Friday, 31 October 2003

one of those days

today's one of those days when i go out intending to get things done and nothing really gets done...

so i came home and did a scanner photography of some rainforest tree seeds i found on my way home one day some time ago....

pretty huh?


days like this one needs to practice positive self-talk....

anyway, it got me started thinking about what new adventures i would want for next year and what plans i should make .....i know it's still a bit early but i've come up with a sort of draft of my New Year Resolutions for 2004...

hahaha.. kiasu enough for you??
History of Halloween

1. The History and Legends of Trick or Treating

2. Halloween - Myths, Monsters & Devils

(via email .. yo, thanks! :))

happy halloween? :p
Singapore Colloquial English vs. Singapore Standard English

i'm doing my final assignment (Language Description and Use) for this semester and i chanced upon this rather amusing piece while doing my research:

The 3 Little Pigs – Singapore version

Ones apron a time got tree little pig, call them Ah Beng, Ah Seng and Ah Tee. They think they big already and no wan to liv with mama, because liv with mama sometimes quite pek chek and also can become suaku! So they say goodbye to their mama and go out of house. Mama tell them to be careful of the big, bad woof, because you know, this big, bad sabo king want to eat them. They tell their mama, "we know lah, not scared one". We build house so woof cannot get us. If he try, he will be sorry.

The first pig, Ah Beng he think he very clever, he also cannot wait one, very kancheong type you know. So he build a house very quickly. Finish very fast- how? Aiyoh, he use straw lor, just tie and tie and tie together and then very quick okay already.

This woof very clever kay see, so he pretend and say nice things and ask Ah Beng to let him to inside house. Little Ah Beng also quite clever, he say, "No way man, I know you, don't bluff. Sorry you not welcome here".

The woof say "U no let me in mare? U dare mare? I blow your house down then you know". And he blow and blow and he poon and poon and he use all his inside strength and jia lat man, Ah Beng's house come down.


Moral of the story :->

Number 1 - do things slow, slow, must plan, think, plan, nowsdays they say strategic planning. No lush and lush and chin chai build. Chin chai do things ownself die - never think, how can use straw build house, how can house be strong, sure kanna one lah.

Number 2 - don't be so tum sim. Blow down one house, two house not enough want to blow until all tree. Given people some face, don't be too hao lian! In the end too tum sim also kanna - woof kanna heart attack.
Same lah we all also like that, enough is enough, some people pia until they mati.

Number 3 - those who got must kongsi with those who no got then the world sure better place. Remember : if you have and your neightbor no have, kongsi lah. And those who tumpang must know cannot tumpang too long, or else. But when kongsi right hand must not know what left hand give or else no use lah.
This mean kongsi quietly, don't let whole world know you give okay.
Very chim, right?

this was originally taken from this website which is no longer in existence...

anyway, my point is, isn't it really amazing how 99% of all true blue Singaporeans should have almost no problems at all understanding this story, no matter what their SES (i.e. Social Economic Status) while almost ALL foreigners will be struggling through it??

Singlish is truly our lingua franca... :p

Thursday, 30 October 2003

view of...


Ashes of Time

i have just finished watching a grainy $6.90 VCD (<--- please note, this is not a pirated VCD.. it just happens to be a really old movie. i bought it from a shop in City Hall - if you wanna get it i'll tell you the name of the shop, k? i'm not in the habit of buying pirated vcds or downloading stuff from kazaa) of Wong Kar Wai's period "action" movie "Ashes of Time".... umm...

let's just say that this movie review captures how i feel as closely as i can personally put it...

"More about insistent memory than triumphant swordplay, Ashes of Time is an "action movie about inaction," about swordsmen in their twilight, seemingly at the edge of the world, marooned by thoughts tantalizingly clouded with lovesick memories, by the ache of loves lost. Every character herein pines for someone offscreen, and the desiccated landscape, the Leonesque use of close-ups and Morricone inspired scoring, and the amazing pitch-perfect performances from the most glamorous stars ever to shine down on earth make these characters resonate with the force of archetypes. Though the blur of action sequences are certainly dazzling and glorious, this is mostly a movie of lone figures staring towards unseen, sometimes internal, horizons, their hearts lodged in another time. "

something like "The Secret Life of Martial Arts Heroes" .... haha.. still, it's a visual treat of a movie though i'm still scratching my head about some of the scenes (i think i must definitely watch it again.. very cheem...).. nonetheless, the movie is packed with all the famous HK stars you can possibly imagine.. it's directed by Wong Kar Wai and features stars like Brigitte Lin Ching Hsia, Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Jacky Cheung, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Carina Lau, Charlie Yeung etc....

it's become a bit of a "cult movie" in the US and Hongkong apparently, as a result of how unconventional it is..

**my head is now spinning**
the cost of war

If there is one Bin Laden now, there will be 100 Bin Ladens afterward
- Hosni Mubarak in speech on the Iraq war, 31 March 2003(2)

I am going to kill America - not today, after 10 years
- father of nine-month-old Iraqi girl killed by cluster bomblet

The Wages of War: Iraqi Combatant and Noncombatant Fatalities in the 2003 Conflict. PDA Research Monograph 8, 20 October 2003. Carl Conetta.

can war ever be justified?

Wednesday, 29 October 2003

more wisdom

here's a bit more blogging before i start doing my next assignment.. sigh..zzzz... :p

“Some people die at twenty-five and aren’t
buried until they are seventy-five.”

-- Benjamin Franklin

"I dreamed a thousand new paths.
I woke and walked my old one."

-- Chinese Proverb

"We've got to have a dream if we
are going to make a dream come true."

-- Denis Waitley
wisdom from the sages

according to Richard Leider, who wrote "The Power of Purpose", older adults (over age 65) who were asked the deeply profound question:

"If you could live your life over again, what would you do differently?"

consistently said they would:

1. Be more reflective.

2. Be more courageous.

3. Be clear earlier about (their life) purpose.

considering that most of us are still relatively far from that age (i hope).. perhaps this is something that we should start pondering about....??

OLD, you say you are?? ... Consider:

"A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams. " ... John Barrymore
What Finding Nemo Character are You?

You are NEMO!

brought to you by Quizilla

I'm NEMO!! :D
food glorious food (and more..)

i've been overdosing on rich foods these two days...

yesterday's lunch: fish & co @ jurong point - seafood platter and clam chowder soup.. burp... a little too much to eat considering it's lunch...

yesterday's dinner: tamade @ robertson quay - remember visiting it 2 years ago... still as good, but with a smaller, more focused menu.. wonderful tomato/lemongrass soup, some beef thing, and the chocolate pudding with ice cream was heavenly!!

today's lunch: nothing to scream about - NIE canteen food

today's dinner: salt @ amoy street - fusion food.. the chilean seabass was a blast! in fact, everything was good! nothing was... err.. too SALTY??? hahaha.. highly recommended restaurant!! and we had wine and cake 'cos it's my sis' birthday! :)

after dinner treat: kazbar @ far east square - middle eastern/meditteranean bar/cafe (music was good.. after a round of drinks, we actually felt like getting up to do belly dancing.. haha.. but instead, we got ourselves a shisha/hookah! woo hoo! :) for those who are unfamiliar, it's this waterpipe thing that is ubiquitous in the streets of Egypt, Turkey and parts of Morocco .. shisha is the tobacco mixed with molasses and fruit flavors (usually apple) and this stuff is smoked in a hookah - this glass vessel thing filled with water you can blow bubbles in and with the heated tobacco and coal on top..)

you've seen it in Alice in Wonderland smoked by the Caterpillar..

Shisha smoking species

it's one of those things you have to try at least once in your life.. if not more.. haha.. :p.. it's really a lot nicer than you think..

next two days shall have plaincongee to detox...

Tuesday, 28 October 2003

about love

Margaret Anderson said:

"In real love you want the other person's good. In romantic love you want the other person."

do you agree??

or from Ambrose Bierce:

"Love: a temporary insanity, curable by marriage."


but Bertrand Russell's? i like very much:

"Three passions have governed my life:
The longings for love, the search for knowledge,
And unbearable pity for the suffering of [humankind].

Love brings ecstasy and relieves loneliness.
In the union of love I have seen
In a mystic miniature the prefiguring vision
Of the heavens that saints and poets have imagined.

With equal passion I have sought knowledge.
I have wished to understand the hearts of [people].
I have wished to know why the stars shine.

Love and knowledge led upwards to the heavens,
But always pity brought me back to earth;
Cries of pain reverberated in my heart
Of children in famine, of victims tortured
And of old people left helpless.
I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot,
And I too suffer.

This has been my life; I found it worth living. "

truly.. love that i cannot disagree with..

all from Love Quotes.. no, i'm not "in the mood for love".. i'm just clearing messages from my phone and i found the one on margaret anderson and thought i'll just blog it here for record. .ya, that's why..

Monday, 27 October 2003

me, tv and indian trains

i watched TV for the first time in half a year.. i mean, of course i haven't been consciously avoiding the tv set all these few months.. what i mean is, i do glance at it occassionally while i'm going to and from the kitchen, to casually see what my mum (or whoever) is watching and may stick around for about 10 mins or so .. but to actually turn on the TV to watch a show from start to end is really something i haven't done in a long long time..

in an attempt to recover from that tedious essay paper we finally handed in today (the 2000 worder to analyse a kid's psychosocial development), i flipped on the TV set just now and watched 10 mins of "F.r.i.e.n.d.s" (which wasn't half as funny as i thought it would be) and the episode of "The Practice". wow, The Practice is really a pretty good show - the plot is intriguing and the acting was definitely a joy to watch.. wonder if this will finally break my long spell of not watching the tele.. umm...

anyway, the point is, i do often wonder what i'm missing by not watching television.. is there something that surfing the net, listening to the radio, and reading the papers and the economist cannot replace?..

i found this The Importance of Watching TV article online just now but it's for people trying to "improve their English listening skills and accustom themselves to American life.".. then i found that most of the other articles were in fact about the dangers of watching TV to health or something similar to that.. e.g. "Being Sedentary, Such as Watching a Lot of TV, Increases the Risk for Diabetes" or this one that says: "HOW TO PREVENT NEWS FROM INFECTING YOUR MIND WITH PESSIMISM" (this was the same philosophy a friend of mine used to have as well! :p).... i guess i haven't missed much then.. haha..

on a scary note, i was surfing the net just now for train tickets from New Delhi to Calcutta (now called Kolkata) and top on the list of Google was this bleak news dated September 10, 2002 .. scary!!! :O

maybe i should fly instead?...

Sunday, 26 October 2003

Erik Erikson's views on psychosocial development

Famed psychologist, Erik Erikson argued that development is a lifelong process, from conception until death. He argued that we go through eight stages, the first in infancy and the last in old age. At each stage there is a crisis that we must deal with. The most famous crisis that Erikson proposed is that which we experience during adolescence: the identity crisis.

During adolescence, the crisis is identity. We must figure out who we are. Erikson argued that in order to come to a sense of identity, teens must engage in exploration. They must try out new ways of thinking and behaving. Erikson would explain the many 'phases' that teens go through as their attempts at exploration. They explore with new ways of looking, new ideas, new groups of friends, new styles of music, with everything. Only after exploring a variety of options should teens commit to an identity.

Erikson argued that there are two potential outcomes to the identity search process: identity achievement or identity diffusion.

The identity achieved person is one who has come to a firm sense of self after engaging in a long search full of exploration. He or she tends to have high self esteem, is socially skilled, and does well in life.

The opposite end of the spectrum is the identity diffused person. This is one who at the end of adolescence or beginning of adulthood has not achieved a sense of identity. Perhaps he or she never explored or explored and never committed. Erikson argued that the person who is identity diffused will have difficulties successfully resolving the later crises in life. The diffused person is likely to have low self esteem, have trouble making friends, and be much less successful than the identity achieved person.

Because each of Erikson's stages build upon each other, the person who is identity diffused, or who has not successfully resolved the identity crisis, will have difficulty resolving the crises to come. For example, in young adulthood, the crisis is regarding intimacy– to find someone to share your life with. How can you do that if you don't know who you are?

this is me taking a chunk of what i have just read and dumping it onto my unsuspecting blog audience .. hahahaha... btw, this is Stage 5 of the 8-stages i described earlier.

enjoy and ponder!
pain & suffering (Part Deux)

adding to the wonderful quote i posted two days ago...

(continuing two days later)

i wrote the quote two days ago mainly to remind myself that while no one (well, almost no one, i guess) chooses pain, suffering is very often a matter of choice, relatively speaking, whether or not most of us are willing to admit to it .. the fact remains that most of us carry years of guilt, shame, low self-esteem, anger, hate... largely unreasonably and unthinkingly ("unscrutinized")... and at the end of life's journeys will surely find no one left to blame for the negativity we feel.. except ourselves..

it's really scary when i think about it this way.. it seems then that coming to a resolution about many of the so-called "issues" in our lives seem the most intelligent thing to do. and very urgent too...

quoted from Yoda:

"...But beware. Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side are they. Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny."

"“"Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to s u f f e r i n g....!!!”

a friend of mine once told me, quoting from Krishnamurti, that the two greatest forces driving a man (or person) are Love and Fear.. i remember finding that a little bit unbelieveable, but on reflection, i see the truth of it.. Test this out on yourself first. Think of something you are angry about, something you hate, or something you are suffering over and follow it back until you figure out what you are fearful about (fear that people won't understand, fear of acceptance, fear of not being normal, fear of failure, afraid it won't work, afraid of what will happen next, etc. etc..)

even for educators like myself, according to Krishnamurti, you have to understand the implication of fear, how fear comes about. Just as you know about other subjects, you have to know something of fear. Society is doing everything to inculcate fear by laying down standards, religious ideals, class distinctions, ideas of success, the sense of the inferior and the superior, the rich man and the poor man. Society is doing everything possible to breed distorted values.

fear, pain, suffering.. life is indeed a long learning journey...

Saturday, 25 October 2003

The Importance of Friends (& Possibly Lovers?)

i'm doing an educational psychology assignment now and it involves analysing a teenager/adolescent (I interviewed last month during my one week "School Experience") in terms of his/her psychological development and formation of what we call a "self concept".

in my research, i found this bunch of findings by this guy called Erik Erikson, who says (among many other things) that the period of "early adulthood (approximately 18 years old to 35 years old", which is actually Stage 6 (Intimacy vs. Isolation) of his 8-stage theory, is critical for developing "true and intimate relationships" and the virtue of "Love". This is presumably the stage that most of us are in now...

It is not meant to be limited to romantic, sexualized relationships, but friendships as well. He describes that it is necessary to "drop ego-boundaries" in this process in order to "resolve any crisis" that we experience at this stage (note that crisis/conflict resolution is critical for mastering each stage as well). He also says that it is "vital to this phase that a solid sense of identity precede it" - which means that the individual should have developed/established an amount of "certainty" regarding his or her identity in the previous stage (i.e. Stage 5) before he/she can successfully "navigate" this phase..

However, what is most critical about his theory is that, according to Erikson, "those who are unable to achieve this (i.e. those who never know this intimacy", in this stage of their lives, will develop a sense of isolation and self-absorption and tend to avoid relationships with others and make commitments!

Worse still, failure in this phase may lead to "Schizoid Personality"!!!

grrr... make friends! make lovers!
Kill Bill

just back from a midnite showing of Kill Bill and i tell you, this is one amazing movie!! wow! blew our minds! LOVE IT!! it's a close contender for my personal Movie-of-the-Year definitely!

it was so.. so.. darn, i can't put it into words~! beautiful? classic? weird?? AWESOME???

lest i accidentally introduce some spoilers here, all i will say for now is that it was Japanese anime meets classic Quentin style meets Kurosawa meets Chinese swordfight serial... my movie companion tells me it reminds him of Wong Kar Wai's "Ashes of Time".. maybe it's a movie from the same genre.. should go find it and watch it too then - since it's got Maggie Cheung in it as well!! hooray!

in short, the movie was Awesome with a capital "A"! i can't imagine anyone wanting to miss this for anything!!

and btw, don't "wait for the VCD" - a movie like this deserves to be seen on the big screen for the FULL EFFECT!! :D

you may also wanna check out the ultracool website in the meantime.. some awesome flash animation to go along with the show, anyone?? :)

Friday, 24 October 2003

about pain and suffering

Pain is an event. ...Suffering, on the other hand, is the nightmare of reliving unscrutinized and unmetabolized pain.

-- Audre Lorde, "Eye to Eye," Sister Outsider (1984)

Thursday, 23 October 2003

What Color Is Your Aura?

green aura

Your aura shines Green!

brought to you by Quizilla
Thank God for good friends

Thank God for friends who speak to us and through their words, they knock sense into us, breaking us from the bondage of self-denial and self-delusion, as well as the artificial feelings of self-importance and self-righteousness...

friends like these are more precious than all the jewels of the Earth..

This day, i learnt something important about Life because i listened to a friend of mine and i'm all the better for it..

thank you... :) ... you know who you are..

Wednesday, 22 October 2003

lomo bashing

there is a thread going on now in the popular Clubsnap forum (see ClubSNAP - LOMOGraphy is.....) in which some pro- "serious photography" folks are slamming Lomography as a cheap, “over-hyped, non-artform”.. wow, pretty scary how vehement some of them are.. calling it everything from “a disease” to “con job” and even “vulgar”..

to me, it’s just something fun .. a little like what scanner photography and pinhole photography can be.. silly, random, pointless but nevertheless fun.. and sometimes, it can be “artistic” too, especially if I’m trying to make a statement about something with an effect that I achieve with the camera..

while I don’t have much of an opinion regarding the argument that it may not be entirely “ethical” to take a cheap, Russian-made camera, make it into a cultural icon, and then price it up accordingly to sell to the world through some elaborate business model, I'm afraid that what makes most of these people upset may be just that these two guys have been tremendously successful in what they are doing and the whole world appears to be gullibly “taken in” by this big "scam".. me? I don’t think people are really all that gullible.. it’s always a choice, no? so, in my opinion, a lot of it may be just jealousy.. which isn’t a good thing to have, I think..

anyhow, it’s clearly just great marketing at the end of it.. like how popular plastic toys like Bearbrick have become, or nike, or any of the big brandnames that people are willing to pay a premium for... and we ourselves sometimes just enjoy paying for it for the "feel-good" factor, right? nothing much to it.. no need to make a fuss about it..
photomarathon winners

the winning entries for the Photo Marathon Contest are up!

check them out.. :)

in the meantime, i continue to put up those futile attempts of mine on my fotolog.. haha.. :p enjoy...

Tuesday, 21 October 2003

Nationalism, Globalisation and Borderless Worlds

i'm getting a buzz doing my Economics assignment on International Trade.... haha.. which is great since it's Homework (with a capital 'H') after all.. been sort of keeping an eye on this issue since the collapse of the WTO trade talks at Cancun (Mexico) about a month back and it's really quite interesting to read about the issue from the perspectives of both the rich as well as developing nations..

i realised that both sides can actually see the value of having freer trade but the deadlock is really because neither side is willing to budge, especially the rich US and EU countries.. grr... personally, i don't see a way out of this impasse as long as both sides are so intent on their own agendas and have little regard for the other..

coincidentally, i'm trying to find time, as soon as possible, to read these two fantastic books on my table: Imagined Communities by Benedict Anderson (which i borrowed) and Joseph Stiglitz's Globalization and its discontents (which i bought today from Kino).. Benedict Anderson's book is particularly intriguing, investigating the reason for "What makes people love and die for nations, as well as hate and kill in their name?".. he describes nations as "imagined communities", existing primarily on the basis of loosely defined "cultural roots" and "imagined" deep, horizontal comradeships.. i'm still on Chapter 2. i'll see what else i come up with once i read further..

non sequitur: Ho Kee Pau Kopitiam at the corner of Geylang Rd and Sims Avenue is an excellent place for dinner.. their specialty is the chicken noodles and you can order a selection of dim sums to go along with it... sedap sekali! :) .. ate dinner here with two friends today while discussing the great notion of nationalism as well as (what i think is) its diametric counterpart: senseless crossborder wanderings.. hhaha.. anyway, it's a nice and relaxing place for an evening teh peng, if you are ever in the mood..

Monday, 20 October 2003

How Erotic a Lover are You?

Subtle Lover

You like it when eroticism has been built up to
such a level that it only takes a sexy look to
make you feel weak at the knees. Sexual games
really appeal since, for you, good sex happens
in the brain.

The subtle lover is a master of eroticism because a
subtle mind can take hold of fine nuances of
suggestion and allow them to develop into
something creative and different. You are
fortunate in having such a distinctive
imagination linked with the ability to understand
your unique and special sexual impact.
The downside is that as a subtle lover
you may come to require elaborate fantasies for
total satisfaction. A major task in life,
therefore, is to discover a partner whose
inventiveness and imagination match up - a mind
and personality that compliment your own. This
will not always be easy, but it's definitely
worth holding out for the right person.
Together you can explore an exciting world of
luscious sensuality and pure eroticism that
most couples desire but never attain.

(brought to you by Quizilla)

don't freak out just because i do a quiz like that, ya?
new toy

came back and found my NIMSLO 3D 35mm camera waiting for me on the floor - fresh from it's long voyage across the Pacific! bought it for a steal off eBay some time back and got it sent to a dear friend in the US who forwarded it to me..

thanks Ken! you're a dear!! :)

The Nimslo 3D - taken with scanner photography

i even found the full manual online! :) for the uninformed, this funny antique (no longer produced, apparently) little thing takes 4 half frame images that are slightly offset so when you view them, they actually come out looking a bit "3D" --- remember long long time ago (btw, i'm talking only to people of MY generation.. hahah..), you watched the Jaws 3D movie and they gave you those funny cellophane plastic & paper glasses that made the movie extra scary cos the Great White Shark literally jumps out at you?? this is a little bit like that! they call it stereo photography or something..

great!! gonna have lots of fun with this once i figure out how to use it.. :)

i think i cannot expect superb results though.... just read: The Nimslo camera didn't catch on widely. It was difficult for the average person to get consistently good results.. and the 3D effect was limited .. see first lor..

Update: Just found out: "There's only one place in the world which offers 3D lenticular prints from the Nimslo and Nishika four lens cameras, the i3Dx division of Orasee Corporation".... aahhhhhhhh :O ....... is the camera doomed to a lifetime of sitting on the shelf??? the only alternative is to convert it into a nimslo panoramic camera.... umm... sounds fun too...

eh?? * suddenly recalling** wasn't that my original idea?? ** looks around confused**

Sunday, 19 October 2003

Loft Cube

woah... the Loft Cube is definitely my dream home..

(via cherrybombpress)
Which SUNSET are you?

I'm not?? :O

You are not a sunset. You can't remember the last
time you saw the sun. The sun is evil.
You relate with the moon on a deeply profound
level. That, or you're just a text-book

You're self conscious- but you needn't be. You are
actually strikingly attractive.

You would never even want to be a sunset
anyway, and you don't know why you took this
test in the first place. Sunsets might be
overrated, but at least you can feel good by
the fact that you're constant. A sunset is so
flippant and noncommital. You are an
individual, and proud of it.

this stupid test was brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday, 18 October 2003

computer-times/canon digital photo marathon 2003

firstly, no, i didn't win anything... :p .. there were admitted many more "pro" amateurs (oxymoronic??) in this photo marathon with their amazing SLR digital cameras, tripods, filters etc and most importantly, that single-minded resolve to win.. . i willingly concede defeat... :)... have to admit some of those photos they had taken were pretty darn impressive.. as you know, i was out there to have fun and to be part of this "first-ever" event so... i mean, of course it will be nice to win, but... oh well.. .. at least i had my thasevi prata, kaya roti, free macdonald's meals (tried the new fish macdippers), and tons of sightseeing along the way (saw a long line of people in SengKang queuing in the sun for "Immediate Occupancy HDB flats" and they were mightily irritated by my presence there with my camera).. :)

secondly, while i didn't walk away with any of the pretty canon photo printers, cameras and apple ipods, this event will surely go down in my memory as one of the most hilarious events i have ever participated in..

you see, having taken part in weekly online photo submission projects before (such as Theme Thursday and Photo Friday), i am not unused to taking pictures based on a theme... e.g. "Body", "Interior", "Windows" etc..

However, the 3 themes they gave us (over the course of the day) left us laughing hard and uncontrollably in the lecture theatre every time and, even after that, for pretty much the whole day.. they were (the bullet points were "prompt questions" they included, apparently to guide us along):

Assignment One: Feelings

- What are feelings?
- What emotions come to mind?
- What emotional moments can you capture to tell a story?

Assignment Two: Colours of Life

- What role do colours play in your everyday life?
- What are the colours you come across in Singapore?
- What do colours mean to you? (**this is my favourite!!! hahaha)

Assignment Three: City of Lights

- What are the bright lights of Singapore? (note What, not Where)
- Where can you find lights that sparkle like a galaxy of stars?
- What is the beauty of Singapore at night? (???)

haha.. we were convinced they had "arrowed" someone in the office to come up with the themes as well as "prompt" questions in one night.. anyway, i shall be putting up a series of the photos i have taken for the Photo Marathon on my fotolog over the next couple of days..

check out the first one --> it's quite funny as long as you don't find it offensive in any way.. cos it isn't really at all...

Friday, 17 October 2003


been so busy i can't find time to blog...

trying to finish 3 assignments, fulfill a bunch of personal obligations and have to prepare myself mentally and physically for the Canon Photo Marathon tomorrow... have decided with my friend (haha! we have a CAR!! :)) that it will be a makan cum sightseeing cum photo taking day so we don't kill ourselves running around and surviving on snickers' bars.. (err.. do people STILL eat Snickers' bars these days?? :O gosh.. this sounds like one of those "You know you are old when... " kind of stuff that you get in email boxes.....oh dear.. :p ....

here's something a little bit more relevant for us.. "50 things Singaporeans aged 20 (almost) 30 something would identify with"..... not to kid ourselves... when you see the stuff you grew up with selling in dusty piles along Clark Quay flea market on a Sunday afternoon, you know you're old... sigh...

anyhow, the great singapore duck race is on 16 nov .. here's a scanner photo of my rubber duckie... haven't thought of a name for it yet.. wish my duckie good luck! REMEMBER ID: 093551 (or at the least go buy 4D.. sure win one..)

my yet unnamed duckie - scanner photography

go help charity by adopting a racing duckie too, for $10... you can do it online..

hee hee.. *rubs hand in glee*... if my duckie wins, i'll win a Hyundai Accent 1.3!! hahahah.. durrh... as if....

Wednesday, 15 October 2003

online confessions

think this could start a whole new cyberculture?? // let it all out ..

confession: i tried it out too.. hahahaha.. but you wouldn't know which confession's mine!! wahahaha :D
what's happening tonight..

a bunch of us teacher trainee folks are at home practicing hard to to speak in a way that will be barely understood by our students when we finally leave and go out into the "real teaching world"..

for example:

lingerie.. we say LAND-jer-ree
revolution.... we say rair-ver-LU-sion
wednesday.. we say WENZ-dee
holiday.... we say HOL-lee-dee..
prowess... we say PRAOssssss
towel.... we say TAO.....
jaguar... we say JAG-yooo-wer......
absurd.... we say urb-ZURD..
algae... we say EL-geee...
opportunity... we say op-per-TUI-ner-ti...
vehicle... we say vee-ee- kurl..
renaissance.... we say ree-nay-sens....

amongst others...

yes, tomorrow, we will be tested on our abilities to speak with British accents for a selected list of "troublesome words", while at the same time maintaining our usual Singaporean accents for the other words that we read in a passage..

we will sound so weird, as we have been doing everytime we practice... but what to do... what to do...
Do you know the reason why each person that you know is in your life?

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.

When someone is in your life for a reason, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to and end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.

Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.

When people come into your life for a season, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. they may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

Lifetime relationships teach you lifetime lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your joy is to accept the lesson, love the person/people anyway; and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of you life. It is said that love is blind but, friendship is clairvoyant. Do you know the reason why each person that you know is in your life?

got this from enzymed's forum - which has got tons of great stuff.. go check it out! :)

Tuesday, 14 October 2003

Friend of the Environment

as part of our preparation for the YEP eco-tourism/community service trip to Sikkim at the end of the year, a group of us visited the Singapore Environment Council today to find out a little more about what they did so we could share it with the folks at Kangchendzonga (world's third highest mountain after Mount Everest (Chomolungma,Goddess Mother of the World) and K2) Conservation Committee.

while we were there, we met these two really nice people, Uma and Grant, who told us about what they did in their jobs - Uma speaks to schools and organisations about how they can play their part to help the environment while Grant is the Head of the Green Volunteers Network, which is made up of volunteers who help in the various environmental projects that they organise in Singapore (Bukit Timah, Pulau Ubin, etc) and around the region. Though it was a hard struggle to push for environmental causes in a society very much concerned with economics and other such practical concerns, their determination never faltered. they were folks who believed that things were getting better, albeit slowly, and every little success was worth celebrating..

i recalled how I used to be so passionate about Environmental Protection, some 10 to 12 years ago.. speaking to my family and friends about what we could all do in our daily lives to reduce the damage that is going on, making trips to the library to read up books on various related topics, and filling volumes of my diary with what the future could look like.. in my own small way, i always thought i could one day change the way the world handles trash, toxic waste, recycling, animal cruelty, sport hunting, etc.... pages of my diary were written my "prophecies" about the year 2010, when everything will be recycled and fish will no longer be caught from the seas but harvested from aqua-farms..

diary written in Sec 3

i even had a certificate made for myself that said i was a "Qualified Trash Attacker"!

but sadly, since i entered the working world and got myself a licence and started driving, all these idealism started to disappear, even without my being aware of it... i've become part of the very group of people i used to speak harshly against... the people who were so caught up with their day-to-day existence and so concerned with convenience that they didn't care about the environment and how it was slowly getting damaged through the inconsiderate actions of human beings like themselves..

by the time i left the SEC office, i had signed up to be a volunteer with The Green Volunteers Network...

it's time i return to what i used to believe it..
infernal affairs II

Infernal Affairs II

this show is certainly not your usual, run-of-the-mill triad flick..

other than some obvious eye candy in the form of Edison Chen and Shawn Yue (between which I got a little confused along the way), there was also solid acting from veterans Eric Tsang and Carina Lau, a nice smooth plot with enough action to keep the interest going, almost lomo-esque filming (to a certain extent) and surprisingly nice music and sound effects..

it's definitely worth watching..

and i can't wait to go catch the sequel (i.e. the first of the trilogy) on DVD once my holiday starts in some 2 weeks time! :D

Monday, 13 October 2003

globetrotting congee

i discovered this gem of a photo in a CD rom just now, broken up into 6 parts, taken by a good friend of mine whom I travelled with some 2 years back. We had travelled together, with another friend of ours, to this beautiful island of Flores (Indonesia) in 2001, and I got this pic in a CD Rom he gave to me in exchange for a CD rom of my own pictures from the same place.

With the new Photostitch software I got free with my recent purchase of a Canon G2, I stitched the parts together and got this..


this stunning landscape is Keli Mutu - or the Three-Coloured Crater Lakes - featured once in National Geographic..

it struck me how many beautiful places i have indeed had the good fortune of seeing these past 10 years... :) ...

but not quite as many as this chap here (!) whose link was given to me by someone via email today.. this guy has certainly taken a road less travelled.. pretty impressive.. he took a year out and has so far seen 107 countries! wow..

Sunday, 12 October 2003

colour quiz

i really really like green.. but this doesn't sound like me at all, eh?


You are a very calm and contemplative person. Others are drawn to your peaceful, nurturing nature.

Find out your color at Quiz Me!

The Great Didactic: The Whole Art of Teaching

while doing my assignment, i found out about this amazing educationist called Johann Amos Comenius (1592-1670)..

he wrote this book called the Didactica Magna, or in English "The Great Didactic".. this book explores "how people learn and how they should be taught from infancy through the university and beyond. Contrary to the popular belief of the time, Comenius believed that human beings were born with a natural craving for knowledge and goodness, and that schools beat it out of them."

this powerpoint slideshow talks a little bit more about him... he also believed in "travel" as part of education and wrote a little about the finer points of teaching:

"If we take a jar with a narrow mouth, for to this we may compare a boy's intellect, and attempt to pour a quantity of water into it violently, instead of allowing it to trickle in drop by drop, what will be the result? Without a doubt, the greater part of the liquid will flow over the side, and ultimately the jar will contain less than if the operation had taken place gradually. Quite as foolish is the action of those who try to teach the pupils, not as much as they can assimilate, but as much as they themselves wish."

pretty cool to hear it from some 17th century guy instead of some modern day book.. sometimes, i, too, wonder if we are cramming our next generation with too much for them to handle.. Even where i am now, there is little mention of the "philsophy of teaching and education", only what we hope to achieve through our education system, namely equipping the next generation with the "right" skills for the future etc etc..

though some may argue that the line between the two is thin and hardly worth arguing over, i personally am more enthralled by the thinking of education as an artform,with its own certain philosophy, and not as a grinding and urgent task and mission, and worse, as an inevitable "evil" to ensure children are adequately equipped to meet future challenges..

oh well, so much for an idealist.. i still got to do my assignments.. :p
Photo Marathon Contest

just found out from Terence that i've been selected as one of the 200 people to take part in the Canon Photo Marathon Contest!!

yippee!!! :D

this should be sooooooo fun!!! :)

this is the pic i submitted.. glad they found it interesting enough.. :)

The old SAF building along Beach Rd

Saturday, 11 October 2003

The Cave

Imagine a cave. Prisoners are chained facing its far wall. They’ve been kept there all their lives and their heads are held fixed so that they can ‘t see anything except the wall of the cave. Behind them there is a fire and between the fire and their backs a road. Along the road various people walk casting their shadows on the cave wall; some off them carry models of animals which also cast shadows. The prisoners inside the cave only ever see shadows. They believe the shadows are the real things because they don’t know any better. But in fact they never see real people.

They one day one of the prisoners is released and allowed to look towards the fire. At first he is completely dazzled by the flames, but gradually he starts to discern the world around him. Then his is taken out of the cave into the full light of the sun, which again dazzles him. He slowly begins to realise the poverty of his former life: he had always been satisfied with the world of shadows when behind him lay the brightly lit real world in all its richness. Now as his eyes acclimatise to the daylight he sees what his fellow prisoners have missed and feels sorry for them. Eventually he becomes so used to the light that he can even look directly at the sun.

Then he is taken back to his seat in the cave. His eyes are no longer used to his shadowy existence. He can no longer make the fine discrimination between shadows that his fellow prisoners fine easy. From their point of view his eyesight has been ruined by his journey out of the cave. He has seen the real world; they remain content with the world of superficial appearances and wouldn’t leave the cave even if they could.

Adapted by Nigel Warburton, based on excerpt from Plato’s The Republic (pp 239 - 242)

According to Plato, the majority of humankind is, like the prisoners, content with a world of mere appearance. Only philosophers make the journey out of the cave and learn to experience things as they really are; only they can have genuine knowledge.

Sounds rather arrogant, I know.. but there is a certain amount of truth in it, no?

this remains one of my all-time favourite passages...

Friday, 10 October 2003

Cats Around The World

this website is absolutely strange..

i went like... "What...?"

Thursday, 9 October 2003

pondering & philosophising

mind {Gk. nouV [nous]; Lat. mens}
“That which thinks, reasons, perceives, wills, and feels. Philosophy of mind is concerned with explaining the characteristic features of mental events, the proper analysis of conscious experience, the relation between mind and body, and the moral status of persons.”

after a pretty intense past 3 to 4 weeks of mulling over a varied scope of matters, as well as a good half of this year spent in ad hoc deep self-pondering over some topics of great personal interest (much of it alone with my dog-eared notebook in random cafes around our little island), i think i've finally come really close to some kind of personal "enlightenment" about earthly human life.... i think i've finally figured out what (almost) everything is really about.. i shy to mention here any of them lest i drive some of you nuts and annoyed.. and besides, who am i at this (not young but not quite “sagely”) age to say that i know for sure what Life is about?

but i think i've suddenly found some clues... really eye-opening, liberating clues… and I had the good fortune of being able to bounce some of these thoughts around with a good long-time friend of mine last night, over satay and teh ping, who understood perfectly what I meant. This friend was even able to explain my feeling of “emotional detachment” over the past week before I came to my very recent “lit lightbulb” experience, and empathise with my closeted listening of Stefanie Sun’s mournful singing to relax and as a form of unplugging of my thinking.. in some ways, this friend of mine has come to some pretty similar conclusions as well, which made me realise how much more remarkable my whole enlightenment experience really is....

I think it is not inconceivable that one day, thinking so much about philosophy might just drive me mad.… grr…

anyhow, if you are interested in what I came up with, drop me a note.. I’ll try to share with you my thoughts the best way I can..
dirty pretty things


[ go underground ] - great movie!

it made me think about London in the way i never did before..

Wednesday, 8 October 2003

"How dirty is your money?"

amongst the many random pieces of news my mother hurled my way as i walked in through the door a few minutes ago was this one on dirty Chinese currency.

apparently, "most consumers don't know their wallets and purses may be teeming with bacteria" and (get ready for this..) "One Chinese banknote tested was carrying 178,000 different types of bacteria and had 9,500 organisms from the e-coli family"!!

:O how disgusting can that be??

this being the case, one additional piece of item i definitely need to add to my travel packing checklist next time i go to China will be a box of disposable gloves!!

.. or maybe we should just go to North Korea, where, according to the report, "strangely enough, banknotes from the secretive and impoverished communist state of North Korea were almost bacteria-free".

the other pieces of news my mother told me were:

- Arnie gets elected

- Semon Liu declares bankrupt (so Andrea de Cruz might not get her money after all..)

- her friend Auntie Ah Lan not turning up this morning for their regular morning swimming session with the "unacceptable" excuse that her freckles were getting worse.. (durrh..??)

my mum is amazing in the slick way she peppers her "news broadcasting" with her nagging .. for example, "wah, that Hollywood man.. the one who plays the robot? he.. eh, are you having dinner at home? huh? how come not again? where are you going? .. ya, that man.. you know? that one lah! ya, he got elected.... eh, who are you going out with? don't come back so late, hor??"



saw the mac ipod up close for the very first time today (i'm a bit of a laggard in this regard) and have to admit it looks really cool...

nonetheless, i don't think i'll be buying it, at least not in the next few months.. the whole idea of carrying my whole music collection around with me sounds a bit unnecessary.. for the moment, i still don't mind spending a couple of minutes everytime before running out of the house deciding what my mood is for that day and which two CDs i will be bringing out with me for the day (yes, i don't even have an MD player, if you know what i mean)..

it would be something really cool to carry on holiday though.. ummm.. imagine going for a long driving holiday and being able to play all your favourite music as you go.. umm...

i have, however, managed to fool two people so far into thinking i have an ipod just because my sony fotopia earphones happens to be sleeky white as well.. haha.. :p oh well, cheap thrill ... durrh...

Tuesday, 7 October 2003

Which Season Are You ?

Season = Winter
brought to you by Quizilla

You're Most Like The Season Winter ...

You're often depicted as the cold, distant season. But you're incredibly intelligent, mature and Independant. You have an air of power around you - and that can sometimes scare people off. You're complex, and get hurt easily - so you arely let people in if you can help it. You can be somewhat of a loner, but just as easily you could be the leader of many. You tend to be negative, and hard to relate to, but you give off a relaxed image despite being insecure and secretly many people long to be like you, not knowing how deep the Winter season really is.

Well done... You're the most inspirational of seasons :)

umm... there is a certain amount of truth to this one.. especially the scare people bit.. :(

Monday, 6 October 2003

powerful connections

Terence is right! Our SM Lee Kuan Yew is on Friendster! :O

in fact, i've got 3 connections to him!

"You are connected to Kuan Yew through:

You => Lynn => Dex => Kuan Yew
You => Jia Ying => Sophia => Kuan Yew
You => Peggy => Junsheng => Kuan Yew "

wah.. don't pray pray hor.... :p

you need to be on Friendster too to be able to access his profile..
Which Of The Greek Gods Are You ?

brought to you by Quizilla

this test doesn't say much and it's hard for me to agree with the results.. but it was easy to complete.

(via Carpe Diem and BadPupPiE's KeNneL)
essential life skills

reading my blog title above may give you the idea that I am about to expound on one of my numerous random (chim*) theories again..

truth is, the idea for my blog entry today really stemmed from a much more basic and mundane incident (though honestly speaking, most of my other blog entries tend to as well, even if I seldom say so..) I was hungry and I was looking for food. Standing in front of the racks of groceries and shelves of canned food in NTUC Fairprice this evening, it dawned on me that I had seriously limited ability when it came to cooking.

Because of my mother’s superb culinary ability (which many of my close friends can attest to, having been to my house for one of my casual festive get-togethers), I seldom find myself in any real need to cook anything, other than the occasional packet of instant noodles, cup-a-soup and fried egg or fruit salad. My last real cooking experience was way back half a dozen years ago, while I was in London studying and had to take care of myself else I starve to death or survive on yucky Chinese takeaways everyday.. then, I could cook up curry chicken, hainanese chicken rice, fried noodles, spagetti, rojak, and even soups with the finesse of a cook’s apprentice.. my flatmates and i even threw parties inviting other home-sick Singaporeans to try out our cooking.. Yet, this evening, I stood in front of the shelves and didn’t know what to do… what to cook, how to cook.. I realised how useless I was.. after all, isn’t cooking an essential life skill?

I came back and decided to find out what others thought of this concept, typing “essential life skills” into Google.. here’re some interesting ones..

Someone wrote:
- Reading at a level that permits following directions (e.g. recipes, prescriptions), reading contracts (e.g. leases), and generally interacting with the world at large without having to request the help of another person to read for you.

- Writing at a level that fulfills the minimal needs of an adult such as signing contracts, writing a simple note.

- Enough math to use money and determine whether you are paying a fair price for goods and services.

- Sufficient social skills to interact with other adults on a level expected by people one must come into contact with in order to provide for basic needs such as food, shelter, and employment.

- And the skills to find your happiness while maintaining satisfying fulfillment of physical needs.”

Another wrote:
“Enough critical thinking skills to be able to make relatively independent and intelligent decisions.”

And yet another summarised:
“Caring. Common Sense. Cooperation. Confidence. Courage.Creative and Critical Thinking. Curiosity. Effort. Flexibility. Focus. Friendship”

and this very very comprehensive one breaks it down in terms of skills that schools need to teach students (teachers: find PowerPoint here.. very much like what our Education Ministry is trying to do now....Digital Age Literacy, Inventive Thinking, Effective Communication and High Productivity)

for me personally, the main ones I consider "essential" are:
- ability to swim, to cycle and to drive
- ability to cook
- read & write (level depends on how much enjoyment you want to derive from these activities)
- communication (listening and speaking)
- socialising & teamwork
- selling
- basic financial and business skills
- adaptability and flexibility (i.e. survival or crisis-coping skills)

guess the list would vary from person to person. What are yours?

*for the uninformed and unsingaporean, this is pronounced as 'cheem', it means profound or difficult to understand

Sunday, 5 October 2003

Picasso stories

i just learnt that Pablo Picasso's full name is: Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paulo Juan Nepomuceno Maria de los Remedios Crispin Crispian Santisima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso.

and i also just discovered how funny he was.. hahah... here are some stories i found:

1. Picasso being interviewed by a lady magazine writer is asked about what he and all the artists of the Post Impressionist and cubists movements would talk about when the gathered in cafes during the evenings in Paris. What grand ideas would be exchanged?

Picasso's reply: "We used to talk about where to get the cheapest turpentine."

2. There is a story of Picasso being accosted by a stranger who asked him why he did not paint things as they really are.

Picasso looked puzzled, "I do not really understand what you mean," he replied.

The man produced a photograph of his wife. "Look," he said, "like that. That's what my wife really looks like."

Picasso looked doubtful. "She is very small, is she not? And a little bit flat?"

"If you take your eyes off your goals, all you see is obstacles." (via tangoquebec)

"A reasonable man adapts himself to suit his environment.
An unreasonable man persists in attempting to adapt his environment to suit himself.
Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

- George Bernard Shaw

Saturday, 4 October 2003

Sri Mariamman Temple

chanced upon an interesting temple ceremony while walking by the Sri Mariamman Temple earlier this evening..

temple drummer

deepavali is coming..

Thursday, 2 October 2003

for teachers

"Sure, teaching isn’t for everyone. Finding that out may be difficult, but the awful truth that drives many out of the classroom, screaming, is even harder to lern learn. Sarah Hepola was a teacher."....

read the whole article at The Morning News

bleak....? :O

(via krisalis>
end-of-the-year plans

since we have no exams, i just need to face another 11 assignments and then i'm done for the year! :) that's great! for some of my more hardworking classmates, they have even fewer than that left!

David Tao is playing in the background and putting me in an amazing mood.. i'm feeling strangely exhilarated.. guess it's partly also because i stayed up till 3 plus 4 last night chatting online while doing my IT project.. phew.. and now i'm mistaking the high from a mix of fatigue plus wine-over-dinner plus my mum's lovingly boiled herbal soup with the high from happiness... oh well, doesn't matter.. :)

missing my sister who's on a 21-day Annapurna Circuit trek to Nepal now.. but i'm really glad for her that she has a chance to go on this trek...she's been training hard all 2 months before this walking up and down 25 storey HDB flats with 12 kg loads, running 35 minutes and swimming 20 laps of the pool every few days .. she also deserves all the fun she's having after working hard for these past few years, abused and underappreciated as a staff nurse (yes, the stories of abuse by patients and their families is appalling.. :( definitely beats even my experiences when i was running the retail art shop (where customers come with the preconception that salespeople are "unfriendly, unhelpful and stupid").. sometimes, i wonder why people have the mindset that service people are "below them" and then start to treat them accordingly.. it's terrible, particularly for the impression they create for themselves.. grr... wonder if they ever stop to think how bitchy it makes them look.. or maybe they don't care??)

anyway, i'm looking forward to my own 6 week trip to India come November.. :) 3 weeks doing my Sikkim Project and then another 3 weeks in picturesque Rajasthan (plus Delhi and Agra - to see the Taj Mahal!) for photography, food, architecture, deserts and fun fun fun...... phew.. if things go right, i'll be spending both christmas and new year (and maybe even my birthday) out of the country..

everything always seems tolerable when there's something exciting to look forward to...

Wednesday, 1 October 2003

emotional boycott

much to my amazement, i've realised today that i'm feeling emotionally like a sack of rice because I've CHOSEN to feel like a sack of rice! it's a funny feeling..

while i was trodding along the pavements of Orchard Rd alone this evening, avoiding the crowds and trying to drown out the cacophony of traffic and human noise around me, with the music blasting into my ears from my CD player, a reflective thought suddenly floated across my mind and i realised that, for some time now, i've been subconsciously shielding myself from feeling emotionally close to anyone - ranging from strangers, to friends, to colleagues, and even to family.

in actual fact, i would much rather be alone than share a heart to heart chat with anyone, even close friends. it's like i don't really feel like "connecting" in the way i used to enjoy..

anyway, i've got these 5 new CDs that i can listen to now in my moment of solitude.. :) 2 that i bought today and a few more from my friend BadPupPiE (who "arfs" at me annoyedly after his name was left out in my earlier posting of this entry! SORRY!!...:p.. you know i am "emotionally blank" now what!!). i'm sure my "human-ness" will return after a while.. no need to hurry such things, i guess..

btw, i'm selling these non-Sigg aluminium sports bottles (600ml) for S$12 each to raise funds for my YEP project to Sikkim at the end of the year - please email me if you are interested in purchasing them. They look exactly like the real Sigg ones except that they are plain (red/silver/blue) and come with free pouch and cap.. real ones are a lot more expensive..

i'll try to deliver them free, if possible.

click here to take a look !