Friday, January 24, 2014

Flying fast and furious, and just two Subway sandwiches apart?

Giving "Take Cover!" a new spin?

Soldiers on patrol are trained to instinctively duck, dive or otherwise deploy defensively when someone shouts "Take Cover!" Here in Singapore -- and probably elsewhere too -- the expression has also acquired a pejorative meaning: someone who is "taking cover" is avoiding his or her duty/duties, ie, as NSmen will say, that person is "skiving".

So, why on earth did this man (below) -- a top civil servant who was the ISD Director when Mas Selamat escaped -- use words resembling this trigger phrase in his interview, which clearly was meant to be picked up by the media?...

The ST report above (Jan 24) paraphrased that portion, mitigating its silliness a little. But Yahoo News had no such restraint:

I felt like going back to bed, under the covers: Ex-ISD director on Mas Selamat escape

“I’ll be honest,” he was quoted as saying. “When I read the newspapers or my email, (I felt) like slumping and going back to bed, under the covers.” 

So what are we to think about this man when he was under pressure? Who vetted the publication, and was that person looking out for any unintended meanings? This looks like another PR effort gone wrong.

The "runaround" in Singapore that gave the authorities the runaround: The saga continues!

Reading this ST report (Jan 24) below, I realised there were other questions that needed to be addressed...

Did the woman also give Malaysian authorities the slip at the Johor end of the checkpoint, perhaps by similarly tailgating a vehicle heading to Singapore? Did the Malaysian authorities then alert their Singaporean counterparts, hence enabling the latter to swing into action? And even if there had been no heads-up from the Johor side, did the Singapore side check with them -- in case there was pertinent information on the woman?

Finally, those who conduct journalism courses would do well to use this as a case study, especially on asking all the right questions of the authorities instead of just accepting empty phrases like "Investigations are ongoing". All the right questions have to be asked and if an answer is declined, that has to be published. If a "No comment" is proffered, that too has to be published. As I used to tell reporters, a "No comment" is a comment.
Ah, those magnificent men in their flying machines!

I love this TODAY (Jan 24) headline but I wonder how many non-Baby Boomers got it? (think The Platters' hit song),,,

I think the aircraft livery is awesome too.

ST also carried pics and reports:

Speeds of up to 1,000 kmh and keeping "within a whisker of each other"! Wow. Indeed, LTC Leong is quoted in the story itself as saying these supersonic jets come as close as "a couple of feet" of each other:

Now a couple of feet is 24 inches, or two foot-long Subway sandwiches. So I asked in a text message to an F-16 pilot I happen to know very well if such close proximity is possible at such high speeds. The reply was an enigmatic smiley...

I suppose I will have to leave it at that.

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