I’m flying high on the trapeze!

flying-trapeze

I got to experience the flying trapeze at Club Med, Phuket – it was a natural calling, being attracted to all things with an adrenaline factor in it. It’s one of those things that looks easy but it’s actually quite hard. I was at the flying trapeze almost every single day, aching in muscles I didn’t even know I had, wanting to perfect my technique and be a flyer.

flying trapeze training

The Circus GOs (Gentle Officers) are really big on safety so they see if you can actually do it – hang on a trapeze and then pull your legs up to hang upside down on a slightly raised training trapeze – before they let you go up the real thing.

the real trapeze

This is the real thing.

It’s high but they have a safety net and lots of contraptions to ensure that you don’t fall. This here is my first attempt – a 3:30 minute video where I managed to hook myself on the flying trapeze – it’s very long and rather funny, so I’m posting it up, but the rest of the painful journey is on the SixthSeal.com Facebook page.

trapeze club med

You have to let go and trust that the trapeze will hold you (and your hands and legs won’t fail you) while you hook your legs over the bar and then back into the holding position. There is actually an “audition” of sorts – they won’t let you be a flyer unless you can pull it off perfectly within the stipulated time-frame.

I also managed to do a back flip landing where you swing your legs in and out until you achieve the inertia required to rotate a full 360 degrees in mid-air backwards before landing on the net.

flying trapeze knee hang

…but here’s what I got my certificate for – being a flyer. It’s all about timing, doing things when it’s asked of you without hesitation. I was one of the two that made it (the other girl who managed it was not an amateur) so it actually looks easier and has a higher drop-out rate than you imagine. You need to be interested and dedicated.

I only managed it on my second try, I nearly reached the catcher’s hands on the first try but nearly isn’t good enough.

chalk

Basically, what you do is use chalk to powder yourself up to your elbows (this is to ensure a better grip for the catcher) and hang upside down on the bar on your knees. When you look backward and see the catcher, he/she grips you and you let go of the bar. There’s an element of trust in it as well, which I have in spades – I always trust that there will be no rocks under the sea when I go cliff diving – and the fear of heights, which is why a lot of people don’t get past the basic hook, but I managed to do it.

My entire body was sore every single day and I had cuts and abrasions all over by the time I achieved this but it was all worth it.

kelly

A big thank you to Kelly, Kelsey, Kory, Phil, Hsein Ming, Dennis – all my Circus GO instructors in the Phuket village of Club Med – for being so patient with me. 🙂

I was so ecstatic that I was on a pure adrenaline high for several hours. It was liberating. Watching the video again made me feel that I can do whatever I want to if I set my mind to it. It was the highlight of my trip. 😀

A typical day in Macau

macau ferry

Board ferry from Hong Kong to Macau

new world first ferry

Puke on the ferry

macau immigration

Spend 2 hours clearing immigration

macau complimentary shuttle

Get accosted by representatives of various casinos and board one of their free shuttles

macau casino

Lose an insane amount of money

pork chop bun

Eat a pork chop bun to try and cheer yourself up

senado square

Walk aimlessly around Senado Square

grand lisboa

Contemplate suicide, settles for shaking fist at Grand Lisboa

hong kong

Return to Hong Kong

Happy 9th bloganivarsary sixthseal.com!

It’s the sixthseal.com 9th anniversary today! 😀

9-anniversary

Yup, that’s 9 solid years of blogging – something of an achievement, I’ll like to think.

It has become somewhat of a tradition to do a recap of sorts, followed by the best posts of the previous year (from the 19th of April 2010 to the 19th of April 2011) – the blog year – something like the fiscal year – instead of the Gregorian year. 🙂

I started blogging back in April 2002 – I was still in university in Melbourne then and decided it was a good way to let my friends see what I’m up to instead of emailing each of them individually. I was studying computer science so the first incarnation of sixthseal.com does not have a CMS per se but is updated via HTML (no CSS back then) code written manually.

I changed to Movable Type a few months after and only switched to WordPress recently. I started blogging about basically everything and anything I find fun. I think it was the first blog at the time which had daily updates with photos. I even had a webcam turned on 24/7 so that anyone who logs in can see a snapshot of my room or me every 5 minutes – yes, even when I sleep.

I wanted to experience all that Australia has to offer so I went travelling a lot and I attended a lot of events. I covered everything from the Melbourne Open tennis match to concerts. However, it was during one exhibition – SEXPO 2002 – a sex lifestyle exhibition that I realized the potential of my blog. I got an email from the organizers after I posted the coverage asking for my permission to link my post from their official sexpo.com.au website.

They also wanted to give me a media pass for next year so I could gain access to the backstage and get many other privileges.

Unfortunately, there was a server incident where sixthseal.com went down and I didn’t have the backups so you’ll notice that the posts are all missing comments. T_T It’s one of my biggest regrets but hey, at least the posts are (mostly) intact.

sixthseal.com is one of the longest running blogs in Malaysia – it has just reached it’s 9th anniversary on the 19th of April 2011. That’s 9 years of blogging almost every day! It has become a way of life to me and more than that – it has become an extension of myself, my most prized “possession”. I have come to think of it as a “son”, a legacy that would carry on, hopefully forever.

It’s like a diary – a life journal where I can look back and see what I was doing at what year. I want to be able to show my children that too. In fact, I’ve already found myself doing that – if I can’t remember what date I did something or when something happened – the first thing I’ll do is to search my blog. 🙂

It’s kinda ironic – the blogger behind sixthseal.com is 30 and taking hair treatment sessions at Svenson while the actual blog has only turned 9 years old. Oh, and Svenson just told me that everyone reading sixthseal.com can drop in for a free consultation at any of the Svenson centres nationwide – call ahead at 1-800-22-8333 to make an appointment – do it before it’s too late! Thanks for the blogiversary gift to the readers! 🙂

The best of 19th April 2010 – 19th April 2011

uncle

4th May 2010
O HAI! I IZ AN UNCLE!
I am an uncle! 😀

23rd May 2010
How I lost RM 35,000 in Genting
I am broke. 🙁

17th June 2010
The entire process of eating rat in China
Gastronomic adventures in the land of possibilities!

1st August 2010
Fraser’s Hill travel report
Travel closer to home.

22nd August 2010
Cliff diving in Ton Sai
Adventure in Thailand!

2nd September 2010
Love The Way You Lie
The best video I’ve ever done – thanks to Cindy for co-starring in this!

dog head

15th September 2010
Eating dog meat in Hanoi, Vietnam
More unusual culinary delights! 😉

24th October 2010
Microdermal implants – my third nipple
More body piercing fun!

14th November 2010
A warning about Amsterdam Coffeeshops
Ahh…Amsterdam! 😀

24th November 2010
South Korea and North Korea DMZ
My second trip to Korea!

28th November 2010
Pub food in London, England
My first trip to Europe within 6 months. Heh!

dark side of georgia

13th January 2011
Where the wild things are
Part of my trip to Tbilisi, Georgia! This is my second sojourn to Europe.

25th January 2011
Broodje haring, Hollandse Nieuwe and herring in Amsterdam
A more wholesome Amsterdam experience.

16th February 2011
The most romantic Valentine’s Day ever!
Getting in a relationship with Jeanie. 🙂

19th February 2011
2011 fireworks and firecrackers review
The annual firecracker and fireworks roundup!

niece

24th February 2011
My niece’s 1st birthday!
I am an uncle! 😀

27th February 2011
Polly’s wedding in Tangkak, Johor
Going to Johor for a wedding. Good times…

It was a year of travel for me – I’ve been to a lot of places inside Malaysia, went to Europe TWICE (first trip was a more traditional experience while the second involved the lesser travelled Latvia and Georgia, Korea, Vietnam, heck, there were so many I can’t remember all of it!

However, you’ll notice that there are periods which mean more to me – it’s usually the times when I travel or during the CNY period when I’m home with my family. This really makes me miss Sibu. I started and (nearly) ended with posts on my niece – those were the highlights of my year. Here’s to my niece – Kara. Your uncle loves you. 🙂

Happy 9th birthday sixthseal.com – you have become something like a son to me. 🙂

Behind the Scenes: Love The Way You Lie

bloody hand

I wanted this video to be as real as possible. I really punched the wall and that caused the various scabs from my Krabi trip to open up and stain the walls with blood. You’ll notice (if you have eyes like a hawk) that I was wearing a Band Aid during some of the scenes. smirk

It’s not that visible though since Cindy (who has just about anything in her condo) has one that is flesh colored. I only put it on coz it won’t stop bleeding and it’ll keep on dripping…like on her floor. Anyway, we had a lot of ideas for this actually:

Particleboard fake wall
This is something that you can actually punch through. Plywood would splinter while particleboard will have the same effect as the original video. Trust me, I’m from Sibu – Timber Town. :p

However, due to time and budget constraints we couldn’t do this.

Simulated bar fight
Actually the only reason we didn’t do this was due to logistical issues. We didn’t have a breakable bottle prop but it’s easy to use some blunt object to the same effect. However, it is highly unlikely that any bar would let us use their premises to do even simulated violence so we scrapped this. Sigh.

Self immolation
I REALLY WANTED TO DO THIS. I searched high and low for heptane – the only safe way to do this. Of course my definition of “safe” means there is a better than 10% likelihood of not getting third degree burns and a 50% chance of actually pulling it off. I read that heptane is used in anti-bacterial washes so I went to a lot of pharmacies until a kind pharmacist told me that it’s not used in Malaysia.

I called up several chemical suppliers but none of them will sell it to me. hmph

Heptane produces a warm flame just like gasoline (it’s also added to the petrol you pump at the gas station) instead of a sissy blue flame. The trick is NOT to douse yourself in it (that would send you to the hospital or the morgue) but to saturate a piece of mop (or something like that) with it and have someone run it over your body.

It will feel warm but it won’t burn you per se. It’s the vapors that burn in this scenario, not the liquid. However, you have to remove all your hair though so I shaved my pits and wanted to shave my head but alas, no heptane.

This video was actually shot over two weekends – the first weekend was spent doing the storyboard and we actually completed filming in 5 hours. We had another 2 ½ hour shoot the next weekend where we roped in strangers to help us and it turned out pretty good.

vitamin c

This is one of Cindy’s quirky notes around her house. I haven’t had my Vitamin C but I did get a good dose of Vitamin B from the Guinness that I drank. smirk

The Arthur’s Day Man of Action contest is still on. Just film a video and post the link to Guinness Malaysia’s Facebook. Each qualified entry will automatically win two passes to Arthur’s Day. w00t! I can’t wait! =D

Check out my original post.

Here’s the video again just in case you missed it.

Love The Way You Lie

working

I love this song to bits! I’m a huge fan of Eminem and when Cindy suggested that we team up to do Eminem feat. Rihanna – Love The Way You Lie, I was more than intrigued. The first time I watched the video, it provoked a very strong emotional response. It’s just one of those music videos you wish you directed. Pure ingenuity distilled into a 5 minute AV clip.

I’m very proud of the final production but let me just ramble on about how this materialized. I have watched this video countless of times and gotten the gist of the story behind it. It’s has a theme that most of us can relate to and the powerful message behind it acts as a warning against how relationships can go really bad and raises awareness of domestic violence.

movie shoot

The all star cast features Eminem and Rihanna singing with inter cuts to scenes of Megan Fox and Dominic Monaghan (best known as Charlie from Lost) – a chronological mashup of how they met and their current situations and attempts to salvage it. Megan Fox donated all her earnings to SOJOURN – a charity for battered women and their children. It is ultimately about empowering women.

Anyway, back to our filming, I realized that we hit a snag coz my sunburn from Krabi was starting to peel really bad at the time. It had to be peeled off before we can start filming so I started with the storyboards.

sunburn

The camera angles are replicated almost exactly as in the video and although there were some scenes that we cannot do e.g. setting myself on fire (it requires heptane to be even remotely safe) and the bar fight (don’t have a breakable bottle prop) we managed to somehow do the video and still remain true to the original.

There are multiple shots from multiple angles and it took 5 hours of shooting to complete the video. I tried to edit the video myself but Windows Live Movie Maker does not have the capacity to do this so I engaged Haze Long to help me with it. She’s really good considering there are over 100 video files and managed to capture the essence of what we wanted.

The spitting scene in particular was rather hard to do – it appears that normal saliva does not propel in an arc that we wanted so Cindy used water inside her mouth to do it instead. She has the exact same outfit as Megan was wearing in the video and had to dry it with a hairdryer several times due to the number of takes we had to do.

cindy drying clothes

Special thanks to Fresh for being our videographer!

I present to you – our finished production:

It was a lot of fun to do this project and see it come to life. I am very proud of the final cut and even though it was a lot of work as well, the satisfaction of doing a video that came out as good as this is nothing short of nirvana.

Here are some outtakes from the video:

This is how we know spitting doesn’t look good on video.

I had to blow out Cindy’s candle while not appearing in the frame and what made this really funny was Fresh’s deadpan comment at the end. Heh! We both laughed so hard.

The reason we did this video is to participate in the Arthur’s Day Man of Action contest. This involves you getting creative (like our video – we did the parts in between so it sounds like Eminem and Rihanna is singing about us) and filming a music video involving your favorite artist or band.

Just post the video on YouTube and the video link at the Guinness Malaysia Facebook page with your name and video title (it must start with Arthur’s Day 2010:) and you’ll get a chance to win a trip to Dublin to visit the famous St James Gate Brewery and have a pint of the black stuff – it’s as fresh as it gets, any closer to the source, you’ll be drowning in the vat. 😉

Oh, and each and every qualified entry will automatically win two passes to Arthur’s Day (which requires no further introduction)! Everyone knows about the legendary Arthur’s Day and you don’t want to miss it – I went to the last one and enjoyed it thoroughly. Arthur’s Day to me is an outdoor concert with great music and smooth pints of Guinness. It’s the ambience that pulls me rather than the lineup! You can purchase your tickets at the site.

There’s also a Man of Vision contest going on where you play Robert Langdon and decipher clues in an image at the same site!

Anecdote: The original video has Dominic’s hand with “Cindy” and a 555 number. We used “Megan” for this video as a tribute to this coincidence.

Watch it in full screen for the best experience! You want to go to Ireland? The winners will be announced 21st September. You’ll have to top this video to do it, else watch out for blog updates involving titles like “Top of the morning” when we win the contest. 😉

An open letter

nail-clipper

Dear nail clipper,

It is with great sorrow that I draft this letter to you. I am afraid I can no longer turn the other cheek to your constant and prolonged disappearance. You have been trying to avoid me for the better part of two weeks and I am deeply saddened to inform you that if this continues, I will have no recourse but to buy a new one.

Signing off with a heavy heart,
Huai Bin

Dear Aries: Your friendly neighborhood agony aunt (or uncle) debut

Problems stressing you out? You need an outlet for your anger? No cats to kick or other methods of venting frustration?

dear aries

Fear not, dear readers. I have introduced a new category in sixthseal.com called Dear Aries. It’s basically where you can write in about your personal problems and I will read and listen with a sympathetic ear and give you advice (which I hear is the worse kind of vice ;)). This is the first letter I have received from Confused in Miri, Sarawak.

Spend some time with me, say you’ll be mine

Dear Aries,

I am caught between a rock and a hard place. I met this girl at work and I’ve been attracted to her ever since I saw her. I’ve been secretly admiring (God, I hate this word) her for a while now, though I knew she was attached. Her boyfriend picks her up from work everyday and I’ve been wanting to ask her out ever since I saw her. I spoke to her a couple of times when we bumped into each other at the elevator and she seems like a nice person.

Anyway, fast forward to several months later and I started noticing that her boyfriend has stopped picking her up from work (God, I’m such a stalker). Curious about this sudden change of affairs (and seeing an opportunity), I inquired about the situation when I bumped into her again. Apparently, the boyfriend is Out of Town (TM) so I decided to ask her out.

Well, you know what love is right? It’s psychical attraction at first sight and then personality compatibility at the second stage. That’s where the problem comes in – we hit it off immediately. It’s like we’re kindred souls, and we started going out for lunch and at night. I’ve never met a girl like this before, one that I could easily talk to and open up with.

Anyway, pretty soon we had a rather intense relationship going. It’s pretty much all or nothing with me. I gave this relationship everything I had coz I thought this girl was Worth It (TM). Was she The One (TM)? I don’t know, but she’s been the closest “one” ever since this pharmacist I was going out with in Kuching broke up with me.

It was really, really good for a while. I literally worshiped the girl. She’s a little older than me and she’s very mature and that really appeals to me. She grounds my impulsive, self-destructive personality and she’s been really nice to me too, little gestures like bringing breakfast for me coz she knows I only drink coffee for breakfast.

Anyway, pretty soon The Boyfriend (TM) found out about the relationship and all hell broke loose. She stopped seeing me, although we still talk on the phone and arrange for secret, quick rendezvous sessions. Lately though, I have noticed that it’s just not good enough for me anymore. I don’t want a “girlfriend” that’s only available on the phone instead of being beside me. I hate the feeling of not being able to hug her and kiss her and just feel the comfort of being with her.

She was very honest and open with me that she’ll be leaving very soon and that we could never have an open relationship. It has to be covert due to the Unique Circumstances (TM) that she was in. I thought it would be good enough for me, but back then at least I got to go out with her. She can only stay at home now and just talk on the phone due to Restrictions (TM) placed on her since being found out. We can’t even go out now and it’s probably going to remain this way until she leaves.

What should I do? Should I just call it quits and pull out? Or do I torture myself by being a hermit for the remainder of the time and stay at home in the very rare occasion that she manages to sneak 10 minutes to be with me?

Do I pull the Band Aid off in one quick motion or do I pull it slowly off?

da confused

I used to say I never met a girl like you before,
Still ain’t got a fucking clue to who you truly are…

Please help,
Confused
.

Dear Idiot,

I got bored reading your letter halfway. Your verbosity exceeds even that of Ayn Rand. Has anyone ever finished reading Atlas Shrugged? I didn’t think so.

Kindred souls, my ass. How long have you been going out with this girl? It’s probably still the honeymoon period right?

I’m not even interested to hear about your personal attributes, which you so generously sprinkled throughout your letter, you narcissistic fuck.

Get to the fucking point, you took up several paragraphs writing the background which could have been achieved with six words in bullet form.

Okay, let me get this right.

1. Girl = Unavailable.
2. You = Infatuated.
3. Girl = Leaving.

That’s the gist of what your long winded letter was saying right? Read your #3 again. Again. And again.

Which part about leaving do you not understand? Imbecile!

You pathetic fuck, stop feeling sorry for yourself and move on!

It seems like you listen to Eminem from the quote from Spend Some Time. It’s a very good break up song, I have taken the liberty of scouring YouTube for a video and embedding it here for you to listen to and start being a man again. Listen to that bit about “but when someone seems too good to be true, they usually are”.

Quit using “anyway” and “well” as paragraph leaders in your writing. It’s very irritating to read.

Oh, and over here in Malaysia, we call them “lifts” not “elevators”.

P/S – What’s with that (TM) shit anyway? Your dad patent the word one izzit?

The sixthseal.com Guide to Human Advertising

cutting intro

The words “self harm” and “self injury” has been bandied about a lot by psychologists and teenage cutters obsessed with their own angst. It has also been mistakenly labeled as “suicidal behavior” which is grossly inappropriate since most cases are not intended to hasten the kicking of the bucket.

I propose that this behavior be exploited, I mean, explored as a new avenue for advertising instead. We’ve all heard of tattoos as a form of advertising with human advertising billboards but there are problems associated with that (mainly the permanent nature of the process).

Cutting may be a more appropriate “human advertising” medium for events. This is the sixthseal.com Guide to Human Advertising.

razor blades

Step 1: Obtain a box of old skool razor blades. It doesn’t really matter what brand you use as long as it’s properly wrapped, clean and sharp.

steady hands

Step 2: You will require a pair of steady hands. This is necessary to avoid transcription errors due to shaky hands. 😉

cutting fresh

Step 3: Use the razor blade to carve the name of the event you want to be promoting. It should optimally be short – use initials when possible e.g. “RWMF” instead of “Rainforest World Music Festival” since skin real estate is at a premium.

cutting healing

Step 4: Please allow sufficient time for the blood to coagulate – it is the body’s natural healing system at work here and it prevents bacteria and other Nasty Stuff (TM) from entering an open wound.

Example:

I have included a video tutorial on skin advertising – this is for the “Sarawak Cultural Festival”, abbreviated to SCF due to skin real estate issues.

Caution:

The right amount of pressure should be applied consistently. It is obviously unwise to apply too much pressure (razor blades are sharper than you think) but enough downwards pressure should be present to achieve the desired results. Please direct your attention to Exhibit A (Cleaned and Healing Scar) below.

cutting guide

The S character has too much pressure applied – this would result in a raised scar. The C character would probably result in a scar that is not visible unless at certain angles, while the F carving would be the optimal result for a scar that is not visible at all, unless under direct sunlight in certain angles.

cutting healed

What do you think? The advertising industry is constantly on the lookout for new opportunities and mediums. Could this be the next new wave of advertising? Or will it be relegated to the fringes of society?

The Balcony Incident

balcony club

I lost my Sony Ericsson W580i cell phone AND my Sony T2 digital camera on Saturday night at Balcony, Miri. Balcony is a club that opens till late and is very popular with the Mirians. I arrived in Miri at around 8 pm and met up with Kim and Mark at Shiki – the Japanese restaurant for dinner.

island club

We went to Island Club (a pub) after that for drinks and Darren joined us there. I took a total of 111 photos that Saturday but didn’t have time to upload them to my notebook due to excessive social commitments. I had to meet up with some other friends straight after that at Balcony so I went there after Island Club.

ketamine note

SWIM was given a complimentary RM 1 dollar note, folded in a rather peculiar manner as a gift. I was a little taken aback by the RM 1 folded note offering – it’s not everyday someone gives you an RM 1 dollar note. I took the keta…er, I mean currency and opened it up.

ketamine

The content inside the folded RM 1 note was rather unusual – it consisted of a white powder, which I assumed was sugar. *cough* This photo was taken the next day – I lost my digital camera that very day so it couldn’t have been from the original batch. The original gift had MUCH MORE powdered sugar than from this batch.

balcony urinal

I went to take photos and videos of the Balcony club and decided that a sugar rush would do me some good since I was pretty tired from the drive. I locked myself inside the toilet and partook in the saccharine particles. Perhaps I was a little bit too drunk and I accidentally insufflated (snorted) the entire contents of the sugar inside the toilet instead of consuming it for the sugar energy.

balcony toilet

This was a mistake since I don’t think the stuff was sugar at all. 😉 I immediately felt the characteristics of a certain NMDA antagonist come over me the moment the entire batch was snorted. I looked up into the ceiling and saw several layers of ceilings (?) and felt my entire perspective altered. I was looking at the RM 50 dollar rolled up bill that I used to insufflate the powder and thought…Oh, fuck!

balcony stairs

I wanted to call my friend (who were all looking for me – apparently I was inside for the better part of an hour) but I couldn’t manage to move so I was kinda stuck inside the toilet coz I was so fucked up I didn’t even know where I was. I was told the next day that the staff of Balcony unlocked the toilet door and helped me to my feet (and I couldn’t even walk straight even with two people holding me up).

balcony blur

The two staff members went from table to table to ask which group I was with. I think I sat down with an unknown group of people and talked to them (at least to the extent to which you can talk on that particular NMDA antagonist) before my worried friends found me. They took me home and I realized I lost my cell phone AND my digicam. One of my friends went back to search for it but it wasn’t there anymore – I don’t know where I left it.

kj faye

Much thanks to KJ and Faye for taking care of me that night! I lost RM 700 from my wallet and my Public Bank credit card and Faye canceled my cell phone service and credit card that very night in case someone stole it and used it.

boulavard

I went to the Sony center at Boulevard to get a new digital camera the very next day since I really needed one for blogging. Faye gave me her spare cell phone and her backup SIM card so I still could use a phone. I was meeting up with Kim the next day for lunch so I really needed to replace all the photos that were taken that day. I was undecided about whether to get a Sony T70 or T300 but settled for the former since I seem to have a penchant for losing things when I’m less than sober.

sony shop

It cost me RM 1178 for the T70 plus a 2 GB MS Pro Duo memory card and a Sony leather case. The T300 would have set me back RM 1599 which is not a lot more considering it has a 3.5 inch LCD (versus 3 inch for the T70) and it’s a 10.1 MP digicam (versus the 8.1 T70) but the decision to go for the T70 (besides me always losing things) is that that the 3.5 inch LCD on the T300 makes it hard to put it inside my pants pocket and I want a compact digicam for me to bring around.

sony t70

The worst thing about The Balcony Incident wasn’t the loss of the money, credit card, cell phone or digital camera. It’s the 111 photos INSIDE the digicam that I took earlier during the road trip and in Miri. That cannot be replaced while the others can. Oh well, at least I’ve learnt a lesson – reduce my sugar intake. I’m switching to Pal Sweet. There’s a lot less calories in the latter to boot. 😉

EZ-Test substance testing kit (Ecstasy pill tester)

ezpack.jpg
You’ve got mail!

EZ Test
[eztest.com]. It’s a set of chemical solutions for testing substances.
The reagents produce different reactions to different chemicals so you
can test for Ecstasy (MDMA), methamphetamine, 2C-B, DXM etc. It’s very
useful to have around for testing pills, although personally I’ve never
had any problems about this in Australia. MDMA pills are sold as MDMA
pills and ketamine/speed pills are sold as such. It is useful to verify
the contents of a pill though, so I usually use a Marquis reagent which
I get at Off Ya Tree, a local headshop.

ezpkcont.jpg
Inside the package is the EZ Test container and a booklet

That ran out some time ago and I found out that EZ Test has a Australian distributor
[ez-test.com.au] which mails their substance testing kits cash on
delivery, so I ordered a set from them. This is the EZ Test Xtreme,
which has 4 different chemicals – the EZ Test (Marquis reagent),
Simon’s reagent, Robadope and the buffer solution. The Marquis reagent
is probably the most well known for testing Ecstasy pills, but the
other reagents compliment the Marquis solution to provide more
comprehensive results. Hmm…I feel like I’m writing this for a report! 🙂

ezcase.jpg
The EZ Test container – a closer look

Anyway, the Marquis reagent is able to detect MDxA type substances
(eg MDMA, MDA, MDEA), amphetamines (speed), 2C-B (also called Nexus,
pretty rare chemical), and DXM.

ezcontin.jpg
A peek inside the container

Simons’s reagent is used to test for a “secondary amine”, which to
my limited chemistry knowledge means the substances that have a longer
chemical name than usual. 😉 These are things like methamphetamine (a
methyl group added to -amphetamine), MDMA and so on. This one is good
for testing meth, it won’t react with amphetamines (primary amine),
only with methamphetamines (secondary amine). Anyway, there isn’t a
burning need to have this around either, since most of the ‘speed’ sold
in Australia is methamphetamine, or so I’ve heard. It’s not that hard
to subjectively differentiate meth and speed (I use speed to refer to
amphetamine) when consumed anyway.

ezbunch.jpg
The 4 bottles of reagents

Robadope on the other hand does the opposite of what Simon’s reagent
does. Robadope is used to detect the presence of a primary amine (like
amphetamine). Unfortunately, this test requires quite a lot of the
substance to work. The instructions say at least 1/8th of a pill is
needed to produce a reaction. That’s quite wasteful, but it’s
interesting to have around, if only to test things at random. =D

marquis.jpg
EZ Test (Marquis reagent)

There is also the buffer solution, which I think (don’t quote me on
this) is used to speed up the reaction times. Either that, or it’s the
“missing link” that’s needed for Simon’s and Robadope to react, perhaps
the solutions are not that stable and won’t keep as long when combined.
Again, I don’t really know what the buffer is for, just that it’s used
with Simon’s and Robadope but not Marquis.

simons.jpg
Simon’s reagent

The tests are done in sequence and by inference and extrapolation
(just love this phrase), you can detect whether a
pill/powder/capsule/whatever contains MDxA (MDMA, MDEA, MDA),
methamphetamine, amphetamine, PMA, 2C-B, DXM, combinations (primary
amine – secondary amine like a MDMA/amphetamine combo pill) and even
heroin. Each reagent changes color when it’s exposed to the
recreational substances that it’s able to detect.

robadope.jpg
Robadope

I don’t know why I’m in a mood for writing something like this, but
anyway. 🙂 Here’s an example, using the EZ Test kit on a dexamphetamine
tablet. I had 2 pills left, which isn’t enough to do anything, so I’ve
left it lying around…until today! Today, I’m going to strike the fear
of God into the little white pills. Or something. I’m tweaking again,
verbal diarrhea and mindless chatter ahoy! =D

buffer.jpg
Buffer solution

Anyway, if you’ve read my posts, you’ll know that I have a
dexamphetamine script for my…ah, narcolepsy. 😉 I can’t stop with the
wink wink nudge nudge every time I mention this, my apologies, I’m
actually privately gloating about my script. Heh. Okay, enough
silliness, sorry about that.

ezdex.jpg
5 mg dexamphetamine tablets

Back on topic, dexamphetamine is a primary amine, from what I’ve
read, amphetamine is a racemic mixture containing both the + and –
isomers. Those are dextro and laevo and Collin’s English Dictionary
defines it as such:

racemic
adjective
(Chem) of, concerned with, or being a mixture of dextrorotatory
and laevorotatory isomers in such proportions that the mixture has no
optical activity
[ETYMOLOGY: 19th Century: from RACEME (as in racemic acid) + -IC]
racemism
noun

Anyway, the laevo (or levo) isomers of both amphetamine and
methamphetamine isn’t recreational compared to the dextro isomers. I
don’t know if this is true for all -amphetamines, but its true for
(meth)amphetamine. The stuff you get off the street is a racemic
mixture, so looking from a recreational perspective, it’s inferior to
dextro only isomers. In other words, pure dextro (meth)amphetamines
will get you higher than a racemic mixture. Personally, I like
dexamphetamine (dextroamphetamine sulfate) because it’s much more
stimulating that street speed (racemic amphetamine), but I’ll take
racemic methamphetamine over it any day! =D

ezdexpill.jpg
Dextroamphetamine sulfate – our test subject

I digress. I suspect I’m boring half of you with the background
information and insulting half of you by elaborating on things that you
already know. Nevertheless, I shall continue. 🙂 Oh, and you might have
noticed that I don’t use the word “drug” or “drugs”. I dislike that
term because of the negative connotations that’s associated with it. I
use the term “substances” and “chemicals” instead to refer to
recreational compounds. Okay, instead of digressing again and again and
being self indulgent, I’ll continue to the tests.

Substance: 5 mg dexamphetamine pill (dextroamphetamine sulfate)

exdexpdr.jpg
Dexamphetamine pill, crushed into powder

The pill is crushed up with a dog tag as if to prepare for
insufflating (snorting). Half of the powder is used for the tests and
the other half was, er…insufflated. The first test is done using the
Marquis reagent. A small portion of the powder is isolated into a
corner of a CD jewel case and two drops of the Marquis reagent is
applied to it.

Test: Marquis Reagent

The pill’s content is already known, so this is just a test for fun
and to show how reagents work. The Marquis reagent will react by
changing color to orange/brown when it detects amphetamine (speed).
Let’s see how it goes in the test.

mdex1.jpg
Yellow as soon as it came into contact with the powdered dexamphetamine pill.

mdex2.jpg
The color started to look orange after a couple of seconds.

mdex3.jpg
It’s noticeably orange now.

mdex4.jpg
Yup, unmistakably orange. Indicates the presence of amphetamine (dexamphetamine = amphetamine).

mdex5.jpg
The reaction settled to become a brown goo after a minute.

Marquis Reagent result: Orange, indicating either methamphetamine or amphetamine.

Test: Simon’s Reagent

Two drops of Simon’s reagent and 4 drops of the buffer solution is
applied to another portion of the powdered dexamphetamine pill. This
should turn blue if there is a secondary anime (methamphetamine) but it
won’t react if it’s amphetamine (primary amine).

sdex.jpg
No reaction. The red drops are the reagents, accidentally dropped it outside the sample.

Simon’s Reagent result: No reaction, ruling out
methamphetamine. This indicates that it’s amphetamine, from the
positive result from the previous Marquis test.

Test: Robadope

There’s actually no point in doing the Robadope, since the substance
is already known from the two tests. Robadope is mainly used for
testing for combinations eg MDMA/amphetamine combo pill. The Robadope
will proceed nevertheless. 🙂 The reaction will be reddish/purple if it
detects a primary amine (like dexamphetamine).

I fudged up the first test by dropping too much Robadope on too little sample.

rdex1.jpg
Slight salmon color.

The second attempt uses only a single drop of Robadope + 2 drops of buffer on quite a large sample.

rdex2.jpg
Slight reddish tint. It is noticeable to the naked eye (if you squint
really hard), but the colors translated poorly to the digicam. It
wasn’t the shade of red I expected, but that’s probably because the
sample was mostly binders + fillers instead of dexamphetamine. There’s
heaps of binders in a dex pill, which is why snorting is such a chore
that I just eat them after heavy urinary alkalization.

Robadope result: Salmon red tint. This indicates a primary amine – dextroamphetamine.

This is how Ecstasy pill testers work – by cross-referencing reagent results. 🙂

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