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Sri Kuala Lumpur’s



A Geographical Magazine

Butterflies Explore the fascinating world of the flutterbies! Are 5th graders smarter than us? The little-known facts about the geographical world Surmounting The Great Wall A writer’s struggle atop China’s grandest monument The Lone Traveller He set off on his difficult journey... Find Out More Inside >

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uala Lumpur Sri K





2012 2012



melalui Pema

Teachers-in-charge: Mdm. Lai Kwan Yock Pn. Sarah Kullen Mr. Tan Eng An Teachers-in-charge: Mdm. Lai Kwan Yock Chief Editor:Pn. FooSarah Jia Jun Kullen Mr. Tan Eng An Assistant Editor: Ng Yit Lin Chief Editor: Foo Jia Jun (10 Theta) Marketing: Teo Hsin Min Lee (9 Sigma) Assistant Editor: NgJane Yit Lin

Layout Designer: Chong Wai Marketing: Teo Hsin Min Yoong (10 Sigma) Yvonne Tan (10 Theta) Writers and Formatters: Liew Layout Designer:Jamie Chong Yoong Wai (9 Zeta) Teo Hsin Min Foo Jia Jun Yvonne Tan Chee Hui-Yi Tan Yee Lynn Yeow Rui Wyern Shahirah Izzati Chong Yoong Wai Ng Yit Lin Kaylie Khor Saffron Lim Mersedeh Hakim Grace Tan Shu Ting Ryan Tan Qai Shen The magazine would not have been possible without the great contributions and support from the school community. We wish to say thank younot for have a second in publication; ! great The magazine would beenyear possible without the contributions and support from the school community. We wish to say thank you for a second year in publication;!


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Contents Map Committee Page

Message from the CEO Page 3

Page 1

Message from the Principal Page 4

Message from the Editor Page 5



Conquering the Great Wall Page 11

People of The Amazon Page 6

Mother Nature Page 20

Why 5 Graders Are smarter Than You th

Beach Pollution Page 25

Melbourne A 2nd Malaysia

A Short Story on Deforestation

Page 27

Page 22

Exotic Cuisines

Page 15

Page 34

Butterflies Page 42

Geography Homework: Coral Reefs Page 79


Page 45

Underwater Rainforests

Page 48

When it comes to saving Planet Earth


Page 52

Feedback/ Opinions Page

Millennium Monuments Page 56

The Lake District

Page 93

Page 60

Earthed on Earth-Soil The Lone Traveller


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Page 76

Page 65

Animals in The Amazon Page 69

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Preface A message from the CEO of OM Educational Development Bhd.

Photo- © Chua Yung Ju


ear friends,I am honoured to be able to pen a few words for this year’s Geographé.

What started out as a minor tremor of interest in the Geography Department in early 2011, soon became a full blown earthquake of excitement that reverberated around the school and announced the birth of our very own Sri KL geographical magazine.

Geographé 2011, with fascinating and informative articles supported by full-colour pictures all bound into a compact format with a handsome title, was certainly a resounding success. Climate change and environmental degradation are issues all of us need to be aware of and Geographé 2012 is right up to date on the latest developments. And so I’m sure this year’s edition will take the magazine to greater glory both in its content and presentation. Congratulations to the staff and students for all the work they have put in to produce the magazine. I look forward with much anticipation to reading this year’s edition from cover to cover.


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Preface A message from the Principal

Photo- © Chua Yung Ju


t gives me great pleasure to write a few lines as a preface to the second publication of the Sri Kuala Lumpur Geographé.

It is essential that we as part of the world should have a deeper understanding of the rest of the world and so the study of Geography with all its numerous branches should be explored in totality. This book that you hold in your hand has attempted in a small way to introduce you to the cultures, economics and differing environments of various countries stretched across our wonderful world. This world where we live in has numerous mysteries and interesting facts surrounding it and it is hoped that this book will in some way show you the wonders of this world you live in. I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate the Geography Department and the teacher advisor of this magazine as well as the Editorial Board of the Geographé on their excellent work done. I am sure they have given up much of their spare time to put together the articles in this magazine and the final product is worthy of praise.


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Preface Editor’’'s Note


ear readers, Hi! First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on your purchase of this year’s Geographe magazine. Not only are you the proud owner of a marvellous little booklet (I use the word ‘marvellous’ very generously) but you have also shown great appreciation towards the endless effort put in by all who were involved. As mentioned in last year’s editor’s notes, creating a magazine is no walk in the park. Nonetheless, we can safely say we’ve done it this year and we hope you enjoy the fruits of our labour. Expect further improvements in future issues and do not hesitate, kind readers, to share your opinions so that we may easily satisfy the needs of our valued audience. We’ve added lots of interesting things into the magazine this year ( i.e. enhanced feature pages) and thrown out quite a few boring bits like the geo- puzzles (they weren’t very fun were they? ). Our intents are to make the Geo-mag a sort of eye-opener, a fountain of knowledge, instead of a mere copy of the textbooks. That is why we’re getting the best of our writers to cook up articles that are both interesting and appealing to keep you entertained. Hopefully the magazine’s fresh new look makes your reading experience a lot less painful. Most importantly, I’d like to thank all who were involved in this project including our brilliant writers for their astounding contribution, Shi Hong and Jamie, editors of last year’s magazine for laying the foundation, Yoong Wai whose commitment and technical know-how it was that drove this magazine to a finish, and you, our beloved readers, whom with the lack of would prove fatal to the existence of this magazine. So what are you waiting for? Turn the pages and let the magic begin...


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Saffron Lim 9 Zeta

People Of The Amazon When someone says the word ‘Amazon’, people would immediately think of the Amazon River or ancient towering trees or even parrots with multicoloured feathers. Nobody would really ever think of the people who live in the Amazon. Yes, there really are Amazonian Tribes. Lots of them in fact. Most of these tribes live in seclusion and away from the influences of the modern world. Many of them still live the same way their ancestors did hundreds of years ago 6

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The Shuar People


he Shuar People are indigenous people of Ecuador and Peru. They usually live in the upper mountains of the Andes or in the Amazon rainforests. In Shuar culture, the man is the head of the household. He usually has about two wives and many children. The men hunt for food while women are in charge of their ‘garden’ where they grow their vegetables and fruits. The Shuar people have one custom that sets them apart from the rest of the Amazonian Tribes.

They are infamous for their elaborate process of shrinking the heads of their enemies. These shrunken heads, or tsantsa in Shuar language, are not trophies of warfare as commonly believed. The Shuar people believe that the muisak, or soul of the victim, gets trapped in the head by the shrinking process. Shuar men use the muisak to control their wives’ and daughters’ work. The Shuar people do not believe in death by natural causes. To the Shuar, any illness and unexplained deaths were attributed to tsentsak, an invisible dart sent by Shaman to kill their enemies.

A Shuar Family

A shrunken head


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The Botocudo People

When Botocudo children are eight their lips are pierced with a hard pointed stick and gradually the stick is swapped for larger and larger disks until eventually the lip becomes a ring around the skin. The same goes for the ear plugs. Some ear plugs are so big that the wearer’s ears can reach past their shoulders. The Botocudo people believe that all blessings of life are given to them by the dayfire (the Sun) and all evil things are because of the night-fire (the Moon). At the graves of their dead, they keep fires burning for a few days to scare away evil spirits and during storms and eclipses, arrows are shot into the sky to drive away demons.

The Botocudo people live in the part of the Amazon that belongs to Brazil. Botocudo is actually a foreign name for their tribe. They call themselves Nac-nanuk or Nac-poruk, which means ‘sons of the soil.’ The word Botocudo means a plug in Portuguese. They are probably called this because of the wooden disks, or ortembetas in their language, worn in their lips and ears. This disk is made of the especially light and carefully dried wood of the barriguda tree.

A Botocudo man with his lip ring

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The Tapirape People

The Tapirape people are an The purpose of this indigenous tribe in Brazil. ceremony is to give out They live deep within the excess wealth to the Amazon rainforest and less fortunate. In this have very little direct ceremony all the men in contact with the outside the village have a chance world. Tapirape men and to take a sip of ‘bad kawi’, women paint their bodies a horribly-tasting drink with many different kinds that gives you very strong of design according to nausea. The rich villagers age and gender. Tapirape did not usually choose to people usually do not wear taste it but they had to clothes but on special give gifts to those who ceremonies and dances did. So unsurprisingly it they would wear skirts, was mostly the poorer who dared anklets and wrist bands. villagers The Tapirape people have to take a sip of the a curious little custom that awful concoction. they practise. Once a year there is a gift exchange ceremony.

A painted Tapirape girl


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Many of these Amazon tribes’ cultures are facing extinction because of modernisation. The Amazon rainforest is a haven for loggers and miners. These people are driving the tribes out of their homelands so they have more space for mining or logging. Deforestation is also killing many wonderful plants and animals native only to the Amazon, many of which are the food supply for the indigenous population. Even though the Brazilian and Peruvian governments are setting up reserves for these people to stay, many illegal miners or poachers still continue to encroach on indigenous land and destroy the environment necessary for the indigenous peoples’ traditional way of life. Theses illegal miners or loggers also provoke violent confrontations with the tribes and spread diseases. Tribes like the Akuntsu and Kanoe have been brought to the brink of extinction because of this. Hopefully something can be done soon to stop the deforestation and desecration of the indigenous peoples’ land and prevent their imminent extinction.

The scene of destruction at certain parts of the Amazon 10

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Teo Hsin Min 10 Sigma

Conquering The Great Wall Of China


t was the sight of the old couple climbing the Great Wall that made me determined to go on. I had started from the lowest point of the famous landmark and as I went on, it became clear that there were many reasons why some people refused to climb it. It got steeper the higher we climbed. The stairs were uneven, with some places chipped off. Even before we had started to climb, my mother had said to me -“Don’t look down.” Of course, being the typical teenager that I was, I looked back halfway through the climb and probably saw the scariest sight in my life. 11

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All I could see in my line of sight were stairs and more stairs. The people below were as tiny as ants from where I was standing and what I saw would probably stay with me for the rest of my life. There were ladies who were climbing the Great Wall of China with high heels and short skirts. There were even a couple of people who were carrying   their toddlers as they climbed.

To say that I was shocked was an understatement. I mean, there I was, in the middle ladies who were of climbing the wearing high Great Wall of heels and short The fact that the skirts were China, and I was group of ladies laughing and paralyzed in fear. I talking away who were wearing   did not budge, nor high heels and did I take another short skirts were step for the next laughing and few minutes. All I could talking away was almost do was stand there and unbelievable. It was as if contemplate on how big they did not see the cracks a mistake I had made. If on the old steps nor the only I hadn’t tried to be flimsy handrail. adventurous, and had stayed with my aunt at They clearly could not see the coffee shop down the risk they were taking. there. She was probably How could they not see having the time of her the winding stairs down life sipping her latte and below, or the people logging on to Facebook climbing who were as tiny through her iPhone as ants? 12

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Till this day I couldn’t To say that I was shocked exactly explained what that I actually did not made me determined to mind when I found climb the Great Wall. I out that the certificate have the reasons narrowed booth was closed for the down to two though. The weekend. Of course, my first was to get happiness only the certificate that lasted for less than Till this day I my father had a minute before I couldn’t exactly bragged that he had another scary explained what made me had after climbing thought. There determined to The Great Wall. was only one climb the Great Wall. way to get out of   The second reason The Great Wall, is a little more and that was by complicated. You see, way climbing down the steps. at the bottom of the Great Wall, right before the start This time, it was ten of the steps, was a plaque. times worst. Imagine It states that a man is me, already paralyzed not a man if he does not from fear from one tiny climb the Great Wall and glimpse of the bottom, complete it. I, of course, having to climb down took that as a challenge, with the sight always although I was not of the before me. male species. It was a little offensive to my feminist It shames me to say self that the plaque only this, but the only way addressed the males, and my mother got me not the females. down was through the promise of ice cream It was my mother who afterwards. Even then, finally got me moving up it took ages for me to the steps again. When I get down, seeing as that finally reached the top, I I was clutching at the was so happy and relieved 13 railing with all my life.

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Even a lady carrying a toddler was faster than me. When I reached the bottom, I almost kissed the ground. That was how happy I was. A note of advice to those who plan to climb the Great Wall in the near future - Don’t! Sure, it would make a really great memory, and sure, it is something to brag about but let me tell you this - it is not worth the fear you feel when you look down. When you’re on top, there is only one way down.


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Jamie Liew 10 Sigma

Why Fifth Graders Are Smarter than You


ere is a jumble of facts that almost no one else knows and facts that are too popular to have ever been mentioned to you. Facts that are secrets to winning a million dollars on shows like “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”, “Deal or No Deal” and the most humiliating of all, “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?” 15

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est d tall world is n o c e The s ain in the t . moun or K2), etres m ( r i 1 Qog n at 861 ta Pakis

Llanf ai llanty rpwllgwy ng s name iliogogog yllgogery o chwy ch is r geog in the raphi world the long ndrobwyl c l west e a of Wa l name). (and th st village ird l les, U short onge . K. It i It is situ st ated s call ed Lla n o r t h nfair P.G. f or


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China an d with fou the Russian Fed e rteen co untries e ration share bo other to rd ach – an o! d with e ers ach oint tain p r e c a are at ere all ct, h w If you e l terse th Po in Nor longitude in that m f lines o ng away fro red i e h everyt ill be consid ths of n w point six mo nd six s a h t ta .I south ous dayligh s u u contin of continuo s month s s e darkn

The shortes t river in th e world is th e Roe River, in Montana n ear the Mis s ouri River in the USA. It is o nly 200 feet lo ng.


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try; n u e co ed D. Th r m r A fo ea 1 est- ar 30 last y d l o e the the y reated s i n c rino was i was Sudan a M y n h San reatio ountr Sout c – c its ngest 2011) ( you

Austr a island lia can b e in th e wo considere rld, O d the larg conti ceania th e sm est nent. allest

ma Canai hest n i ) l nge hig alto A uela is the S ( s l l Fa . ez Angel l Park, Ven d at 979 m l a r n Natio ll in the wo a f r wate 18

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r me fo a n t s orte ted in The sh is ‘Å’, loca orway. N e a plac eden and iver Sw sr both mean rather e m a The n dinavian – n in Sca ! ironic

The largest city in the world is Hulunbuir, Inner Mongolia which is about 264000 km2

Though Mt. Everest is the highest altitude in terms of sea level on the planet, Mount Chimborazo is the closest to the moon. The Marianas Trench is the lowest place on earth. 19

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Foo FooJia JiaJun Jun 1010Theta Theta

Mother Nature Once, there lived two gumflapping blokes, Who on a bench under an oak tree did sit. To each other, they murmured and spoke, Of Mother Nature as both saw fit. “What do you think they mean, Tom, When words like Mother Nature people speak. Where do you think the phrase came from? This pondering’s making me weak.” “Obviously, John, nature personified.” “Yes, Tom, I know so, But where does the phrase derive? Why there be word ‘mother’ I want know.”

“Why John you ungrateful oaf, See little of nature and not say a thank, Nature gave you your water, your loaf, Much more vital than cash in your bank.”

“T’was the cash in my bank that bought me my bread. Nature did nothing to pay for my toast.” “If it wasn’t for nature you would’ve long been dead. Nature’s grains made all 20 bread if not most.”

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“And how is it nature that got me my car? I see not nature nor green in my ride.” “Nature provided metal, oil, your tar. Men use her resources yet nature complied. Now that men are harnessing her power, Mother Nature is starting to resent. Soon her resources would be depleted forever, Lest someone can stop this dreadful descent.

“That isn’t all that men have done, They’re hurting nature with the resources taken. If men think that pollution is fun, Their new belief ought to be shaken.” “For once, my friend, I agree with you. I think you’re actually sort of right.” “Gather protesters and lawyers too, For we shall, on Mother Nature’s behalf, FIGHT!


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Yeow Rui Wyern 10 Theta

A Short Story on Deforestation


e knelt on the wet, mossy grass and scanned the tracks of his prey with a practiced eye. He has been hunting for years and it had become second nature to him. His prey bent its head to quench its thirst from a nearby stream and he knew that it was time. He took a deep breath and released the arrow. It sailed gracefully through the air and a thud was heard. He went up to the animal and said the usual prayers. He proffered some of his catch to the gods as an offering. 22

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He ran back home and searched out the tribal elder. He told the tribal elder of the weird things he saw. The tribal elder called for the medicine man for help. Fully equipped with their weapons, the tribal warriors went bravely to face this threat that was harming the forest. Upon reaching the place, they hid behind trees and observed the actions of the men. A few moments passed as they saw the atrocities committed by the men to the forest. Calmly,


he prepared to bring his catch home, he heard an unnatural sound. Wary of this loud, growling sound, he knew he had to search for the source of it. He went closer and heard voices and saw men that were like him but dressed in weird ways. He studied them cautiously for a while and suddenly, one of the men plunged the loud,

the tribal elder stepped into the now cleared area of forest and bravely faced the men. It took a while before growling creature into the the tribal elder was noticed mother tree. He was shocked but when he was finally and angry. He heard the tree seen, all activity ceased. The spirits around him crying in men stared at the tribal sorrow. elder sneeringly while he 23 stared unflinchingly back.

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He then spoke with calm authority and asked them to leave the land for they were harming his homeland. The men could not understand what was just


said and laughed. The tribal elder gave a signal and the warriors all came out of hiding. Even then the men laughed, they were confident of their might and machinery. They yelled at the warriors and told them to leave. Suddenly, one of the men was hit by a poisoned needle and fell to the ground. The men all stopped laughing and cursed angrily. They went to their bulldozers and began moving forward. The tribal elder and his warriors threw their wooden spears and shot arrows at the giant, raging monsters. They fought with all their might but to no avail. As the bulldozers came ever closer,

they had no choice but to flee for fear of the lives of their loved ones not far away. And so, the fight between the tribal people and the men continued as the men delved deeper and further into the sacred forest. That is until one day, the land that for centuries had been the home and livelihood of the tribal people perished under the hands of man. This is one among many of the effects of deforestation. We cut down more and more trees every year in the name of development. We destroy the homes of the tribal people and animals, increase carbon emissions and provoke floods, mudslides and many more. While destroying the lives of others, we are also destroying our own. When are we, as the sole cause of deforestation, ever going to take responsibility for our  actions?


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Teo Hsin Min 10 Sigma


io lut



eaches are a source of joy to many people - whether for sun tanning, surfing or just the simple shell collecting. They can be found all around the world. In Malaysia, itself, there are already more than 100 beaches. Of the 100 beaches in the country, I have probably only been to less than 10. Of the 10 that I went, 6 were “once upon a time beaches”.

“Once upon a time beaches”, as I dub it, are beaches that had once been beautiful. The emphasis here is on had. They had been beautiful. Due to the careless attitude of some beach goers, these beaches have now become a constant reminder of what had been gorgeous recreational venues. There is rubbish everywhere, even the occasional stubs of cigarettes crushed into the wet, dirty sand. This is beach pollution and can very well cause pollution of the sea. 25

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pollution through natural disasters like tsunamis. However, the way I see it, very few beaches are ever so polluted that way. Pollution of beaches through human carelessness, however, needs to be stopped.

Many beach goers are not aware of the huge impact of beach pollution. Beach pollution can conclusively lead to water pollution. This means that the sea will be contaminated. In fact, studies have shown that because of beach pollution, some strips of sea near these beaches have been infected with a kind of bacteria that can put swimmers at risk. Not only would it be harmful to anyone who ventures into the water, but it can also pose a threat to aquatic wildlife. These include coral reefs, which can only survive in clean and clear water – where they can get sunlight.

We humans have a part to play in this. What’s the harm of keeping one’s respective rubbish on one’s self and throwing it away later rather than throwing it on the beach? It all just takes a little more effort, and a little more awareness as to what is going on all around us. Open your eyes, and see the World’s beauty as it is. If we do not preserve it now, it would all soon be gone. All I am saying is this: a little effort goes a long way.

The general term for beach pollution also includes

That’s just sad... 26

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Jamie Liew 10 Sigma

Melbourne, a Second Malaysia


ook back on your life, and think of the family and friends who have left the country. How many of them have migrated to Australia, and out of that number, have chosen to reside in Melbourne? It has become common to hear of families and youths from Malaysia who have become ‘Melbournians’; honestly, I can’t say I blame them for not being patriotic. Having visited Melbourne recently, I’ve discovered Melbourne surpasses peninsular Malaysia by far in some aspects, but thankfully not all! 27

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Between Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne lie a distance of 6360 km and an 8-hour flight. Melbourne is located in southeast Australia, in the state of Victoria. It has a population of four million.

Since this is a geography magazine, I’m afraid I’m obliged to give you a bit of factual material about Melbourne first – sorry folks, the gushing descriptions will have to wait. Let’s look at Melbourne topographically. Yarra River cuts through the city of Melbourne. The area surrounding the river as it travels out of Melbourne is called the Yarra Valley. South of the Yarra Valley is the Dandenong Ranges, a mountainous area albeit not very impressive in 28

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height. There are many renowned mountain peaks around Melbourne, including Olivers Hill, Mount Martha and Arthur’s Seat (I’ve been to Arthur’s Seat and will give a review about it later on!). Many beaches around Port Phillip’s bay have encouraged areas like Port Melbourne, Albert Park, St Kilda, Elwood, and Brighton (which are also homes to suburbs) to sprout up. Melbourne has also been known for the sport of surfing – such waters are located southeast of the city. Melbourne has a temperate or oceanic climate (warm summers of about 25°C, cool winters of about 6°C, precipitation more or less evenly spread out throughout the year) while Malaysia has a tropical climate (hot - 20°C to 30°C throughout the year – and humid all the time). Malaysia has a great deal more of total annual rainfall (98 inches compared to Melbourne’s measly 25.5 inches) because of the

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monsoon season as well as the generally heavier and more constant rain on the peninsula. Unlike Malaysia, Melbourne has beautiful clear skies, longer evenings and is colder most of the time. Sunrises and sunsets are absolutely phenomenal!

There is also the opportunity to watch seals on Nobbies Rock (admission is free), and beside it is a tourist centre. Unfortunately at the time I went there were no seals. The first picture is Nobbies Rock.

Any chocoholics here? If you’ve craved the complete These were taken at Phillip chocolate experience, Island, 90 minutes away wait no longer. In Phillip from Melbourne’s CBD Island, there is an amazing (refer to the map) and it is chocolate factory where a tourist hotspot because you can watch chocolate of its scenery, quaint towns, being made, eat chocolate and most of all, penguinbuttons from a dispenser, watching. They come to design your own chocolate. shore at night to sleep on the Included in the tour are beach and there is a huge superbly realistic scale stand for people to watch models of the process of them. The fee is rather high, cacao beans being made though, so I didn’t attend. into chocolate, a one-tonne block of chocolate for all to see, a life-sized Greek statue made of real chocolate and a whole village (complete with the trains!) You’ve 29 guessed it...made of all Geographé Magazine GM.indd 30

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kinds of chocolate. It is an incredible experience for ordinary people and chocolovers alike; take it from a fellow choco-lover! Also about an hour away from Melbourne’s CBD, in Yarra Valley, are a cherry farm and a certain Warrantina lavender farm (they actually cultivate other kinds of flowers too) at which they serve lavender scones, lavender honey, lavender paper and many more lavender products. On the way, there are numerous horse farms, cow farms, multicolour squares of farmland, hills and plantations – like scenes from a storybook, but better! After seeing Phillip Island, if you think there’s nothing more splendid to the eye, you’re wrong.  

Back to the city. Melbourne is like Malaysia in the way that there is a multiracial society and that there are many Malaysians in both places. This is because many of us have relatives who have moved there in search of a better life; many Australian universities also encourage Malaysians to join them – they’ve even made it easier for us. Right after Malaysian students graduate from secondary school, they can take the South Australian Matriculation Pre-University programme (SAM) which lasts for only a year, unlike other programmes. From there one will find it far easier to get into most, if not all, Australian universities – 30

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it is also internationally recognized by many other universities outside Australia. A major piece of evidence of Melbourne’s multiracial community is the restaurants!

While the food in Melbourne and Malaysia are completely different, they are definitely similar in terms of range of variety! They have restaurants that specialize in Middle Eastern, Greek, Italian, Western, Indian, Chinese, and even Malaysian – all on the same block! Did you know that Melbourne is internationally considered the cultural centre of the whole of Australia? It is the home to all kinds of major events and festivals, drama, musicals, comedy, music, art, architecture, literature, film and television. There are so many theatres in Melbourne where ballet, opera, musicals and other acts are performed. I went to one of those theatres (the Regent Theatre) while I was there to watch the 31

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musical Love Never Dies, something like a sequel to the Phantom of the Opera, written by the same Andrew Lloyd Webber. It was a marvellous experience – the theatre is just magnificent; though it was a long way from where I stayed. Yet another great thing about Melbourne – so many people choose to

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their farmers; thus the farmers can sell their goods at lower prices because the government compensates them. Then other countries will buy these farmers’ goods because they are cheaper than the ones the poor countries are selling. The poor farmers have to sell their goods at higher prices because

walk or take trams (fact:

Melbourne has the most extensive tram network in the world). You’re even allowed to rent bicycles parked next to the road. It’s globally friendly and you actually feel good because other people are doing it too and the cool weather doesn’t allow you to perspire quickly. Speaking of which, there are fair trade shops in Melbourne. Fair trade (as you will learn in year nine) is the system where poor farmers in less economically developed countries are able to sell their goods at reasonable prices. In the world today, this is hard to accomplish. Richer and developed countries like the UK are able to subsidise

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their government cannot compensate them due to them having limited money and other priorities – like fixing roads. Fair trade works in the way that nonprofit organisations like Oxfam help to sell the poor farmers’ products (if they meet fair trade standards) in developed countries by certifying the products as considered part of fair trade. Those who know about and support fair trade will buy these products to help the poor farmers. All the money earned goes to the respective farmers. Fair trade is essentially the way to a sustainable economy – where poor countries will be able to become more developed. These fair trade shops sell the products. I was lucky to encounter not one, but two fair trade shops! I was utterly delighted and amazed because I’d never seen one before. Unhesitatingly, I bought few gifts and went on my way. (Just trying to be a Samaritan!)

very friendly towards dogs. All parks allow them, and dog equipment is really cheap. Melbourne is definitely a great place to be.. but perhaps I’m a little biased. I suppose you’ll have to go there and find out for yourself!

And on a pleasant last note: Australians are 33

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Eating is a perfectly normal function that we experience everyday of our lives. Some regard eating as leisurely activity, whilst others see it as a fundamental factor in continuing one’s existence. But the simple action of putting food in your mouth to satisfy hunger has more to it than you think. The world is chock full of people with strange and interesting ways of living. Different people all around the world eat different types of food. What passes between our lips may greatly determine one’s ethnic identity as well as style of living. Here, we explore the wonderful and the bizarre, the weird and the amazing, the compelling foods that people eat around the world (which others may consider taboo). If you are reading this while having dinner… well, err… just keep eating. 34 32

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Maggot Cheese

First up on our list of exotic cuisines is the Sardinian maggot cheese or Casu Marzu in the Sardinian language of Italy. At first it seems like a nonsensical way to infest your already pungent block of cheese with repulsive little grubs. But there is always a reason behind everything.

According to locals, adding maggots to your cheese actually makes it softer and more digestible! I guess they thought their cheese was too hard to sink their teeth in, but why use maggots? Maggots eat the cheese and acids in their digestive system make the cheese extremely soft and also partially liquid. The process has gone pass fermentation to the point of decomposition! Yueck! Usually the maggots are removed before eating, 35

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but in most cases, the combination goes very well together! But beware; cheese fly larvae should not be eaten when they have died because they become toxic. Nonetheless, most people eat the whole thing, maggots and all. The dish is described to be creamy and pulpy with the extra zing that comes with the grubs. Most people like to spread this concoction on their flatbread. The strong flavours of the cheese and the smell of live larvae are simply intoxicating (insert pinch of sarcasm here). Despite the fact that the maggots may be unsafe, most people still devour this hazardous condiment, prizing it as a delicacy in tradition.

Animal Members

You have heard of some very bizarre and outrageous dishes from around the world but nothing beats the delicacies found in China! China has some of the world’s most tolerant tastebuds and equally extraordinary food. But what stands out the most is probably the variety of

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animal penises that they feed on. You read right, this is not a typo, they really do feed on ANIMAL PENISES. The penises range from wieners as small a dog’s to boners as big as those between the legs of a bull. The Chinese also eat members belonging to lambs, pigs, horses, oxen, donkeys, seals, ducks, snakes, etc.

Restaurant in Beijing. The animal parts can be prepared in a number of different ways, yet mostly it is presented the traditional way. Firstly, the customer orders the type of penises he wants to try. Then, platter after platter of whole animal penises are paraded onto the table, so the guests can get an eyeful of what they’re eating. Next, the chef slices them up into convenient bite size pieces. Oddly, the donkey penis is shredded



to a menu in Guolizhuang, China, there are over 30 kinds of penis to choose from. These dastardly dishes can be cooked on request at special restaurants scattered across China like said Guolizhuang

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bacon and the ox penis is sliced and bent into little star shapes. After that, everything is dumped into a hotpot and dipped in sauce. The people who actually order these intriguing dishes are mainly middleaged men suffering from erectile dysfunction. They believe that eating the 36 penis of an animal enhances

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their own members and improves their sex life. Women are also told that eating animal penises is good for the skin. Science has not proven these theories yet but many of whom who participate in this strange practice have claimed that it actually works. Well, what do you think? ‘Sheep prick on a stick’, anyone?

and vegetables but they frequently pop a cricket or two into their mouths for a snack.

Bug on a stick

Creepy crawlies have always been a staple diet in the lives of the poverty-stricken. No doubt, when people cannot afford to purchase precious meat at the market, they look for smaller cheaper alternatives. An idea like this is often questioned – should we put anything with more than four legs into our mouths? The act may only seem bizarre (and sometimes gross) to the well off and wealthy, but to the inadequate, this is a way of life. Let’s skip over to the lives of people living in the rural areas of Thailand. The locals there are rich enough to afford basic meats 37

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vendors farm and fry insects such as crickets and scorpions for passersby along the streets of Thailand. Many insect varieties are available but crickets, scorpions and grasshoppers are the most abundant of all. The people who have tried this dish have had very similar opinions. Most say that the insects are like cream puff. It’s crunchy on the outside but when you bite down, it bursts in your mouth. Yum! Enjoy insect intestines simmering playfully in your mouth.

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Still, the irritating part is getting insect legs out from between your teeth. Speaking of things stuck between your teeth, the native people of Venezuela use tarantula fangs to get bits of tarantula flesh out of their teeth after having a share of roast tarantula fillet. Yes, the indigenous people of Venezuela do indeed catch giant spiders and roast them over a bonfire before sinking their teeth into it and eating its flesh. Roasting the spiders over the fire helps singe off the fine hairs of the tarantula that cause an irritable reaction when inhaled or in contact with the skin. These large spiders are a staple diet of the Venezuelan natives. But it’s not normally the adults that catch the spiders. Often, the children are sent to hunt for them as they are more agile and have a keener sense of sight. The natives claim the spiders taste like crab and are rich in protein, which is hard to come by when you’re in the forest.

Fatal Dinners The Japanese are honourable people. They value discipline and honour over life and have always put such a notion into practice in every aspect of their lives. So much so that they even do it at their dining table! Some would say they are daredevils, others would say they are lunatics but crazy or not, they feast on dishes that may potentially end their life. Take a look. Ever had a barbeque before? I know. Those parties are awesome! The salty taste of seawater in the air, the gritty feel of squirmy sand under your feet. Oohh… But do you remember what they always said about what to barbeque? Anything anything but the pufferfish. Why? Pufferfish are deadly and poisonous. Their spines 38

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are painful and venomous and their blood is devilishly poisonous. No wonder it’s not allowed 10 feet near a grill. But the Japanese, however, insist we put it in our mouths! But not just any ordinary pufferfish can be put on a plate. It has to be the baddest, most poisonous fish in the neighbourhood.


Fugu pufferfish aka box pufferfish is the most poisonous and least recommended fish to ingest. It’s so poisonous you actually need an accomplished chef to serve such a dish. Chefs must train for 3 years to obtain a license in order to cook this dish. The fish is caught and then carefully cut open. Every organ in the fish including the ovaries, skin and liver is highly

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poisonous. Even the blood is not safe to consume, so the chef goes for the fish’s delicate flesh. Blood and poison is thoroughly squeezed out using a knife. The meat of the fish is sliced so thinly so much so that you can actually see through it. The slices are then laid in a circular pattern around a plate, garnished and served raw!

The slightest error in preparation may just cause paralysis and death by asphyxiation. Sometimes the ‘bodies’ are put on standby because the neurotoxins damage the nerves connecting your muscles to the brain, leaving you paralyzed but fully conscious, giving the appearance of death. Good to know, however, that the toxins found in the Fugu 39 fish originate from the

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bacteria that it consumes. So just isolate the germs from the fish and your puffer’s completely edible. But eating it and saying “Hah! Beat that! I ate the Fugu fish! Take that you lilylivered…” then suddenly dropping to the floor and dying.

It crawls back out…

Here’s another Japanese dish that compared to the Fugu, will provide a more violent way to die – live octopus tentacles! Now this dish does not require as much training from the chef as straining from the customer – in the throat region, that is. Like some animals, octopi (plural for octopus) are able to move dismembered body parts even after they’re dead. This zombie-like feature can last for more than six hours, more than enough time for a chef to lop ‘em off and put ‘em on a plate. Picking up a slimy tentacle with chopsticks is already pretty difficult, never mind forcing them down your throat.

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Though the tentacles are extremely chewy because they’re raw, do make it a point to chew anyway before swallowing. Otherwise you can have suction cups sucking on your windpipe or an entire tentacle attempting to escape your esophagus. Picture the feeling of a slimy tentacle wriggling its way up your throat, tickling your tonsils, and violating your tongue. In all seriousness, there have been many reports of death by dinner involving diners that offer raw octopus tentacles, so please choose wisely where you want to eat. *****

I believe we’ve covered quiet a lot, so far, on foods around the world, particularly the ones that 40 make you feel like you have

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butterflies in your stomach. Though unfortunately, there haven’t been any actual cases of people eating butterflies. Anyway, hope you enjoyed reading this disgusting article on the intriguing cuisines people savour around the world. I hope many of you will be able to sample and experience these dishes yourselves – that is if you’re brave enough. But what the heck? It’s worth a try isn’t it? I’m slowly checking them off the list myself. Well, all the best to your brave stomachs and bon-appétit.

Writer and Friend


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Grace Tan 9 Zeta Feature pg.photograph by Chua Yung Ju



utterflies are among the most beautiful creatures in all of nature. Tropical, Central and South America are the richest regions in the world to look for butterflies, but they are found in many other places as well.


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A butterfly's life begins with a very tiny egg laid on a leaf. From this, it develops into a caterpillar, which is the butterfly's larva stage. Eventually, the larva forms a cocoon or chrysalis. Safe inside, it develops into a pupa. After sometime, a beautiful butterfly is released from the cocoon. The adult usually returns to the very plant or tree trunk where it grew up. There it lays its own eggs and begins the process anew (a 2 to 3 month cycle).

Some unique butterflies: The Karner Blue Butterfly

(Lycaeides melissa samuelis) is a small, blue butterfly that has a wingspan of about 1 inch (2.5 cm). This endangered species lives in oak savannas and pine barrens.

The Goliath Birdwing

(Ornithoptera goliath) is the second largest butterfly in the world. This brightly coloured butterfly is poisonous and has a wingspan of up to 11 inches (28 cm) wide. This butterfly is found in tropical forests in Indonesia.

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Glasswing butterflies

(Greta oto) are delicate tropical forest butterflies. Their wings lack the usual dense covering of scales and therefore have transparent or clear wings. This transparency helps these clearwing butterflies hide as they appear and disappear in the dense forest undergrowth.


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Ryan Tan Qai Shen 7 Zeta

My Adventure in Nepal My journey starts at the airport. From KL, I fly to Bangkok to take another airplane to Kathmandu and then fly to Po Khara. When my family and I reached Po Khara, we checked in to a small inn called the Traveler’s Inn that was next to this lake called the Fewa Lake. Nepal can have temperatures as low as 10oc at night so I had to wear a jacket when I was outside. Nepal at night is very different from Malaysia at night. The streets have fewer people and there isn’t much noise coming from cars as about one quarter of the people in Nepal use bikes or walk to their destination. 45

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The next morning, our guide brought us to this temple called the Peaceful Temple on a top of a mountain. When we reached the top, I could see the whole of Po Khara. The lake that I saw from the top of the temple was made of melted ice from the Himalaya. Two days later, I left from Po Khara and arrived in one of Nepal’s cities, Kathmandu. Kathmandu itself has about two million people living in it. The way of living in Po Khara is different from that in Kathmandu. The way of living in Po Khara is different from The only full Tibetan stupa that in Kathmandu. The that can be found in Nepal. people in Po Khara are The eyes that you see on the friendlier than those in stupa are Buddha’s eyes. Kathmandu. The first day in Kathmandu, we On Wednesday, we went to walked around in one of an ancient city complex. The Kathmandu’s shopping place was just humongous, streets. The street was but it wasn’t as big as the one literally flooded with I was going to see next. The people so much so that it windows and pillars were all took us quite a long time carved out of wood, which is to get back to our hotel. just amazing as all of them The next day, we went have really small and complex to a few temples that details. On Thursday, I had a have said to been built fever and I didn’t really enjoy from around the tenth to the trip to Baktapur but at least it was worth going there. eleventh century AD. 46

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That old city complex was bigger than the one I had seen the day before. There were ancient buildings everywhere and they all had pillars and windows carved out of wood. At night, we ate at a Tibetan restaurant and I ate noodle soup with yak meatballs. I found the food in Nepal to be quite boring as the food we eat is almost the same.

A typical village house that can be seen on the hillsides of Po Khara, Nepal.

Anyway, I was coming back to Malaysia the next day so I kept telling myself not to worry, as I’ll get to eat Malaysian food again .The next day we said goodbye to our Nepali friend and flew back to Malaysia. Even though I was happy to come back, I still miss Nepal for its culture, food and scenery.

Two Nepali women spinning the wheels around the stupa. It is believed that if you go around the stupa spinning the wheels while walking in a clockwise direction, you will receive good luck.


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Jamie Liew 10 Sigma

Underwater Rainforests


t may surprise you to know that corals can survive anywhere in the sea – from common shallow waters to uncommon deep waters, from high temperatures to low temperatures (like in the Aleutian Islands in Alaska). Corals don’t just exist as coral reefs, colourful masses of many colonies of corals grouped together, teeming with all sorts of marine life. They don’t all have hard exoskeletons made of calcium carbonate. The diversity of the many species of coral existing within and outside coral reefs will astound you; however, before any more fun facts, we have to know exactly what a coral is. A coral is an animal; an organism. It is the term for a group/ colony of individual ‘polyps’ clumped together to form a ‘head’. Corals have been classified as hermatypic (reefbuilders and have hard exoskeletons), ahermatypic (soft, flexible, do not build reefs, and are lacy in appearance). 48

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While different species of corals can survive with varied conditions, the most famous type of corals is the reef-building corals – the ones that are the cause for coral reefs. These hermatypic corals all have calcium carbonate exoskeletons so when they die, their remains settle and compress to become rock. Other living corals grow on top of this rock – and this is what one calls a coral reef.

in the ocean. They begin as fringe reefs surrounding a volcanic island; then, as the volcano sinks, the reef continues to grow, and eventually only the reef remains.

There are three types of coral reef. They are: Fringing Reefs: They form along a coastline. They grow on the continental shelf in shallow water. Barrier Reefs: They grow beside coasts, but farther out, usually separated from the land by a deep lagoon. They are called barrier reefs because they form a barrier between the lagoon and the seas. Coral Atolls: Rings of coral that grow on top of old, sunken volcanoes

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These three main types of reef are actually stages of evolution of reef systems. First, a fringing reef forms on the coast of a land mass, having the ideal conditions for hard coral to grow thus forming the foundation of reef. Then as the land mass sinks into the sea the reef is left above as its own land mass of sorts – a barrier reef, with the deep sea separating them. And once the sinking land mass has vanished from the surface of the ocean, the reef that is left behind becomes a coral 49 atoll.

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The most famous coral reefs in the world include the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland, Australia (the largest and longest– over 2000km in length); the Belize Barrier Reef, second largest offshore south Belize, which also features an underwater sinkhole (dubbed the Belize Great Blue Hole) and is a tourist attraction for divers worldwide; the New Caledonian Barrier Reef in the southern Pacific Ocean, the second longest reef system in the world, famous for being the nesting sites of the green turtle and the dugong.

obstruct the sunlight – this means overpopulated tourist beaches and river deltas are ruled out. - Between the latitudes of 30°N and 30°S, because these are the only places where there are shallow waters. Furthermore, coral reefs are so colourful. The reason they are so colourful is because a type of coloured singlecelled algae, zooxanthellae, lives inside the polyp’s tissue. Coral polyps are actually translucent! They have a symbiotic relationship with the algae; the algae need sunlight for photosynthesis (which is why corals live in shallow waters) and they give some of the nutrients they receive to the corals. However, as shown above, the polyps also have tentacles to grab small fish at night. Have you ever heard of coral bleaching? It happens when pollution of sediment clouds the waters over the reefs – the algae living on the coral cannot get sunlight and thus cannot survive –

Reef-building corals are easy to find because they are grouped together in a large mass. In addition, they are only located: - In seas that have temperatures between 25°C and 30°C (tropical and temperate places). - In shallow, clear waters because the algae need a lot of sunlight to grow. Pollution or sediment will 50

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– and neither can the corals, so the reefs become devoid of all colour as both die. In turn, the marine life there – fishes, eels, sting rays – are all forced to evacuate or more often, perish. Many coral reefs all over the world are suffering from this due to overfishing, pollution, global warming (during which the temperature gets too hot for the corals to survive) and exploiting the corals themselves by harvesting them for jewellery or other accessories. There have been varying responses. Some governments rely on this industry (like fishing) for their income, so they cannot lose the money and protect the corals instead. Other governments from developed countries have tried to save the coral reefs by putting limitations on how many snorkelers and divers are allowed to swim there and the prohibition of fishing or hotels being built near there (to reduce

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the risk of pollution and sedimentation). Our own country faces these problems – last year, several dive sites in Terengganu had to be closed down for a while to allow the corals to recover. Despite these measures, the rate of destruction of coral reefs still predicts that they will no doubt be extinct within a century, for coral reefs only cover 0.1% of the surface of the ocean, yet hold 25% of all marine life – that means 1 million species! Coral reefs not only provide habitat for marine wildlife, but also, as mentioned, provide billions of dollars worth of income and millions of jobs to over 100 countries. They provide food for villages on small islands and act as a natural barrier, which protects communities and shores from natural hazards like tsunamis. Last but not least, like the endangered rainforests, coral reefs have the potential for treatments for many of the world's most prevalent and dangerous illnesses and diseases. So please, do your part – as a responsible holidayer, be conscious of how fragile the places we take for 51 granted really are!

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Mersedeh Hakim 9 Sigma

When It Comes To Saving Planet Earth


hen it comes to saving planet Earth, most of us fail to see our role. After all, “I’m only one person,” right? Well, at the end of the day, one person makes a huge difference. Here below is a list of the small things you can do to save the environment!


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Recycle everything you can: newspapers, cans, glass, aluminium foil and pans, motor oil, etc.

Don’t waste water. Yes, it’s always nice to take a hot, long shower, or leave the water running when brushing your teeth, but always save where you can! Use the "Off" Switch. Turn off your electrical appliances or lights when you leave a room. Also, there are a lot of instances where we don’t need air-conditioners but we use them anyway. A click on the small button can make a big difference.

Use both sides of a paper. For each piece of paper you waste, you are contributing to the cutting of trees.


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Plant a tree. It's good for the air and the land. Not only that, it also provides shade and beautifies a place perfectly.

Bring your own bag! Plastic bags are terrible! They are not biodegradable and harm the environment. Use reusable bags instead. They are inexpensive and super environmental friendly and you can use them over and over again!

Shop smart. Use products that are more environmental friendly and less toxic.

Borrow if you can. For example, borrow books from libraries instead of buying personal books. This not only saves money, but also saves ink and paper that goes into printing new books. 54

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Inform others. Spread the word to everyone you know! Tell them the importance of their role in saving our beautiful planet. Remember, every small thing that you do matters!


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Yvonne Tan Yit Fong 10 Theta

Millennium Monuments


e are back again after exploring the different types of monuments and their purposes, but how does it connect to geography you ask? Geography is the study of places including the people who live or have lived there. People have built monuments because some things mattered. The heart of geography is the map where a picture of the world organizes our understanding of places. Man, it’s not only about the physical landscape but also the cultural one!


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This time, we decided to explore the ‘Millennium Monuments’ – structures that have been repeatedly used by many countries even our own! Depicting the good and bad times of a country, it is a testament to the people’s triumph despite it all. It reminds the new generation of what our forefathers did, and the old of, maybe, embracing why they did it.

Malacca Sultanate, the independence, the leaders, the technological advancements- you name it! It can be said to be the compressed version of our ‘buku sejarah’. Nonetheless, it serves as a beacon at night as it rests at the edge of the Putrajaya Lake and also a beacon to the future of Malaysia.

Let’s cut to the chase and start with our: Putrajaya, Precinct 2, Monumen Alaf Baru, Open in 2005, this obelisk shaped metal structure with a height of 68 metres and is located on a 25 hectare park in Precinct 2, Putrajaya. Look closely and you’ll see that its shape is of our national flower, the hibiscus! Built to usher in the new millennia and also to denote our milestones, its plates are engraved with story – the 57

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Monumen Alaf Baru, Putrajaya

1146 Budapest, Hősök Tere Across nations and seas, there lies another monument. A kind that also marks the millennium, the 1000th anniversary of the Hungarian settlement to be exact, which is situated at

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tere (Hungarian for Heroes’ Square) in Budapest.

Built in 1896, 14 substantial figures of the Hungarian history have found their place in a semicircular construction where they all surround the Archangel Gabriel personifying the spirit of victory on top of a 36 metre column. On the pedestal under the open niches in which the statues stand, there lie illustrations of historical events from the life of the person depicted by the statue above; all divided into sections according to their eras- the past, the present and the future. More symbols such as the two horse chariots symbolize War and Peace while other allegorical figures show Work and Prosperity, Knowledge and Glory by the statues on top of the rows of pillars.

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Chicago, Millennium Park, Millennium Monument

Also known as Wrigley Square and costing at a cool $5 million replicating the Peristyle, this gift from the William Wrigley Jr. Company rises 12.2 metres at the aptly named Millennium Park. It is a tribute to the individual, corporate and the construction of the park but also conservation of it.

Ireland to Russia to China with more or less the same purpose of commemorating and ushering the past millennium as well as the future one respectively.

The purpose of the creation of the whole Millennium Park is to commemorate the spirit of achievement of the people of this windy city. “Millennium Park was meant to be a place for family, friends and colleagues to gather, as well as an oasis of relaxation in the heart of a dynamic and vibrant city” said William Wrigley Jr. We have only scratched the surface of what I suppose you could call ‘types of monuments’ as there are many more in all different shapes, sizes, materials and representations all dotted around the globe from 59

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Ng Yit Lin / Chong Yoong Wai 9 Sigma and 9 Zeta

The Lake District


he Lake District is one of the most iconic and peaceful places in Britain. Located some hours away from London, the Lakes are the top destinations for a perfect summer holiday, with 2,292 square kilo metres of tranquil, scenic land to explore. Its namesake originates from the fact that the area is simply dotted with lakes. It boasts the longest lake in England, Lake Windermere, and also the deepest lake, Lake Wastwater. 60

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In addition to those two record-holding lakes, the Lake District also contains the tallest mountain in England, Scafell Pike at just under 1 kilometre. Three other mountains in the area are also close in height to Scafell Pike. In addition, many other mountainsabove 750m can be found around the large area.

, the towns surrounding the area make most of their money off tourists eager to catch a glimpse of what is England’s arguably best park. Such towns include Windermere, Keswick and Bowness-on-Windermere, to name a few. Regardless, there is still a plethora of hamlets (small villages) close to the Lake District. These hamlets make money off a combination of agriculture as well as tourism.

A majority of the Lake District was, in 1951, converted to a National Park. It is, as of writing, the biggest park in England, and second biggest in the United Kingdom. As such,


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It’s easy to get there, considering the number of motorways, A and B-type roads that criss-cross the region, plus you could take the bus or train services from anywhere across Britain, including central London and Heathrow Airport. Accommodation is a-plenty when it comes to the Lake District, wherever you are. If you want a lakeside hotel, there’s the Beech Hill Hotel near Bowness-on-Windermere or the nearest guesthouse with a spectacular view of the majestic lakes.

The geology of the Lake District, while extremely complex, has been thoroughly studied by geologists in the United Kingdom. The whole area itself is very high compared to sea level, the consequence of a large intrusion of granite rock. This formation is known as a batholith. Geologists split the Lake District into three ‘bands’, which are the Northwestern, Central and Southeastern bands. The Northwestern band is comprised mainly of sedimentary rocks such as siltstones and also mudstones. These rocks are not very solid, and thus the slopes of the mountains formed from them are almost always smooth. An example is the Skiddaw Mountain in the band. Incidentally, the Skiddaw Mountain is also one of the aforementioned mountains with a height just below 1 kilometre. (The mountain is 931 metres tall)

The Lakes too have quite a few nice towns to live in like Windermere and Keswick. They like visitors and they won’t picket you to the nearest parish. Life there is slow and peaceful; just right for people who are starting to age from their fast-paced lives in the modern British cities. The serene and friendly surroundings will undoubtedly make you feel welcome, coupled with the great foods of the North. 62

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On the other hand, the central band is comprised of a mixture of sedimentary and volcanic rock, most of which was formed from lava flows. The frequent lava flows of the past are evident by the many mountains in the area. For instance, previously mentioned Scafell Pike lies within this band and was produced by pyroclastic lava flows. The pyroclastic flows also ensured the rough slopes of the mountains, a contrast to the Northwestern band of the Lake District.

basically gloomy rain, but there are days where sunshine comes up to brighten everyone’s day. Most of the rainfall here is relief rainfall, due to the large amount of mountains in the area. Those who are going there would experience nice, moderate temperatures between 3°C in January and around 15°C in July (good for a spot of ice-cream or a pint at the local pub). Those who do not have a liking for the cities and prefer the wildlife should come here, as this place has so much to offer, such as the only pair of Golden Eagles in England, and a fish called the Arctic Charr. Although there are stringent bye-laws in force, there are still ways to interact with the wildlife there, such as the That is better than an MP called Clive Efford protecting “Corky-Fruited Water Dropworts” in a protected area in southeast London.

The Southeastern band is made of mostly mudstone. However, many intrusions of igneous rock can be seen throughout the band and also the other two bands. These intrusions are known as outcrops. The climate there is pretty damp; so damp that it is one of the dampest parts of England. Precipitation rates vary between places, but it is generally 80 inches of rain, which means it is 63

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Now, that’s all you need to know about the Lake District. Next time you visit Britain, you should visit this place. It’s a proper place for a relaxing holiday, compared to visiting the nearest shopping mall for some “retail therapy.” What is that anyway?

Psst...don’t they look familiar, Year Nines?


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Jamie Liew 10 Sigma

Earthed on Earth: A Small World in the Soil


oil is the ground beneath your feet. It is the dirt that plants need to grow. Other than that, what do you know about soil? Soil is actually an essential part of all ecosystems. It has many layers that tell you about its role in nature. These layers are the result of the organic material at the very surface of the earth (dead plant and animal material) mixing with the eroded bedrock at the bottom, still at the earth’s surface but very much deeper. 65

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Humus Topsoil  (A  Horizon)-­‐   often  rich  in  humus  and   minerals  

Subsoil  (B  Horizon)-­‐  poor  in   humus,  rich  in  minerals    

Weathered  Rock  Fragments   (C  Horizon)-­‐  little  or  no  plant   or  animal  life  

Bedrock  (D  Horizon)    

Plants and soil have a very close relationship. Plants grow in soil because it is porous (having air pockets) which lets it absorb rainwater. In turn, the roots of the plants are able to absorb this rainwater. Nutrients and minerals from the soil are also absorbed into the plant. When the plant dies, it decays (organisms that live in the soil, called

decomposers, turn the dead plant material into compost, which is soil full of the nutrients that had been in the plant. This is the humus. After some time, the nutrients go back into the soil so other plants as well as the organisms that live inside the soil can use them. The humus


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becomes the A horizon, or topsoil (rich in humus and minerals – the level that plant roots usually grow down into). By this time another layer of humus will have formed over the A horizon. When the A horizon is further pushed down by other layers, the B horizon, or subsoil, is formed. There is now very little humus and a lot of minerals because the rainwater (which has minerals in it) that seeped down to this level has evaporated and left behind the minerals. The C horizon, or regolith, has pieces of weathered rock due to the fragmentation of the last layer, the bedrock (D horizon). It also has very little minerals and so there isn’t any life. The bedrock is solid rock – no minerals. _________________________

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Now here’s an interesting piece of information: One can quote, “There are more species of organisms in a handful of soil than there are people in the world.” Isn’t it impossible to believe that almost seven billion wriggling creatures are inside that handful? This is the conclusion of the National Academy of Sciences. In the past, scientists generally accepted that a wider range of species can be found above ground at the equator than at Earth’s poles due to the extreme weather there. However, a study of the species living underground (like nematodes, mites and springtails) had not been conducted until now. The study examined the global distribution of the organisms – were they like organisms living on the surface, having the same species of animals naturally exist in many countries worldwide? Soil samples were taken from 67 11 sites around the world,

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including tropical forest in Costa Rica, arid grassland in Kenya, warm temperate forest in New Zealand, shrub steppe of Argentina and tundra and boreal forest of Alaska and Sweden. Their findings were unexpected. there are less nutrients in In each handful of soil the soil) compared with they collected was the other sites. same range of diversity of organisms, yet the types of organisms in each sample were completely different. “On average, 96% of our identified soil animals were found at only a single location, suggesting that most soil animals have restricted distributions, or in other words, they are endemic,” stated one of the researchers. They also found out that places with greater above-ground biodiversity appeared to have lower diversity beneath in soils. The logical explanation for this is that at these sites there are high levels of soil inorganic nitrogen availability (which is what farmers use to fertilise their plants and since they are synthetic some organisms cannot survive) and lower pH (acidic soils which means 68

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Tan Yee Lynn / Chee Hui-Yi 10 Sigma

The New Species in the Amazon


he Amazon Rainforest covers 40% of the South American continent. The countries that are part of the Amazon rainforest are Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Guyana, Ecuador, Suriname, Bolivia, French Guiana (part of France). The Amazon is the largest existing rainforest on Earth. The Amazon Rainforest is also known as the ‘Lungs of the World’ because it produces 20% of the world’s oxygen. The rainforest plays an important role in our global environment because it absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen. 69

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heal faster. Besides medicinal properties, Aloe Vera has its beauty properties. It can help one to have a smooth and soft complexion.

The Amazon Rainforest is not only made up of one type of ecosystem. Instead it is made up of tropical rainforests, seasonal rainforests, savannas, flooded rainforests and deciduous rainforests. Many plants in the rainforest have medicinal properties. For example the Ginger plant. Ginger is believed to help cure stomach aches in Peru. Ginger also aids in digestion. Another rainforest plant that has medicinal properties is the Aloe Vera. It is believed that Aloe Vera can aid cells to regrow quickly and helps wounds to

The Amazon River is located in this rainforest and it is the second longest river on the planet. A lot of marine life and plants are found in this river. Some of these species are rare and not known to a lot of people. For example, the Amazon River Dolphin or boto, which is the largest species of dolphins.


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One of the famous Brazilian legends states that the boto is able to change into a man and seduce maidens by the riverside. There is also the Arowana, which is one of the most beautiful fish in the world and then there is the remarkable airbreathing fish known as the Piraracu. Not only is it home to a wide variety of marine life, the Amazon Rainforest is also home to one out of ten species of wildlife. This rainforest is home to 40,000 plant species, 2,200 fishes, 1,294 birds, 427 mammals, 428 amphibians, and 378 reptiles. For instance, the harmful Poison Dart Frog can be found in the Amazon Rainforest. This frog can only be found in North and South America. Besides wildlife, the Amazon Rainforest is home to some indigenous people. The Yanomami tribe is the largest tribe in the Amazon Rainforest. Their traditions are different from other tribes such as the Witoto. Their life revolves around

the forest. They depend a lot on the land for food and shelter.


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Bubble Bottom Frog

The Ranitomeya Amazonica or the poison dart frog is one of the thousands of new plant and vertebrate species found in the Amazon from the period of 1999 to 2009.

The species is under great risk due to wildlife trade and increasing development. About 17% of the Amazon has been deforested to make way for rearing cattle and growing crops.

Electric Knifefish

The poison dart frog which was discovered in 1999 has Found in the Amazon River in distinct features such as a burst Brazil and Peru, the Electric of 'flame' on its head and water Knifefish was discovered in patterned legs. It is found in the 2009. Part of its name is linked moist lowland forests. to the high frequency waves it emits to communicate. The elongated snout found on the male is used during jawlocking battles. Males tend to fight over nesting sites and females.


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Bald Parrot

The Bald parrot is only found in two places in the Brazilian Amazon which is, the headwaters of the Tapaj贸s River and the Lower Madeira River. This species is currently under danger due to deforestation.

Bluefang Spider

The Bluefang Spider was discovered in French Guiana in the year 2000 and it has a taste for birds. According to WWF, there are about 50,000 species of insects found within the 2.5 square kilo metres of the Amazon Rainforest.


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Bolivian River Dolphin The Bolivian River Dolphin was founded in 2006 and became the Bolivian government’s symbol in the Beni region. The often ignored aquatic life in the Amazon was thus highlighted by these dolphins as it had brought importance and interest to the creatures living in the water. People often only think of “trees” and “forest” when you say Amazon.

Founded in 2006, the dwarf gecko (Gonatodes Alexandermendesi) was first located in central Guyana. It was first seen in the drainages of two river systems that flow in the forest. This species can be found around boulders, cracks and crevices in the Amazon.

Dwarf Gecko


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Rio Acari Marmoset

The Rio Acari Marmoset was founded in 2000, representing one of the seven new monkey species in the Amazon. They are kept as pets by some inhabitants in the Brazilian Amazon. These small monkeys are said to live only in the remote or quiet and undisturbed areas. However, they have not been studied thoroughly. Its population status has not been determined yet.


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Yeow Rui Wyern / Shahirah Izzati 10 Theta and 10 Sigma

The The Lone Lone Traveller Traveller


he cold, sharp wind blew across his face, stinging his already cheeks. It was colderhis face, he cold, sharp red wind blew across this year, he thought as he trudged through stinging his already red cheeks. It was the heavy snowfall. Temperatures had dropped colder year, he worried thoughtthat as there he trudged to at least -40othis C and he was through the prey heavy snowfall. had would be fewer as all have goneTemperatures into hiding. o dropped to way at least -40 and and he was He fought his back to thec igloo beganworried preparations for the night. Night came that there would be fewer prey as allearly have gone here. He had been living here all his life and was into hiding. He fought his way back to the ripe for adventure. Ever since he was a toddler, igloo and began preparations for the night. he knew that there was something larger out Nightforcame Hecold had there him. Heearly loved here. the wild, andbeen raw living here all for that adventure. beauty thathis waslife his and homewas but ripe he knew deep in the depths of his soul that he needed to see what was out there. He was a born adventurer. 76

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And so he decided that at the first light of dawn he would depart for the world beyond what he knew. He settled down to watch the Northern Lights.

He had seen them all his life but the beauty of it never ceased to amaze him. With the Northern Lights imprinted in his mind and the thrill of adventure in the air, he fell asleep, impatiently waiting for a new day to arrive. The next day, he headed North with nothing but a bag on his back. He travelled by day and slept by night. On he went steadily through the region of Antarctica as the weather slowly grew warmer. He had long passed the area where the penguins usually reside and still he headed north. 77

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He slowly shrugged off his layers of clothing starting with his thick bearskin until one day he reached the sea. He fashioned a skinboat out of the materials he had and continued his journey north. Upon reaching land, he was shocked and delighted. What a sight to behold! Green plants of all sorts, giant sequoia trees rising up into the air, colourful birds flying through the thick canopy, fruits the size of his fists. The place was teeming with life forms of all sorts. What is this but paradise? He quickly set aside his skinboat. His adventure had truly begun. He had reached the Amazon Rainforest. He delved deep into the rainforest and began his search for shelter. Along the way, he saw long, slithery creatures, insects of all sorts and many other strange beasts. By midday, he was

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sweating rivulets even though he was only wearing a shirt and pants. He was not yet used to the hot, humid weather and had to find a water source quickly before he passed out. He was crawling on his knees from exhaustion when he finally saw a river. He hurriedly laid down his bag and jumped into the cold refreshing water, uncaring of the dangers within. Water has never tasted better than before. After a thirst quenching drink, he continued his adventure into the deepest, darkest never-before-seen caves. As he went deeper into the cave, light was at its dimmest so he took out his torchlight to light his way through the mysterious cave. As he was walking, he heard a hissing noise which was discovered to be a similar snake that he had seen before in a magazine.


A milk snake it was! Its venom is deadly and poisonous, and so he dared not walk an inch nearer, yet he managed to snap a quick picture. Thereafter, he exited the cave and headed east. He walked and walked, sneaking his way between tall trees and thorny flowers keeping himself invisible to the wild animals for he did not dare interfere with their activities. Before he knew it, he reached the desert! He was tired and hungry. But in thirst of adventure he marched on. Along the way, he had seen all sorts of creatures, long or short, scaly or hairy. During night time, sleeping on an empty stomach was the only option but the starry sky had helped fuel him. With such a rare sight engraved in his mind, he slowly drifted off and slept for the night. 78

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Geography Homework:Coral Reefs Kaylie Khor (9 Zeta)


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~END~ 92

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What Do You

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Pictures/Illustrations for next year? Comics for next year? Write to us at: Any of those above is appreciated, and we’ll get back to you in a timely manner if there is something that you are particularly interested in from the Magazine 93

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Sri Kuala Lumpur No. 1, Jalan SS 15/7A 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan





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