The universe is so… full of light

This truly amazing video, which was made with images captured from the International Space Station, just made me realize how full of light our universe is.

Remember to turn on HD, and view it in full screen. Only in full screen… Maa shaa’ Allah!

Reminds me of the verse 24:35,

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The similitude of His light is as a niche wherein is a lamp. The lamp is in a glass. The glass is as it were a shining star. (This lamp is) kindled from a blessed tree, an olive neither of the East nor of the West, whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself) though no fire touched it. Light upon light. Allah guideth unto His light whom He will. And Allah speaketh to mankind in allegories, for Allah is Knower of all things.

I strongly feel that the universe is speaking to me now. Subhaan Allah.

؏

DIY personal bidet

Various types of bidet and, um, how not to use them. (1, 2)

If you’ve gone the “water way,” you know there’s absolutely no turning back. Toilet papers are for those who walk around with sticky dried up stains down their back. Nothing feels as fresh as using water to cleanse yourself. Especially when number two beckons, if you know what I mean.

I admit, this one is rudimentary at best. But it serves its purpose well enough.

This came about as I was stuck at a workshop in some hotel for a whole day, and was forced to improvise. Luckily they have bountiful supply of bottled water.

So all you need is bottled water, and a pen.

1. Steal Acquire bottled water. Usually at conferences, they provide smaller bottles (250ml~) which you can easily smuggle into the toilet without arousing suspicion.

2. Use pen to poke a hole in the bottle cap. As the ball-point may be damaged in the process, use the complimentary pen provided by the conference organizer instead of that $30 Sheaffer or $300 Mont Blanc.

And instead of doing this in full view of  everyone, a more discreet way would be by removing the bottle cap first, place it on the table, and poke away. It’s always wiser to avoid awkward stares in doing these things. So do so only if you are seated at the back, or do the whole “project” in the washroom cubicle itself.

3. Test it! Poke more holes if you want, at the expense of water pressure.

؏

“Islamic” Spammers

No they’re not. But I can’t deny the entertainment value it gives during the occasional email housekeeping.

The common ones usually take cue from the generic spam email template and pepper in some religious terms.

Like this one here.

Click on image to enlarge

Then there’s the those that go the extra mile and try to appear as legitimately religious as possible.

Click on image to enlarge

[Edit] Top prize goes to the ones who include Quranic verses (although wrongly referenced).

Click on image to enlarge

Honorary mention: Spammers who read newspapers.

Click on image to enlarge

Can’t say they didn’t try.

؏

Bye bye islamonline.net, hello onislam.net

So after months of disappointment due to the total revamp/crisis of islamonline.net, my favourite Islamic website is finally operating again!

After a several-month battle against Qatari financers over editorial independence, the editorial team that founded IslamOnline.net ten years ago launched on Saturday, October 9, their alternative OnIslam website. (Source)

Here’s their new website: http://onislam.net

And if you keen to know what made the team move from islamonline to onislam, this piece should provide an insight on the politicking.

؏

Quirks of Google Translate

I know many people who have been using Google translate to get quick answers and gist of articles, and it seems that it is currently the best translation tool out there for the masses.

But of course, getting the gist of an article, and trying to pass it off as professional/expert translation is not the same thing. So your best bet around is still a person of sound knowledge.

On the other hand, quirks of automated non-human translation may also throw you off course into the oblivion of speculation and presumption.

1. My history may be bad, but I don’t think Pakistan even once invaded Malaysia.

2. Google cleverly deems that anything “mental” refers to mental health.

3. And forget about translating cheques.

4. Finally, some enlightenment! Who knows that the letters aliflaamDaad (الض) is abbreviated from a truly meaningful phrase?

So, caveat emptor, even though such service is free of charge.

؏

Kerubik? Kerupat?

dell_green_cube

“We come in peace,” declared Professor Rubik’s mutant relatives.

The green cube above was spotted on Dell’s flash ads in some local websites, such as channelnewsasia.com and Ebay Singapore. Initially, without context, one would think that it mimics some kind of Gamma-infected Rubik’s cube.

Alas, it is but a misrepresentation of the humble ketupat. What’s a ketupat, you ask? It’s that thing (read: rice dumpling) that my family weaves in the days prior to Hari Raya, for our own gastronomical benefit. Made of coconut (or palm?) leaves, it intricately weaved with no gaps whatsoever, filled with rice, and boiled for hours to produce a rich tasting main dish,  accompanied with rendang, sambal goreng, and the such.

Ketupats

The real McCoys in action (Image credit 1, 2, 3)

In all my life, never have I seen a perfectly cubic ketupat, be it in the real or virtual world. Not only is it impossible to weave, but a symmetrically manufactured ketupat with exactly 54 squares on 6 precisely measured sides is not something you’d rush to sink your teeth into.

I can only imagine that the ketupat in the Dell ad was outsourced to some foreign company void of regional cultural understanding. That, or a Primary 2 school project of ketupat in 3D.

Here’s a screenshot of the ad:

dell_ketupat4

But hey, at least they got the background ketupat correct:

dell_ketupat

؏

PDF Reader for PSP Slim

Having got hooked on a multi-volume fiction series, I’ve realised how much I missed reading. At the same time, I’ve been looking for the perfect way to read them up on the move, sans lugging a suitcase.

Amazon’s Kindle is out reach, a PDA will only make me squint to blindness, and reading on a netbook is definitely not portable. In the end, I’ve realised that the PSP makes the perfect ebook reader.

Just copy your PDF files and voila, you fit right in with the commuting crowd, but engrossed in reading about some faraway land or an obscure magical paradise, or whatever you may fancy.

Finding a good ebook reader for the PSP is quite a hassle though. Google it up and there are those that requires you to convert the files to images first before transferring (tedious, especially when you have a 7-volume set to read up). Others come as a plugin to a programme you may not necessarily need.

So, in the end, after extensive googling and multiple attempts of finding the almost holy grail solution, Bookr is the answer. Simple, uncluttered interface, and reliable as a workhorse. The best PDF/ebook reader for the PSP, fat or slim.

bookr1

bookr2Screenshots showing version 0.7.0. The file linked below is version 0.7.1. (Image credit)

It was originally created to work only on non-modified systems. But of course, the innovative citizen of the prosperous country called Internets found a way around this.

So if you are using a modded PSP, here’s the file:

[click to download Bookr 0.7.1 for modded PSP]

Instructions:

1. Unrar

2. Only one single file is needed, the EBOOT.PBP

3. Copy the file “EBOOT.PBP” to the correct folder

/PSP/GAME/yourfoldernamehere/EBOOT.PBP

For example, you can make it as such: /PSP/GAME/bookr/EBOOT.PBP

4. Done! Copy you ebook (in PDF format only) anywhere in your PSP. Then just look for it by using the “open file” function, just any other PC-based PDF reader.

؏

Additional instructions available here

Original source/credit: MaxConsole Forums