23 December 2006

Floats along Orchard Road


Two images of floats along Orchard Road yesterday. I took these with my mobile.

 Posted by Picasa
Sd Kfz 142/1 7.5cm Sturmgeschutz



The first StuG entered service in 1940 and equipped several Sturmartillerie Batteries. These early StuG with a short-barrelled 75mm saw action in France.


By 1942, the first Ausf F version, mounted a long-barrelled high velocity L43 7.5cm gun went into service. This was followed by a L48 gun. The armour was greatly increased with an additional 30mm over the 50mm superstructure.


The StuG was a highly effective anti-tank platform and the type took a heavy toll of Allied armour.

Imperial War Museum, Duxford: July 2006 Posted by Picasa
Silver and Gold

A conversation thread on DuneMUD:

[23:09] Gold : my best playerkill owns
[23:12] Slounge : who the hell is gold?>
[23:12] Slounge : and how is he pk?
[23:12] Potatoe points at Gold.
[23:13] Lemur : magic?
[23:13] Potatoe : super badass newbie
[23:13] Lemur : golden showers?
[23:13] Slounge : lol
[23:13] Gold : i'm silvers wife
[23:13] Potatoe : that's a great song
[23:14] Potatoe : silver doesn't have a wife
[23:14] Gold : he has me!
[23:14] Lemur : he may have a husband tho
[23:14] Potatoe : he has an animitronic auto wrench for those needs
[23:15] Kyouri : aren't female tleilax erm.. used for other things? ;)
[23:16] Potatoe : peth labs
[23:17] Potatoe : I mean meth labs
[23:17] Gold : i'm silvers sex slave
[23:18] Potatoe : silver doesn't have sex.... he reproduces by getting a new
extended warranty
The Da Vinci Code and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Good morning Kuoby!

AK says:
hi SC

AK says:
the weather's turned nice today

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
John 3:26.

AK says:
the rest of the week and next will be low 20s

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Sounds really nice.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
chilly but not cold.

AK says:
huh?

AK says:
why that bible passage

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
It says that at 3:26 pm, John was having his afternoon nap.

AK says:
you're telling me you want to nap?

AK says:
you're telling me you're John the Prophet?

AK says:
you're telling me you're a rabbi?

AK says:
HAH?

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
WOO HOO!

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
You would have to ask John.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
But you can't.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Because you're stuck in Hell.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
While John is residing in Heaven.

AK says:
your sickness still afflicting you

AK says:
if you touch the corner of John's cloak, maybe you'll be healed.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Heh.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
You're beginning to get more creative. The brain transplant of a second brain cell obviously helped you.

AK says:
elder scrolls is Firingsquad's 2006 game of the year

AK says:
http://www.firingsquad.com/features/top_5_games_2006/page3.asp

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
And there are a few expansions for Oblivion now!

AK says:
do you like the harry potter series?

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
I haven't read it.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
I know there is a new book.

AK says:
i could barely read the first one

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Where she kills off Harry Potter or something.

AK says:
harry potter and the deathly hollows

AK says:
no. 7

AK says:
according to news

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
You can barely read the first one?

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Why is that?

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Bad prose?

AK says:
it was bad writing

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Ahh....

AK says:
truly.

AK says:
bad

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
I am not surprised.

AK says:
i don't understand the hype

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Ack.

AK says:
same for da vinci's code

AK says:
truly bad bad prose

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Agreed.

AK says:
the story line sucks

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
That is truly bad writing.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
The storyline made no sense.

AK says:
they can't hold a candle to the likes of LOTR, Narnia, Earthsea etc.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
It's a bunch of provocative tabloid level crap strung together.

AK says:
even the first Belgraid series was far better

AK says:
it's just CRAP

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Hahahahahahah.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Agreed.

AK says:
or that thomas covenant thingy

AK says:
i read some books

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
It's rubbish. The Da Vinci Code. Digital Fortress. Horrid.

AK says:
or stephan donaldson that was

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Yes. I remember that. Lord Foul's Bane, etc.

AK says:
i think i read da vinci code in 2 hours flat.

AK says:
it was that simple to read. the plot was given away half way through

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Hahaha. Plain, unadorned and poor prose.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Yes, one can guess most of the puzzles very easily.

AK says:
HEY

AK says:
you wouldn't believe what i found

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Yes?

AK says:
i found the centenary celebration for conan by robert e. howard

AK says:
all the stories in one compilation

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Everything?

AK says:
everything

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Can that be possible?

AK says:
seems to be all day

AK says:
all there, rather.

AK says:
well robert e. howard wrote many many other fine characters too

AK says:
King Kull

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Hmm.. The Kull ones?

AK says:
Solomon Kane

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
The Celtic ones too?

AK says:
no kull ones, just conan.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Ahh.

AK says:
just conan.

AK says:
he had a few good ones about the crusades too.

AK says:
i read one long ago.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Did you see the new Hyborian Age books?

AK says:
written by other writers?

AK says:
barely readable frankly.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Yes, Howard was capable of good historical fiction and westerns.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Yes, new writers, ex-TSR writers, are writing these new Hyborian Age novels.

AK says:
other writers seem to lack the pizzazz

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
It's not featuring Conan.

AK says:
i see

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
They feature Stygian wizards, Cimmerian barbarians, etc.

AK says:
just it feature a short ugly stationery peddlar?

AK says:
oh

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Short?

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Surely, you didn't turn into a stationery peddlar?

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
you did?

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Oh dear.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
In the Hyborian Age as well?

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Kuoby?

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Are you sobbing in the corner again?
Singapore Open Gaming XI



Ken has announced the next venue, time and date for the next Singapore Open Gaming event.

Date: 13th January 2007
Time: 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Venue: Blk 3, Queen's Rd #01-139 (Just off Farrer Road, one level below Westlake Restaurant)
Cost: $2.00

As usual, everyone is welcomed. Bring your own games too. I have been missing this event through mainly the lack of sleep and tiredness. Heh. I should really try to make it.

21 December 2006

Chinese Infantry

The soldier in this drawing is based on what appears to be a communist mural with the soldiers being embraced by the peasants. The soldiers in that mural were tall and heroic in proportions while the peasants were jolly with rosy cheeks. Of course, I didn't conform to the heroic proportions and faces. I'm just messing about with this drawing and the previous one, working on my familiarisation with Chinese arms and armour.

5.5 cm x 11.5cm. Pigment Ink. 0.1, 0.2, 0.3. Rotring and Pilot pens. Posted by Picasa
Chinese General, Ming Dynasty


5cm x 15cm. Pigment Ink sketch. Rotring, Faber-Castell pens. 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.5.

This sketch was based on a statue outside a palace. I have seen those kung fu shows and I am unconvinced. Hence, I based it on something historical. Posted by Picasa
Centrepoint



A rainy night near Christmas... Posted by Picasa
7.5cm Panzerabwehrkanone 40 (7.5cm Park 40)


The 7.5cm Pak 40 was built in anticipation of the inevitable and gradual increase in tank armour with the first guns being issued in November 1941. This Rheinmetall-Borsig gun soon became the standard German anti-tank gun and was able to penetrate 116mm of armour at 1000m (0 degrees).

Imperial War Museum, Duxford: July 2006 Posted by Picasa
Pope

From a humourous piece on Football 365:

Best Insult:

When USA player Eddie Pope was red-carded in the World Cup game between Team America and Italy, it was the only time in history that a whole nation of Roman Catholics have shouted "F**k off, Pope."
Old Fool


4.5cm x 11cm. Ballpoint pen sketch. Kilometrico 0.5 ballpoint.

This was a pencil doodle before I decided to work on it. The ballpoint allows some rather fine work which can be very distinct from work done with pigment ink technical pens. The techniques used with a ballpoint are, of course, a world away. Fundamentals of drawing, however, remain the same.

Getting consistent ink flow from a cheap ballpoint is part of the challenge.

Lastly, the scanner can't seem to capture the detailed lines of this drawing. Bah.

20 December 2006

Knoll


The aim in this sketch is to achieve a lightness of feel which is quite at odds with the oppressiveness of the previous sketch.

21cm x 15cm Pigment Ink sketch. Faber-Castell, Rotring. 0.2, 0.3. Posted by Picasa
The Running Stream in the Forest


I essentially finished the majority of this sketch a few weeks back leaving the grass and pebbles. Over the next few weeks, I filled it up during bus trips, MRT journeys and so forth. I finished decided to just finish it tonight.

21cm x 15cm. Pigment ink. Faber-Castell, Rotring, Pilot, Copic markers. 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.5. Posted by Picasa
An AK (Silver) Moment...

AK:
SC! i made 3 comments on your blogsite today! you're honoured. and i wasn't even rude. 
Baby Bird


Wild baby pigeons. I spotted them about half a year ago. I doubt if they survived. I heard that a hornbill got them.

Posted by Picasa
8.8cm Flugabwehrkanone (18, 36, 37)


The infamous 8.8cm anti-aircraft gun, which was also used as in an anti-tank role, was introduced into service in 1933 as the 8.8cm Flak 18. Subsequently, from experience gained, the weapon was simplified for manufacture and operation as the Flak 36.

With a typical anti-tank projectile, the penetration was claimed to be 105mm at 1000m. This was far in excess of the armour carried on any Allied tank in the early part of the war.

Imperial War Museum, Duxford: July 2006 Posted by Picasa
Knight III


Pencil doodle. 8cm x 16.5cm. Colleen HB (No.2) pencil.

Future Infantry

I was conversing with Andreas over email over the costs of infantry when he observed the inevitable trend of the increasing complexity of infantry and its protection:

"...will probably continue to be the case until the soldiers look like the marines in the Warhammer universe (protected by super-thick personal armor) or the human fighters are replaced by fighting robots."

There are many such programmes and they are not limited to Singapore.

There is:

the US Land Warrior programme:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_Warrior

or the British FIST programme:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIST

or the French Felin programme:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F%C3%A9lin

or Australian Land 125 programme:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_125

and the German programme. The name escapes me at present.

The US Interim Styker Brigade has a so-called digital sophisticated communication system and more that is being tested in Iraq at present. Details can be found in various places online and offline.
More statistics on the Leopard 2A4

The Leopard 2A4 does carry a APU.

In another note, my friend also stated the following:

Chobham, 120mm rounds--that's all cool.

But here are much more important numbers:

--Fuel efficiency: 0.46 liters per km
--Fuel capacity: 1200 liters
--Theoretical maximum range without refueling: 552 km
--Distance from Singapore to KL: 325 km
--Combat load: 42 x 120mm rounds
Leopard 2A4 MBTs for Singapore

A friend is sceptical of the value of main battle tanks (MBTs) in a tropcial environment. He stated:

"What mission exactly does the military have in mind for MBTs? These MBTs are going to do squat. Tanks are inherently offensive weapons, yet JB and the rest of the peninsular isn't tank country. If the mission is indeed offense, think clogged streets; long, slow-moving tank columns; a long and vulnerable logistical tail. If the mission is defense, then what'll happen is the MBTs surrender their mobility and become pillboxes (hulldown around reinforced concrete blocks). Or they are used as mobile, armored QRFs, but then, Singapore isn't exactly MBT country either, assuming very plausibly there will be aerial and arty interdiction. End result: a very expensive and sophisticated piece of hardware reduced to a glorified AT gun with MGs in static positions."

He makes some valid points here.

It will be the doctrine and employment of the Leopard 2A4s which will count.
Fighting Techniques of a Japanese Infantryman 1941-1945: Training, Techniques and Weapons



This fascinating volume on the Imperial Japanese Army relates to the organisation, training, tactics, weapons and most importantly, its mindset and indoctrination. Like many other books on the Japanese military, it has been observed that the Japanese society then was heavily indoctrinated and militarised. Dissidents were eliminated much earlier, as were dissenting points of views.

One particularly interesting aspect is that of the myth of jungle-trained Japanese troops. It is noted that the Japanese troops trained under severely conditions in all kinds of climate and terrain. The distances in their force-marches were incredible as were their ability to withstand hardship. Hence, when it came to jungle fighting, the Japanese were formidable.

The doctrine also discouraged frontal attacks though Japanese commanders were so aggressive that they often organised the hasty, frontal attack. Night attacks, double envelopment, etc.

This is quite a good read. The volume is well-illustrated too.

19 December 2006

Gorgos, Telosf and Marlboro

Conversations on DuneMUD...

Some people on Dune are knowledgable and is able to distinguish between LaVeyan Satanism and Luciferianism. Following a short conversation on LaVeyan Satanism.

[21:48] Telosf: but while you're getting it, you must listen to the picard song on repeat
[21:49] Marlboro: Picard!
[21:49] Gorgos: Yes, Picard!
[21:49] Gorgos: ma-ma-ma-ma-make it so!
[21:49] Telosf thinks picard was a Satanist
[21:50] Gorgos: No, the character of Picard is very compassionate and overtly forgiving.
[21:50] Marlboro agrees with Telosf.
[21:50] Marlboro: LaVey didn't have any hair either.
[21:50] Telosf: depends... he always got his way though
[21:50] Gorgos: He has a superiour intellect and a great deal ofinfuence, yet does not use them to attain more power.
[21:51] Telosf: lol
[21:51] Telosf: picard was a cool character
[21:52] Gorgos: Picard also supports the goverment that exists in the Star Trek canon.
[21:52] Telosf: yeah, but their government was a lot different
[21:52] Gorgos: That is herd conformity, and that is one of the satanic sins.
[21:52] Gorgos: Their goverment is very left-winged, with general equality.
[21:52] Gorgos: The exact opposite of what satanism is about.
[21:53] Telosf: you have to consider the context though
[21:53] Telosf: they have replicators
[21:53] Gorgos: Still, a satanist wouldn't support the general equality of people. That is foolish and counterproductive.Supporting the weak strains the strong. This is wrong.
[21:53] Telosf: and picard held onto certain aspects of hisidentity
[21:54] Telosf: but in a society where nobody is really weak?
[21:54] Telosf: they still have heirarchy... consider federation command
[21:55] Gorgos: We are not shown the poor peons but surely they must exist.
[21:55] Marlboro nods at Gorgos.
[21:55] Telosf: yeah, they're called ensigns
[21:55] Telosf: that's why they always die
[21:55] Marlboro: You do know your satanism and individualism very well.
[21:55] Marlboro: And also the general politics of the Star Trek world. I'm impressed.
{Fremen}: Telosf : and their ultimate goal was the creation of a master race.
{Fremen}: Gorgos : All people, always, will seek out their superiors and wish to
be commanded and controlled. Being controlled is safe. We all want to be taken care of. Human Nature.-
{ More poison has been excreted by the fungus. }-
{Fremen}: Telosf : but that's a whole other ballpark to get into.
{Fremen}: Telosf : I don't want to be controlled
{Fremen}: Telosf : I want to be happy.
{Fremen}: Telosf : but not that general definition
[21:56] Telosf: you can always abstract
[21:56] Gorgos: I've just been watching episodes of TNG :D
[21:56] Telosf laughs
[21:56] Marlboro: Who would give up their individualism for a state-controlled world?
[21:56] Telosf: Germany
[21:56] Gorgos: Touché
[21:57] Telosf: and their ultimate goal was the creation of a master race.
[21:57] Gorgos: All people, always, will seek out their superiors and wish to be commanded and controlled. Being controlled is safe. We all want to be taken care of. Human Nature.
[21:57] Telosf: but that's a whole other ballpark to get into.
[21:57] Telosf: I don't want to be controlled
[21:57] Telosf: I want to be happy.
[21:58] Telosf: but not that general definition
[21:58] Gorgos: Instinctively humans want others to tell them whatto do.
[21:58] Telosf: *most* humans
[21:58] Marlboro points to the Orgasmatron.
[21:58] Marlboro nudges Telosf.
[21:58] Gorgos: Most humans, yes.
[21:58] Marlboro: The herd mentality is prevalent.
[21:59] Marlboro: When told up front, they would, of course, deny.
[21:59] Marlboro: But the reality is otherwise.
[21:59] Telosf: depends on who you're asking.
[21:59] Telosf: most americans, yes... though most americans (atleast in my experience here) are sheep
[21:59] Marlboro nods.
[22:00] Marlboro: That is my experience too when I was living over there.
[22:00] Telosf: But I'm not too sure about the rest of the world.
[22:00] Marlboro: The culture of the mainstream is overwhelming.
[22:00] Gorgos: Americans think themselves individuals, sitting intheir living rooms, consuming mass media 8,5 hours every day.Pathetic.
[22:00] Marlboro: the sense of popular culture, mass culture has an oppressing effect. One can literally feel it.
[22:01] Telosf: that's one the the advantages.... it's clearly marked
[22:01] Marlboro: I don't know. I lived in the UK for three years too. I think there is a lot more diversity there.
[22:01] Marlboro: And also a lot of doublethink unfortunately.
[22:01] Telosf: could be... or the illusion of it
[22:02] Marlboro: a new breed of left-wing thinking. Post-Colonial Studies, Cultural Studies, etc. Not unlike Chomsky in the USA.
[22:02] Telosf: Bah
[22:02] Marlboro: K-drama will save the world!
[22:03] Marlboro: You will all consume your kimchi-laced GM food!
[22:03] Marlboro: food!
[22:03] Marlboro: You know it's good for you! You will have different spices and sauces to express your individuality!
[22:03] Telosf: and watch your reality television, because those people are liviing the life you should
[22:03] Marlboro: Salt, pepper or kimchi for your spam!
[22:03] Marlboro cheers Telosf enthusiastically.
[22:03] Gorgos: Reality television. God... what a concept.
[22:04] Marlboro laughs.
[22:04] Telosf: yeah, it's all over the place.
[22:04] Gorgos: Spend all day dealing with fools and idiots onlyto go home, open the television and watch fools and idiots play stupid, pointless games. That is reality television.
[22:05] Marlboro: The Running Man!
[22:05] Marlboro goes 'Bah!'.
[22:05] Gorgos: Stupidity. That, if I remember correctly, is the primary sin in LaVeyan Satanism. A fitting word to describeAmerican mass media.
[22:06] Telosf: indeed
[22:06] Marlboro: For that matter, the mass media everywhere.
[22:07] Marlboro: The lesser markets aspire to be like the American mass media, the optimisation of 50 years of TV culture.
[22:07] Gorgos: Mostly true.
[22:07] Marlboro: Even the BBC has descended...
[22:08] Marlboro: into a special hell of its own.
[22:08] Gorgos: Curiously enough, one aspect of Finnish mass media is quite intelligent: the newscasting of our NationalBroadcasting Company. It is rather smart stuff, presented without opinions. I like it.
[22:08] Gorgos: The rest of our television is shite.
[22:08] Telosf: I just keep it on for company.
[22:08] Marlboro: British papers. Culture, etc. It's institutionalised. Different papers for different people on different bits of the political spectrum. The Guardian, The Independent, the Daily Telegraph, the Sun, etc
[22:09] Marlboro nods at Gorgos.
[22:09] Telosf: and all regulated
[22:09] Marlboro: Gorgos, you gotta get Nightbreeze back!
[22:09] Marlboro sighs.
[22:09] Gorgos nods.
[22:09] Gorgos: I get most of my news through reddit.com
[22:10] Telosf: dammit my cat is annoying
[22:10] Marlboro: There is a Finn term for individualism and self-reliance. Sisi* or something?
[22:10] Gorgos: I know the term you mean.
[22:11] Gorgos: It does not refer to individualism, but to strenght, determination, resiliance, perseverance.
[22:11] Marlboro: Is it something in Finnish culture?
[22:11] Marlboro nods at Gorgos.
[22:11] Gorgos: perceverance
[22:11] Gorgos: The word is "sisu"
[22:11] Gorgos: The closets english translation would be "guts"
[22:11] Marlboro: Ahh... I came across the term about 18-20 years ago.
[22:11] Marlboro smiles happily.
[22:11] Gorgos: But it is much more than that.
[22:11] Marlboro: I know it does not translate literally.
[22:13] Gorgos: We have a saying : "Sisu will take a man through the grey rock."
[22:13] Gorgos: Grey rock meaning the base-stone that is under the dirt.
[22:13] Telosf: bedrock
[22:13] Marlboro hmms.
[22:13] Gorgos: Aye, bedrock.
[22:14] Telosf: I like that philosophy.
[22:15] Telosf: it insinuates that nothing is impenetrable
[22:15] Gorgos: Sisu is one of the two things we call "the measures of a man"
[22:15] Gorgos: We believe that any man can be evaluated by two things: his honesty and his sisu.
[22:15] Telosf: so essentially, honesty and willpower
[22:16] Gorgos: When judging the character of a man, these are what matter.
[22:16] Gorgos: Yes.
[22:16] Marlboro: At least, it's not a subserviant, fatalistic one.
[22:16] Telosf: I would agree with that.
[22:16] Marlboro: Over here, people thinks that the government owes them a living. We get a lot of whiners here.
[22:16] Telosf: I'm so sick of hearing about bullshit morals and a concept of integrity
[22:17] Gorgos: I blame Christianity for that.
[22:17] Marlboro laughs.
[22:17] Telosf: I would agree.
[22:17] Gorgos: Christianity brought along this idea that everyhuman being is "holy" and "sacred". What bullshit.
[22:17] Telosf: nothing is sacred
[22:17] Gorgos: If you let everyone believe they, by simply being born human, are somehow valuabe and worthy, you ruin them.
[22:18] Gorgos: Many things are sacred. Human beings are not among them.
[22:18] Telosf: yep, the proof is in the person. not in theirbeing.
[22:18] Marlboro: Agreed. Nothing is sacred. And nothing should be sacred.
[22:18] Telosf: I think each person is entitled to their own sacred things.
[22:18] Marlboro: The Judeo-Christian-Islamic trinity... bah.
[22:19] Telosf: I've just so happened to lose all of mine, so I know what a harmful concept that can be.
[22:19] Gorgos: To me, honesty is sacred. Individuality is sacred.My home is sacred.
[22:19] Marlboro: I was just about to say something about Honesty.
[22:19] Telosf nods.
[22:20] Marlboro: I do equate honesty and with integrity.
[22:20] Gorgos: Respecting other people by not bothering them.That is a sacred principle.
[22:20] Telosf: yeah, bothering people is a big no-no
[22:20] Marlboro: I think it is paramount. Something about self-worth. Not some crap about higher entities
[22:20] Telosf: the only higher entity you will ever meet is yourself.
[22:21] Marlboro: Or some fairyland.
[22:21] Telosf: most people are in fairyland
[22:21] Gorgos: Other people can also be sacred if they are worthy. Assuming every human being is sacred is foolish. It demeans the idea of respecting people. If you respect everyone, you respect no one.
[22:21] Marlboro: Ever read Daniel C. Dennett?
[22:21] Telosf: indeed
[22:22] Telosf: nope
[22:22] Gorgos: To me, my girlfriend is sacred. She is special among people, and thus I respect her.
[22:22] Marlboro: Freedom evolves. Daniel C. Dennett.
[22:22] Marlboro nods at Gorgos.

Edited for typos and grammar.

*Sisu
Volkswagen Type 166 Schwimmwagen



Imperial War Museum, Duxford: July 2006 Posted by Picasa
Ngee Ann City


Ngee Ann City was built on the site of a Teochew cemetary, land belonging to the the Ngee Ann Kongsi clan and the Ngee Ann Building which used to house Mont 'Dor, a well-known cafe and the most luxurious and upscale apartment block in Singapore in the early seventies. Posted by Picasa

18 December 2006

Velocity



The new extension at Novena Square was named 'Velocity'. I wonder about the trend of naming malls with a city suffix, Vivocity, Suntec City, Raffles City, Velocity...

This new extension should effective double the 'lett-able' space in Novena Square. Velocity houses mainly retailers dealing in goods and services of a sporting nature. Posted by Picasa
Lucky Plaza



Lucky Plaza was the most successful of malls in Singapore in the early eighties. Today, it is a busy haven for Filipinos, especially those employed in the maid and housekeeping profession. There is an apartment block above the mall.

Lucky Plaza and many other buildings along Orchard Road were a reflection of the dynamism of the Singapore economy during the period of high growth in the seventies and eighties. The twenty-first century had seen almost no new constuction (except renovations) in Orchard Road. Posted by Picasa
Mandarin Hotel

This hotel with a revolving restaurant on the top was built in the early seventies and it remains as the tallest building on Orchard Road. It is expected that the new building which is being built on the site of the Orchard MRT station, a former cemetary, will exceed the Mandarin. Posted by Picasa
Su-100 Assault Gun


The 31.6-tonned Su-100 had 45-75mm of armour in front and a 500 hp diesel engine. The Su-100 mounted a D-10S 100mm gun with 34 rounds which was later mounted in hordes of postwar T-54s, T-55s and Type-59 tanks.



Tank Museum, Bovington: July 206 Posted by Picasa
Our sonsofbitches are dead

There is a humourous and well-written take on dictators titled "There are two kinds of dictator: ours and theirs. Ours are better" by Niall Ferguson, Professor of History at Harvard University in the Sunday Telegraph.

Some quotes:

"On the other hand, Kirkpatrick was surely right that conservative autocracies would be more likely to make that transition — and more likely to make it successfully. Not only Chile itself but also South Korea and Taiwan were among the many non-Communist autocracies to democratise in the 1980s. By contrast, the former Soviet republics, including Russia itself, have struggled to make a success of political freedom. It is tempting to say that the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, personifies the disturbing tendency for ex-Communist countries to slide back into autocracy. Central Europe may be the exception that proves the rule."

and

"Our sonsofbitches are dead (mostly). So are theirs. But the world has not seen the last of self-propelled dictatorship, alas. As Jeane Kirkpatrick rightly said, democracy is unlikely to survive without "an economy strong enough to provide decent levels of well-being for all, and 'open' enough to provide mobility and encourage achievement, a pluralistic society and the right kind of political culture"."

and

"Plus ça change, it's tempting to say in the light of recent events in the Middle East. Except that today's failed democratisations are due not to the machinations of the Marxist guerrillas of Kirkpatrick's day. The problem today, from the Horn of Africa to Afghanistan, is more often the interaction of ethnic conflict and radical Islam, a threat disastrously underestimated by most Reaganite conservatives."
Cost of Equipment of a US Infantryman

Costs are in US Dollars.


Source: Wall Street Journal, 14th December 2006
The Pacific War Papers: Japanese Documents of World War II

Two nights ago, I was reading an interview with Admiral Kondo in 1947 on naval operations. I also read a Japanese account on the assessment on the US air raid on Truk which saw the destruction of over 325 Japanese aircraft, 270 of which were destroyed on the ground.

The Japanese documents in this collection are mainly from the Gordon Prange collection which are mostly concerned with pre-war research leading up to Pearl Harbour. Over 70% of the book are mostly pre-war papers. Only the final 30% which includes an assesssment of the Java Sea battle and more deals with the conduct of the war.

However, the original Japanese points of views are very illuminating. Now, here is something that is as close to a primary source as possible and as such can be considered as one.
The Pillars of Postwar Pacifism

An old friend John sends a link of a CNN report on the Japanese changes in their pacifist constitution. The report states:

"TOKYO, Japan (AP) -- Japan's conservative government chipped away at two pillars of the country's postwar pacifism, requiring schools to teach patriotism and upgrading the Defense Agency to a full ministry for the first time since World War II."

Not too smart eh? Wanting to assume a large defense burden and role eventually when the USA has been guaranteeing their defence all along. Of course, the Japs may have fears of a diminishing US role in East Asia, hence, the perceived need to be more self-sufficient in their defence.

Ian sees it as the first step towards Japan eventually rearming.

"Yes, at last Japan rearms. Time to put the past behind and balance the rise of China. The N Korean missile tests helped to justify Japanese re-armament as well as face to the truth, that the Threat of China exist and is real. N Korea is just a little plaything of China."
Barbarian Management

My friend Ian stated in his blog entry that:

"the Threat of China exist and is real..."


And he elaborated:

"Why the China threat theory? This country has always advocated that it has a 5000 year old history and so on and so forth. What's ironic is, while always emphasising on its great culture and historical achievements, the Chinese propaganda always overlooks on the Chinese imperialistic behavior. Granted that many felt that it turned inwards and was more domestically focused, one has to acknowledge as well that the Chinese considered all others as barbarians and that they were the "centre of the world" hence the middle kingdom mentality. This mentality continues to exist to this day with their perceptions that china is the best and the strongest. Examples of this in modernity involves my personal interactions with them both personally and professional."

He is not wrong. In addition, Communist China's ambitions and record of border wars since 1949 is there.

China, whether imperial, nationalist or communist, has always practised barbarian management. In this age of Islamic extremism, their relations with Iran and the supply of nuclear and rocket technology cannot be overlooked. Neither can China's supply of convention arms to Iran and Iraq (previously) be overlooked.

The reality is that the Chinese planners must realise that one day, if they were to provide extremist Islamic regimes with nuclear arms, the spectre of the arms will return to them and bite them hard... They really shouldn't be playing with fire.

Lee Kuan Yew, in his column for Forbes, stated it very well:

"Islam has not been a problem. However, contemporary radical Islam, or Islamism, is a problem. Oil without Islamism can be a problem, but Islamism plus oil becomes a volatile mix. Islamism plus oil plus weapons of mass destruction (WMD) equals a threat. Iran has insisted on its right to enrich uranium and has threatened to cut its oil exports, currently 2.5 million barrels per day, if sanctions are imposed. The prospect of a cut in supply caused oil prices to tick upward. A nuclear-capable Iran will significantly alter the geopolitical balance..."
Shattered Sword



David recommended 'Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway'. David does who know what he is talking about. So, I shall bear in mind and get this book eventually.

I notice that the section on books on the war and battles in the Pacific during the Second World War is rather sparse in Kinokuniya. I wonder if that is deliberate...

17 December 2006

SU-100


The superlative SU-100 assault gun was able to destroy German Tiger and Panther tanks with its high velocity D-10S 100mm gun which was comparable to the 88mm L71 gun mounted on the Tiger IIs, Elefants and Jagdpanthers. Beginning in the latter half of 1944, the SU-100, a derivative of the SU-85 which was an assault gun based on the T-34 chassis, began to appear in numbers. The AP ammunition of the D-10S gun could penetrate 162mm of armour at 500 metres and 150mm at 1000 metres.

Imperial War Museum, Duxford: July 2006 Posted by Picasa
Dragonfly

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Curious Cat

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