Friday, November 30, 2007


Due to the abusive nature of comments posted by readers, I have decided to make this blog private. Too bad. I will continue to upload new materials on this blog, only for other bloggers to read but no comments would be allowed. Don't blame me. Some bloggers decided to use words that reflect their social background and their deprived upbringing. No wonder we are always told that Asians generally can't handle differences in opinion in a civil manner. Too bad, mate! You can read but you can't comment no more!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Dear Fellow Bloggers,

I am surprised that my blog has seen harsh and four letter word comments from some bloggers. And the problem is that I don't really know which part of my blog has resulted in these comments. If any of you think that my blog is offending , please be specific in your comments on parts which you think is offending. Please do not use four letter words in the comment section as my younger sibling, who is 11 years old, also visits my blog and these words are not appropriate for her.

By the way, I have to admit that I do not know well the region where Singapore and Malaysia are located. Maybe some of the bloggers would want to educate me a little of the region and its people. I am always thrilled to meet new friends from all parts of the world and to learn their culture and history. Maybe someday when I have enough money, I can visit Singapore and Malaysia.

I would appreciate positive, constructive and civil comments from all of you out there.


Friday, November 9, 2007

I have been interested in lighthouses since I was a little boy. I fell in love with the architecture and unique designs that lighthouses possess. My family travels a lot across Europe when I was a kid and I got to see many lighthouses in various countries. I noticed that many designs reflect a country’s culture and background. No two lighthouses were alike.

Pulau Batu Puteh Lighthouse

The only common denominator that lighthouses share is that they need to be built at a specific height and location. In this respect, the lamp requires it to be placed at an appropriate height so as to be seen over the horizon before the danger is reached by a mariner.
The necessary height can be determined by taking the square root of the height of a light in feet and multiplying it by 1.17 to get the distance to the horizon in nautical miles.

Lighthouses also need to look at the topography it will be built on. This is important as many lighthouses find themselves located in difficult and treacherous terrain. An engineer and architect will need to consider many factors before deciding the shape and design.
Where dangerous shoals are located far off a flat sandy beach, a tall masonry coastal lighthouse is often constructed to assist navigators to make a landfall after an ocean crossing.

Eddystone Lighthouse

Often these are cylindrical to reduce the effect of wind on a tall structure on less stable soil. An example of this style is Pulau Batu Puteh Lighthouse. Smaller versions of this design are often used as harbor lights to mark the entrance into a harbor, such as New London Harbor Light.
Where a tall cliff exists, a smaller structure may be placed atop it as the site is already high above the water, such as at Horton Point Light. Sometimes, such a location can actually be too high as along the west coast of the United States. In these cases, the lights are often placed below the top of the cliff to ensure that they can still be seen at the surface during periods of fog. An example of this is Point Reyes Lighthouse. Sometimes a lighthouse needs to be constructed in the water itself. Wave-washed lights are masonry structures constructed to withstand water impact, such as Eddystone Lighthouse.

In shallower bays, screw-pile ironwork structures are screwed into the seabed and a low wooden structure is placed above the open framework, such as Thomas Point Shoal Light. As screw-piles can be disrupted by ice, in northern climates steel caisson lighthouses such as Orient Point Light are used instead. Orient Long Beach Bar Light (Bug Light) is an interesting blend of a screw-pile light that was later converted to a caisson light because of the threat of ice damage. Finally, in waters too deep for a conventional structure, a lightship might be used instead of a lighthouse. Most of these have now been replaced by fixed light platforms (such as Ambrose Light) similar to those used for offshore oil exploration.

While the buildings differ depending on the lights location and purpose, they tend to share the following components.
A Light Station consists of the lighthouse tower and all of the outbuildings, i.e. the

Point Reyes Light, showing the lighthouse and ancillary buildings

keeper¹s living quarters, fuelhouse, boathouse, fog-signaling building, etc.
As most of you would have noticed, a lighthouse consists of a tower structure supporting the lantern room where the light emanates from. The storm glass panes are supported by metal Astragal bars running vertically or diagonally.
At the top of the lantern room is a storm-proof ventilator designed to remove the smoke of the lamps and the daytime heat that builds up in such a glass enclosure. A lightning rod is usually connected to the metal cupola roof to provide a safe conduit for any lightning strikes.
Immediately beneath the lantern room is usually a watch room or service room where fuel and other supplies are kept and this is usually where the keeper prepared the lanterns for the night. The clockworks (for rotating the lenses) were also located here. On a lighthouse tower, an open platform called the Gallery is often located outside the watch room and/or the lantern room. This Gallery is usually used to clean the windows of the lighthouse.
Another interesting observation I have made is that when lighthouses are located in close proximity, and are of similar shape, they are often painted in a unique pattern that can be easily be distinguishable in daytime. This marking is called a daymark. The black and white spiral pattern of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is an example of this.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Friday, November 2, 2007