Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Movies that get you shaken and stirred...

Tarzan, at "100 years old", took the spotlight here yesterday. Now it's "Double-Oh-Seven" James Bond's turn. He's 50! The first Bond movie, Dr No, came out in 1962:

The latest Bond movie, Skyfall, opens Nov 1 in Singapore.

TODAY (Oct 31) ran a commemorative package titled "50 Bond Essentials... All the things that make Agent 007 the spy we've loved for 50 years". Here're the quoteworthy gems, as we heard them uttered in the movies:


Still on movies, did you know that watching scary movies help you shed those calories (a whole chocolate bar's worth)? At least that's what one study claims:

And the 10 scariest movies?...

1. ‘The Shining’ - 184 calories
2. ‘Jaws’ - 161 calories
3. ‘The Exorcist’ - 158 calories
4. ‘Alien’ - 152 calories
5. ‘Saw’ - 133 calories
6. ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ - 118 calories
7. ‘Paranormal Activity’ - 111 calories
8. ‘The Blair Witch Project’ - 105 calories
9. ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ - 107 calories
10. ‘[Rec]’ - 101 calories

So, rip up that gym pass and go get those 10 DVDs instead. Just don't curl up with a bagful of buttered popcorn while watching the movies. Speaking of which, this cartoon graphic, from, is titled "Corn Suicide":

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

'Or-Ee-Or, Tarzan Boh Cheng Kor'

Apparently, we carry within us "memory triggers"; these triggers set off recollections of past experiences, smells, sounds, etc.

So, this Washington Post story (in ST) on Tarzan's 100th anniversary set off all sorts of childhood recollections. First, the story:

It's a lovely read, so do click on the link.

What did I recall? Growing up on Pulau Bukom, I must have seen, probably more than once -- at the local open-air movie amphitheatre -- the black-and-white era Gordon Scott portrayal (1958) of the Lord of the Apes. I was way too young (ie not even born yet) to have seen the all-time classic Johnny Weismuller version (1932). Of course, I did catch, as an adult, the 1984 movie Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes.

In between my childhood and adulthood, I followed the Tarzan TV series and devoured the comics series too. ST used this set of pictures below when it ran the Washingtion Post (WP) piece:

But none of the various actors who played Tarzan throughout these 100 years, it seems, could match Weissmuller's famous "ape call". An excerpt from the WP article says:

Gore Vidal, in 1963, on the prevalence of Tarzan in this country: “There is hardly an American male of my generation who has not at one time or another tried to master the victory cry of the great ape as it issued from the androgynous chest of Johnny Weissmuller.”

Go ahead, click on the link to YouTube above... you MUST hear it!

That famous cry "triggered" two of my funnier memories. The first is this boyhood/primary schoolboy chant: "Or-Ee-Or, Tarzan Boh Cheng Kor". The Coxsford Singlish Dictionary has helpfully provided a citation:   

OR-EE-OR-EE-OR TARZAN BOH CHENG KOR (contributed by Edwin)
Derived from Johnny Weismuller's version of Tarzan's call, this is a cry used by older brothers to tease their younger brothers (2-4 years old) when they come out of the shower butt-naked. Literally, "Or-ee-or-ee-or, tarzan has no pants on!"

The other memory is an equally silly and indelibly-etched TV and radio ad (1960s? 1970s?) for Hacks sweets. It went like this:

"Or-Ee-Or... Hacks!"

I think the TV ad version had a Tarzan-like character zooming down from the trees. I hope someone has a recording of it. If so, it should be donated to the Singapore Memory Project.

Finally, I suppose the headline writer for the ST reproduction of the WP story is too young to know that "swings" can have a certain connotation:

Monday, October 29, 2012

Catching up on Sunday's papers...

My late parents spoke Hokkien fluently. In fact, my mum could read Chinese text in Hokkien. After they died, my Hokkien got worse and a Chinatown-born friend, CC, recently called me a Baba (Peranakan) although I'm not.

My two grown daughters -- who are in their early 30s -- can probably respond with "Chiak pah liaw" (Yes, I've eaten) if a Hokkien-speaker were to ask them: "Chiak pah boey?" (Have you eaten?).

So I read this Sunday Times article with great interest:


Also interesting (Sunday Times, Oct 28, "Dark Side of China") was former Chinese official Wang Xiaofang's expose of intrigue and corruption in contemporary China's political system, in his new book The Civil Servant's Notebook -- which has been translated into English and is due out next month:

I thought that his metaphoric use of one official's daily dose of urine to symbolise that country's endemic "cultural garbage" was quite poignant:


Finally, Methodist Girls' School (MGS) has interesting alumni!...


Zombie footnote

In my earlier blog entry on Singapore zombies, I forgot to include the ones with "invisible eyes at the back of their heads". If you are so unfortunate as to find yourself behind one of these snail-paced shuffling undead in a crowded mall or a narrow sidewalk, this is what will happen next: You try to get pass this zombie but if you move left, it does the same. So you move right, and it does the same! When you eventually get pass it and give it a stern glare, all you see is that familiar clueless look.

Extra Virgin footnote

Apparently, says this writer below, it is easy for crooked producers to adulterate Extra Virgin olive oil (Losing 'Virginity': Olive Oil's 'Scandalous' Fraud):

Sunday, October 28, 2012

From seeing "red" to seeing a green, lush virgin forest...

I posted this newspaper blurb yesterday as I was intrigued by it. She must be an unusual mother, I thought. I also wondered: Did the mother send her son to the red light district (ie without her being there) or did she take him there under her protective wings? See this helpful link below on how to use verbs like "send" and "take"":

So naturally I got myself a copy of The New Paper on Sunday. It turned out she did go along (ie, take him there, even if she then hid herself):

Smart mom! She even had a Plan B to "extract" her son from the clutches of all those horny women surrounding him. Later in the story, we are told she wanted to put a condom into his school bag when the 15-year-old started dating. This was what he then said, as recounted by her:

"He protested vehemently, saying I would get him into trouble when the discipline mistress did her routine spot checks and that he would die of embarrassment."

Smart lad! All in, a good Sunday read.


Meanwhile, Down Under (and I mean Australia), there's this young Brazilian woman who decided to do her own "social experiment":

I like that part about the man who wanted to auction his virginity. He fetched only US$3,000 -- and it was a Brazilian woman who made that offer. Hmmm, what's with Brazil?

There's also this old joke that goes something like this:

Man: Will you let me make love to you for a million dollars?
Woman: A million! Let me think about it... Okay!
Man: Will you let me do it for ten bucks?
Woman: What!! What do you think I am, a prostitute?
Man: We have established that already. We are now negotiating the price.


Still on virginity, I wonder why is olive oil graded according to how "virgin" it is:

"Extra" virgin?

And what is a virgin peak?...

It reminds me of this definition: A virgin forest is one where the hand of man has never been.

Don't get funny ideas. Here's a virgin forest (as found in Google Images):

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Childhood years (and ears) are precious years (and ears)...

Don't rush those precious years... the childhood years

This letter in TODAY (Oct 25) -- from someone who runs a kindergarten -- is a timely reminder that "gifted" children are still children:

And don't pull those ears... they're precious ears!

Which baby boomer schoolboy has not had his ears pulled? But today? No way. Kids are too precious these days, unless you're talking about this poor little lad in China, whose teacher decided to pull his ears in an unsual way just "for fun" (ST, Oct 27)...

Meanwhile, here in Singapore...

As of writing, this New Paper on Sunday story is not out yet, so I won't know the details. But I'm just wondering if the blurb writer got it wrong by saying "One mother sends son...". This would mean the mother did not go along. If in fact she had gone along, it should read "One mother takes her son...". It makes a lot of difference! 

Text talk -- Infographic

Finally, here's an interesting infographic report on texting among schoolkids...

Those in the education line should find the website useful too.

Friday, October 26, 2012

In a land full of zombies...

I think this is an event tailored-made for my fellow Singaporeans (although I'm not so sure about the jerking part, unless it might well be one reason why the country has so few babies... all that life-creating stuff going to waste!):

I encounter zombies in Singapore everyday -- on the streets, in the shopping malls, in the trains! There are legions of them. Don't bother to make eye contact with an approaching zombie on a sidewalk here, as you would do elsewhere to basically "signal" to each other, "I'll keep to this side and you keep to that side so we don't bump into each other" as we hurry along.

No, sirree, just as you think it's all settled, you keep to the left, he (or she) keeps to the right, the zombie suddenly cuts into your path... right in front of your face! No "I'm so sorry". Just that vacant, almost imbecile (maybe let's take out "almost") blank stare. Like I  said, you see lots of them here: male, female, young, old, yuppie, ah pek, ah soh.

Hint: One clue -- but not a sufficient condition -- is that many of these zombies shuffle along rather than stride or walk purposefully.

They do this in the malls too.. shuffle, shuffle, cutting into your path, stopping suddenly, blocking narrow passageways. Amazingly, just as they reach the top of the escalator, they will stop RIGHT THERE while taking an eternity to decide whether to turn right or left as if you -- right behind them -- do not exist. And if you hold the door for them, hah! They, and their vacant zombie look, will walk through... yes, as if you do not exist. No thank you, not even a weak smile of appreciation.

Study carefully one variant of the Singapore zombie: the "green man" traffic junction/pedestrian crossing zombie. He or she will have a sudden unexpected surge of energy when the "green man" and countdown counter shows the "red man" is about to come on. The zombie can actually scramble! But as soon as this undead miscreant reaches the edge, it becomes zombie-like again, dragging its feet slowly across to the other side even if the "red man" has already come on.

Ditto at "zebra" crossings. Zombies somehow sense that, undead as they are, their blood will spill if hit by a car. So they do make eye contact at such crossings -- but only to gauge if the driver will give way and stop. This being Singapore, there are drivers who don't, if they see that the pedestrian about to cross is already aware of them.

But if you are a driver like me -- someone who makes the effort to stop even if the approaching pedestrian is not quite at the crossing yet -- the zombie mantle comes on as soon as he or she is at the zebra stripes. I am often amazed how long it can take a perfectly healthy looking specimen of zombie to get from point A to point B of a short striped-crossing. Zombies here make foot-dragging a specially honed skill.

Zombies on the trains fall into two categories: those who occupy the reserved seats and seem to be asleep (they are mostly young males, and probably exhausted from too much jerking and groaning) so they do not notice pregnant women or frail elderly folk standing in front of them; and those whose vacant, sparkleless eyes are glued to some silly-looking device with a screen.

So, I do think the Singapore Zombie Walk will be a big hit but it will give the judges -- if there is a contest too -- a hard time watching all that jerking (oops, a double entendre!) and groaning. They will have to decide who is the "zombiest" -- in a land full of zombies.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

As they say, 'Don't joke, lah...'

A popular DJ here got into trouble because of a joke he told on air...

I wonder if the dog in this video below would be upset if it knew it was the butt of a joke:

Meanwhile, US politics-wise, would the Democrats find this funny?...

I posted the "Songified" spoof yesterday. This NYT article below has "The Gregory Brothers" explaining why they do such mashups, plus you get to see the spoof again, this time with lyrics as well so it's easier to follow the Songified Debate...


Finally, I like this ST story, first of all, because the sub gave it a nice headline. Secondly, I thought the wrap-up quote was marvellous!...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What if Obama and Romney had tried to do Gangnam Style?

If you missed out on the Obama-Romney debate rounds, fret not. A group of inventive Americans -- billing themselves as "thegregorybrothers" -- have put on YouTube their mashups of the debates. Here is their hilarious sendup on the final debate (you might also want to check out on the group's website the earlier debates, and that between Biden and Ryan):

Final Debate -- Songified!


Meanwhile, Psy still manages to command the world's attention, even getting to meet the "second most famous" South Korean, UN chief Ban Ki Moon (Mr Ban was No 1 until his position was usurped by Psy). Here's Mr Ban trying to do Gangnam Style:

There are now Psy merchandise too, like these humanoid robots (Psy-chominators?):

 And if you really, really want to learn Gangnam Style, NTUC's U Family club has producd this tutorial (alert: don't expect to see anything that approaches the real thing):

All we need now is for Obama and Romney to square off and see who's the better Gangnam Style rapper. Go, boys (click on the tutorial above)!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Baffling headlines...

I've still got a rogues' gallery of baffling headlines to put here. Let's start with the local ones (I think this first one is from Lee Huang's Facebook post):

Bam! Bam! Sorry, if you are not in the lucky 60 per cent.

That's right, move aside, Singlish. The Brits foresee that Hinglish (a mishmash of Hindu and English) will be the lingua franca of tomorrow, so they are posting their diplomats to India -- to learn Hinglish.

       Huh? The same plane... again? But read the story; it's a different plane!

Um, if they are unseen, how can they be displayed? (To be fair, I'm quibbling and using one definition, ie, "invisible". Another meaning would be "not previously displayed".)

Okay, I'm still taking things literally and imagining that Crowe and his wife were Siamese twins. Why not write the headline as "Russell Crowe, wife, separating"?

?????????????? (I gave up on this one.)


Okay, now for some foreign ones (with one exception, the second item below)...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Read all about it! The most hilarious news corrections!

Drop whatever you are doing. Just click on this link:

What you see above is just the first of nearly 30 howlers that Huffington Post assembled. If there is a contest for the most funny ones, ST's own "What it should have been" corrections such as these below are way, way "below par":

PS. The above is a very old quote. If the unidentified (mysterious?) person above had actually passed it off as his or her own witticism, that would be very dishonest.