Who"! It features a time machine, called Tardis, in the shape of an official British "Police Box" (click for sound). According to Wikipedia:
"A police box is a telephone kiosk or callbox for use by members of the police. Police boxes pre-date the era of modern telecommunications; today, every police officer (in developed countries) is likely to carry a two-way radio.
The typical police box contained a telephone linked directly to the local police station allowing officers "on the beat" to keep in contact with the station, reporting anything unusual, requesting help if necessary or even to detain prisoners until a vehicle could be sent to transport them to the station or to jail.
This was in the day when most police officers walked a beat or rode a bicycle rather than using a police car. An electric light on top of the box would flash to alert a beat officer that he was requested to contact the station. Members of the public could also use the phone (which was on the exterior) to contact a police station in an emergency."
Reading this and knowing that I'm a SciFi nut, you might well understand that every time I walk past YSW's Police Box, I expect that "an electric light on top of the box would flash" and that eerie Wooooo-woooo sound would echo across the bay. Maybe that's why Lamma's Senior Inspector is surnamed Wu? Should we nickname him "Senior Inspector Woooo-Woooo!" His "boys" (as he calls his constables) seem to spend a lot of time inside the Police Box, considering it home away from home?
Visiting Lamma feels sometimes like stepping into a time machine for Hong Kong's urbanites, traveling back to happier, greener, simpler times to a real, peaceful, fully functional village community.
But this story should have been about this year's police campaign to fight juvenile crimes, not about my juvenile jokes about our Police Box, home of our valiant, heroic, hard-working local police force! But this story is too long enough already, so let's save the photos of the police campaign for tomorrow...
Aug 13: Art-Jammin' the Deli
Yung Shue Wan's leading art critics - Mr
DickStock (note the artsy shirt!) and
Can you help them to decipher it, as L-G doesn't have the faintest idea either?
Art Jam: Sunday, Aug 13, 11am-3pm, Deli Lamma:
This announcement and the poster lured me to participate and Tamara (see below left) was so nice to invite me and have me report about the experience back to the Lamma-zine readers via the photo gallery. Pam, a former art jam participant, described it so well and I fully agree with her:
Pam: "I had never been to an art jam previous to Tamara's, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I was still very impressed with all of her personal touches. The tone she set was very chilled-out and comfortable. The food she served was all home-made by Tamara herself, plenty of it, and so delicious. I even asked for the recipe to one of her desserts she served!
There is absolutely no set-up or clean-up for the participant at all, she does everything. She is there to explain and guide for those of us who are a bit clueless, making the whole experience very rewarding. All this, and you walk away with a full stomach, a sense of accomplishment, and your own creative art piece for only $275.00."
By the way, the two dudes above did NOT participate. They just passed through the Deli during their usual pub crawl, made some smart-aleck remarks and moved on to the next bar within a few minutes. But they're endorsing the art jam fully and loved the idea. It would have been great to see Andy – the Official Court Artist of Lamma.com.hk – get involved and see if he's REALLY such a great, prolific artist!
Have your mouse nibble the art critic's noses above to view the entire art & photo gallery.
Aug 12: Buddha Boy Meets 'The Dude with the Long Beard'
This message was posted in the forums first. It shows the impressions of a first-time Lamma visitor who has been an active message poster in our forums for one year now, preparing for his big move from Japan to Lamma.
The Lamma-zine loves to publish stories like this one. Lamma first-timers see our home through fresh eyes, describing the places that we residents are all too familiar with in a completely new and different way. I've added a few links to buddhaboyip's story – for a lot more info about Lamma people and places.
Aug 11: Poster Drawing & Slogan Creation Competition
Tomorrow, Aug 12, Saturday afternoon:
12 noon - 5pm, Yung Shue Wan "City Hall" (besides "Police Box"):
Exhibition of Winning Articles in the Poster Drawing & Slogan Creation Competition and Juvenile Crimes Posters Display.
For more details click on the posters below:
Aug 10: Mainland Burglar Arrested
The two-way permit holder from Mainland China was all wet from the heavy rain. He was the sole passenger on the first ferry to town. The police received a call earlier that morning from a Mo Tat Wan resident who heard a burglar leaving their flat.
After the arrest, a considerable sum of money, won by the residents in Mahjong, was found on the burglar. A CSI-style mouth swab for DNA analysis was obtained from the Mainlander. The money is being examined for fingerprints of the Mahjong players to tie the burglar to the robbery. He's also a potential suspect in a few other recent burglary cases in Yung Shue Wan and Tai Peng Village.
Aug 9: Save the Banyan Trees!
This topic is currently hotly discussed in our very active Chinese forum, (Here's Yahoo's automatic (bad) translation into English). Online signature campaigns and letters to the govt. are all being considered right now. Our District Councilor, Lammadonna, has been informed in writing and will be chased to follow-up and get the govt.'s "tree doctor" to come in.
But the last time I'm aware of a tree doctor visit in YSW, they used his findings to cut down the huge, beautiful, pink-flowering tree behind the library. The two miserly little conifers (left) that Lammadonna got planted as replacements didn't survive for more than a few months and have never been replaced. Embarrassing...
There have been illegal fellings of several trees around the Sha Po Village area recently, according to police sources, but nobody was caught in the act.
A mindless act of vandalism has been committed on another tall and beautiful banyan tree just behind Lung Wah restaurant, on the path to Tai Peng, cutting down several major branches that were extending over the neighbour's land (above right). The longtime Lammaite - who helped to plant it - was very upset, calling the police and the hired vandals disappeared with their VV, narrowly avoiding being caught in the act.
Several other banyan trees suffered storm damage in the recent cat. 3 typhoons, after already having had their yearly severe pruning just a few weeks ago. It seems that even the trees that give Yung Shue Wan its name of "Banyan Tree Bay" are not safe anymore and not treated with the respect they deserve.
By the way, the name tags (left) that appeared recently on major trees around the village were put up by the Drainage & Sewage Dept. to register major trees. This is to make sure they are not damaged when they'll put in more sewage pipes for the sewage treatment plant that they are going to build in the area of the current temporary helipad. They'll start this major project right after the completion of the permanent helipad close-by.
Aug 8: The Lady with the Magic Hands
Aug 7: Chinese Forum Update – 500 Topics!
Aug 6: Lamma Island is No. 1!
Aug 5: Art & Entertainment News
So many creative activities are constantly going on in our small village, sometimes one daily Lamma-zine story just isn't enough to cover all the important news. Let's start a new occasional "Art & Entertainment News" section:
The Deli Lamma was filled with canvases and easels today, from 11am till well into the afternoon. Aspiring artists (new recruits for CALI, the Community of Artists on Lamma Island?) were creating acrylic paintings with a wide range of subjects. Organised by VividVibrations, more of these creative workshops, called art jams, are planned to happen soon.
Life 100 exhibition by Nadia Ying:
Local celebrity, former proprietor of the 2nd-hand shop and former Lamma-zine Artist of the Month Nadia is exhibiting her illustrations in Taikoo Shing on HK Island from Aug 1-11 (8am-9pm, 1/F Devon House, Taikoo Place, Island East).
She writes (translation from Chinese by Samson, thanks!): "The exhibition features 100 fortune telling cards, designed by yours truly with a unique meaning to match the various special situations in life. Whatever the occasion, it is in the cards. I hope the cards will satisfy your curiosity! If you couldn't make it to the exhibition, you might see these fortune telling cards reprinted at Homeless in Tsimshatsui and Central."
Sinister Seraphina in the Finals:
Another brand-new Lamma band, formed by local celebrities, just made it into the SoundBase Festival 2006 Acoustic Band Competition Finals with their original song "Not Here"! "Sinister Seraphina" members. From left – right:
Inciong – guitar and vocals – added a few more words and arranged
the melodies and chords into one.
Nel: "The song “Not Here” is about this very shy lady longing for her lost love but couldn't express herself outright. She began to open herself up then tried different ways to forget but still ended up lost – and lost for words."
Wish them all the best and support them at the finals:
Fri, Aug 11, 7:30pm, Theatre, Sheung Wan Civic Centre. Ticket: $80, URBTIX outlets. 20 finalists.
3 More Lamma Bloggers:
Welcome to fellow Lamma bloggers Simon, Randolph and Steve Cray! They all set up their free blogs with Google's Blogger program, hosted for free on Google's Blogspot, probably the biggest Internet home for bloggers nowadays.
I used their great service when they founded it four years ago, till I decided to go hand-made for this Lamma-zine Blog, mainly for full-flexibility reasons. Check out these 3 new blogs and let them know what you like:
HONG KONG NOTEBOOK – by Steve Cray (brand-new photo blog)
Live on Lamma, got a blog? Let me know, if you'd like more visitors by being featured in the Lamma-zine! Even if you don't live here, but your blog features Lamma prominently, let me know!
Aug 4: First, Last Rays for Dalai, Her Fluffiness
Aug 3: Summer Rain
Aug 2: Lamma Fun Day Needs Volunteers!
Aug 1: Hungry Ghosts Roam the Island Again
The Chinese calendar is featuring a double ghost month this year, which only happens every forty years. So we'll have to worry about hungry ghosts roaming at night for twice the time of a regular year. There are lots of graves on some of Lamma's hills. So ghost stories abound and spread in whispers throughout the village, being astonishingly popular even with the most modern locals and many Westerners as well. All the locally-made ghost movies enforce these beliefs.
I've been doing photo shoots of the fascinating Yu Lan festival at the YSW Tin Hau temple for some years now: Yu Lan Festival 2003, 2005. It serves to appease the hungry ghosts, feed them and keep them away from the living.
I'm happy to publish the photos of a much better photographer than myself this year, multi-talented local celebrity Prof Red Star (Steve Cray) who also works as a highly esteemed photojournalist at the SCM Post. Looking at these simply beautiful photos below, it's no wonder he's "highly esteemed".
Enjoy by clicking on the photos below to enlarge them, Sun, July 30 2006: