Lex Petros: August 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pakistan Flood Victims Aid: Help Please!

The flood ravaged nation of Pakistan has called for help. It's government says it cannot cope and is beyond capacity to send aid. International aid is coming in very slowly...too slowly. Many countries have pledged but has yet to convert them into cash and aid. As you all know, starvation and diseases are the most prone after floods.

Over and above that, some "fake camps" have been set up to divert the much precious aid and supplies to non-essential groups. Many are going hungry everyday. Hospitals are overcrowded. Triage systems have been set up to pay attention to the ones which half-a-chance to survive. Many of those sick are children stricken with water-born diseases such as cholera. Malnutrition rates are going up.
UNICEF is currently providing enough clean water for 1.3 million people every day, but millions more need the same services.

The Government of Pakistan estimates 20 million people overall have been hit by the flood crises, and according to the United Nations, at least 15 million people have been seriously affected, half of whom are children.

UNICEF is concerned that the floods have hit "the poorest of the poor", those least able to survive the present harsh conditions

Ways you can help:
  • Pakistani High Commission through Affin Bank account 20-002063910-9 (titled "PRIME MINISTER'S FLOOD RELIEF FUND 2010"). For more information, call 03-2161 4985 or email
  • The Malaysian Red Crescent Society's efforts are currently being directed to Pakistan, to help with relief work. Cheques should be made out to the MRCS International Relief Fund and banked into Maybank Account No 5144-2210-2657.
  1. Maybank (account name: MERCY HUMANITARIAN FUND, account number : 5621-7950-4126, ABA Swift Code: MBBEMYKLA) or
  2. CIMB Bank (account name: MERCY Malaysia, account number: 1424-000-6561053, ABA Swift Code: CIBBMYKL)
  • United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

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Monday, August 09, 2010

YouTube: Ultimate Free Advertisement

The gargantuan numbers who visit YouTube has become a phenomenon. The Voca People is one recent example. An ensemble of vocal talents ranging tenor, soprano and alto have become an overnight success, conducting tours from Brazil to TelAviv. These expletive eight were something else altogether. No instruments, no synthesizer, just pure vocals.

The power of visuals have always been the cornerstone of the television and media ads. Undiscovered talents are found, nurtured and turned into international superstars without a moment's notice. I cannot fathom the potential of thousands of hits a day. For me, it's a source of cheap entertainment. Users and members can upload videos in many formats including MP4, DivX and AVI.

The lights of Charice Pempengno would not have been seen if not for YouTube. She was 14 years old when her uncle decided to upload a video of her singing. The hits took a while to gestate; about a year or so and after that, the sky's the limit. She' sung in Oprah, paired with Bianca Ryan and performed with legendary music composer, David Foster. She's now taken the world by storm, deserving a 6-time standing ovation when she appeared in one of her earliest stage shows in the Mandalay Bay.

The social networking via YouTube is by no means small. I've observed users exchanging contacts as well as eBay profiles and offers to sell or buy. Transactions are spurned when a potential buyer gets a preview at that irresistible sleekness of a new Iphone or the road-gripping new Audi RS5 on the track. It's a fantastic way to sell when bypassing the TV networks. Effective advertising with minimal cost.


Friday, August 06, 2010

Hasbro 3 3/4" Iron Man Mark I (Movie version)

Yes! I finally found it!...well, actually Kenny Gordvyn finally found it. Up until yesterday, I was hunting high and low for the Iron Man Mark I on 3 3/4 scale. I learned my lesson never to ignore the Iron Man fever lest I want to miss out. Made by Hasbro, this scaled down version of Tony Stark's prototype armor is super detailed. Being the icon of the irrepressible pop-culture, I could not imagine not having one.

The truth is, I am completing my collection of Hot toys Iron Man armor series. Now that remains is the 1/6th scale Mark IV, Mark V and Mark VI armors. I missed out on the Mark I out of hesitation and spent the last 2 years regretting it. It's 4-5 times the price I would have needed to pay for. With the inclusion of the 3 3/4 scale Mark I, I find consolation that my hall of armor is another figure closer to completion.


Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Star Trek Commemorative Stamp

This came in the post yesterday. The newest member of my collection: the 1999 Star Trek Commemorative Stamp. Notice the delta shield-shaped sun in the background. It seems that it took some years and hundreds of letters from fans and ex-governors and presidents to convince the US Postal Authorities to issue a stamp paying tribute the Gene R

This Original Series USS ENTERPRISE NCC-1701 stamp Beginning in 1998, the United States Postal Service issued its largest--ever series of commemorative postage stamps. By the time the program is completed in 2000, a total of 150 designs will have been released, providing a decade-by-decade look at significant personalities and events of the 20th Century.

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