Sunday, March 13, 2005

Dummy for a Dummy

Ikea is having a 60% clearance sale. As we just moved house, we're on the prowl for new stuff to buy. I always feel like a kid inside a toy store whenever I go in an Ikea store. There's lots of cool stuff you don't really need, but you just want to have. Good thing my sisters were there to keep me in check.

When they weren't looking, I grabbed a Gestalta artist's dummy. It's a wooden doll with movable joints for the arms, legs, torso, and neck, so you can make it pose it lots of different ways. My sisters can't understand why I would want such a dummy, and were strongly suggesting I drop it. For such important things, you just have to stand your ground.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Another Walk in the Clouds

Not satisfied with my trip up the skybridge of the Petronas Twin Towers, a colleague and I decided to give the Menara KL (KL Tower) a visit. It opens until 10pm, so we went there after work. The place is not that easy to find. It is visible from almost everywhere in the city, but to access it you have to walk along a narrow side road. Best option is to get off Rajah Chulan station. (If you look at the map, it is closer to Bukit Nanas, but trust me on this one.) When you get off the station, walk along Jalan Sultan Ismail, turn left at Jalan Ramlee, then right at Jalan Puncak. Just follow the winding path and you'll end up at the base of the Menara KL.

Menara KL is the tallest structure in South-East Asia, the tallest single standing concrete structure in the world, 421 meters above the ground, 515 meters above sea level. Entrance fee to the observation deck is RM 15. When you get to the lobby area, look up and admire the glass ceiling arranged in the traditional Islamic form of the "Muqarnas". Artisans from Iran were specially called in to work on the domed ceiling. The design illustrates the seven layers of the sky with sun rays shining from the middle - representing the human journey for perfection in life.

The Tower Shaft has 22 levels, while the Tower Head has 6 levels. The entire Tower Head is clad in glass (double-glazed with gas infilled) arranged in the traditional Islamic form of the "muqarnas". First level is the observation platform, while the next features the revolving Restoran Berputar Seri Angkasa. There are four high-speed lifts gets you from the lobby to the observation deck 276 meters above in just 60 seconds. The entrance fee includes a multi-language audio tour of Kuala Lumpur's city skyline from 12 locations of the Observation Deck. No tour guide; you're given an mp3 player where you key in the location code to hear a description of that section of the skyline. There are also some fixed binoculars around.

The 360-degree view of the city at night is spectacular. I wasn't able to get sharp pictures because I don't have a tripod, and the glass reflects internal light. My colleague with his 120x zoom Handycam is having a field day.