29 June 2007
Borders has more coupons out. These end on the 12th of July. One can print out and use as many one want wants at the counter.
Coupon 1: 20% off for two books, 30% off for three books
Coupon 2: 15% off for DVD, VCD and CDs
Heh. Not too bad.
28 June 2007
Can one be an elite loser? Yes. Let me relate. There is a bunch of idiots I know who prided and imagined themselves elitists of a sort. After all, they play D&D games and hold movie outings and watch Hollywood blockbuster movies every weekend, especially the Pixar ones, and, they, at least one of them, a vain, affected specimen, deems themselves to be exciting, intelligent and unlike the plebian hordes of others who are also playing D&D and watching the same oh-so-exciting blockbuster movies. A number of them in this proud and self-important group, with their Australian-bought degrees, drift, sometimes, dreaming of attaining again that aimless Australian college lives they once led, and sometimes, just devolving into pure consumption. Meanwhile, the self-indulgent remainder are relatively successful in their careers but remain aimless and lost, deluded in their suburban dreams with some rather strange perversions.
Is it the shared, common schooling experience which they had experienced off the hustle and bustle of Bras Barsa Road? Is it the trauma of shared ideals, reflected off each other countlessly over inane D&D sessions held in some vainglorious peacock's home to the extent that they all suffer from the same mental affliction? Can it be that they succumbed to the pressures of Singaporean life despite having a comfortable upbringing? Is it the insidious, all-encompassing influence of mass media including TV and movies? What is it?
There is a song title from Imperative Reaction which I think will describe them perfectly. 'Only in your mind'. The content of the song is about something else.
27 June 2007
26 June 2007
01. Die Sieben Siegel (Intro)
05. Heaven`s Help (Life Part III)
08. Inside (Inside Out Mix)
09. Hero (D.J. Edit)
10. Sad But True
11. Hero (Reprise)
I had 'Collapse' playing loudly in the background while I wrote my diary and finished up with a few drawings last night. In Strict Confidence's interpretation of the classic Depeche Mode single 'Stripped' was apt. Harsh and relentless.
Earlier, I had ISC's 'Face the Fear' in the player.
"First was a disastrous PR gaffe after one of Jolie's overzealous lawyers tried to force journalists to sign a contract before they could interview her for the film's publicity drive. The document said they could not ask Jolie any personal questions and that the interview '... could only be used to promote the picture'.
Though the world of celebrity interviews is often full of such tacit agreements, the existence of a legal contract saw many reporters, including those from USA Today and the Associated Press news agency, cancel interviews. The fact that A Mighty Heart is about the issue of press freedom made the story all the more ironic. 'Jolie turns out to be a mighty hypocrite when it comes to her own freedom of the press,' said Fox TV's Roger Friedman."
The BBC has a report on the ruckus up north, depending on how one wants to view it, 'legalised racism' or 'affirmative action' :
"He said that the policies - once intended as a means of reducing poverty amongst Malays by giving them privileges over Malaysians of Chinese and Indian descent - were now an excuse for "significant protectionism".
Correspondents say some foreign companies have complained that rules forcing them to take on ethnic Malays as business partners open the door to corruption.
Malaysian leaders were angry at Mr Rommel's remarks, with Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak saying the comments could be "construed as trying to interfere in the internal administration of the country". "
There was simply no attempt by Razak at denying or even explaining. Amusing.
From an article in The Independent:
"Mr Gore claims that concerns over the environment formed his "principal agenda for eight years in the White House". But he is light on details of what he did while in office, beyond a brief mention of his work with the Kyoto treaty (which was never ratified by Congress).
During his tenure as vice president, America's carbon dioxide emissions shot up far faster than at any time in modern history - by 15 per cent, compared to just 1.65 per cent during President Bush's first term."
Can we say the 'H' word?
25 June 2007
Information Society's new EP 'Oscillator' brings back the whole Information Society crew and more.
1. Back In The Day
2. I Like The Way You Werk It
3. Great Big Disco World
4. Back In The Day (Electro Roots Mix)
5. I Like The Way You Werk It (Jr. Kain and Arvy Mix)
6. Back In The Day (Kasino Mix)
7. Back In The Day (Jr. Kain and Arvy Mix)
The tracks on this EP harks back to the sounds found in 'Peace and Love Inc.', their stupendous third album, before Information Society went on a long hiatus*.
The tracks aren't bad, infused with a manic energy found in the first and third Insoc albums, however, 'Oscillator', and despite having Paul Robb writing all the tracks again, 'Oscillator' seems to lack that strong sense of melody that permeated every previous work. The choruses of the two main tracks feels very bolted on, absolutely out of place.
'Oscillator' features Christopher Anton on vocals rather than Kurt Harland and Anton does sound very good.
Don't miss this CD. 500 pieces will be manufactured and it can be ordered from A Different Drum.
*'Don't be Afraid' is an anomaly, a solo Kurt Harland project essentially.
Yesterday, my little kitten was chasing my big one-year old cat all over. It was hilarious! The little kitten, Mimi, weighing about half a kilogramme, approached Mao who weighed eight kilogrammes at least, seeking the security which a tabby cat can give. Mao was all flustered!
Yesterday, I decided to vary my usual Sunday routine. I went for a run in the morning. Swimming was simply too boring. I am out of shape. I ran for three kilometres before proceeding to walk for the next seven or more kilometres. I started off near the Botanic Gardens and ended up at Bukit Timah. All in all, a satisfying but rather hot exertion.
23 June 2007
21 June 2007
Hmm.. The old Quonset huts or Nissen huts next to the bungalows in the NUS compound next to the Botanic Gardens have been torn down. Not much of a loss but Nissen huts did represent a certain past era. I think these should Nissen huts rather than Quonset huts, then again, they could be Quonset huts as many were distributed throughout the world after the war as surplus. As it is, there are still some corrugated steel structures left in Harding Road and Dempsey Road area. I think there are some left in some of the older army barracks in Singapore.
20 June 2007
I just got his call from some ang mo guy from Hong Kong trying to get me to set up a trading account.
Straight off, I told him that I was not interested in buying anything or any investment information. I told him that I was not interested in hearing about his company. He was distinctively annoyed and he tried to control the conversation, trying to tell me that he wanted to talk to me and that he was not selling and more. It was pretty overt. Outright. I hadn't experienced such a 'control freak' in.... wait, I had recently at PS Cafe! Haha. I told him that I didn't want to waste his time or mine but he kept trying to control the conversation.
I simplytold him that I was not interested continuously and he was getting quite heated. Finally, I said 'goodbye' and hung up. He was apparently annoyed enough to try calling again! This time, I didn't bother. I said 'hello' but he was silent. I left the phone hanging.
I got a lot of these calls from investment companies, trading account companies and more. Often, the tele-promoters were usually Filipino, Indian or Caucasian. The former two would have a robotic monotone manner of speech for some reason. Kinda like the late 70s Cylons in Battlestar Galactica.
Wilson said this was the curse of the Age of IP Telephony. Nonexistent telephone charges.
19 June 2007
Toilet humour? College humour? However, this is comedy with a difference as there were so many stand-ups of racial stereotypes. The perception of minorities within America. I saw it just a few nights ago. Hilarious!
Riveting, riveting read. I finished it over the weekend. This new release from the Black Library is pure escapism, superlative space opera from Dan Abnett.
Like the Eisenhorn trilogy, I feel that the Ravenor trilogy is one of the best series of space opera out there, forget the awful Shadowrun novels, the bland Battletech ones, the Starcraft money-grabbers, the Dune corpse-diggers, this is it.
17 June 2007
16 June 2007
15 June 2007
14 June 2007
I managed to seize a village from Eyuphan this evening, raising my standings to second within the tribe.
Within the continent, I am now ranked fifth. Strangely enough, the best player on the continent and in the tribe, Kenshin85, is Singaporean! Yay! From our game interaction, I gather that he is a nice person.
And I am now at 212, 710 points.
Eyuphan, an enemy who I have had two previous clashes with, has been totally destroyed. He had come off well twice earlier. When he was strong, he was arrogant and full of threats.
When I came to be destroying him this week, he kept sending me mail asking 'Why?' And he also sent a 'fuck you' mail. Anyhow, despite his desperate last ditch defences and attacks, I took his last village, condemning him to a re-start if he so chooses.
Well deserved! Good riddance!
13 June 2007
12 June 2007
11 June 2007
How will I even begin to describe this latest tome from William Urban? I finished it a few days ago after a short hiatus from it.
Firstly, this unpretentious book is a conversational piece about the role of mercenaries in various wars during the Middle Ages, quoting extensive from popular culture, Shakespeare and more. It describes the role of mercenaries in the Hundred Years War, the Baltic Crusades, the Italian Wars and more with some analysis as to how the mercenaries were viewed, who they were and more. It places mercenaries in the context and framework of the socio-political map. While conversational, it will bewilder readers who are unfamiliar with mention of the lesser known conflicts while delight readers who are familiar with them. Secondly, it can deter while it meanders all over.
Even then, it was good, fast, lightweight read.
09 June 2007
08 June 2007
Wait a minute! I do have more than one of those friends. In fact, I have a handful of them. Hahahahaha. Modern life. Reality. I think it is too much for some of them.
06 June 2007
05 June 2007
04 June 2007
I have heard good things about 'Equilibrium' and I had expectations. When I saw the DVD on Wednesday night at HMV, I bought it eagerly.
Well, I saw it last night and this was one of the most cliched and derivative movies that I have seen in a long time. With stylistic elements poorly directly lifted from The Matrix, derivative and meaningless gunplay action sequences again not dissimilar to the Matrix and a corny futuristic society where emotions were suppressed by drugs, it was obvious that this dismal movie was developed for the teenaged Matrix crowd who hungered for more of the same.
Who needed a plot? Who needed acting?
Who wouldn't know that the Cleric would eventually head over and kill Father? It's that obvious. He would walk along the corridor, waste everybody with his guns and finally kill the leader of that society.
Oh, in an emotion-repressed society, it was ironic that the bad guys with the suppressed emotions would chuckle, smile and rage when things turn their way or turn against them. C'mon!
There was no 'science' in this SF movie.
In my opinion, this is one of the worst action movies I have watched in years. Avoid at all costs.
Was anyone surprised that Kurt Wimmer, the director/writer, went on to direct 'Ultraviolet'?
02 June 2007
I watched this on DVD two days ago and I enjoyed myself quite a bit. This Danny Boyle and Alex Garland effort was in the tradition of 'The Day of the Triffids', 'The Drowned World' and other British diaster SF. The photography, pacing and plot were engrossing though the latter was not exactly original.
I am not a fan of zombie movies like Mister Paradox and Wei Yi, however, I do think highly of an older film from Danny Boyle, namely 'Trainspotting'. Likewise, 'The Beach' and 'A Life less ordinary' were interesting movies.
And when I typed out this post, blogger gave me a strange error message and asked me to report! I lost the post! Grr...
What on earth!
01 June 2007
Another Windows Live Messenger conversation with AK aka Richie Rich:
this find was reported in the press already
Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Chuang Shyue Chou says:
I haven't seen it.
Chuang Shyue Chou says:
they found some manual for torture in iraq
Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Chuang Shyue Chou says:
I know they are drawings. But still...
I saw the image of a torture victim of the Islamists in Iraq in a book. He was pretty much a lump of burnt meat. It's really horrifying.
Chuang Shyue Chou says:
The image can be found in the Bing West book 'No True Glory'. Not many people have seen that photo.
As usual, AK, being his usual so-helpful self, had brought to my notice of a roadside bombing in Southern Thailand. It would usually escape me as the bombings had become very commonplace lately but the death toll of this one was somewhat higher than normal. Roadside bomb! It would appear that the separatists-cum-Islamists are adopting the methods of the insurgency in Iraq. Ten Thai soldiers were killed. Another bombing at a market killed four and injured twenty-three more!
Quoting from the Yahoo News report:
"An army pick-up truck carrying 10 soldiers was first hit by a roadside bomb and then ambushed by Islamic rebels in Yala province, said Colonel Acra Tiproach, an army spokesman.
"All 10 soldiers in the truck were killed," Acra told AFP."
This does not bode well. There were previously small bombings and numerous beheadings from the Islamists but do I detect a new and more efficient means of bombing? The death toll seems abnormally high. Better remote triggers? Better or larger explosives? And the fact that it was also an ambush...
Tony just sent a link to a report on Yahoo News about a Vietnamese man killed by a falling tree near the Treetop Walk in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.
It was just these few weeks when several Singaporeans were killed in Singapore and Malaysia when trees fell on them. Bukit Batok, Mount Ophir.
Quoting from that report:
"Just over two weeks ago a woman was killed and two of her friends injured, when a raintree in the Bukit Batok Nature Reserve collapsed on them.
On the same day, a Singaporean man died in Mount Ophir in Johor, when a tree fell on him.
And five days later, another man died in the same way, also on Mount Ophir."
The chances? Astronomical. However, it will not comfort the bereaved families of the poor victims. And in a unrelated note, there were also three drownings earlier too. Two in Seletar Reservoir and one in Kallang River.
Quoting from that report again:
"SINGAPORE: Another death by a broken tree branch – a Vietnamese man in his 20s was killed when he was struck by a fallen branch on Thursday afternoon.
The incident happened at the exit of the Tree Top Walk trail (Petaling Trail) near MacRitchie Reservoir at the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene.
It was also raining heavily and the wind was strong at the time of the incident. "
AK, aka Shylock*, just sent a link to an article titled 'Singapore's New Look' on Time about living in Singapore.
Quoting from Time:
"There was something a bit unusual about Lee Kuan Yew's annual Chinese New Year speech this year. The words of Lee, Singapore's former Prime Minister and founding father, are heeded by the public, because they provide a road map for the city-state's economic development. Hewing to custom, Lee spoke dryly of free-trade agreements and strengthening economic ties with the region. But then he started talking about art exhibitions, jazz bands, museums and alfresco dining. In fact, eating outdoors was mentioned no fewer than three times as Lee laid out the government's vision for a multibillion-dollar residential and commercial real estate project located near the downtown core. The Marina Bay development would transform the way people live and work in Singapore, the Minister Mentor said. Electric golf buggies will whiz by diners as they gaze from the water's edge upon the "sailing, boating, windsurfing and fishing." Singapore aspires to be "a tropical version" of New York, Paris and London all in one, Lee said, adding "the Marina will be like the St. Mark's Piazza in Venice." "
When I was in the UK more than a decade ago, I recall that cities like Leeds and Manchester were also improving the quality of life within with outdoor cafes, music festivals and more.
*He is known by many names including Richie Rich, Tyrone, Potato Kuo, Ronnie, Gollum, thieving hobbit, and more.
It was about an ex-soft porn movie director, Peter Russell who found on receiving a new-flangled mobile phone that it accessed forbidden channels and affected the environs by attracting spirits. The descriptions of his sojourns throughout California was a little nostalgic but that was just about the only redeeming feature besides the descriptive prose.
I do have two more unread novels written by Bear somewhere on my shelves. Sigh.
The new GMT Games' P500 list is out! WOO!
Barbarossa: Kiev to Rostov Retail $85 P500 Price $59 Designed by Vance von Borries
Bataan! Retail $55 P500 Price $38 Designed by Vance von Borries
Blood and Sand Retail $50 P500 Price $35 Designed by Richard Berg
C3i Issue #19 Retail $20 P500 Price $14 Published by Rodger B. MacGowan
Combat Commander Battle Pack #1: Paratroopers Retail $20 P500 Price $14 Designed by Chad Jensen
Commands & Colors Expansion #3: The Roman Civil War Retail $30 P500 Price $21 Designed by Richard Borg
Hellenes Retail $69 P500 Price $48 Designed by Craig Besinque
Leaping Lemmings Retail $35 P500 Price $25 Designed by Rick Young & John Poniske
Pursuit of Glory Retail $55 P500 Price $38 Designed by Brad Stock
Ship of the Line (ziplock) Retail $20 P500 Price $14 Designed by Mike Nagel
The Storm Breaks Retail $45 P500 Price $32 Designed by Jeff Horger
Battle Line (P500 Reprint) Retail $20 P500 Price $14 Designed by Reiner Knizia
Ivanhoe (P500 Reprint) Retail $25 P500 Price $17 Designed by Reiner Knizia
Wilderness War (P500 Reprint) Retail $55 P500 Price $38 Designed by Volko Ruhnke
1. Hard Times/Love Action (medley)
2. Mirror Man
6. All I Ever Wanted
7. Open Your Heart
8. The Lebanon
10. Things That Dreams Are Made Of
12. Don't You Want Me?
13. Together In Electric Dreams
1. Mirror Man
The first Human League concert CD. Who would have thought?
I got this in London in July last year and I only got down to listening to it this week. Not bad at all. It feels somewhat short. This was apparently one that was recorded in 2005 at the Brighton Dome. However, I think there were better Human League concerts that could have been recorded previously.
Pretty fun disc.