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Showing posts from February, 2011

A Lovely Tribute To Van Gogh

Was cleaning up my old emails and came across this gem sent to me by a good friend. Its a lovely tribute to Van Gogh. Talk about leaving a mark or an enduring legacy. Why are great artists often quirky and misunderstood???

Vincent van Gogh, whose obsessive devotion to his art engulfs, consumes, and finally destroys him. However, evidence now shows that he probably killed himself because he went mad from lead poisioning. Then, artists used to lick their brushes to wet them and the paints were full of lead..... they would become addicted to the sweet taste of the lead and their body would crave it. Vincent literally began to eat paint. To many he was battling mental illness, maybe now we know better. They locked him up in a mental asylum. From his cell, he painted his famous painting Starry Night from what he could see from his cell.

He was a sad man as well, he never found true love in his lifetime. He died at 37 and painted 442 paintings. Incredibly, he never managed to even sell…

Come Hear Roger Wang Live, Its Free!!!

Its tomorrow night at Loud + Clear, a snazzy new CD shop that is making waves. Even for their opening, they managed to get some live artistes to perform at their place. Two nights ago, it was Zyan and Winnie Ho of 2V1G. Tomorrow it will be Roger Wang, arguably Malaysia's finest guitarist, next to Paul Ponnudurai. See you there.

Roger Wang, the Sabahan finger-style guitarist, celebrated his 10th year in the music industry in 2010. Already a famous musician in his own right, his recent achievements helped to catapult him to greater heights. Thanks to Jacky Cheung, the Cantopop "Heavenly King" who took his composition "Love Scale" and used it in his Canto-Jazz album "Private Corner". The song gave Roger Wang tremendous international exposures and helped him to win the recent PWH "Best Original Composition - International Category" award, a Bi-annual music award ceremony organized by the Malaysian Chinese press members. His other achieve…

The Final Bend, The Solianos' Pusaka

Finally, the recordings have been completed. We now get a foretaste of theeir work in the player embedded. The final version after they have been mixed in the US will sound even better - its now being mixed by Doug Sax and the pressings will be commercially available sometime in March.

Its a wonderful collaboration effort, Malaysian Filipinos having been in this country for a few generations making an album with a Malaysian Chinese producer whose family have also been here for a few generations, singing Malay classics. The inimitable Mahadzir Lokman, a family friend of The Solianos, lends a powerful touch to narrate the intros to a few songs.

The Solianos Project - Why!!!??? This will be in a series of articles on The Solianos Project. Why them? Although I begged Leslie to have a listen to The Solianos, although it seems like I "discovered" them as a recording potential, the truth is not so exceptional on my side. How do you discover a group that has been around for twenty…

The Best In Us, Teohlogy and Junior Masterchef

Finally laid my hands on Patrick's book. Somehow things seem more official in a book than just an article in the papers, or a blog for that matters. Maybe one day some articles in my blog can be in a book as well, lol, and if that happens, I will call it "How To Lose Your Money Wisely".

Patrick and I go a long way back, though he would probably have zero recollection. I was the Vice President of my Interact Club then (which was a big deal for me as I was in Form 5 only and usually only Lower/Upper Sixers get the Vice President and President positions) and the Interact Club was "the" club to be in if you are from Ipoh. We had the best fund raisers and charity projects. One of our yearly highlights was Beatnite which was a big event (ala American Idol) where only students from Ipoh were encouraged to compete. It was a big charity event as well. We have sellouts for heats and the finals was at Town Hall in Ipoh which would sellout close to 2,000 seats. Every year w…

What's The Fuss About Mubarak?

Not all of us are widely read about international affairs. We see something erupting, a crisis, a massive chaos of people protesting, but why?

AFP: US President Barack Obama said Friday the people of Egypt had spoken after history moved at a "blinding pace," and called on the now-ruling military to ensure a transition towards "genuine democracy". Obama gave a statement soon after it emerged from a euphoric Cairo that President Hosni Mubarak, a 30-year US ally who America subtly helped push towards the exit, had resigned after days of raging street protests. "The people of Egypt have spoken - their voices have been heard and Egypt will never be the same," Obama said."Egyptians have made it clear that nothing less than genuine democracy will carry the day," Obama said, praising the military for safeguarding the state, but also calling on them to secure a credible political transition.The US administration had struggled for days…

UBS Sees A Trickle Not A Torrent

A trickle, not a torrent

Year-to-date equity flows modestly negative; no ‘capital flight’. Data from various sources suggests that inflows to Asia have slowed, but we are by no means seeing ‘capital flight’ from the region. Outflows over the past 4 weeks look to be small and nothing out of the ordinary versus history in Asia ex Japan.

Outflow from Asia/EM funding the DM outperformance?

A more important question is whether the outflow could accelerate if developed
markets (DM) continue to outperform. Looking at the data since 1990, it is rare
that Asia would see outflow whilst DM see inflows except during financial crises
and global bear markets. We are not expecting a reversal of last year’s flows.

India flow not as extreme as it appears; Indonesia back to Sep 2010. Adjusted for market performance, inflow into Indian equities in 2010 was the highest amongst Asian markets at ~10% of market cap, which would imply the greatest vulnerability to a reversal. That said, the inflow was in line with…

Credit Suisse Sees Buy Signal Soon

● MXASJ down almost 7% from high, time to buy? With MXASJ (MSCI Asia ex. Japan) down 7% from its high of 580 to 540 currently, a key question is whether it is time to buy. Our Asian 6 factor valuation indicator has moved from 1% overvalued in December 2010 to around 6% undervalued. So, we are not yet at our “Buy” signal. The next factor we look at is whether there has been foreign investor capitulation. Significantly, yesterday alone was associated with US$1.68 bn of net foreign selling, and so far in February we have seen net foreign selling of US$2.88 bn in Emerging Asia ex. China, ex. Malaysia. ● Average net foreign selling in prior non-recession corrections was US$6.5bn. Figure 1 highlights that net foreign selling in the current episode of US$2.88 bn is still below the average net foreign selling of US$6.5 bn during the last seven non-recession corrections. ● But foreign investor capitulation is most evident in Thailand. While Thailand was associated with net foreign buying of US…

Finally A Decent CD Shop

I don't know about you, but I hate shopping for CDs in most places in town. We only get those highly commercialised releases, where's the "real music" section? Now, selling CDs is a dying business unless you can carve a niche for genuine music lovers, who will pay for the real thing and not just download a copy and then make ten copies for friends.

If you assess the artistes that Loud n Clear are bringing in, you would appreciate their effort and music knowledge and wide range in tastes.

The shop is open now, so go and browse, talk to the owners, tell them some artistes you like, they will be able to introduce similar ones that you have not heard of. For genuine music lovers only. See you there ...

There will be an official opening with Zyan and Winnie Ho doing a mini showcase performance as well on 22 Feb. Need to book ahead of time for that.

(click to enlarge images)

Reasons & Rhymes

So what caused yesterday's slump in most markets? I love it when everyone is asking the same question, and nobody seems to have answer. Its like debating how we know if there is a God for sure. The usual market weakness reasons would not be sufficient to explain the shareper than usual daily losses.

Bloomberg has this to say: "Asian stocks fell, dragging a benchmark regional index lower for a third day this week, on concern U.S. unemployment and efforts by emerging countries to tame inflation will hamper a global economic recovery."

Hmmm, ok Bloomberg, you need to do better than that.The FBM KLCI fell 2.09% or 32.08 points to 1,503.99, the steepest fall since it lost 2.11% on Nov 6, 2008. YTD, the FBM KLCI lost 0.98%. Losers thumped gainers by 750 to 160, while 223 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 2.23 billion shares valued at RM3.13 billion.Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 1.97% to 22,708.62, Taiwan’s Taiex lost 1.89% to 8,836.56, South Korea’s Kospi fell 1.81% t…

When Hu Visits The US

definition of irony ...

the fund manager ...

the funniest one of all, a brilliant retake of Abbott & Costello's Who's On First ....

Making The Perfect Cuppa

Nothing like making a perfect cuppa in the morning. I think I will call it the tiramicinno ; )

Recipe: 1/4 cup Farm House milk, one teaspoon brown sugar, froth till twice the size, pull two espresso shots with a time lag of ten seconds in between ... walla ...

Jess Lee Kar Wei

What a CNY for this Seremban lass. Many might now know that she won the unbelievably popular and harsh singing competition in Taiwan, One Million Star. She is just 22, but many would not know her history and tenacious climb to be a recording artiste.

She entered Malaysian Idol's first season in 2004, fumbled badly at auditions, but was still invited back to perform at the finals with a reverberating Kaulah Segala Nya. That was 7 years ago. She did improve when she entered Astro Star Quest in 2008.

The never say die, but keep learning attitude kept her going, and she made it after 7 years .... and she is still just 22. Now she has a recording contract with Warner Music Group.

Oh, btw, she also went and got her chemistry degree from UKM in between all that.

Whatever you do, I know there are a lot of videos below, you must listen to her rendition of Coming Home, the very last video.

her powerful yet controlled rendition of Shunza's classic:

the first song during the finals, near perfec…

Have A Healthy, Prosperous and Joyful Year!

Drive safe, people ...