Thursday, May 25, 2006

My Adventure of Giving Sound Advice

The sexual struggle is of two kinds: in the one it is between the individuals of the same sex, generally the males, in order to drive away or kill their rivals, the females remaining passive; while in the other, the struggle is likewise between the individuals of the same sex, in order to excite or charm those of the opposite sex, generally the females, which no longer remain passive, but select the more agreeable partners. --Darwin, 1871

Hobo had lamented his poor luck with the opposite species. You have to admit after reading his luahan hati of crashing out again and again; it is a surprise that National Geographic has yet to give him a special documentary piece on their Air Crash Investigation series.

Being the ever so helpful blogger buddy of his (aren’t we all a happy family in blogwerld?), I thought I’d share some interesting observations I had made from my experience and knowledge of the animal world. My analysis is made by identifying the common dating behavior of men with the traits of certain animals during their mating rituals. It is hoped that Hobo, as well as Jules and Awang, could use this guide to successfully pull up a bird.

Animal fact v Human Behavior #1.

The male peacock is elaborate and showy, mustering its physical resources to woo potential mates with its enormous, colorful and gaudy, fan-like tail plumage. This is apparent with most birds whose males are of different, more beautiful color than the females of the same species.

Notice those flashy buggers in their flashy cars*, attired in their sharpest Armani silk shirt and D&G pants. Their habitat would vary between the mating grounds of Jln. Telawi as well the watering holes of Jln P. Ramlee, on Saturday nights. The more expensive they look, the better their chances of attracting a mate (for mating, not a mate for sat nite footie).

So, now you realize why your faded Lois jeans, and t-shirt bundle aren’t attracting more attention from the ladies? About bloody time to mortage-up dad’s kebun durian, and get fitted with the latest fashion accessory. If you have friends, who are fashion models (maybe you’re not a sodding loser after all), try calling them up and ask for tips. In addition, try switching on Channel 8’s Lakme to see whats hip and happening at the moment (doesn’t hurt to look like John Abraham).

*Not to be confused with Ah Bengs or Mat Keta, who are not classified under this as they are more willing to hump their cars than their girlfriends.

Animal fact v Human Behavior #2.

Male frogs showcase their incredible vocal sac ability, as their cacophony of calls and chirps fills the night air to attract a mate. The call is unique to the species, and will attract females of that species.

This explains the existence of groupies. I’m sure Steven Tyler has lost count on how many times he’s had knickers (of varying sizes and types) thrown to him while he’s performing (luckily we’re too conservative to be pelting that chap Mawi with our undergarments).

Unfortunately for you lot, AF’s (Akademi Fundek) auditions have closed (better luck next time, losers!) but do not fret. I’m sure there is some vocal teacher out there stup err... willing enough to take you in as a student. Before long, you’ll be belting those ballads as well as Yusry or that masked bloke from Amuk (Yey Yearghh!).

A chick digs it when you sing to her soft, romantic ballads and it’s just a matter of time before she sings into your ‘microphone’.

Animal Fact v Human Behavior #3.

The bowerbird's most notable characteristic is the extraordinarily complex behaviour of males, which is to build a bower to attract mates. This bower is a complex structure of sticks and leaves - usually shaped like a walkway, a small hut or a maytree -, into and around which the male places a variety of objects he has collected.

Any chick who says that she can never be bought or doesn’t like presents is either pulling your leg (when you wished she was pulling some other part of your appendage) or mental. Your ability in providing for her by buying expensive gifts will adhere her to you. Never underestimate the power of a Tiffany bracelet. The downside is when your salary is peanuts like mine right now, then you’re screwed (in the negative sense).

Animal Fact v Human Behavior #4.

The North American elk are big-shouldered beasts with majestic sets of many-tined antlers. During breeding season, fight rituals occur between males in order to determine who is entitled to breed with the available females.

Fortunately for us, we don’t have to go ala Royal Rumble just to get the girl. The above-mentioned behavior is only applicable when a rival male tries to move in on your lady.. However, at times like these, you are expected to be the gentleman and not treat the lady like an object or an item to be squabbled over. To make it worse, the bugger has read this blog and utilised the 1st 3 guides mentioned above. Shite. What do you do?

Playing fair and square are for tossers. All is fair in love and war, remember. This is where those voices in your head which you’ve been hearing come into play. Go on, listen to them . Go clean that shotgun of yours. If you’re severely lacking in fire arms, don’t worry, remember that tyre iron in your car boot.? A few good shots to the back of the guys’s head when he’s not looking should do the trick, and for heaven’s sake don’t tell the girl. They’ll be pissed for some reason.

There you have it, I wish you, my brothers the very best of luck in your quest to pick up the chicks and become a babe magnet like yours truly.

Disclaimer: The above posts should be read in jest, with a pinch of sarcasm to it. For heaven's sake don't go clobbering some mate of yours in the back of the head just because he was checking out your girlfriend. In addition, I would like to add that I have no prejudicial personal agendas with the bloggers mentioned in the above. I am sure that Hobo, Jules & Awang are strapping lads who can woo a girl only by winking at them.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

My Adventure on Sea Turtle Conservation

The Green Sea Turtle, Chelonia Mydas is listed under Appendix I of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). This means that if you were an animal species listed under this particular category, you're royally screwed. Only animal species which are critically endangered and about to be buggered are placed under the 1st Appendix. You are allowed certain protection once you're under the 'about to be buggered' category though, as those pesky human gits are only allowed to trade, either you or any of your species only in exceptional circumstances. This basically means that there shall be no trade (read: capturing you in the wild and sticking you in their backyard) of your species (egss included) whatsoever, unless of course some of those gits are conducting scientific research on you.

Life for a sea turtle nowadays look pretty bleak. Not only there are threats to the species' survival like habitat destruction on their beaches, being accidentally tangled in fisherman’s nets, some wanker poaching their eggs, trash pollution in the oceans and getting whacked by muppets on watercrafts. Then there is also the danger of artificial lighting on nesting beaches, which confuses the hatchlings and lures them toward roads instead of toward the sea where they should go.

Again, if you were one of the Chelonia species, it would take you about 30 years to mature. 30 loooong years, or about 7 world cups to pass before (if you're a hot chicas adult female sea turtle) to return to the same beach from which you hatched originally to lay your eggs. Furthermore, this can take place every two to four years in maturity which produces on average about four to seven nests per nesting season. Being a little juvenile turtle is no easy kickabout in the park either. Your mortality rate is very high as only, at most, 1 in 100 of you will be successful in making it to adulthood. Shite, half your siblings would get picked off one by one from the sand by seagulls as they try to reach the ocean after hatching. Then there's sharks and morays and whatever else is waiting to gobble you up in the ocean.

SEATRU (our local Sea Turtle Research Unit based in Redang) reports that the nesting density for green turtles in Terengganu showed year to year fluctuations. Average annual nestings shows a decline of almost 62% from 10 year ago. Nonetheless, the size of the green turtle population in Terengganu is the most significant, compared to the other species.

Therefore, it was only apt that last week, during my honeymoon-cum-dive trip, we were holed up at Turtle Beach in Pulau Perhentian, a secluded yet quaint stretch of beach overlooking a little cove. The beach is in actual fact gazetted as a turtle nesting site by Marine Parks and yet a resort had been in operation for the last 2 years. Another proof of government apathy at its best. Considering that it was not the operator’s entire fault as they were not informed by the government of the gazette, they are now working closely with SEATRU on how best to mitigate the risks.

Marine Parks had even opened up a turtle hatchery site on the other side of the island and so each night, some of their staff patrol the beach to collect and transfer the eggs to the assigned site for better protection against poachers and predators.

However, even with the strict efforts done by the respective government agencies and NGO alike, there were still incidents which showed that turtle conservation in Malaysia has a long way to go.

Case #1.

On the first night at about 11pm, we heard the unmistakable sound of a Chelonia dragging its heavy body up the beach. She was huge, the snout-to-vent length alone was about 1 metre. The width was half of that. We spied it from afar. No lights and no sound.

Together with the Marine Parks staff, we tried as best as we could to cordone the area off in order to give the animal some personal space. Since poaching is still a major problem even with the existing regulations, we had swept the beach to hide the tracks of the turtle. (Poachers spotlight the beaches to look for tracks which would indicate a turtle landing had taken place.).

Then came the problem. During the nesting, a boat operator from the local village came in with a boatload of tourists and started to converge on the nesting site. The culprit who had brought in the tourist was a local, much influential it seemed as the Marine Parks staff didn’t dare to raise a finger to stop him. Stopping short of getting into a fight with the Wanker, I tried to explain how disturbing a nesting mother would deter it from ever landing on the beach for nesting ever again. My argument fell on deaf ears. They had surrounded the poor creature and were taking pictures of her, flashes and all.

Case #2.

Whilst in Kuala Terengganu, the Missus wanted to visit the local flea market to do a bit of shopping, and there, even with strict CITES guidelines and Fisheries legislation, were rows upon rows of turtle eggs, being openly and blatantly sold.

In conclusion, common sense and logic dictates it simply that if an animal is being threatened by extinction, the best thing that people can do is to stop all activities which can reduce its population even further. It was fortunate enough that the nesting mother was able to finish the job and return to sea, even with a bloody mob around her. I mean, you wouldn’t like it if someone stuffed a bloody camera up your arse while you’re giving birth, would you? Will you return to the same bloody hospital for your 2nd birth? I should think not.

Consuming the eggs of an endangered species wouldn't help it's critical situation either. it's not like it tastes good anyway, very bland and minging (hey, I was 6 years old). Remember, stop the demand and the supply will follow suit too.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

My Adventure of Breeding Rodents

A hamster is a rodent belonging to subfamilyy Cricetinae. The subfamily contains about 18 speciess, classified in six or seven generaa. Most have expandable cheek pouches, which reach from their cheeks to their shoulders. Because they are easy to keep and breed in captivity, hamsters are popular pets. Oh and they're also nocturnal by nature.

Exactly two weeks ago, a friend of mine, Bart, had asked the Missus to take care of his two pet Campbell's dwarf hamster (Phodopus campbelli), with the main intention of breeding them. Apparently the missus, before meeting God’s gift to women, had been a rather succesful hamster breeder. She was so good that at one point, she was putting up hamsters- for- sale- signs around the neighbourhood because she was running out of space to put them all up in her house.

Bart, who has had some experience over the years in keeping hamsters, has nominal success in propagating his hamster popluation. As such, he had asked whether the missus was interested in adopting them for a while, with the hope that his two babies, Papa and Kecik, would produce a large number of offsprings.

Bart supplied us with all of his hamster-ing equipment and the two rodents have been at the house for the last 2 weeks. One thing about this particular species is that, unlike their larger cousins, Dwarf hamsters are very unfriendly towards strangers. Unless a person has been handling and taking care of one since it was a juvenile, their reponse to any fool (ini this case, the fool would be me) would be with extreme prejudice.

It so happened that the Missus was ill the first week when we received the two and so it fell to me to do all the washing, feeding and playing (read: getting my fingers bitten off). My first task had been renaming them, much to the chagrin of Bart as I had named the larger male, Bart, after its owner and the smaller female, Ene, after Bart’s RL girlfriend (also a good friend of ours).

Due to the risk of severed digits I face everyday, I noticed that as of yesterday, the two little shites have started to show some affection towards me. More so with Ene. Although Bart still tries to remove a finger or two , I’m now able to hand feed him without too much trouble.

I have also noticed that Bart have started, and I quote; “mengejar si kecik dari belakang dengan rakusnya sekali”. After a few days of chasing, I further noticed that Ene have been easily lethargic and spends most of her time inside her small plastic house. A quick with Bart’s (human version) hamster handbook revealed that the females, during gestation, would not allow the male to copulate with her and is very passive. Ditto.

Ene, (the hasmter) if pregnant, would gestate for about 16 to 18 days. Therefore, in about 3 weeks time, hopefully we would hear the tiny patters of hamster feets running around the cage.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to replace the bandages on my fingers.

*until Ene (the human) sends me the pics of the hasmters, we will have to make do with a plagarised version from Wikipedia's.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

My Adventure of Corresponding in My Mother Tongue

If you're wondering where the hell are my new postings, well I've been very the busy. Work, Life and MNS takes a heavy toll on my creativity to write. Even more so when I had letter to a government agency to write too. Till now, I have no idea how I got an A2 for BM during my SPM.

Jabatan Perikanan Negeri Melaka,
Batu Berendam,
75050 Melaka.

2 Mei 2005


Per: Lawatan ke Padang Kemunting ‘Turtle Management Center’

Saya memohon kebenaran untuk membawa ahli-ahli Persatuan Pencinta Alam Malaysia, Cawangan Selangor untuk sebuah lawatan ke Padang Kemunting ‘Turtle Management Center’.

Butiran lanjut mengenai aktiviti tersebut adalah seperti berikut:-

Tarikh : Sabtu, 22 Julai 2006 – Ahad, 23 Julai 2006
Bil. Peserta : 20 orang
Tujuan : 1. Mempelajari dengan lebih mendalam mengenai usaha-usaha ‘Turtle
2. Membantu pegawai Tabung Hidupan Liar Sedunia (WWF) dengan tugas-tugas

harian beliau.

Saya amat berbesar hati sekiranya permohonan saya dipertimbangkan.

Terima Kasih.

Yang benar,

Hurnain Hamid
Penyelaras Kumpulan Herpetofauna
Persatuan Pencinta Alam Malaysia
Cawangan Selangor

It took me about 2 hours to write the bloody thing, I shite you not.