Thursday, December 19, 2013

Independence Monument – Phnom Penh


This is something I found online about the Independence Monument of Phnom Penh. The above picture is by far my favourite picture I have taken from my Phnom Penh trip. It’s captured using my Samsung Galaxy S4.

Independence Monument

The Independence Monument was inaugurated in November 9, 1962, celebrating Cambodia’s independence from foreign rule. Renowned Cambodian architect Vann Molyvann was the architect of the monument which is patterned on a lotus flower bud, adorned with Naga heads (multi-headed cobras) and obviously reminiscent in design of the towers of Angkor Wat. The Independence Monument now also serves as a monument to Cambodia’s war dead as well as her independence. The Independence Monument sit in the centre of the traffic circle at the intersection of Norodom Blvd. and Sihanouk Blvd. and is the site of colourful celebrations and services on political holidays such as Independence Day ( January 7 ) and Constitution Day ( September 24 ).


It’s best to visit the monument at night to absorb in all the wonderful colours from the spotlights that makes this monument a sight to behold.


Friday, December 13, 2013

A Walk To Remember

This post is extracted from “The Star – 3rd December 2013” as a tribute to Paul William Walker, 1973-2013



Actor Paul Walker’s death in a fiery car crash under a clear-blue California sky Saturday continues to feel so incredibly sad and so surreal.

How can it not?

The actor, 40, spent much of his life on-screen behind the wheel of fast cars, walking away from the worst possible pileups in the The Fast And The Furious franchise. He was one of the central players in the hugely popular series and a part of the cast from its 2001 beginnings, when it created a world where there was no curve its drivers couldn’t navigate, no wreck they couldn’t survive. Cars stood for high-octane escape, freedom at 200 mph.

No one was prepared for a day like Saturday. That Walker’s final moments would carry such heart-breaking irony; that the sort of images that defined his life in film would also frame his death.


Though the The Fast And The Furious anchor is Vin Diesel playing Dominic Toretto, a local Los Angeles tough with a heart of gold, a few of the core cast members became minor constellations in their own right. Walker, as the undercover cop who became Dom’s best friend and his most reliable partner in crime, was one.

Part of the films’ appeal was its blue-collar ethos and its love of all things American, except for a law here or there. The pull was powerful enough that even Walker’s cop Brian O’Conner couldn’t resist. Dom’s crew of gear-heads, grease monkeys, guys willing to get their hands dirty when duty called, soon won him over.

Walker’s character was our entry point to this very real underground scene. The actor helped us see the merit in these renegades, to be seduced by the adrenaline rush of the race. There was also Brian’s sweet relationship with Dom’s sister Mia, played by Jordana Brewter. Together, the actors embodied a classic working-class couple, their courtship remarkably innocent in an outlaw world.

That was Walker’s strength in front of the camera. The actor was ever the rock-sold guy.


He certainly looked the part with that strong jaw, slight scruff, clear blue eyes, golden smile. It is no surprise the actor landed on People magazine’s most beautiful list. Walker could ooze sex appeal. But far more often, what you saw on-screen was an inherent decency.

From all accounts, that was an accurate description of the man, someone who held friends and family close, who had enough fame and fortune to abuse it, but never did. The heartfelt outpouring of love and regret from fans and friends alike in the wake of his death speaks eloquently to that.

Walker was born in Glendale, California in the United States and he never moved far from home. A California boy, he liked to surf and to drive fast cars. The car Valley on Saturday.

That he would become an actor was almost a given. He began spending time in front of the camera as a toddler, diaper-clad in a Pampers ad for his first performance. At 13, he made his big screen debut in 1986’s Monster in the Closet. The B-movie would in a sense set the course for his career.

The TV and film roles that followed were mostly modest ones, drawing more fans than critical attention. In some of the better movies, Walker took secondary parts, overshadowed by bigger stars of his generation such as Tobey Maguire in 1998’s Pleasantville and James Van Der Beek in 1999’s Varsity Blues.

Until The Fast And The Furious – a box-office juggernaut with international appeal – changed his life forever. He was a specialist in the mainstream, in a league with countless actors who show up year after year, give us their best and don’t ask for much in return. Including awards on the shelf. Just to act is almost reward enough.

The franchise has never claimed to be high art, but it is always solidly entertaining. Its brash bravado is tempered by the fact that these bad boys are really good guys. No. 6 in the series, which came out in May, outdid all the rest.

In more recent times, the actor had been taking on other types of roles. In one of his last projects, Hours, which is due for release in a couple of weeks, he plays a father desperate to keep his baby daughter safe in the face of Hurricane Katrina.

There is no official word yet on the fate of Fast & Furious 7, which is still in production. I would be surprised if they didn’t find a way to turn the film, at least in part, into a final tribute: to Walker and the memory of a good man, a good father, a good friend and a good actor – in that order – who sadly died too young.




Sunday, December 1, 2013

Laugh Out Loud

Today’s Sunday and to beat tomorrow’s Monday’s blues, here’s a few jokes I extracted from “The Star” newspaper to share with everyone:

A Matter of Trust

A police officer is being cross-examined by a defence attorney during a felony trial. The lawyer is trying to undermine the police officer’s credibility.

Lawyer: “Officer, did you see my client fleeing the scene?”

Cop: “No, sir. But I subsequently observed a person matching the description of the offender, running several blocks away.”

Lawyer: “Who provided this description?”

Cop: “The officer who responded to the scene.”

Lawyer: “A fellow officer provided the description of this so-called offender. Do you trust your fellow officers?”

Cop: “Yes, sir. With my life.”

Lawyer: “With your life? Let me ask you this then, officer. Do you have a room where you change your clothes in preparation for your daily duties?”

Cop: “Yes, sir, we do.”

Lawyer: “And do you have a lock on your locker?”

Cop: “Yes, sir.”

Lawyer: “Now, why is it, officer, if you trust your fellow officers with your life, you find it necessary to lock your locker in a room you share with these same officers?”

Cop: “You see, sir, we share the buildinng with the court complex, and sometimes lawyers have been known to walk through that room.”

The courtroom exploded with laughter, and a recess was called.



Interviewer: “To whom you owe your success as a millionaire?”

Millionaire: “I owe everything to my wife.”

Interviewer: “Wow, she must be some woman. What were you before you married her?”

Millionaire: “A billionaire.”


Brother and sisters

One day, a young man tells his father that he is ready to marry and settle down.

His father is happy for him. He asks his son who the girl is, and he tells him that she is the girl next door.

With a sad face the old man tells his son: “I’m sorry son, but I have to tell you the truth. The girl you want to marry is your sister. Please don’t tell your mother.”

The young man shrugs and says he has other girlfriends and names them. But the father tells him the same thing, that they are all his sisters because of his past indiscretions.

The son is upset and decides to tell his mother. “Mom, I want to get married but all the girls that I propose, Dad says that they are my sisters and I mustn’t tell you.”

His mother smiles at him and says: “Don’t worry my son, you can marry any of those girls. You’re not his son.”


Pricey meal

A cannibal is strolling in the jungle and comes upon a restaurant operated by a fellow cannibal.

Feeling somewhat hungry, he sits down and looks at the menu:

Raw Tourist: $5

Broiled Missionary: $10

Fried Explorer: $15

Grilled Politician: $100

The cannibal asks the owner: “Why so expensive for a politician?”

The owner replies: “Have you ever tried to clean one? They are so full of shit, it takes all morning!”