Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Useful and useless stuff...

I think at some point, quite a few people will ask themselves: Do I quit Facebook? One writer has done that:

ST, Sept 29


There are warnings against getting started...

Anyway, there is now a social media app that -- unlike Facebook or WhatsApp -- does not depend on cellphone service or an Internet connection:

FireChat lets you text friends, even without a signal


One day, the cellphone itself will be replaced by wearable phone-watches...


Sometimes, all that are needed in today's throwaway world are practical, sensible inventions:


At least all the above are useful stuff. Watch this video below for the...

20 Most Useless Inventions Ever Made


Monday, September 29, 2014

Any day is Coffee Day!

Today (Sept 29) is International Coffee Day. And I found a card that allows me to celebrate two special events!...

But, really, any day is Coffee Day for me. Long ago, Ol' Blue Eyes made drinking coffee oh so cool....

So, here it is... The Coffee Song:


Then there is Ella Fitzgerald's jazz-infused Black Coffee:


And how not to serve up that creme de la creme, Java Jive (The Ink Spots, 1940)?...


So there's no end to waxing lyrical about that special brew:


Of course, there will always be others who swear by another kind of poison. The last thing such folks will want is to be left high and dry...

And have you ever seen a dog having a tipple or two?...

But, even for dogs, everything in moderation, please...

And it is just the start of the work week!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

What if it had turned out uglier?

I am sure decent Singaporeans are appalled by what happened at Hong Lim Park yesterday (Sept 27):

SunTimes, Sept 28

* The organisers of the CPF protest rally must apologise unreservedly for the rowdiness that took place. The law will have to take its course too.

* But there is the bigger issue of the purpose of Hong Lim Park in spirit and intent. Does the public see it as the country's de facto Speakers' Corner? If so:

* Why did the YMCA hold its event there (let's not quibble over the fact that Hong Lim Park is not designated exclusively for political events)? If that space is now seen as ideal for charity events, then all interested parties should look for and agree on an alternative (not in the boondocks!) site for a suitable Speakers' Corner.

* All the political parties in Singapore should state their stand on what happened on Saturday. There should be official statements and not just comments by party individuals in their personal capacity. Silence is not an option. Risking Singapore's stability is not an option.

* Finally, for all the oft-touted talk about the danger of Black Swan events, how much bureaucratic IQ is needed to work out what might happen when a politically charged rally -- even if attended by just a few people -- takes place at the same venue on the same day as a charity event that had been given much publicity and hence expected to draw a crowd. Again, please do not say that different timings and zones were allocated.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Live long and... move back with your parents!

This is a very useful site for information on an important health issue:

What Do You Want to Know About High Cholesterol?


Hmmm. What do we do with the egg yokes?


As mother always says, eat all your fruit and vegetables...

...and maybe you will live past 90!
(disclosure: potato chips are vegetables and tomato catchup is a fruit, right?)


Anyway, if you do wish to live beyond 90, go for acting classes!

Acting Classes In Assisted Living Improve Memory & Slow Cognitive Decline

Theater workshops tickle seniors' brains

Elderly Acting Just Might Improve ... Line, Please!


Finally, okay, so everyone lives on and on...

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday's potpourri.

It's Friday. Did I succeed in parsing quickly through the newspapers so that I could get out and go smell the roses? First, some humour-laden stuff that I have collected:

This medication below is very good. You have to complete the entire course but be warned that you may get addicted and find yourself going back to ask for more!...

So what is this amazing medicine, Theobroma cacao? Go to this link to find out...


Still on food, this packaging below so intrigued me I decided to buy the "explosive" fruit within:

These are pluots, a hybrid of plum and apricot:

Like high-quality chocolate, this variety of pluot is described as especially delicious (yes, it is!), so much so that it is explosively scrumptious...



No, I could not get away from the newspapers (today's, anyway)....

'Behest'... did ST's checkers really know how to use this word? 

It is a very strong word, so if ST was trying not to embarrass the newsmaker, why did it use it?...

Even if you say behest means "a request", good dictionaries will tell you it is a very firm request, as good as a command or order!

Now, that's another great headline!...

Cat got your tongue?...

I love this so-witty quote!...

Finally, in ST's Urban supplement...
Coffee, any which way? Ass you like it?

Hmm, I wonder what funny videos did the coffee enema woman watch? Monty Python?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Moving about, and moving on...

Doctor's orders: Smell more roses, get moving more!

Although the doctor said there was "nothing in my brain" (yesterday's blog entry), it was in the context of ruling out any brain lesion. That was a first impression, which was confirmed in his MRI report today (Sept 25). He did advise me, however, that there were some small signs of blood vessel narrowing and arterial hardening. For now, the suggestion was that I pursue a more relaxed lifestyle (I call that smelling more roses) together with a "healthy" diet and to exercise more (get moving more).

I shall take that to heart.

And, to motivate myself to get moving around more often, I will spent very much less time critiquing the newspapers (which can take quite some time). So, the stuff I spotted today will be the last on a regular basis.

Incidentally, the scan I went through yesterday included the use of contrast material to produce pictures of major blood vessels in the brain. I found this link below helpful:



No, this is not the way to write up this story!

I believe this is what happened during the debriefing of the reporter: She must have said the accused person, at the time of pleading guilty, did not appear to be remorseful and seemed even "chirpy". To reinforce that point, the accused was quoted verbatim thus: "Ya, I admit to the charge. Oh, and I also seek leniency." The editors must have liked this angle to the story.

No, this story should have been written as dispassionately as possible, eschewing the unwarranted use of "colour". We do not know what really went on in the mind of the accused -- someone who had killed her own son (and I daresay whom she loved) -- during those crucial moments in the dock before a judge. Yes, it is a journalistic practice to, say, describe an accused person's demeanour and even details like the kind of attire worn. But journalists must make judgement calls too; this is one occasion when trying to make the story more vivid is not right.


The HDB replies... and is silent on the $82,000 question!

I had, on Tuesday, put this up:

The HDB's reply was published today (ST Forum, Sept 25):

So one must assume that the $82,000 figure is not challenged. It is a lot of money spent per carpark space (even if as a last resort)! Will we be expecting an ST editorial on this?

One gram or even 10 grams of gold do not make for "gold ingots"!
(Hello, these are gold wafers)


That ugly widow line again!

ST, Sept 24

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

In seventh heaven, in Mar's orbit, and wishing for The Dark Side of the Moon...

Singaporeans are in seventh heaven. Joseph Schooling has clinched the Men's 100m Fly gold at the Asian Games. I like Yahoo! Sports report best:

Yahoo! Sports, Sept 24

Joseph Schooling on winning Singapore’s first Asian Games gold: Want to overtake me? Die trying


Meanwhile, Indians were overjoyed to learn that their shoestring-budget Mars space probe had successfully gone into Mars orbit (I had blogged about it on Nov 5 last year):

India's first Mars satellite 'Mangalyaan' enters orbit



Finally, I learnt today that I had nothing in my brain, and that's supposed to be good!

I underwent a brain MRI to rule out any lesions in my brain that might have been causing my spine to "pinch" and as a result affect my gait while also causing a stabbing pain in my shoulders and arms, especially on the left side.

As I was settled into the machine, the radiographer fitted headphones on my head and said: "You will hear soothing music to help you cope with the loud noises." I asked if I could request Pink Floyd. The young man looked nonplussed. He had never heard of the legendary rock band.

So what "soothing" music was played as I lay there for 30 minutes? The first was "Tears in Heaven" and the second was "Right Here Waiting (For You)". Hmmm. Thankfully, the last tune was "Morning Has Broken". I had survived.

Anyway, the doctor came by later to say, from his preliminary look at the result -- he will have the more detailed report ready the next day -- I had "nothing in my brain"... and so I had nothing to worry about. Thanks a lot.

Pink Floyd is still swimming in my head, though. So here's the YouTube video of three songs from their concert featuring their The Dark Side of the Moon album:


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

From diminutive Tao Li to towering Lee...

Tao Li has endeared herself to her fellow Singaporeans. We wish this diminutive, spunky gal all the best as she ponders her future pathways:


Now, that's a good headline!


What!... $82,000, according to this Forum writer's calculation?

Singaporeans will be expecting a reply from the HDB -- soon!

One more for my collection of collective nouns... A crash of rhinos!


One more reason why I'm now a tree hugger...

Upworthy (on Facebook, accessed Sept 23)