Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Big Tree in Kalabakan

The Big Tree in Kalabakan

31th August, 2010 - Malaysia National Day (Independence day). A public holiday so we are free from school and work. We used this opportunity to make our first trip to Kalabakan. An unknown plantation town to many people. Kalabakan village only consist of a few wooden sundry shops, several wooden house, a memorial, an army camp, oil plantations, open market and a graveyard. This place has a potential to become a fast developing township because it is near to the sea, has a wide area and near to Indonesia and Kota Kinabalu.

This is the first time for my dad, sister and I to visit Kalabakan. I found out if we go straight and did not turn in to Kalabakan, we would reach Kota Kinabalu and the Lost World Of Borneo - Maliau Basin.

On our way back we spotted this handsome tall tree and could not resist stopping by to have a close look. It is surrounded by thousands of hectares of oil palm plantations. He hope the plantation management will protect it.

Tawau is well known for keeping some of the tallest tropical trees in the world. In fact the tallest tropical tree in the world is found in Tawau Hills Park and we visited that tree last week.

Photo above : This tree we visited today is one of the tallest trees in the region.

Photo below :
Borneo's Big Trees
as recorded in the National Geographic magazine, July 2006 edition.

Photo image from the National Geographic magazine, July 2006 edition.

Borneo's Big Trees

Some boys never grow up. They just climb taller trees—then work to protect them.

A team led by grantee Roman Dial of Alaska Pacific University climbed a Koompassia excelsa, actually a member of the pea and bean family, that towers above an oil palm plantation in northeast Borneo. This 268-footer ranks among the tallest tropical trees known.

"It was sad to look from the top," says Dial, "and realize that this represented what remained of the tallest tropical rain forest in the world. It felt like climbing a redwood in a cornfield."

He hopes that tall trees in a nearby region will eventually be conserved as part of a big tree park.

----Michael Klesius

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Great Flood in Tawau

I woke up in the morning today and get prepared to go to school. It was raining outside. My bedroom window were wet with raindrops -- it only gets wet when it rains heavily. I remember that there was loud noise outside at three o'clock at dawn that woke me up. It was noises from Muslim drummers and singers outside, they were marching around the neighbourhood to wake up the Muslims to get ready to fast for another day. At that time, it was not raining yet.

I carried along an umbrella with me to the bus stop because it was raining heavily. The air was humid and everything around he are wet, including the bus stop seat. My ride came and I'm on my way to school when the first sign of flood appeared. The oil palm tree plantation outside my housing estate area were flooded with muddy water. This convinced me that the rain was heavy. But afterwards I saw a bus stop which half of it was covered in water, this makes me realized that rain was really very heavy.

On my way to school, I passed by many housing estate and shops in Sin On Road are flooded with about 50cm of water. The drains are more than full. The reason is clear about Why didn't the drain worked properly  in flowing rain water away. There is a huge pile of rubbished and natural matters floating on the main drain in Sin On - This is the reason, littering and dumping wastes into the drain causes drain blockage and so the waters can't flow away easily and thus flooded the area. If the people do not want any more minor floods like this next time, they should stop throwing wastes into drains or simply anywhere.

All buildings in Sin On on my way to school suffered from flash floods (especially Taman Fook On), except a few lucky ones like Calvary City Church (probably God help the church for being faithful) and a night restaurant there. Even my school was a victim. The grass land in the middle of my school and school car parks are covered in centimeters of "chocolate drink"-(you know what I mean). Several students are late to school because their house are flooded. The school principals know about this issue and delayed the examinations for 30 minutes. While we students are having exams, the school workers outside were having fun cleaning up the school.

On my way back from school, I saw a tumbled big tree in a park in Sin On, this is caused by powerful winds that came with the heavy shower this morning. The worst flood happened in Tawau is definitely no match  with what happened today-(I think). This is the worst flood I had ever seen in my 12 years in Tawau. Luckily the place where I live is located on a high place where it won't flood easily here cause the rainwaters will flow down to the oil palm plantation below.

Sorry for any inconvenience caused, because there aren't any photographs to show to you all.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What are House Dust Mites ?

What is a House Dust Mite ?
House Dust Mites (Dermatophagoides) are tiny mites. They are a related to spiders instead of fleas. Their size are about one-third of a millimetre long. they feed on human skin flakes and bodily secretions in dust. They colonise houses, especially in warm, humid areas. They tend to live in carpets, mattresses, pillows, soft furnishing and other things which shelter them from sunlights.

Are House Dust Mites Harmful to us ?
House Dust Mites cannot directly harm us. 
But Dust Mites and their feces can become airborne and are one of the most common indoor allergens. That is, most persons diagnosed as being allergic to “house dust” are actually allergic to the dust mites whose bodies and feces are major components of dust. Roaches and dust mites have also been implicated in triggering asthma attacks, rhinitis and eczema. But, unlike rodent mites, itch mites and chiggers, skin irritation is rarely caused by exposure to dust mites. Although they may “hitchhike” on clothing, dust mites do not live on people.

What eat House Dust Mites ?
There are no specific predators of dust mites but anything like a small spider would undoubtedly eat one if it found it. If the question is "are there any natural enemies that can be used to control dust mites" the answers is I don't think there are any.

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