18 March 2006

Warm Waters

I went swimming in the evening twice in the week. Damn. The water was very warm. The relentless sunshine over the last two weeks is the contributor to this state of affairs.
Burger King, Liat Towers

Tonight, as I sat in Burger King with a drink and my diary, a very pretty girl* came and sat on the next table. And I begin hearing a nice voice singing as I read 'Necromunda: Blood Royal'. I was startled. The girl was singing! And she has a pleasant angelic voice. A moment later, her clean-cut, well-groomed male companion with a square jaw arrived. She started by talking about the Zara and Mango shops in Spain and how there were differences catering to a different cliente. He tried engaging her in conversation but he wasn't a particularly good conversationist. His feeble attempts were amusing to say the least. He wanted her to tell him how the 'Ice Age' cartoon was and she was unable to indulge with much of a reply as the cartoon was just that.** It was too distracting and amusing and I wrote my diary instead.

Anyhow, I got two Diary of Dreams CDs, 'Menschfeind' and 'Nigredo' at Borders earlier.

I also bought Daniel C. Dennett's 'Freedom Evolves' and Wade Davis' 'The Serpent and the Rainbow'.

*She was actually pretty and she does not have the typical round-faced, weak chin lian look.
**My designer and artist friends didn't have anything to say about 'Ice Age' either. It was just too run of the mill.

17 March 2006

Cruelty

Yesterday, I saw a fat, balding man with a catapult at the void deck of a HDB block. He was shooting at a cat with a catapult. I was appalled.
Asian Aerospace 2006: A Collection of Images

Fighters
Fighters II
Armament and Ordnance of the F-16D
Helicopter Door Mount
Unmanned Combat Vehicle
Airbus A380
B-1B Lancer
Fighters III
Helicopters
All-Terrain Vehicles, Light Attack Vehicles and Armoured Vehicles*
Trainers
Pegasus Lightweight Howitzer*
CIS 40mm Automatic Grenade Launcher
Redback Weapon System (Metal Storm Technology)*
Anti-Tank Missiles*
Small Arms*
M8 Ridgeway Armoured Gun System (AGS)*
Missiles

As usual, as with all my photos, feel free to use them, in a blog, on a website, in a commercial work, for reference, whatever, use them in any way. I put them up to share. If you need the original high resolution image (600-700KB size, jpg form), do let me know. I will email them to you.

I'm too lazy to put up the images of the commercial jets. I will one day. I will also put stuff up on the Asian Aerospace 1992 one of these days.


* These are what I consider to be highlights.
Asian Aerospace 2006: Unmanned Combat Vehicle

This appears to be an unmanned combat vehicle from Singapore Technologies Kinetics.

Of course, this would be remotely controlled and it would not be robotic.

*This is one of the last of a sequence of photos from the Asian Aerospace 2006.

16 March 2006

The USA is now ranked 5th in the FIFA Rankings

Who would have have thought that the USA could ever be ranked fifth in football. It has happened!

Top 20 in rankings (previous month in brackets):
• 1. Brazil - 835
• 2. Czech Republic - 789
• 3. Netherlands - 788
• 4. Argentina - 765
• 5. (6=) United States - 764
• 6. Spain - 763
• 7. (6=) Mexico - 762
• 8. (5) France - 760
• 9. England - 756
• 10. Portugal - 755
• 11. Turkey - 743
• 12= Nigeria - 738
• 12= Italy - 738
• 14. Denmark - 736
• 15. (16) Cameroon - 726
• 16. (15)Sweden - 725
• 17. Egypt - 714
• 18. Japan - 712
• 19= (22) Iran - 705
• 19= (23) Croatia - 705
Asian Aerospace 2006: Armament and Ordnance of the F-16D

The RGM-84 Harpoon.


The AIM-9 Sidewinder, AGM-65 Maverick and a LGB.

The M61A1 20mm rotary cannon.

15 March 2006

Don't you forget about me

I was at Hard Rock Cafe for dinner on Monday night when the old video for Simple Minds 'Don't you forget about me' came on the many screens in the joint. The video brings back memories of those old teenybopper flicks of the eighties and also my university days in California.

It seems that those days were only yesterday. Time really flies.

Now Simple Minds is supposedly dropping by Singapore for a concert. My little sister has expressed interest.

Perhaps, I will get their 2005 CD 'Black and White 050505' which has apparently been well-received. Perhaps not. I am a lot more excited in Covenant, Cesium 137 and Clan of Xymox's new CDs.
Sea Skua

It is reported in the Straits Times that the Malaysian armed forces will be conducting a test-firing of the Sea Skua missile. The Sea Skua missile is a helicopter-launched anti-shipping missile that was responsible for destroying most of the Iraq Navy during in 1991.

14 March 2006


Howling Mistake

Hayao Miyazaki 2004 adaptation of Diana Wynne Jones' 'Howl's Moving Castle' is an incoherent mess. Given that Jones' novel was a convoluted and confusing tale of wizards and witches, at the conclusion, every detail and bit in the plot was tied up and explained. Everything fitted perfectly in the novel, but Miyazaki's work of animation was a visual feast of loose ends which not only changed the plot but made little sense whatsoever.

For instance, who turned the prince into a scarecrow? Why were Howl and the Witch of the Wastes feuding? Why was there a war? Who and what was fighting? If Howl was defending the cities from foreign attack, why then would Mrs. Suleimen want to capture Howl? These are just the beginning of the loose bits in the film and this is coming from a person who has read the novel and also other works from Jones.

At the end of the film, the end of the war was explained away by Mrs Suleiman saying with sigh, 'In which case, let's call off the war...' WHAT?!?

Doh. As much as I am a fan of a lot of Miyazaki's previous work, I enjoyed the visuals of this most recent effort of his. The townscapes, the castle design, the costumes, the pre-dreadnoughts and ironclads, the flying machines. 'Spirited Away' is a masterpiece. 'Howl's Moving Castle' is a disaster of the first magnitude.

Summoning of the muse - A tribute to Dead Can Dance

I heard this one some time back. It's nothing out of the ordinary. Since the Dead can Dance created coherent albums with a thematic sequence within a framework, this tribute fails on that level. Individual tracks taken out of context, existing in a vacuum. It's listenable but not particularly memorable.

1. Arcana - The Arcane*
2. Dark Sanctuary - Summoning of the muse
3. Autumn's Grey Solace - Musica Eternal*
4. Faith & the Muse - Chant Of The Paladin*
5. Black tape for a blue girl - Fortune presents gifts not according to the book
6. Rajna - Cantara
7. Mirabilis - The Writing On My Father's Hand*
8. Chandeen - In power we entrust the love advocated
9. Arcana - Enigma of the Absolute*
10. KOBE - Bird*
12. Athan Maroulis with Surface 10 - Ulysses
13. Stoa - Cantara*

* Exclusive track

13 March 2006

My pre-ordered wargames arrived

Like many wargamers, I have pre-ordered games on the P500 list from GMT Games as well as other wargames companies. The following games arrived recently:

Flying Colours: Fleet Actions in the Age of Sail
Designer: Mike Nagel
Developer: John Alsen


Twilight Struggle: The Cold War 1945-1989
Designers: Ananda Gupta and Jason Matthews

I have ordered and received many wargames from GMT Games previously and I would not hesitate to encourage other wargamers to assist the tiny wargaming industry by pre-ordering. The wargames industry is a small cottage industry and has recently seen a small revival. The keyword is 'small'.

I will put up a list of what games I have on pre-order later in the week.

It's been a while since I gamed. I will be playing again soon. I just need to summon the energy...

12 March 2006

Asian Aerospace 2006: Helicopter Door Mount

A belt-fed MG, door mount.

Addendum

A friend had stated that this could be the CIS .5 HMG. Given his experience in both the M2 and CIS .5 HMGs, he is probably right.
Illustration Friday

Theme: Tattoo