I just saw a news report on Angelina Jolie on CNA. No words can describe her beauty and elegance. Compared to her wild days, she is now extremely composed in all her public appearances. I guess motherhood has its effects on even the wildest brat. :)
I ended my day with my former university friends at this pub near where I stay which inports beer from all over the world. It has been a long time since I had gone out on a social drinking session. I cannot remember the name of the establishment. However, I am sure my former rugger students will be familiar with the setting.
I ordered one from Germany upon the recommendation by one of the Filipino waitress. It tastes almost as good as the Irish import, Kilkenny. To accompany that, I downed an assortment of boiled and fried German sussages which was excellent. It's a pity I did not to take a picture of that. Because I drive and the fact that I had drunk my first bottle on a slightly empty stomach, I decided not to go for a second - another label which is also German but a lot lighter and had a nice aftertaste although it was also a larger bottle (see 2nd picture, extreme right).
The lineup of the drinks for the evening. My friends did not want their pictures taken because we are all in the same profession. Well, who says teachers cannot chill out over drinks and great food?
I learnt that the museums in Singapore are free after 6pm on Fridays!!! Having been so caught up with work and all, I realise what I have missing. Thus I am using this holidays to do major catchups and revisit some cultural places and nooks and corners around the island.
A towering statue of David greets you at the entrance.
You feel completely dwarfed by its full glory and simultaneously amused by the pinkish batik pattern that covers its entire body. The amusement of the latter arises from the thought that David's suffering from some seriously eczema.
My friend and I had come to visit this installation by Matthew Gui, a famous local artist. Okay, I sound like I know a lot about the local art scene. The truth is, I only learnt about him today from her! Well, it seemed that that exhibit closes at 6pm, the time when the museum opens its door for free. How ironic! The same goes for other "pay-for-view" exhibits. While we felt rather annoyed and cheated by the fine print which we only encounter on a postcard at the visitor's counter, I told her that it is just so Singapore that nothing is truly free.
So together we checked out the other exhibits while waiting for her husband to arrive.
I quite like what the creator of this installation says about the nature of human communication - we dorn various masks because we all fear being truly vulnerable.
See the row of red chandeliers in the background hanging on the ceiling? Well, they are supposed to sway, tilt and perform various movement in sync. Fortuntely for us, we have arrived at a time when the organisers deemed that it should be given a break and the action will not begin til 7pm by which we would be away at a talk by Mr Gui. Call it bad timing...
Go past the foyer on the ground level to this junction where the escaltors that bring you to the upper floors are and you will meet this gigantic screen. Something somewhere captures videos of visitors and plays them on the screen in gritty resolution which I kind of like. Yes, that is me on it.
This is taken at some Film & Wayang section. I just like the surreal atmosphere created by these bulbs hung sporadically, and intentionally no doubt.
Leaving the stage...
It has been a long time since I have attended any stimulating talk on any topic since I had left university. Now I truly understand why my friends and many others further their studies by doing their Masters. I felt alive by the ideas presented and the witty banter by the panel of guests. If I save enough, I might just consider doing a course on the fine arts. Talk is cheap see.
Big feet. Too bad the security guard at stepped away from the stairs behind when I took this snap shot. I wanted to give you readers an idea of how terribly and humongously inflicted David is.
A colleague informed me that a Graduation Exhibition by the final year students at Nanyang Academy Of Fine Arts (NAFA) was on and that she was bringing her students there. I decided to go along. It is on til Saturday, 10am to 7pm.
My self-portrait snapshot in the lift.
The rest are the works that got my attention.
These individual pieces are carved from and painted on wooden canvases.
Her alluring eyes, with the rest of her facial features, sort of call out to the passerby.
A piece by an ex-teacher who is a friend of my colleague on the theme "Mundane". When I heard her mention the theme, I couldn't help but burst out laughing. Do you get the joke after studying the subject matter of the painting?
I thought my juxtaposition of the art work featuring faceless outlines of figurines against the live human specimens was commendable...
On a sidenote, when the students saw me at the exhibition, most of them gave me this incredulous look, as if saying, "What on earth are you doing here? What do you know about Art appreciation???" I believe one of my students who takes Art actually said that once to me. Although I may be a formerly a triple Science and double Mathematics student, I switched over to the Arts faculty partially in JC and then completely in the university. It is a long story of course. After I had decided to abandon my dream to become a doctor (thus the gradual switch to the Arts faculty) and on one of my exploration trips around Singapore, an installation outside one of the banks at Boat Quay sparked my passion for the Art appreciation.
This silk screen piece was lit by neon light. It would definitely make a nice display piece for the house.
Click on it to read the message on the left page. "S" is for you know...
This piece would do better with more subtlety and better finishing touches.
Another installation on the dematerialisation and thus futility of modern excesses (too 'chim'/ dense?) which truly took my breath away.
The visuals are lit by projectors and yes, the artist told me they took months to render. I know where the subject matter, the shophouse, is located!!! In fact, I have a picture of it somewhere on this blog!
The shadows imposed by this paper-cut piece are attractive. Regular readers to this blog should realise my facination with light and shadows. A massive installation using blood/drip vials filled with water.
While on my way to the Singapore Arts Museum, I chanced upon M11 along Bencoolen Street. The mini-food court is found just before the stretch of hotels and the bigger cousin of Kopitiam along the same stretch. A majority of the owners are Thais and Vietnamese. I hear conversations in Thai every where I turned! There were even 3 rather feminine looking Thai crossdressers waiting to buy their food at a stall. I really thought I was in Bangkok like that time when I backpacked Thailand for a month during my university days and this is HERE in the heart of Singapore!
Why is it always a bigger portion on pictures than in reality?
See what I mean? Anyway, I have not had this dish for a long time. The gravy of chinese wine and the red paste (don't ask me what that is) reminded me of the mee sua my granny and mom used to cook in the past.
I simply had to finish every drop of the delicious gravy which would be perfect if it was a lot thicker.
So that was to fill my stomach so that I do not drink with my university friends later on an empty stomach and suffer dire consequences.
Saint2 : Recall Speilberg's "Minority Report" starring Tom Cruise? The future techology will soon become present reality!
May 30, 2008 MICROSOFT'S NEW OPERATING SYSTEM Goodbye mouse, hello touch Windows 7 to offer touch-screen feature that builds on Apple's success
TOUCH AND GO?: Microsoft chairman Bill Gates demonstrating the Microsoft Touchwall, a new multi-touch user interface technology, at a summit in Redmond, Washington, earlier this month. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
NEW YORK - MICROSOFT is signalling the end of the mouse with its latest operating system, which aims to build on the success of its rival Apple's iPhone touch screen. Windows 7 will allow PC users to touch, rather than point and click, in a move which indicates the world's most influential software company believes the days of the keyboard-mouse combination are coming to an end.
My day OFF! No work, no hole-ing up in my work room for hours and watch my ass get imprinted by the mold of the chair I sit on. Free to head out, free to enjoy the sunshine (PLEASE DON'T RAIN!). :)
My morning ritual starts off with coffee. I am no connoisseur so it's really the 3-in-1 for me.
Well, this is what's left of the juicy carrot cake my mom bought from somewhere by the time I had remembered to reach for the camera.
The rest of the day? I have an ambitious plan. But I want to take it easy. That never happens of course. In the past half hour or so, I was already multi-tasking on my DVD-Recorders in 2 separate rooms, reading the newspapers and watching television while eating my breakfast.
Something tells me that I'm in for a big haul although it is my day off.
My first bargain at Takashimaya during this Great Singapore Sale - a pair of CK jeans. I must confess : I am not one to splurge hundreds on clothings but this purchase was a real steal because of some unused vouchers I have had with me since last year. Thanks, of course, to Kevin for directing me to the Calvin Klein section!
My sandals had beenstolen from my doorstep!!!!I discovered them missing when I left for for my tennis game. The pair has been with me on several overseas trips, thus I am upset because of its sentimental value and the fact that it is still in very good condition. This , just like the frequent litter thrown from the building onto my vehicle, has never happened until some neighbours began renting out their flats to foreign workers. Arghh! I shall restrain myself and just look forward to the day I move out of this place! Sigh.
I was just surfing what are supposedly top blogs voted by readers to check out the great big world of the blogging community. I came to these conclusions :
1) Most favourite bloggers are females.
2) Most favourite female bloggers put on winter-jacket-thermal-layers of makeup and hardly have a single picture of themselves without artificial colourings. Oh, their accessories include fake eye-lashes and coloured contact lenses.
3) Most favourite male bloggers dorn that emo-bush-of-a-hair whose fringes part strategically to reveal their eyes.
4) Most favourite male bloggers have blog banners of pictures of themselves in sets of 3s and 4s different poses.
5) Dawn Yang's rather gorgeous and smart (from RJC!) until someone told me online that she's been plastic-ked with the help of mommy's Vitamin $/M! Well, while I should not believe everything I hear or read, I am not surpised if that is true!
6) What's the big deal with XiaXue's blog???!!! She is loud and big in every essence of the word.
7) Camwhore-ring - how do you spell it?? - seems to be the order of the day if you want to increase blog readership.
Okay, that was quite an enlightening if not wasted morning surf. Thus I just have to blog about this surreal experience before I head out for tennis...
Did you know Google's search page includes an online calculator & converter? One of my very IT literate friends didn't know this trick, so I thought I'd post this tip.
In the standard Google search box, if you type in a calculation then hit enter or Search, it'll actually do the calculation online for you, and provide the answer where you'd normally get search results displayed.
Use * for multiply, / for divide, and +, - and brackets in the usual way, then Search to see the results (more operators and full instructions here - I do wish they'd allow x for multiply though). There's a limit though, if you type in a very very very long calculation it won't do it, I'm not sure how long but I've definitely hit it.
Online conversions Google also converts from and to units like Roman numerals (very useful in this here 21st century), as well as the more common conversions. And you can enter your query in normal language - e.g. "3.5 lbs in kg" works, just try clicking that. Or even Google's example of 0x7d3 in roman numerals! Tip: you may need to experiment, it seems to work OK with no space, but sometimes it works better if you add a space (e.g. before the lbs in the previous sentence).
Note also that the converter is case sensitive - so converting MB to GB will work but not MB to gb.
But although Googlers showed their sense of humour in allowing you to change your Google search interface language to Klingon or even Pig Latin, they don't yet let you convert into polar bears or Golden Gate Bridges. For that, you have to use the Weird Converter, though even that doesn't have baby elephants. However, if you want to, you could convert into Jenifer Anistons or human tongues, or even right whale testicles or flaccid penises, if you really can't resist the urge to try those! (Heh heh, I bet no one ever thought I'd be able to legitimately work testicles or flaccid penises into a blog post, did they?).
I can use the trick for speeding up searches on Google and other sites with a keyword, to do even fast calculations too: Ctrl-l to call up the Open URL box, then type g then space then my calculation or conversion.
Saint2 : I have always had my suspicion about Barbie dolls. They sort of remind me of the insidious blubber-like Teletubbies! May 28, 2008 TWEEN SCENE: COVER STORY Where's my little girl gone? Some pre-teen girls dress and behave beyond their years. Experts tell MYB why it worries them when tweens become too sexualised
Nowadays, it seems that it's never too young to be sexy. Even tweens - children between eight and 12 years old - are being bombarded by product and media images of women who are slim, svelte and pouty.
The experts, including those in Singapore, are worried.
Ms Vanessa von Auer, clinic director of EVA Psychology Centre at Camden Medical Centre in Orchard Boulevard, said: 'Pop culture really seduces tweens into a sexualised way of life.'
She added: 'On television and in magazines in Singapore, we see a lot of tall, attractive, fair-skinned people with Pan-Asian looks. There's pressure on tweens to attain that facade and when or if they don't, they think they're a failure.'
Many experts link American-style consumerism to the sexualisation of young girls, typically teenagers but, increasingly, tweens too.
Ms M Gigi Durham, associate professor of journalism and mass communication at the University of Iowa, said: 'Part of it is that sexuality is a key aspect of marketing a variety of products, especially to girls, like cosmetics, diet aids and fashion.
'Marketers have figured out that they can cultivate consumers and keep them longer by targeting them at young ages. Pushing the goal of 'hotness' onto tweens orients them to these products very early.'
Many products like make-up, clothes and toys which target tweens and young teens seem to package the adult premise of sex in cute candy colours, persuading little girls to totter around in high heels and mini-skirts.
The media is being blamed too. Ms Durham has written a book, The Lolita Effect, which explores the increasing media sexualisation of tween girls.
Lolita was the sexually precocious 12-year-old character called Dolores Haze in Russian-born novelist Vladimir Nabokov's 1955 book of that title. The term has since been used in pop culture to refer to sexually aware little girls.
'Girls are influenced by the media to view their bodies judgmentally, to see sexual desirability as a life goal and to buy into the consumerism at the root of this media sexualisation of girls,' Ms Durham said.
A backlash - of sorts - has started against this sexualisation of young girls in the United States.
The star of Disney's billion-dollar franchise Hannah Montana, 15-year-old Miley Cyrus, whose fan base consists mainly of tweens, was recently embroiled in controversy over sexually suggestive photos of her published in the June issue of Vanity Fair.
Ms van Auer argues that Singapore is not immune to the Lolita effect. The top 10 television programmes for girls aged eight to 12 years old on Kids Central here last year include Bratz, Barbie As The Island Princess and High School Musical.
She feels that tweens who are constantly fed idealised images of beautiful, slim women can suffer from lower self-esteem and a negative body image, that is, how we perceive our own body.
KK Women's and Children's Hospital's principal psychologist in the psychology service Ms Frances Yeo, echoes this view. She said: 'These days, children and adolescents are more exposed to media like movies, video and computer games and the Internet.
'These media often convey images of ideal attractiveness and body shapes, which can be unrealistic.'
I got this tip from a friend by email on how to deal with the bugger.
Using LISTERINE as Mosquito Repellent I can't wait to try this in the summer! Mosquito Spray...Worth a try I was at a deck party awhile back, and the bugs were having a ball biting everyone. A man at the party sprayed the lawn and deck floor with Listerine, and the little demons disappeared. The next year I filled a 4-ounce spray bottle and used it around my seat whenever I saw mosquitoes. And voila! That worked as well. It worked at a picnic where we sprayed the area around the food table, the children's swing area, and the standing water nearby. During the summer, I don't leave home without it.....Pass it on. OUR FRIEND'S COMMENTS: I tried this on my deck and around all of my doors. It works - in fact, it killed them instantly. I bought my bottle from Target and it cost me $1.89. It really doesn't take much, and it is a big bottle, too; so it is not as expensive to use as the can of Bug-spray you buy that doesn't last 30 minutes. So, try this, please. It will last a couple of days. Don't spray directly on a wood door (like your front door), but spray around the frame. Spray around the window frames, and even inside the dog house.