"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Monday, July 26, 2004

Quote of the Post: "Never give a party if you will be the most interesting person there." - Mickey Friedman

Random Playlist Song: Vaughan Williams - Variants of 'Dives and Lazarus' for String Orchestra & Harp

***

Matriculation

After we finished our paperwork and looked at laptops, we were herded like sheep through a corral, first watching a video on what NUS is about (fun and funky, the video said none too subtly, but it said nothing about the mugging NUS is really famous for), and then being forced to run the gauntlet. Through a dense morass of monsters we had to push through, each stretching its clawed or webbed hands and seeking to suck off some portion of our life energies for its own. Luckily, there were occasional respites as some denizens of the caves we waddled through were either strangely absent (perhaps slain by previous intrepid adventurers) or resting placidly, making no attempts to grab our souls (too bad for their clubs and societies).

Among the weirder ECAs on display:
- NUSSU SAVE - Students Against the Violation of the Earth
- a toll-free hotline (1800-7762242) for students to call if they have questions or need counselling. Pity it's not 24hrs, like the SAF hotline :0
- the Jovial Jugglers
- Nam Wah Pai - but this one involves weapons practice and teaches you self-defence also
- NUS Air Weapons club - "Fascinated by the art of shooting? Enjoy the adrenaline of firing a weapon?" - No thank you. I've had enough contact with weapons to last me a millennium
- Golf club
- Skating club
- Wake boarding club
- Jogging club
- "Anyone can make u sweat. But only we can make u wet" - okay, the only weird thing about the sailing club was the ad
- I also saw an ad for a "sexiest legs contest"

This put me in the mind of setting up a club myself, just for the heck of it. I thought of an atheist club, but no one would want to join it. Maybe setting up a TAF club (Trim And Fit - customarily for overweight schoolchildren) would meet with more success.

Not a few people have speculated to me that the reason NUS has so many ECAs is that people need the points to stay in hostels. Why else is there a Rovers club in addition to ODAC, what seemed like 6 dance clubs, and 4 (possibly more) Christian organisations? In any case, it doesn't matter, for the supply of hostel rooms is limited, so people are just suffering from money illusion :) [NB: Yes, people tell me that NUS has a lot of students, but still. Anyhow this is just development of an interesting theory expounded by some]

***

Jokes

A man died and went to heaven. As he stood in front of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him. He asked, "What are all those clocks?"

St. Peter answered, "Those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone on Earth has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie the hands on your clock will move".

"Oh," said the man, "whose clock is that?

That's Mother Teresa's. The hands have never moved, indicating that she never told a lie."

"Incredible, said the man. "And whose clock is that one?"

St. Peter responded, "That's Abraham Lincoln's clock. The hands have moved twice, telling us that Abe told only two lies in his entire life."

"Where's George Bush's clock?" asked the man.

"Bush's clock is in Jesus' office. He's using it as a ceiling fan."

Source: shadafakup, who stole it from someone else.


The UN conducted a worldwide survey. The question was: "Would you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?"

The survey was a huge failure:

In Africa they didn't know what 'food' meant.
In Eastern Europe they didn't know what 'honest' meant.
In Western Europe they didn't know what 'shortage' meant.
In the Middle East they didn't know what 'solution' meant.
In South America they didn't know what 'please' meant.
In the United States they didn't know what 'the rest of the world' meant.

And in Singapore they didn't know what 'opinion' meant."

***

Orientations

Someone on Law Orientation:

"They will be having drag queen contest {no, the rule that we cannot humiliate the freshies simply does not apply} at Sentosa. One of the rare few highlights left for Orientation. Plus, there will be alot of the girls in their skimpy 2 piece swimwear. Did I mention that Ms Malaysia Universe 2004 is in law?"

Wah. Meanwhile at the NTU Sports Camp, it seems that for a forfeit, "a female partner [stripped] the swimming trunks off her male partner", and they had "girls sit on guys' laps on the bus from NTU to Sentosa".

I wager that the writer of this letter is not going to be very popular in NTU.

***

Tales of mindgame

He Who Must Not Be Named (HWMNBN) has arrived in Singapore. He asked me to chronicle, in parallel with him, how he sets up a new life. I told him I had better things to do.

Nonetheless, I did offer him half a day on my not-so-busy schedule, to go house hunting on Sunday, and we viewed a flat above Pearl Centre, 2 minutes' walk from Outram Park MRT. Good price, great location and it's a cozy demesne. Only problem? It's rather sleazy, with many KTVs all around. Though that is a possible point in its favour for him.

While in the area, we also got to check out a place I've always been meaning to look closer at - the dirty grey apartment building behind some way behind Pearl Centre (Pearlbank apartments) which looks like it was hacked from a solid cylinder of metal just after World War II to house refugees, and reminds one of Barad Dur. It actually looks better up close than it does from afar.

HWMNBN also informs me that Singapore is not the only non-Muslim, non-Communist country to ban pornography. The Philippines is a fellow member in this lonely category. So I shall rephrase my statement: Singapore is the only non-Communist, non-religious country to ban pornography.

***

Life Sciences

Twas only yesterday, it seems, that Life Sciences were all the rage in Singapore. The Powers That Be Enthused that they were the next big thing, and having missed the New Economy boom, Singapore would not - must not miss this one.

I was discussing this with someone, and he brought up some good points:

- By the time the first batch of buzzword-brainwashed Life Sciences graduates get their pHDs, Life Sciences will probably not be the "in" thing.
- EDB is awfully neglected these days, though it used to be hot. Indeed, it's been a long time since someone talked about it

- R&D generates no capital, and just pumping money into it will not make a whole R&D community spring up (unlike creating a commercial community):

1) The market in Singapore is simply too small, and the communities in the US and UK are richer
2) Scientists go for obscure things like citations, influence, reputation and community, which Singapore does not have

***

Shorts

According to BlogShares, my stock is worth B$4,108.84. Whee.

I went to the hairdresser today, but she said that because of my face shape and my size, it would be best to wait for a month before going for a trim. "that is one honest hairdresser who isn't out to make a quick buck"

I feel younger than my years. Would that I could be transported back a few years, to continue on (sans slavery, of course).
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