Saturday, November 24, 2012

The geographic centre of Singapore.

Do you know where the Geographic Centre of Singapore is?
Frankly, I didn't but I suspected it might be the same as the Geographical Origin of Coordinates of Singapore which I did know about.

The Origin of Coordinates for any country is that point from which all local maps, distances, surveys and longitudes and latitudes are measured from. This point takes its own reference from the Greenwich Observatory in London which is longitude 0, or the prime meridian.

From the late 1800s in colonial times, Singapore's Origin of Coordinates was officially marked as 1°17' 15.528"N and 103°51' 10.808"E. And where exactly in Singapore is this officially confusing and difficult to understand point?

It is the precise spot where the flagstaff of the old Colonial Office of the Surveyor General of Singapore was. This was on top of the Empress Place Building, today called the Asian Civilisation Museum.

The flagstaff can be seen on the extreme right in the above picture.
(Source: National Heritage Board PICAS photo database)

With the heritage conservation of the old Empress Place Building and conversion into the Asian Civilisation Museum, the flagstaff unfortunately was dismantled and its heritage value forgotten.
There is a new flagstaff on the roof at the new entrance to the Museum but this is not the original Origin of Coordinates.

In 2005, with the implementation and widespread acceptance of GPS, the Origin of Coordinates for Singapore was moved to a new spot.
The new ground zero is simply 1 22 00 N, 103 48 00E.
This puts it on a spot at the Upper Pierce Reservoir.
It was done to simplify the coordinates, dropping the confusing seconds and decimals.

The official Origin of Coordinates for Singapore.


Another Milestone
Although map coordinates were zeroed in on the Empress Place Building, the measurement of milestones or distances radiating from the city centre did not begin from Empress Place.
Originally, it began from the entrance of the New Police Station on North Bridge Road.
This Police Station was located opposite St Andrew's Cathedral, beside what is now the Capitol Building.  (The spot where the old National neon sign was - see my friend Lam Chun See's blog here for this old landmark)

When the Police Station became defunct, the Colonial Surveyor General, who had by then moved his office from Empress Place to the new GPO building around 1910, decided that all milestones would from then on radiate from the entrance of the GPO Building and be measured from there.

Today, roads are measured from where it begins and no longer from the GPO.
For example, 10km PIE would be the distance from its start at Changi/ECP.


(Please note: There are varying standards in measurements and GPS so some maps may point to a different coordinate...but that's another story)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

More crash blossoms from ST

National Day Rally - ST 27 Aug 2012
Maybe they don't have to build the 5th & 6th Uni after all?



Related post: What are crash blossoms

Thursday, August 16, 2012

One is enough !

Many many years ago, we were told "Stop at Two !", "Two is enough" "The more you have the less they get".
People then stopped because they feared being saddled with punishments, fines or denial of privileges.

Then things went into reverse with a vengeance!
Have more if you can afford it! Baby Bonus, Graduate mother payouts!
Still it didn't work!

Now the truth is finally out ! They are very specific what they actually want.
We'll be in BIG TROUBLE if we don't reproduce LKY !



Friday, July 27, 2012

Eating half fried chicken.

Was looking to tabao (takeaway) chicken for dinner tonight (wife not cooking! ) and headed to Bukit Batok Central Varinice Kopitiam.  There's a fried chicken stall there that's pretty decent.

Me: Give me set No.4 but with fries and I want the chicken fully fried.
Malay server girl (MSG): What? You want the whole chicken?

Me: No, I want half a chicken but I want it fully fried.
MSG: You want the half fried chicken with fries? No. 4?

Me: No, I want the chicken fully fried with fries, set 4.
MSG: You want the full chicken?

Me: No lah, just give me set no. 4 with fries.



This really happened a while ago.
Am tucking into my fried half chicken (or should I say half fried chicken ala singlish) dinner now. yummy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Picking Crash Blossoms.

I've been meaning to write something about crash blossoms for some time but was just procrastinating as it involved time collecting the local blooms. With the recent opening of the Gardens by the Bay, the thought did occur again and the impetus to blog about them was the 2 crash blossoms I found this morning.

Do you know what Crash Blossoms are? Or have you heard of it?
You've probably come across many but just that you were not aware that they were called Crash Blossoms.  

Very simply put, Crash Blossoms are those headlines in the newspapers that make you go "huh ?"
It's often used by copywriters to attract your attention but at times and more humorously, they are written seriously , but when published, they then realise "Oops!"
These are the ones that are pure gems as Crash Blossoms.

The term arose after a Japan Today newspaper published an article headlined
“Violinist Linked to JAL crash blossoms”
It started a whole chain of neologism (wow , that means a newly coined term coming into common use). The headline actually referred to a Japan Airline crash victim's daughter coming of age.


In today Straits Times Pg B10, I chuckled when I read 2 crash blossoms side by side.
"S'pore to make tax puzzle easier" and "Free trade pact with Turkey may be on the cards"
You'll get it after a while.


I'll try to collect and collate local crash blossoms and add them to this post as and when I may come across them. Send them to me if you do pick some up.


Related posts: 
Down the garden path
The horse ran past the barn fell







Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday rantings. 15 July 2012.

THE PROBLEM WITH MERITOCRACY.
Straits Times Saturday 14 July Pg A43.

This piece by David Brooks from The New York Times made me sit on my throne longer than I expected. I re-read the article twice as it was so insightful. I recommend you read it again, if you have not done so. If you have thrown away your Saturday papers, you can read it from the NYT website here.
The actual header as in NYT is "Why our elites stinks" but it seemed to have been changed by ST. (for local readers?)

It is a commentary by NYT columnist David Brook on a book called "Twilight of the Elites" by Christopher Hayes. The book talks about why the elites are misleading everyone in the US. When you read this article you will suddenly come an epiphany that ...hey, he might as well be referring to Singapore?

"...meritocratic elites may rise on the basis of grades, effort and merit, but, to preserve their status, they become corrupt. They create wildly unequal societies, and then they rig things so that few can climb the ladders behind them. Meritocracy leads to oligarchy."

" Today's elites are more talented and open but lack a self-conscious leadership code. The language of meritocracy (how to succeed) has eclipsed the language of morality (how to be virtuous). Wall Street firms, for example, now hire on the basis of youth and brains, not experience and character. Most of their problems can be traced to this."

He goes on to cite examples of how parents send their kids to enrichment classes, prep-test schools in the quest to be better than the next.  This 'corruption' has now crept into the whole of high finance, gov, et cetra, et cetra...

Is this symptomatic of why people right at the top of their game are now caught in more and more scandals?



Pg A45. S'pore way works, but only with tuition.
Ironically, the very next page. A parent in Singapore wrote a letter to the Forum Page.
The header says it all.



Sunday Times Pg 8. VISA, Mastercard, banks to pay $7.6b
A class action suit was won by almost 7 million merchants against VISA, Mastercard and banks in what is known there as 'swipe' fees. This is the fee merchant have to pay to the companies for allowing customers to use credit cards. These range from 2% to 3.75%. VISA, MasterCard and banks will have to refund the amount to the merchants.
Isn't this also happening in Singapore?  Don't we get hit by all sorts of charges especially if we use their cards overseas? The merchants get refunded but what about the consumer who ultimately bears the costs? Will CASE champion the case of collusion? I wonder. Not so easy to prove I guess.



Finally, my pet peeve - Cyclist against pedestrians. ST Page 40 THINK
A non-committal response from the Asst Director Media Relations, SPF.
Cyclists should dismount when using crossings
"Cyclists who ride dangerously across pedestrian crossings and endanger the safety of pedestrians and other road users can be booked for a traffic offence." Ah then? how does that help me?


 * Sunday Rantings are my thoughts on a lazy Sunday morning after reading the Sunday papers. This may or may not be a regular feature depends on whether I have the energy after breakfast. Also Sunday Mass has a calming effect, so the more I pay attention to the sermons, the less I rant. The long rants probably mean I fell asleep during Mass. Don't mind the spelling errors, it's a lazy Sunday.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

My son graduates

My only son Jason graduated yesterday from university.  My wife and I have been waiting for this day for then past 25 years. It was our moment of pride and happiness.

Watching him going up to collect his degree was a real emotional moment for both of us.
It represented the culmination of our responsibilities in providing him every opportunity that we could to give him a proper education.



He's now embarked on the next stage of his life starting work as a Research Assistant at Duke-NUS.
He hopes to begin his PhD studies later in the year.




Saturday, May 26, 2012

Yahoo! I am rich!!

In the past 2 weeks, I've hit the jackpot 3 times!

Last week, I won £500,000 in the British Online lottery, then a few days later I was also informed I won another £150,000 in the UK FreeLotto. Just yesterday the Central Nigerian Bank informed me that they are going to transfer US$11,875,000 to me. Wow, I should be so lucky.

You don't believe? here are the emails....



LAGOS, NIGERIA.

ATTENTION: THE PRESIDENT/CEO

DEAR SIR,

CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS PROPOSAL

HAVING CONSULTED WITH MY COLLEAGUES AND BASED ON THE INFORMATION GATHERED FROM THE NIGERIAN CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, I HAVE THE PRIVILEGE TO REQUEST FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE TO TRANSFER THE SUM OF $47,500,000.00 (FORTY SEVEN MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS) INTO YOUR ACCOUNTS. THE ABOVE SUM RESULTED FROM AN OVER-INVOICED CONTRACT, EXECUTED COMMISSIONED AND PAID FOR ABOUT FIVE YEARS (5) AGO BY A FOREIGN CONTRACTOR. THIS ACTION WAS HOWEVER INTENTIONAL AND SINCE THEN THE FUND HAS BEEN IN A SUSPENSE ACCOUNT AT THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA APEX BANK.

WE ARE NOW READY TO TRANSFER THE FUND OVERSEAS AND THAT IS WHERE YOU COME IN. IT IS IMPORTANT TO INFORM YOU THAT AS CIVIL SERVANTS, WE ARE FORBIDDEN TO OPERATE A FOREIGN ACCOUNT; THAT IS WHY WE REQUIRE YOUR ASSISTANCE. THE TOTAL SUM WILL BE SHARED AS FOLLOWS: 70% FOR US, 25% FOR YOU AND 5% FOR LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER.

THE TRANSFER IS RISK FREE ON BOTH SIDES. I AM AN ACCOUNTANT WITH THE NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION (NNPC). IF YOU FIND THIS PROPOSAL ACCEPTABLE, WE SHALL REQUIRE THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS:

(A) YOUR BANKER'S NAME, TELEPHONE, ACCOUNT AND FAX NUMBERS.

(B) YOUR PRIVATE TELEPHONE AND FAX NUMBERS -- FOR CONFIDENTIALITY AND EASY COMMUNICATION.

(C) YOUR LETTER-HEADED PAPER STAMPED AND SIGNED.

ALTERNATIVELY WE WILL FURNISH YOU WITH THE TEXT OF WHAT TO TYPE INTO YOUR LETTER-HEADED PAPER, ALONG WITH A BREAKDOWN EXPLAINING, COMPREHENSIVELY WHAT WE REQUIRE OF YOU. THE BUSINESS WILL TAKE US THIRTY (30) WORKING DAYS TO ACCOMPLISH.

PLEASE REPLY URGENTLY.

BEST REGARDS



Ticket No: MSL6047545-166

You won £500,000 Great British Pounds.On The Online Promo 2012.
Send Name:Address:
Country:
Occupation:
Phone Number,
to Mr Lampard Nelson,
+4470457 14741




AFFILIATED OFFICE OF FREELOTTO U.K 
82 Victoria Street, Victoria London SW1 U.K
 

 
 
NOTIFICATION OF WINNING :
We are pleased to inform you of the release, of the recent results of the FREELOTTO INTERNATIONAL PROMOTION PROGRAM held on 15th January, 2012. You were entered as dependent clients with: Reference Serial Number: F2-003-036 and Batch number FR/45-300-06. Your email address attached to the ticket number: 54-20-17-52-34-30 that drew the lucky winning number, which consequently won the Daily Jackpot in the first category, in four parts. You have been approved for a payment of GBP 150.000.00 (One hundred and fifty thousand Pounds) in cash credited to file reference number: TFR/9900034943/JPT. Congratulations!!!
To read the Free Lotto click here:
 
http://www.freelotto.com
Free Lotto Winning Draw Results for January 15th 2012

GBP 50,000.00: 4-5-34-41-3-37
 
GBP 200,000.00: 22-43-6-9-28-26
 
GBP 10,000.00: 12-32-17-14-24-10
 
GBP 100,000.00: 2-27-22-47-16-21
 
Daily Jackpot GBP 150, 000.00: 54-20-17-52-34-30
Super Bulk GBP 10,000,000.00: 37-2-48-41-46-25-43
 
Please contact the under listed claims release office for immediate pay out of your winning fund and send him your winning ticket number.
Mr. Kelvin brown
 
(Free lotto Fiduciary Department)
 
82 Victoria Street Victoria London SW1 U.K
Tel: +44 7035 9074 37
Email:
 freelottoclaimdpt@yahoo.co.uk
He is the free lotto claim department manager, and he is responsible for the processing and transfer of your winnings to you. After receiving your check from our office in U.K other relevant documents you may need to claim your winning will be delivered to you by our paying bank as soon as you validate your claims.

The free lotto internet drew is held in every year and is so organized to encourage the use of the internet and computer worldwide. We are proud to say that over 300 millions Euros are won annually in more than 118 countries Worldwide.
Sincerely,
Dr. Shawn Presley
Chairman & CEO


All these came through my Yahoo email.
I guess my Yahoo email address has been compromised. Sad.

Just yesterday, in the local newspapers, there was this report as well...





































It's just unfortunate for me that I have already made prior arrangements with the 3rd cousin of the Minister of External Incomes from Rhodesia to collect the gold bars that was hidden by Idi Amin. I am just waiting for it to be delivered, otherwise I would go collect my Lotto winnings!



Saturday, May 12, 2012

For your perusal

My company recently advertised for staff to fill a position.
In the many resumes I received, a common ending was "... for your perusal .."

Some of the applications were so short and simple that I really wonder if the writer actually knew what it meant.  What do you think "for your perusal" means ? I suspect most Singaporean having gone through local schools have the wrong idea of what perusal means.

Do you think that it means "have a quick look", or perhaps, "scan through the brief but important details".. or something like that, meaning a cursory glance at the contents.
I know of some colleagues in the past who submit reports and request for their dept heads to do a quick perusal. So I believe most assume the word perusal to mean a quick look. You agree?

Actually, the word perusal means the opposite of that above.
To 'peruse' is to do a detailed analysis of the data, to carefully study the contents.
Thus, "for your perusal" would entail spending a great deal of your time going over the details of whatever is being submitted for consideration.
It is certainly not a request to skim through the page.



Related blog: Off days and days off

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Scott Adams' role model?

If you don't know who Dilbert is, it's time to crawl out of your shell.
Scott Adams has one of the best syndicated cartoon columns that really touch on today's working reality.
Though he claims that Dilbert is based on his own work experience working in his cubicle, some recent event in Singapore makes me think that he might also have a role model for his boss.

For those still uninitiated, Dilbert is the engineer on the right. His pointy haired boss is on the left.

In Singapore over the past week, the big news is of Mr TK Lee, one of the 3 Presidents of the government's Temasek Holdings, suing Primus Pacific Partners over a rental dispute.
Here's a photo of Mr Lee taken off the news site.




Sunday, April 1, 2012

Singapore bans smoking !


From The Sunday Times, 1st April 2012.


SINGAPORE - Singapore has classified cigarettes and tobacco products as a Class 3 Narcotics as from 1st April 2012. This means all tobacco products must be sold under license with smokers submitting their personal particulars before being allowed to buy their favourite smokes.

In line with the recent World Tobacco Organization 15th World Congress conference held in Singapore 2 weeks ago, the local authorities have reclassified tobacco as a Class 3 Narcotic meaning it will now come under the Drug Abuse and Narcotic Act.

This new ruling will mean that all smokers need to register to make purchases. Importers and manufacturers will require licenses to produce and distribute the tobacco products as if it were controlled pharmaceuticals.

Singapore will be the 1st country in the world to implement the resolution passed during the recent Congress.
Urging countries to stay united against tobacco companies, World Health Organization Director General Margaret Chan said: “What an industry wants to see is a domino effect. When one country’s resolve falters under the pressure of costly, drawn-out litigation and threats of billion dollar settlement, others with similar intentions are likely to topple as well.”
Most countries are reluctant or unable to implement the resolutions due to commercial pressures.

According to ministry spokesperson, Madam Boh Seo Hoon, distributors have already been informed a month ago and their retailers have been prepared to implement the new restricted sale policies. Retailers will be given a 4 weeks exemption period for them to get use to the new implementation ruling, which requires smokers to sign for their purchases.
Retailers caught selling to unregistered customers can be fined up to $2000 for a 1st offence. Repeated offenders will have their licenses withdrawn.

At the recent WHO Congress, Health Minister Mr Gan Kim Yong noted that while Singapore may have one of the lowest prevalence of smoking in the world, the rates have been picking up.
Dr Chan agreed with Singapore’s approach towards tackling smoking, while WHO Tobacco Free Initiative director Douglas Bettcher applauded Singapore’s effort to drive down the prevalence of smoking.

                        Tobacco distributors seeking legal consultations.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Politicians get Golden Number Bonus.



Singapore political appointees have been rewarded with the new National Bonus which would be 1.618 months salary. (Read news report here)
1.618 is a Golden Number!

In mathematics, the 2 greatest ‘irrational’ numbers are   

    
(Pi) and 





(Phi.)


From our early school days we learned that Pi =3.142,
but lesser is learnt about Phi or that Phi = 1.618.



or 1.618 is also known as the Golden Ratio.
It is believed that this ratio is the perfect balance that human eyes can perceive.


I will not go into the mathematical background as I am hopeless at maths beyond my calculator, but I do know about it from a visual aspect.

There are many structures and buildings that are built to this ratio, i.e. the length against the height of a building will result in a 1.618 ratio, for example, the United Nations building in New York. Another is the Taj Mahal.

The ratio of the low rise to the high rise is 1.618

It has also been calculated that the features of your face is perfect if it falls in the 1.618 ratio. Actors known to have this facial ratio include Brad Pitt, Claudia Schiffer and Angelina Jolie.

The Marquardt Mask is based on the Phi 1.618 ratio.
If your face fits the mask, you are a natural beauty.

Leornado Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, made more famous recently by Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, is also based on this ratio. You remember the Vitruvian man? The sketch of the naked four arms four legged man within a circle inside a square?
This ratio seems to be the perfect symmetry and most pleasing to the unconscious human eye.


Being a mathematicians favourite number, is it any wonder why the statisticians in the government came up with this bonus number?

I’ll bet the next ministerial bonus would be 3.142.

Here are some more examples of  the occurrence of the 1.618 golden ratio.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Views from the Well

I know people complaint a lot in Singapore but lately it seems the complaints are of the most frivolous in nature.
Just yesterday, Stomp reported a young lady for Bukit Batok kicking up a big fuss (besides kicking chairs at the outlet) over a late phone delivery order.

Today, I just couldn't stand by to read this letter in the Straits Times.
I wrote back to the editor, though I doubt if it will get published.





Dear Editor,

I refer to today's Straits Times Forum (Page A19) letter "What's wrong with peering into Wicked orchestra pit?".
I am bemused by Ms Scofield's query which was unintentionally answered by herself. Just because they had done it at the Esplanade theatre does not imply they are entitled to do so elsewhere. If there were no attendants around, would she have also visited the make-up rooms or costume dept just to satisfy her natural curiosity?

Imagine the crowd following her at the Wicked who would ask why the Scofields are allowed to peer in and not them? The organisers have drawn a line and ticket holders should know what that ticket entitles them to. It certainly does not give them the extra rights to visit the make up rooms, costume dept or even peer into the orchestra pits if the organisers so deem it as such, perhaps on grounds of security or otherwise.


Friday, March 2, 2012

7-11-12-17-30-31-41


I am not an addict nor a compulsive punter but I do buy 4D and Toto regularly.
It seems like I am helping to supplement the govt’s coffers more often than my own bank account. 
But we all have the same dream of striking it rich, right?

For 4D, I only buy 2 numbers each draw.
One is the last 4 digits of my NRIC and the other is my address.

For Toto, I have a system! So who doesn’t? haha.
The last few years I have collected the results of all the previous draws and buy only the numbers that are regularly drawn. I even have a chart showing the pattern of numbers drawn (not that it helps but it assuages my own bruised ego)

Can you see Jesus?

If you are not aware of it, I'll let you know that the the top 7 (most frequently) drawn numbers in the past 3 years are:

7-11-12-17-30-31-41.




My own great theory (ha ha) is that I would have a better chance if I select only numbers that appear most often. 
So for the last few years, I’ve been basically playing around those numbers within the top 10, on the great theory that eventually a day will come when these numbers will fall in line during one particular draw.

Guess what numbers were drawn yesterday?


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dressed in your Sunday Finest?


St Anthony's Church at Woodlands dropped its controversial dress code last week.
Cool heads have prevailed and I think that’s the wisest move at this time.



The idea of a dress code is acceptable. After all,  there are dress codes for temples, mosques, social functions, even for business. A proper dress code ensure propriety for that particular place or event. 

It's just the enforcement that I object to. 
The thing I personally dislike is that some wardens have become the morality police. 
Aren’t they infringing my rights as a catholic to receive communion. 
Are they sure they wish to take the responsibility of denying me the sacraments just because I may be in shorts or wearing sandals?
Dress codes are a guide and should never be a deterrent especially in a church.

 It’s not going to help if there’s no accepted standard definition, and rules are unilaterally laid down according a particularly perceived idea of decency. Ultimately the loser will be the church when parishioners stop attending simply because their dress styles or values differ slightly from the rules defined by the local parish.
What would St Francis at his tiny church on the plains of Assisi have said?
Don’t come in! You smell of sheep, your feet are covered with mud from the fields,
or would he have said Come and share in the Lord’s table?

Most Catholics know the boundaries of being dressed properly for church. 
Some do test the limits, but while most may not be in their Sunday best , they do try to maintain an  acceptable level of decency in today’s societal norm.



Of course, it helps if the pastor comes out once in a while to remind everyone. 
Keeping silent too long may simply compound the issue.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Rantings. 19 Feb 2012.

I got a buzz from my sis yesterday,"Hey tomorrow's Sunday. Where's your Sunday Ranting? It's been awhile!"
I'd been focusing my energies on my heritage blog lately that's why!
Some friends even 'pushing' me to compile it into a book. You kidding me, who's gonna do the work?
But I did put up a post just last Friday on the stuff from the week's papers, didn't you read it? Click here if you didn't.

Anyway, just to keep my baby sis off my back for a while here's something from today's paper.

HOME: PAGE 14 NIGHTMARE AFTER D&D NIGHTS














All in fun and jest. Nothing in black & white so now all red-faced after colorful event. Another non-apology apology from UOB (hmm. seems to be the trend nowadays, I mean the non-apology apologies).
Nothing much from Yen Feng's generic column about company D&Ds but what was more interesting relating to this event is found on Page 42:think.

There were 5 letters today on this UOB mis-event. Some on the offense and some defensive.
I liked the  how would you feel if Indians came painted yellow for a shaolin theme party ...with scotch taped slit eyes...You decide.


Page 43:think  IN SEARCH OF OLD ROCHORE
Toh Yong Chuan went in search of the missing 'e' in Rochore, his old neighbourhood now spelt Rochor.
Nice article. I didn't know the cess pits were where Albert Complex now shits, i mean sits.

Hey, that reminds me. My heritage blog is missing a Park as well ! I am not joking. I gotta blog about this later today! Besides having an entire house going missing, Princess Elizabeth Estate also lost a whole park and nobody knows why. When I say lost, I mean disappeared, gone, missing!

(Okay, ok, I admit i am unabashedly just trying to get you all to browse my heritage blog....hee hee.. hey, it's good ok... here it is... click here or here or here.)


WHOA! NEW ORTHODOX BISHOP FOR SINGAPORE
Gotta send him a note before he goes visiting some sister Catholic churches.
Got to remind him to make sure his vestments are of correct length or he may not be admitted.
Some of the 'wardens' are empowered like prison wardens. What they say goes! Don't f*** around with them! Pardon my Latin.
What happened to the days when 'wardens' were 'welcome ministers'?

Click here and see what happens.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Better behaviour for pleasant journey


LTA (Land Transport Authority) is studying better design features to encourage commuters to move inside the MRT cabins, according to a report in the TODAY broadsheet, 17 Feb 2011.

I commute on the trains almost daily so I wish to put in my 2 cents.
I must have put in almost a few dollars already on this topic but I still see no improvements on the trains on the issue of overcrowding at the doors.

I must admit though there is a marked alleviation of the general overcrowding problem on the return journey in the evenings at Jurong East Station. This is due to the separation of the incoming passengers from Boon Lay side to platform A, while the incoming passengers from the city are directed to platform D.
Thank SMRT for little mercies.
I am not sure of the situation at other stations.
However, the problem of the squeeze near the doors during peak hours still persists.

My suggestion is controversial but I feel it merits some consideration.
Make the exits and entrance ONE WAY ONLY.
There are 4 doors to each cabin. Alternately, make each door an ENTRANCE or EXIT only, not both ways, as is the current practice.
This will surely make the commuters move further in on entry knowing that they must reach the exit farther in sooner or later.
Currently, there is no compulsion to move in as staying near the door makes it easier to exit on arrival.

My other suggestion is to remove the vertical grab poles in the center of the cars. They actually obstruct the passageway and is not conducive to proper spread of passengers standing in the cabin.

DO place more overhead handhold, even near the doors, for SAFETY reasons.
There will be passengers who are unable to move in during peak hours but SMRT still have to bear in mind their safety during the ride.
The reason of NOT placing more handholds at the doors to encourage movement inside does not hold up to reason, as passengers are not motivated to move in anyway. Their safety is compromised without any means of support if they are caught unwittingly on their part being squashed at the door areas.


The news this week

WHY MAN STILL BEHAVE LIKE SCUM.
The German Osnabruck University this week confirmed Charles Darwin's comment to his friend Dr Joseph Hooker 140 years ago that life most probably originated from a tepid pond and not from the ocean as commonly believed.
Conditions in the primitive oceans were not conducive for life to evolve from its primordial soup but the scum in warm tepid ponds were ideal for it.

I guess this explains why some people still behave like the scum of the earth. It's genetic. Mystery solved.

http://www.todayonline.com/World/EDC120215-0000023/Darwin-was-right-on-origin-of-life-on-Earth---in-a-warm-little-pond



MAN HAS HEART ATTACK AFTER EATING TRIPLE BYPASS BURGER.

The Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas offers a 1.5 lbs burger free to anyone weighing over 159kg. One customer was hospitalized on Wednesday after the massive meal.

The irony of this excess gluttony is an article directly below this report: 1 in 4 children worldwide are malnourished.
I am sure it's for us to take note of the social ills and imbalances that still pervades our societies.


kawaii ! (I mean the girl on the right)


SLOW WALKING LEADS TO DEMENTIA.

American Academy of Neurology will publish new research data this coming April to show that slow walking leads to a greater chance (1.5x) of getting dementia.
I hope I can remember that in future.

But another Swedish research from Linkoping University found that curry, esp the spice tumeric, decreases by 75% the chance of dementia in fruit flies. Good news for curry eating fruit flies!
But it also did say that there are fewer demented old folks in India than in European countries.

Get my running shoes out, I am going for fish head curry today!

SINGAPORE FLOPS ON SEXUAL SURVEY

A global survey on sexual satisfaction by Durex found that Singapore rated only 58% in satisfaction in the bedroom. This is just ahead of Japan at 34%.
 Just ahead? What happened between 34 and 58%?


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bukit Batok's 'Mt Fuji'

For a lot of people, Bukit Batok still remains a very confusing area to navigate. That's probably because Bukit Batok is divided into 2 separate 'zones' - Bukit Batok and Bukit Gombak. The town is divided by a small hilly ridge which completely separates the precinct into two distinct  zones.

Today , the 2 zones are connected by roads skirting both ends of the ridge as well as the MRT track that tunnels through the ridge itself.
When I am asked which part of Bukit Batok I live in, my reply would be 'across from the MRT station'. But in the past, I would say 'next to the Fuji Hill'.

Yes, there is a officially named "Fuji Hill' located at Bukit Batok.
Though today most residents do not call it by this name, it was a landmark in the early 1990s.
I guess it's a bit of an embarrassment to call it" Fuji'
Today, Fuji Hill is covered by trees and looks like any other park. It is my neighbourhood park.



Bukit Batok New Town was built on a hilly area and one of those hills left remaining where it stood was commonly referred to as Fuji Hill due to its conical shape.
Here is an old picture of the hill without its covering of trees found today. Its easy to see why people called it such in the earlier days.

Fuji Hill around 1980, before someone went berserk with tree planting

The road in front of this hill (in the picture above) is Bukit Batok St 21. The wayang stage on the right stands across where the chinese temples are located today.

Related blogs:
My neighbourhood park
Bukit Batok, my neigbourhood

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Double Rainbow


Auspicious sighting?  A double rainbow!


The pot of gold must be at Guilin View Condominium !

A sign of the covenant between Me and the Earth.



Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Rantings. 15 Jan 2012.

Frontpage: Headline today was the presidential election in Taiwan. Candidate Ma won. Boring.


Home Pg 13.  DEAD BOY'S PARENTS WANT ROAD MADE SAFER.
Schoolboy Lee Yu Heng was tragically killed by a speeding vehicle while crossing the street near his school last Friday.
His grieving parents started a petition to get answers from the school and the MOE. "We are angry and we want answers," said his father Mr Lee. We understand the grief that the Lees are going through with their loss.

But in his confused state, I think he is barking up the wrong tree. It is not the school's fault. It is more likely the fault of the driver, than the school authorities in failing to prevent the situation from happening. Perhaps the petition should go to the Traffic Police or LTA instead.

We are all very familiar with the state of mind of local motorists. Many have that "king of the road' attitude and always believe they are the better driver than the others out there. The other drivers are always inconsiderate and reckless and lousy drivers but not themselves.

From my own observation, the school zone sign is routinely ignored. I live along a street with FOUR schools beside each other. The school zone sign is prominently display, but it makes NO difference. Buses, cars and motorcycles speed through the street with utter disregard to the sign. It's just another thoroughfare to them. No motorists make any attempt to slow down along this stretch.

I once posted a photo of that school zone sign in a tongue-in-cheek blog called 'Useless Signs".  I received a comment from a reader calling it a "stupid and boring!" photo. That's the sad attitude some people have and so I don't wonder why such accidents happen.






Pg 29. SORRY IS MY HARDEST WORD.
Rachel Chang has a nice lighthearted take on the recent spew of apologies being meted out. Go read her bit about her sorry situations.

Seems true that we have been getting lots of sorry people lately.
From LHL's election apology to SMRT, DBS, PUB, from politicians Seng Harn Tong to Ministers Yacoob and Grace Fu. Seems a whole slew of high profiled people are apologizing.
In some cases though, the apologies come with a few 'buts', in other words, a non-apology apology.
Seems Singapore is in a very sorry state at the moment.


* Sunday Rantings are my thoughts on a lazy Sunday morning after reading the Sunday papers. This may or may not be a regular feature depends on whether I have the energy after breakfast. Also Sunday Mass has a calming effect, so the more I pay attention to the sermons, the less I rant. The long rants probably mean I fell asleep during Mass.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday rantings - 8 Jan 2012

DON'T RAIN ON MY PARADE, PLEASE!
Urghh! What a disappointment for me!
Today all 162 pachyderms from the Elephant Parade are gathered at one spot at the Botanic Garden for public showing and it has to rain on the parade. I am still hoping it will clear by afternoon though the sky doesn't look so inviting. There goes my video opportunity.

Anyway, for those of you who also can't make it today, it'll be at the Eco garden near Botanic Garden MRT entrance till 11 Jan 2012. (9 am till 8pm) Sadly I got lots of work these few days and so today was my only chance, sob sob.

Luckily, thanks to my sister Sue, I have this for my Christmas present.




POLICE CLARIFY RULES ON CLUSTER CYCLING
Finally, after years of complaints and virtual non-replies, the Traffic Police (TP) has clarified the rules for cyclists.

Rule 7(1) - prohibits a cyclist from riding on the right right of another vehicle (which is not another bicycle) unless the cyclist is attempting to overtake that vehicle.

Rule 7(2) - allows for only two cyclists to ride abreast in the same direction on a public road, except when overtaking.  If three or more cyclists are riding in a group, they are required to ride in pairs or in single file.

Rule 8 - cyclists should keep to the left-hand edge of the roadway and not in a manner as to obstruct other vehicles moving at a faster speed.

Rule 10 - requires cyclists to cycle in an orderly manner and with due regard for the safety of others.


All well and good, and this is a step in the right direction.
However, I am not a cyclist. I am a pedestrian.
My own concern is with Rule 28. When is the TP going to enforce Rule 28 ???
Rule 28 needs to be clarified asap. My life is in danger otherwise.

Rule 28 is supposed to say cyclists are not allowed to ride on the pavement.
Supt Ho Yenn Dar, can  you come again, please.



DEEJAY TO CHAMPION STROKE PREVENTION. 
ROTFLOL !   DJ Rod Monteiro suffered an acute stroke last week while at work.
Technically, he's my colleague at work (different divisions) so I wish him a very speedy recovery.

But (not laughing at him, I must clarify), it is so funny that some party (no mention of whom) has made him the Ambassador for Stroke Prevention!
It's so laughable because it's getting someone who did not do anything to PREVENT his own condition to advise people about stroke prevention?
It's like asking OJ Simpson to talk about knife safety or Saw Phaik Hwa to do MRT crowd control during peak hours...
He is the antithesis of stroke PREVENTION.
Instead he should volunteer as a case study for POOR STROKE PREVENTION attitudes.
I await his learned wisdoms.



DBS BANK ADVISES CUSTOMERS TO CHANGE PASSWORDS
I am happy that DBS managed to handle the incidences of unauthorized withdrawals in an expeditious and transparent manner. Kudos to them.
What I didn't particularly like was the spokespersons' suggestions that we are responsible to regularly change our passwords. It seems he's throwing the onus of responsibility back to the customer.
It's my fault if I don't change my password?
If a masked robber cames in and takes the money from your cashier, it's my fault also because I was standing in the queue?
DBS was robbed, not me! You lost the money from your bank by some virtual masked robber!
My money is secured with your bank and you owe me. It's your responsibility for the loss.


* Sunday Rantings are my thoughts on a lazy Sunday morning after reading the Sunday papers. This may or may not be a regular feature depends on whether I have the energy after breakfast. Also Sunday Mass has a calming effect, so the more I pay attention to the sermons, the less I rant. The long rants probably mean I fell asleep during Mass.


p.s. By the way, if you noticed I haven't been updating this blog, it's because I've been focusing on my heritage blog on my old homestead Princess Elizabeth Estate (here). But I'll be here regularly i assure you. Thanks for visiting my blog.