back in business

after months of nothing, we are back to a double digit feline population in the animal family.

besides the 2 Hwa Chong charges, a caregiver managed to help us catch a mother and 3 kittens from an adjoining estate. the mother cat is a high priority in terms of sterilisation because she is very very fertile and has had a couple of litters before. but every time, the litter will mysteriously disappear leaving her screaming for her babies and dripping milk from her full tits.

maybe the mother gotten smarter at protecting her brood because when these kittens surfaced, they were quite big already. right now, they can actually eat solids and are about ready to be weaned.

they are however, a little under the weather, sniffling, with mucus around the eyes which will hopefully clear up soon with medication before the first adoption visitors drop by.

Update: neo23 is starting to get the hang of sharing her space with so many other cats. less growling and hissing all round. woman is just waiting for us to start playing together. one thing at a time, woman.

thank goodness man has some time on his hands now that the animal family has to ramp up full gear once again. The Hwa Chong teacher, who has 3 cats of her own, has volunteered to pick up the tab on the sterilisation of neo23 and her sibling which is wonderful. the man will take them all down along with the mother cat at the end of the week.

hopefully, the phones will start ringing soon with potential adopters for the kittens, neo23 and her sibling. the mother cat will be released back to where she was found.

Getting a transcript of telephone conversation...

...seriously, is this legal? (Reference to this article) Out of curiousity from an ignorant bystander who in another occasion will have a good laugh about the so-called "minorities certificate saga".

Sure, one can rightly deduce that it is legal. In Singapore. Otherwise, the Opposition will definitely pounce at the first chance to raise the issue.

But hey me, just an ignorant bystander who's wondering aloud about getting a transcript of telephone conversation which what I personally find unethical, disturbing & a breach of privacy intrusive.

Edit xx. "intrusive" instead of "a breach of privacy" for the content of the sentence to be parallel.

A belated follow up.

For this article. Here are some of the photos taken.

The touch up is minimal: to merely enrich the colours with "saturation". Again, courtesy of Serif PhotoPlus 5.5 (one day, I shall have the promised software: Adobe PhotoShop).

And the light reflections? Yeah, they're still there. Especially annoying for "4:30" & "The President's Last Bang". Blend nicely--although still visible--with "The Book of the Dead".



290406 – Lost (Season 2) Summary / Spoiler

The past week article: here.

290406, instead of 270406. An encore telecast. Didn’t watch it on Thursday. Didn’t catch the repeat one from the beginning, either. From what I was told, though, I didn’t miss much.

The flashback scenes are about Shannon. She’s told that her father passes away in an accident. She & her mother visit the hospital. Has a wake. Boone, her brother is there too. She tells her plan to him about joining an internship program. A letter comes with a good news: her internship application accepted! She will need money to move. That money is denied from her mother. Her step mother, to be precise. Boone comes to offer his saving to Shannon who refuses it as she accuses Boone of not believing that she will be successful in her internship.

Back to the Present. The journey of the Five (Ana-Lucia, Mr. Eko, Bernard, Libby & Cindy) as well as Michael, Jin & the injured Sawyer continues. Mr. Eko challenges Ana-Lucia’s plan to follow the beach line as it takes longer. He suggests to cut through the jungle. Ana-Lucia rightly accuses Mr. Eko for being concerned about the condition of Sawyer who is getting worse. Libby tends to Sawyer's wound & reveals herself to be a psychologist (Sawyer's version is a "shrink").

Sawyer's condition deteriorates. He faints. Upon Michael’s insistence, a stretcher is made. Not without an argument with Ana-Lucia who as-a-matter-of-factly seems to prefer leaving Sawyer behind.

Michael argues that they should be safe enough as the Others stay in the different side of the jungle. Ana-Lucia hisses that the jungle belongs to them. The Others are smart. They are animals!

Michael demands to know what has happened to the Five’s other members.

Ana-Lucia tells him how in the first night when they are stranded in the Island, the Others take 3 of them. Two weeks pass, another 9 are taken. No mention about the fate of the remaining 6.

They continue the journey in silence. Slowly this time, as they have to carry Sawyer in a stretcher. In an uphill part of the river bank, they lift him with much difficulty. Ana-Lucia in alarm notices that Cindy is no longer with them. Ana-Lucia blames Mr. Eko for choosing this route instead of her longer-but-safer one via the beach.

This is when the incomprehensible whispers suddenly heard. Surrounding them. Ana-Lucia takes out her gun (the one taken from Sawyer) & yells, “Run!”

Take a pause here. Let’s see about the group in the other part of the Island.

Sayid has a surprise for Shannon. A hut just for her. They make love there, after which Sayid leaves to take water & Walt appears in the hut. Could be dripping wet again, but I didn’t ask that. Shannon is freaked out & upset when Sayid dismisses it as a dream.

In the next day, she brings a dog to smell Walt’s cloth. The dog brings her to the place where Boone’s buried. Shannon sits there & Sayid comes telling her it’s not safe to be there alone.

The dog abruptly runs to the jungle with Shannon & Sayid follow it closely. Shannon loses the dog. As she sits in the floor, she reveals to Sayid that Walt is not in the raft anymore. That she has found the bottle with messages in the beach. As they hug each other (after a brief whiny exchange of “I need you to believe in me!”, “Yes, I do”, “Oh, no, you don’t. You’re going to leave me once we leave this Island!”), the eerie whispers fill the background.

And voila, Walt pops up again. Out of nowhere. With a gesture to hush them. This time, Sayid sees him too.

Ignoring the hushing gesture or even worse, ignoring the whispers, Shannon calls Walt & runs after him as he moves away.

Sayid runs after Shannon. Suddenly a gunshot is heard.

Shannon is shot. In the end of the episode, the shooter is revealed to be…Ana-Lucia. Holding Shannon, Sayid glares at her in an expression that is either angry or confused as along with Ana-Lucia, he sees Michael & Jin. (I wonder what happens to Sawyer. Is he still in a stretcher? Is he cast away aside after Ana-Lucia tells the rest to run? Or is he still with them as they are not yet running away?)

To be continued…

The “Unremarkable” Intermission.
Featuring Locke, Claire, her baby & Charlie.

Locke shares a little trick to Claire to how to quiet the baby. By enveloping the baby with clothes. He comments that it’s only when the baby grows up, he’ll want to be free. Claire seems amused at how awkward Locke at holding her baby.

Claire shares her worry that Charlie may be a religious fanatic as he has a Virgin Mary statue with him all the time. The statue that contains heroin? Locke frowns.

He later points to Charlie that it’s ironic he brings up an issue of Responsibility (Charlie complains that Claire is not a good mother & resents her decision to give her baby up for an adoption), especially when the topic comes from a “heroin addict”.

new kitty in the house

neo23 here is a refugee from Hwa Chong School who is in danger of being trapped and sent to AVA. she has a sibling that is still on the run from the well meaning hands of a teacher and some boys who are trying to get them relocated asap to be rehomed. hope they have better luck with the other kitten next week.

neo23 is around 5 months old, extremely affectionate but very much a prima donna like Suede was when she first came back to the animal family. she loves to cling to the man and perch on his shoulder like a parrot. this and her big round eyes endear themselves to him so she gets his pillow at night, which means, none of us get to be anywhere near all night. give me back my man!

Night Scene Mode - Revisited

New Cathay 270406

Shot on 270406 - The New Cathay

A slight improvement than the previous shot. The higher resolution (2048 x 1536) & uncut version of the above photo is however a proof that I should use a tripod as recommended. A bit shaky. Not that clear in this zoomed-out image, though.

My fire burns.

As angry as one could be. I mean how difficult it is to ensure that the VCD/DVD was checked before the screening day?

A classic case of no one is taking initiative or everybody is just waiting for somebody to do the bloody job which as how corny & predictable as it turns out, nobody does.

Sure, I could always put a positive spin. I finally met that Beautiful Girl. Managed not to do the stupid stuff people do when they encounter such a girl. Like asking whether she has a phone. *snigger* Instead, I did what I believe was proper (hardly "nice"--anyway, who am I to argue when a Beautiful Girl gives me that compliment?) i.e. sending her home.

Moreover, I got a chance to shoot some pictures. Shown below. Digitally manipulated using Serif PhotoPlus 5.5 & Microsoft Photo Editor (keywords: layers, graphic pen, opacity & background color).

Next (maybe): "My poison stings" Or "My fire stings; my poison burns".

In addendum:
Meanwhile...the email had been sent to the Organizer & a topic "A problem with Sorano: No English Subtitle!" has been started here. Under the category, "Film fest discussion". Let's see how the feedback is handled & how the rest of audience reacted.

Rambo Rabbeet, i wish i knew you

House Rabbit Network says "Rabbits are susceptible to many human diseases and are masters at hiding illness. Their primary caretaker needs to be deeply attuned to their normal behavior and to pick up on subtle changes in behavior that signal illness. Seemingly minor symptoms can escalate into life-threatening emergencies in less than 24 hours."

the man and woman admit that they never came close to understanding Rabbeet in the one and a half years that he was with them. in all that time, he never got used to human contact beyond an occasional pat on the head. successfully trancing him was extremely rare and always deeply emotional.

it's not clear if this crankiness is because of the man and woman's inexperience or because he was abandoned or lost and spent an unknown amount of time fending for himself in the open before being found. my guess is both.

the man and woman rejoiced when Rabbeet took to Leafty when he arrived. but it was shortlived. six months later, Rabbeet decided to hate him and wouldn't let him near without throwing a fit with teeth and claws out. after that, he led a life of solitude and only half tolerated any further attempts at bonding by the woman, Leafty, us or new kittens. so Leafty moved on and bonded with Fruity and me and Rabbeet became the animal family outcast.

inexplicably, Rabbeet maintained his shining eyes, healthy coat of fur, robust appetite and bowel movements through it all, while Leafty is the one who has been plagued by chronic weepy eye, erratic eating habits and droppings that vary wildly in shapes, sizes and consistency. so if Rabbeet was sick, no one had a clue.

maybe he tried to reach out but no one listened. maybe, Rabbeet just decided that he has had it with the lot of us.

A Contract With God

Written & drawn by the late Will Eisner.

A Contract With God is a book that I admittedly would borrow if there's no other graphic novel in the library. The characters are roughly sketched. It's printed in sepia which I find plain (the introduction, however, explains the purpose of such a colour--it's a colour of dreams or memories.). In addition, there are too many words to my liking. Granted it's a graphic novel where stories are supposed to play more significant role. Still I'd have expected more drawings than words.

I borrowed the book. Always keep an open mind, right? No other graphic novel to be picked, anyway. Read it yesterday & no regret.

There are four stories in the novel. A Contract With God is one of them. The most memorable one as it deals with a humane expectation concerning religions. Or God. Do good & you'll be rewarded. Do bad? Be punished. The foundation of all religions.

The story features one old Jewish man who since he's young has done good things to others & in return, blessed by good things. He's sent to America with the money donated by people of his village (one of the blessing as he has a chance to survive as the village is under constant attack during a war. He writes that contract with God on a stone on his journey). He adopts a baby girl abandoned in front of his doorstep (another blessing as he now has a family).

But later on, the girl, who has been growing up as a loving daughter, suddenly dies. The father angrily accuses God of not respecting the contract. He throws away the stone. And he decides to stop honoring the contract.

He uses the bonds entrusted to him as a collateral to buy an apartment building. He raises the rental fee. Mercilessly. He's rich within 1 year.

He acquires more buildings & as the story suggests, Luck has been kind to him. His return of investment is impressive. His timing? Superb. He becomes very rich. Has a mistress. Luxury. Everything!

Yet he feels empty. And one day, he returns the bonds (once used as a collateral for his first purchase of property) to the rightful owners: the synagogue leaders. The bonds plus the interest. What he asks is the leaders to draft a new contract between him & God.

The leaders eventually agrees. Not without a lengthy discussion among them. But yes, a new contract is meticulously drafted.

The old Jewish man is glad as he feels he has made peace with his God. He has accepted the possibility that the breach of the first contract (the one in the stone) is due to him writing it as a kid and thus, the contract is not properly written.

He wants to do good things in life. He wants to be back to how he is before. Doing good things & be happy. As simple as that.

Guess what happens next? When he's still joyful reading the contract--all smiles, knowing God will honour this new contract, a heart attack hits him. He dies.

Life and her unique sense of humour. Heh.

PS. The image is set to be 'negative' for the caption, 'A Graphic Novel' on the cover to be more visible. Original design: here.

SIFF 230406: GIE

Damn…this show makes me proud of being a Chinese Indonesian. :) Kudos for the director, Riri Riza for selecting such a theme.

I can’t offer a briefer yet all encompassing summary about Soe Hok Gie. The official SIFF site has a concise depiction about him: an idealist, a teacher, a writer, a rebel & a central yet unknown political activist in the 60s, the darkest era of Indonesian history.

Unknown? Nah, not really. I called my father to ask whether he recognized the name. He did. Okay, perhaps for his generation, Soe Hok Gie had truly become a proud proof that Chinese Indonesians do care about the country. Which is a fresh change of the usual stereotype of Chinese Indonesians being filthy rich & care only to enrich themselves without any regards to the nation--a stigma that many might still endure.

Perhaps the way he passed away when he climbed the Mt. Semeru is the reason why he is not well-known to the later generation (I admit I never heard his name before). Because of inhaling a poisonous gas. An accident that should not have happened for him who was a frequent mountain climber. (He could have been more remembered if he were to have died 'tragically'. Being tortured or killed, for example? There's always a need of a martyr regardless of the era, as one might sarcastically point out.)

Some might even argue that it was not an accident. That it was a suicide. That he being an idealist was very much disappointed with what he saw in the “new” government. That could be the case. If we are to rely from the movie, the scene prior to he going to the mountain--to be precise, when he was laughing by himself at the fences of his close friend/loved one, Ira’s house--may suggest the deteriorating condition of his mental state. Heck, even his last letter to her implied that he's just tired of fighting a losing battle.

Past article: Official summary.
Other links about the show: IMDB, Official Blog (?), Wikipedia articles (in English and in Bahasa Indonesia – two different contents).

The director, Riri Riza during the Q&A - Photo shot & touched up by a_x

PS. After my question was answered by the director that "GIE" was also shown in Indonesia (starting last year, July), I also asked whether there's any difference between the version of the movie shown there with the one shown in Singapore. Was the one shown in Indonesia suffered the scissor of censorship more? Or was it required to go through more 'edit' before it could be screened here?

Thankfully, it's exactly the same. Censorship always irritates me. But the only scene cut, according to Riri, was the six-second kissing part. And that's all.

What's in a brand?

SbriteApparently, a lot.

Take this one for instance: "Sprite". In arabic lingo, it's written & pronounced as "Sbrite".

Taste-wise? Just like the real thing! I drank it yesterday myself. Although the tiny print-out about the year of production (2004) rather worried me a little. :(

Sprite...Sbrite...right. Okay, at least it is not as bad as Coca Cola. If this Urban Legend Reference Page were to be believed, anyway.

It's about how Coca Cola or how the Chinese pronounced it as "ko-ka-ko-la" which eventually metamorphosed to "k'o-k'ou-k'o-le", courtesy of the Advertising Dept(?). Just to give a sensible meaning of "allow the mouth to be able to rejoice", instead of the nonsensical "bite the wax tadpole".

Effective use of colours (or lack of them)

The keypoint is effective. Rightly make a choice to achieve the art's objective. Take a look at the images here. Both share a similarity that they are simply sketches. The difference is one relies mostly in black & white whereas the other is enriched by colours. Both, however, achieve their objective. Being attractively appealing to eyes.

The left image is a poster of the movie "Love Story", directed by Kelvin Tong. The phot was shot on 22/04/06. The right image is from one shopping area of Bugis Point. Taken on 23/04/06.

I try to imagine how the left picture looks like if it were to use colours as lavishly as the right photo does. The image fails to materialize in my mind. Likewise I also try to visualize how the right image if it's merely in black & white. While it's easy to do so (hey, you could just 'greyscale' the image & play with the 'contrast'), I think it will fail its purpose to attract the potential customers to step into the store.

The bottom line? It's not about colours. It's about the objective. It's about what the artist tries to achieve with his/her design. And to do so effectively.

this is just what i need right now

It may take months...

...but I finally found Orson Scott Card's "Lost Boys" & even came across his "Red Prophet". [1]

Visited the National Library after watching "It's Only Talk". Made a big roundabout (it was a dark Saturday evening, mind you) before finally realized on a bright Sunday afternoon that the Library is just located straight across the theatre.

As I already reached the quota of 4 books, I planned to return some books & to borrow "Lost Boys" on Sunday. (I already bought "Red Prophet" -- this 2nd book of Alvin Maker storyline was only "available" one last time & even that was not "borrow-able" because it's kept in the Area 51, namely "Repository Used Book Collection". Glad that the Library set a budget to restock. At the moment, there are 3 of them.)

And on Sunday, I got the book! =) I love Life!

PS. [1] Might be considered as a follow-up for this Oct 2005 article.

SIFF 220406: It's Only Talk

Nah...not a spoiler.

I observe how I tend to write in details about shows, but being vague about books. Perhaps it's because I know that it is more likely for me to enjoy re-reading a book than re-watching a show. But I’m sure I’ll enjoy watching this show again. So I’ll make the write-up as brief as possible.

I attended the screening of "It's Only Talk" last Saturday. Came early to the place, took some pictures of the posters, being chased away by one old cinema operator who warned (in Chinese, mixed with Malay) that it's not allowed to take a picture in a cinema (Didn't see any warning displayed. But since I already took the images, I didn't bother to argue). Oh well, those pictures would be posted later. Maybe.

Before the show started, the SIFF organizer introduced the director, Ryuichi Hiroki & announced that there would be Q&A session later on. Through his interpreter, the director gave a very short opening speech which did not say anything about the film but that “Singapore is a very hot country, but don’t worry this show is cold.” Heh. I was just grinning as I suspected what he meant with "show" was actually "cinema". It’s evident that he’s more comfortable talking through his film than talking to the audience like this.

The official summary about the show has aptly described it as a tragi-comedy. The main character, Yuko lets the audience have the feel how it is to be a manic-depressive (nowadays the illness is called "bipolar disorder"). When she passes her days highly cheerful & energetic to when she suddenly suffers extreme depression & lethargic on the next day. Which also lasts for a few days. When she loses her appetite, claims to hearing voices & when all the curtains in her apartment are pulled down as she can’t stand the sunlight.

Only in the end of the show, the audience were allowed a glimpse of what she thinks when she grieves of the sudden passing of her cousin. She hears him calling her (in a repetition of one scene) & that’s it: The End.

During the Q&A (after the show), one of the audience asked the director what the message of the show. After a pause that might indicate his surprise of such a question, the director replied that she just had to feel it. He laughed (so were the audience) & continued to explain about his intention to portray a life of a manic-depressive & her courage to keep on living & that even a manic-depressive could live like the rest of “normal” people.

The Interpreter & Ryuichi Hiroki - Photo shot & touched up by a_x

Past articles: Official summary & poster of the show.

Carnival of the Cats 109th

we are sorry that this week's carnival comes to you with none of the usual festivities. we came home an hour ago especially to host the Carnival, only to find Rambo Rabbeet laying eyes open on his side. cold.

this is completely unexpected and we are all still coming to grips with it.

without further ado, here's this week's Carnival of Cats:

Update: Niobium
Tiger kitty and orange tabby in a mating dance. What would you have done?

One Cat's Blog
Here is Huxley Harkin who hates to be called "bub".

Maddie's got wonky knees. Still, she is queen of the blanket stack.

Miss Snot has a new friend.

Blog d'Elisson
Matata is a connoisseur of surface texture. She also gives us the famed "Kitty Butt Elephant" pose.

The Wide Awake Cafe
Captain takes a turn around the room while Pussywillow takes the children for walks.

The People's Republic of Seabrook
Would you like to use this cat's grill?

My Cats Are French
Biggie is enjoying the spring weather.
Naming Nardo's toys.
A walking static death bomb?

Looking for Bin Laden.

Val's Bien
What's growing in this garden?

Mind of Mog
Frankenkitty is too smart for her own good, doesn't like the sound of instruments of lawn torture, barfs where she feels like it and gets into everything even world news and politics.

Furry Paws
Taking an afternoon nap.
Patchy Cat chills out to non-stop classic rock.

Striving For Average
Is he lazy? You be the judge.

There is no honour in a postmodern inquisition and i certainly don't keep records of wrongs.

No one is smarter than Aloysius Katz who gives us the four subjects of catblogging.

Music and Cats
Sasha is very pleased with himself while Miss Lyra rubs the little bit of sleep from her eye.

The Peach Pit
Chocolate Chip goes to kitty jail.

The Scratching Post
Important business lands in their inbox.

Mzkitn's Kitns
King of the castle

Curiouser and Curiouser
Tinker and Harley chilin' on the stairway.

Composite Drawlings
Peanut can't miss her soaps.

These cats have squatters' rights.

Where the Dolphins Play
Hobbes and Gryphon get a cat tree and who is the scaredy-cat covering his eyes?

Poor Impulse Control
This cat is blinded by science.

Stereophilia: Wes Phillips Blog
Bagheera ponders the big questions.

Baronger's Scribblings
Minerva and Mabel have a rare moment of truce.

Guarding the computer? Not quite.

Elms in the Yard
Her Ladyship does not like interlopers.

A very naughty Kiri.

Just Between Strangers
Pasha and Pixel snuggling away a sunny afternoon. blog
Butters, the cat rug.

Texas Oasis
Duncan will not do "the pose".

Manx Mnews
Ping the Playful is just a boy that likes to have fun.

Kitten Picture
Is that a reflection in the mirror? It's anybody's guess.

Mensa Barbie Welcomes You
Poor little Butterscotch, still afraid of the machine lady...

Chloe and Clover sleep at least 19 hours a day. That's got to be a record.

Conservative Cat
Ferdinand misses Peg-Eye Nate.

The Major's Lady
Going from a one-cat household to a FIVE-CAT household.

No Deep Thoughts
Sometimes Rafe is naughty too.

Minga and Pug's first time on the Carnival!

Mister Gato enjoys his enormous canvas hammock.

flightless in capetown
See these beautiful pictures: Fish, Kitty and Kiddy and Camouflaged.

Sneakeasy's Joint
The Bouncer of SEJ celebrates 8 years of life.

Gigolo Kitty
A belated Happy Easter!

Bigcatheads - the Blog
Painting the tranquil nature of the scene in the expression of the cat.

Thanks for dropping by. Next week, the Carnival moves on to happier places at Furry Paws.

The Blooming Phoenix

Or Pang Tong from Romance of Three Kingdoms? Or the prelude to incoming articles about RoTK? Or just a (modified) logo of the Hotel which I happened to pass after I watched those 3 shows? Or why I should carry a digital camera with me all the time?

Bleah...need to improve on how to name an article.

Anyway, the photo is tweaked (To view how the photo looks like before modification--true, rather poorly taken, isn't it?--please click the above image) using Serif PhotoPlus 5.5 with two basic steps:

1. Play around with Image, Adjust, Gamma.
This will result to the original blazing red of the phoenix to be given a touch of a few other colours (I'll let Wolvie to list down the percentage of those colour. Heh)

2. To give a flickering/dizzying effect, go to Image, Blur, Blur Effects. Choose the effect of Zoom & adjust its intensity.

200406 – Lost (Season 2) Summary / Spoiler – What’s going on in The Island

That is in continuance of this article.

After the Five (Ana-Lucia, Mr. Eko, Bernard, Libby & Cindy) discuss about what to do (they do it separately, not involving Michael, Jin & Sawyer who comments that the Five will eat them), Ana-Lucia instructs Michael to lead them the next day to the Michael’s group.

Defendit numerus, eh? Safety in numbers? Makes sense.

In the next morning, the group is split. Ana-Lucia, Bernard & Jin go to the beach to net for fish. Libby is assigned to gather for fruits in the jungle with Michael. Mr. Eko & Cindy stay to guard the injured Sawyer (an introduction is made between Sawyer & Mr. Eko which explains why he’s called “Mr.”)

Unable to communicate, Jin sits in the beach condescendingly looking at Bernard & Ana-Lucia attempting to catch fish. Upon being scolded in English (guess by who), he grumbles in Korean & throws his net to the other side of the beach. Upon pulling it back, he triumphantly shows the few fish caught. (Well, he is a fisherman’s son. He knows where to cast his net).

Libby & Michael go to the jungle gathering fruits. Libby forbids him to go to that way of the forest because there is where the Others come from. This prompts Michael to run to that way of the forest to look for his son, Walt.

Libby returns to the group & tells that Michael has just left.

At first, they do not know why until Jin says repeatedly “Walt…”

Ana-Lucia decides to speed up the plan to go to where Michael’s group stay before Michael is forced by the Others to reveal where the Five are currently hiding.

Jin starts to leave the group to pursue for Michael (thumbs up for the team spirit, Jin!) but Mr. Eko stands in his way, telling that Jin does not know what he’s doing. Jin throws his punch & hits Mr. Eko straight at his face. Still standing, equally quick Mr. Eko butts his head against Jin’s & sends him fall to the ground.

Jin immediately stands & continues to leave the group.

Mr. Eko gives him way & a man-made wooden spear & the correct direction for Jin to go. With a club in his hand, Mr. Eko follows Jin. He tells Ana-Lucia to lead the rest to leave for the other side of the Island. He will track them later.

Jin runs deep into the forest. He is abruptly stopped by a movement of the bush by a large, strange-sounding & unrevealed animal that runs & hits him. He falls & when he stands up, he sees a decomposed body lying near him, pierced by a piece of shaft. Mr. Eko nods & grimly says that the dead’s name is Goodwin.

Looking at Jin’s ring, Mr. Eko asks him whether he’s married & whether his wife is in the plane too. Jin in gesture says yes & sort of asks if Mr. Eko is married. He “was” is his short reply (his wife is killed by the Others too? Or divorced? Or…?)

They continue their trek in silence & Mr. Eko’s ability to track is evident. They find Michael’s footsteps & Mr. Eko explains to Jin that these are not the Others’ footsteps because they leave no trail.

They reach a part of the forest where Mr. Eko suddenly pauses & listens hard to the surrounding.

They quickly prostrate inside a bush & witness how the Others barefooted (well, their point of view is limited into legs only) walk very closely in front of them. A slow, cautious & noiseless steps by this group of people. (which puzzled me whether this is the same “The Others” with the group who kidnaps Walt in the sea).

Oh and it seems there is a kid in this group as well (barefooted too, unlikely to be Walt as he/she also walks like the rest) who drags along a soft toy bear with a string.

After some time, Mr. Eko and Jin leave their hiding place & rest by a river. Mr. Eko remarks how lucky it is that Michael’s track shows that he is going to the different direction than the Others. When Jin drinks, Michael suddenly appears at the opposite bank & tells Jin not to follow him. But Jin does.

Michael runs away shouting for Walt. Jin pursues.

They reach a small waterfall where Michael shouts for the Others to take him, instead of Walt. Jin & Mr. Eko finally reach him. They calm Michael who seem to agree not to search for Walt.

Meanwhile the injured Sawyer delays the progress of the group by having to stop for a break. Ana-Lucia gives him a bottle of water & threatens to leave him behind. Sawyer retorts that she won’t be able to find the place where he comes from especially since Michael & Jin are not in the group. Ana-Lucia says that they can always walk along the beach & eventually find the place. Quickly changing the topic, Sawyer asks whether she’s married. She rolls her eyes (being irritated that such irrelevant question is raised, yet flattered at the same time?) and says No and Sawyer points out that it’s too bad as she can be a very nasty wife. She returns the question whether he’s married. And after his No reply, she jokingly asks whether he’s a gay. They grin & the hostility between them subsides.

In the other side of the Island, Sun Kwon is seen washing clothes together with Claire. (This is the opening scene of the episode, by the way). Sun Kwon suddenly realizes that she loses her wedding ring and frantically looks for it.

Jack tells her how he once loses his too & how obsessed he’s looking for it before finally getting a replacement made.

Hurley suggests her to recall what she does the day before as she may lose it then. When she says that she feeds the dog, Hurley comments that the dog might have eaten the ring. They follow the dog around waiting for the dog to defecate & Sun Kwon remarks how stupid it is. Hurley tells her that he has a dog once, Buster, whose diet is weird. He asks whether Sun Kwon has a dog too. She says Jin gives her a puppy, named (sound like) “poppo” which means “a kiss”.

Sun Kwon is seen alone in her garden tearing apart her plants in frustration. A calm Locke appears & Sun Kwon asks him whether he sees what she’s doing. See you destroying your plant? No…I didn’t see it. That and Locke's serious face are enough to make her laugh. Locke tells her that there are times before when he is like Sun Kwon. Angry and frustrated. Sun Kwon comments that she never sees him losing temper in the Island. Locke says about how he is not lost anymore.

Kate guesses rightly that Sun Kwon’s anguish is actually due to her worry about Jin. She assures her that the people in the raft are alright. Sun Kwon loses her temper yelling that she is tired hearing that Jin is okay. She tells Kate about the bottle (it seems that the knowledge of the finding of the bottle with the messages is just limited between Claire, Shannon & Sun Kwon) & how she buries the bottle.

Kate insists to take a look at the bottle. It’s unburied & Kate skims through the messages. Sun Kwon admonishes her. The messages are private & should not be read. Kate says something about not saying good bye. Sun Kwon mutters one name. Sawyer? Kate nods. (And I am lost! There’s something between Kate & Sawyer in the previous season?)

Kate points out at the ring half buried in the sand. It’s found.

To be continued…

200406 – Lost (Season 2) Summary / Spoiler – The flashback scenes

Looking back at the previous synopsis, it is indeed easier to read when the flashback scenes of the episode are grouped as one.

So I shall post two articles: one is for the compilation of the flashbacks & another for the happenings in the Island.

Let's start with the flashback first.

Sun Kwon & her mother are going to attend a matchmaking session. Her mother gently scolds Sun Kwon about why she never finds the right guy during her university days. Sun Kwon in cute-but-irritated-kind-of-way remarks that she goes to university to earn a degree, not to find a husband.

The scene turns to Jin dressing up for an interview. His roommate teases him for being so hardworking & asks him what to do if Love were to call. Tell Love to wait, his grinning reply. Jin is advised to take out the price tag of his tie. He tells his roommate that the tie can still be returned to the store if the tag is still intact.

The interview goes smoothly. Jin manages to impress the Seoul Gateway Hotel manager with his past achievement. Jin is one of the very few employees who are “promoted from within” by the hotel—which has a reputation not to “promote from within”—where he previously works at. The hotel manager accepts him but critically points out that Jin apparently is not from the city & that upon knowing where Jin comes from, he tells that’s why Jin smells like a fish. Still staying extremely (unbearably, I’d say) humble, Jin just nods & doesn’t even protest when the manager tears the price tag off Jin’s tie.

Sun Kwon & her mother meet the matchmaker in front of the hotel. They enter as the hall porter lowly bows and opens the door. The hall porter is Jin.

Inside the hotel, a young but bald Mr. Lee (Somehow he reminds me to Lex Luthor of Smallville.) is introduced to Sun Kwon. Two of them are left together enjoying their drinks (Orange? Who drink oranges in the hotel these days?!) in the hotel lobby. A graduate from Harvard, Mr. Lee charms Sun Kwon with his honesty (he admits he doesn’t know anything about art – the subject that Sun Kwon specialises in Seoul National University & he concedes it’s puzzling how he ends up managing the hotel even though he studies Russian Medieval Literature in Harvard).

Apparently they have good impression about each other & they meet for another date. Mr. Lee tells Sun Kwon since they both like each other company, he wants to meet her more often. Our family will be thrilled, he beams. (Sun Kwon just blushes.) And both of them won’t be nagged by the family! he adds (Sun Kwon still blushes). And thus the next six months will be peaceful for them and when he returns to America, he could marry his American girlfriend. (Sun Kwon stops blushing). The change of her looks prompts Mr. Lee to realize that Sun Kwon may have taken wrongly his friendly gesture. She excuses herself, something about to go for another appointment.

(Note: Mr. Lee is not the manager who interviews Jin for the work.)

Jin continues his duty. An unfastidious-looking man brings his son to the entrance of the hotel requesting Jin to let the son go inside to use the toilet. Jin politely replies that the man to use the toilet in other building across the street. But the man pleads that his son can’t seem to be able to hold it & after Jin confirms that with the son, he lets them to use the hotel toilet.

The nasty manager—the one who interviews Jin—immediately jumps to the picture & gives Jin a stern warning. About how he should remember not to let this kind of people to enter the premise. Jin's explanation is ignored. Jin takes off his gloves and resigns on the spot.

Jin walks along a riverside. He turns back to check a girl out & he bumps into Sun Kwon. Her purse is dropped. Jin apologizes and picks the purse. They see eye to eye for the first time and with their smile that suspiciously suggests it is a love at the first sight, the 200406 episode is ended.

To be continued…

Coming soon: the article “200406 – Lost (Season 2) Summary / Spoiler – What’s going on in The Island”

Singapore's social attitudes

animal family visitors are always a boon. they don't know it yet but everyone who comes through our door that is not a contractor or a delivery person gets to be a part of my project on Singaporean social attitudes.

so my sample size is wacked and you can argue that the woman's friends are in no way an accurate representation of Singaporeans on a whole, but i assure you that nevertheless, the Tooty RatingTM is compelling, deliciously exacting and comes in an assortment of designer colours.

on the whole, local attitudes towards social issues, especially my PET social issue, are appalling. i have been pretty lenient already and has had to count a gratuitous 2-second pat towards a love for animals and a general mention of recycling towards social awareness to keep the chart looking decent.

this all gives the woman cause to feel smug and superior because her scores are stirling examples to humankind.

and then it occurs to me to put them on another scale, one for responsibility to self and to family and the tables turn. you see many Singaporeans who work very hard and give their all to keep their families strong. who put their families ahead of aspirations and vanities, even values.

interrogating their backstories uncover many quiet personal accounts of courage and sacrifice that sometimes rival the most inspiring banner raising Save-The-World types. arguably, you need a good balance of taking care of your own and a level of macro-thinking. but how many people have that kind of genius and hours in a day.

all in all the woman is suitably humbled.

No catch…

…as twisted & as funny as Catch-22. Overdue to write about this book. Partly because I was rather intimidated with its introduction where it mentioned that it took 8 years for the author, Joseph Heller to complete the novel.

So I postponed reading it. I read Anansi Boys first (mentioned here) which was a delicious treat because I’m already comfortable with Neil Gaiman’s style of writing.

But Catch-22. Heh. The storyline is hilarious, characters are wacky even though the ending’s kinda lame. Couldn’t tell more about it [1]. Just take a look what Catch-22 actually refers to. Quoted:

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to.

PS.. [1] Not to avoid spoiling the story. Frankly I do have to re-read this book. Could only recall the peculiar way of naming the chapters with all the novel’s characters except for two chapters. Any particular significance of these 2 chapters? This is what I need to re-read this book for.

Hugging is believing

I like the Channel NewsAsia reporter, Asha Popatlal’s approach in covering the story about the Hugging Saint.

An interesting phenomenon. People care to queue for up to four hours for the chance to be hugged by the Saint whose real name is Mata Amritanandamayi. Her feat alone in building hospitals and raising millions for tsunami victims are without doubt saint-like.

Thus many are deeply inspired by her and--yes, let me repeat--willing to queue for hours just to get that 3-second hug.

With these kind of responses…
"You have to experience it yourself. I cannot explain it, it's a really good feeling."

"There is that special energy, that difference. It is difficult to describe."

"(The Saint) recharges my batteries and I always feel much more inspired and regenerated after seeing (her).”
…, it’s a little surprise the reporter herself was curious to try that Hug.

And it just makes me smile when she admitted that she didn't feel “that energy” from that “warm hug” (Love it when a reporter brings a personal touch to the otherwise plain news). It makes me genuinely wonder as well if perhaps she would experience that special energized feeling if only she joined the queue like the rest and spent hours before getting that hug from the Saint.

i absolutely must watch this movie

unless they have relaxed the rule about cats in cinemas, the woman will just HAVE to bring this DVD home when it's out.

it is disney so i presume it is a happy ending although in the true account it is based on, only two out of nine dogs survived. sob. there goes the waterworks.

on a happy note, the movie reminds the woman of the amazing trip she took to Lapland in 1999. more husky pics on flickr.

"do i have to kiss her? this dumb tourist has a serious case of jaundice."

Probably the best solution: Inaction

Negativity was clouding my mind for the last few days. How could it not? I was in the very likely situation not to be able to go for the screening of the two movies that I have booked way earlier last month.

Imagine how conveniently hopeless it was when the new project just popped into existence and required me to attend it from Friday to Sunday. And by attending it, it means me not being in Singapore.

On the one hand, I was so tempted to stand up and say no and tell my manager how the planning for the shows had been done in advance and why these Shows are important to me. During the ‘rehearsal’, I failed to sound convincing. Even to myself. :(

On the other hand, it is a matter of Responsibility. So let it be. The best that I can do is not to let it deteriorate my already grim mood for the days. Act normal. Act positive. Why prolong punishing yourself for something that’s beyond your control.

So I've been acting normal & positive. I'm not proud of it because the bottomline, it's still acting. And acting means not being true to oneself. That's how I see it.

Today, however the acting has thankfully stopped. I was told that the project will clash with the other project that also just popped into existence, which will require my presence in Singapore and thus, I should still be able to catch the Shows.

Inaction is sometimes the best solution. Sort of like the Zen proverb: “Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes and the grass grows by itself”. (Although the cynic me can’t resist to add, “But you still need to tend your garden as grass indeed grows by itself but so does weed.”)

new friends

cuteness moves to Jurong. meet Raissa and Mia. congrats on getting your long awaited new apartment. i see you will have lots of boxes to play with for a while.

does this cat remind you of somebody?

Cinema…It’s the Experience that Counts.

Smells inclusive. At least in Japan. This article, titled “Fragrant films are a heaven-scent opportunity for Japanese cinemas” makes me wonder how the cinematic technology further evolves. And I thought a dome-like screen of IMAX is already a Wow. Caught Fantasia 2000 once in that kind of display.

What’s next? Aroma-less meals invented especially to cater for such cinemas? Right...

But Fantasia 2000...*speechless* So let's take a look at the 8 chapters of the show. Written by Kenneth Chilsom, the summary (Edited):

It begins with an abstract battle of light and darkness set to the music of Beethoveen's Fifth Symphony.

The adventures of a Humpback Whale calf and his pod set to "The Pines of Rome."

A humourous story of several lives in 1930's New York City, scored with "Rhapsody in Blue."

A musical telling of the fairy tale, "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" set to Dmitri Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 2.

A goofy Flamingo causes havoc in his flock with his yo-yo to the tune of the finale of "Carnival of the Animals."

The classic sequence from the original film, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" feat. Mickey Mouse

Followed by "Pomp and Circumstance" with Donald Duck as a harried assistant to Noah on his Ark.

Finally, the awesome tale of the life, death & renewal of a forest trailed by "The Firebird."

pet-assisted therapy and retirement village

yesterday, CNA reported on pet-assisted therapy for dementia patients and the possible construction of a retirement village in or around Singapore.

wonder if it is feasible to run a retirement home that is also an animal shelter. google surfaces several retirement homes with pastoral animals and nothing else so suspect it has never been done before, probably with good reason. but i would imagine quite a few residents could benefit from proximity and reciprocation with indigent animals and for the more able, active tending to them.

the residents would not be staffing the shelter of course. the arrangement would be one of mutual benefit from co-existence. just the sharing of grounds and possibly some of the administrative functions and staff might derive enough tangible benefits to make it worth thinking about. perhaps even the possibility of cross funding.

but are there enough people who will take to the idea? health risks aside, not sure if the emotional rollercoaster that comes with caring for shelter animals is what the residents need. yet on the flip side, it can be an invigorating, community building experience that is often lacking in most retirement homes.

what does everyone think? if you know of any places who have done this, i'd like to know about it.

130406 – Lost (Season 2) Summary / Spoiler (Extra: “The Kite Runner”)

Nah, not much a summary or a spoiler like this previous one. I was distracted throughout the show because I was feeling rather sick reading “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini. Don’t get me wrong. The book is highly recommended. It opens one’s eyes to other culture, even if that culture is already (partially) lost, no thanks to the new “regime”.

“The Kite Runner” is realistically written, I almost believe it’s based on a true story. With its altogether humane portrayal of its protagonist, which leaves a reader feeling a nauseating mixture of symphaty and disgust. Till some parts of the book reveal that it’s definitely a fiction. Especially with all those convenient coincidences that bring characters who once appear in the past to have proper “closure” later on. (Recall Assef? Or even a 'minor' character like Kamal?)

Anyway this is going to make one crazy article if I try to combine both issues as one.

Talking about crazy, that’s how the Lost episode screened on 130406 started. A crazy dream of Hurley. Where he wonders at the amount of food inside the hatch. He starts devouring them. Jin appears. Jin speaks in English. Hurley remarks how strange it is. Hurley is told that he is the one who speaks in Korean. Hurley is heard speaking in Korean. Comical. One guy in a chicken suit appears beside Jin.

Zzzz…huh?! And Hurley is woken up by Kate who reminds him to enter the codes into the computer.

Hurley is the star in this episode. The flashback shots are all about him. Starting when he watches the lottery announcement and realizes that he wins the top prize. When he quits his job in a fast food restaurant after the CCTV catches him eating the chicken drumsticks. When his good friend, Johnny who also works in the same place with him, quits his job at the same day with Hurley as a gesture of support. When Hurley finally finds courage to ask a girl out. When Johnny eventually knows Hurley is the lottery winner and looks betrayed that his friend doesn’t tell him. When Hurley looks sorry that he wins the lottery because he loses his friendship with Johnny.

Enough flashbacks. Unless this Johnny character will later appear to haunt Hurley. Hmm…that will be too much impossible, won’t it?

Back to the Island.

Charlie tries to find out more about the hatch from Hurley who's keeping mum. Charlie knows about it from Locke. Charlie subsequently demands Hurley who is in charge of the food stored in the hatch to give a peanut jam to the young mother, Claire. Hurley firmly refuses. He entrusts Rose’s help instead to compile a list of the food.

Meanwhile Sayid finds another door inside the Hatch that is cemented. He informs Jack about it and Jack notices a very strong magnetic force from behind the door from the way his key (hung on his neck) pulled into the door. They try to find the way to pass the door from the foundation. What they find in the end of the tunnel is not a light of new discoveries but Kate who's enjoying her shower with a newly found shampoo that she takes from the food store.

Claire finds a bottle consisting a message (it is previously brought together by Michael, Walt, Jin & Sawyer with the raft) on the beach. Together with Shannon, she tells Sun Kwon who silently grieves at the prospect of losing her husband, Jin in the sea.

Hurley is continually pestered by Charlie about that darn peanut jam. Hurley decides to explode the food store. Rose stops him in time.

Hurley talks to Jack about distributing the food to the rest. Jack agrees.

In the other side of the Island, Lucia and Mr. Eko start believing that the captured trio are indeed from the same plane as them. Michael, Jin and Sawyer are released.

Sawyer is again being hit, literally, by Lucia when she warns Sawyer to drop the stone that he carries. Till the count of three, she says. Or else. She counts to two and she suddenly throws a swift punch. Sawyer lamely protests that it’s not three yet. Ouch.

They are brought to another cemented cave, an entrance kinda like the other hatch. Along the way, Michael learns that there’re 23 of them. They reach the hiding place. Inside there are only 5 people seen. Michael is told that there “were” 23, not “are” 23. (The trailers for next week episode shows a brutal kidnapping of the people of this group. Note: so it’s been clear that these 5 are not “the Others”). Bernard introduces himself and asks whether there’s a survivor named Rose in Michael’s group. He’s the husband who Rose in Season 1 always believes to stay alive. He cries in relief finally learning that his wife is alive too.

In the other part of the Island, Hurley becomes very popular when he distributes the food. The atmosphere is pleasantly relaxing and calm except for Sun Kwon who without words digs a hole & buries the bottle with the message.

To be continued…

This one, however, IS a Two Way Monologue

By Sondre Lerche. (Now you know what the previous article’s title is inspired from) One of those songs, which I can only like after watching its video clip. It happens to have nothing to do with its lyric but still fun to watch. A singing competition between a simple guy and a stylish, rich, but-in-the-end-proven-a-phoney beau.

please tell the woman to get out more

she is taking pictures of our butts for amusement.

not because there is a lack of things to do and people to see. she was expected this morning at ten and she has a regular clique this afternoon. but she is still in her jammies about the house. sending out insincere apologetic smses. and waiting. waiting for the man to complete his six-year long stint in 2 more weeks.

crazy? sad? pathetic? yep. but you can't imagine, we are all holding our breaths here, cats, rabbits and all because life after ________ has been but a distant idea for as long as we have known the man. until now. when the big unknown is about at our doorstep.

it may mean huge lifestyle changes. or not at all. it can really make you sick just thinking about it.



cat pie

anything you can do i can do better

i can do anything better than you.

no you can't.

yes i can.

no you can't.

yes i can.

I can drink my liquor faster than a flicker
I can do it quicker and get even sicker
I can live on bread and cheese
And only on that? Yes, So can a rat

Anyone you can lick, I can lick faster
I can lick anyone faster than you
With your fist? With my feet, With your feet? With an axe
No you can't, Yes I can, yes I can

they so love their Irving Berlin.

Skoda's mummy says Skoda is quite keen to play with Braun and she has taken well to sharing her space with the new kitty. Braun is still on the side of caution with Skoda but things are definitely looking up!

holidays are the best!

the woman forgets what its like to wake up to a bed full of cats because she gets up too early these days for our morning snooze.

she also forgets how she has to fight us off the keyboard whenever she is using it. that part she says she will gladly forget. how could you, you heartless woman!

somethings never change around here.

Definitely not a two-way monologue

I didn’t watch the show: "A Dialogue With MM". Anyway, there will be the repeat telecast this Sunday, 16 April at 7.30 pm in Channel News Asia.

I read some excerpts of it in the Straits Times today. (A few mentioned here) My first reaction, suffice to say, is negative. My second reaction is a cautious one, something in the border of why-bother? Let’s respect how the other nation runs its own country. Like it or not, foreign nations should not exert any pressure—economical, political, whatever—to others.

My third reaction? Wonder why it is so easy for people to jump negatively at news. Admittedly, I am making a big generalization here. Especially as I am not running any poll—by myself—asking any people in the street—again by myself—about how they react to those articles.

So yeah, for the sake of some coherency. Assume it’s true. Assume there are a group of people (take note how I am not using any noun of “majority” or “minority”) who’re unhappy about such a dialogue.

After a quick comparing to other neighbouring countries who would prefer addressing political issues with a demonstration, a riot or a street party with some banners, posters, and creatively worded chantings…I’d say the dialogue is very much positive and constructive.

Kudos for that group of young Singaporeans involved in the dialogue who have the courage to raise issues that they really and genuinely think matter to them. My utmost respect and I’m looking forward for that repeat telecast.

downside to being spontaneously romantic

the woman went to man's working place to boost his spirits about yet another overnighter.

the man went home early to have dinner with woman before continuing work.

“It does not follow”

Or “Non Sequitur”. This has been one of few comic strips that I enjoy both in full colour or in black and white. Its Sunday edition is published in colours and usually makes a series by itself.

Some have even been later published as a book. Like “Homer, the Reluctant Soul: The Halo Tours”. This book is not available in local libraries, though. Is it because the topic is deemed too sensitive? When religion is involved, everybody is getting very cautious. Sigh.

me being helpful

"for the last time, Tooty, i am not stuck!"

Blue Gold by MD Jewelry

"Are we going to be introduced to green gold, blue gold, etc in the future?" testily Sonic deplored in his blog. Okay. Sorry. *grin*

I just need some (lame) preface before I could show how blue gold might look like.

Presenting Blue Gold. For those who are adventurous. Obsessive. Self-motivated. You are strong. You are tempestuous. You're like Ahab.

More about Singapore International Film Festival

But first, clarification: South East Asian countries are NOT part of Arab. Well, this particular article, titled "Singapore serves up hot Arabian fare at film festival" seems to imply otherwise with its title & starting of its content about Arabian movies before steering the topic to the South East Asian shows.

Heck, not to condemn the article. ^_^''

Especially since it brings up the news about the closing film "4:30" by Singapore film-maker Royson Tan. I don't know him. Or his earlier achievement of "15". But I believe "4:30" ought to be worth watching (gotta check the schedule of screening).

What also interests me is the excerpt of the article: "(The show is) about the loneliness of a 11-year-old boy and the unusual bond he forged with a Korean man who has come to Singapore with a mission: to kill himself. "

To Singapore. To kill himself.

Doesn't he know that suicidal is against the law here? Take this one for an example: on 30/03/06, in the Straits Times page H6, there was an article about how a 40-year-old man was sentenced to jail for trying to kill himself. For the third time--not the jail. It's his third suicidal attempt.

Thus I wonder why Royson Tan chose that theme. About a foreign man visits Singapore to kill himself. Is it because Singapore has the fame of having the most (successful) suicide rates in Asia? Has there been some study about it or some statistics on the number of successful suicides, the number of failed suicides (first timer), the number of failed suicides (repeated)?

Without doubt, suicide--or its prevention--has indeed been taken very seriously. They even have a conference addressing this issue.

The Case Closed.

To follow up my past article, Dan Brown had been acquitted from the allegation of “stealing key elements” for his The Da Vinci Code book from the "The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail" (HBHG), by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh who were slammed with a duty to pay approximately 1.3 million pounds for legal cost. Details here.

No idea how much Effective Advertising costs. So, perhaps this 1.3 million pounds are well spent if the purpose is to have people aware & interested to know more about HBHG. And ultimately, to buy the book.

But like I wrote earlier, the only winner is Henry Lincoln, the other co-author of HBHG who did not join Baigent & Leigh in the legal skirmish versus Brown. Well done!

Bobby's harem

it's amazing how even though Fruity and i stand half a head taller than Bobby, not to mention Rosie, we still pay him deference just for being male.

when he wants a toy, we stand aside. when he wants the last morsel on the dish, he gets it.

there are a lot of theories about how females are taught from young to associate 'to love' with 'to serve', why our responses are rooted in relatedness more than principles, that even the strongest female can have the desire to want to be swept away by masculine energy.

quite frankly, they are all true. i consider myself a strong, (highly) intelligent, independent, self-respecting lass, but who can resist that daffy masculine face? seriously.

Moby Dick 2006: The Hunt Continues

As reported in this article, "97 injured after Japanese ferry hits suspected whale". No death.

Japan's coast guard Monday searched for a giant whale that they suspect collided with a passenger ferry - injuring 97 people - or any other clues about the cause of the accident.

Searching for the whale for revenge? Ahab complex, huh? Or to see whether the whale is injured?

Film Art (090406): El Hijo de la Novia + Short Cut: George Lucas In Love

El Hijo de la Novia or Son of The Bride (SoTB) is one of those shows which remind the audience to take life easily. Either that or face the 15-day ICU "therapy" when your heart refuses to comply with the pressure that you exert.

Anyway, I'm going to start taking life easily, by posting the link of a review about the show. What an excuse... *sneer*

George Lucas in Love was what shown after SoTB. Hilarious.

With a simple message of "best stories are in plain sight", the fans of Star Wars would easily identify people that Lucas encounters which lead to the creation of Star Wars' characters: Obi-wan Kenobi (his roommate with his cool philosophy), Darth Vader (his rival with a breathing problem), Yoda (his final year project advisor with a unique Verb-Subject speech), Han Solo & Chewbacca (two people he comes across while they're repairing their car), Leia (his girlfriend/muse with her Hairstyle), and many more.

This site has some of the photos posted. Even if you don't understand the language (it's Spanish?), you still can take a look at the screenshots & guess the "obvious".

"The Fish", "One Shot", "Replay Revenge"

So far so good. I manage to catch the shows according to my plan.

Please click the image to enlarge the official summary from SIFF site:

The Fish. What's this animation about? Using a combination of pencil and crayon and with minimal usage of colours (mostly black, grey and light brown), this show seems to portray a typical life of a roaming member of a school. The audience will see from the fish's point of view. The way it swims. Till when it's captured by a fisherman. If there's any message of this 5-minute show, it lost me.

One Shot. As how I wrote once, I usually dislike documentaries. This show is not an exception. A slow 60-minute show which consists of mainly a poor Blair-Witch style of video recording, interviews with (ex) snipers, and a few redundant (we all know that snipers--whether they like it or not--are killers, thank you) shoots of men in mask swinging scythes in a slow motion in the dawn.

But seriously, who's in his/her right mind could be entertained by such a show? It's not meant to be enjoyed. Can't forget about one of the interviews where the (ex) sniper admitted to sleep for two days straight after his first kill.

Replay Revenge. In contrast to One Shot, this documentary is meant to present a lighter side of the dark issue of Israel-Palestine conflict by the use of animation & interviews with people (some of them just finish partying. Heh) about their view of revenge.

Of course, there are also thoughtful parts where an Israeli couple are interviewed. Their daughter was killed in the bus, no thanks to a suicide bomber. The Palestinian's side is equally represented as well. With an interview with an old man whose daughter was also killed. As a suicide bomber.

Too bad this particular show was abruptly ended (15 minutes before its actual end). Due to technical problem.

PS. For other views about the show, pls refer to this article by Sonic.

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