Friday, May 31, 2013

These did not work; but these worked...

Sex does not always sell...

At least when you try to make an acronym -- SEX -- out of it. The Philippine Health Department came up with the SEX tagline, which stood for "Stress-free, Eat the right foods and Exercise", to encourage the country's army of call centre workers to lead healthier lifestyles.

The call centre workers were not amused, and the campaign was scrapped. Which meant that headlines like this one below never made it to print:

Call centre agents need to have more SEX:
Department of Health 

Read the AFP story here:


The worst Singapore campaign songs...

Hot on the heels of the fiasco over water agency PUB's Water Wally video, compiled a list of campaign efforts that "bombed" (with videos embedded in the story below):


This headline lost it...

One should never try to be too clever when a story is a tragic one, like the one above, for one newspaper's front page display. The actual story inside the newspaper (page 2) did use the right word: decapitated...


Now for the stuff that worked...

Nice little story, nice headline


Excellent local cartoon strip!...


And a headline that goes very well with the picture (and story)...


Finally, it is sad when the foreign press do not live up to the principle of balanced reporting:

Thursday, May 30, 2013

You'll Never Walk Alone...

You'll Never Walk Alone

No, I am NOT a Liverpool fan but I am an Elvis fan. And I found the King's cover version of "You'll Never Walk Alone" quite inspiring. It seems to go nicely with this pic that came with a photo editing app:

Here's Elvis' cover song:


Here's a couple of posters for moments when one needs cheering:


This "creation" of mine nearly never saw the light of day:

I had edited a story on how the future of Singapore's food hawker trade seems bleak unless more people could be persuaded to become food hawkers prepared to toil long hours yet sell their fare at "cheap" prices. It seemed a Catch-22 unless some mindset-breaking steps were taken. To go with the reporter's story, I wrote what we call a "standfirst" above the headline:

What you see here is -- intact -- the pun I had intended... It's a "wok" in progress.

But the sub-editor had thought I made a typo mistake and changed it to... It's a work in progress.

I was actually about to turn off my computer and go home. But I made a last-minute check and, as we say in Hokkien -- Heng, Ah! -- I was able to rectufy matters. Still, what appeared in print had the addition of the quote marks, which I thought were unnecessary (ie, mine was It's a wok in progress).


Finally, I am putting up here without comment a letter by the Japanese embassy:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The wheels of life...

Let's get back to the subject of senior citizens. We are not just "oldies but goldies"; we are "rich in natural resources". Here's why:

We have silver in our hair.
We have gold in our teeth.
We have stones in our kidneys.
We have lead in our feet and.....
We are loaded with natural gas


The Golden Years!  
A row of bottles on my shelf
Caused me to analyze myself.
One yellow pill I have to pop
Goes to my heart so it won't stop.
A little white one that I take
Goes to my hands so they won't shake.
The blue ones that I use a lot
Tell me I'm happy when I'm not.
The purple pill goes to my brain
And tells me that I have no pain.
The capsules tell me not to wheeze
Or cough or choke or even sneeze..
The red ones, smallest of them all
Go to my blood so I won't fall.
The orange ones, very big and bright
Prevent my leg cramps in the night.
Such an array of brilliant pills
Helping to cure all kinds of ills.
But what I'd really like to know...........
Is what tells each one where to go!

Finally, you young ones... enjoy your youth, for there is this thing called:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Singaporean in Cannes...

Watch these two short videos and you'll get an idea of local film maker Anthony Chen's cinematic flair which I am sure will only get better over time.

Ilo Ilo (trailer)

The Reunion Dinner

Congrats, Anthony, on your Camera d'Or win at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday (May 27):

Monday, May 27, 2013

Get ready for a nation of lau ah peks and lau ah ums...

Wah, all that stress, lane-cutting on the roads, rushing to chope lunchtime seats, kancheong-ness and kiasu-ness isn't killing us off early! Instead:

So, what's it like to have a nation of lau ah peks and lau ah ums? Here's a preview:

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Never on Sunday (as sung by the PLA's Maj-Gen Luo Yuan)

This optical-illusion poser was in The Sunday Times (May 26):

What do you see? It seems pretty obvious to me but I won't say more till later. How about this one?...


On a more serious note, I'm glad The Sunday Times carried this interview with Workers' Party chief Low Thia Khiang ("Low: I harbour no ambition to be PM"). He is arguably the most sensible -- and shrewdest -- Opposition politician, and he has shown that he can take on any PAP leader who crossed swords with him:


Another Sunday Times interview -- this one with geneticist Edison Liu -- makes fascinating reading too. Imagine, three million lab mice are shipped to 20,000 laboratories in 55 countries each year!...


I had earlier blogged about Japanese mayor Toru Hashimoto stirring up shit (oh, oh, the "typo-bleeper" is asleep on the job!). Now it's the turn of the hawks among the senior military officers in China's armed forces:

This last joker's remarks really take the cake. Maybe this baby boomer was thinking of an old 1962 song by the Chordettes, but deviously twisting it this way:

Never on Sunday

Oh, we can bomb you on a Monday a Monday
a Monday is very very good
And we can bomb you on a Tuesday a Tuesday a Tuesday
in fact I wish we would
And we can bomb you on a Wednesday a Thursday a
Friday and Saturday is best
But never ever on a Sunday a Sunday a Sunday
'cause that's my day of rest


I was in church, and a totally peaceable hymn -- one of my favourites -- was sung:

 Here is a very soothing (Visual Worship!) rendition on YouTube:


Finally, the two optical-illusion posers were from an ad. You can even win movie ticket prizes...

Saturday, May 25, 2013

From Ang Moh Kio to China to Zanzibar, the durian is king!

Six of us had dinner at Peramakan, a peranakan restaurant. For dessert, we all chose the durian pengat (pic below from the restaurant's website). This dessert is a high-octane calorie-busting durian mousse which, in this version, also has yam and sweet potato squares. Yummy!...

The durian -- the fruit for all (pregnant mums take note: it has lots of folate) 

Of course, nothing beats the real thing, whose benefits (caveat: unverified) are listed below by someone who is obviously a "die, die must have it" durian aficionado:

Just don't walk too closely behind someone who has had a smorgasbord of nothing but durian and alcohol!


Get pricked in Penang?

Singaporeans will go anywhere for durian. Which is perhaps why a hotel across the Causeway -- and indeed all the way up north to Penang -- came up with  this ad with its "Eat All You Can Durian Feast" pitch (just add alcohol for that explosive sensation):

But I don't get the header: "Get pricked in Penang"?


Get pricked in Zanzibar?

And guess what? An angmoh, Mark Wiens, who admits to being a durian addict. Having left one durian nirvana, Southeast Asia, he found another... in faraway Zanzibar!...

Addicted to durian -- I found the cure in Zanzibar!


Oh no! What if there are one billion new durian addicts?

Even the Chinese from China (PRC Chinese) -- who like most angmohs, initially could not tolerate the fruit's "supposed" pungent odour -- have come to love it!...

Who's buying up our durians?

But, hey, the durian is a divine fruit... and the PRC Chinese have committed a sacrilege by concocting, of all things, durian pizza!

Durian pizzas a hit with China youths


Arrgh! May they wash down all those pizzas with lots of maotai.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Sorry seems to be the hardest word...

I don't know what will happen next in light of the furore over the wartime "comfort women" issue, sparked by Osaka mayor Hashimoto. But I am glad PM Lee, visiting Japan, made these remarks:

I too lost an uncle I never knew (my mother's brother) to the Japanese "Sook Ching" (purge through cleansing) massacre but we have all learnt to move on. Now this Japanese politician is playing with fire.

The latest reports say that Hashimoto has now apologised, but he seems to be doing it in true politician fashion, insisting he had been "misinterpreted"!...

WW2 Korean Sex Slaves Snub Osaka Mayor Hashimoto's Apology Stunt


On the golfing scene, Sergio Garcia has had to publicly apologise following his "fried chicken" remarks in the context of a joke at Tiger Wood's expense:

But just when people thought this furore was simmering down, someone else -- the chief executive of the European Tour (PGA Championship) -- got embroiled, as a result of his own unthinking use of the phrase "coloured people"!...

Sergio GarcĂ­a row reignited as Tour chief apologises for 'coloured' remark


So, is it so hard to say "sorry"? Why not listen to Elton John's "Sorry seems to be the hardest word":

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Drama-tis personae...

This story has been making headlines here and internationally, especially in the US. To those so inclined, it has all the ingredients of a whodunnit mystery, even thought what is taking place now is strictly a coroner's inquiry (ST, May 22):

A dramatic turn happened yesterday (May 22) when the Todd family decided -- on the eve of their turn to represent themselves -- to pull out of the proceedings and go home. That prompted Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam to call a press conference. These snippets below are from TODAY (May 23):

This story is obviously not over. More dramatic events seem likely.


Meanwhile, this man seems to want to keep stirring up sh*t (haha, typo-bleeper at work!)...

In this case, too, this story ain't over yet.


Chopper/cleaver note:

Only in Singapore (and maybe Malaysia?) do we use "chopper" instead of "cleaver" (see the item I posted yesterday).

Incidentally, the newspapers in the SPH group also use "chopper" to refer to a helicopter.


Merlion note:

I don't know what to say, except that there must be Singaporeans worthy of being categorised as "monumental idiots"!