Saturday, November 29, 2008

3D paper modelling: Starship Enterprise

3D paper modelling is something that I do on and off. It's a great way to de-stress.

Recently while going through my archive, I stumbled on this video clip that shows me building Starship Enterprise using templates obtained from the Internet.

The video must've been recorded around 2004-2005 when I was still with Computimes.

Shot this video during office hours. Ah, the good old days. I played a lot during those days and got away with pretty much anything as long as it was 'for work'.

I made this video because we were doing a cover on video editing. I remember we ran a few pages of stuff on the subject, including hardware and software requirement, tips and tricks, step-by-step guide... and on top of that, this video.

But I also remember thinking how on Earth was I gonna share this video with our readers? YouTube wasn't around yet at the time.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Allah covers for you

In Islam, if you have been guilty of a sin and nobody knows about it, do not uncover the veil that Allah has placed over your sin.

This is the principle behind a question I found at Islam Online. A user by the name M has asked:

"A person has committed zina (fornication) outside of marriage and does not intend to marry the woman. The person considers the action a grave mistake and has repented by asking Allah for forgiveness, resolving never to perform the act again, and feeling remorse for the action.

"The sin is still concealed and only known to the two involved. Does the person need to be given 100 lashes in order to complete the repentance and gain forgiveness from Allah?"

The answer is no.

In answering the question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Canada, states:

"If you have been guilty of a sin and Allah has covered for you, then don’t uncover the veil that Allah has placed over your sin.

"Rather, ask forgiveness of Him and repent to Him sincerely, for He is, above all, all-Compassionate, All-Merciful, All-Forgiving. Allah says, 'I am most assuredly Most Forgiving to those who repent, cherish faith and do good works.' (Ta-ha: 82)"

According to Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, it is wrong to say that sin of adultery is expiated and forgiven only if the person were stoned to death or given hundred lashes.

In fact, such punishments are extreme measures that can only be applied in extremely rare cases; they are exceptions that require stringent measures to execute.

Moreover, they are simply not applicable in non-Muslim countries or societies where such laws are not enforced. "You must therefore take it to your heart that Allah’s forgiveness is not at all conditional on submitting yourself to such punishments," he writes.

So what should you do? Take the following necessary steps towards true and sincere repentance:

1. Feel deep remorse for your sin.
2. Refrain from the sin as well as from all the leads and circumstances that led you to the same in the first place.
3. Resolve firmly in your mind never to do it again.
4. Finally, do whatever good you can to expiate for your sin. Allah says, "Verily good deeds wipe out bad deeds." (Hud: 114).

Once you have followed these steps, have the confidence that your sin has been blotted out. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "A person who has repented (sincerely) is like one who has never sinned."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Budak Kelantan

So Julia and I went to see Budak Kelantan the other day.

It was her idea. Really. She saw the poster many weeks before and ever since then had been eagerly anticipating the movie. Even called me budak Kelantan in the days leading up to our outing.

Why the interest in this local flick? It was because she was learning BM. Once she demonstrated her knowledge by reading an article from Hai magazine and explaining to me what it was about. What Que Haidar said, what Fazura said and so on. I was impressed!

But then again, Budak Kelantan is not your typical Malay movie. It's a feature-length film shot entirely in Dolby Digital Kelantanese.

So I guess therein lies the novelty.

We planned weeks in advance to see the movie.

But even the best laid plans can go awry. For some reasons, my friend decided to get tickets to one of the earlier shows that day. I, on my part, managed to get myself stuck after-hours at the office and ended up being very late to the movie. Like half an hour late.

"You missed a rape scene," Julia whispered as I joined her, huffing and puffing after walking briskly from NST to Mid Valley.

The hall was half-full (me being optimistic) and my educated guess would put the audience at 83 percent Kelantanese and 1 percent German. The rest consisted of people whose Kelantanese bf/gf/spouse made them come.

And yes, it was quite a novelty to watch an entire movie in Kelantanese. Even I learnt a few new words that day, one of which was kachik. Which means getting high on drugs.

Thank God for the BM and English subtitles. Otherwise someone like me would have been left to my own devices as to what kachik really means.

I like the Buchek character. He is always excusing himself to go for prayers. "Kawe tupae semayae buleh?"

I like the antagonist too, Jaha. He is so evil, he might as well have been called Jahak.

Overall, we both liked the movie except maybe for the jerky camera work, which was overused, and the abrupt ending.

And Julia was furious about the reference to Amerika during the rape scene. "What are they saying, that Westerners condone rape??"