Archive | June 2008

Proof Of Jakartan Ingenuity

In the hustle and bustle of Jakarta traffic, work and toil, Jakartans have an uncanny knack of discovering new functions to anything around them.Proof #1:

Genius! Using traffic cones to hold up your laundry line.Original article here. Thanks Mbelgedez or something which I can’t pronounce.

Our New "Pet"

The only plant growing in a pot in our house is actually placed outside, because we thought that we were pretty bad at the green thumb thing. So we placed it outside, near the water waste pipe from the upstairs air conditioner.
The past few months, a frog has dug in and made it his (or her?) home, well at least, bed for the daytime naps (since he/she goes off somewhere during the night). We named the frog Zuma, and claimed it as our pet, although we really don’t feed it anything. I think you can figure out what one of our favorite computer games are.
Any tips on what to feed a frog?

Krayola @ Wapres

Here are a couple of pictures of our gig at Warung Apresiasi, Bulungan. Eriz forgot the chords in the middle of 2 songs, hahahaha.. but it was OK.

Here’s Something You Don’t Know About Jakarta

Pasti nggak tau ada sesuatu yang namanya the Jakarta Project. Pernah denger?Mungkin sebuah proyek untuk menjadikan Jakarta… hm, jadi apa ya? Emang Jakarta perlu diproyekin jadi apa lagi sih? Perasaan Jakarta justru jadi pusat segala proyek di Indonesia.Coba klik ke sini. The Jakarta Project adalah sebuah proyek software open source berbasis Java, berafiliasi dengan Apache. Mungkin penasaran kenapa namanya Java? Coba klik di sini aja. Tapi Java – sebagai bahasa programming – mungkin udah ga perlu dijelasin lagi, karena kebanyakan penduduk di Jakarta yang punya HP sudah memegangnya, karena sudah tersedia dalam hampir semua HP yang baru.

It’s My Way Or The Busway

Tadinya gue mau nulis beberapa seri posting soal busway, tapi ternyata udah keduluan cewek ini. Gue sudah diizinkan oleh beliau untuk memposting ulang beberapa tulisannya di sini, jadi tunggu aja ya. Atau klik aja linknya, baca langsung di sumbernya.Memang niatan gue untuk memulai berbagai topik yang lain juga sih, tapi sejauh ini topik-topik baru selalu bermunculan. Namanya juga Jakarta, ga ada abis-abisnya bikin pusing atau heran. Nah kan ngelantur lagi…Anyway, sejak pertama dicanangkan, busway, atau Transjakarta tepatnya, udah jadi kontroversi. Banyak lah kontroversi itu, dari malah bikin makin macet, sampe mengganggu angkutan umum yang lain karena ngambil “jatah” penumpang. Tapi buat gue – dulu, keputusan untuk membuat busway itu jenius. Bukan jenius sih, tapi tepat waktu. Rencana semacam busway itu, percaya ga percaya, udah pernah ada sejak jaman Mbak Tutut dengan Citra Lamtorogungnya mengusulkan untuk membuat jalan khusus bis sepanjang Sudirman-Thamrin. Bedanya sedikit tapi bermakna – yang mau dibikin Mbak Tutut, buswaynya pada jalan layang. Jadi mikir kan, jaman dulu udah ada rencana-rencana apa lagi yang batal, padahal tepat guna… Read More…

Fun Facts About Helmets

I’m compiling a list of fun facts about helmets in Jakarta, based on first-hand experience, observation and other stuff. Here we go:

  • most motorcycle helmets are made of the same plastic that is used to make water buckets. Pretty tough, eh?
  • the helmet straps are designed for easy unfastening – especially at high speed
  • foam padding is an added option on some helmet designs
  • the foam padding used in the helmet is the same foam used in sofas. Bet it absorbs impact very well.
  • you don’t really have to wear a helmet, not when there’s no police looking
  • helmets always have some sort of sticker design that makes it look fast. Yes, on the helmet. What’s the top speed of a helmet?
  • you can buy a helmet at your nearest Carrefour or Giant; but they also sell helmets at the roadside, complete with your choice of stickering
  • there’s usually a hook to hang your secondary helmet – either backup helmet or for a potential passenger – on the motorcycle, which is pretty secure. Until the helmet falls off your bike in the middle of the road.
  • to avoid that, you can also tie the helmet on the back seat with some rope or webbing. Until the helmet falls off…
  • last resort, you can put the helmet in a specially-fitted box, which is usually decorated with your motorcycle gang denomination sticker, and lock the key. Until a Kopaja comes by, crashes into the box and it falls off.
  • Helmets are imaginary, a figment of the imagination. You can protect your head with sheer willpower.
  • You can add wings to the top of your helmet; it makes your motorcycle go faster. Yeah, it looks cool too.
  • The protective properties of a helmet can be replaced by any other sort of head covering.
  • Helmets are optional in large groups of motorcycles.

Any additions?

Where The [Money] River Flows…

WHAT??? Try reading this link. A bit ironic since it’s on a government website.Rp 5.6 trillion is such a big number, so let’s see if we can put it in perspective. Rp 5.6 trillion is roughly equal to:

  • let’s say the average high-end house in the Kemang area is Rp 2 billion, then we could buy 2.800 houses in the Kemang area. I guess that’s the whole neighborhood…
  • 11.000 brand-new Toyota Camrys
  • 500.000 motorcycles
  • 160 million Big Mac combos
  • 224.000 Macbook Pros – hey, I want one
  • 560 million packs of cigarettes
  • 1 biillion bottles of Nu Green Tea
  • 900 million pirated DVDs
  • 1 billion hours at the internet cafe
  • 2.2 million Nokia N73s

And maybe many, many more comparisons (submit your own!). And the article also states that the majority of the deviance is from “administrative findings”. So, go figure if the potholes in the road remain potholes, schools remain shockingly expensive, and a lot of people still live in poverty.

And For What?

Yesterday’s aftermath:

  • 1 student got hit by a car
  • 2 other students wounded
  • 16 police wounded
  • 2 press members wounded
  • 8 damaged cars
  • 1 burned car
  • property damage at various locations
  • thousands of Jakartans caught in traffic, or having to walk home
  • combined pollution of the deadlocked traffic jam around Semanggi
  • other damage or wounds not yet documented

Dear student protesters, you are fighting a noble cause – yet you fight with no nobility. Yes, you may have the nation’s attention, but you definitely don’t have the nation’s respect.And to think, by this hour, it will all be forgotten because almost everybody will be waiting for a soccer game played far, far away.

We Love Astronomy

Radio DJ on late-night show:Eh, ternyata, para peneliti udah menemukan kembarannya Bumi. Namanya – exoplanet. Ukurannya 2 sampai 10 kali Bumi, juga suka disebut Super Earth. Ada-ada aja ya peneliti, nyari-nyari ginian?Mungkin suatu hari mereka akan nemu exo-moon, jadi kembarannya Bulan gitu… atau malah yang gede sekalian, exo-sun, kembarannya Matahari kita! Seru ya!

To find our more about exoplanets, click here.

Look Ma, No Hands!

The cellular phone, or handphone, is certainly one of the modern miracles of the 21st century. Indonesia currently has 100 million subscribers approximate, mostly in the urban areas. The handphone itself has emerged as a subculture, with its own subset of conventions and rules, and various uses (which are happily snapped up by the handphone vendors and combined into their products, i.e. who would of thought phones with cameras would be something viable 10 years ago?). To make lives easier, the handphone vendors also created the hands-free headset, formerly with cables and now with Bluetooth.Yet with any technological breakthroughs, Jakartans seem to find a way to, well, misuse it.Let’s start with the cable hands-free.How many times have you seen people use their hands-free headsets, yet still hold the phone in their hands? It’s kind of pointless, right? Or better yet – the phone is in their pocket, but they still have to use their hand to keep the microphone – most often a small stub on the headphone cable – near their mouths. I don’t know who to blame, the designer or the user.Then there’s the Bluetooth hands-free. This gadget comes in various shapes and sizes, from the annoyingly obvious to the not-so-discreet, to the so-small-you-think-he’s-talking-to-you. But always, with a blinking blue light on some part of it, perhaps to show off that it’s a Bluetooth thingo. Yeah, use blue to do that.And we most often meet people wearing Bluetooth headsets at malls or other public places… and here’s the thing: out of all the people I see walking around with their Bluetooth headsets seemingly glued to their ears, I have never seen any one of them actually on the phone. Not one. Not even looking as if they are talking to thin air (which they would if they were on the phone). I mean, how busy are these guys, really? On the phone every minute perhaps, especially with today’s lower tariffs. Yeah, sure, that must be it. And another thing – a Bluetooth headset is supposed to keep your hands free to do anything else (hence the term hands-free), right? These guys are not even doing anything with their hands!! Well, maybe to hold their phones. D-oh!But you hardly see people using a Bluetooth headset – or a cable hands-free for that matter – when it should be needed most in public, like driving. Ever notice that? Some motorcyclists would actually prefer to send text messages while driving. Text. Messaging. While. Driving. Motorcycle. Oh, forget the hands-free, I’ll just text her while I’m driving my motorbike. Yeah, efficient. Call me a cynic but I don’t think those guys walking around at the malls with their Bluetooth headsets actually wear it when they’re actually driving.Plisssss dehhhhh…..