Thursday, 24 July 2014

Auto & News: Hong Kong Tesla Model S First Delivery Event!!!




Let's rock!
Image from Locky's English Playground
Last night was Tesla's Model S First Delivery Event in Hong Kong -- invitation only. A group of Tesla Motors Club Hong Kong members and myself first met up at Telford Starbucks before taking the coach to Kai Tak Cruise Terminal.

Getting a non-alcoholic drink with new friends
Image from Locky's English Playground
Never had I used an internet nickname to make friends online and then eventually got to meet up. The self-introduction as you can guess, involved unveiling our nicknames, which was a pretty intriguing experience.

The Sign and the EV
Image from Locky's English Playground
After some minutes of terribly meandering rides on the coach, we finally arrived at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal and was welcomed by a dark grey Tesla Model S demo car.

Front-facing
Image from Locky's English Playground
To get a better simulation of what it will look like under bright daylight, here's an overexposed photo of it. Possibly due to its variable colour under different lighting, the Transport Department has moved to block any future orders of such grey Model S, so for those who have ordered this colour in Hong Kong, your car has immediately become limited edition.

Selfie of me and demo Model S
Image from Locky's English Playground

Feels good to have my own VIP card
Image from Locky's English Playground
Upon entering the event hall, everyone was asked to provide their registered name and phone number to collect their VIP pass.

Panorama of the event hall
Image from Locky's English Playground
After that, it was mingling time! I took the opportunity to capture some photos, including the panorama above, a panoramic video below,


The stage
Image from Locky's English Playground
a photo of the stage with the silhouette of a car and some early attendees drinking their wine/orange juice and eating finger-food,

Alex Fong, the Hong Kong actor
Image from Locky's English Playground
and a snapshot of Mr. Alex Fong, a renowned Hong Kong actor, who was quite apparently one of the first ten Model S customers in Hong Kong to receive their cars at the event. FYI, he was surrounded by seas of ladies asking for photos all night. There were other celebrities and models judging by their appearance, but I am afraid I do not know any of them.

Group photo, one and only group
Image from Locky's English Playground

There was quite a bit of delay for the event but we wasted no time in entertaining ourselves. And because we have a great leader, we managed to take the only group photo of the night for the entire event!

Soon after that, we were told to leave the hall and out to the open.


There were 3 more Model S and a fake supercharger for attendees to play around with. After that, Tesla's Vice President, World Wide Sales and Service Jerome Guillen gave the opening speech,


followed by a customer called Mr. Dennis Low/ Lo to give a 5-minute (script-reading) speech, and then the first ten customers were presented with their car keys.


Of course, Mr. Alex Fong was again the only one I could recognise. It is worth mentioning that few people actually clapped their hands while these ten customers got their hands on their car keys. The reason is obvious, because everybody else has waited just as long for their cars and we are still waiting. It was kind of hard for us to congratulate them.

First 10 customers to collect their Model S in HK
Image from Locky's English Playground
After all car keys had been presented, and a group photo taken, it was time to see their cars!


Everyone rushed forward to catch a glimpse of the first 10 Model S in Hong Kong, of course, most people went to see the famous actor's.



Alex Fong's Model S, license plate blurred for privacy purpose
Image from Locky's English Playground
Soon the staff told everyone to return to the event hall for the closing,


and as the white Model S was unveiled, all programmes also ended.



White P85+ Model S
Image from Locky's English Playground
How come it sounds so boring? Well because it was in fact quite boring. No laser, no mist, no light show, no fireworks. What was fun about the event was really the interactions with fellow future owners and the chances to play with the cars as much as you like! Great cars and awesome people spiced things up, not the event itself. 

Here's an excellent timelapse by DITB, you can see me at 0:32.


The girls who served food and drinks though, were quite pretty! I doubt that they work for Tesla though.

I posed in front of a fake supercharger and a real Model S
Image from Locky's English Playground
There are some great news after all, and that is the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal superchargers and the Wanchai Hopewell superchargers are both up and running! So a practically empty battery Model S can now be charged up to 80% in 40 minutes and up to 100% in 75 minutes!

Supercharging time
Image from Tesla Motors
What's more, since Tesla EVs get 6 hours free parking at Hopewell, I just need to go yum cha in Wanchai and by the time I pick up my car, the battery will have gone from 0% to 100%, and I need not pay a single dollar!!! Gotta thank Tesla and Hopewell for that!

A photo of the steering wheel and the 17" display
Image from Locky's English Playground
From another angle
Image from Locky's English Playground
Me again, but not my car
Image from Locky's English Playground
By the time we all left the venue, each one of us got a Tesla umbrella as souvenir, which is a very nice touch, but why are cars always related to umbrellas? 

Home sweet home
Image from Locky's English Playground
The post-event activity was an enjoyable dinner with some fellow future owners at California Pizza Kitchen at MegaBox. It is so nice to have made so many new friends in one day! I'm sure we will have more fun together when we all get our hands on our own Model S.


Resources:
Auto & News: Hong Kong Tesla Model S Official Deliveries!!! @ Locky's English Playground
http://lockyep.blogspot.com/2014/07/auto-news-hong-kong-tesla-model-s.html

Hong Kong Tesla Model S First Delivery Event -- Part 1 @ YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxbTs1EXukw

Hong Kong Tesla Model S First Delivery Event -- Part 2 @ YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TsXhdKVdWs

Hong Kong Tesla Model S First Delivery Event -- Part 3 @ YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGAvllgqK-U

Hong Kong Tesla Model S First Delivery Event -- Part 4 @ YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEfYgOyI-SA

Hong Kong Tesla Model S First Delivery Event -- Part 5 @ YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyoTyg-8pdk

Hong Kong Tesla Model S First Delivery Event -- Part 6 @ YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmsI43pmzZk

Kai Tak Cruise Terminal Supercharger @ Tesla Motors
http://www.teslamotors.com/supercharger/kaitakcruiseterminal

Hopewell Centre Supercharger @ Tesla Motors
http://www.teslamotors.com/supercharger/hopewellcentre


Monday, 21 July 2014

Food & Dining: Daifukuya Ramen Restaurant @ Central feat.Mr. Bing


DaiFukuya's ramen
Image from Locky's English Playground
Just finished marking all the term papers with my colleague and so I finally have time to post some entries which have been stacked up in my drafts for awhile.

Cochrane Street near SOHO
Image from Locky's English Playground

Few weeks ago, my wife, baby Muse and I were at Central almost the whole afternoon, and at 6pm, we thought we should eat before heading home and so we went to SoHo at Central, just to realise that most restaurants do not open until 7pm. Hot and tired, we decided to walk into any one that was opened.

Daifukuya Ramen Restaurant
Image from Locky's English Playground
And there on the side, we found this Daifukuya Ramen Restaurant. We had never heard of this Japanese ramen restaurant, nor had we searched for its reviews on Openrice, we were just drawn to it by the warm welcom of a staff who kindly let me put the pram at the reception counter.

Menus on the wall
Image from Locky's English Playground
The air-con was desperately needed, as baby Muse was sleeping while sweating all over.

Happy staff
Image from Locky's English Playground
As we were cooling down, I took some time taking photos for this blog post. It was too early for dinner, so the restaurant was pretty empty, maybe that is why the staff looked happy.

Looking out from inside
Image from Locky's English Playground
Seems like our presence had really raised the attention from the tourists outside, who eventually came in for their ramen.

Only 4 types on menu
Image from Locky's English Playground
Once we were cooled, we took a look at the menu. It was simple, just 4 types of soup base (actually 2 only, because the other 2 are just blended and diluted) and the same noodle with different side dishes. Specialised? Or just simple? Not sure. But definitely, you do not need a genius to cook them and that is good in terms of management, as you do not need to rely on any particular "chef".

Pork Broth Ramen
Image from Locky's English Playground
My wife ordered the original pork broth ramen, and to her disappointment, the soup basically was tasteless, not even salty enough. The noodles were definitely burning hot though! She loves the egg too, and so, here's the score.

Scores:

Look:            ★★★★☆ 4/5
Taste:            ★★☆☆☆ 2/5
Smell:            ★★★☆☆ 3/5
Textures:       ★★★★☆ 4/5
Temperature: ★★★★★ 5/5
Overall:         ★★★☆☆ 18/25


Rich Pork and Fish Broth Ramen
Image from Locky's English Playground
But when it comes to my rich pork and fish both ramen, the story is completely different. The soup is rich in fish in particular, and the saltiness was spot-on. In fact, it was so rich that I mixed my soup with the soup in my wife's ramen and then split the soup again and it still tasted great, actually even better! Once the soup is right, and the texture of the ramen is not that bad, then everything else becomes great!

Scores:

Look:            ★★★★☆ 4/5
Taste:            ★★★★☆ 4/5
Smell:            ★★★★☆ 4/5
Textures:       ★★★★☆ 4/5
Temperature: ★★★★★ 5/5
Overall:         ★★★★☆ 21/25


Mr. Bing, is this Singlish? Oh no, that's Ah Beng.
Image from Locky's English Playground
After a good rest in the restaurant, we paid and we went opposite to this Mr. Bing Beijing pancake shop to buy a piece of the original as my wife said she had always wanted to try one.

Photos of the owner having fun with water
Image from Locky's English Playground
Maybe the most attractive things about this pancake shop are the photos of the owner on the wall. I mean yeah, people putting up photos of visited celebrities or politicians is a common phenomenon in Hong Kong, but photos of boat-trips and snorkelling? This has to be the first.

Oh well, when we got home, we realised that it will be the last time we visit Ah Bing, because we realised Chinese pancakes are not even close to Kebab rolls. It is just.....not our cup of tea. My wife took one bite and decided to chuck the rest to me, and I took two bites before chucking it to the bin. I mean, it was actually really nice, could be excellent for some people, but to me, it tastes like every other pancake you get in a Chinese restaurant if you go yum cha at weekends -- floury, oily, spring-onionly. When we were already that full of ramen in the stomach, something so filling and rich-smelling was just too much for us.

I really want to have kebabs again after that though.


Resources:

Daifukuya Ramen Restaurant @ Openrice
http://www.openrice.com/english/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=155303&region=0&s=3

Mr. Bing @ Openrice
http://www.openrice.com/english/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=120595&region=0&s=3

Kebab @ Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kebab


Friday, 18 July 2014

Website & Vocabulary: Awesome Updates To The Cambridge Dictionary Online!!!


Cambridge Dictionaries Online
Image from Locky's English Playground
Remember back in the post IPA: Is It Possible to Have Primary-Stressed Vowels In An English Word? I told you how my ex-boss is a fervent supporter of the Oxford Dictionary and that I told you I only take all dictionaries as references? If you do, and you buy my philosophy, you are going to see the world of English a whole lot wider.

That being said, I still prefer to use Cambridge Dictionaries Online, initially for its simplicity in meanings and examples, to more distinctive fonts and colours for easy reading, to now...a hub for almost everything you can ask for!

Take for example, if you take a look at the image above, on the right sidebar you see SMART Thesaurus, click on the link and you will get a word cloud list as shown in the image below.

Cambridge Dictionaries Online
Image from Locky's English Playground
While the SMART Thesaurus has been around for quite a while, the next update is more recent.

English-Chinese Dictionary
Image from Locky's English Playground
Selecting English-Chinese before you search for a word, and you will have meanings and examples translated into Chinese for you! Of course, there are also French, German, Italian, Spanish, Turkish, Japanese, Russian, Korea, etc.

Cambridge Dictionaries Online
Image from Locky's English Playground
In the most recent update, if we return to the first image, you will now see Grammar bubbles right below the meanings and examples. Thus, when you are searching for a word, you can also learn the correct grammar when using it!

Say if I want to know when is "such" used as a determiner or what it means by a determiner, I can click on the respective bubble and ...

Cambridge Dictionaries Online
Image from Locky's English Playground

...you get all the key points worthy of your study time!!!

I really love Cambridge Dictionaries Online now! Even the mobile app has a bookmark function for you to store the words you want for quick revisits.


Resources:
IPA: Is It Possible to Have Primary-Stressed Vowels In An English Word? @ Locky's English Playground
http://lockyep.blogspot.com/2014/07/ipa-is-it-possible-to-have-primary.html

Learning Method: How to improve your English skills? (Writing) @ Locky's English Playground
http://lockyep.blogspot.hk/2009/08/learning-method-how-to-improve-your.html

Cambridge ADVANCED Learner's
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mobisystems.msdict.embedded.wireless.cambridge.cald&hl=en

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/such_1?q=such


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Auto & News: Hong Kong Tesla Model S Official Deliveries!!!


Invitation to the First HK Model S Deliveries
Image from markwj
On the Tesla Motors Club forum I received a great news that the Tesla Model S is finally arriving in Hong Kong on the 23rd July!! There will be an opening event in which the first Hong Kong Model S is to be delivered to the first customer! Whether Elon Musk will be here in Hong Kong for the grand opening I have no idea. Rumour has it that he will not, but I am hoping that he still comes.

Kai Tak Cruise Harbour
Image from DITB
It is expected that the first supercharger will also be the location of the event, which is unknown at the moment, but rumour also has it that it will be at the Cruise Harbour at Kai Tak, Kowloon.


11/F Hopewell Centre, Wanchai
Image from sonywong

What is definitely true is that Hopewell will continue to support Tesla and that they are upgrading the 11/F parking lot in Hopewell Centre in Wanchai,

Image from Hopewell
and it is likely that they will continue to offer Tesla 6 hours free parking and supercharging! This is a win-win situation as people like me never visit Hopewell thus I never spend money there. Soon, I will be going there once a week for charging and possibly yum cha as well. Gotta love this company!

My sweet baby girl Muse @ Facebook
Image from Locky's English Playground
That being said, I do not think I am being invited for this supercharger opening-cum-first Model S event, since I have not received an invitation till now. It is a pity, as I was planning to bring along my baby in her Tesla onesie, a gift from my sweet sister (Thank you!), to support Tesla and make her the first baby reporter ever at the event!

Well, never mind, I can always make a video when my baby's Model S arrive, yes, it is gonna be her car.

And so for now, what I can do is to re-show you the video I have made for my most recent test drive.


Rumour also has it that the production cars have been once again delayed till October, well, I am a patient man so I am fine with that.


--- Updated 16th July 2014 ---

Not long after I posted this post, I got the email invitation! They read my blog post?

Image from Locky's English Playground
By my wife now says it is not an event for babies and so I shouldn't take baby Muse there....sad....


--- Updated 18th July 2014 ---

Check this out!!!
Superchargers at Kai Tak Cruise Harbour
Photo by River Leung




Vocabulary:
onesie -- (n)[C] or an infant bodysuit is a garment designed to be worn by infants much like a T-shirt; they are distinguished from T-shirts by an extension below the waist, with snaps or Velcro that allow it to be closed over the crotch.


Resources:
Tesla Motors Club
http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/forumdisplay.php/92-Hong-Kong


Hopewell Centre
http://www.hopewellcentre.com/index.php/web/Page/parking


Tesla Model S Hong Kong RHD @ Crown Wine Cellar @ YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixS6QFvVvos

onesie @ Wikipedia


Sunday, 13 July 2014

News: "Olds" That Shock The World This Week!


Child infected with smallpox. Bangladesh, 1973
Image from Wikipedia
As the title goes, here are some "olds" that shock the world in the past few days!

Employees at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) discovered 6 forgotten vials of the horrific, catastrophic smallpox virus in an unused storage room in early July, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.
Smallpox virus under microscope
Image from nbcnews
Smallpox structure
Image from scq.ubc.ca

A disease believed to have originated over 3,000 years ago in India or Egypt, smallpox killed an estimated 300–500 million people during the last century. Typically characterised by dense dimpled pustules rash filled with thick, opaque fluid, smallpox has a very high case-fatality rate ranging from 20% to 60% in adults and near 80% in London and 98% in Berlin during the late 1800s  in infants.

Image from Wikipedia

One of the minor differences between smallpox and chickenpox is the distribution of the rash, as chicken pox rash appears mainly on the face and the torso, whereas smallpox focuses attack on the face and limbs.

Since the introduction of vaccination in the 1800, smallpox was officially eradicated worldwide in 1979, except for samples stored in 2 highly secure laboratories, consisting of CDC and Russia. The vials concerned in this "olds" which should have been destroyed have been left unsecured for decades. The fact that the virus did not end in a massive outbreak and "rebirth" of smallpox, we are all very lucky.

This image of Steven Spielberg following what appears to be a triceratops poaching has gone viral.
Photo: Jay Branscomb, Facebook. Caption by KSDK.com
Sarcasm and humour at work. A Facebook jokester posted an image of Steven Spielberg sitting in front of a Jurassic Park Triceratop prop with the caption:



"Disgraceful photo of recreational hunter happily posing next to a Triceratops he just slaughtered. Please share so the world can name and shame this despicable man."

The comments are the best part.

"Steven Spielberg, I'm disappointed in you. I'm not watching any of your movies again ANIMAL KILLER," one commenter wrote.
"Disgraceful. No wonder dinosaurs became extinct. Sickos like this kill every last one of them as soon as they are discovered. He should be in prison," another said.
"He should be killed instead. Beautiful creature innocently living millions of years ago then this monster comes along," the commenter said.
"That's Steven Spielberg, director of Jurassic Park!" one person wrote.
"I don't care who he is, he should not have shot that animal!" a defender all of animals (even extinct ones) wrote back.
Do you think they really do not know what is happening, or are they just being funny and play along?

Google Glass crossover Brainwave detection?
Image from ddmcdn
Loved or hated, Google Glass can now be controlled using brainwave!!! How? The video below will tell.


In the future, the patients with locked-in syndrome (LIS) may be able to communicate! Awesome technology!


Finally, scientists have come up with another theory on how massive pyramid rocks were moved, and they say -- water.


What do you think?



Vocabulary:
pustule -- (n)[C] 
jokester -- (n)[C] 


Resources:
'Holy Toledo': Smallpox Discovery Opens Painful Scabs @ NBC News.com
http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/holy-toledo-smallpox-discovery-opens-painful-scabs-n153141

David A. Koplow (2004) Smallpox: The Fight to Eradicate a Global Scourge
http://books.google.com.hk/books/ucpress?vid=ISBN9780520242203&redir_esc=y

Smallpox at @ WHO
http://web.archive.org/web/20070921235036/http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/smallpox/en/

Edward Jenner and the history of smallpox and vaccination @ NCBI
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1200696/

Steven Spielberg: Triceratops murderer? @ KSDK.com
http://www.ksdk.com/story/life/2014/07/11/steven-spielberg-triceratops-murder/12551901/

Good Thinking! Brain-Control Google Glass @ Discovery News
http://news.discovery.com/tech/gear-and-gadgets/good-thinking-brain-control-google-glass-140710.htm?utm_source=googleplus.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=DNewsSocial

MindRDR @ YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJQZtxlLaG0

Locked-in syndrome @ Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locked-in_syndrome

We Finally Know How The Pyramids Were Made! @ YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRvtVrXcC3Y


Thursday, 10 July 2014

Food & Cooking: Japanese Slow-Cooked Teriyaki Flounder


Japanese Slow-Cooked Teriyaki Flounder
Image from Locky's English Playground
Not much time to write too much, and so, a quick sharing of yet another quick and easy dish from me -- the Japanese Slow-Cooked Teriyaki Flounder!

You'll need,
  1. a fish (salmon, flounder, etc.),
  2. Japanese Teriyaki sauce,
  3. Mirin,
  4. rice wine or Sake;
  5. ginger,
  6. spring onions (optional)
Fish and ginger? In!
Image from Locky's English Playground
Step 1: Dump the fish and ginger into a pot.

Sauces ready!
Image from Locky's English Playground
Step 2: Pour one portion of Japanese Teriyaki sauce, half a portion of Mirin and 1/4 portion of rice wine or Sake into the pot.

La la la la la!
Image from Locky's English Playground
Step 3: Mix well.


Cook for 20 mins
Image from Locky's English Playground
Step 4: With small flame, cook the fish for 20 mins.

Image from Locky's English Playground
Step 5: Add decorations such as spring onions and get ready to eat!!!

Enjoy!

PS: Please note that the rice wine and ginger are essential, or else you will get that fishiness with every bite!