Random Playlist Song: Trevor Pinnock - The English Concert and Choir: Handel - Messiah - The Trumpet Shall Sound (bass, air)
The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality.
Diane Kruger looks *much* better in National Treasure than she did in Troy. At least now she would be able to launch a couple of hundred ships.
I recently asked Andrew to guess how long it'd been since I'd had a proper haircut, and he wagered it was 3 months - less than half of the real figure. Boo hoo.
Boat Quay is a really bad place to go to eat. If you drive there, parking may be a problem. Once you reach there and stroll down the riverside to look for a place to eat, you'll be accosted by touts as you walk by almost every eating house, and the thing is they all look like they serve the same type of Chinese food. Furthermore, with the exception of Al Dente, none of the restaurants are that great, really. And if sit down outside to eat, the harassment doesn't stop - people come up to you to try to sell you rubbish.
In a corner of Tanjong Pagar is a little slice of Malaysia - literally, for the KTM (Keratapi Tanah Melayu) station there is considered Malaysian land. The station itself is described as a "striking art-deco station". Personally I think it looks more like a dump, reminiscent of the old School of Military Medicine (SMM) in Ulu Pandan.
The sign in Malay at the entrance to the station and the uneven road behind it remind one of Ma-laysia, and the ticketing counters operate at Malaysian efficiency - on one day, two ticketing counters were manned, but at one the man had closed the counter and was talking to his friend on the phone.
At the rear of the station is a more pleasant aspect of Malaysia - a food centre. Hawkers set up their pushcart stalls by the uneven roadside - satay, Ramlee burgers (with proper Ramlee burger-wrapping paper too), Otah, and even a hookah store (those Middle Eastern receptacles with pipes through which multiple people can smoke
"Any organisation which boasts one Statement of Purpose. one Vision, five Values, six Goals, seven Strategic Priorities and eight Key Performance Indicators without anyclear correlation between them is producing a recipe for total confusion and exasperation." (Francis Wheen, 2004:p.56, quoted by Singabloodypore)
Management bullshit must die!
Dilbert's Mom: Your cousin Lauren just got her degree in English. Can you give her some career advice?
Dilbert: Would you enjoy scratching out a meager living in a frustrating work environment?
Lauren: I've never thought about it.
Is Dilbert describing the job prospects for English degree holders? Or those at this company?
Unemployment-Related Benefits Systems in Singapore
1. Singapore does not implement any unemployment benefits system dedicated to
helping the unemployed. It is because the government considers the best way to
assist individuals who are retrenched or unemployed is to help them seek re-
employment instead of handing out financial support such as unemployment
2. The unemployed can get financial assistance from some public assistance
schemes to alleviate their immediate financial hardship such as: Public Assistance
Scheme, Interim (Short Term) Financial Assistance, Rent and Utilities Assistance
Scheme and Medifund. Also, there are some other financial assistance schemes
rendered by non-government agencies. However, all these schemes aim to
provide assistance to those who are “less fortunate” and are not confined to the
3. As the major source of cash relief, the Public Assistance Scheme does not
guarantee adequate assistance to the unemployed. The level of benefits is 41%
lower than the lowest 20% of household expenditure required for subsistence and
the scheme is administered strictly and only half of the numbers of application
4. For the unemployed, the assistance provided by the government departments or
non-government agencies mainly in the form of job training, course fee
subsidization, counseling and job data bank services
Also of interest,
Coping with Retrenchment, from the Horse's Mouth.
Steven Lim strikes again
I witnessed the most shocking thing that ever happened in every day life to me, for a long long time.
I was walking at the underpass between Orchard MRT and CK Tang (you know the one with the blind accordian player, you know him!) and when I came across what I thought was the most attention grabbing marketing gimmick in a very long time. There was a girl standing in the middle of the path with A4 print outs on her back and on her forehead which had "
The girl was using a newspapers to cover her face too. Wow, I thought to myself. This "Steven Lim" guy has a completely new "out of the box" method, perhaps "artsy-fartsy" approach to getting his website known! I mean, EVERY SINGLE PERSON was literally stopping dead in their tracks to look from either direction!
Excited, I quickly called my friend Elgin that I was supposed to meet at Far East Plaza to come along to have a look. Before Elgin arrived, I found a tall guy in his late 20s wearing a black sleeveless tight t-shirt hanging around the side of the underpass, and I presumed him to be the "Marketing minded Steven Lim". I told him that I was impressed by the idea and asked him how he got it. He told me proudly that he thought about it himself. However, I couldn't help but keep looking at the girl but feel that something wasn't right. I also noticed that the girl had two girls on either side of her who seemed to be encouraging her in a "don't worry, we're here for you" kind of way.
"Who is that girl? Did you employ her? She's very brave! Where did you get her from?"
Steven replied by saying that it was his girlfriend. The horror hit me when when her friends came up to me and told me and Elgin that she was doing it completely against her will. Steven has asked her to do it with funny sunglasses and when she refused, he got angry. Apparently she loved him so much that she didn't want him to be angry with her and so she'd rather bite the bullet and cover her weeping eyes with the newspaper the whole time.
And what did this 28 year old hunkalot Steven do? He stood by the side and soaked up the glory and attention that he got as a result of his 16 year old girlfriend's humiliation. Angered, Elgin and I questioned him about his "business practices" and his only defence were lines like "I'm paying her $5 an hour" and "Of course I got unhappy when she didn't want to do it for me, it's only natural"! The whole time his poor girlfriend stood crying next to us, and her friends started looking to us for reason and support.
Elgin and I went on to give him a half an hour lecture on how NOT to treat his girlfriend and suggested other ideas to market himself without having to resort to emotional blackmail. His final response was "Thanks for the advice, but please visit my website. It's really good. Ask your friends to visit it as well!"
I felt so bad that ANY girl had to live with loving such a person that I ended up giving her a $300 watch loupe that I just happened to have on me. I just felt so sorry for her, and even more than such guys existed.
During the half hour lecture, he also asked me to support him on Singaporean Idol, let other people know about his website and how interesting all the new stuff is, and how he thinks he'll succeed in life by doing things like that.
God Bless his girlfriend, and all who stood with her.
PS: I've attached a photo that I took of the "ad campaign" before I found out the truth. I'd like to hear your views, but please let me know if you're going to do anything drastic or public with this.
... dunno wat the girl sees in him!
Ah, he's going after 16 year olds again.
Via a reverse search referral lookup:
"Anyway, if you really wanna know and if u allow for my superficial opinion, i think miss singapore is simply and horrendously ugly!!What kind of scary face is that?? So obviously, beauty wasnt a criterion in the Miss Singapore World 2004 paegant. What i like about such international contests though is the fact that beautiful women from all cultures, nationalities around the world take part. Then u realise how ugly singapore women really are!! I personally feel the prettiest singaporean ladies are of malay ethnicity but its a pity many who are willing to take part usually dont get chosen to represent singapore. Usually some bimbo nus undergraduate who looks like she has piles of makeup on her gets picked and of course she fails to make a favourable impression in the international arena so maybe should just stick to staying in the library!! "
I got another search for "mama murtad" so I went to explore a bit, and have finally found out what Murtads are, which was really hard since few of the pages you get when searching for it tell you what murtads are, or at least not in English:
Murtads from Malaysia
Providing support and relevant information for Ex-Muslims who are prejudiced and discriminated
Welcome to Murtads from Malaysia!
This site is about and dedicated to:
- people who are living in Malaysia and are forced to be Muslims when they don't want to be Muslims;
- people who are from Malaysia that were forced to be Muslims when they were in Malaysia;
- people who are no longer living in Malaysia but still have problems as a result of not being a Muslim and
- any person that has abandoned the Islamic faith and lifestyle that is related to Malaysia somehow!
The stories of the murtads are sad indeed.
Interestingly enough, there's an Ex-Muslim meetup group in Kuala Lumpur with 12 members. If they ever meet, the police can raid the meetup and imprison them. Lucky they're not in Kelantan or Terengganu, or they would get the death penalty, albeit a suspended one "because of non-co-operation of the Police- and Prison Departments which are Federal departments".
Singapore Ink on the drivel that they show on Channel 8:
"The situation with local drama productions is in some ways worse than that with variety shows. We are past what my friend astutely calls the “Dark Ages” of internecine competition when MediaCorp simply packed its timeslots with popular Hongkong or Taiwanese dramas, effectively giving up the local drama game in favour of capturing the audiences. Even today, as local drama production has improved, MediaCorp’s philosophy has clearly changed in favour of longer soap opera-style dramas, as well as an unrelenting bias towards low-budget family dramas. The other day I finished watching the excellent 1999 Japanese drama Koi no Kiseki, & I was reminded that really “good” evil characters have been MIA from local dramas for years now. I don’t just mean people who cackle at the hero/heroine celebrating their achievements at breaking up families or swindling people of money. I also mean psychologically complex characters who are integral parts of the story, not one-dimensional walk-on baddies like snatch thieves or big cheats e.g. Liu Haisheng in 喜临门 who are just there to prop up the good guys.
Besides really “good” evil characters, MediaCorp also no longer does vaguely-Tang dynasty period dramas*, ghost dramas, horror/mystery dramas, fantasy dramas, wild comedies, great tragedies, or anything that strays too much from the big-families-plus-three/four-sided-relationships formula. Events like the Star Awards are a joke when MediaCorp produces 6 dramas a year & 5 come up for “Best Drama.” The company has many good actors & actresses, people who cut their chops on meatier & varied roles in the past, but these days they seem to be more celebrities because they appear as such (e.g. charity shows, tour programmes) & not because they actually impressed with recent acting. MediaCorp has no problem justifying this - “but we’re just catering to our audiences!” - just as in the “Dark Ages,” but I think it’s clear that it’s a loss to those audiences as well. You almost want to see something campy, like many of their mid-90s telemovies, rather than more of the play-it-safe kind. (Even something like the engaging, if not-so-original Six Weeks now showing on Channel i, for instance.) It is possible that this trend will take us to a pseudo-Indian or Filipino environment where people are famous because they are famous, less because they are talented or they had memorable roles. I don’t know how most Singaporeans feel about this, but I think this is the wrong way to go."
Meanwhile, in a comments box there is more hilarious casino scaremongering:
"I believe that these Casinos are going to bring nothing but trouble. Teenagers nowadays already have a habit of hanging around shopping centres at night, flirting with girls who behave like prostitutes. I cannot believe what will happen when these Casinos are built- teenagers will start Gambling and there is going to be more room for illegal activities like Smokoing and Secret Socities to have meetings. Worst of all will be the Potential Terror Threat on these Casinos.. They’ll be attracting Terrorrists, and not tourists! Please Think of your children’s sefety! Do you know how many robberies and murders have taken place in Casinos Overseas? Robbers will lose ineterest in banks- the Casinos are going to fetch much more! I Hope that the government will prevent this big mistake from being made. It is so Straight-forward and obvious that these Casinos will bring more trouble that trade!" (Emphasis mine, errors in original)
I'm sure the terrorists will want to bomb the casinos, right after they destroy the den of sin that is Asia-Pacific Breweries.
Couple arraigned in child sacrifice case; lawyers argue no harm intended - "Attorneys for a Farmington woman and her boyfriend, charged with entering St. Mary’s Church to sacrifice her children, argued Friday they never meant to do anyone harm."
Party Advice: Avoid Bare Copier Sitting - "British workers have been told: Have a merry Christmas - but skip the mistletoe, don't dance on the desks and definitely don't perch bare-bottomed on the photocopier. Such are the horrors of the modern British office party highlighted Friday in a welter of advice which, to some minds, would kill the fun."
Slain man's remains found in storage freezer - "A woman killed her husband, stuffed his body into a freezer, then shipped it to a Somerville storage facility, where it stayed for years until police found the remains yesterday, authorities said."
Man wearing bra, thong flashes girls - "Police are looking for a flasher with a flair for feminine fashion. Authorities say two young girls were walking to a coffee shop Friday when they were flashed by a man wearing a dark bathrobe. However, the man wasn't completely naked. He was wearing women's lingerie - namely, a bra and a thong."
Big league - "The average Australian woman is a size 16 and weighs 8kg heavier than her American counterpart, according to authoritive new international research. Australian men are also 3kg heavier than American males, the joint study by the University of Adelaide and US researchers shows."
Linguist Deciphers Uses of Word 'Dude' - "A linguist from the University of Pittsburgh has published a scholarly paper deconstructing and deciphering the word "dude," contending it is much more than a catchall for lazy, inarticulate surfers, skaters, slackers and teenagers... the word derives its power from something he calls cool solidarity — an effortless kinship that's not too intimate. Cool solidarity is especially important to young men who are under social pressure to be close with other young men, but not enough to be suspected as gay."
Bad Science product of the year - "The winner was Space Tomato Number One, part of the Chinese government's "space breeding" project, where radiation in space is used to create comic book mutations and giant space plants, including tomatoes weighing almost a kilogram. It was never made entirely clear why the mutations would be beneficial, or why you needed to be in space to get irradiated. The Chinese news agency Xinhua stated that, "in China the radiation effect is always positive, leading to bigger and better vegetables that will revolutionise agriculture.""