Thursday, February 28, 2013

Going, going... gone ball-istic!

1. Going ball-less...

Swedish meatball-less, to be specific. The item (picture above) from Ikea's cafeteria at its furniture stores, has become a Singaporean favourite. I have eaten it countless times. But now, in light of the horsemeat scandals elsewhere, Ikea is pulling the item off its menu for now -- for DNA checks to be carried out...

Someone at Ikea management should have spotted the ungrammatical English used in the sign above. "Temporary sales stop of meatballs"? C'mon, Ikea, you're not a Singlish outfit.

There's nothing fishy about the label "meatballs" including derivatives like "beef meatballs" and "pork meatballs". But "fish balls" seems funny (although "fishball noodles" is perfectly all right to me)...

Likewise for "chicken balls"...

It reminds me of an old joke which I've already put on this blog. I'll just briefly retell it:

Two gourmets visited a top-end Spanish restaurant during the bull-fighting season. Each night, they were served an exclusive dish -- after the day's bull-fight had ended. One night, when the waiter removed the dish cover, the diners were dismayed to find just two "tiny ones", instead of the usual generous-sized serving till then.

Queried, the waiter shrugged: "Sometimes, ze matador, he loses!"


2. Going ballistic... in China

A video of a Chinese official going on a rampage at a Chinese airport has gone viral. Here's's story...


3. Going ballistic (literally)... to Mars!

This story is also interesting. Obviously, the idea is to make whoppee along the way:

Singaporeans need not apply -- unless we can get our TFR back to 2.1 or more!


4. Going to the ball, and into the long arm of the Iranian censor... 


5. Going, going... to the movies!

I'm so glad our censors have a "short arm" on this one; I'll definitely see this movie. Incidentally, eight seconds of dialogue will be overdubbed with Indian classical music. Hah, I see a chance to tell the Indian music part of my Chinese New Year joke apropos the Scoot ad I posted:

Kadang, kadang, untong
Kadang, kadang, untong.

Finally, having read this compelling review in TODAY (below), I will definitely see this movie too:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More jokes, more Budget reactions...

Yesterday's active ageing joke came from a compilation I received. Here's the rest:

 Brenda  and Steve took their six-year-old son to the  doctor.
With some hesitation, they explained  that although their little angel appeared to be  in good health, they were concerned about his  rather small penis.

After examining the  child, the doctor confidently declared, 'Just  feed him pancakes.  That should solve the  problem.'

The next morning, when the boy  arrived at breakfast, there was a large stack of  warm pancakes in the middle of the  table.

'Gee, Mom,' he exclaimed. 'For  me?'


'Just  take two,' Brenda replied.  'The rest are  for your father.'

An 87-year-old woman came home from her regular Bingo Night  to find her 92-year-old husband in bed with  another woman.  Enraged, she became violent and pushed him off the balcony of their  20th floor apartment, killing him  instantly.

In court on the charge of murder, she was asked if  she had anything to say in her own defence.  

'Your  Honour,' she began coolly, 'I figured that at  92, if he could screw, he could  fly.' 

A doctor was addressing a large audience: 'The material we put into our stomachs is  enough to have killed most of us sitting here,  years ago. Red meat is awful.  Soft drinks  corrode your stomach lining.  Chinese food  is loaded with MSG.  High fat diets can be  disastrous, and none of us realises the  long-term harm caused by the germs in our  drinking water.  However, there is one  thing that is the most dangerous of all and we  all have eaten, or will eat it. Can anyone here  tell me what food it is that causes the most  grief and suffering for years after eating  it?'
After  several seconds, a 75-year-old man in the front row raised his hand, and softly  said, 'Wedding Cake.' 
A group of Canadians were travelling by tour bus through Holland. As they stopped at  a cheese farm, a young guide led them through  the process of cheese making, explaining that  goat's milk was used.  She showed the group a lovely hillside where many goats were  grazing.  'These' she explained, 'are the  older goats put out to pasture when they no longer produce.'  She then asked, 'What do  you do in North America with your old  goats?' 
A spry old gentleman answered, 'They send us on  bus  tours.'

A woman was on the witness stand, accused of poisoning her husband. "After you put poison in the coffee, you sat at the breakfast table and watched your husband drink it. Tell me, didn't you feel the slightest bit of pity for him?" the defence lawyer prompted. "Yes," she replied, "I think there was one moment when I felt sorry for him." "And when was that?" "When he asked for his second cup."

Check out this YouTube site with the titile "ThenWhyBuy"...


Here's a follow-up story from on the government's "double whammy" measures to cool the new car market...

There are also these reactions, in ST and TODAY:

Poor rich man! Now he has to forgo his Ferrari! Reminds me of that story about Maria Antonette. Meanwhile, hoi polloi are griping they can't have their cake and eat it too...


Well, this ST story (Feb 27) below anticipates a trend towards further progressive taxation...


What this ST Forum contributor (Feb 27), below, has to say is food for thought. It made me think about how, in other developed countries, it is not uncommon -- and certainly no loss of self-esteem -- for, say, university students to work part-time as wait staff at F&B places. Their being part of this "service staff pool" means a lesser reliance on foreign workers in this sector. How many Singaporean tertiary students do this?...


Finally, I had thought I had given the last say on the defence tax idea to Hri Kumar Nair. But this letter (Feb 27) is a forceful rejoiner and needs to be put here:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wily Bob the active ager, life's car-ma, and letters that are a must-read...

There's still funny stuff out there about active ageing. CC sent this one:

Bob,  a 70-year-old, extremely wealthy widower, shows  up at the Country Club with a breathtakingly  beautiful and very sexy 25-year-old blonde-haired woman who knocks everyone's socks  off with her youthful sex appeal and charm and  who hangs over Bob's arm and listens intently to  his every word.  His buddies at the club  are all aghast.

At the very first  chance, they corner him and ask, 'Bob, how'd you  get the trophy girlfriend?'

Bob  replies, 'Girlfriend?  She's my  wife!'

They are knocked over, but  continue to ask.  'So, how'd you persuade  her to marry you?'

'I lied about  my age', Bob replies.

'What, did you  tell her you were only 50?'

Bob  smiles and says, 'No, I told her I was  90.'


But the newspapers had more sombre news, today being Budget Day! Actually, I am glad that measures are being taken to redress the topsy-turvy situation in the new car market in which the best selling makes are expensive continentals like Mercedes and BMW while quality Japanese makes like Suzuki, Honda and Mazda struggle with abysmal sales:

The revamped tiered ARF scheme means buyers of more expensive cars at their landed costs -- their so-called Open Market Value (OMV) -- will fork up much more. I think this is important if we Singaporean car buyers want to have a range of choices, from budget to high-end.

The new financing curbs may seem unfair to many and even paternalistic. But in the real world, if you can't afford it, you should not buy it. Easy loans for almost the entire cost spread over 10 years disguise the real interest amount payable. And, as I have said before, only the banks were laughing all the way to the bank. Still, there were plenty of kiasu Singaporeans last night, after the measures were announced:

I think car buyers will be better off getting together to "beat" the COE bidding system (as set up by the Government, the system actually facilitates such tweaking) and reduce the COE sum to just $2. Again, as I have blogged previously, it can be done!


To round off, here are three self-explanatory letters -- on two issues -- which reflect my own thinking:

Monday, February 25, 2013

Going viral the Let's Move! way...

Quick, name me Singapore's hippest politician -- or his/her spouse! Give up, huh? Me too.

Over in the US, a YouTube video gone viral has First Lady Michelle Obama jiving and gyrating, for a good cause, earning much admiration and even the moniker "First Lady with soul"...

Watch the video...

While Mrs Obama did the jaunt as a fun thing, she was also showcasing her "Let's Move!" campaign, to get more people to exercise more. So, now, can our politicians loosen up too?


Meanwhile, still in the US, another kind of shakin' and groovin' on YouTube -- the Harlem Shake -- has even made it to No 1 on the Billboard Hot 100:

Many people would have seen how humans do the Harlem Shake by now. Here's how the doggies do it!...


The blurbs for Stomp are always so intriguing...

So I decided to check the site out...


Finally, since I've earlier carried views that argued against the defence tax idea, this letter by the man who mooted the idea deserves airing too...


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Kumbaya, Chap Goh Meh...

I've loved the song Kumbaya ever since I heard the Seekers' cover version. Here's Judith Durham's wonderful voice backed by the other Seekers, in this YouTube video:

Kumbaya has since become a popular Christian hymn, and it was sung by the choir in my church this morning (8am service).

Interestingly, an online search showed not only some dispute about its origin but also its recent usage as a politicised word -- used by US President Obama's critics to disparage his policies, and by him to defend them!


I also found the lyrics of last week's offertory very meaningful:

There is also this lovely poem by Oliver Seet, in the Methodist Message:


Today is "Chap Goh Meh", the 15th day of -- and the last day to celebrate -- Chinese New Year. Family members partook of one more "Lo Hei" (tossing for success and luck) at a dinner. This YouTube video shows what's involved:

And this restaurant's ad helps explain how the tradition of Lo Hei (also called "Yu Sheng") emerged in Singapore:

Finally, BMW squeezed in this ad today for this Chinese New Year, with a stylistic "Fu" (Hock) worked in:

The car featured is, appropriately, in auspicious red. But I think the word "passion" is inappropriate here. I'll blog about how this word has often been carelessly bandied about on another occasion.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Asteroids, meteoroids, stalactites, stalagmites, dust mites, dust tites...

ST's Art has been quick on the draw, coming up with this Punchlines cartoon (Feb 23):

I wonder, though, if we should should be fretting more about meteoritess and asteroids, following the recent incident of a meteor smashing into a Siberian town. Scientists certainly are worried:

TODAYOnline (Feb 23) also has this interesting story headlined "How to stop space objects hitting Earth, Russia ponders":

What can man do to prevent Earth being hit by meteorites and asteroids? Russia has found, to its cost, that it has no answers. But United States and European experts may be able to help with a few ideas that at first glance seem straight out of science fiction, including smashing spacecraft into asteroids, using the sun’s rays to vaporise them, or blasting them with nuclear bombs.

At least, now we know that if a meteoroid or an asteroid were to come too close, it's labelled a "near earth object" -- NEO.  And rocks "the size of basketballs come in every day" (see below). The difference between meteoroids and asteroids is also explained...

Meanwhile, Earth was lucky to have recently escaped being hit by Asteroid DA14...


Finally, all that stuff about knowing what are asteroids and meteoroids reminds me of school geography lessons on how to tell stalactites from stalagmites (technical term: they are both speleothem). Easy-peasy, the teacher said.

StalaCtites -- these are found on the Ceiling of the limestone cave.
StalaGmites -- likewise, the G helps us remember that these are found on the ground.

Do the schools still use this memory aid?

I like Get Fuzzy's way of using it to conjure up dust mites and dust tites!...

Friday, February 22, 2013

S'porean in space come 2015? Read the fine print!

Malaysia has done it. So now Singapore wants to do it? Do what, you say?

Send a Singaporean into space, says ST! And target date is no less than Aug 9, 2015...

Here's ST's (Feb 22) page one lead and inside page stories...

The story that TODAY (Feb 22) carried did not have the so-called Singaporean astronaut bit but it did say that an earlier attempt -- a private venture -- to build a spaceport here had fizzled out:

There's also an story:


By the way, did you notice that the agency being set up, the Office for Space Technology and Industry goes by the intials OSTIn, presumably pronounced "Austin".

So, if the Yanks have this well-known space launch lingo, "Houston, we have lift-off!", are we going to have "OSTIn (Austin), we have lift-off?" Some Singapore bureaucrat must have a weird sense of spaced-out humour, or that person loves the US state of Texas!

So, any jokes already? I came across this earlier one (before today's announcement, though)...

What do you call an American who goes into space?
An astronaut.
What about a Russian spaceman?
A cosmonaut.
And one from China?
A taikonaut.
So what do you call a SINGAPOREAN space traveller?
Cannaut, lor!


The Malaysians are, again, ahead of us, with more "Malaysian astronaut" jokes:

Note: The Malaysian astronaut who actually went into space, on Oct 10, 2007, was part of a Russian mission to the International Space Station. The rocket, of course, blasted off from Russia.


So, is time travel next? Here's a Brewster Rockit cartoon that takes a dig at this idea...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Two A's and a B...

A is for Aged

Yesterday was about active ageing. Today is just ageing...

While on a road trip, an elderly couple stopped at a roadside restaurant for lunch. After finishing their meal,
they left the restaurant, and resumed their trip.

The elderly woman had unknowingly left her glasses on the table when they left, and she didn't miss them until the old couple had been back on the road for about forty minutes. The old man got upset on hearing about it.

By then, to add to the aggravation, they had to travel quite a distance before they could find a place to turn around in order to return to the restaurant to retrieve her glasses.

All the way back, the elderly husband became the classic grouchy old man. He fussed and complained, and kept scolding his wife during the entire return drive. The more he chided her, the more agitated he became. He just
wouldn't let up for a single minute.

To her relief, they finally arrived at the restaurant. As the woman got out of the car to hurry inside to retrieve her glasses, the old geezer yelled out to her:

"While you're in there, you might as well get my hat and the credit card."


A is for Adidog

It's still the Chinese New Year season, so Killer wore festive red:


And B is for British humour...

         These are classified ads placed in U.K.

                           FREE YORKSHIRE TERRIER.
                8 years old, Hateful little bastard.   Bites!

                                FREE PUPPIES
               1/2 Cocker Spaniel , 1/2 sneaky neighbour's dog.

      FREE PUPPIES. Mother is a Kennel Club registered German Shepherd.
     Father is a Super Dog, able to leap tall fences in a single bound.

           COWS, CALVES:   NEVER BRED.   Also 1 gay bull for sale.

                           JOINING NUDIST COLONY!
                      Must sell washer and dryer £100.

                           WEDDING DRESS FOR SALE.
                            Worn once by mistake.
                              Call Stephanie .

                                    FOR SALE
                Complete set of Encyclopedia Britannica , 45
                  Excellent condition, £200 or best offer.
            No longer needed, got married, wife knows everything.


       Thought from the Greatest Living Scottish Thinker   --   Billy
                                 Connolly .

              "If women are so bloody perfect at multi-tasking,

       How come they can't have a headache and sex at the same time?"

                             Children Are Quick

                        TEACHER:   Why are you late?
                 STUDENT:   Class started before I got here.


     TEACHER:   John, why are you doing your maths multiplication on the
             JOHN:   You told me to do it without using tables.

              TEACHER:   Glenn , how do you spell 'crocodile?'
                         GLENN:   K-R-O-K-O-D-I-A-L'
                         TEACHER:   No, that's wrong
        GLENN:   Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.

         TEACHER:   Donald , what is the chemical formula for water?
                         DONALD:   H I J K L M N O.
                   TEACHER:   What are you talking about?
                  DONALD:   Yesterday you said it's H to O.

     TEACHER:   Winnie , name one important thing we have today that we
                         didn't have ten years ago.
                                WINNIE:   Me!

              TEACHER:   Glen, why do you always get so dirty?
         GLEN:   Well, I'm a lot closer to the ground than you are.

         TEACHER:   Millie , give me a sentence starting with ' I. '
                               MILLIE:   I is.
               TEACHER:   No, Millie ..... Always say, 'I am.'
       MILLIE:   All right... 'I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.'

            TEACHER:   Now, Simon , tell me frankly, do you say prayers before
          SIMON:   No sir, I don't have to, my Mom is a good cook.

     TEACHER:   Clyde , your composition on 'My Dog' is exactly the same
                   as your brother's.   Did you copy his?
                   CLYDE :   No, sir.   It's the same dog.


     TEACHER:   Harold , what do you call a person who keeps on talking
                    when people are no longer interested?
                            HAROLD:   A teacher .