Friday, January 30, 2015

Parliament 'news' boring? And 'Op Coldstore' is about stuff in a fridge, right?

Who says reporting about Parliament is sleep-inducing? How about...

Rats in Parliament!

Okay, it's not about rats in Parliament but about the topic of a spike in rat-proliferation being raised in "squeaky cleaned" Parliament. At least we now know that over 35,000 rodent burrows were uncovered last year. I am not sure if the headline above -- Winning the rat race -- is quite accurate:

It is indeed still a "ratty" problem:

And I learnt that there really is such a word as ratty (do your own homework: check it out).

Columbarium-gate: Hope springs Eternal? Not always...

But the big news from the Parliamentary session is the reversal on the siting of a commercially-run columbarium in Sengkang -- a single-member constituency (SMC), ie, not a group representation constituency (GRC):

The controversy "ignited"... no better word describes the events that followed:

The minister, after explaining his ministry's change of tack, turned meditative:

Staff memo: Did you meditate before logging on?
The online world was abuzz. This is just one posting, by The Independent:

So, don't say Singapore's Parliament is not an exciting place. It is, at least in this past week, including today.

Finally, there have also been recent reports about the display of cluelessness (really "blur", not "act blur") by many Singaporeans about major events in the country's modern history. I'll let this cry-till-you-laugh story fill you in...

Here are some responses from young Singaporeans that the IPS survey would hate to publish

Because there will be a lot of cleaning up of coughed-up blood.

Operation Coldstore?...

...It's about freezing stuff, right? (24-year-old university student).

Thursday, January 29, 2015


The famous Singaporean "Just follow, lor" syndrome

ST, Jan 29
Singapore: A cleaned city, not a clean city
(from the same story above)

A crisis of cleanliness!
Singapore: The world's second safest city


With (own) spies like that, who needs enemy spies?


There can only be one 'best', right? 
(So, if the US and India are now 'best partners', all those long-time US partners like Britain, Australia, Japan, etc, please take a number.)  


Yeah. I could have been a Crazy Mountain (Xiaosan)

Then I heard on the radio...

* If your family name is Chng, please don't take on the given name Monica
* One caller said in his old kampung, there were two brothers named Buang and Sampar
* Another caller said during his National Service time, one fellow recruit's name was Major Tan

Finally, from CC, this 'What's in a name?' joke

Mr. Greenberg was an illiterate immigrant, but he worked hard, saved his pennies, and started a small business. It did well, and soon he had enough money to send for the wife and children. The work kept him very busy, so he never had time to learn to write, but the bank was happy to do business with him, even though his signature consisted of two X's.

He prospered, he opened more stores, the kids were transferred to private schools, the family moved into a fancy house (with one staircase going nowhere just for show) you get the idea.

One day his banker, Mr. Smith, asked him to drop by.

"So vat's the problem? Greenberg asked, a bit anxiously.

Smith waved a bunch of checks at him. "Perhaps nothing, he said, "but I wanted to be on the safe side. These recent checks of yours are all signed with 3 X's, but your signature of record has just 2.

Greenberg looked embarrassed. "I'm sorry about making trouble, he said, "but my wife said that since I'm now such a high-class rich guy, I should have a middle name!"

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


The 2015 Australian Open is exciting tennis fans everywhere. I do not follow the sport so this ST headline below (Jan 28) puzzled me:

I got the humble pie part but "bagel"? Google to the rescue...

So that's it! I found this other headline (The Times of South Africa):

Ah, but that's not all. There's also the "double bagel":

New York Times
Still on sports headlines, this one from ST falls flat and is certainly not in any masterclass:


I was also puzzled by this ST money page headline (Jan 28):

One test for the lay reader is: Does the headline work for me? Nope. The summary for this story has an easily understood headline that is clear and unpretentious:


ST's summary page today also has this very nicely crafted headline:


Finally, I am posting this ST Forum page letter (Jan 28) without comment (save the circled words which reflect stuff I had previously written about in this blog regarding the Pioneer Generation scheme):

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Kee Chiu (part 2)/Creative juices (part 2).

Repeat after me, hor, Pioneer Generation Package not political

You must ask tough questions!

You know what to do if you want my vote... haha, joke lah!

[Um, Mr Teo, if you are 60 years old this year, you are five years off the cut-off for the PGP, not "just missed" the cut-off. Someone who is 65 this year would have just missed the cut-off.]

You guys are doing it wrong!... watch me on how to Kee Chiu!

Even this pre-toddler got it right!


On a serious note, I didn't know this!
(and I thought I knew a lot)...


This is what I call a 'reversible headline'
(You know what it will be if Venus had lost. And, guys, the pun is getting stale by now.)


Creative juices... in the right spirit (Part 2)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Creative juices... in the right spirit!

I spotted a great headline in the sports pages of The Sunday Times yesterday and put it on my blog. Today, ST's editorial (Jan 26) had a very good headline too, with its excellent word play about public places where alcohol consumption is off-limits at certain hours:


I'll like to see some creative liquor ads that accept this new reality in Singapore while still seeking to persuade tipplers to not turn teetotallers.

Some time ago, Nick alerted me to the superb advertising campaign by a British ale bottler from Kent. It seems the Spitfire Kentish Ale first emerged during World War II so the theme for its series of ads was, appropriately, WWII. Enjoy!...

Do click on the link above. There are several more such delightful awesome ale-somes.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Politics watch (kee chiu!)...

Stars are falling into alignment for this rising star:

This very, very young lad seems to have already thrown in his support!...


PM Lee went on Facebook to answer netizens' questions at the weekend. His comments above on Mr Chan Chun Sing were among his answers to a wide range of questions. But I think the folks at The Sunday Times (Jan 25) -- if they had been alert -- should have found a way to get around the unfortunate juxtaposition that resulted from one netizen's question/comments, below:


Finally, I finally found a recent headline (Sunday Times, Jan 25) that I can say is of a high standard:

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Singtel, the real pioneers, and the sound of silence.

Egg on Singtel's face but it's not admitting it blundered...


One day we will find out how the Pioneer Generation scheme came about. For now, the probing questions continue (even if subtly posed here)...


Finally, it looks like there will not be a Part 3 to my GE15 or Ge16? series. The ex-general will be kept very busy in his new job and won't have time to spar with the other "general".

Friday, January 23, 2015

Hits and misses.


Found this online. So apt for a Friday...

Break open in an emergency, like when one yearns for tidbits from one's childhood days!...

This Pope is a Godsend to journalists. His soundbites are sooo punchy!...

Someone even compiled a Pope Francis List...


What a wasted opportunity. This story screams for a catchy headline but what do you see?...

Even the subsidiary heading will put the reader to sleep. What's needed is something like this:

Fifty shades
of play

Esplanade to mark SG50
with line-up of local
works as full-length
plays, readings and excerpts


This too is a bad miss. Clueless writing and equally clueless proof-checking...

This one below got it right. The reader is told an event has already happened and another event will take place at a later date:



Finally, I too might have unwittingly written this since the intended meaning seems obvious...

But when one thinks about it, is it possible to escape the gallows a second time (short of failing to die on the executioner's first attempt at springing the trapdoor!)?