Monday, 29 November 2004


attended Day 1 of the 2 day Aids conference. an eye opening and wonderfully educational experience and had tons on my mind after that, but no time to blog them all down for now. in the meantime, i'll leave you with this poster from Red Cross reminding us of the stigma and discrimination faced by those infected with Aids or HIV.

Remember, it was NOT their choice to get Aids or HIV. And it's NOT that easy to get it from them too.

Anyway, when you discriminate against someone for whatever dumb/immature/nasty reason you have, remember that someone else somewhere is probably discriminating against you in one way or other too.

Let's work together to stamp out discrimination and intolerance of every kind from our society!

Saturday, 27 November 2004

The Secret of Becoming A Teacher

Once there was a man named Nathan. He wanted very much to be a teacher. So he went to seek the advice of the wisest, most highly respected counselor in the land.

“Wise counselor,” Nathan began, “it has always been my dream to be a teacher. I want to stimulate the minds of the young people of our land. I want to lead them down the road of knowledge. Please tell me the secret of becoming a teacher.”

“Your goal is a commendable one, Nathan. However, it is also a very difficult one to achieve. First you must overcome three major obstacles.”

“I am ready to meet the challenge,” answered Nathan bravely. “First you must swim the Sea of Children,” directed the knowing counselor.

Nathan started off to swim the Sea of Children. First he had to learn their 38 names. He had to send the line cutters to the end of the line. He made the paper throwers stay after school to clean the room. He commanded the name callers, pushers, and punchers to apologize to their victims. He gave candy to those who finished assignments and stars to those who were sitting in their seats quietly. Nathan checked passes to see how many children were in the bathroom. And he tracked down students who were gone longer than was necessary. He arranged the desks in alphabetical order, then boy-girl, boy-girl, and finally into small groups of four. He lined his children up for physical education and music and library and lunch. Then stifled a cry when the secretary came into the room with number 39.

Tired and shaken but still undefeated, Nathan returned to the counselor for his second task.

“You are a very determined lad,” said the advisor. “However, now you must climb the Mountain of Paperwork.”

Nathan set out at once. He wrote objectives and drew up lesson plans. He made out report cards and graded papers. He filled out accident reports, attendance reports and withdrawal reports. He completed inventories, evaluations, surveys, and request forms. Finally, he made dittos and more dittos. He ran them off until he was purple in the face.

But the courageous boy’s resolve never dwindled. He went to the wise counselor for his third task.

“You are indeed very strong, Nathan. But this third task will take all the courage you can muster. You must now cross the country of Duties and Committees.”

At first Nathan was hesitant. But his convictions remained steadfast. He began his long journey across the country of Duties and Committees. Nathan took lunch duty, bus duty, and recess duty. He was on the social committee, patrol committee, and the faculty advisory committee. He was the adult supervisor of the student government and ran the United Fund and Easter Seal drives. He went to PTA meetings, AEA meetings, SST meetings, School Site meetings, and in-service workshops. He organized bicentennial programs, talent shows, and book drives. Finally, he was elected the building representative of the union. At last Nathan reached the outskirts of Duties and Committees.

Exhausted but happy, he returned to the knowledgeable counselor.

“I swam the Sea of Children. I climbed the Mountain of Paperwork. I crossed the country of Duties and Committees,” Nathan proclaimed. ”Am I not worthy of the title of Teacher?”

“Why, Nathan,” began the counselor, “you have been a teacher all along.”

Nathan protested, “But I have not stimulated any minds. I have not guided anyone down the road to knowledge, I have not had any time to teach”

“Oh, you say you want to TEACH! I thought you said you wanted to be a teacher. That is a completely different story!!

Friday, 26 November 2004

websites too good to trash..

Brain Transplantation - Be Young Again! Change Your Body - Keep Your Soul! - "When your car too old to fix it (sic), you are buying a new car. Would it be wonderful if you will be able to change you (sic) human body as easy as you can change a car? - Just for $499,000.00 you will get completely new human body, any age, race or gender you will choose...."

Frankenstein fears after head transplant - "A controversial operation to transplant the whole head of a monkey onto a different body has proved a partial success. The scientist behind it wants to do the same thing to humans, but other members of the scientific community have condemned the experiments as "grotesque"....."

Isamu Suda's Cat Brain Experiment - "Suda wanted to find out whether the brain of a mammal would still function after a period of freezing...."

and lastly, research findings on ear wax... apparently "Caucasians and blacks have only the wet type of cerumen (earwax). In 80 to 85% of Japanese, the cerumen is gray, dry and brittle. It is referred to as 'rice-bran ear wax' in Japanese. In the other Japanese, the cerumen is brown, sticky and wet. This is referred to as 'honey ear wax,' 'oily ear wax' or 'cat ear wax.'...."

(links via lynn) - perhaps staring at brain cells for excessive periods has something to do with her bizarre web inclinations?? :O ...

Thursday, 25 November 2004

clay turtle

check out this really adorable handphone ornament my sis just got as a present!!

it's made of polymer clay in the Millefiori style!

anyone knows where to buy it?? of course you can make it yourself too! :) it's not that difficult.,. special clay is available, in little blocks, from the place i used to work, Creative Hands @ 4th level of Takashimaya Shopping Centre!

Tuesday, 23 November 2004

Melaka (Malacca) snapshots

a famosa

anyone who's ever been to malacca will know what a lovely and laid back little town it is. a gem, really..

on a few websites, it was written:

The city was so coveted by the European powers that the Portuguese writer Barbarosa wrote "Whoever is Lord in Malacca has his hand on the throat of Venice."

great food and great sites too, considering how small the whole place is (i.e. excluding the outskirts and larger environs, with the shopping malls and all). i couldn't resist the yummy chicken rice balls, local popiah, teo chew food, grilled fish and not to mention the traditional chinese sweets sold along Jonker street.

click here to see some snapshots i took on my short weekend visit.

and behold here the king of the river that helps to keep the river dividing the city clean! these fearsome beasts are at least 2 metres long from snout to tail!

jumbo water monitors

Friday, 19 November 2004

zen micro

look! this creative zen micro has the colour of my blog background! :p
Cherrilicious - my cherry blog

carol is in japan and eating all sorts of strange but cool stuff...

the defiant swine

click to read her fab food blog.

Tuesday, 16 November 2004

more about the US elections..

excellent article by Jeanette Winterson.

"America is in a state of civil war. Outside forces threatening the USA are nowhere near as dangerous to the country as the battle being fought for the hearts and minds of the American people.
For now, it looks as though the liberals have lost. Three million people - the margin of the win - have decided that America will turn back the clock on abortion, gay rights, civil rights, environmental responsibility, and America`s obligations to the rest of the world."

click here to read it all..

Monday, 15 November 2004

US apologises to the world...

this is really quite interesting..

Sorry Everybody is a neat collection of photographs from across America, by Americans, to express to "the rest of the world" their "deepest apologies" for the present political situation in their country and for how the elections turned out..

i admit that for a while, i too was pretty upset with the US for how the results turned out... oh well.. it's true that we can't blame everyone.. let's just hope we see more peace than wars in the years to come... and miraculously too, more tolerance for the minorities in the country, in every sense of the word... "moral values".. what does Bush know about that anyway?... grr..

(link via Otterman)
Tree-top Walk

did what Kai did, a day later. WET WET day - got drenched in the late afternoon downpour but somehow managed to slosh through the whole 11km, looping around MacRitchie Reservoir. This route, once described in this site as "A Hidden Find for Runners" is fast becoming popular, especially after NParks spruced up a large part of the way with nice new boardwalks and stuff.

judging from the huge turnout of parents, grandparents and with children in tow, it is apparent that bringing children on nature walks is quickly becoming the "in" thing to do. hope these kids learn to respect nature and in time become conservationists-at-heart too.

fun. :)
The Singapore Motorshow 2004

other than trying (often in vain) to take pictures of beautiful cars without being blocked by beautiful but sometimes under-dressed women, we also got to witness half an hour of impressive precision driving performed by master stunt performer Russ Swift (parallel parking in 2 seconds, reverse parking without using the reverse gear, driving on two wheels, spinning on the spot etc), sit strapped tight in one of these Subaru Imprezas for a little nausea-inducing spin by one of the ah-beng drivers on duty, get cool autographs by Russ Swift and motor racing artist Fredd Briggs, and check out the interiors of some of my all-time favourite cars like the Peugeot 206cc and even an ambulance!

all the different car manufacturers were also out in force, showcasing their new cars as well as a drooling number of sleek new concept cars for us to ogle over. As usual, Mercedes had a classic stylish booth with a pretty display of vintage cars. not to mention the Lamborghinis... very nice..

more for fun than for shopping but well worth the $10 paid! We were there for almost 6 hours! :)

*if you want to get tickets for the stunt performance, make sure you are there at the reception counter at least 2 hours prior, when they start giving out a limited no. of tickets for each show.

Saturday, 13 November 2004

Asian Congress of Storytellers 2004

Very Urgent!! :O

The Asian Congress of Storytellers is about to pass us by!!

Kai and I are planning to take part but we need a third person to make it a bit cheaper ($348 rather than $388).

Anyone interested???

It's a good opportunity to meet some world class storytellers and learn how to create and tell stories effectively and creatively to family, friends and anyone interested. I've read through the programme, it's really interesting and varied (drama, dance, songs, folktales, rhythm etc etc) and should appeal to everyone funky and young at heart (dogs young enough to learn new tricks), especially to those of you who are teachers, parents, librarians and storytellers yourself!!

click here to read it yourself and email me @ hwee(at) if you are interested ASAP!! Please note that it is on the 25th and 26th Nov which are weekdays.

Friday, 12 November 2004

ode to the sea

Pygmy Seahorse - Hippocampus bargibanti

i hear the roaring sea calling to me.. in the midst of the traffic noise below

i smell the ocean in the breeze, blowing gently

the salty mist wifting gently through my room window....

gosh, i miss diving..

this has been a dry dry land lubbing year.. and it's already November..


Sunday, 7 November 2004

The National Orchid Garden

went on a nice Saturday morning outing to see the National Orchid Garden at the Botanic Gardens, in particular, to check out the newly-built 'Cool House' simulating sub-tropical conditions.

i've always loved this place, especially for its truly splendid collection of orchid hybrids commemorating the visit of VIPs from royalty (e.g. Princess Masako) to state dignitaries (our friends from all corners of the political world) to pop stars and celebrities (e.g. Tom Cruise and Bae Yong Jun). Some orchids can truly blow you away.

it's one of those places i would recommend for my foreign friends, anytime. :)
Singapore River Experience

on the spur of the moment, i went with a friend to try the very touristy Singapore River Cruise Experience last Friday, something i've been thinking of doing ever since i heard from another friend some time ago that it is actually worth the hefty $12 for a half-hour ride down a river i've already walked down countless times.

here are some pics taken with my phone cam:

turned out to be rather fun indeed, especially when we were going under the different bridges: there are 11 of them, some with names that were unknown to me previously, like Pulau Saigon Bridge, Read Bridge and Ord Bridge. it was also interesting to see the Esplanade, Merlion, ACM and Fullerton Hotel from another perspective.

the evening breeze was cool and surprisingly, Clark Quay was abuzz with the chatter of diners visiting the new restaurants that hugged the riverbank. noticed a couple of new places to check out... glad they have revamped the ghost town.. :)

kitsch? well, sure beats the trishaw ride i just took the weekend before at Little India!.. haha.... never mind, i could always pretend to be Japanese.. :p

Tuesday, 2 November 2004

a quick update (oct - nov 04)

friends, fans and concerned colleagues (past and present),

i had disappeared and i apologise. thanks for your kind patience and undying support and trust in me that i'll return, and of course, your unbelievable loyalty in still checking out this page faithfully, after my unusually long hiatus..i have been extremely busy...

below is a brief pictorial capture of some of what i've seen over the past month. words will follow shortly (i hope).

for now, adios! au revoir! ciao! and take care!

caption update: (1) 'From the Land of the Ottoman Sultans' @ ACM (2) observatory near hilltop jap restaurant @ jurong (3) bottle tree (4) good friends @ chalet (5) kai's niece (6)-(12) the animal resort (13) everbloom mushroom farm (14)&(15) breaking fast @ arab street (16) the old istana @ kampung glam (17) SENI Singapore 2004 @ SAM (18) sunflowers for my sis' birthday (19) pretty gerbera (20) birdwatching @ khatib bongsu with naturetrekker ben (21) pitcher plant @ simpang (22) Sungei Simpang (23) mating horseshoe crabs (24)&(25) wild fungi (26) anthill (27) feet in therapeutic hot spring H2O (28) scary mr lee