Sunday, November 29, 2009

Singapore Osteoporosis



Dear Singapore Readers, how are you feeling? Enjoyed your long weekends? For me, this long weekend is neither too long nor too short and I could said that I have spent my time very wisely, reading up, doing self improvement and discovering more about my health!

Yup, yesterday, outside Sheng Siong Supermarket in Bedok, I did those free Bone Mass tests by Anlene milk company and guess what, my bones are not that strong!

I was a tad worried and hence gave the Anlene promoters business as I bought a medium packet of Anlene milk powder to bone up on my bones (no pun intended). Anlene milk powder contains a wealth of calcium to promote stronger bones! Wow Anlene must be happy that I am giving them free publicity on this blog of mine!

Anyway, bone problems are hardly noticed by many as the cracking and deteoriation of bones develop silently and insidiously in our bodies and when we crack our bones one day, it is often too late already!

Our bones are not that solid and strong as what we have perceived them to be. Bones are living tissues and the growth and depletion of these bone tissues are always ongoing. Thus one must really have a rich calcium-rich diet to strengthen our bones so that the absorption rate of bone mass will surpass the bone depletion rate.

Osteoporosis is often a remote term to many Singaporeans. One can easily understand Osteorporosis if one visualise termites as the Osteoporosis and wood as our bones. When the termites attack a wood, the interior of the wood is eaten up, leaving a seemingly strong facade of the wood outside. One day, if you just press lightly on this wood, you will be surprised that it will just crumble easily, revealing the hollow interior of the wood....just like our bones, if we do not take care of them, this scenario may similarly play out....

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Singapore Salary

The following guide is just an approximation of the monthly salaries in an ultra large MNC:

Technician: $1,500
Officer: $2,500
Supervisor: $3,000
Executive: $3,500
Manager: $5,000
Senior Manager: $7,000
General Manager:$10,000
Deputy Head: $13,000
Head: $15,000
Deputy Director: $17,000
Director: $20,000
Senior Direct0r: $25,000
Director-General: $30,000
Managing Director:$35,000
Group Managing Director:$42,000
Executive Director:$60,000
Chief Executive Director:$80,000
Vice President: $100,000
President: $140,000
Group President:$200,000
Deputy CEO: $250,000
CEO: $300,000
Group CEO:$500,000
Chairman: $1,000,000

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hotels

With December coming up and more visitors coming to tour Singapore, I list down the list of 5 stars hotels in Singapore for the interest of international readers.

Singapore's hotels do not come cheap. If possible, international tourists to Singapore can opt for no-frill hotels or budget hotel chains for a quick stay here while touring Lion City.

List of Singapore 5 star hotels

Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa
Ascott Raffles Place Singapore
Capella Singapore Hotel
Conrad Hotel Centennial Singapore
Crowne Plaza Hotel Changi Airport
Fairmont Hotel Singapore
Goodwood Park Hotel Singapore
Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel Singapore
Grand Hyatt Hotel Singapore
Grand Park City Hall Singapore
Hilton Hotel Singapore
InterContinental Hotel Singapore
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Singapore
Marina Mandarin Singapore
Marriott Hotel Singapore
Meritus Mandarin Hotel Singapore
Naumi Hotel Singapore
Orchard Parksuites Serviced Residences Singapore
Pan Pacific Orchard Hotel Singapore
Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Singapore
Pan Pacific Singapore Hotel
Raffles Hotel Singapore
Rasa Sentosa Resort Singapore Shangri-La
Regency House (Serviced Residences) Singapore
Ritz Carlton Millenia Hotel Singapore
Royal Plaza On Scotts Singapore
Scarlet Hotel Singapore (The)
Sentosa Resort & Spa Singapore (The)
Shangri-La Hotel Singapore
Sheraton Towers Singapore

Avatar the movie


Another great film, right on the heels of blockbuster "2012" will be blasting on screens come 18 Dec 09: Avatar.

I read on the newspapers today that the director of this movie, James Cameron dismissed talks that the show cost a whopping US$500 million to produce.

For me, I think the show may be good only because I do not like cartoons, haha. I watch movies once in a blue moon, only those mega blockbusters like "2012"!

Anyway, the movie ticket now cost $10 each in Singapore, watching movie is an expensive affair these days!

Singapore 2010 Countdown

It is that time of the year (yet again) when we will usher in a brand new year in just slightly more than a month! I must tell you that one year passes like lightning! I never have the feeling that a year passes so fast when I am in my schooldays but it seems ever since I started working, time seems to just zoom past and before we know it, the end of the year will arrive!

Let us trace through how we or rather I have this rapid perception of the rapid passing of time. First when January of a new year comes, this month is reserved for most of us to get used to the new year, to the crafting of new year resolutions, to wake up from that partying mood and the lingering remnants of the year before and finally to familiarize ourselves with the writing of ‘10’ rather than ‘09’ when dating a document. And once that suite of work is done, we welcome February!

What does one do when it comes to February? For most of us, February is often the month when Chinese New Year is in. There will be two holidays for all Chinese and non-Chinese alike thus this 28-day (or 29 days when there is a leap year) month will pass fast too. Many of us will also prolong the holidaying with our own taking of leaves and before we know it, February will pass.

Next comes March, a month students look forward to as there is a week-long holidays. Many parents also will take leave this month to go overseas with their children. April and May can be quite ‘dry’ but with public holidays like Good Friday and Vesak Day, these two months will pass fast too.

June, a school holiday month will fly as working parents take leave for overseas vacations with their kids alike in March. Enduring a ‘dry spell’ July, it is soon that we celebrate National Day in August.

I must tell you that in my opinion, Singapore National Day is that totem pole point beyond which time just accelerates with the dozens of festivals, public holidays, international and national events in the lineup for the rest of the year which leads us finally to December. These five months will pass in a flash because time flies when we are having fun!

Coming back to where I left off earlier, I must tell you that every year when it comes to this time of the year, I will trace back my diary and look back at what I have achieved hitherto this year as well as what are the things I have set out to achieve which are still WIP (work in progress). Noteworthy to me are also the happy and unhappy things, which I experienced during these months.

It is with a rueful look that I retraced some of the things I have not achieved in one or two aspects of life this year. I have always work hard in life but let us face the fact that life is never a smooth course. People and circumstances of life do change and prevent us from achieving what we aspire to do. It is my onus to ensure that this fact of life does not turn out to be an excuse for not trying to achieving an endeavor.

Enough of philosophical musing, let us look at what are the highlights for Singapore in year 2010.

Cast in iron and firmed up on the calendar is the highly anticipated Youth Olympics Games which will turn international spotlight on Singapore once again. This will be the greatest international event for Singapore next year, followed by F1 race a month later in Aug 10.

On the national front, I believe it is time for Singaporeans to go to the polls next year. With YOG being held later in the August 2010, I believe the polls will be called before August. I hazard a guess: March 2010 to June 2010.

Wish you and family a Happy 2010 ahead!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Invisible Health Risks

I was appalled by an article I read in the Sunday Times on 22 Nov 09. There was a mention of a finding that a chemical Bisphenol A present in polycarbonate, a material used to make baby waterbottle, plastic containers and electrical casings contain health risks to man in the form of erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems. These chemicals could migrate from the plastic to the fluid in the container when exposed to heat in many common scenarios: e.g. in hot milk from baby containers made of such materials. Such polycarbonate materials can be identified from the Plastic Identification Code number 7 and you can look at this website to know more about this code.

I have always steered away from consuming my food using plastic utensils, plates and bowls as I always believe the hot food will cause the chemicals from these soft materials to seep into the food, causing health risks. It was indeed enlightening to me to learn that strong plastic such as polycarbonates also do contain such health risks too when subject to hot heat. I have also since stopped the practice of recycling plastic water bottles to contain my drinking water after reading from newspapers years ago that those plastic will melt over time, fusing into the water you drink. I have changed into a stronger plastic water bottle and avoid pouring hot water into the bottle. I do sometimes contain my water in those plastic mineral bottles but I ensure that these bottles are not reused too often.

For long, I have always doubted the harmful side effects to health posed by man-made chemicals. The health risks of handphone radiation and the likelihood of the radiation causing cancer is still not conclusive though I will prefer to err on the side of caution. Just some weeks ago, I read on the internet that benzoyl peroxide contained in popular acne treatment lotions can actually slow down the healing process of the skin and cause the skin to age more! But teenagers suffering from breakouts may still use them as they are unaware of these risks!

As technology advances and man uses more and more chemicals to make his life easier, make him or her look better, we must ask ourselves whether there are health risks to us that we may never know? A myriad of complicated diseases such as cancers strike many men who adopt healthy lifestyles, which is a real shock to them and we must wonder whether such cancers are insidiously afflicted on them through prolonged use of chemicals in their daily rituals, which are unknown to them?

The eschewing of chemicals is not new. Societies have sprung up, preaching an ‘organic’ lifestyles via subsisting on organic food. But how organic an organic food is, we never know. There may still be preservatives and chemicals injected into these food.

As much as I want to steer away from chemicals and man-made technology to avoid the invisible and unconcluded health risks and dangers, I am so sad that I am not able to do so, as modern man. During work, I have to face the computer for over ten hours a day, going back home, I need to rely on my computer again to settle my email messages. I would need to communicate with others daily through the handphone which may contain so much health risks too. This is the way of modern living! The food I eat at work are laden with so much preservatives in order to make it tasty. Even the water I drink is artificial as it is made up of a proportion of NEWater, a water the Singapore government creates from the urine of I and you! Some people I heard on the street said NEWater causes many Singaporeans to lose their hair at a younger age! True or not, I do not know, but anyway, I would need to drink else I would die! And drinking bottled water here would cost me a bomb! Anyway I am already bald, so I do not care! Talking about hair, many hair loss sufferers are subjecting themselves to a number of chemical treatments on their scalp. Will these chemicals cause brain cancer too?

I admit I am becoming a bit paranoid but there may be some chemicals causing health risks to us that we never know until these risks are validated by science….with so many chemicals and products, it may be too late…..so prevention is better than cure!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Singapore Tallest Christmas Tree

The other day, I blogged about what may seem to be the tallest Christmas tree in Singapore: the Christmas tree on top of Vivocity Shopping Centre (if you miss the post, just click on the label "Singapore Christmas" to read it).

I would like to clarify that when it comes to the earlier post, I have ascribe that honor on Vivocity's Christmas tree as the Christmas tree is really the tallest when you count from zero metre ground level to the tip of the Christmas tree as the tree is perched on the roof of a shopping centre of several stories height, thus which other Christmas tree could beat Vivocity's Christmas tree when it comes to such a comparison of height? Vivocity's Christmas tree could be seen from hundreds of metres away from the shopping centre too!

But however, when we base soley on the height of a Christmas tree (from bottom to top of the tree), two Christmas trees stand out to contend for this position: Ngee Ann City's Christmas tree as well as Orchard Central Christmas tree (see photo above). After visiting the Christmas tree in Orchard Central last Saturday with my wife, I will have to affirm that this year's (and possibly for the next few years), the tallest Christmas tree will not be Ngee Ann City's Christmas tree, this honour will go to the Christmas tree in Orchard Central (if we based solely the height from bottom to tip of the tree)! Of course, when it comes to physical visibilty, Vivocity's Christmas tree has no parallels!

313@Somerset opens on 25 Dec 2009


Singapore's newest shopping mall, 313@Somerset will open on Christmas, 25 Dec 2009! This is certainly a great news to Singaporeans as all of us will have an additional shopping mall to explore on a public holiday!

This year, Christmas Day falls on a Friday and hence this is another great thing to celebrate! With many companies having half day off on the eve of Christmas, this translates to a super long weekend, from Thursday noon all the way to Sunday for many Singaporeans!

And this super long weekend will repeat in the week after Christmas with the New Year 2010! For Singaporeans who are good in leave adminstration, they may want to contemplate adding to this 'icing of the cake' by taking additional leaves of their own so as to create a mega, ultra long weekend that befit the greatest celebration of year 2009 and the ushering of year 2010!

These two months, November and December will pass really fast! Let us make enjoy to the fullest these two lovely months and savor the once-in-a-year cooler days and nights that supplant snow for Singapore's Christmas!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fast food

Love them or hate them, fast food restaurants the likes of McDonalds, Burger King or KFCs are here to stay in Singapore and many other countries for a long time.

Maybe i should not have used the word, ‘hate’ as looking at the highly profitable nature of fast food businesses, many are readily lapping up the offerings from the myriad of fast food restaurants!

Those who do not like fast food restaurants, in my opinion own this feeling due to the perception that fast food are not that healthy and the prices are on the high side too.

Anyway, fast food feature highly in my life during my secondary school days. These days, I consume fast food on an occasional nature.

Talking about the fast food offerings in Singapore, I must say that the fast food business scene is dominated by the big 5: Mcdonalds, KFC, Burger King, Long John Silver and Pizza Hut.

Out of these big 5, I usually patronize only KFC and sometimes Burger King when these restaurants give out coupons. I seldom visit fast food restaurant at all due to the very high prices; at the price of a meal in one of these restaurants, I can easily have a feast of my favorite local hawker centre food in the many hawker centres here.

Thus, I could only eat fast food when there are coupons which spell cheaper prices and the best discount vouchers are always from KFC and Burger King.

Some fast food chains were just fleeting in Singapore. Can you still remember A&W and Texas Chicken? Think it was such a long ago since we have since them on local ground, they are no longer operating in Singapore. I have only tasted A&W for less than 2 times in my life and have never tasted Texas Chicken before these 2 food chains moved out of Singapore.

Thus it is time to revisit the ice-cream foam root bear of A&W and experience the taste of Texas Chicken when my wife and I set food on a neighbouring country not too long ago.

The moment we saw A&W in a shopping centre in the country, we knew that we must give it a try! And so we did....ordering a combo meals set which comprised of a burger, fries and not forgetting, the yummy and popular foam root beer!
The taste was great! The meal was however insufficient to satiate our hunger for fast food not found in Singapore. We went to look around and in another shopping centre, guess what we saw? Texas Chicken fast food outlet!

We ordered a dish set comprising of a chicken drumstick, chicken wing rice and drink! Unlike the KFC chicken in Singapore which comprised of a lot of crispy oily stuff coating the surface of the chicken, the chicken we partook was done such sufficiently to retain the succulent and original flavour of the chicken as well as the crispiness! Maybe its time to bring back Texas Chicken and A&W and let Singaporeans have more choice when it comes to chicken rather than KFCs or Popeyes?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Move 2012 review


Finally, I watched the blockbuster "2012" with my wife today. We watched the digital format of the show as the resolution was better, as explained by the sales receptionist.

This movie is really worth your dollars if you have not watched the movie hiterto. The cinemas were jammed packed with audience such that only the front few seats were available to us.

The duration of the show was a strong 2.5 hours of solid action! Here the plot of the movie went:

A researcher working for the White House has discovered the fact that the world will be coming to an end in 2012 when the alignment of the sun, the earth and other planets form a straight line which will cause a mass emission of positions that causes the core of the earth to subside, resulting in devastating earthquakes, gigantic tsunamis, volcanic eruptions that will beset the world.

The US government classified this information as top secret and refused to tell this truth to its citizens while preparing a secret structure where the heads of states and the rich pay billions of dollars to seek a refuge for this disaster. Those who knew of this secret information were being monitored and when necessarily silenced.

Soon, disasters in the form of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis shook the earth. The land subsided and the White House as well as the protagonists in the story evacuated by planes as they flew through the billowing fumes of smoke from the exploding and cracking surface of the earth.

The White House, leaders of the world and the rich made their way to China to board the secret vessel. The protagonist and his family headed to the same destination for the same refuge after getting hold of the map pointing to the secret vessel from a crazy man who has long known of the impending doom and the white house's secret.

The US President did not board the vessel and confronted death together with his people. Animals like Giraffes and Zebras were flown by helicopters too to the giant vessel. The surviving hundreds of people finally were made known of the vessel and they desperately vied for each other to board this vessel. However they were refused entry till the G8 leaders were convinced by the research scientist to do otherwises.

A technical fault caused the vessel to stall repeately. A China guy went to repair the fault but was unsuccessful. In the end, the Amercian protagonist risked his life and managed to repair the fault before the vessel collided into the Himalayas.

The vessel managed to withstand the onslaught of the tsunamis and sailed through the doom. Finally the earth structure resumed back to normalcy and the vessel opened, releasing the people inside to a whole new world.

In this whole new world, only the African continent remained largely unscathed and Cape of New Hope was where the survivors restarted living again.

The director of the movie has melded successfully a number of themes in the movie, those of:

a) Parents; selfless love for their children, their lives matter more than theirs

b) Power and Status: are the lives of the rich and powerful more valuable than common folks?

c) Leadership (the last US President in the movie did not choose to forsake his people and chose to face doom together with them and to tell them the truth of the doom)

d) Political Implication? Is there an implication that the China guy (played by Singaporean actor Ng Chin Han) failed to solve a techical fault that the American actor could? Is the director implying that America will still be better than China? Just my thought.

For all of you who believe in the end of the world in 2012, its time to pack your luggage and head for Cape of Good Hope in South Africa!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Aviation Run 2009

Aviation Run 2009 will be held tomorrow 21 Nov 09 at Changi Exhibition Centre.

The run is organized by Changi Airport Group to raise funds for charity.

The 10 km race will commence at 830 am while the 5 km race will commence at 835 am.

GOH will be Mr Raymond Lim, Minister of Transport.

It may be a late time to start a race, the sun may be up, basking the runners in the sun.

The Bull Charge 2009

I attended the Bull Charge 2009 tonight. The Bull Charge 2009 was basically the annual Bull run, which was repackaged with a new name.

It was a meaningful event which combined corporate finanical executives and top hobnobs running to raise funds for a number of charities.

There were quite a couple of interesting sights to behold.....which I will describe in my blog come the next few days. For now, I am going to sleep.... night!



Thursday, November 19, 2009

Singapore Nomads


These nights are real cold due to the incessant rain. How nice and cosy for one to cuddle on bed on such cool nights. However, as you cuddle in your blanket and enjoy these rare cold nights in Singapore, let us not forget those Singaporeans who are homeless and are now experiencing the cold and long night....


Though Singapore prides itself as a prosperous nation with 85% of our population having a roof over their heads, there is still the other side of the coin to be seen: a proportion of the population who is the homeless, the destitute and the very poor still exist.

For some months, I have been observing a number of homeless folks making their temporary homes out of void decks. I always notice this scene during night when a number of old and homeless men sleep on the same public bench or stool night after night. One old Chinese man is always sound asleep on a public chair around 9pm every night while another Malay man always sit on the same seat around 10 pm, and sometimes when I was at the void deck at a later time, say around 11 pm, the latter man was sound asleep, slumped on the seat, it is obviously that he is homeless and one of Singapore nomads.

I have seen the Malay man in a public institution, where he works as a cleaner from day to night. When night falls, he will retreat to the same void deck, sitting on a bench with his bag (presumably with his clothes and all necessities for a nomadic living). He will not be doing anything much, just looking around at the passer-bys walking. At times, the man will give himself a much-deserved treat, indulging in some late night snacks and bottles of soft drinks. These are what I call the simple pleasures of life. No matter how poor one is, one should always still make time to enjoy life based on the means he can afford.

I am not really sure whether these two nomads and a few other homeless folks I have seen were victims of the economic meltdown which rendered scores of workers retrenched. It may be likely as the two nomads appeared in the void decks around my estate after the economic meltdown.

While some Singaporeans who have lost their jobs are desperately looking for jobs, there are others who may have lost both job and a basic roof over his head, which may be worse. There may be also others who lost their jobs and still have to find the means to support their family and aged parents, some of whom may be ill which just adds to the financial burden.

What point am I trying to make in my post here? The point to make is that in every society, there are always both ends of the spectrum from the multimillionaires to the very poor and needy. Over the years, I have learnt to be contented with what I have while still aspiring for betterment.

It is definitely not easy to be living off the streets. In this hot and humid climate where days and nights are both hot, without a proper bath and care, one body will deteriorate real fast. Beside the harsh elements, one would have to brace sleeping on non-beds and bracing for attacks from the insects and rats. Sometimes, the homeless in the void decks could be victims of thefts and robbers too!

You may ask how I know so much and whether I am homeless before? I am lucky to have a roof over my head, just that I have always visualize myself being in the shoes of a diverse range of people. The Singapore government has been doing a commendable job rendering social assistance to the needy, however ultimately it cannot help all needy for the whole of their lives. The onus is for everyone to take charge of their lives.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cruel Temptation- Qi Zi De You Huo starring Byun Woo Min

I was at Bishan Junction 8 shopping centre this afternoon when I faced a temptation. That temptation was loud Korean music blasting near Bishan MRT station, my temptation led me to a mini booth when a signing ceremony was unfolding!

The male lead of the popular Korean TV drama "Cruel Temptation" was signing on DVDs of the Korean drama bought by fans. This Korean drama serial will be shown on Singapore TVs soon and as such I believe the rage of this drama serial has not caught on in Singapore yet. this may account for the dismal turnout at this signing ceremony.
Here this is, the Korean male actor, Byun Woo Min, 44 years of age who played a cheating husand in the drama serial.
I do not watch drama serials at all, thus I believed I was an alien there in the event. I just captured two shots which you see here.
It was a cruel temptation for me to be tempted to come to this event only to find that the turnout for a Korean star is so dismal.. so cruel! Thus though I did not watch cruel temptation, I experienced cruel temptation today! I rather do some shopping!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Singapore Christmas

In Singapore, the closet thing that would ever come resembling snow for Christmas is, without a doubt, rain. And these past few weeks, the local weather has indeed turned a bit cooler, with a sprinkling of rain on some days.

Come every Christmas, the roads of every major shopping district will be decked out in a splendid style of lights and decorations. Shopping malls here are also decked out in their finest Christmas glory, with a galore of Christmas trees, Xmas programmes and decorations.

Check out photos of these Christmas trees which I have taken recently:

a) Wonderland style of Christmas tree in Tampines Mall

b) And the Christmas tree below at the top of Vivocity is truly impressive! Perched on the roof of Vivocity shopping mall, one can see this huge Christmas tree from hundreds of metres in the vicinity of the harborfront and the seas. That is why, I believe, the Vivocity Christmas tree is undeniably the best Christmas tree in Singapore every year which you must not afford to miss!


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Singapore APEC

The APEC summit is currently being held in Singapore and for the past week, photos of our leaders exchanging handshakes with their international counterparts and top delegates made daily headline news.

Having read a book of body languages before, I find it interesting to note the different kinds of handshakes exchanged between the leaders as different handshakes may mean different meanings.

Whether the person perpetuating a particular kind of handshake does it out of ignorance, naturally or with knowledge of the intended meaning of the handshake, it is a hazy area, but handshake signals can be an interesting sight to watch especially when top leaders pose for photos of their exchange of handshakes in front of the media.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Singapore Pirated DVD Sellers

This evening, I was in a precinct in Tampines new town, running my errands, where I passed a vendor of pirated DVDs, hawking his store on two well set up wooden tables, plying his trade.
A number of heartlanders were drawn to his makeshift stall as the vendor in a solid voice, loudly promoted his DVDs, I took a quick glance and saw that there were DVDs of new movie releases, selling cheaply, for example, Jack Neo "Where got ghosts" DVD was sold at $5 each. I walked off to a shop soon after quicking a quick glance.
After I have settled my errands, I passed the location where the vendor was previously, this time round, his stall has two customers he did not want, two policemen have raided his stall, preparing to handcuff him, after which they stacked the DVDs into neat piles.
By this time, a large crowd of heartlanders have formed around the stall watching the fate of the vendor. I took a look at the vendor, his face showed sign of resignation to being caught as he sat on the ground handcuffed. Circumstances must have driven him to illegal hawking of pirated DVDs, however no matter how hard times are and how much desperate one is for money, one should not resort to crimes.
Anyway, it is really hard to find a job during these times, in the aftermath of a global economic meltdown. Many jobs were lost and though the economy has recovered, there must surely exist a number of people who still could not land a job. Without a job and an income and the stress can be quite overwhelming!
I always believe one should use his brain and hands to earn a living. The idea of begging and committing crime to earn monies should never be entertained.

Brunei



Every Wednesday night of this month, I have been keeping up with a travel show on local channel, Channel U where host, popular Hong Kong actor Eric Tseng ventured into the royalty residence of the Sultan of Brunei and introduced to viewers the sheer wealth of the Sultan and his family!

Gold has become almost part and parcel of the royalty’s accoutrements and possession. The suits of the Sultan are made of real gold! The immense wealth depicted in each episode is really overwhelming to me! A chair used by the Sultan could easily exceed millions of dollars! The wealth of the Sultan is really astronomical to a poor chap like me! Anyway, I just hope to earn a million bucks in my lifetime, that what I ask for in Singapore which has at least 66,000 people with a net liquidity of US $1 million excluding property asset.

Yesterday was the last episode of the travel show and in this last episode, it was highlighted that the wealth of Brunei is shared by the Sultan with its people. The people of Brunei are really fortunate as they enjoy free or very low cost of living with all residential, education and medical needs taken care of by the Sultan. It is no wonder that many hail the Sultan “Long Live, the King” !

A few examples of these benefits: swanky residential bungalows sold to citizens of Brunei at very low cost, the Sultan waived off medical cost for births, milk and tonics are even given to the family of the newborn. Fees and allowance for overseas education and medical treatments are given generously to the people who need them.
The Sultan and his people enjoy such great wealth due to geographical privilege: there are ample of oil fields in the sea of Brunei. It seems a bliss to be a citizen of Brunei! But being a Singaporean is not bad either.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

2012



The movie,many including me are highly anticipating,"2012" will make its debut come this Thursday on Singapore screen.

This will be yet another blockbuster which centres around Doomsday.

12 Dec 2012 will mark the end of the Mayan calender and this date is believed to be the end of the world. This movie has its plot centred around this date.

If 12 Dec 2012 is really the end of the world, then it is just slightly more than 3 years to the end of the world! And we must really live our lives to the fullest now!

Anyway, this doomsday theory does not bother me as I have always lived life to the fullest, and have always perservanced against all odds and all nonsenical people.

I will catch the show "2012", looking at the trailer, Doomsday can be indeed frightening. If it were to come, it will come, do not worry about it.

Just two or three months ago, 8 secondary students from a local secondary school who were firm believers in doomsday theory had struck a mass suicide pact, to commit suicide and reincarnate themselves as slayers of demons for judgement day. That sad episode resulted in the deaths of 2 of the students as they plunged from a high storey of a flat while the rest of their friends backed off.

I believe one day, the world will really come to an end, possibly due to the death of the sun (as the sun completes its combustion), some plantary collisions or due to a mass nuclear and biological war waged by man against man. When would that be, I do not know, but I have already heard the calls of our mother earth saying that "enough is enough". As a result of man's activites, either directly or indirectly, man is witnessing an unprecedented wave of natural disasters which is more frequent as well as the emergence of newer and stranger diseases never seen before in the past of human history (think of H1N1, SARs....).

No matter how clever and intelligent man is, he is always at the mercy of the wrath of mother nature as well as the natural forces of the universe, the environment man operates in. Man does also have to fight a pernnenial battle against viruses.

Okay, the above 3 paragraphs do not in anyway relate to the movie, they are just my thoughts. For more information of "2012", visit: http://www.whowillsurvive2012.com/

Metta Shine Night by Metta Welfare Association

Dear Readers,

If you are free next Saturday, do your part for charitable causes and support Metta Shine Night, a night of performance by students of Metta Welfare Association.

The students of Metta Welfare Association may not be normal children but for this night, they are spending lots of time practising, just to produce a show they will be proud of and which you will enjoy. Is it not time we do our part to encourage these children and to affirm them?

Details of the event as follows:

Date : Saturday, 21 November 2009
Time : 7 pm
Venue : ITE College East, Auditorium, 10 Simei Ave
Contact: Ms Ng Zi Hui Tel: 6580 4688 / Email:
events@metta.org.sg

For more details, please visit this webpage.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Bishan Junction 8

A small girl looking at a giant Levi's shoe, accentuating the hugeness of the shoe, at Bishan Junction 8; I caught this scene last Saturday.

Fireflies by Owl City

These few weeks, I keep listening one song which I soon grow to love and that is the song Owl City by Fireflies. If you click the link, you would be able to hear the song, unfortunately, the embed link is not available else I would have embedded it here.

I am a music lover, but equally importantly to enjoying one's song is the appreciation of the meaning of the song. And here are the lyrics of the song.

As I have guessed correctly just from hearing the tune of the song, this song is about a man who would love the earth to spin a little bit slower so that his childhood days will remain longer. I can really identify with this song, and no wonder I love the song so much! I mean childhood to many is really one of the best times of one's life as one does not have too much responsibilites, one need not have to worry about earning a living and supporting one's family and there is always so much to find out about the world and there seems to be endless of fun!

But when we start working, we are faced with a myriad problems involving office politics, some unjust system, evil people, things here and there that smack of the rules of the jungle: that of prey and predator!

Haiz, how time passes! Time waits for no one! Rather than regret having passed childhood, let us try to achieve our dreams while we are young!

Speaking of this, there is a song called "while we are young" which I love too!

Wishing all readers to achieve your goals soon!

Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 Family Tragedy: Ng Chee Kiang, Xavier Ng Wei Yi, Cheryl Ng Shi Hui

Yet another tragedy struck in our homeland right after the incident of bridegroom Vernon Leong who was found dead mysteriously at the foot of the hotel of after his Chinese Wedding Dinner.

This time round, a father of two, Ng Chee Kiang, burnt his house, killing his young children Xavier Ng Wei Yi and Cheryl Ng Shi Hui before jumping off his unit on the 12th storey of his apartment and plunged to his death! His wife was away at the time of him committing this insane act and when she came back to find her house burnt and her children were dead, the wife fainted out of shock and sadness! It was learnt that the couple was not on speaking term and were arranging for divorce.

I was immensely angry at what Ng has committed! How could he kill his own defenceless young children? If he were to settle some of his personal problems, he could have just shoulder the problem himself, how could he kill his own children? He was such a merciless beast!

I believe Ng's act was to cause his wife to lose everything, including her two young children. It was one of the worst things a sane man could do to his family!

The police is still investigating the case as well as the motive of Ng. Evening papers today are having a field day, speculating the reasons for Ng's act, with some suggestion as third parties and loan sharks. I do not really like the mass media to play up whenever such tragedies occur, just give the poor bereaving family some peace to move on and not to hype up news possibly for revenue purposes.

More report here.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Singapore Sex: Couple caught red-handed in public!

On a hot Saturday afternoon, while many Singaporeans were busy spending their time on recreation: shopping or lazing around, I caught something unusual at a void deck of a flat.
What those small things on the wall? On closer look, it were two houseflies. But what were they doing? The silhoulette of these insects gave me some hints as I went forward to investigate....

Yup, I inched forward slowly, not wanting to scare the couple off.

And then, I caught them! The male housefly in a missionary position and the two of them was in a still position (though there must be some 'muscular motion' not visible to the untrained human eye).

It is nature, every living things, be it human, animals or insects procreate and give life!
This is the end of my post, be sure to catch Singapore Sex Scandal too!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Feng Shui

This will be the face of Singapore's next biggest and most happening place to be: the new Marina Bay district which will comprise of the new integrated resorts, the new financial centres, residential condominiums for the ultra-wealthy, new botanic gardens, new offices and shopping districts.

I was there with my wife just a week ago, and the place, as you can see from the photo is still taking shape.

While year after year, a new skyscraper will loom in Singapore's landscape, one must not forget that the planning of these skyscrapers and new developments may not only take into factors the physical and practical constraints, there is also an element of Fengshui (Feng Shui) or Chinese Geomancy which comes into play.

One evident example where Feng Shui or Fengshui comes into play is the Singapore Flyer, the world's largest observation wheel. The management has tweaked the direction of the spinning of the wheel from one direction to the other direction (clockwise/anticlockwise sense).

Another application of Fengshui (Feng Shui), many says is in the design of Singapore Exhibition and Convention Centre, Suntec City. The five towers seem to represent five fingers and the fountain of wealth site at the centre of these five skyscrapers seem to symbolise the pot of wealth. Thus in Feng Shui or the Chinese Geomancy view, it seems to represent the five fingers of a hand flexing in the wealth for the country.

Believe it or not, Feng Shui continues to be studied and applied across the masses today. Believers of Feng Shui in my opinion are those who have try Feng Shui Methods and see them work.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Singapore Lesbians


I have just come back from a night shopping with my wife in a neighbourhood shopping centre. The night was cool, the dinner we partook was nice but guess what, I was disturbed at a scene in a lift: two girls, each looking no older than 16 years old, were blantantly kissing, surrounded by other female friends of theirs, in full view of us and other passengers in the lift!

These girls wore showy clothes, had some piercings and it is not hard to see that these girls are really in some sort of life conflicts, trying to waste time hanging around in shopping outlets and public places, doing nothing practical and may be involved in some minor offences or what.

It is really shocking to see young girls kissing, fondling with their counterparts of the same gender here. This is not my first time seeing young girls showing affection to her partner of the same sex. Does this problem reside only in those problematic youths or is it becoming an increasingly common problem as Singapore becomes more liberalised, more westernized against the backdrop of a readily available internet-connected society where negative websites can be easily reachable within a click?

Oh no, I hope this observation is not a tip of the iceberg as if left unchecked, young influential minds will think that it is an accepted norm and like wild fires, this trend may become unchecked.

Many years ago, our youths are all proper and treat chasity as priceless, nowadays with the negative influences in society, teen pregnancies, abortions and the rise of sexual diseases has become a worrying trend. Do not tell me that the next worse thing would be where youths of same sex do unconceivable things together and it become an accepted practice among our youths?

Singapore Universal Studios at Sentosa



Having visited Hong Kong, Japan and living in Singapore, I have this thought: if Hong Kong has idyllic Lantau island for domestic sight-seeing and Japan has its lovely Hokkaido for similar purposes for its residents, what is Singapore's equivalent?

It is easy to arrive at an answer and that would be none other than our very own Sentosa. As a citizen of Singapore, Sentosa used to hold many beautiful memories during my childhood days with it many first places of interests such as the Pioneers of Singapore (oops, so long ago, I don't think I get the name correct) and butterflies park, just to name a few. Sentosa was not that developed yet.

Fast forward a decade later, the development plans of Sentosa did go awry, I no longer enjoy Sentosa, with some very unattractive places of interest like volcanicland, its so unexciting and come to think of it, it is so ironical right? Our neighbouring countries are having those volcano problems, here we are building a fake one and aims to attract tourists to come!

Anyway, these plans did not bear the fruits as expected and Sentosa did not do really well few years back. Fast forward again to today, Sentosa is on a revamp once again, with the building of the integrated resorts as well as the up and coming Universal Studios!

Wow, Universal Studios at Sentosa is real great! But there is one aspect I do not like and I sure applies the same to other tourists, which is the very hot and humid climate of Singapore. It is hard to enjoy oneself and with family and friends in such hot and humid weather.

I hope Singapore Universal studios will really live up to its name. I visited Hong Kong Disneyland in April and was so disappointed! There was an article today in the Straits Times today that highlighted how Hong Kong Disneyland is making a loss and there is now even further points of concern as Disneyland Shanghai is on the cards and there is a lot of expectation for a great Disneyland that lives up to its name in Disneyland Shanghai.

Thus, I really hope Singapore Universal Studios will offer visitors a great experience! This experience needs not be a replica of the experience of Universal Studios in US or Osaka, but it must be an experience which is truly memorable, unforgettable to tourists, else Singapore will lose its competitve edge in tourism to other countries which can easily build large entertainment districts with the vast expanse of land they have.

For the record, Sentosa is now doing fine and the expectation, as well as the crowds which hit the island is rising in numbers by the day and yes, Sentosa can be our equivalent of Japan's Hokkaido and Hong Kong's Lantau island!

Vernon Leong Jun Wei

What happens to the 31 year old bride groom, Vernon Leong Jun Wei?

As the news of this latest unnatural and bizzare death developed, it seemed that Vernon did not jump from the 24th storey of Hilton Hotel as was believed earlier. There were 3 video camera footages which might prove otherwises for the cause of Vernon's death.

The first video footage showed Vernon at the 24th storey, making his way hurriedly into the fire escape staircase. The next video footage showed Vernon at the 2nd storey which also holds some shops and the final footage showed an unconscious Vernon motionless at the ground of the hotel.

Vernon was cladded casually in a T-shirt and pants and have left his hotel room while his wife was taking a shower. It seemed that he might be escaping from something or somebody or that he might be chasing after something or somebody.

What did Vernon see and experience at his last moments? The police is still investigating the case. It is really a very tragical and sad episode for his family as Vernon's happiest day at his Chinese wedding dinner turned out to be the day he bade farewell to all his relatives and friends.

Is there any supernatural links to this case? Did Vernon see any supernatural bodies which cause him to be so petrified and make for a quick escape?

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Vernon Leong Jun Wei

I read of the shocking news that a bridegroom, businessman Vernon Leong Jun Wei was found dead at the bottom of Hilton hotel just two or three hours after he has hosted his Chinese wedding dinner with his wife for about 100 guests.

He has fallen off the balcony of his room and it was suspected that he might have fallen under the influence of alcohol.

It is indeed a very sad and tragic incident and the police is currently investigating the case.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Planet Google by Randall Stross


These days, I am reading a second book related to Google, it is titled "Planet Google" by Randall Stross. This book is right on the heel of the first Google book I read "What would Google do?" by Jeff Jarvis.

I have always been fascinated by Google. Like it or not, Google has revolutionised the internet world with its bold ambition to organize the world's information and knowledge.

In "What would Google do?", I was taken on a ride of a brief introduction of Google's philosophy before being led into the bulk of the book which devotes many chapters on how each industry in the world would look like if Google is to rule it.

In this book I am currently reading, author Randall Stross explained real in depth on how Google, founded by Sergey and Page, rose from a small startup to one of the most influential, if not the most influential company in the world.

Today, I read how Microsoft and Yahoo has not thought much of Google in the past. Do you know that Yahoo outsourced its search engine services to Google as Google has offered the lowest bid? Google in turn uses the increased searches coming from Yahoo to turn quantity into improving the quality of its search engine algorithm. Soon, Google's search services become the world's leading and it was too late for Yahoo then as it frantically stopped using Google's search services and resorted to using its own.

I must really applaud Google for having a team of the most brilliant IT programmers and engineers around. Their algorithm: indexing and crawling the billions of webpages on the limitless internet is so amazing. Their huge databases of millions of servers are not open to anyone as it is a competitive advantage! Stay tuned to my blog as I bring you more from this book!

H1N1 vaccination


Singapore has just received its 250,o00 doses of H1N1 vaccines, with 750,000 more coming by end of the year.

Each vaccine jab costs between $26 to $30 and vaccination can be carried out at the polyclinics. Yesterday, the first day, the vaccine is available to clinics, many people have started to have themselves vaccinated against H1N1.

The second wave of H1N1 may be coming soon, it is good to get ourselves prepared against H1N1. For me, I am endorsing a healthy lifestyle, preferring to build up a strong immune system through exercise and diet to warn off health threats like H1N1.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Esplanade



What are they doing?

Oh, it was just a routine performance staged at the Esplanade. These routine performances are normally free to all audience which comprises mainly of the public.

That was the scene last Saturday at the Esplanade when three members of the audience gamely joined in the Malay traditional dance.

Esplanade is really a place one can feel some quiet and immerse himself into music, arts and drama.

I love the place though it is getting noiser more and more.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

China Sex

I read of this sad story of a China Girl who became involved in the flesh trade due to some unfortunate circumstances.

Now, she has done something shocking, and many other men are shocked too at what this China girl did!

Read what the China Girl did here!

of Past and Future

I carried out a mini spring cleaning in the afternoon, clearing loads of documents which are now rendered of no use to me.

Most of these items merit not much of an attention. Many of them played a vital role in my life, work and studies once, but they are of no use in my life now.

I could have kept them for memory purpose, but imagine if I were to keep each and every old document, I would have turned my room into a museum. I just keep the more important ones which are more memorable.

One item which caught my attention was this packet of transparency sheets:

I had bought this packet of transparency sheets many many years ago (so long that I could not remember)! The fact that this packet of transparency sheets resided for long untouched attests to the inevitable fact that transparency sheets like these are already obsolete!

These days, everyone giving a presentation uses a Microsoft Power Point presentation, gone are the days when one inks his or her presentation using those foul-smelling markers and the audience would have to sometimes struggle comprehending some of the handwritings on these sheets.

I still remember back in my secondary school days, I was made one of those AVA (Audio and Visual Aids) assistants in my class. For every teacher who needs to use the OHP (Overhead Projector) to present the lesson to the class, I and my classmate would have to walk to the front of the class and performed a stunt everytime.

The stunt was:

Step 1: Pull the projector screen down (no problem for me, though it was situated high up as I am tall.)

Step 2: Bring out the projector and do the necessary wire connections

Step 3: Switch on the projector and then its ready for lesson!

These days, though overhead projectors are still in use for powerpoint presentations, most often than not, these are now operated by a switch, saving time for the presenter to pull the screen down himself or to nominate a tall person to help him with it.

I felt a sense of nostagia just by looking at how presentation modes have evolved with time. Some ten over years ago, classroom lessons involve the teachers and students writing on the 'blackboard' with those chalks, having to endure the chalkdust, the breaking of chalksticks and the rubbing off the chalked writings on the board.

Then come the overhead projector and transparency sheets as well as the plastic board and marker ink. Next, Microsoft Powerpoint presentation reigns all and now with the connectivity of the internet, distant learning and other high means of advanced learning and teaching are now made possible!

What would be next? Maybe one day, schools would be made obsolete as students would be able to log in a 'cyberschool', participate in lessons, take examinations, all from the comforts of their houses!

This may be great however one should not consider the social aspects of an education. Nothing can replace the face-to-face teaching, socialisation of the students with his fellow classmates, playing, chatting and having fun together!

Do not be surprised that one day human brains would be linked to computers. If you want to take a Geography module to take for an example, just connect a 10GB of hard disk containing all the Geographical information and data to your brain and your brain would download it.



Similarly, if you want to learn Maths, just download from the internet into your brain.

Man would then become linked to the internet and computer and there becomes no boundary of man, information and knowledge. To translate the information gleaned into his brain into knowledge, man would then need to install a higher RAM for faster processing efficiency.

Meetings and joint proposals would just be a matter of every man present in the meeting emitting their frequencies of thoughts into a common information device which would then collate all the frequencies and synergise into one proposal based on the differing inputs.

Man would then become not just biological bodies but information absorbing and emitting devices. Man need not mouth a single word, communication will be via rays and waves from their brains, aided by computers.

This is the world of the future I make out of. Who knows, maybe the internet one day would be superceded by something even bigger?



We could have mobile phones, internet and other information emitting devices right here in our head! Food may become discretised into bits and consumed into our heads via a USB transfer. There would be no necessity to grow food, commerce and business would still exist with information. Information becomes food, Man become Information, Man becomes in essence robots!

The world of the future could be as such!

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