26 November 2008

New malls everywhere

I wonder with the current crisis, how are the REITs and mall owners going to find tenants to sign up?

Today, it is announced that there will be a mall with a ten-hall cineplex at the Serangoon Central MRT site. There will be another huge one at Victoria Street, right across the road from Bugis Juntion.

Then, there is Orchard Central from Far East Organisation which is 60% filled. And there is the 311 at Somerset, right above the Somerset MRT station. Far East Organisation is revamping the old Ginza shopping centre and there will be a new mall there.

Not forgetting the new iconic Ion Orchard and Scotts Square. Ion Orchard can charge up to $60 psf. I think most of these malls are slated to be completed and launched in the next two years.

Will the financial crisis have passed? These are interesting times indeed!

25 November 2008

Well-educated and sane

"You cannot be both sane and well educated and disbelieve in evolution. The evidence is so strong that any sane, educated person has got to believe in evolution."
-- Richard Dawkins, in Lanny Swerdlow, "My Sort Interview with Richard Dawkins" (Portland, Oregon, 1996)


"Are science and religion converging? No. There are modern scientists whose words sound religious but whose beliefs, on close examination, turn out to be identical to those of other scientists who straightforwardly call themselves atheists."
-- Richard Dawkins, The Devil's Chaplain (2004)

23 November 2008

Food and what not over the weekend

Shin Kushiya, Vivocity - Miniscule portions, high price.
Pietrasanta, Portsdown Road - Good pizza.
Laurent Bernard, chocolatier, Portsdown Road - Good chocolate drinks.

The best food I had over the weekend was the home cooked pasta for lunch on Saturday.

22 November 2008

Body of Lies

Body of Lies is a Ridley Scott take on the David Igatius novel of the same name. Unlike the ridiculous Jason Bourne action hero series which purported to be realistic, this tale of deceit and betrayal had a more realistic premise, being intricately plotted with multiple layers and each faction using each other for their own ends. As the plot unfolded, assembling into a body of lies, one wonders as to the aims of American foreign policy, the aims of the CIA as opposed to American foreign policy, the aims of the foreign policy of each Arab state and their respective intelligence services and finally the conflicting objectives.

 The film also reflected an American reliance on signal or electronic intelligence (SIGINT or ELINT) while the Arabian intelligence relied on human intelligence (HUMINT). 

In Body of Lies, the terrorist organisation moved to maintain contacts via face to face meetings, American UAVs and signal captures became less effective.

Crowe and DiCaprio both gave riveting and convincing performances with Crowe being adapt at portraying the usual loud, cocksure and ugly American that one sees often. Mark Strong's portrayal of the head of the Jordanian intelligence

Weapons spotted in the film included a Skorpion, Heckler & Koch G36 (short-barrelled version) wielded by DiCaprio, a Heckler & Koch bipod sniper weapon, an Accuracy International sniper rifle (I think), the usual AK-47/AKMs, pistols and machine guns. 

AFVs spotted included an AMX-10RC and a Renault VAB at the 'Syrian' border. I wonder as to the location which this film was made. Helicopter? The Eurocopter Dauphin?

Reviews throughout are mixed, but, it is far superior to the overrated and hyped Jason Bourne trilogy, I recommend this. 7/10

Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa

Madagascar 2 is a silly, irrelevant but enjoyable animated piece, much much more enjoyable than that boring and preachy morality tale of a walking trash compacter from Pixar. This forgettable comedy doesn't pretend to be otherwise with its bright, vibrant colours and slapstick humour. 5/10

21 November 2008

Changing circumstances

Heh. It is funny how circumstances can change over time. A friend, who has a neurotic loser as an enemy, has found him to be now, in colluquial terms, 'his bitch'.