A Call to the Leaders of the Community

Those of you out there who don’t already know about the whole In-Out thing, this post will be completely meaningless to you. But I suspect you will identify with the themes and situations that are raised here.

The night seemed pleasant enough. With plenty of people, drinks that flowed and food that was delicious and plentiful. But something crept in that poisoned and destroyed something that I had pushed for and built up. It was stealthy and uncalled for but it happened anyway. As the “host” for this event, I cannot help but be unamused and frankly quite disgusted. This never was meant to be an exercise in EXCLUDING people, nor was it meant to be a statement of CHOOSING one over the other, or the myriad other small petty things that my Pizza outing has come to represent. Continue reading “A Call to the Leaders of the Community”

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My New Passport

My old passport has been with me since the 27th of March 1999. And it has been an interesting 10 years. Looking at this passport and I ask myself. What story does it tell about me? And I find it comes down on both sides, leaving a bittersweet taste in my mouth. That bittersweet taste may be because I was licking that dirty old thing but I digress. It has seen me through China, it has seen me through the controversial Italy trip *that my father hated but I simply adored* and now it’s gotten holes unceremoniously punched through it, physically and emotionally ending an era.

The ICA has however been amazing during this entire process. They’ve been efficient, and above all professional. Never a bad thing by ANY stretch of the imagination. After all we as a people have been way too used to having slow and unrepentant government service. Somehow though, I felt that it was just too cold. It was too professional. I know, I’m crazy but its my passport, its my window to the world, and the document that let me visit my teacher in Bali, that brought me to China… And no passport can ever replace my old one.

Am I being too sentimental about a wad of paper? Maybe, and who knows my next passport will be the same if not even more spactacular. With the wonders of Europe and all my friends spread around this place we call Earth. I can truly begin exploring, without constraints and pressures. It’ll be me living my life in this world I’ve not even begun to start looking at properly.

Opening your eyes to see the grass on the other side must never be about finding greener pastures. It must never be all about taking and not giving. Opening your eyes to the world around you means that you should learn to accept, to learn and to move onwards. If one cannot do so, one has failed as a thinking human being. The grass on the other side is never consistently greener. There’s always a grizzled gardener tending to it with an illegal immigrant assistant. The manure that came from questionable sources, even the water that needed to be transported 30 miles. What we always need is the trust, and the love for where we’ve come from to tell ourselves that maybe what we have and what comes our way is exactly what we need, its not perfect, but we can continually try to succeed and strive for maybe that better future.

Tech65’s Condundrum

Lately it has come to our attention that certain users of Tech65’s blog have not been able to access our blog. And it appears that these users are by and large users of Singtel’s broadband service or of Wireless@SG’s broadband service. I am presently a user of Starhub for all of my communications services save for my cellphone service. As anyone can imagine it has been terrifyingly disappointing. I post my dear friend Farinelli’s (RenHao’s) post here for all to puruse (with some edits of my own):

For about two weeks, starting on the Saturday when we recorded our live show for the 65th episode of 65bits, Tech65.org has been inaccessible through Singnet broadband and wireless@sg. The only way we are aware of so far to get through this problem is to create a proxy at proxy.singnet.com.sg, port 8080.

I think we’re pretty sure it isn’t a block by Singnet, because 5% of the time it is accessible – a block wouldn’t let that happen. It is clearly some sort of connection problem, something that unfortunately after many many attempted solutions, have not lead to improved connections, and our confidence in the services provided by Singtel has completely failed at this juncture. Particularly because of the lack of support from Singtel themselves, something that has infuriated us very much.

This problem has affected our listenership very negatively, especially in recent episodes, even though many of our listeners subscribe to our show through iTunes and our RSS feeds, everything still has to go through our site, and not being able to connect to Tech65 has impeded our ability to continue providing service as many of our editors are on Singtel.

My dear readers and listeners, please blog about this as well on your respective spaces. Let the blogosphere know in your own way about this bizarre problem, and be sure to let us know if you are encountering the same problem with your site. We hope to resolve this soon and get our shows back on the smooth track.

Thank you for your support!

*Thanks to Fari for most of this text*

Xbox 360 2nd Anniversary Bloggers Meet

First things first, and even though the news IS already out but we WERE the first to hear this GLOBALLY so boo to Joystiq.com. BUT here’s the news Lucasarts’ new game, Force Unleashed will land September 16th in the United States, September 17th in Southeast Asia and Australia, and September 19th in Europe. YES. This game’ll be amazing and the videos we saw, but couldn’t take pictures of were ultimately incredible. The physics were out of this world and you really could see the power of the force completely unrestrained and unleashed. Amazing SICK stuff…

However, that was just one specific thing in an event that really did blow it out of the water for me. Interesting finger foods (though I have to ask, who serves chicken wings at an event without any cutlery/crockery at all…), great conversation, free flowing beverages, a TORRENT of things to do, see, interact with, talk about and finally a great looking location that was only slightly marred by its PHYSICAL location, a bit of a find if you ask me, but no matter. The people from Microsoft seemed genuinely interested in what we bloggers thought, and were actually reaching out to us and to try and get us psyched about the various Xbox games and so on, and I must say that the strategy worked!

One of the games that I want to talk about personally which really SPIKED my interest was this game Mirror’s Edge by EA. *Full Disclosure: Mom works there* This is a game based on the idea that in a world poisoned by an overbearing government, information has to get out, and this can only be done through Parkour-utilising, chop-socky Runners. I have not seen gameplay but from a video shown it involves lots of running round roof tops and fighting without ever picking up a GUN! Love the idea, hope the execution will be flawless and the record of DICE’s previous accomplishments (Battlefield series) inspires such confidence in me.

Let me round off by commending Microsoft for pursuing the blogosphere, and trying to reach out to the more unconventional sources of news and information. The microsofties have shown a LOT of love in general to us players in Singapore, with the sheer variety of games available, great product support in general and plenty of events to keep us interested. I had a PS2 and PS1 and I liked them, but its the Xbox 360 that I truly do love. So keep up the loving MSFT.

I’ve posted my pictures here. Please help me tag the photos properly!

Singapore has Rejoined the UNESCO

Singapore has rejoined the UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation), making it the 193rd nation to do so, thus giving the UNESCO one more participant country then the actual United Nations itself. Fancy that!

Singapore has spent 22 years outside of the UNESCO and it has been more than high time that we return to the fold that brings ever so much to a nation, recognition for its cultural and national treasures, opportunities for exchange and interaction, for creating ethical standards and building consensus. In short it is an organisation that does so much good simply by getting its member nations to sit down and communicate, share and interact.

I applaud our Leaders’ wise decision in rejoining this community of fellows and look forward to the great bounty of cultural exchange and increased fellowship that can and will follow.

SMUN and a Quick Update

Ok, First up, latest news, I have a nice haircut and somehow I’ve managed to get my hair to become soft again but I think I still will have to condition it a lot, argh. And I finished a carton of Sobe Soy Bean Milk just now, so delish, but its like 1 whole litre of it. Lol. I also have the worst suntan in the history of mankind, why you may ask? Well as one stands in the sun for hours as one trains for the National Day Parade without the blessed protection of Sunblock, one’s tan will develop in the shape of one’s bent arms, or one’s uniform’s sleeves/collar. Thus I have a V-shaped burn on my neck, and like this ass shaped one on my forearm and triceps. Anyway…

Came back from SMUN yesterday and seriously I was amazed at how great the event was, I mean yeah, there were some organisation and logistical difficulties, but I pardon them because they were organised by students for students and didn’t have the guiding light of a dictatorial bureaucrat, a.k.a a teacher.

Anyway, Just a few points I have to make and hope that the Singaporean censors won’t get to me,
1) JC students in Singapore have CHANGED, i mean really, I always had this stereotype in my mind that JC students here were like muggalicious and totally unable to have fun, and right wingers, but it turns out they can have fun, and being a mugger is actually cool because it means when you relax-ay-voo you REALLY relax, and lastly, well I haven’t asked them bout their political opinions but they seem pretty liberal

2) I am not that different from them. Lol DUH right? But I was totally afraid that I’d be like the big tall guy who speaks with a funny accent and should be laughed at, but the people there were really quite accepting and completely easy to get along with, of course it probably helped that I was completely shameless at the conference and like did all kinds of embarrassing things.

3) If this is the direction Singapore, and Singaporeans are taking with regards to their political world view, and their view of themselves in the world, then I can say that I’m truly proud to be Singaporean, there’s no lack of enthusiasm for engaging with world issues, and definitely a desire to know, about history, about the future, about ‘most anything, and not just memorising f=ma or an-ions and cat-ions

and Lastly) F.A.M., the Food Aligned Movement, with its 6 or so permanent members will declare itself ready to eat and travel the distance to eat. We shall meet and enjoy the pleasures that comes with imbibing and quaffing and devouring.

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Pictures attached above

Biennale Singapore: First One Ever

Fantastic isn’t it, we are now the proud hosts of an event originally started by the ever fabulous Italians, the First Singapore Biennale!! And what better way to inaugurate an event than the slightly staid sounding IMF and World Bank Board of Governers Meeting. Looking at it sends chills down my spine!!!

The opening piece of installation art as seen below, was/is (could still be there)… very beautiful. If kid friendly. Which I believe is the whole point of art, coz if you can’t even get your most innocent, most precocious members of the audience to appreciate your work, how can you get the more experienced, more educated members of your audience to appreciate it. To the creator’s credit, I thought it was really something else, something so unique and beautiful, though shortlived.




My fervent apologies for the incredibly blurry pictures above, that’s the problem with nightime shots, you can’t use a flash if not everything else is just black in colour, so yeah, those pictures above are the pictures Gloria and I took of the installation art, with varying degrees of sucess, either way, enjoy!

The poem shown above, though I did not manage to catch it all, was a stunning example of pure ingenuity. City Hall, was decked out in pink coverings, all over the windows and such with subversive(?) writings and such, and the beautiful white font, clear though this beautiful white font, the columns sort of obscured the writing, so unfortunately I did not manage to catch it, I am however, very much intrigued by this poem and given the chance I would definately make an effort to have a look see.


Anyhoos. It was a night to remember, for it spectacularly told us all you really needed to know about the Singapore party scene. (or any house party hosted by SSIS people at 9 pm) People were standing around, nodding, walking away horrified at the music being played, or just standing there stunned that they made sound systems that could pump out such noises, while a few slightly rockier people were, WHOO HOOing and dancing, and screaming… the singers/rappers/screamers/insane manic depressed persons on stage were, to be polite, not at all to my taste, while their bands were really quite good. I really really liked their string players, totally in the spirit of things and definately rocking. So all in all, just bordering on acceptable? God, I’m such a bitch. Its art, darling, you’re not supposed to know that the artists are saying, its their creative vision… etc etc.

After leaving the Padang, we sauntered off to Boat Quay, where we managed to get into Q Bar, and I must say, this place was definately a lot cooler than many places I’ve been to, though definately too smokey for my taste. It was cool though afterwards, we walked the stretch of Boat Quay, and settled down at Harry’s Bar, which coincidentally you can also find in Suzhou, and I passed by the Harry’s in Venice too. There’re just too many Harry’s. Anyway, I had an Erdinger, Great German Beer, and got red (I just know you Suzhou folks are reminicing about my famous 1/16 Margarita incident). Gloria has a Kilkenny and didn’t like it much. So we all stomped off to the Metro, (MRT lah, I know but must internationalify it for the foreigners) and I prepared to go off, to the warm comforts of my bed. But no, I ended up at Gloria’s neighbourhood 24 hour prata store, and had 2 Kosongs (basically a flat crispy pancake, tastes 100 times better than it sounds). Yes, it was fun. Yes, it was surreal, having prata till 2 in the morning, but hey, its my one life, I’ll live it the way I want to… albeit without too much drinking, no smoking, and definately no drugs, but hey! I rock, I roll, and I definately have the physical proportions to roll!!! So Yeah! Don’t tell me I’m Staid!

I leave you with this picture of the St. Andrews Cathedral. Because I can;)