Edison Chen 'Scandal' -- To those (Bloggers) publishing the links, ever heard of "Undesirable Publications Act (Chapter 338)"?

Undesirable Publications Act (Chapter 338) in the "Interpretation" part has mentioned something that should put fear to those who 'exploit' of the recent Edison Chen 'scandal' by including links to the alleged photos in their blogs. Take a look at the part highlighted in blue:

"publication" means any of the following other than a film:

(a) any book, magazine or periodical, whether in manuscript or final form;

(b) any sound recording;

(c) any picture or drawing, whether made by computer-graphics or otherwise howsoever;

(d) any photograph, photographic negative, photographic plate or photographic slide; or

(e) any paper, model, sculpture, tape, disc, article or thing

(i) that has printed or impressed upon it any word, statement, sign or representation; or

(ii) on which is recorded or stored for immediate or future retrieval any information that, by the use of any computer or other electronic device, is capable of being reproduced or shown as any picture, photograph, word, statement, sign or representation,

and includes a copy of any publication;

Also do read what the Act says about "obscene":
Meaning of obscene
3. For the purposes of this Act, a publication is obscene if its effect or (where the publication comprises 2 or more distinct parts or items) the effect of any one of its parts or items is, if taken as a whole, such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it.

Yes. I know it's quite difficult to digest. But bear with me & continue with the even more thorough elaboration on "objectionable":

Meaning of objectionable
4. —(1) For the purposes of this Act, a publication is objectionable if, in the opinion of any controller, it or (where the publication comprises 2 or more distinct parts or items) any one of its parts or items describes, depicts, expresses or otherwise deals with —

(a) matters such as sex, horror, crime, cruelty, violence or the consumption of drugs or other intoxicating substances in such a manner that the availability of the publication is likely to be injurious to the public good; or

(b) matters of race or religion in such a manner that the availability of the publication is likely to cause feelings of enmity, hatred, ill-will or hostility between different racial or religious groups.

(2) In determining for the purposes of this Act whether or not any publication is objectionable, the following matters shall be considered:

(a) the extent and degree to which, and the manner in which, the publication —

(i) describes, depicts or otherwise deals with acts of torture, the infliction of serious physical harm, sexual conduct or violence or coercion in association with sexual conduct;

(ii) exploits the nudity of persons or children or both;

(iii) promotes or encourages criminal acts or acts of terrorism;

(iv) represents, directly or indirectly, that members of any particular community or group are inherently inferior to other members of the public or of any other community or group;

(b) the impact of the medium in which the publication is presented;

(c) the character of the publication, including any merit, value or importance that the publication has in relation to literary, artistic, social, cultural, educational, scientific or other matters;

(d) the standards of morality, decency and propriety that are generally accepted by reasonable members of the community; and

(e) the persons, classes of persons or age groups of the persons to whom the publication is intended or is likely to be made available.

(3) The question whether or not a publication is objectionable is a matter for the expert judgment of any person authorised or required by or pursuant to this Act to determine it, and evidence as to or proof of any of the matters or particulars that the person is required to consider in determining that question is not essential to its determination except that if such evidence or proof of such matters or particulars is available, that person shall take that evidence or proof into consideration.

(4) The Chief Controller shall keep and maintain a Register of Objectionable Publications containing all publications which any controller determines to be objectionable.

So think twice before you join the rest in spreading the links of any sex scandal photos. Because what highlighted in blue may just cover 'publishing links which lead to obscene photos'.

Anyway, what do you really try to achieve? Traffic generation to your website/blog based on others' misfortune? How pathetic you can be?!

Update on 06/02: Not illegal owning obscene photos, though. At least in Hong Kong.

Update on 10/02: From Singapore, Steven Lim appealed in his video to "stop bullying edison chen".

Update on 15/02: Who's Kira & what's the motive behind the photo scandal?

Update on 22/02: Weekly news update on the scandal.

Digital Homelands in my mind

The New World by K Rajagopal

I have saved the top spot for my review on Raja's video because I liked it very much. I have always wanted to see how Raja's shots were pieced together in a coherent video simply because if you have been at his shoots, you are never really sure where it is leading to. Lucky 7, the feature film is an exquisite corpse film made up of 7 filmlets of contrasting genres pieced together. Raja's shot list is an exqusite corpse in itself.
Guy in red underwear runs across desert...... guy dances with mannequin in bridal shop....... video appears on boy's shirt............ you get the idea.Yet's I have heard enough from Sun (Koh) already about how Raja's segment in Lucky 7 seems the best. Watching the New World answers this fully. Incidentally, I watched `The Diving Bell and The Butterfly' 1 day before this. It has a few common stylistic threads. The juxtapositive use of images, surrealism, sudden visual breakaways from the focal activity and mmm..... costumes (which I really suspect is the theatrical influence in him, which I wholly empathise with).

Raja has gracefully and I must say cleverly married stop-motion photography, puppetry, straight-laced drama, vintage photograps, text, titillating sound design into a video that actually still told a logical and coherent story! It traces a personal account (this time, Raja makes no secret of whose account it is) of a boy's fascination for The New World and his relationship with his father who often brought him there.
I have only been to the New World once in 1986. I remember the Viking, the Ferris Wheel and a elusive Ghost House which I did not enter. But the video featured a string of movie sound effects across different genres while showing the a visual of the boy in the cinema watching movies. But visually, the movie seemed to played on his shirt.... see what I mean about Raja's shtick. But the sounds were very reminiscent of these things I mentioned (Ghost House, Viking etc), so they helped me see myself in that little boy.
But the piece de resistance must have been the dancing scene with the boy as a grown up teenager and the caberet dancer. This is where I feel more than half the screen magic was made in the editing room. I attach a few of my favourite screen shots here. Jacintha's rendition of `Moon River' in Mandarin is played over the grace, nostalgic, haunting series of images. I think my fancy for it arose because it was both sensual and sad. A cominbation not easily achieved without bordering on contrivance.
The last screen shot above is interesting. I remember the young man (who played the boy) having a little reaction after a very tender scene shot in the playing room of the old school on Mount Sophia. I am not sure what was going on in his mind. It might have been .... `damn spotlights!' , but for me watching on the other side of his perspective in a fully closed up shot, it was a earnest reaction that captured my heart.

Chapters of Rain Tree by Ina Chang
I read somewhere that Ina Chang was writer before viewing the video. (hey wait, the `somewhere' must be the same website, Silly me!) It was no surprise the Rain Tree fulfilled the some expectations on narrative structure and spoken text. Many surprising lessons can be learnt from the existence of rain trees in Singapore and their symbiosis with our lives.

However, the video reminds me of the difference between play and screenplay. There were really many shots of trees. Many many. Like a tree `porn' video, you see trees in their full glory, in close ups and wide shots. But they failed to bring out the little pockets of wisdom gently delivered from the voice of Ina Chang, a voice that was patient, nurturing, mature and spiritually contented. Ina also has a very charismatic face (doesn she resemble MP Irene Ng?), which compliments the balmy and reflective feel of the video.
It always takes a foreigner to appreciate the immediate gems of Singapore - our foliage. Coming from a concrete jungle like Hong Kong, it is not difficult to understand why.
Just an observation though (side-tracking here), we always hear of big cities like London, HK, Tokyo, NY being home to the edgiest, most radical and progressive thinkers, creators, designers, writers, etc. Yet, when some of them choose to find work and settle in in Singapore, they become tame and settle for visits to the Botonic Gardens, Singapore Zoo, sip Singapore Sling in languid bars and tell the press they abosolutely love Singapore.... it's got great weather, great sun, great FOLIAGE, great food. Is Singapore too comfortable and homely for any kind of creative breakthroughs to happen here? Or are these expats, by adverse selection(cos they chose to work here), the lower crop of the world-class movers and shakers?

Well, Ina, I am sure, if you continue living in Singapore for a longer time, given your life experiences and wisdom gathered from a bigger city, you will find a voice that speaks for the more pressing issues affecting lives in our little own urban jungle.

I love this tree below. It must be the `diva' rain tree.

5 by 5 by Sanif Olek

5 by 5 by Sanif Olek is a distant observer's look at Boon Lay in the wee hours of the morning just like the time I am writing this now. The time-frame starts at 22:00. Risking maldigestion and physical detriment to the waistline, hordes of `Boon Layans' are seen lining up for the Power Nasi Lemak. I guess I should not be reading too much into the lines of this video because of the matter-of-fact angle it takes. Together with the fast-forwarded editing, it supposedly aims to infect you with the rhythm of Boon Lay. It's interesting that an strident Classical piece is used against the montage because Power Nasi Lemak aside, were quick cuts to sleepless chess players and homeless uncles.

Somehow, I was hoping to understand more of the emotional attachment to Boon Lay of the creator. But because he has chosen such a genre, it was difficult for it to leave an impression on me. Boon Lay has a special spot in my heart sometime 10 years ago when I was still serving the army. I had a short attachment to Sungei Gedong camp and booking on Sunday nights always brought me to Boon Lay. It was the only place to take a direct bus to the camp. And driving through screens of nothing but vegetation always made me feel depressed.

The screen shot attached here shows a little clever touch by Sanif in which he lists the human traffic hotspots of Boon Lay like the cinema and swimming pool but punctuates the screen quickly with the words `(closed)'. Leaving us with a question.
Also seen : Ah beng behavious captured on video. Guy plays chess.... after a while, lifts both legs and squat on chair like how some people would use the toilet bowl. Bryan, your type!

Time Capsule by Darren Ong

The 'Time Capsule' story by Darren Ong is a linear and simplistic account of how a boy tries to preserve his personal effects. His first artifact was a little drawing of a figure(above). Think I woul feel goosebumps if I opened up an relic-worthy old drawing of mine. The childish strokes and blotchy colouring of typical child's piece of art speak so much.

But having unearthed his first time capsule artifact, he goes to insert quite a few more items, mostly stationery. Not sure, some looked quite lame like the compass. I mean, maybe it helped him pass his Maths exam. But honestly, on hindsight, why did he need a time capsule to keep a drawing? He could have just .... er kept it in the house??? I have some truly amazing `time-weathered'` products at home, like the dog-earred exercise books from RI. My favourite being the one for Literature (taught by Miko Tan, Sumiko Tan's sister). It contains hard evidence of the beginings of my subverted ways.

of CNB agent & a hot model

The photo taken early in the morning:

I love that smug, can't-be-bothered look of hers. What, is it because "being good is not as important as looking good?" (Now I'm sure I read that phrase from somewhere).

Drugs. If you play, you pay.

Wisdom trapped in a Vegetable

After watching `The Diving Bell and the Butterfly', I cannot not write about it for it could possibly be one of the best movies I would have watched this year. And my apologies for breaking the dedication to local films.

I would not say it has changed my life (I mean it was those films that changed my life that remind me why I make films). It has haunted me with its afflicting yet beautiful images. It has made me remember my bed-ridden days of suffering from slip-disc. It reminded me how I felt tortured in the MRI capsule when i woke earlier than the set time and had to stare at the white lining which was about 5 cm from my nose. But most of all, it taught me what makes a shining example of a film in an often used (in Singapore) `contemplative' genre.

I will not write about it (I know I am contradicting myself). But I will urge my friends with this.... If you have ever fallen ill in bed, there is no chance this film about the last days of a stroke patient can alienate you.

The Slipper Frame with the Photo behind was my favourite

I finally caught another of Tania's short film after 3 years (the first was the collaborative piece with Cyril Wong). I have heard quite a fair amount of publicity about `The Slipper Frame' , so decided that it would be on my watch list at the Asian Film Archive collection.

I liked the concept behind the story. It was very charming and reflective. And unlike the melancholic reflective mood shrouding many Singapore shorts, this one is whimsical-reflective. Much added by the rich colours of the set/props and the music as well. But most importantly, I must say it changed my mind about a few things.....

Frames can scream out at your face. You can ask the that familiar shophouse `uncle' of yours to create a frame you really really want and not some another one of those off-the-shelf convocation-type frames. Yuni Hadi can act. Frames can be 3-D. Yuni Hadi can act. Your fish tank can be a frame. Feet can be frames. Finally, anything can be a frame, it depends on the subject and item..... great food for thought.

G-23 : I used to think it referred to a film's rating

A few months ago, I abandoned the idea of writing a feature film with 3 stories. My reason for doing so was that it is easier to make the audience remember the world of 1 person than that of 3. Watching Anthony's G-23 (which I thought was a witty take on ratings like R-21, NC-16) changed my mind about that.

Kicking off with a spicy Indian soundtrack it presents a montage of images relating to an old cinema now currently screening Bollywood movies. But this sequence is not a standalone novelty, it actually ties in nicely with stories that we were about the hear - 3 characters and the relationship between their lives and the cinema. There was a teary Indian girl who has a love-hate relationship with her own Indian culture. An old man who seems to fall asleep everytime and a Chinese woman who with a `desperate-to-get-laid' look on her face.

High production values aside, I felt I was slowly beginning to feel Anthony's shtick in his storytelling craft. Like in Ah Ma, there is that unmistakable blend of metaphysical and sentimental elements. In Ah Ma, we saw we witnessed an emotional reaction at the end that appeared like a supernatural answer to the actions that have been presented in the preceeding minutes. In G-23, in a karma-esque surprise to the death of the cockraoch, the butterfly kite was the answer to old man's (or perhaps mine) suspicion that his late wife's spirit may be near. When I was 23, I was still floating around the many influences in my life but not knowing where to place my centre of gravity. At 23, in G-23, Anthony has demonstrated that wisdom on life that I took some time to find.

I actually prefer this to Ah Ma. But the TV screen where I watched it from did no justice to the film which really belongs to a theatre.

My Blue Heaven (short film) ...... hope we can easily download this soon!

As I took the grimy looking lift up to the 6th floor on the HDB block that `My Blue Heaven’ was being shot, I was anticipating a very testosteronically charged crew of people around dancing bodies under the glare of a dozen spotlights. But it turned out to be much quieter set than I imagined. And there were no heavenly bodies but heavenly bodies on print though, plastered throughout the carefully-art-decorated flat (courtesy of Wan Ping).

When I entered the flat, there were 2 tables laden with opened peanut shells, crushed cans of Tiger beer other remnants that reeked of a something hedonistic that had taken place. Somehow, that phone and that plastic-blue lampshade had a very mod-like look that evoked the cocaine and sex filled days of the 70s. But of course, with the Japanese soft-porn posters, and the video tapes, it was clearly the time of my childhood that was the setting for this homage to porn.

So I moved on to take a glimpse at the shoot in progress. Right in the centre of the action stood unmistakable Catherine Sng, still in the same `Unarmed Combat’ hairdo fleeing from a pint-sized and boyish-looking policeman. Well, my sixth sense told I have yet to watch the most crucial portions of the principal photography, if the name is anything to go by. But judging from the style of the acting, it was probably going along the route of Kung Fu Hustle (must be Catherine’s curler-made hair) and other familiar Stephen Chow-type comedies. Probably from the onset of casting Catherine, I could somehow feel the direction the film was taking.

Clement was so welcoming as the AD on set. Well, I think it is just the initial phase of starting this kind of a blog featuring productions and reviews. Over time, as I continue to visit more productions, I will have the title of `the Resident Kay Poh of Singapore Cinema(the less spoken ones)’ . So, they will all GET USED to me! Nevertheless, I enjoyed talking to him and knowing him better as a friend. A good conversation was really like getting your soul and heart massaged properly. And thanks to him, I had a chance to read the script. SORREE No spoilers here! But it is definitely a comedy done in a more unabashed manner. And I liked the initial portion about this relationship between father and son in the story. Felt it is a good way angle to depict how porn affected lives. It has definitely affected mine in more ways than one.

Since this is really for Yee Wei (ooopss, I completely forgot to mention the director’s name – Chai Yee Wei), I wish to leave more room for him to comment about his own production. So more in this account when I can get some scoop from him.

I did not stay long for the shoot because I had to rush off to Sinema to do some editing. So Ah Gong, anything interesting happened after I left????

By the way, I must get Catherine to be on my shooting set some time in future. She is a real storyteller. Got us all cracked up with her stories on Sex Education. Think when the going gets tough in shoots, crew could do with a little `education’ from her.

She Diao Ying Xiong Zhuan (The Legend of the Condor Heroes)

The Legend of the Condor Heroes. Finally managed to check out the TV series opening song from YouTube. (The clip: here). The show has always been captivating for me, but the song...(man, I'm so glad that the YouTube clip has the english subtitle for the lyrics). The screenshot for each line in the song:

Thousand of kingdoms, hundred of battles won
From all directions arise sound of gale
One horse gallops forth, aiming condors drawing the bow
Heaven and earth are all in my heart
Sand storm on long road, as moon in the mountain pass grows dim
Lonely hero disappears in a flash
Who can share true feeling, where death and birth come from
Big matters rushes to the head, opening the bosom
One horse gallops forth, aiming condors drawing the bow
Heaven and earth are all in my heart


i am flattered and honored to have been invited to participate in a lego sponsored art event to raise money and awareness for unesco called "piece of peace tokyo" which opens on february 1st 2008.

many of the artists have recreated world heritage sites in lego and others will be creating 2-D work on the themes of the show or world peace.

my piece is titled: Peace Memorial for Great Buildings Lost and the following is the short message statement i wrote:

"architecture is perhaps the most human of arts and technology as it developed along side the development of permanent settlements after the advent of agriculture. I believe that more than anything, people take pride in and identify most strongly with monumental buildings as they represent the combined talents and energy of a community. Therefore, it saddens me most when great buildings and monuments are destroyed by war and unrest – and indeed, the ruins of many of these structures endure to this day as a reminder of the horror of war – silent sentinels for peace."

here is a link for the details, unfortunately only in japanese. i will see if the show will be traveling or not and update you here. official site is here, but not much info there as of this writing.

So, if you happen to be in tokyo the first week of february – check out the parco art gallery in shibuya and let me know how you enjoyed the show!

HK Press Milk and Milk-X

just sharing some december 07 press from my trip to hong kong in november 2007. great coverage but does anyone proof read in hong kong? they spelled my name: marrhew waldman throughout one of the articles! that said, i love these 2 magazines, they cover art, trends, urban culture and high fashion – each issue is full of cool stuff. also, this particular issue of milk-x has a lenticular cover [otherwise known as winky-dink technology]! i look pretty cute on the bed in my room at the JIA hotel as well.

i'm including a pic of the milk-x limited edition we created for the magazine. they took a better foto than we did.

thanks to allan of nooka hong kong for always arranging the best exposure for me.

SMRT: my crisis managed!

An uneventful night it was. After celebrating someone's birthday at Brewerkz, in the packed MRT trip on the way home, my companion suffered giddiness & looked as if she were to faint. We stepped out at Newton MRT to rest for a while.

A while passed & she was willing to give it another try to go home using the train. Despite my offer to use a taxi, she apparently shared the same belief that it would be hard to get one.

So we took another train, but she gave up in just one station & we again stopped. It's Novena station. We sat near the staircase--me totally clueless of what to do--and soon one SMRT staff approached us.

The staff kindly offered a wheelchair to her & advised us to use the staff longue to rest. We gratefully accepted the offer. The wheelchair came & off she's sent to the longue. It's a cozy one. Neat & clean. Definitely cozy.

The kind staff, now as I managed to see her badge, by the name of Mdm. Mislia accompanied us & offered a hot milo (which we declined as warm water should do fine).

As the moment passed, we finally decided to take on a quest to use a taxi to go home. Thank goodness, it was easy to get one!! In the taxi waiting line (which was pleasantly just a short queue), the caucasian lady in front of me assured me that government had really done well to solve the taxi problem. I just grinned politely.

The most important thing is we managed to get a taxi to go home. As what I have done in the past, like in this article & this one, I too tried to show my & my companion's appreciation to the ever-ready MRT Staff, Mdm. Mislia, by sending a commendation e-mail to SMRT.

Thank you & sorry for all the trouble.

PS. the title of this post is inspired by this TODAYonline artcle on 22/01/08, "A crisis mismanaged?. Only the title, though.

Earn More Pay Working Fewer Hours

Stumbled on this MSN Careers article, "Earn More Pay Working Fewer Hours". Some of ideal jobs--which "let you log fewer than 40 hours per week, yet earn more than the average worker"--mentioned are:
Industry: Management
1. Social and community service manager
Hours/week: 38.9*
Hours/year: 2,009
Earnings/year: $49,678

Industry: Business and financial operations
2. Insurance underwriter
Hours/week: 38.6
Hours/year: 2,009
Earnings/year: $61,322

Industry: Computer and mathematical science
3. Actuary
Hours/week: 38.9
Hours/year: 2,023
Earnings/year: $81,454

Industry: Life, physical and social science
4. Biological scientist
Hours/week: 38.7
Hours/year: 2,008
Earnings/year: $62,950

5. Biochemist and biophysicist
Hours/week: 37.9
Hours/year: 1,973
Earnings/year: $70,637

6. Psychologist
Hours/week: 37.5
Hours/year: 1,680
Earnings/year: $61,238

7. Clinical, counseling and school psychologists
Hours/week: 37.4
Hours/year: 1,649
Earnings/year: $62,072

8. Sociologist
Hours/week: 38.8
Hours/year: 1,998
Earnings/year: $49,530

Industry: Community and social services
9. Educational, vocational and school counselors
Hours/week: 37.6
Hours/year: 1,675
Earnings/year: $48,820

10. Directors, religious activities and education
Hours/week: 38.4
Hours/year: 1,996
Earnings/year: $46,269

Industry: Legal occupations
11. Law clerk
Hours/week: 38.8
Hours/year: 2,017
Earnings/year: $40,338

Industry: Education, training and library
12. Business teacher, post-secondary
Hours/week: 39.0
Hours/year: 1,488
Earnings/year: $90,655

13. Physics teacher, post-secondary
Hours/week: 38.3
Hours/year: 1,489
Earnings/year: $86,006

14. Law teacher, post-secondary
Hours/week: 38.0
Hours/year: 1,535
Earnings/year: $101,678

Industry: Arts, design, entertainment, sports and media
15. Coaches and scouts
Hours/week: 38.7
Hours/year: 1,892
Earnings/year: $59,981

16. Miscellaneous media and communication workers
Hours/week: 36.5
Hours/year: 1,886
Earnings/year: $41,505

17. Interpreters and translators
Hours/week: 32.4
Hours/year: 1,669
Earnings/year: $33,423

Industry: Health-care practitioner and technical
18. Optometrist
Hours/week: 37.6
Hours/year: 1,957
Earnings/year: $100,419

19. Psychiatrist
Hours/week: 36.3
Hours/year: 1,886
Earnings/year: $135,671

20. Speech-language pathologist
Hours/week: 37.9
Hours/year: 1,641
Earnings/year: $50,399

21. Dental hygienist
Hours/week: 34.6
Hours/year: 1,800
Earnings/year: $54,011

Industry: Protective service
22. Bailiff
Hours/week: 38.0
Hours/year: 1,974
Earnings/year: $41,957

Industry: Building and grounds cleaning
23. Tree trimmers and pruners
Hours/week: 36.8
Hours/year: 1,870
Earnings/year: $31,864

Industry: Personal care and service
24. Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors
Hours/week: 38.1
Hours/year: 1,981
Earnings/year: $31,525

Industry: Office and administrative support
25. Telephone operator
Hours/week: 38.8
Hours/year: 2,017
Earnings/year: $29,596

26. Court, municipal and license clerks
Hours/week: 38.8
Hours/year: 1,984
Earnings/year: $31,391

27. Word processors and typists
Hours/week: 38.7
Hours/year: 1,999
Earnings/year: $31,406

28. Desktop publisher
Hours/week: 38.4
Hours/year: 1,996
Earnings/year: $36,094

Industry: Installation, maintenance and repair
29. Tailors, dressmakers and sewers
Hours/week: 37.8
Hours/year: 1,968
Earnings/year: $28,158

30. Fabric and apparel patternmaker
Hours/week: 38.7
Hours/year: 2,011
Earnings/year: $37,668

Industry: Transportation and material moving
31. Aircraft pilots, copilots and flight engineers
Hours/week: 22.3
Hours/year: 1,161
Earnings/year: $127,501

32. Bus driver
Hours/week: 37.3
Hours/year: 1,740
Earnings/year: $28,738

Well, those are in America where the study's conducted. If in Singapore, I can imagine another occupation to be listed: Taxi driver. (Referring to Simply Jean's post, "A taxi driver earns S$9858 per month before expenses; how much are you earning?")

A fresh coat of paint.

Finally! Tiong Bahru will be getting a fresh coat of paint. What a relief!

I found out from this tender notice as well as from the Tanjong Pagar Town Council.

It was a little puzzling to be told that the Tiong Bahru Estate would only be repainted NEXT YEAR in 2009!

One year to plan the re-painting job.......sounds like a very elaborate one.

I just hope the colours Tanjong Pagar Town Council eventually settled for would be pleasant enough for all of us here.

Hope we don't end up like those flats at the Jalan Kukoh area. The Jalan Besar Town Council chose shocking pink combined with hunting green for that area.

What a weird combination!

By the way, when was the last time Tiong Bahru was re-painted?

I was told that Town Council usually re-paints the flats between 5-7 years.

Anyway, it feels good just to know that this place will look and smell fresh again next year!


Spotted this injured Kingfisher bird while walking to my car.

At 1st I thought it was one of those realistic looking toy.

My curiosity got the better of me and I approached it to check it out.

The kingfisher flinched but it seems helpless and could not move or flap it's wings.

"Must be hurt" I thought. All birds will try their best to get away from humans unless they are incapacitated.

I saw some town council employees pruning the trees nearby. Could they have injured the bird while cutting down the leaves.

"Maybe it is a nestling" my wife said.

"Better not touch it!" I said cowardly.....(bird flu was on my mind)

Anyway, my wife was so annoyed with me trying to take pictures of the bird instead of helping it.

By the time I returned (about 30 minutes later), the bird was gone!

I hope the "cat lover" auntie that lives next to where the bird was found has rescued it.

a few of my favorite things

i am finding that my blog is a great way for me to record information to use for press/PR that i never seem to get down on paper in an organized fashion. there are some interview question that get asked over and over, yet i blank out whenever asked, so i think i'll write 3 of them down here:

what is your guilty pleasure:
junk cereals! i love lucky charms and reeses peanut butter cereal, but i don't eat them for breakfast – it's my late night snack that probably contributes most to my mid-section. my favorite cereal growing up was the freakies, and i used to have all the prizes. i would LOVE to design a breakfast cereal!

what is your favorite store:

my favorite store is probably the original don quixote discount store in okubo [tokyo japan]. it's open 24 hours which is great when you have jetlag. it used to actually be a great place to find bargains, but now the prices are pretty much the same as other stores selling the same crap, but having a one-stop shop for toothpaste, sake, shochu, japanese junk food, teas and last seasons' toys in a 24 hour setting is pretty cool [i don't like crowds and only shop when a place is not too busy. this is why i rarely shop in NYC]. #2 would have to be the MUJI flagship in Yurakucho Tokyo where you walk trough [and BUY] a MUJI pre-fab house, buy everything in their catalog AND eat organic food in their restaurant – total copy of the ikea concept but more chic, minimal and less exhausting.

what is your favorite brand:

fashion: prada and miu miu. everything other than their websites [what is it with italian companies and crappy websites?] are expressions of perfection and nooismo™. this doesn't mean you'll find me wearing much of either as i'm pretty much a t-shirt and jeans kinda guy. i also love and respect what yohji yamamoto does with Y-3 and what mihara does with puma [now this is stuff i buy a lot of for my feet].

NOTE: Prada website IS great but must of been down when I wrote the above. I still find many european brands have less than user friendly websites.

photo is the kinoie prefab house from muji japan

Geláre -- so delicious, I have no stomach for blackmailing them.

Yes. What's wrong with the above poster of Geláre? Skip this article if you can't see the typo. Oh, so you find it. Merely a little error, you may dismiss. Okay, true. Still it's a blemish to otherwise a great ad. Love the glaring, contrasting colours they use.

The evil mind of mine worked out a possible scheme to blackmail them. The not-so-evil-nor-good part of me suggested to pay Geláre a visit first & tried their stuff before deciding the next course of action. The good side of me vehemently agreed, having the faith that a great meal might be served despite the not-so-great advertisement.

I entered the premise. Placed my order. Took a photo (yeah, yeah...food photography has never been kind to me), the meal looked & tasted more delicious than the photo below.

So delicious I have no stomach for blackmailing them.

Tiong Bahru Pre War Conserved Flats

The Straits Times
Jan 19, 2008

Life begins at 40

Mosaic tiles and vintage furniture combine with sleek fittings and industrial cement screed to give a fresh breath of life to this 40-year-old flat

WHAT LIES BENEATH: Roomy drawers provide storage space beneath the custom-made dining-cum-work table, which is matched with a coffee shop-style stool and vintage chair.

WITH its languid air of tranquillity and quaint walk-up apartments that have stood the test of time to become vintage cool again, Tiong Bahru estate has an attractive charm that young home owners seem unable to resist.

Mr Edwin Siew is one of them.

Unperturbed by the previously worn, dark and narrow interior of this 40-year-old flat, the bachelor in his 30s saw that the 1,098sqft space was perfect to house his collection of second-hand furniture, most of which are antiques from his grandparents.

So his brief to designer Diana Yeo of Design Channel was to create a 'retro vintage look' in line with the Tiong Bahru location and his furniture collection.

As it was vital to maximise the space in the flat's long and narrow layout and still keep its old-school charm, she kept the structural changes to a minimum. They consisted mainly of removing walls to let more natural light into the one-bedroom walk-up apartment.

SQUARES RULE: Original 1950s mosaic tiles have been retained in the corridor connecting the living room to the bedroom.

The original bedroom, previously located at the front of the flat, was moved to the back where the kitchen and the adjoining courtyard used to be.

The front of the home now has a more organised grouping of living and entertaining areas.

In addition, the open-concept kitchen flows seamlessly into the newly configured space.

With the bedroom now at the back of the home, the sleeping quarters enjoy a greater sense of privacy.

REST EASY: Sitting in part of the open courtyard, the newly created bedroom is covered by a polycarbonate roof and shielded further from the natural elements by folding doors.

The old kitchen door and wall have been removed, and folding glass doors are put up in the courtyard to create an additional section and double as a screen for the bedroom.

Ceiling beams combine with a sheet of polycarbonate to create a roof, while a wood-laminate platform has been fitted to make level the differing floor heights in the space.

The narrow bathroom, while retaining its layout, has its small door replaced with a two-door sliding glass panel to reduce the claustrophobic feeling.

To enhance the space visually, a length of wall is replaced with a big window that looks out into the courtyard while allowing plenty of natural light in.

The vintage feel of the flat is seen through, among other things, the original mosaic floor tiles.

In the kitchen-cum-dining area, the retro look is balanced with a customised kitchen counter and dining table. The 5m-long table in rustic wood-grain laminate also doubles as a food-preparation counter and work desk.

Under the table top, roomy drawers and seamless magnetic push-door cabinets store a myriad of things, from shoes and stationery to pots, pans and a slow cooker.

While the flat's signature white wooden window grille poles have also been retained to add to the retro feel, its formerly whitewashed walls and ceilings have been layered in cement screed for a modern touch.
LIGHTING THE WAY: The chandelier (above), like the vintage-style ceiling lamp above the dining table (main picture), was found in a lighting shop in Geylang.

Pipes, now painted a dark brown, and electrical wires have been intentionally left exposed to create an 'old, nostalgic look', says Ms Yeo.

The chocolate hue is also replicated in the new, sleek aluminium window frames so that they complement the antique wood furniture pieces scattered around the flat.

Last but not least, to complete the retro theme, vintage-style lighting fixtures that the owner bought in Geylang dot the cosy space.

Standing in the dimly lit flat, illuminated by track lighting and solitary vintage pendant lamps that cast moody shadows, it certainly feels like you've stepped back in sepia-tinted time.

This spread first appeared in this month's issue of Home & Decor, published by SPH Magazines.

Cloverfield -- The Origin of the Monster(s)

Definitely must put a Spoiler Alert.

Or two.

Spoiler Alert. Spoiler Alert.

And that's three. Enough?

Okay, back to the post. Those of you who have watched the show are definitely wondering where the monster(s) came from. Yes, I am so tempted to use plural 'monsters' here as I am not referring only to the gigantic monster which seems to bear a grudge against Statue of Liberty & high-rise buildings, but also to those smaller-size, spider-like creatures whose bite likely causing a build-up of blood pressure in their victims' body that result in an eventual grisly explosion of the blood out of the body.

But where did they come from?

Until the movie's over, I cannot find the answer. I searched the Net & came across this site themoviespoiler.com for the film - Cloverfield:
NOTE: In the very last footage shot from Coney Island, you see something fall into the ocean – presumably the monster (it happens on the right side of the screen). This leads you to believe that the monster is extraterrestrial.

I confirmed that with Wikipedia article on Cloverfield:
The movie then cuts to a scene from Rob and Beth enjoying their Coney Island date a month before. The lovers turn the camera towards the fairgrounds and the pier, and an object can be seen crashing into the sea on the right-hand horizon.

Next stop: YouTube. However, there are just too many Cloverfield clips & I couldn't locate that footage. =( Should have been more observant when I watched the movie. The thing is it was difficult to be observant when most of the time the show was really shaky. Heh.

Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008 -- No Further Details? (Except from one Denise PI)

I read about the news about the event with interest, but I failed to find more details from its official event website (screenshot above). Googling the Net, I managed to stumble on this SGCafe forum which had one of the member, Denise PI, who claimed to be from Play Imaginative, revealing about what the event might cover. Cosplay will be one of the activities.

Her post, partially quoted:
This international pop-culture event encompasses aspects of toys, comics, gaming, animation, licensing and Cosplay.

During this event, we hope to hold cosplay contests and for cosplayers to showcase the cosplay culture as well.

This event will be held at Suntec Convention and is also supported by the Singapore Tourism Board.

I would like to find out which are the main cosplay clubs in Singapore and who will be able to work with us to organise the cosplay activities during STCC.

Oh, she also mentioned the event will take place at Suntec Convention Hall 603--the information which somehow is not released yet in the official event website. Running out of manpower to update the website? Heh.

The hint about cosplay contest as part of the event does not pique my curiousity. The comics do. Yet I couldn't find more information about it. Why so secretive? Is it because none has been finalized yet? Or just to add the element of mystery to the convention? The thing about mystery is it is fun as long as there's an answer, though.

So I hope there's an answer soon: more details about the event.

Obituary : Lau Teng Mng (1936 - 2008)

Let us take a few moments to mourn the loss of this rare authentic PRE-WAR windows.

These windows were installed during the 1930's when the British built the Tiong Bahru Estate (Singapore's 1st Housing Estate).

It not only survived the World War II bombings, it also witnessed the birth of our young nation.

Despite being a little rusted at some parts of the frame...... due to years of neglect, these windows were still faithfully serving the occupants of the flat......until the flat was sold to someone.

"Too old and outdated!" the new owners must have thought.

"Fifty Dollars, that's all they are worth", said the window installer to me as I was snapping this picture.

"Nonsense!" I protested. "These are priceless!"

Not wanting to give the window installer an opportunity to think that I'm a mental case, I walked off.

But my heart was a little heavy.

Isn't these Tiong Bahru flats conserved in December 2003?

What was really being conserved?

Can we truly find a MINT CONDITION 1936 flat within this estate? I have not seen any so far.

90% of buyers who bought into the Tiong Bahru Estate recently did not buy it because of her historical value. Some do not even know why this place was conserved in the first place!

Some bought it to "FLIP" and make some quick bucks while some bought it to rent it out.......nevermind how many or who will eventually live in it as long as it makes economic sense.


I am beginning to wonder if Tiong Bahru Estate was conserved "wrongly".

After December 2003, there was NO MORE follow up activities.

No one seems to be policing anything at all.

Due to a lack of guidelines, this area seems like a free for all situation and many home owners are constantly testing and pushing the limits.

Perhaps it is because this area is the baby of two statutory board that it became no one's child.

By the time HDB and URA decide who will take total responsibility for this estate, I think not many of these types of PRE-WAR windows will be around by then.

UFO sighting 16/01/08 evening?

The humming sounds from the sky beckons me to look up. There it is. Not a bird. Not a plane. It's an UFO!! (Definitely an object...flying and unidentified)


the response from a post on gizmodo has been huge...lots of traffic to this blog and the nooka website. somehow they credited me as mark waldman which i hope they have corrected. thanks GIZMODO! the COTN™ CAMO models will be available for delivery in a few weeks [no later than mid-february] but you can pre-order here. (i know it says "buy now" – working on fixing the site as i type!) will also be available in your local nooka retailers in february.

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