Pekpire with the hobo hairstyle!
31 March 2010
I had seen a number of popular history volumes on the Chinese Civil Wars which had included 'detailed'* operational maps of the campaigns in bookstores in Shanghai. I had not seen English language equivalents yet. What I would like to see in English are the following:
1. An operational study of the Chinese Civil War campaigns 1948-1949.
2. A study on the transformation of the People's Liberation Army from that of one conducting guerilla operations to one conducting conventional operations and having the ability of the destruction of KMT army groups in 1949. Apparently, the lightning campaigns were something to behold.
3. A study on the KMT 'search and destroy'** offensives, the planning, the operations, the PLA's reaction, the impact on the peasantry, the
4. A study on the casualty figures of the Chinese Civil War. The study should include desertion rates, civilian casualty rates and equipment loss rate.
5. A study on the engagements between the Japanese Imperial Army and the People's Liberation Army, both perspectives.
6. A study on the political dimensions of the war including propaganda and the conduct of the combatants towards civilians.
* Up to an extent
** Of course, it wasn't known as such then.
30 March 2010
29 March 2010
My favourite Front Line Assembly tracks:
4. Columbian Necktie
5. Everything must perish
8. Electric Dreams
If you listen to Front Line Assembly, what are your favourite tracks?
I have new sketches to post and I will put them up soon. I have been doing a lot of studies. I want to do a series of studies on people on the streets and buildings soon. For the latter, I would need references. The modern skyscrapers here? Well, they are not good material, at least, not what I want.
'Sun Pin Military Methods', translated by Ralph D. Sawyer. Sun Bin was another known strategist who lived during the warring states period. A partial text of his military manual was found in 1972 after being lost for 2000 years.
'War, Politics and Society in Early Modern China 900-1795' by Peter Lorge. A thin volume which explores the relation between war and society in China for 895 years.
'Soldiers of the Dragon: Chinese Armies 1500 B.C. - A. D. 1840' by C. J. Peers. An Osprey hardcover, being a compilation of three volumes which explores Chinese armies. Lavish illustrations.
28 March 2010
Sūn Zǐ's 'The Art of War' is, of course, a collection of maxims which needs no introduction. There are numerous translations, some diluted or co-opted as popular business and management texts, some are merely average and a handful are as faithful as they can be based on the surviving Chinese text out there.
27 March 2010
I wonder if anyone knows anything about dummy CCTV cameras. I want to install one in the corridor outside the toilets. This morning, someone had sabotaged the ladies toilet in the warehouse by stuffing pieces of cardboard into the drainage points and the toilet bowls. How does one catch the culprit?
The reality is that the military of the Chinese Communists has been phenomenally successful whether the liberal democracies and their militaries in the West like it or otherwise. The record of success, despite being embellished undoubtedly by propaganda, is quite plain to see. In many operations of the 1948-1949 campaign, the communists were able to smash vast and American-equipped KMT armies. In the guerilla campaigns of Mao, Lin Biao and others, the communists were able to time and again, defy KMT offensives while maintaining support among the populace.
The communists had understood the political dimensions of warfare and that it could not be separated from military operations.
'Chinese Warfighting: The PLA Experience since 1949' by Mark A. Ryan, David M. Finkelstein, Michael A. McDevitt.
26 March 2010
We should not pay FIFA exorbitant amounts of money. No football coverage, too bad. Be sensible. I hope the shareholders of Singtel and Starhub will make it clear to the management that we should not be held hostage by FIFA. If the incredible amounts wanted does not make economic sense to the companies involved, the companies should not pay it.
Yes, I do like football and I watch some of the World Cup matches once every four years, giving in to them will only set a precedent.
Let us send a statement to FIFA that the likes of their predatory policies are not welcomed. If they want to erode the popularity of their sport, let me. They should bear in mind that there are many other competing spectator pastimes of which football (and sports) is but one of them.
Some years back, I explored Chinese warfare. Given a history and civilisation of about five thousand years, Chinese military history is nothing to scoff at. In reality, there is much about warfare in Chinese history that remains unknown and unstudied in the West. A lot of material is still not translated at this point.
Here are three studies of the more modern period in China's history:
25 March 2010
Pigment ink sketch. Lighthouse and windmill by the sea. This was originally a pencil sketch. I decided to just swiftly render it in ink.
I will be doing another on the same theme and composition in ink later. A variation on the same theme but rendered differently. I want to explore this further.
24 March 2010
23 March 2010
A beehive of activity. The black and whites who control the monetary sector of an economy.
Towering monoliths, a testament to the power of huge financial institutions.
A fortnight ago, I was looking at an obscure blog belonging to someone who I used to know. From the erratic entries, a thought came to mind. I thought that this disturbed person would eventually commit suicide. When? I would not know. I did want to bounce the thought off someone who also knew this person but I forgot about it completely until two days back when an old friend called from England. He had also read the occasional entries in the blog and he had independently without my raising of the issue said that this person would likely commit suicide. My old friend also said that there was cause based on circumstances and a series of studies.
Given the person's mental and physical state, I had also wondered about the person's life expectancy previously. It would not be long anyhow.
Someone I knew had always been self-righteous, antagonistic, extreme and hypocritical. For a year or so, I had not visited his blog and the forum he was running. Recently, I mentioned the existence of them to someone on Facebook and afterwards, I had decided to take a glance at both. Not unexpectedly, there appeared to be more hate-filled rants than before. He had clearly not changed, he was more extreme and angry than before. I exited the two sites in less than five minutes.
Someone kicked and broke a toilet cubicle door at the warehouse a few weeks ago. It seemed pointless. Who would know the motives of the vandal?
A few of the chains of the toilet flushes were ripped out too as were some other equipment. One could not install security cameras in the toilets. Proof would be hard to come by.
I had a single suspect based on heresay. This morning, I hinted to him that if and when I found the culprit, the police would be brought in.
Idiot from Prudential: Hello?
Idiot: My name is Lisa and I am calling from Prudential...
Me: I'm not interested, bye!
It is fruitless telling them to remove my name from their list. This has been their sixth or seventh call despite my replies that I have no interest in their products and my requests to be removed from their list. If they can't even give anybody any respect or consideration over basics, well, what I can expect from them when it comes to claims?
22 March 2010
Pigment ink sketch. This was originally a swift pencil sketch where I had wanted to explore the shape the canopies of trees and how light would form on the surface.
The pencil sketch was done very swiftly and there was a feel of energy about it. I was rather loathed to render it as I had liked the lines used in the rendering. Ultimately, I decided that I would use ink to capture the lines.
16 March 2010
What an eventful day. It was not pleasant at all. Firstly, the carpark attendant called the police because she claimed that the security guard scolded her with vulgarities.
Two police officers came over to the warehouse and I went to talk to them. They took down our particulars and advised peace between all parties and went off.
Then, the boss of the security firm came over. I spoke to him and the guard. It was almost resolved when, the carpark attendant's supervisor arrived aggressively. And everything flared up again. Ultimately, I had to raise my voice. Most unpleasant.
Then, there was a fight on the road outside. A man and a woman were quarrelling. She hit him and he punched her and plummeted her to the ground, on the asphalt! A crowd of forty or so people soon gathered. Traffic halted on the road. I was about to call the police and go downstairs to stop the fight when someone else from another warehouse shouted at him from the fourth floor to stop hitting the woman. It was nasty business. Minutes later, it was over. Phew.
15 March 2010
08 March 2010
I have a stack of Wired magazines, both UK and US editions, from the 1990s. If you want them, do let me know.
I can pass them to you at Novena MRT station.
Likewise, I have also got some old Windows 95/98 books and web design stuff. If you want them, again, do let me know.
If you want them, it's yours, free.