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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mak Yong

Mak Yong is an ancient dance-theatre form incorporating the elements of ritual, stylized dance and acting, vocal and instrumental music, story, song, formal as well as improvised spoken text. It is performed principally in the state of Kelantan, Malaysia. Many theories have been advanced to explain the genre's origins, though it's generally acknowledged that it's deeply rooted in animism as well as shamanism.

Today, the genre is performed in three basic styles:

(a) As non-ritual theatre for entertainment per se,
(b) As ritual theatre associated with healing and done in combination with the shamanistic main puteri; and
(c) As urban commercial theatre.

Briefly early in the present century, an unsuccessful attempt was made in Kelantan to create a palace version of mak yong.

The mak yong orchestra is made up of a three-stringed spiked fiddle (rebab), a pair of double-headed barrel drums(gendang) and a pair of hanging knobbed gongs(tetawak) while the genre's musical repertoire consists of approximately thirty pieces, most of them accompanied by singing and dancing. No stage-properties and few simple hand-properties are used.

In mak yong, the male lead role (pak yong) is conventionally played by female performers. In addition there are the following roles: the female lead (mak yong); a pair of clowns (peran), a pair of female attendants (inang) as well as a wide range of lesser roles including those of gods and spirits, orges or giants, palace functionaries and animals.

The mak yong repertoire consists of a dozen or so stories, still existing in the oral tradition, dealing with the adventures of gods or mythical kings. The principal, and earliest story in the mak yong repertoire, entitled 'Dewa Muda', has tremendous spiritual significance.

Mak yong performances last from about 9.00pm to midnight, and it takes several nights to complete a story.

Pocahontas Trailer

IF you need to know (briefly) what the animation entails, here is its official trailer which was released in the 1995. Enjoy


I came across this clip on YouTube. Want to share my favorite Disney moments with all you out there. Enjoy and don't be afraid to cry :)

Part 2: How to Fly a Boeing 747-400

Ok, the last time we were discussing this topic, I was using pictures of Singapore Airlines' aircraft. However, as a tribute to our national airlines ( memories so fond since I was very very young), I have decided to use images of Malaysia Airlines in this part.

In the last section, we stopped when you have reached cruising altitude. You will be asked to gradually increase your height throughout the course of your flight. This is also due to the fact that your aircraft has become lighter as fuel has been burnt. As the aircraft gets lighter, its velocity in the air increases.

What goes up, must come down.

Once the aircraft is at its cruising altitude the next thing to determine is when to start its descent. The actual point can be affected by terrain, traffic, and adjacent airspace. Here is a simple formula to give you a general idea of when to start a typical aircraft down.

  1. Subtract the destination airport elevation (rounded to the nearest 1000 feet) from the aircraft’s current altitude (in thousands of feet). Then,
  2. Simplify by dropping the thousands. Then,
  3. Multiply the resulting number by 4. Then,
  4. The product is the number of flying miles from the destination where the aircraft should start its descent.

To use Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) as an example:

  1. Airport elevation - 71ft (round up to 1,000)
  2. Aircraft altitude - FL310 (31,000 feet)
  3. 31,000 - 1,000 = 30,000
  4. Simplify to 30
  5. 30 x 4 = 120

An aircraft inbound to KUL at FL310 should start descent approximately 120 flying miles from the airport.

During the initial descent, the control tower will advise you of your new altitude, heading, airport direction, and which runway you are to use. You will have to do the necessary adjustments to what have been instructed.

From time to time, you will receive updated instructions on your speed and heading. During the descent, it is wise that you ensure all engines are at idle speed and let the aircraft glide at its momentum making sure not to overspeed and risk structural damage.

You will enter the assigned airport's runway at an angle of about 40 - 45 degrees from the direction of the runway.

At this stage, you will have probably slowed down to around 200 knots, flaps at position 4 , speedbrake at position 2 or 3, depending on the weather condition.

As you reach enter the localizer, your aircraft will automatically bank toward the direction of the runway. Here, you must make sure to stabalize the aircraft's spped and height. Minor adjustments will do fine.

When you are aligned to the runway, reduce the aircraft spee to around 160 -180knots with flas at its current position. The HSI will move towards the centre and this indicates your glideslope. At the point when it has reached the middle, you are now required to lower your landing gears.

You will gradually glide down the glideslope with the aid of your navigational equipment. Reduce speed gradually and lower flaps accordingly until you have reached the desired speed for landing. This should be about 145knots with full flaps on a fine day. At around 50 feet off the runway, once again, you are to idle the engines and flare the aircraft on the runway.

The aircraft should now be at an angle of about 20 degrees. As the aircraft slowly glides onto the runway, the main landing gears should have first contact. You will physically feel this. Once the landing gears have kissed the runway, apply full reverse thrust and arm spoilers to reduce the lift on the wings.

Full reverse thrust is now aplied and the automatic braking system will kick in. Turn off reverse thrust at 60 knots and continue manual braking. The aircraft should now be inert by its speed. Yuo will receive radio instructions from the control tower once again. They will guide you to the taxiway.

The moment you leave the runway, turn off your strobe lights and return spoilers and flaps to its original position. If you do not do so, you might hit objects on the taxiway which will result in damages to the aircraft flaps.

Taxi to your instructed gate at around 20-30 knots.

After a long flight, you will be greeted by an announcement of the cabin crew like this:

"Ladies and Gentlement, we have now landed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. To all visitors, we welcome you to Malaysia and to all Malaysians, Welcome Home!"

"Tuan-tuan dan puan-puan, kita baru sahaja mendarat di Lapangan Terbang Kuala Lumpur. Bagi pelawat-pelawat ke Malaysia, kami mengucapkan Selamat Datang dan kepada warganegara Malaysia .. Selamat Pulang"

For some odd reason, this announcement immediately makes me feel at home.

At the gate, you will see a set of ground handling crew that will be ready to service your aircraft. At the gate, turn off your beacons and instruct cabin crews to disarm all doors.

This then ends your flight.