Thursday, August 28, 2008

Today No TODAY

Was not able to get a copy of TODAY at the bus-stop opposite Bedok MRT station this morning at 7:20am. I guess the delivery van might have broken down somewhere. Maybe it's the printing press problem. Couldn't get the papers printed out in time.

Lots of people in a queue that didn't move since there was no TODAY for distribution. It only moved because those who realised there was no TODAY, left the queue.

Somehow such technical faults don't seem to happen to Straits Times heh?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hungry Ghosts At Press Briefing Buffet

One of the things I get to do, working for a magazine, is to get invited to press briefings hosted by various companies listed on the Singapore Exchange.

When these companies announce their results, they are required to hold press briefings. The generous ones like Banyan Tree Holdings, Qian Hu Corp, etc. would throw in either a sumptuous lunch buffet or dinner buffet at the briefings. The cheapskate, stingy ones (usually foreign ones) would even deprive the press of tea and coffee.

When a decent feast is thrown in, if the briefing is not meant only for just the analysts, shareholders in their 60s and 70s would attack the feast like hungry ghosts. No need to wait for the Lunar 7th Month for hungry ghosts to roam the earth. These uncles and aunties would whack down all these free food and even blatantly “ta pau” home to eat some more later.

When I see these hungry ghost uncles and aunties in full force action, I lose my appetite. They don’t attend the briefings to listen to what the directors have got to say. They only attend the briefings for the food. Immediately after the briefing, they would swarm to the food like bees and vultures. Some of them don’t even bother to queue up properly. They would grab as much as food as they can and wolf down the food like wild boars. All proper courtesy and etiquette are thrown out the window. Nevermind the food served may be classy and the venue may be a classy hotel.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Inching Forward To Let Vehicle Behind Turn

There are certain lanes at traffic lights junctions which are meant for both going straight and turning either left or right.

What do you do when you've come to a stop at such a lane as the traffic lights are red because you are going straight, and there is a either a left or right turn arrow that is on, at this junction?

Do you inch forward across the line to let the vehicle(s) behind you make their turn?

Or do you hold your ground without budging and hold up the traffic behind you that wants to make a turn?

For me, I would inch forward to let the vehicle(s) behind make their turn.

But I don’t always reap what I sow because every now and then I would get inconsiderate pricks who refuse to budge and prevent me from making my turn even though the left or right turn arrow is on.

And what happens if you want to make a turn but the vehicle in front of you refuses to budge? Do you horn and flash your high beam at him or her? If you do, the driver in front of you just might show you a middle finger.

Friday, August 22, 2008

HDB Hub Basement Car Park

Having read in Lunch Is Served’s blog entry about visitors who park at the Fusionopolis’s basement car park, having difficulties finding the elevator as it’s concealed in one corner, I also want to write something on HDB Hub’s basement car park.

I’ve parked at this car park countless times already since HDB Hub has been around for years now. But almost every time, I have difficulties getting out of the car park because I couldn’t find the exit. I would follow the exit signs, one states “Toa Payoh Central”, while another states “Lorong 6 Toa Payoh”, but these signs would take me round and round instead of getting me to the exit ramp.

So I almost always have to drive one additional round inside the car park just to find this rather “obscure” exit ramp.

Such is a design flaw which I have to live with as long as I go to HDB Hub basement car park to park my car.

Of course I would have no such problem if I work at HDB Hub and have to park my car there every day.

Now to avoid this problem, I would park at Block 190’s multi-storey car park instead, provided it’s not full.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Inflate Your Tyres

One of the ways to save on petrol bills is to ensure that your tyres are correctly inflated.

One of the reasons why certain cars consume more petrol than they are supposed to, is because their tyres are under-inflated, causing more resistance on the road.

How many drivers actually regularly pump air into their tyres to ensure they are correctly inflated?

I guess drivers who do so are probably outnumbered by those who don’t.

It would seem most men drivers don’t pump air into their tyres on a regular basis. If that is so, what about women drivers? Most of them, if not all, probably never pump air into their tyres at all.

I guess drivers who don’t pump air into their tyres probably think it’s a hassle to do so. Or they think there’s no need for it. One reason why we don’t have problem steering our cars around even though the tyres are under-inflated is because they come with power-steering.

If you drive a car or vehicle without power-steering, you would immediately feel the heavy steering each time your front tyres are under-inflated. This could perhaps be one of the advantages of driving a vehicle that has no power-assisted steering. It forces you to pump air into your tyres to ensure they are correctly inflated at all times.

So most people just change their tyres and drive around until it’s time for the tyres to be changed without pumping any air into the tyres at all. They don’t mind chalking more on their petrol bills due to under-inflated tyres.

At old petrol stations, the air-pump is installed right next to the petrol pump, this facilitates the inflating the tyres with air by the pump attendant. But such an arrangement causes a car to hog a pump for a longer time.

I guess petrol stations probably did away with such an arrangement so that more cars can get filled up with petrol in a shorter time.

Then there are those who park at the lots meant for pumping air, and take their sweet time shopping for groceries, hindering drivers who need to pump air into their tyres.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Increased Paternity Leave

Child care leave has been increased from 2 days to 6 days.

So will fathers use the leave to help take care of the small one?

Or will he use it to play golf instead?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Olympic Medal Drought Ends After 48 Years

After almost half a century, Singapore has finally won in another Olympic event.

All three table-tennis players are China-born foreign talents. This begs the question: Can we depend on local talents to bring in the medals?

Afterall, in 1960, even Tan Howe Liang,

the first Singaporean to win an Olympic Games medal, was also born in Shantou, China in the 1930s.

The table-tennis team representing Singapore gets S$750,000 as reward for winning the Olympic silver medals.

That's S$250,000 for each player. After 20% deduction by Singapore Sports Council, each player gets S$200,000.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Opel Combo See Bae Gao Jao*!

The 1.6L(M) Opel Combo is one hell of a sprinter.

Despite the fact it’s just a van of sorts, its acceleration power is certainly not to be snuffed at.

Nevermind that in Singapore, it is registered as a G-plate goods vehicle and has a speed limit of 70km/h imposed upon it.

It can easily move off from a traffic lights, turning from red to green, and overtake a 1.6L(A) car.

Its 70km/h legal speed limit does not hinder its drivers from taking it to 100km/h and beyond on the expressway. Such speedsters get away with such antics most of the time anyway.

* "See Bae Gao Jao" means can run very fast in Hokkien.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Visual Effects Used For Beijing Olympics

I was awed and stunned by the spectacular grandeur of the Beijing Olympics’ opening ceremony.

There was this sequence where there was a relay of fireworks in the city outside the Bird’s Nest Stadium. I thought they were real. In actual fact, they were indeed real. But on TV, it was actually done by visual effects.

I bet I wasn’t the only one who had been fooled into thinking the footage was real. Millions of viewers worldwide thought it was real too. It was so flawlessly done, no one would have thought it was actually done by computer generated visual effects.


And the pretty girl, Lin Miaoke, who sang at the ceremony was actually lip-synching. She appeared on stage in the stadium instead of the actual girl, Yang Peiyi, who sang the song because she was much prettier.

Yaloh. Every detail must be perfect. Can't let a plain-looking girl with a missing tooth spoil the show, can they?

TODAY, Tuesday, 12th August, 2008
BEIJING — As the Olympics opening ceremony last Friday got underway with a dramatic, drummed countdown, viewers watching at home and on giant screens inside the Bird's Nest National Stadium watched as a series of giant footprints, outlined in fireworks, processed gloriously above Beijing from Tiananmen Square.
What they did not realise was that what they were watching was in fact computer graphics, meticulously created over a period of months and inserted into the coverage electronically at exactly the right moment.
The fireworks were there for real, outside the stadium. But those responsible for filming the extravaganza decided in advance it would be impossible to capture all 29 footprints from the air.
As a result, only the last, visible from the camera stands inside the Bird's Nest was captured on film.
The trick was revealed in a local Chinese newspaper, the Beijing Times, at the weekend.
Mr Gao Xiaolong, head of the visual effects team for the ceremony, said it had taken almost a year to create the 55-second sequence. Meticulous efforts were made to ensure the sequence was as unnoticeable as possible — they sought advice from the Beijing meteorological office as to how to recreate the hazy effects of Beijing's smog at night, and inserted a slight camera shake effect to simulate the idea that it was filmed from a helicopter.
"Seeing how it worked out, it was still a bit too bright compared to the actual fireworks," he said. "But most of the audience thought it was filmed live — so that was mission accomplished."
One adviser to the Beijing Olympic Committee defended the decision to use make-believe to impress the viewer. "It would have been prohibitive to have tried to film it live," he said. "We could not put the helicopter pilot at risk by making him try to follow the firework route."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Good Guy Kills Bad Guy

I get satisfaction from watching revenge movies where the good guy kills the bad guy decisively without any hesitation.

I feel frustrated when the good guy hesitates to kill the bad guy because of mercy and pity. If the bad guy was merciless when he killed the good guy’s loved ones in the first place, why should the good guy show him any mercy since the villain doesn't deserve any at all?

There’s only one thing to do all villains:


Friday, August 08, 2008

Women Wearing Low Cut Dresses

What do men do when they come across women, especially those with big boobs, wearing low cut clothes?

They would stare of course. Some would stare blatantly. While others would do so discreetly by glancing repeatedly at those boobs.

Some women get offended when they wear low-cut attire and catch men ogling at their boobs.

Is it not an irony? Why do women wear revealing clothes and then get upset when men stare at their body? If they are uncomfortable with men staring at their body, shouldn’t they refrain from dressing scantily?

Catch Wall-E in cinemas from 28 August 2008.

Originator blog: Matthew Zachary

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Henderson Waves & Alexandra Arch

Blue sky, white clouds.

Went to Henderson Waves on Monday afternoon. Parked my car at Mount Faber and started walking. The signs were not very helpful. In fact, I was misled by one. I followed one sign that pointed towards Henderson Waves and ended up going down the staircase to Telok Blangah Way instead. So I had to walk to Henderson Road and climbed up the hill that led towards Henderson Waves.

Henderson Waves is a woody experience whereas the tree-top walk to Alexandra Arch is a metallic one.