Archive for June, 2007

Project Superstar planting trees

Project Superstar 2 winner Darren Tan was at NUS today planting sea almond trees (ketapang) in conjunction with the Eco-concert on Saturday, 30 June 2007 at the Sommerset Skate Park. These trees are supposed to offer carbon offset for the carbon emission produced from the concert to make it possibly the first zero-carbon concert event in Singapore!

Rather funky to be watching a “superstar” upclose. I feel like a paparazzi!

Graduates – more of em’

Come July, a new batch of graduates will be entering our society. The 3rd to the 12th of July will see almost 9000 graduates from NUS alone, inclusive of masters and PhD students. It really speaks a lot about the trend of the paperchase in recent years. You nearly have graduates a stone’s throw away. In fact, if you actually throw a stone, you might actually hit a graduate and a couple more after the stone bounces off the first guy. It really raises questions about what happens to those who cannot afford or do not have degrees. Some of them may have real talent and skill as well, just lack the avenue and the opportunity to show it. With a society that increasingly focuses on paper qualifications, I fear that these group of people would probably be left behind in no time.

Birthday banner

I didn’t realise that yesterday was Aung San Suu Kyi’s birthday, until I saw the banner on this ship:

Happy birthday
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Rain rain go away

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What more with umbrella dispensers scattered around campus(and hopefully) other parts of the country! It’s a pretty good idea actually, and I seriously wonder what took them so long to introduce this machine to people like me who 1. spoil their umbrellas wayy too often, and 2. keep forgetting to bring their umbrellas even if those said umbrellas were working well.

So remember, if you are caught in the rain, do look out for a umbrella dispenser around you. You’ll never know, you’ll might just get lucky. Of course, the irony is that you seldom find an umbrella when you really need one.

Smog – Now coming to the air near you!

Still on the smog alert, I am determined to find out if the west really possess a worser air quality than the rest of the island. Here I am sniffling in my morning sinus which I had since young, growing up in the West near industrial estates, and my perpetual allergy to dust in the air – could this be a result of poorer air quality?
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Singapore HeritageFest 2007!

heritagefest 2007

The HeritageFest is here again! Held from 18 to 29 July, there will be a main festival hub at Suntec City where there will be stage performances, exhibitions and lots of activities for kids and the young at heart.

Check out the Fest 2007 website for more information or read on to see the monkey’s personal favourites for must dos and must sees!
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Something about Chinatown

Saw this displayed on one of the walls of the Chinatown train station. Thought it was pretty interesting.

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Emerald Hill at daylight


Emerald Hill at daylight

Originally uploaded by Liangcai

I brought a student from Carolina around town today, and one of the places that I first took her was to Emerald Hill. Once a Peranakan Settlement area, this place has since been redeveloped by the authorities into one of the main nightlife spots in the Somerset/ Orchard stretch. People still live there, except that most of them are expatriates and those who can probably afford the high cost of living in a prime area. I once walked past the area at night and I saw rows of BMWs parked outside one of the houses, as their drivers mulled around and chatted amongst themselves. Welcome to the life of the rich. The picture looks pretty tame and quiet in the morning, but this area becomes a bustling chillout area and night. It really comes alive.

Is there air pollution in Singapore?

I’ll let you decide for yourself.

It is well known that Singapore has done a great job in pollution control and implementing strict standards in controlling air pollution but sometimes one wonders if it’s totally eradicated when you see images like this. Check out the hazy smog that gets trapped near the ground before the noon sun comes out to dissipate it. This totally reminds me of how Bangkok is like when you view it from the tallest building, perpetually living under a cover of smog.

Anybody care to guess where in Singapore this is?

The Big Papa Is Watching

I always knew that there were closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras monitoring all the MRT stations in Singapore but being not a regular passenger on the North East Line (NEL), it was the first time I noticed a CCTV camera on the train, in the cabins itself!

Sure ok, there are posters all over the station that announces most frigidly that there are over 40 cameras watching you, “for your safety”, all over the station but the train itself?

It really wasn’t appropriate to say the Big Brother is watching since the gahmen (read: government) hardly thinks of themselves as our brothers. The well known patriarchal government should be more appropriately described as the Big Papa, watching your every move. Yes yes I understand that in this day and age of terrorism, we can never be too careful. Papa must keep the children safe. But what else are they watching for? Are our every moves being watched? And why is it that only NEL trains, operated by SBS Transit have such CCTV systems? The SMRT trains which I regularly travel on doesn’t have such a feature at all.

Either way children, if you’re naughty doing some hanky panky on the MRT, papa will give you the rotan when you get home tonight!

Update: This seems to be a prevailing topic. Realized that in December 2006, Jer has written about CCTV on SMRT train cabins and Liangcai has written about CCTV on the buses. And now we have a complete roundup of all public transport in Singapore for I can assure you that taxis have CCTVs too but it’s probably more for the drivers safety than yours. Whee hurray.

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