Wild Boars!

The bronze Florentine wild boar "Porcellino" at the Mercato Nuovo is probably not a must-see for visitors who flock to the city but its popularity is clearly reflected by its shinny snout, stroked for bringing good luck and to ensure a return to Florence in the future. There are also several copies (see link) of the sculpture around the world. The beast in front of the Moderna Museet in Stockholm certainly looks identical and there is a similar one in front of Deutsches Jagd- und Fischereimuseum in Munich. This group of wild boars does seem to roam over the continent!

Il Porcellino, Mercato Nuovo, Florence

Wild Boar Stockholm
Moderna Museet, Stockholm

Wild Boar Munich
Deutsches Jagd- und Fischereimuseum, Munich

Please click HERE for my collection of SCULPTURES!

Gearing up for a Tropical Christmas

No George Square Christmas light switch-on and wintry December weather for me this year but searching for that festive atmosphere isn't that hard, even here in the tropics!

KLCC Christmas Tree 2008-1

KLCC Christmas Tree 2008-2
Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur (12/2008)

Glasgow 2014

Glasgow prepares for the 20th Commonwealth Games.

Glasgow 2014
Glasgow, Scotland, UK (10/2008)

Click HERE to check out the most recent updates in the GLASGOW ALBUM

Related link

Eilean Donan Castle

Located on a small island (Eilean Donan) in the western Scottish Highlands, Eilean Donan Castle is an unmissable landmark and a popular stop for travelers en route to the Isle of Skye. It has been voted the best castle in Scotland by the readers of "Scotland" magazine in 2007 and often said to be the most photographed monuments in Scotland.

Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland (11/2008)


Related links

Spot the Difference

Pasta Hut
Pasta Hut, UK (11/2008)

Related links:

A World without Boundaries

A picture dedicated to those who strive for a better world

Berlin Wall
Remnant of the Berlin wall at Potsdamer Platz (Jun 2006)

Berlin Album
Please click BERLIN ALBUM for more images from the city

Malaysia (rANdoM Pick)

Eid Decorations Malaysia British University Malaysia
Ice Skating Malaysia Malaysian Bagpipers Performance
  • TL: Hari Raya (Eid) decorations in a shopping mall.
  • TR: British university, tropical campus.
  • BL: Ice skating, four seasons (all summers).
  • BR: Malaysian bagpipers playing at a Scottish university alumni dinner.


Have You Seen This ¿

Of course, this has nothing to do with natural disaster. "House Attack" is an artwork by the Austrian artist Erwin Wurm. It was installed at the MUMOK (Museum Moderner Kunst/ Museum of Modern Art) on 18 Oct 2006 to mark the opening of the exhibition Keep A Cool Head by the same artist.

MUMOK house attack 1MUMOK house attack 2

Excerpted from MUMOK website:
"A symbol for conservative, small-minded longings, the single-family house collides into the museum as an temple to the muses, and the museum itself now also becomes part of the sculpture."

MUMOK house attack 3MUMOK house attack 4
MUMOK, Vienna (12/2006)

Youtube clip by MUMOK showing the process of installation:

Related links:

Malaysia (RAnDoM Pick)

Malaysia Random 1

  • TL : Cheering the Malaysian badminton team to Olympic 2008. Malaysia won a silver!
  • TR : Upgrading works from 4 to 6 lanes on the Penang Bridge.
  • BL : RBS is now in Malaysia too. The signboard is in front of Tesco Penang.
  • BR : The Gardens in Mid Valley, Kuala Lumpur.

A Guinness World Record!

The tallest cinema complex in the world is actually the Cineworld (previously UGC) Cinema in Glasgow! How I miss my Cineworld Unlimited Card and the movie buddies.

Cineworld Glasgow 1
Cineworld Glasgow 2
Cineworld cinema complex in Glasgow (07/2008)

Durian and Mangosteen

Reporting from Malaysia, it's durian and mangosteen season now! To those who are unfamiliar with the fruits, the King (durian) and Queen (mangosteen) of Fruits are very popular in Malaysia and the rest of South East Asia.

Thorny (duri = thorn in Malay) in appearance, durian is about the size of a honey dew and very pungent. Getting the flesh (wraps over a large seed) can be tricky but to me the reward definitely worths the effort!


Mangosteen is unrelated to mango and called "manggis" in Malay. The fruit is about the size of an apple and contrary to durian, first-time tasting of a mangosteen should not require much courage.


Durian and mangosteen are definitely my personal favourites, not everyone shares the same passion though...

durians mangosteens notice

Related links:

Prometheus and Mhtpothta

Somethings that are familiar to all Strathclyde students and alumni!

Prometheus (Jack Sloan)
Prometheus - The Gift of Science to Liberty (1994) by Jack Faulds Sloan

Mhtpothta (George Wylie)
Mhtpothta/ Maternity (2004) by George Wyllie


What is an IRN-BRU?

You should know the answer if you have been to Scotland.


Related links

Glasgow: Bird, Tree, Bell and Fish

"Here is the bird that never flew
Here is the tree that never grew
Here is the bell that never rang
Here is the fish that never swam"

These verses summarise the four miracles performed by St Mungo, the patron saint of Glasgow. The bird, tree, bell and fish are not only featured in the coat of arms but also cleverly depicted in various guises throughout the city!

Glasgow Coat of Arm Royal Concert Hall
At the Royal Concert Hall

Glasgow Coat of Arm Tenement
On a high street tenement

St Mungo Miracle Street Light
Street light near Glasgow Cathedral

St Mungo Miracle Signboard
Signboard in one of the local parks

Related links

What is a Haggis?

If you are asking that question or planning a wild haggis hunt in Scotland, check this out at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow. The exhibit is my personal favourite in the museum!

Kelvingrove Haggis 1
Kelvingrove Haggis 2
Haggis exhibit at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow (2008)

Related links

Vintage Vehicles in Munich

Like all the other central squares in cities and towns, the bustling Marienplatz of Munich is the perfect stage for major public events. During my recent visit, I came across this unusual gathering of vintage vehicles by MAN AG, a Munich-based engineering company. Munich was the first stop of the MAN on the road again tour, in conjunction with the company's 250th birthday.

Munich MAN AG 1Munich MAN AG 2
Vintage vehicle show in Munich by MAN AG (06/06/2008)

Manhole Cover Art

Look down too when you travel, for someone might be looking up at you, especially in Bratislava!

Cumil 1
Cumil 2
Čumil in Bratislava (12/2006)

Manhole Cover Album
CLICK the album above for more MANHOLE COVER ART

External links

Canine Issue


Dog Waste Dublin

Translation: Use your head...or even better...USE DOG WASTE BAG!!

Dog Waste Oslo


Dog Waste Glasgow

Related links
  • Wikipedia: Dog Poop Girl (개똥녀) incident in South Korea
  • BBC: How serious a problem is dog fouling?
  • UK Home Office: Dog Fouling and the Law-A guide for the public

Walking Man

If you happen to stroll along Leopoldstrasse in Munich, be prepare to meet the gigantic Walking Man. Hidden from tourist maps, this 17-metre-tall bold white sculpture belongs to the Munich Re Group, a large reinsurance company, that also owns the office building behind it.

Walking Man Munich 1

Walking Man Munich 2
Walking Man by Jonathan Borofsky in front of the Munich Re office building at Leopoldstrasse (06/2008)

Excerpted from Munich Re Group (Source):
Walking Man, 1995 The area in front of the building on Leopoldstrasse is dominated by the sculpture "Walking Man". The 17-metre-tall, 16-tonne figure by the American artist Jonathan Borofsky, with its dynamic, out-reaching form, stands in contrast to the strictly geometric pattern of the facade behind it. As it strides out, the sculpture gives the impression of striving forward and serves as a symbol for a society geared to performance and dynamism.
© Munich Re, Munich

Glasgow West End Festival

West End Festival is back in Glasgow from Fri 13 to Sun 29 June this year, bringing a variety of cultural events to the city. The opening parade (Sun 15 June) was a colourful occasion with a strong Latin American carnival atmosphere.

Glasgow West End Festival

Bayerische Motoren Werke

Bavaria of Germany is, of course, also famous for its Bavarian Motor Works (Bayerische Motoren Werke). Housed in a ultramodern megastructure, the BMW World (BMW Welt) in Munich is a magnet for automobile enthusiasts and also a showcase of art and technology.

BMW Welt
BMW WeltBMW Welt
BMW World (BMW Welt): the exhibits (06/2008)

Clockwise from top left: BMW Headquarters and BMW World, BMW World close-up, BMW Headquarters close-up, the glass double cones of BMW World (06/2008)

Neuschwanstein Castle

A day trip from Munich brought me to this unmissable castle in Europe. Once a private refuge of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, today the castle receives 1.3 million visitors annually, with around 6,000 visitors a day In the summer. My visit was not timed with the most excellent weather but a few snapshots to share as usual.

Neuschwanstein Castle 1
Neuschwanstein Castle, as viewed from the Marie's Bridge (Marienbrücke) (06/2008)

Neuschwanstein Castle 2
Castle tower disappearing into the mist (06/2008)


Syttende Mai

The Norwegians celebrate their national day on Syttende Mai or May 17,

Norwegian National Day 1

an occasion that features children's parades all over the country,

Norwegian National Day 2

with many turning out in the traditional costume bunad.

Norwegian National Day 3

Check out the album and videos for more coverage of the event in 2008:

Picture 1(click!)

Spring Blossom

New evidence to support the arrival of spring, just outside the window!

Spring blossoms
Blossoming tree at Andrew Ure Hall (29/04/2008)

Click HERE for more images from the University of Strathclyde

Related links

Eyeing the London Eye

Chilling out near the Eye under the twilight of late winter

The London Eye
The London Eye (02/2008)

A Host of Golden Daffodils

Spending a few years in the "temperate climate" of Scotland teaches me sight of golden daffodils signifies the arrival of spring (ignoring the occasional hail and snow that we still get these days). Of course, who can forget the beautiful "Daffodil poem" that we recited back in school. It was in the tropics then and none in the class had seen the flower before!

daffodil glasgow green
Daffodils in Glasgow Green (21/03/2008)

Animals and Finance

Advanced Financial Economics exam question:
What do the bull, the bear and the bird have to do with financial markets?

Frankfurt bull bear

Frankfurt bull bear
The bull and the bear in front of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (2006)

External links:
  • Wikipedia: Bull market and Bear market
  • Investopedia: Where did the bull and bear market get their names?

The End of EXUBERA

The approval of EXUBERA, the first inhaled insulin, in the States back in Jan 2006 was certainly an exuberant milestone in the treatment of diabetes. For many, the insulin powder to be taken via inhalation was the long-awaited replacement for painful insulin injections that many diabetics need. However, the exuberance came to an end in 18 Oct 2007 when Pfizer announced that it would no longer be making EXUBERA, largely due to poor sales. Check out the external links below to find out more.

EXUBERA stand at EASD annual meeting, Amsterdam (09/2007)

Related links:

The Heart of Midlothian

I know Valentine's Day is in Feb, this is about something else. Located on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, the Heart of Midlothian is probably the most spitted on heart-shaped structure anywhere! Check out the links for the reason behind.

Heart of Midlothian
The Heart of Midlothian, Royal Mile, Edinburgh (12/2007)

Related links:

Tower Bridge vs London Bridge

Which one is the more famous bridge across the Thames in London? Tower Bridge is London iconic landmark, no doubt about that, and who doesn't know the nursery rhyme "London Bridge is falling down"?

Before I visited London, I had seen pictures of Tower Bridge but not those of London Bridge; I had heard of London Bridge but not Tower Bridge. When I sang "London Bridge is falling down", images of Tower Bridge came into my mind. I was obviously wrong but there was no Wikipedia then!

Recently, I revisited the Tower Bridge and the modern version of London Bridge, both the famous bridges of London.

London Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge, London (02/2008)

Modern London Bridge
The current modern London Bridge, London (02/2008)

London Bridge Pier
"LONDON BRIDGE" wording on the pier of the bridge

Related Links:

Chinese New Year in Cosmopolitan London

(xinniankuaile, wanshiruyi = Happy New Year and Everything Goes Well as Wished!)

Chinese new year London 2008
Clockwise from top left: Street decorations near Oxford Circus tube station, Chinatown (day), Chinatown (night), Cultural performances at Trafalgar Square (02/2008)

Video clip: Firecrackers at Leicester Square (10/02/2008)


How much is that doggie and gin and rum in the window?

Doggie in the window
Shop front window display of a liquor store (off-license) at Royal Mile, Edinburgh (12/2007)

Busy Like a Bee

If I am ever going to start a mood updater in this website (as the one in facebook), I'd begin by updating from THE PREVIOUS MOOD to THIS CURRENT ONE. Inspired by Bee Movie? Maybe...BuZzzzzz

Bee on a flower
Taken in Tøyen museum park, Oslo (07/2006)

Dolly the Sheep

This extraordinary sheep hit the headline in 1997 as the world's first cloned mammal, a testament to Scottish achievement in biotechnology. Dolly has now assumed a new educational role in the National Museum of Scotland.

Dolly the sheep
Dolly the sheep
"Dolly the sheep" in the Connect Gallery of the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh (12/2007)

Related Links:
National Museums of Scotland: Dolly
Science Museum: Dolly
Wikipedia: Dolly
Genome News Network: Dolly
The Guardian: Scientists dispute credit for Dolly

Website Updates

Happy New Year 2008!!!

Recent updates:

Thanks 谢谢 Terima kasih