Friday, June 25, 2010

Indeed, I am not Good at Drawing

You must be snickering seeing these shots. Who do you think the painter is? A kid at primary school? Or kindergarten student? Yeah you may say that. I also do know that nowadays children at their ages are quite imaginative and creative to create such pictures. These pictures can be way too easy for them. But,

It's me who made them, readers. Yeah, I drew it using software at Windows seven professional called paint. This version of paint is much better than the formers available on Windows XP and Vista. I am quite sure if those who are capable of making a good drawing in the prior version of paint try this new one, they will be amazed. It's so easy and nice. Besides it has much more features that allow us to create almost anything. I can't do much though.

So, go back to the picture. Can anyone guess who are them? Cartoon characters? You are right. They are characters in cartoon movie – Dragon Ball. His name is Goku(beside), at least he is the one that I meant in this drawing. If you are able to guess him, that means my painting isn't really bad, is it? I made it haha.. One thing that I like from this cartoon character is that the character above (Begita), he is quite selfish and wicked in the beginning but then he repents and changes to be a good character. He is not the main figure anyways. At the end he helps the first character (Goku) to conquer the crooks and culprits who want to destroy the world and universe. Ah...I'm not gonna tell you the whole story here... :)

Well, drawing using computer can be done quite easily by using several software, either freeware or not. I myself prefer to use the freeware as I think it's more than enough for me do materialize everything I have on my mind. Non-freeware software for images or vector such as Corel and photoshop are available for paid. I used to use them in the past. But now I always use freeware such as Inkscape, google picassa and of course paint. As I said, paint in windows seven is really awesome. You've gotta try it. I myself plan to use and explore it more often. Hope I can create a lot better masterpiece, for I want to post it on my blog, hopefully. Enjoy the pictures :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"A" Mountain - Arizona

Hello there,
The picture of mountain above is called “A mountain” situated in the city of Tucson – Arizona. This large letter “A” is located at Sentinel park and from there we can see the whole downtown of Tucson. This is a quite popular site for visitors and I got information somewhere from net that every 4th of July there's firework show there, that's bona, isn't that? I downloaded these pictures from google and for some reasons, I was motivated to put it my blog, why? Because I loved seeing this haha....

Well, indeed I pretty much saw this mountain (and the letter A of course) from apartment of mine when I was there. Right before the door of Sahara apartment (I forgot the apt number) I could see this quite clearly. I usually stared at it in the morning after I did subuh prayer, what a wonderful scenery! But unfortunately I didn't myself take any photos or videos then.

I was somewhat surprised when I saw this for the first time. How could the people of Tucson make that kind of thing at the top of mountain? Where did they get the inspiration? Yeah, the letter A symbolizes Arizona – the state where Tucson city located. The people of Tucson love Arizona so much that is why they made that big A. The capital city of Arizona is actually Phoenix but I guess Tucsonians love Arizona much more than those people in Phoenix. As a fact, the first Arizona university is located in Tucson, not in Phoenix, I don't know for sure though.

I and some of friends of mine once intended to got there. We got an American to go with us, his name is Amar. We planned to get there in the weekend but I don't know why we forgot to execute that plan. It doesn't matter though. The point is, we've gotta do what we plan, and plan what we do, right?

Alhamdulillah, yeah praises to Allah as I could see this mountain. I think it's quite strange as I never found that in Indonesia. There are many mountains here in Indonesia, for example in Bandung. We've got Tangkuban Perahu mountain. But should we put large letter T or B (symbolizes Bandung) or J (symbolizes Jawa Barat). Ah...we have our very own way to love our place. But for sure, putting that large A I think is a great idea. The people of Tucson can identify themselves as Arizonians. They live in Arizona and love America.

Anyway, do we love our city? How do we express our love to our place or city? I'm thinkin' over it, too.

Many thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Back to the Past

Now I am using the old computer of mine at my house in Cisewu. It's been quite sometime not to write any writing using this PC. I bought this PC for about IDR 2 millions. My younger sister is actually the owner of this PC now, she is rare to use it though as she never has task or something from primary school to type to. seems the local government of Indonesia has to provide computer lesson to elementary school students so that they will be computer literate. Well, here's the specs of this low end PC:

Mother board: ENPC E47
Processor: Intel(R) Celeron(R) D CPU 3.06GHz
Memory: 512MB DDR 2
HDD: Seagate 80 GB
Monito r: Samsung 15” CRT

You know the computer with above specification cannot be used for upper level game, right? That is why I never used it for gaming. I completely started not using it since I leaved for USA in August 2008. I used to place this computer in my dorm in the city of Bandung and I used it quite often. My dad packed PC and keyboard piano of mine as I would leave my dorm for about two months. For my computing works, I have been using Acer notebook I bought from the USA since then.
The impression I have on my mind about this PC now is that, I am not really used to it. The keyboard is not really comfortable to type on. I need more power of my muscle to type particular letter. Shift button is so tough to press. Besides, the monitor screen is not as sleek as it was. I tried several times installed OS on this PC as it somehow had got some issues. Since the OS of M*******t is so glitcher, I myself tried once the Ubuntu 9.04 operating system. What an unfortunate that I didn't have repository so that I decided to use the door's friend OS. Recently I bought the newest version of Ubuntu and intended to install it on this PC. Oh God, the power supply was not perfectly working anymore so that I deleted the OS and re-installed the Mr. Gates' OS.
The problems I have now with this PC are:
1.hard and tough keyboard, I've gotta replace with the new one
2.leakage power supply, at least I'm considering to buy the pure one, 450 watt
3.unclear screen, it's hard to fix. Buy the new one again? The flat LCD is probably in the option.

I know that the PC of mine here is not really nice anymore, either the look or its performance. Yet, I and my sister still can use for any simple computing works such as typing documents, listening to some musics, watching movie. I thank Allah so much as He had given me this “パソコン”. I know I have to take care of it and use it for beneficial things. Insya Allah this PC of mine will bring my sister into the easiness and effectiveness for her study in the days to come. It's my time to teach her about this miraculous stuff then.
See you and many thanks for getting on this site.

June 10, 2010
4.46 pm

A friend's perspective on life

We met in 2008 when we joined intensive English course at the University of Arizona. We got the same scholarship so that we lived at the same apartment, studied at the same university, it's just for two months though. A month ago I texted him as it was really rare for me to greet him either by phone or anything. It was on Friday night and I was attending pengajian DT when I did text him. I asked him what he is doing and he also asked me what I am doing. Well it's a normal topic for the newly graduate like two of us. It's common also for men graduate to talk about marriage and women, we didn't touch this topic though.

Well, that friend of mine graduated from English literature at a state university in Jakarta and now working for a sharia bank in Jakarta, too. I myself answered that I work here in Bandung, manage an English Club, do my personal business, and would start teaching at primary school in the following months, insya Allah. We are in the contrary way in terms of the department at college and the field we are taking now. English graduate being a sharia banker while a management student and sharia economics activist being an English teacher? Ah...Allah has always huge and mysterious plan for us, keep thanking Him anyways though.

A saying of him that caught my attention then was that:
“Yeah, living in big city such as Jakarta is pretty much stressful and frustrating. I actually want to live in a village, stay in simple house. In the morning I go to school to teach, in the afternoon I go home and do farming. In the evening I teach Al Quran to my children and neighbors', in the night sleep well, with my halal wife. What a simple yet wonderful life”.

Yes, he said so. Hm....It makes me think over and over again about what so called nice life – a life that I (and all of us) really want to attain. Am I having a nice life? Hopefully yes. Whatever our live is, we actually need to be grateful for what we have now as it is present from Allah. We do have different plan, different measurement and view, different goal so that we perceive differently on lives. Even so however, his SMS that day was quite inspiring for me. From day on, I just wanted to make my life better by using the most superior gauge – God's, not my lust. I respect everybody's life and view on it. But why should we live by spending time to live someone else life? Let's live our lives by following believed guide sent to us. Again, it's guide from God, right? Thanks to Hilman for sending me text above. Simplicity and mighty are close to each other!

Gender Equality?

This is the closest I had been to the so-called gender equality. Yeah it was when I did research about role of woman, before, after and during the disaster. I did this research was not because of my real interest in the woman study or because of class project. I used to be really ignorant to this particular study. I didn't hate it though. I just somehow couldn't really stand and focus on this. It is because I had no adequate experience in digging all things related to woman. Instead, I did this research because one of my lecturers offered me to help her doing this research, though I've graduated, we still have good relationship so that we sometimes contact to each other. She told me that this research was aimed to unveil the situation of Indonesian women before, during and after disasters which pretty much happen. The result of this detailed examination would be presented by my lecture and her team in front of Oxfam Great Britain. Oxfam is an NGO working on the field of social to enforce equality and eradicate poverty around the globe. You may get on the following site for more details about it:

The first thing I had on my mind when I got this research was a question, said “will I be able to do this?” My answer then was, ”no”, I am not capable of doing this”. I then offered a friend of mine who has quite similar background to me to take over my job. Thankfully he said “yes”. Due to the thing that I can't explain here, that friend of mine then changed his decision few days after he agreed to do it. He then offered me back to do that research. Phew....I indeed had no choice – I accepted it as no one would do. I had no time to find others.

Having received all files and materials he had collected from net and the lecture of mine, I then tried to thoroughly read and figure out all of them. As I said before, I didn't have at all background as well as interest in this field of study. As time went by, I started to find a spot that I liked quite strong, not really strong though. Yeah, it was “the struggle”. At that time, I at all was not really interested in the gender equality or something attached to it. I just highlighted the struggle and strive that women do to gain something they really desire. Yet, I haven't been able to voice my personal valuation on it.

I read many articles on internet about role of woman in Padang and West Java. In these two areas, disaster happened quite often. Aceh actually experienced the worst disaster ever within this century - Tsunami, but I didn't take it into examination as this calamity happened in 2004. The period of the sample research must be between 2005 – 2009. Aside from reading the article, I also phoned a woman working as an NGO worker namely “Fatwa” in Padang. I explored her experience as CEO of Kogami, the NGO working to deliver message to Padang people that they are indeed in 'dangerous'. This organization gives training, mitigation, earthquake drill etc to the Padang people. The city of Padang is located near the sea and its structure of geology has high possibility for the earthquake or tsunami to occur. Let's pray may it won't happen...

Padang has more plus in terms of women participation. I compared the role of women in Padang and West Java and I found that women I in most part in West Java had less role than those in Padang. I then questioned myself, “is it because of matrilineal that prevailed in Padang or what?” Yeah, from the sources I got, most women in Padang are more active than women in West Java in a way of striving their role or making something for the society, especially when disaster happened. The lecture of mine also said the same thing. Based on her field research she did, she concluded the same thing as the view I outlined. Does anybody know why?

Government intervention is so much substantial to boost women participation. Government can actually make all of its instruments by first considering, involving and planning the role of women. For the budgeting as an example, our government has to map the areas where most women or less women live. Many things we can do to enable women to participate in any field they want. But one thing for sure, women can do anything so long they are on “the right track”. What I mean by this is that, women need to be really really smart in deciding whether or not their involvement or action will be beneficial for them and all people around them, especially husband and children (if any).

Women and men are created equal, so there is no need to treat them differently in terms of human right and transcendental relationship. Islam has its own rule in treating both men and women. Yes, Muslim women have to wear veil or cover most part of their body in front of public, men don't. But many people have misconception that this is the limitation prevailed to Muslim women. I think they who think this are wrong. Islam does not limit them, but protect them. Islam places women in the high place so that they have to be kept, protected and guided, so that they won't fall and be broken. We men love women – our mother, sisters and wives that is why we don't want them to be treated bad by other people. We men are willing to sacrifice for women so that we don't want them work or study too hard. Men and women just have different role. Not because of men is stronger than women we see more men in politics, business or wherever, (except in household). Again, it is all just the segregation of role so that we can live in harmony, stay alive in beautiful tone. If any of you readers are feminism? I am sorry as I can hardly understand what you are fighting for? Physically we are dissimilar, that is why we have to complete to each other, that is why we have different role in life. And how is polygamy? Hm....there's many views on this, I cannot explain in this brief explanation.

This writing is not definitely enough to talk everything I had on my mind about my research and women. It's kind of documentation that will remind me about my small work. Hope I (and you all) can take lesson from this, hope we can improve our lives, always.
Many thanks.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Venus Occultation

Pictures in this post are the shots called “gerhana-venus” or Venus occultation. Gerhana—venus happens when the earth, the moon and Venus are positioned linearly. This very scare occurrence only happens very rarely. The shots I have here were taken on May 16, 2010 at around 7 pm in the evening. I got these pictures by using a freeware yet powerful program called Stellarium in my computer.

We, people in around 70 cities in Indonesia could actually see the happening with our naked eyes. Unluckily I didn't see the this as I had somehow to do another thing. It doesn't matter though since I could utilize the program that helps me explore the universe, constellation, see stars, planet and so forth. Thanks so much to the Stellarium developer. We can also see this by using other software, one of them is Stargazer. I used this when I was in the USA. What not a fortune that I deleted it when I tried installing my notebook.

I love gazing at the night sky, observing the creation of God's might. It first happened when I was studying astronomy at the UofA around 2 years ago. The lecturer taught me this subject superbly so that I couldn't stop admiring Astronomy, I admired God the most though hehe....

Well, the first picture above is when the occultation was about to happen. The Venus (small one) looks like a star behind the moon. The story goes that the “symbol” of Islam which is crescent and the stars are derived from this natural happening. What we see in this symbol isn't actually the star, instead it is the Venus. I don't know more about this though, I just got it somewhere on the net. Further probing is necessary, ladies and gentlemen.

The second picture bellow is when the Venus was completely behind the moon so that the glowing of it could not be seen. We only could see the crescent moon instead.

The third screen-shot bellow is the picture when Venus could be seen again. This appearance signs that this occultation ends. This occultation happened for about one hour.

I so much interested in this phenomenon, I don't really expert in science though. I just love it, stargazing is all about fun and Allah's might, these what I have on my mind. Islam really highlights science since everything that Allah created can be measured and studied, science is the fact of Allah's might.