11 August 2007

More Football Predictions

Relegation candidates for this season?

1. Wigan
2. Derby
3. West Ham

Yeah, I wish Sunderland and ManU would be relegated. Hahaha.

Who do you think will get relegated?
Football Predictions

Here we go. I will make some silly predictions for the season.

The standings at the end of the season:

1. Manchester United
2. Chelsea
3. Liverpool
4. Spurs
5. Arsenal

It will be interesting to see if they turn out right at the end of the season next year.

Mind you, I am not a ManU fan, I don't like them but I am realistic. What are your predictions?
Freeman Dyson's Heretical Thoughts

Freeman Dyson has three heretical thoughts on global warming and climatic change. The first:

"My first heresy says that all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated. Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models. Of course, they say, I have no degree in meteorology and I am therefore not qualified to speak. But I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do. "

Essentially his first point is:

"As a scientist I do not have much faith in predictions. Science is organized unpredictability."

His article is well-worth reading. It is meant to be thought-provoking. His suggestions of possible solutions are intriguing as are his perspectives.

10 August 2007

08 August 2007

Lions, Donkeys and Dinosaurs: Waste and Blundering in the Military



I picked up 'Lions, Donkeys and Dinosaurs' by Lewis Page at HMV at the Heeren over the weekend. The 2007 edition of the book was surprisingly priced at S$12.95 which was far below the British listed price of $24.00 (based on a rough conversion). For a sense of perspective on the British military's procurement and its top-heavy structure, this book was quite unrivalled.

The author ranted against the rather abysmal SA80 IW (L85) assault rifle and its derivative the LSW (L86) and exposed the waste involved in the rebuild to the L85A2. Who wouldn't rant against such waste and callous disregard for the frontline serving troops?

Page also exposed the procurement decisions made in the choice of the A400M transport aircraft (FLA), the 'new' Merlin helicopter, the Type 45 destroyer, the Typhoon and more.

It's quite a worthwhile read, not dissimilar in a superficial way to A. Hadley's 'Straw Giant' which exposed the waste in the US military in the early eighties.

I would recommend this to everyone with an interest in military affairs and procurement.
"Whatever happens,
we have got The Maxim Gun
And they have not"

Hilaire Belloc
I went for a short run in the evening yesterday. After which, I read Lewis Page's 'Lions, Donkeys and Dinosaurs' while listening to Rimsky-Korsakov's 'Scheherazade for orchestra Op35'.


This composition has always been a personal favourite.





07 August 2007

Ironman!


A new superhero with Robert Downey Jr. playing Ironman is due out in 2008! WOO! This should be interesting.
Goodness, it is already 3:46 pm. It's been a rather hectic day. I haven't had much time to sit and clear certain work.
It's dinner with Lam, Alvina, Amelia and Colin at Outback tomorrow. Heheh. It's been a while since I have seen Alvina.
Busy busy. So much work.

06 August 2007

Borders Discounts

Borders 25% off books coupon (Expires on 09.08.2007)
http://email.borders.com.au/sg/2007/20070727/coupon_01_sg.html

Border 20% off CD coupon (Expires on 09.08.2007)
http://email.borders.com.au/sg/2007/20070727/coupon_02_sg.html
Jason Bourne: The Adolescent Power Fantasy

Who doesn't like the Jason Bourne amnesia thrillers? In book form, this was, of course, a fun read when I was fifteen or sixteen. In a way, it is a teenaged adolescent power fantasy. Secret assassin powers and all!

However, it does get tiresome, like many other fantasies of this form, be it in the techno-thriller genre, spy genre, SF genre, fantasy genre or comics.

And what of real life?

Addendum

Having read quite a bit about memory and also other mind-related subjects, well....


Speaking of which, the cinematic Jason Bourne, aka Matt Damon, seems to be somewhat pudgy in the trailers.
Drat. Now, there is a blackout on the fifth level corridor.
Lift problem again. Damn.
Knocked Up



Awful, awful flick. I watched this a few weeks back. Initially funny at the start but the toilet humour and the predictable plot were too tedious to bear halfway through the movie. The characters protrayed were unlikeable.
The Aviator


I watched 'The Aviator' last night. What a muddle. Like 'Gangs of New York', Sorcese's biopic, 'The Aviator', was tedious and directionless. What a waste.
Wow! A busy morning. The service lift has broken down or jammed for some reason. Fortunately, it was a simple fix.

This has the makings of a busy week.
Dead writers write more books



Colin and I had had this running joke for years. We said, as soon as an author dies, you would expect a deluge of 'new' books bearing his name in huge bold fonts and some minor writer in small print. This had proven to be a winning formula in the publishing world apparently and we didn't expect anything less.

In the case of Robert Ludlum, since his death, at least new twelve books were released! The New York Times in an article titled 'The Ludlum Conundrum: A Dead Novelist Provides New Thrills' and the Independent in an article titled 'The Ludlum identity: How a bestselling author was Bourne again' examined this phenomena which had been around for over the last decade and a half at least. Since then, Eric Van Lustbader, a bestselling thriller and fantasy writer in his own right, best known for the huge hit 'The Ninja', had been contracted and had written two more of the Bourne books.

Meanwhile, bestselling fantasy writer David Gemmell had died lately, only completing two books in his Trojan War trilogy. This should not be too difficult for a ghost writer as the Trojan War was well-known. I would be expecting new volumes from David Gemmell to come out soon. Books on the Drenai world and more! A deluge!

There had been so many new novels on Asimov's Foundation and Marion Zimmer Bradley's myriad creations since their deaths too.

Of course there were also the sons and daughters who continued their parents' legacy in extending those original works . The works of J.R.R. Tolkien and Frank Herbert came to mind immediately.

Publishers and the estate of the late writer milking the devoted fanbase? You bet!
State of Progress: Tribal Wars, World 5



The tribe had collapsed. From rank 10, it had slipped to 21st. The leaders' morale had collapsed due to lack of general activity amongst tribal members and a general war by the top tribes against our tribe. As a result, there were mass desertions. Pretty sad.



So many villages lost. So many players lost. Just too bad.
State of Progress: Tribal Wars, World 5



My Tribal Wars status. 402, 911 points. 39 villages. I hadn't been doing much. I was pretty much not doing much for a month except for a short war about two weeks ago. My tribemates are so inactive. There seemed little point in continuing that war.




My continental ranking on continent 64 had slipped to seventh.



And my global ranking 170th.



My offensive points were at 304,057. Oh well. I am not far from ceasing play. It had gotten somewhat stale.

05 August 2007

Orchard Central: The Transformation


The construction of Orchard Central. In the seventies, this site used to be a busy night market. A pasar malem as they called it. It was across the road from the old Keok Road Market. I doubt if many people can remember the old Keok Road market which had been replaced by Orchard Point.

The old Keok Road was a street of shophouses. I could still remember it.

Orchard Road would soon be transformed.


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