Friday, May 27, 2005

"Critters"

There are many differences between life in my hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska (USA) and where I'm living now, Penang, Malaysia. However, I'm not going over all those differences and sources of diversity, no I'm not.

What I wanted to mention was how many critters there are here in Malaysia that seem to be able to clandestinely work their way into your house. And most of these critters, you don't want in your house!

While living in Lincoln, I can't honestly say anything interesting ever made its way into any of the houses I ever lived.

Malaysia is a different story altogether!
Just today, we had an unexpected visit from one of our neighborly Monitor Lizards - that's right - Monitor Lizard!

First, however, before I get to the monitor lizard episode, please allow me to mention a little back-story...

We have three cats, two Tortie Whites and one Malaysian Hook-tail. There is a type of cat here in Malaysia that has a bony hook on the tip of its short tail. We have coined the phrase Hook-tail to describe this feline breed.

Our cats love chasing things, especially roaches, flies, gecko lizards, birds, toads, snakes and the occasional monitor lizard that finds a way to get into the house. Just so you don't think all these things fly, crawl or slither into our house all at the same time - I'll assure you they don't. I would go MAD! And, I can guarantee - no one would ever visit us if that was the case. Usually, we get a SINGLE VISITOR at a time, Thank God!!!

Late this afternoon, I had heard a scratchy noise on the front door's grille-work and I thought our youngest cat, Aminah Bee, was chasing a fly or something and making the noise.

No sooner than I had dismissed the noise, I saw this dark green head with slithering tongue, pop out from around the corner of the front door. At first it kind of freaked me out - it's not everyday you get a modern day dinosaur visiting you inside your home.

Aminah was right there when he entered the house. Cat and Monitor - nose-to-nose.

The lizard froze in its tracks and our cat froze too, I guess she was waiting for it to make a foolish move. Usually her game is much smaller than this 1 and a half foot lizard. I'm not sure she knew what to do with it. But in comparison to adult monitor lizards, this was small, just a baby. I've seen some monitors that are 5 or 6 feet long and probably weigh 50-70 pounds (I'm guessing).

Mostly, I was concerned if our cat got clawed by the lizard as monitors have really long and sharp claws. If possible, a monitor will avoid contact with anything bigger than itself - they are quite intelligent creatures.

And of course, I didn't want my cats to hurt the monitor. This particular species is the Malaysian Water Monitor (
Family Varanidae, Suborder Sauria, Order Squamata.) The juvenile monitor is much more colorful than the adults, as was this one. It was a dark green and black color with specks of yellow.

What happened next really surprised me: my cat suddenly lost interest in the monitor and went after the big gecko lizard that I believe the monitor lizard had followed into the house.

When Aminah changed gears and took aim at the gecko, the monitor darted under a piece of furniture to hide. I guess she figured it was more exciting to go after the gecko.

But, that still left us with a problem, the monitor was still in the house and the cat had lost interest. Our cats are not a lot of help sometimes as they get side-tracked and obsessed with things that are less important than what needs prompt attention, like the monitor!

So, we opened the front windows and ended up moving the furniture enough to force the monitor out from under it, and as smart as he was, he knew he could escape out the opened window, and he did.

Talk about a real zoo around here sometimes.

I'm still waiting for a giant 2-meter long monitor to come make our front lawn it's home - we all better run for our lives if that happens. But, knowing monitors, it would probably run first, as they are a bit on the chicken-side!




Monday, May 23, 2005

Bigger Sci-Fi Images in the Nawfal Nur Photography Galleries

Hello Everyone. Now you can see my Sci-Fi Landscape Photographs much better. I have published bigger digital image samples to my website galleries - go have a look at http://www.nawfalnur.com

(c) 2005 Nawfal Nur ~ All Rights Reserved

Sunday, May 22, 2005

"Graffiti on an Alien World."

Artist’s Statement:

'Gallery 5' of www.nawfalnur.com now has my newest artistic addition - “Graffiti on an Alien World.” You know, have you considered that all these scientists say that math is the universal language? They could be right. However, I also believe that it may be more than likely that art is the universal language amongst all life forms anywhere, in any galaxy. Where there is intelligent life, there is also creativity, no matter the level of intelligence. Look at our own evolution. Didn’t the cave people 10,000 (or more) years ago, create wall paintings? Primitive as they were, these improvisational sketchings on rock walls were "the" artistic creations of the time. The cave wall artists were the Rembrandts of their time. Therefore, I propose that art would be a great way for any race to communicate and share ideas and experiences. Because I believe like that, I came up with the Sci-Fi Landscape Photograph, “Graffiti on an Alien World.” This work will soon be available for purchase from my representative at http://www.monsoonimages.com


(c) 2005 Nawfal Nur ~ All Rights Reserved

Monday, May 16, 2005

Peanut Butter is the World's Greatest Food!

Peanut Butter is the world's greatest food! In addition, you know why I can say that. Yeah, that's right friend - it is because of the First Amendment! You got it - that is why. We, ALL AMERICANS, are protected under these Constitutional Amendments because our GREAT, GREAT Political Leaders who drafted these Amendments KNEW, unlike some today, WHY they, and all Americans, in the first place, NEEDED these protections. All these GREAT LEADERS knew all too well what the lack of freedoms created, THAT'S RIGHT, Tyranny! Heavy Handed Politics! If that were not the case, there would have NEVER been a Revolutionary War! Besides that, it's a pretty good photo of peanut butter, wheat bread and a nicely rimmed plate. So, go have some peanut butter and think about your Freedoms as the Great American Leaders originally planned for all Americans, no matter what religion they professed, what ethnic group they were born into, or where on this great Earth they originally came from! If none of this makes a whole lot of sense, well, that’s because it is 12:57 am, 79 degrees F, Humidity is 94% and it actually feels like 85 degrees F. Can’t sleep, yeah, me neither, so that’s why I have decided to discuss Peanut Butter and the 1st Amendment to the Bill of Rights - “hey, doesn’t peanut butter go with everything?”


(c) 2005 Nawfal Nur ~ All Rights Reserved

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Please Visit my Photo Apparel Store at http://www.cafepress.com/nawfalnur ~ where you can find all kinds of cool items with my Sci-Fi and Science & Math Concept Images - including shirts, mugs, mousepads, book bags, hats, posters and writing journals, greeting cards and a year 2005 calendar. Great Merchandise at Reasonable Prices - AND - it has some of my best Science & Math concept photographs on them! Check it Out - there are lots of items for yourself, and my merchandise makes great gift items.

(c) 2005 Nawfal Nur ~ All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Wow! The entire WWW.NAWFALNUR.COM website is NEW and Redesigned! Come take a look. Just click on the link in the LINKS area to go to the new website and see the design. I'll be adding slightly larger images of each of the smaller photos, in kind of a pop-up structure. Nevertheless, I wanted to get the new site rolling ASAP!

(c) 2005 Nawfal Nur ~ All Rights Reserved

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Say What You Mean!

One of the beautiful things about a 'blog' is that you can darn well almost say anything you want to - well to some degree, and, it should still be in good taste.


I was very, very, very amused and happy to see Roger Hicks' article "A Matter of Opinion" in the 19 February 2005 Edition of AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHER. This is a great magazine! It has lots of no-nonsense Photography Information by some much respected Photographers who have been in the business, like forever!


Mr. Hicks wrote: 'One wimp asked, quite seriously, whether English pubs were safe - not as places to take pictures, but as places where you might be beaten up and robbed.' Basically, in short, and paraphrased, the gist of the 'opinion' was that if you are such a wimp to worry about your camera equipment to such a degree that you never use it, because it may get damaged, then the equipment you are using probably isn't worth using. I hope I paraphrased that with justice and I hope I didn't stray too far away from any of the main points, but I think that is it.


I totally agree. What good is camera equipment that 1) is never or hardly used because of the slim possibility it "may" get damaged; and 2) what good is camera gear that can't take a bit of abuse?


Many of the best photographs would never have been taken if the photographers, who took them, pampered their equipment too much.


Ever see a photojournalist in a war zone? They have like 50 cameras slung around their necks (just a little exaggerating)!


The fact is this: cameras that get used a lot often get banged around a lot. So it may be worth your while to invest in a camera that is solid if you love taking photographs in places where your camera(s) may be exposed to some banging.


The most solid camera I have is an old, 70's vintage Nikon F and that thing is made out of brass and heavy as hell. It still works too!


As you can see from the dance photograph I just added, that I like taking Stage Photography, although with my bum-back over the last year, I've been a little out of Stage action shooting.


Nevertheless, and getting way off the point here, and this is where the, "you can say just about anything in a blog" comes into effect.


I think it would be totally kick-bu'tay to photograph a Slipknot concert! Yeah, you heard right, Slipknot - and you also heard right - I used the word "bu'tay!"


How often would you get a chance to photograph a 9-member, Freddy vs. Jason mask-wearing metal band? Not often I would think and it would certainly be a different change-of-pace from classical dance, wouldn't it? Plus, the song, "My Plague" rocks! Who knows, hummmmmm, maybe someday? Plus, they are from the great State of
Iowa!


I'm just trying to figure out how I got from the topic, "using your camera equipment" to "Slipknot" came about. See, that's the beauty of a blog!

Classical Indian Dance ~ Bharata Natyam ~ Dancer from TFA - Malaysia.

(c) 2005 Nawfal Nur ~ All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

This is "Fire Ridge, v5." I've been working on it for a couple of weeks. It always surprises me how much preparation there is to one of my Sci-Fi Landscape photographs. The actual shooting, in comparison, takes very little time.

Artist Statement: Fire Ridge sits isolated between two great mountain ranges. It sits alone, boiling and steaming and nearly on the verge of eruption, and when it explodes, this landscape will be changed forever.


(c) 2005 Nawfal Nur ~ All Rights Reserved