Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Costumes

Hey ya'll

I am not sure what the context of the Halloween celebration is, nor do I understand how it has come to be the tradition of the Western world to give children candy in exchange for sparing the family from tricks. What I do know, however is that Halloween has come to provide people like me with an excuse to go parading around, pretending for the span of a few hours, that I am someone... nay, something I'm not! This year, in a valiant attempt to spread the love of Halloween and costumed revelry, we decided to get all decked up and parade about our University although, to be honest our day started in Sunway Pyramid where we got, quite a lot of dissaproving stares from middle-aged aunties... OH get over yourself! It's halloween... loser! Anyway, was sufficiently glad to say that although not many people dressed up (it was exams period!) pretty much almost everyone who came in the office did!!! And here they are, costume count;

1. Monarch Butterfly Conservation
2. Zombie druggie
3. Robin, the boy-girl Wonder
4. Witch
5. Star Wars Sith Lord...err Lady
6. Miss. Pumpkinhead
7. Countess Dracula!!!
8. Bride of Frankenstein
Okay... so it was just like, EIGHT people out of the entire campus ... but for once we were getting all the stare directed at us... okay... so maybe they were stares of dissaproval/wtf? or whatever... but we owned it yo! Also I guess this is quite a way to start off my reputation as a "responsible" and "professional" educator for many of these young minds. Oh well I guess the least they can say is that "Mr. Cyren knows how to have fun!!!" And indeed we did. 

Headquarters of the League of Fictional Characters
We also love having visitors... Imrah a.k.a the Sith Lady is exceptionally scary here...
As the day draws to an end... HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Two artists in a relationship means two kinds of greeting cards per festive season!!! Have a spooktastic Halloween,

from Me and Ray! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Shelldon meets Ariel

Hey ya'll

We bought another turtle recently, one to keep our current baby boy Shelldon company as he seems content... too content to sit in his cave all day mulling about whatever it is turtles mull about. We were going to pick one out from the auntie who sells fish and other marine things in her little plastic bags and containers in Sunway Pyramid but I opted to go check out another aquarium shop instead to scout out for better prices (ten ringgit is a little too steep for a baby turtle, in my opinion). We ended up getting the new turtle from an aquarium shop in SS17. Only seven ringgit, I imagine, and they were a lot smaller than the ones which were being sold at the place in Sunway Pyramid which is good for Ray because apparently he prefers raising things from when they are of that size/age. Eitherway, would you just look at the two of them...

Aren't they just adorable!!!! Which is much more than I can say for the ever-growing snake-headed monster Miju in my room. Nah I joke, we love him too!!!
ps. I decided to name her Ariel

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Other Birdwing Girl

Hey ya'll

Allow me to introduce to you, Helena!

This magnificent looking creature is Troides helena or Helena's birdwing... don't ask me why it is named so but it might interest you as a matter of fact, that many of these large butterflies were named after women of great stature Queen Alexandra's birdwing (Ornithoptera alexandrae) for example, or Queen Victoria's birdwing (Ornithoptera victorae) so I suppose it might be logical to assume that Helena, too, was named in reference to a lady of royal birth... Helen of Troy? Or... perhaps just some madly-in-love entomologist wishing to name a newly discovered species after his True Love. Either way, it is a rather befitting name for such a beautiful insect and although I missed filming her birth and the expansion of her wings - I recently discovered this video editing tool which will allow me to speed up the process so that all of you back home will get to watch her wings expand in 2 minutes instead of the customary 30 - I will still have the utmost enjoyment of releasing her tomorrow with Ray at the same forested spot where I released the Golden birdwing (Troides amphrysus) earlier this week as well as where I've spotted other individuals of her kind. Also, for releasing a butterfly into the wild, I get to make a wish (Native American legend has it that wishes have a higher chance of being granted if whispered into the ears *they really DO have ears, you know* - of a to-be-released butterfly)

Oh, and are we all loving the new haircut? I haven't had hair this short... or this uninventive since high school. I suspect my stylist Andrew was being lazy that day...but oh well, he DID promise me a dye job... I wonder what color I should go for this time round? What do you think? Hit me up.  

Someday I'll Fly Away~

I really just want to get away sometimes... from all of it. I remembered a show I used to watch as a child, in it, a gigantic magical mushroom was turning the denizens of the Amazon Rainforest into butterflies. It didn't affect their intelligence or behavior or anything, this mushroom. Just their physical form... if only it were real... I think it would be lovely, however momentarily it may be, to come back as a butterfly.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunway University's Community Mental Health Week

Hey ya'll

Ray just had his Community Health Week event, which was held in Sunway University to raise awareness on various types of physical illnesses and the psychological ramifications/stigmatization associated with them. It was pretty awesome, I think, and they succeeded in drawing quite a large crowd. There were about eight to nine(?) booths in total, I think and they all had awesomely fun activities people might take part in to raise awareness on such issues. Who could forget playing charades at Ray's "differently-abled' booth (whirl? Swirl? TOILET BOWL!!!), or tossing those tennis balls at empty soda cans at the booth for obesity (I was such a bad shot, didn't even hit anything!). I guess all in all, the message I got from their magnificent event was not to take things for granted, also, how important it is sometimes, to have other people believe that you can do this. It's not all about self-confidence, I suppose and if enough people try to break your spirit, they can and they will! But what was I doing there, you say? (Besides being a yentel - a.k.a busybody! - that is...) Performing of course! And despite that nasty head-cold and throat inflammation I had been fighting the past week, I stuck my best foot forward and faced the microphone with my chin-held high... not one of my best performances, I fear but who says this was about me, anyway! In fact, I was just glad that I got to do my part for such an amazing event. Oh, and Ray did a rap too! Did you know he could rap?! Well, I always did. Anyway, a picture speaks a thousand (or was it a hundred...?) words so, here they are

Some of the booths at the event
Activities for the day (from top) 1. Day in the life of a differently-abled person,  2. Sculpting Plasticine into shapes with your fingers tied up, 3. Free hugs for anti depression!

The amazing students/organizers of Psychology Batch 14
And their lovely lecturers who molded them into the little to-be psychologists they are today!!! 

Meanwhile, if a picture tells a thousand words, somebody please tell me why we shouldn't judge a book by its cover?

My carefully sculpted plasticine rose~ 

Pins and Needles 28 ~ Butterflies from Bukit Bandaraya

Hey ya'll

just going to keep things short this time round. Nothing much to report on this front actually except for a rather 'rare' butterfly I found today... but that can wait for its own pins and needles post, I suppose (check back in a week's time)...and two of my atlas moth pupae seem to be duds but on the bright side, it appears that I shall be having another magnificent birdwing on the way (maybe tomorrow... though, I would not be able to stick around for it to emerge on account of a very important consultation session with Dr. A...) ANYWAY, the butterflies from Bukit Bandaraya, Shah Alam...

Precis orithya wallacei (male)
Precis orithya wallacei (female)
Precis orithya wallacei (variant, male)
Danaus vulgaris macrina
Neptis hyalas mamaja
Spindasis syama terana
Eurema hecabe contubernalis
Mycalesis mineus macromalyana
Which pretty much concludes the butterfly-list of Bukit Bandaraya, Shah Alam. Not to say that there aren't other species of butterflies fluttering about that area but rather, that these were the only ones I managed to net. I did see a rather beautiful and magnificent Papilio demolion though, and it's what I have got my sights set on currently. Meanwhile, Ray contributed to this round of collecting as well... 

Appias libythea (female)
Would you believe me if I said that last night I actually dreamt that I was a butterfly? It was pretty, for sure, but also very chaotic... try seeing a billion miniature copies of things at one time, also that colour seems...inverted somehow. Compound eyes... not my thing...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pins and Needles 27 ~ A Diurnal Moth and Other Butterflies from Camerons

Hey ya'll

It's probably one of the busiest times of my life, what with the completion of my dissertation (deadlines loom just around the corner) and the massive amounts of red tape I must bypass in order to obtain my teaching permit, it was perhaps almost a no brainer that I had completely forgotten about a very important date this month... today in fact. Not that it excuses it or anything but... yeah. I'm sorry Rayray >.< and I really appreciate that lovely video-tribute you made for me. Thank you darling, I promise I will make it up to you soon. But truly, let's get down to business... and I've really put this off for far too long. Introducing, the remaining butterfly specimens I had obtained from the Cameron Highlands.

Idea jasonia logani 
Papilio helenus
Papilio memnon
Atrophaneura varuna
Atrophaneura varuna
Tanaecia iapis puseda 
Thauria aliris 
Thauria aliris 
Graphium evemon
Cethosia hypsea hypsina 
Cethosia hypsea hypsina
Dypshania discordia

Species lineup