Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House

Rex Ibama wants us to appreciate the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Opera House. He's viewing it from the Botanical Gardens across the way.

Max (who is taking Rex's picture) asks Rex, "Hey Rex, should we try climbing the bridge? Lots of tourists come to Sydney and they climb it. It's not easy to do."
Max says,
"BridgeClimb is the ultimate experience of Sydney. You can choose from three guided Climbs that take you to the summit of this world famous Bridge, 134 metres above Sydney Harbour.  There are four climbs."

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a steel through arch bridge across Sydney Harbour that carries rail, vehicular and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney central business district (CBD) and the North Shore. The dramatic view of the bridge, the harbour, and the nearby Sydney Opera House is an iconic image of both Sydney and Australia. The bridge is locally nicknamed "The Coat Hanger" because of its arch-based design.

The bridge was designed and built by Dorman Long and Co Ltd, Middlesbrough Teesside and Cleveland Bridge, Darlington, County Durham and opened in 1932. Until 1967 it was the city's tallest structure.  According to Guinness World Records, it is the world's widest long-span bridge and it is the tallest steel arch bridge, measuring 134 metres (440 ft) from top to water level. It is also the fifth-longest spanning-arch bridge in the world. (Wikipedia)

On the Great Barrier Reef

Max just jumped in on the very famous Great Barrier Reef at Cairns, Australia.  Rex wasn't too eager to join in. He thought he needed deep sea diving gear.But Max seems to be doing all right just holding his breath... :)

This fish looks like a great big grouper...

Facts about the Great Barrier Reef:
One of the most interesting fact about the Great Barrier Reef is that this structure can actually been seen from outer space!

This is also the world’s largest coral reef, which is made up of approximately 900 islands and 3000 coral reefs!

Did you know some of the largest populations of Dudongs visit the Great Barrier Reef? Dudongs are classified as marine mammals and are related to the elephants.

Experts opine the Great Barrier Reef was formed around 18 million years ago. Due to various climatic and environmental changes, the reefs, which we see today, are those that have grown over the earlier reefs since the last Ice Age.

Although the Great Barrier Reef attracts tourists from all over and equipments for scuba diving can be rented from various places out here, taking home a piece of the coral reef is a punishable act. This is mainly to protect the reef from being damaged by these acts.

The Great Barrier Reef is home to a wide diversity of life. Studies have revealed an amazing number of species out here; some fall under the endangered bracket.

Amongst the species that are seen out here, one can notice around 30 species of whales, 215 species of beautiful birds, 6 species of sea turtles, 125 species of sharks and stingrays, 49 species of pipefish, 17 species of sea snakes and around 1,500 types of fish!

When compared to any other location around the globe, an amazing fact about the Great Barrier Reef is that every cubic meter has many different species of animals and plants! This itself explains the wide diversity of life!

One of the oldest species of fish that can be found at the Great Barrier Reef is the Red Bass. This fish can live for more than 50 years as compared to other species.

Some of the largest of giant clams can be found out here. One of the largest pearl was found in such a clam and was reportedly sold in New York for a whopping $ 10 million!

In the year 1981, the Great Barrier Reef was selected as a World Heritage Site.

The Great Barrier Marine Park protects a major portion of this reef. This is mainly to prevent misuse of this beautiful place due to overfishing and impacts caused by the tourism industry.

Tourists who plan to visit the Great Barrier Reef and wish to explore the area by boat should make it a point to do so in advance. This is because there are only limited trips allowed into the water.

The Great Barrier Reef stretches out over 344, 400 square kilometers.

These interesting facts about the Great Barrier Reef are just a glimpse of some of the amazing things seen at this reef. One would probably have to see it in person to know all about the natural splendors of this magnificent structure.
By Kashmira Lad

Want to write to Max or Rex just e-mail them at indexer@

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

At Daintree Rainforest

Max says "Rex this was a good idea to come to the Daintree Rainforest. Mary was right about how unusual it is. It's tough walking the trails because streams sometimes take over the trails. Stay close and just follow me."
"Okay, Max" Rex says,  "Do you think any crocodiles hang out here?"

Monday, September 27, 2010

Where are the Ibama Twins?

They wanted to get down real close to nature. So they flew to Darwin. The animals you see Max and Rex with are indigenous to the country they are visiting now. Just south of Indonesia, people of this country say "G'day" when they want to say hello.

"These kangaroos don't seem dangerous at all, Rex" says Max. "Kangaroos are shy and retiring by nature, and usually present no threat to humans,' answers Rex.

"I think we're going to LOVE...Australia!" says Max.

The kangaroo is a national symbol of Australia: its emblem is used on the Australian coat of arms, on some of its currency, as well as by some of Australia's best known organisations, including Qantas. The kangaroo is important to both Australian culture and the national image and consequently there are numerous popular culture references.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Borobudur Indonesia

Max is wearing the traditional men's sarong that's worn in Indonesia. "It's pretty comfortable," he says. 
This place is the Borobudur Buddhist monument.

Borobudur, or Barabudur, is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist monument near Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument comprises six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues.[1] A main dome, located at the center of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupa.
The monument is both a shrine to the Lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage. The journey for pilgrims begins at the base of the monument and follows a path circumambulating the monument while ascending to the top through the three levels of Buddhist cosmology, namely Kāmadhātu (the world of desire), Rupadhatu (the world of forms) and Arupadhatu (the world of formlessness). During the journey the monument guides the pilgrims through a system of stairways and corridors with 1,460 narrative relief panels on the wall and the balustrades. (Wikipedia)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Off to Indonesia

Rex got up to dance with the famous Shadow Puppets of Indonesia. Here he's with Bima (or Bhima) who is the second of the five Pandava's brothers. He is recognized by his great stature and strength. They are among the main characters of the Mahabharata. Rex felt some affinity for the Pandava brothers, you know what I mean... They are brothers, like himself and Max.  And there's something about puppets...

Wayang Kulit (Shadow Puppets)
City/Region: Yogyakarta
Shadow Puppet performances have become a part of Indonesia's cultural heritage. The puppets are lovingly handcrafted out of buffalo or goatskin with moveable limbs that are worked by a highly skilled puppeteer from behind a backlit screen, casting the shadows of the puppets into a spellbinding story. The puppeteer is usually the director, producer and main narrator of the shadow world. The stories have their origins in classic Hindu mythologies and Ramayana tales and are narrated in the local dialects.

Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia comprises 17,508 islands. With a population of around 230 million people, it is the world's fourth most populous country, and has the world's largest population of Muslims. Indonesia is a republic, with an elected legislature and president. The nation's capital city is Jakarta. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and Malaysia. Other neighboring countries include Singapore, Philippines, Australia, and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Indonesia is a founding member of ASEAN and a member of the G-20 major economies.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Twins on Palawan Island

Rex said, " Hey I love your new casual clothes! But it looks like you got the same pants as me. I didn't think I needed a new jacket but now that I see yours...!"

Max said "Rex are those Ray Bans?"

Palawan Island is the largest island of the Palawan Province, Philippines. It is still very undeveloped and traditional. Abundant wildlife, jungle mountains, and white sandy beaches attract many tourists.
Palawan is rated by National Geographic Traveler magazine as the best island destination in East and Southeast Asia region in 2007, and the 13th best island in the world having "incredibly beautiful natural seascapes and landscapes. One of the most biodiverse (terrestrial and marine) islands in the Philippines. The island has had a Biosphere Reserve status since early 1990s, showing local interest for conservation and sustainable development". (Wikipedia)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Ibamas in the Philippines

With an estimated population of about 92 million people, the Philippines is the world's 12th most populous country. An additional 11 million Filipinos live overseas. Multiple ethnicities and cultures are found throughout the islands.
The arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 marked the beginning of an era of Spanish interest and eventual dominance. Manila emerged as the Asian hub of the Manila–Acapulco galleon fleet. Missionary work led to widespread Christianity. As the 19th century gave way to the 20th, there followed in quick succession the short-lived Philippine Revolution, the Spanish-American War, and the Philippine-American War. In the aftermath, the United States replaced Spain as the dominant power. Aside from the period of Japanese occupation, the United States retained sovereignty over the islands until the end of World War II when the Philippines gained independence. The United States bequeathed to the Philippines the English language and a stronger affinity for Western culture. Since independence the Philippines has had an often tumultuous experience with democracy, with popular "People Power" movements overthrowing a dictatorship in one instance but also underlining the institutional weaknesses of its constitutional republic in others. (Wikipedia)

With such a strong relationship with the United States in history the Ibama Twins wanted to go and visit the islands and see what's what.
It was a bright and sunny day this day in tropical Quezon City, the central headquarters of Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ). "An extraordinary structure as you can see," says Max, "but the name of the church rings a bell."

When Max went home he discussed the church with Rex. Rex said, "Max don't you remember the same church in Forest Hills, NY, when we were there last?" How we were  puzzled until we looked it up on the Internet and found out it is a church of the Philippines which has moved to the United States as well with churches all over the U.S.

And here it is...


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

On the Double Decker Bus

Max flags down the double decker red bus in Hong Kong. And look! There's Rex on the top of the bus calling to Max hoping the bus driver will stop for him!  You might expect these red buses in Hong Kong. Great Britain has the same type of buses. Hong Kong was a British Protectorate for 99 years.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Max Ibama Eats Dim Sum in Hong Kong

The Ibama Twin flew to Hong Kong yesterday and while Rex went to have a suit made, Max stopped into this authentic Asian restaurant for Dim sum.

"Mmmm," said Max. "Thank you Sir for inviting me to join you. Wait til I tell Rex how friendly the people in Hong Kong are."

Dim sum is the Cantonese term for a type of Chinese dish that involves small individual portions of food, usually served in a small steamer basket or on a small plate. The are usually wrapped in dough.
The unique culinary art of Dim Sum originated with the Cantonese in southern China, who over the centuries transformed Yum Cha from a relaxing respite to a loud and happy dining experience. In Hong Kong, and in most cities and towns in Guangdong province, many Chinese restaurants start serving dim sum as early as five in the morning. It is a tradition for the elderly to gather to eat dim sum after morning exercises, often enjoying the morning newspapers. For many in southern China, yum cha is treated as a weekend family day. Consistent with this tradition, dim sum restaurants typically only serve dim sum until mid-afternoon (right around the time of a traditional Western 3 o'clock coffee break), and serve other kinds of Cantonese cuisine in the evening. Nowadays, various dim sum items are even sold as take-out for students and office workers on the go.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Shanghai Expo 2010


The twins take some time to go to the Shanghai Expo 2010. this is the Macau Pavilion a very unusual building. The pavilion is covered by a double-layer glass membrane and fluorescent screens. Kinetic balloons form the head and tail of the "rabbit." In Chinese mythology, the jade rabbit welcomes visitors to a magical fairyland.

Max points out the whimsical pavilion to us, while Rex sports his new "MIB" sunglasses and waves to us.

Below is the model of the pavilion in 2009:

designed by Carlos Marreiros


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Max and Rex fly to Shanghai

It was a short trip, about 500+ miles, from Seoul, South Korea to Shanghai. Max and Rex knew they just couldn't miss Shanghai on this trip which was becoming a trip around the world.

Shanghai is the most populous city in China and one of the most populous cities in the world. A global city, Shanghai exerts influence over global commerce, finance, culture, art, fashion, research and entertainment. The city is located at the middle portion of the Chinese coast, and sits at the mouth of the Yangtze. (Wikipedia)

Max told Rex to go over and ask that lovely young lady if he (Rex) could take a picture with her. She was very gracious as most all Shanghainese are. Rex learned her name is Abayomi.


Rex wears an Andong Wooden Mask

Well here he is, Rex in an Andong South Korea wooden mask. Max talked him into it explaining it's only right when you visit another country to follow the culture and traditions of that country.

Rex says, "How do I look? Whew, it's getting hot in here!"

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Off to South Korea

It's just a hop, skip and a jump to South Korea from Japan and the Ibama Twins have decided to make their way to

Andong in South Korea.

Andong is a city in North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea. It is the largest city in the northern part of the province with a population of almost 185,000. Its geographical location is . The Nakdong River flows through the city. Andong is a market centre for the surrounding area, which is predominantly agricultural.
Since the 1970s Andong has developed rapidly, although the population has fallen by nearly seventy thousand as people have moved away to Seoul and other urban centers. In the late 1990s and early 2000s it became a tourism and cultural centre.

Andong is known as a centre of culture and folk traditions. The surrounding area maintains many ancient traditions, so in mid October the Andong Folk Festival is held every year. One of the most famous aspects of these cultural festivities are the A
ndong masks.

Andong National University, specialising in education and Korean folklore has grown rapidly since the 1970s. Other tertiary institutions include Andong Institute of Information Technology, Andong Science College, and Catholic Sangji College.

Here is Max wearing a traditional costume of the Folk Festival and wearing a mask that Andong is famous for. Rex isn't sure he wants to wear a costume and mask yet. But Max will probably talk him into it.

 South Korea

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

At Nokogiri Mountain

Image: Part of 1500 Buddha statues - Tokai Arhats

These are 1500 stone figure of Tokai Arhats. They were carved in 1798 and left in various places in rocks. Not all of them are preserved till nowadays. Looking on these Buddha statues was interesting, because every statue has different face expression. If you look on them from any point, it seems that some statues are watching you.

Max and Rex Ibama are hiding among the Buddhas. Can you see them looking at you?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Max Ibama visits Hiroshima

It was Saturday, September 11, 2010, when Max told Rex that since they were in Tokyo they should go visit the Hiroshima Memorial and Dome. So they hopped a nozomi train and four hours later they were in Hiroshima.

You can see Max standing at the side of the memorial and the Genbaku Dome.
Rex told Max that in August of this year the U.S. for the first time joined the Japanese in their memorial ceremonies.

As Max was listening to Rex talk, he was thinking of the ceremony going on at Ground Zero that very day. He thought, "Here we are at Japan's Memorial to their dead as the names are read of those who died on 9/11 back in New York. What irony!"

Hiroshima Peace Memorial, commonly called the Atomic Bomb Dome or A-Bomb Dome (原爆ドーム Genbaku Dōmu?), in Hiroshima, Japan, is part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The building serves as a memorial to the people who were killed in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Over 70,000 people were killed instantly, and another 70,000 suffered fatal injuries from the radiation.

The Genbaku Dome, originally close to Shima Surgical Clinic, initially was scheduled to be demolished with the rest of the ruins, but the fact that it mostly was intact, use delayed these plans. As Hiroshima was rebuilt around the dome, it became a subject of controversy; some locals wanted it torn down, while others wanted to preserve it as a memorial of the bombing.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ibama Twins at the Tokyo Dome

The Ibama Twins got into Tokyo this afternoon and the first thing they wanted to do was visit the Tokyo Dome.

Rex says, "Hey Max, wave to the people!"

Max says, "I am waving! Get your hand outa my face!"

Tokyo Dome (東京ドーム Tōkyō Dōmu, TYO: 9681) is a 55,000-seat stadium (actual capacity: 42,000 seats) located in Bunkyo Ward of Tokyo, Japan.

It opened for business on March 17, 1988 and was built close to the site of its predecessor, Kōrakuen Stadium. Like Kōrakuen, the Dome hosts the Toei Superheroes live shows of the year.

Its dome-shaped roof is an air-supported structure, a flexible membrane held up by slightly pressurizing the inside of the stadium.

Tokyo Dome's original nickname was "The Big Egg", with some calling it the "Tokyo Big Egg".

It is the home field of the Yomiuri Giants baseball team, and has also hosted basketball, American football and association football games.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ibama Twins Passports

It's time for the Ibama Twins to start their trip around the world. They have their passports as you can see on the side bar and below:

They are ready to visit Tokyo, Japan!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Down at Coney Island

"What is that you're wearing, Rex?"

"I thought I'd take a dip in the ocean, Max, and of course I needed a bathing suit. You like it?"

"It almost matches your tie, Rex..."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010