Win a pair of male and female Hairy Crabs worth nearly $43

Three Food Junction-owned foodcourts will offer Jiangsu's prized Hairy Crabs from October 28 at reasonable prices. Here's the Question to the contest: Jiangsu Hairy Crabs are sold at the Food Place in Raffles City and the Food Junction foodcourt in Great World City and Bugis Junction. True or False?

Somali Man, 112, Marries 17-Year-Old Girl

"Today God helped me realize my dream," groom Ahmed Muhamed Dore said. Well, it's any man's dream, alright. Hope no Paradise Syndrome for you, mister.

A bloodier Dracula rises again?!?!

Yes, I'm equally surprised. A bloodier Dracula rises again. What's the point? The sequel of the book is titled, "Dracula the Un-Dead". Thrillingly, bloody obvious...

Twitterature by Neil Gaiman & BBC & Twitterers

Neil Gaiman and BBC will let you Twitter a story for them. The Coraline author will tweet the first sentence in an interactive storytelling experiment, with the hope that fellow Twitterers (Twits?) will pick up the thread and spin the rest of the story 140 characters at a time.

MediaCorp Subaru Impreza WRX Challenge 2009

And it's now a global (at the very least, regional) event! With participants from China, Taiwan & Indonesia, will the locals' greed shall be overcome by the foreigners'?

Hundreds of people in Singapore have entered a marathon test of endurance to win a car.

For the first time, the annual MediaCorp Subaru Impreza WRX Challenge is seeing participants from China, Taiwan and Indonesia.

Some 400 people turned up at the Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza on Saturday to take part in the event.

They are all focused on winning a brand new Subaru Impreza worth S$81,000.

But some said they would not be keeping the prize if they emerge the winner.

"If I win the car, I think I will sell it and get the money," said contestant Eason Ju, as he does not own a driver's licence.

Eason, 27, is one of the 10 Chinese nationals taking part in the event.

Another participant, 27-year-old Telly Asih Handoko from Jakarta said that he too will be selling the car and put the money to good use.

"I have a dream to set up my own business in Indonesia. I will use the money to set up a motorcycle workshop," he said.

Among the local contestants, there are some who are no strangers to the challenge.

Naisha Jamil, a 41-year-old nurse, is taking part in the event for the third time.

"Last year, I lasted about six hours plus. Because I accumulated three penalty tags, I was asked to leave. I'm working permanently at night. I'm used to having little sleep. So, it shouldn't be a problem...as long as I don't accumulate the penalty tags."

The rules seem simple enough. The participants just have to place their palms firmly on the cars. The last man or woman standing will be the winner.

But it is a tough challenge. Last year's winner, George Lee, lasted a record 81 hours 32 minutes.

The challenge kicked off at 1pm sharp and hardly an hour passed before the first person was eliminated.

He is 44-year-old driver, Ang Theng Chuan.

He said: "I had to place my palm at the same point and I could not move around. I felt tired and it was painful."

From Channel NewsAsia, "MediaCorp Subaru Impreza WRX Challenge 2009 kicks off".



Update on 02/11: And then there were 39 (No thanks to the heavy rainfall!!).

The heavy rainfall on Monday proved too much for some contestants of the MediaCorp Subaru Impreza WRX Challenge.

As it started to pour, contestants - drenched and discouraged - began to drop out at a faster rate.

However, the heavy rainfall did not dampen everyone's spirits, as 39 contestants remain.

All contenders from Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong have dropped out of the competition.

Only a few from South-East Asia - four contestants from Thailand and one from the Philippines - are still in the competition.

34 of the original 321 local contestants still have their palms placed firmly on the cars.

The challenge is into its eighth year and the longest-standing contestant wins a Subaru Impreza Sedan WRX worth S$81,000.

From Channel NewsAsia, "39 contestants left competing in MediaCorp Subaru challenge".



Update on 03/11/09: And the winner is...a 40-year-old Mohd Anuar. Congratz!!

A 40-year-old Singaporean has won the MediaCorp Subaru Impreza WRX Challenge after four days of intense competition.

But not before some emotional drama unfolded.

After 72 hours of braving the elements, it was down to 3 Singaporeans and one Thai - Yeo Shu Qing who turned 25 on Tuesday, 23-year-old Santozkumar Poonsolai, 40-year-old Mohd Anuar, and Thai contestant Samach Tepsen.

Samach called it quits around the 74th hour. Shortly after the break at the 75th hour, the birthday girl threw in the towel.

It was then a mental fight between the two left standing. At the 77th hour, Santozkumar was disqualified for moving his palm, but he refused to leave.

"I'm sorry I have to go ahead and announce the winner. Be a gentleman," urged a Subaru official.

After competing for 77 hours and 43 minutes, the elated winner was so tired this was all he could say.

"First thing I need to do is go to the toilet because I don't feel good! And then take a nap," said Mohd Anuar, winner of this year's MediaCorp Subaru Impreza WRX Challenge.

But he will still have to wake up early to drive away his prize at the presentation on Wednesday morning.

From Channel NewsAsia, "40-year-old Singaporean wins MediaCorp Subaru challenge".



Update on 04/11/09: Will we see more regional participants next year? This article seems to suggest so. Well, they'd better start training from now on then. Standing still in the middle of a heavy rainfall might help. Or send you to your (final) rest faster.

This year's MediaCorp Subaru Impreza WRX Challenge saw good response from seven Southeast Asian countries.

Next year, organisers plan to bring in contestants from two more nations.

40-year-old Mohd Anuar won this year's competition.

It was his second time competing, but Mohd Anuar did not come quite prepared, having ended work a few hours prior to the start of competition.

What's more, he was also down with fever on day one. Nevertheless, he prevailed, beating even the 69 overseas contestants.

And organisers are set to have a stronger Southeast Asian flavour next year.

Glenn Tan, group chief executive of Motor Image, said: "This year's weather was very extreme - there were thunderstorms and a lot of rain ... We were surprised that the contestants lasted a long time, especially the Thai contestants.

"Next year, we're looking to bring more regional countries. We're looking at Vietnam and maybe even Cambodia."

This year's contest also had some drama - when runner-up Santozkumar Poonsolai refused to concede defeat after one of his finger moved slightly out of the palm print.

"The rules of the competition are your hand needs to be on the palm print. If any part of the finger or palm gets out of the print, you're disqualified. So it was very clear. My marshall who caught him with a finger out of the palm print told us, and we had to do what we had to do," said Steven Choo, AVP of Programming, Radio, MediaCorp.

Mohd Anuar may have won the S$81,000 Subaru Impreza, but interestingly the Singaporean who works as a steersman, said he is a biker at heart and plans to buy a Harley soon.

From Channel NewsAsia, "Subaru challenge to rope in contestants from Vietnam, Cambodia next year".

Govindarajan Elangovan: the prata man & a (Sunday) poet

And he won second prize for Tamil poetry at the Singapore Press Holdings-National Arts Council Golden Point Award competition! I like the way how dedicated he is. It's said that he closes his prata stall on Sunday so that he can pen his poems.

Govindarajan Elangovan, 36, whips up pratas and curries at his food stall. Sundays though are for poetry.

That is when his stall in Bukit Batok Crescent is closed and he can write.

It is hard going, but the father of two's perseverance has paid off. He won second prize for Tamil poetry at the Singapore Press Holdings-National Arts Council Golden Point Award competition.

Twenty-three authors from all walks of life were feted at a ceremony at The Arts House yesterday for their winning entries in the biennial writing contest.

Selected from 453 competitors, they included teachers, professionals and a polytechnic student, who at 17 was the youngest-ever winner since the award's inception in 1993.

Of the seven first prize winners, two are immigrants, now permanent residents here. Ms Perinbam Vasudevan, 35, from India, took the honours for the Tamil short story category, while Mr Li Qingsong, 32, from China, won the top award for Chinese prose.

From Straits Times, "Prata man whips up poem".

Psychoville & a peep at Paradise Syndrome


Written by the Leagsters for BBC Two, Psychoville is a dark character comedy mystery featuring characters from all over the UK, who each receive a mysterious letter. Spoiler alert: don't check out the Wikipedia article on Psychoville. Oh, never mind.

It's a hilarious, dark comedy & what I like most is that I learn a new thing about sick people with their sick mind. For example: one 'psycho' suffers from Paradise Syndrome which is defined briefly in Wikipedia as 'a feeling of dissatisfaction despite having achieved all one's dreams'.

If you google 'paradise syndrome psychology', you'll come across this TVNZ article, "Paradises syndrome: When too much is never enough".

Partially quoted:
Are you dissatisfied with your life, even though you've got everything you ever wanted - kids, a lovely house, a loving partner?

Have you landed that dream job or reached the pinnacle of your career, yet still feel empty inside?

If this is you, you may be suffering from paradise syndrome - a term used by cultural commentators to describe a condition where people feel dissatisfied even thought they've achieved their dreams.


Interesting. It now seems a good move to set an unachievable target, doesn't it? Lest one may suffers from Paradise Syndrome. Either that, or always set a new (higher) target, or not to even set a goal at all (Nah, this is too extreme!).

Christy Yow: from an SIA-reject to an FHM model to a new Rose Chan?

Well...we all know sex sells. So good for Christy Yow really to finally have a chance to take on the roleof the infamous Rose Chan. Rose Chan, according to Wikipedia, was a cabaret dancer turned "Queen of Striptease" who has become something of a legend in--yes, you read it right--Malaysia.

Busty Malaysian actress Christy Yow is set to earn her wings for her acting talent rather than her physical assets when she takes on the role of Rose Chan in her new movie.

Yow is well known for her pair of 36C breasts and has even been nicknamed Malaysian Giant Breast.

That will soon change when she plays the role of "The Queen of Striptease" Rose Chan in her new movie.

The 22-year-old lass from Ipoh, Perak beat several hundred candidates for the role in the movie Mei Gui Xiang (The Charming Rose).

Yow is currently acting in Singapore Chinese drama.

Singapore's Lianhe Wanbao reported that Yow's manager had confirmed the news of her role in the movie by French producers.

He said Yow had been going to the nightclubs to learn from the mama san (a woman who leads the GROs) and to find out the real life of women in the night entertainment industry.

"The world of Rose Chan was very complicated.

"Yow must work hard for the role," said the manager.

Yow was overwhelmed by the news on Thursday and told her parents about it.

She said her mother did not object, but was worried if she could do it carry the part. Her father did not say anything.

He asked if Yow had to strip in the movie and remained silent after she answered "Hmm...".

The director and producers of the movie searched for two years before they agreed on Yow.

Mei Xiang Xiang is expected to start filming in Shanghai, China next year.

The movie tells the story of the legendary striptease Rose Chan (1925-1987).

Rose Chan was a cabaret dancer turned striptease. She was known for her daring performances on stage such as her famous python-wrestling act and having motorcycles ride over her.

She also performed unusual stunts that required her to use her "lower body" strength and flexibility.

These popular performances have since been adopted by the "tiger show" performers in Thailand.

Rose Chan had performed in Germany, France, Britain, Australia, Indonesia and others.

She died of breast cancer at her home in Butterworth, Penang in 1987.

From Asiaone, "Busty Malaysian actress to play Queen of Striptease".





If life is a series of lucky strikes, then 23-year-old Christy Yow Wei Min should thank her lucky stars for her fast-track route into the world of showbiz.

While many of her peers are still deciding what to do after receiving their undergraduate degrees, Yow already has her work and career path cut out for her as South-East Asia’s newest sex symbol.

Her Cinderella moment has been well-documented by the frenzied Singapore press, who can’t seem to get enough of her fresh-faced looks that can be easily transformed into a sultry goddess in front of the lens.

The girl from Ipoh initially left her hometown to work as an air stewardess for Singapore Airlines but didn’t make it past the first round of interviews.

“I was asked to introduce myself. I just said that I am a model and I would like to fly for SIA. Maybe I wasn’t too outspoken, that’s why I failed the first round of interviews,” she says upon reflection in another interview.

But fate had other plans for her. Yow caught the attention of Crocodile International’s former head of corporate communications, Terence Ang.

They first met in 2005; even back then, he believed that she would one day make it big in the world of entertainment.

“She was still schooling then. But she appeared versatile to me. She has interesting, good looks and can be groomed to be a model. With make-up, she can be transformed,” says Ang in a recent interview.

And so Yow was plucked from obscurity and a mundane life attending classes at Tunku Abdul Rahman College for her broadcasting diploma.

Soon after graduating, Yow threw herself into modelling as Crocodile’s official spokesman in Malaysia and Taiwan, fronting ad campaigns shot in London and Ho Chi Minh City – for the brand’s womenswear range – where she gained modelling experience in front of the camera.

But she really caught the attention of Singapore when her bikini-clad figure appeared on the sold-out December 2008 cover of FHM magazine in the Lion City.

The pictures were shot in Bali; it was only upon her arrival that she discovered that she was required to wear a bikini for the photographs.

Ever the trooper, Yow agreed to complete the shoot. When the magazine was published, the Chinese press labelled her “the busty 36C lady from Malaysia”. Yow unwittingly became the new pin-up girl for the island nation.

After the FHM buzz, acting and modelling offers started pouring in.

Ang, now her manager, recalled that “directors were calling up almost every day with scripts”.

So far, her screen time has been limited to either singing on film soundtracks (for the Fann Wong/Christopher Lee rom-com vehicle, The Wedding Game) or participating in Hong Kong game shows such as Eric Tsang’s Super Trio Supreme.

Now, with one movie already completed and another just confirmed recently, it’s quite amazing that she even managed to squeeze in a 10-day acting workshop in Taipei recently.

The movie in question is Aunties United, a movie spin-off from MediaCorp Channel 8’s Aunty Lucy character played by Y.E.S. 93.3FM DJ Dennis Chew, in the Paris and Milan variety show.

The movie revolves around Aunty Lucy’s attempts to play basketball but that is beside the point; Yow plays Aunty Lucy’s daughter, Enqi, a demure girl-next-door type who transforms into a sex bomb towards the end of the movie.

Surprisingly, being sexy on film proved to be more of a stumbling block for the budding actress.

In a recent interview, she said she recalled a scene that required her to walk slowly towards the camera, looking sexy.

“I had to pose, sway a little and look sexy. I didn’t think it would be difficult and everyone thought I would be able to complete it in just one take. But it felt weird when I did it. It wasn’t natural. I thought it could be because it was my first time acting,” Yow says.

The scene was finally approved by the director after the crew was asked to leave the hall they were filming in.

Yow’s performance has been hailed as promising in reviews.

The bigger surprise to critics was the ability of Yow to show a side of her completely removed from the ice queen, sex bomb image that propelled her to fame.

For the record, her recent weight loss means that the 36C tag is no longer applicable; the tabloids suggest that it is a more modest 34C now.

Yow geared up for the role with a whirlwind photoshoot in Paris for the media. During Paris Fashion Week, Yow was in the safe hands of her Singapore crew as the silver Volkswagen people-mover that we were travelling in functioned as hair and make-up station plus changing room.

While Yow appeared casual off-duty, she took her work seriously; there was a heightened sense of anticipation from the crew every time she emerged from the van.

Perfect fit

Two weeks after the photoshoot in Paris, the Singapore press announced that Christy had landed the lead role in Singaporean director Eric Khoo’s biopic of Rose Chan, called The Charming Rose (Mei Gui Xiang) in an epic casting call that took more than a year and 200 auditions with part-time actresses and assorted models.

Why did it take so long to find the right person?

“She should have the sultry lips of Shu Qi, the voluptuous figure of Fiona Xie, the height of Beatrice Chia, and the poise and complexion of Gong Li.

Hopefully, she can also act like Maggie Cheung and tell jokes like Irene Ang,” the director stated nonchalantly.

And one other tiny matter.

“It is hard to get local female artistes to strip,” producer Gary Goh admitted. On top of all that, she should also be in her 20s, be able to speak Mandarin and Cantonese, and be comfortable around snakes.

A tall order indeed.

The Singapore press is already making a big fuss over the fact that two scenes will require her to bare her assets – a full frontal nude scene and a rape scene.

But above all, said Khoo, “the female lead must bring out these different sides of Rose, a strong character. She’s almost a feminist in those days yet she also had her emotional moments.”

To prepare for the role, Yow has been visiting the nightclubs to learn from the mama-san how the GROs ply their trade.

In addition to this, Yow will also have to play an age range of between 17 and 35 years old as Rose Chan.

Rose Chan was a legend in 1950s Malaya, combining cabaret routines with striptease and daring circus stunts, including wrestling pythons and having motorcycles ride over her body.

She even made it to Australia, Germany and France with her act. At the height of her fame, she was rich enough to drive a Rolls-Royce, and had five husbands.

But the high-profile sex symbol lived out her twilight years alone, eventually succumbing to throat, lung and breast cancer at the age of 62. Her two adopted daughters did not attend her funeral.

“Sometimes I worry that things are moving too fast for Christy,” says Ang. “There is a need to manage what kind of scripts she’s getting and how her career is evolving.”

Given that she’s about to take on what could possibly be the defining role of her career, it may be a wise move to sit down and take stock of events.

But for now, Yow is one girl that’s coming up all roses.

From Diva, "Fast track to fame for Christy Yow".



Christy Yow, nicknamed Malaysian Giant Breasts, has been offered S$50,000 to strip at a charity show.

The person who made the offer said the money would go towards rescuing stray cats and dogs.

The charity event is suuposed to be held at a cinema in Singapore on Saturday with all gains to be channelled to the Animal Lovers League.

Last Saturday, Yow received an anonymous e-mail from someone who claimed to be her fan.

The republic's Lianhe Zaobao reported that in the e-mail, the sender had promised to donate S$50,000 if Yow strips at the charity show.

"Since she has to strip for the movie sooner or later, if she is willing to do it that day, I will donate S$50,000," the sender wrote.

The 22-year-old Yow, who hails from Ipoh, is currently pursuing her acting career in the republic.

Although Yow is more famous for her pair of 36C breasts, she has now been given the chance to prove her acting skills.

She was chosen to play the role of Rose Chan, "The Queen of Striptease" in the new movie Mei Gui Xiang (The Charming Rose).

Asked to comment on the request, Yow said she was humiliated.

"The sender should not have made the request. This is humiliating me. You should not ask for returns when it comes to charity," she said.

She, however, said if the sender had the courage to go for the show, she would strip.

"I can only show my back," she added.

On the other hand, Yow had made a counter-offer to the e-mail sender.

"If the person donates this sum of money, I will discuss with the director of Mei Gui Xiang to let him view our shooting," she said.

The movie is expected to begin shooting by next year.

From Asiaone, "Christy's $50,000 strip offer".

Wet markets have been transformed, says hawker's son

The Straits Times
Online Forum Section
30th October 2009

MY PARENTS are hawkers in a wet market and I have seen how the markets have been transformed.

One good example is Tiong Bahru Market. Before the refurbishment, it was small and unpleasant. Now, it is clean, has modern shopping facilities and a wide variety of items.

Wet markets are also places where the elderly gather to share the latest news on their families. I remember vividly how old grannies would come up to my father and ask him to keep a lookout for their friends so they could sit down for a cup of tea in the cooked food section.

With flexible prices, wet markets are also ideal places for foreign workers to patronise.

An increasing number of young people can be observed shopping at the wet market as well. It is not only the increased cleanliness that draws people to shop there, but also the closeness and friendliness of the stallholders.

So if you have not been to a wet market, head down to Tiong Bahru Market this weekend. It is an ideal model for other wet markets to follow, and I hope it can change the misconceptions some Singaporeans have of wet markets.

Lee Yean Yang


Copyright © 2007 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved. Privacy Statement & Condition of Access

Light And Dark

Image: Mr Bojangles

I'm a bit ill educated on the musical history of Lee Coombs but after looking at his release catalog I'd say it was fair to assume that he's one of the prominent DJ's of the past 10 years or so. I received two of his newest tracks that appear on his third album 'Light and Dark', including the title track and I'm hooked. I suggest you have a listen to them too but first here's a bit of info about the man.

‘Light and Dark’ is in Coombs own words “a true tech funk album”, an amalgam of sounds and influences from dance music’s often disparate scenes. Alongside acts like Meat Katie, Dylan Rhymes and Elite Force, Coombs has pioneered this open minded attitude and helped forge the sound of ‘tech funk’, a fusion of techno, breaks, house and electro. On this long player Coombs takes the tech funk spirit and develops it to the n’th degree, it is a true melting pot of influences, from the opening bars of the Diva driven Control with the wonderful Katherine Ellis to the final refrain of the heavily Echo & the Bunnymen inspired ‘Blues I’m Singing’.

Lee Coombs feat. Katherine Ellis - Control.mp3 (Mediafire)
Lee Coombs - Light And Dark.mp3 (Mediafire)

design tide tokyo 2009



i know i am overdue for updating the blog for my visits to tokyo, taipei, seoul, manila and singapore, but i'm readjusting to NYC time today! i wanted to get the word out for anyone in tokyo to check out design tide at tokyo midtown starting friday october 30th through november 3rd. the alternative to the much larger 100% design exhibition is always a treat with more independent designers and smaller companies like nooka taking part. yu yamada of nooka japan is one of the organizer/curators so make sure you check out our new products in the market section. the tide website is here.

oh, and they produced a nice looking book this year [as they always do!]

Amie's art in 'Teaching Children to Draw'

My grand-daughter Amie's works have been published in the book,'Teaching Children to Draw'-by Marjorie Wison and Brent Wilson. Thanks to my daughter-in-law for writing her blog MamaStories . A major chunk of her blog is about Amie's development and of course that includes her artistic
endeavour.It is indeed a great event for me.
Amie is now our main focus in life and I love to draw and paint her from photographs.
I did this one in water colour in March, '08.The style and technique used in this work is very different
from what I am learning now at NAFA





I had taken a few lessons in water colour from Mrs. Cynthia Ho in Singapore in the year 2004 and have been developing the techniques I learnt from her.
Mrs. Ho's technique involved mixing the colours to get the desired shade and applying it directly while the technique I am learning now is applying washes in layers.


This temple in Cambodia was done under her guidance. -Singapore 2004





Below are some of my other earlier water colours: [in order-from top]

  1. Sun bathing -Boston Dec.2004
  2. Puffin-Boston.Nov.2004
  3. Fall-2004.Boston
  4. Green Street-Boston-Dec.2004
  5. Tsunami-Singapore,February2005
  6. Little bird on the tree in front of my balcony-Kolkata,2005














HITS: Handphone IMEI Tracing System | Check using SMS whether the handphone was stolen before you buy it

And for the clueless (I'm one of them, okay?) IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identification.

I like the news how HITS has been improved. Previously the check on whether the handphone was stolen could only be done using the Internet. Now, a SMS service is introduced & allowed the check to be done anywhere. (Well, you can use Internet too almost anywhere...but you know what I mean.)

Learn more about HITS (Handphone IMEI Tracing System) & related FAQ-s here. The HITS official site: here.

Handphone ownership in Singapore has become increasingly prevalent in recent years. Not only has this resulted in a vibrant handphone resale industry, in which handphones are bought and sold via secondhand dealers, but handphones have also become a target for thieves.

The Handphone IMEI Tracing System (HITS), an online handphone screening service, was developed and launched in 2006 to deter handphone thieves from selling off stolen handphones to secondhand dealers and the public. The system uses each handphone’s unique International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number to identify handphones which have been reported stolen.

Where screenings could only be done via the Internet previously (accessible via Police's e-Services webpage at http://www.spf.gov.sg/epc/index.htm), the HITS system has now been enhanced to allow for screenings to be easily done via Short-Message-Service (SMS) as well. From 27 October 2009 onwards, members of the public and secondhand dealers can easily check if the secondhand phones they are about to purchase have been reported stolen or lost via the Internet and SMS. Through this enhancement, the Police hope to deter handphone related crimes by providing a more convenient and effective avenue for members of the public to perform IMEI screening.

For Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, Employment Pass and Work Permit holders, an SMS screening can be performed by sending "SPFHITSNRIC No/FIN NoIMEI No" to 74688. For others, simply send "SPFHITSIdentity NoOIMEI No" to 74688. Normal SMS charges apply.

If the screening result is "WANTED", members of the public are advised to proceed to any Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC) or Neighbourhood Police Post (NPP) to lodge a Police report immediately. Members of the public are also advised that it is an offence to retain a handphone that has been reported stolen or lost.

Members of the public are strongly urged to screen the IMEI number before purchasing any secondhand phones and play their part to deter crime.



PUBLIC AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
26 OCT 2009 @ 7.30 PM

From Singapore Police Force Media Information Center, "Unsure If The Secondhand Phone You Are Buying Is Reported Stolen or Lost? SMS 74688 To Check".

A new SMS service launched by the police to track down stolen or missing mobile phones will make it easier for secondhand dealers and consumers to check if a mobile phone is legitimate.

Launched by the Singapore Police Force on Tuesday, the service is an enhancement to its Handphone IMEI Tracing System, or HITS, which began as a website service in 2006.

An IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identification) is a unique identification number that every cellphone has, much like a person's fingerprints.

The police introduced the system to allow anyone to check if a handset was not wanted by its owner. This was to curb the rising problem of thieves selling off stolen mobile phones to secondhand dealers.

Last year, an average of 67 screenings were made per day on the HITS website.

From Straits Times, "SMS for stolen & lost phones".

Coraline: (Almost) A Review of The Graphic Novel


Yes, finally managed to borrow another Neil Gaiman's masterpiece: Coraline. I especially like it as it is in a graphic novel form illustrated by P. Craig Russell. (And if you bother to check out the Wikipedia article about the artist, you'll learn that P. Craig Russell has won multiple Harvey and Eisner Awards. And that he is particularly respected by his peers because he was the first well-known, successful mainstream comic book creator to come out as openly gay. Right.)

Anyway, this is an attempt to review a graphic novel, Coraline. I love it. It is illustrated in details & you just have to respect the tremendous amount of work that the artist put for this 186-page graphic novel.

Story-wise? Well, I'm very biased here. It's Neil Gaiman's creation after all! What can I say? Superb story-telling by the Master. Heh.

Now to set a time to catch the 3D animated film version of Coraline.

Massely Abdul Aziz joins the Hall of Shame of maid abusers

A word that best describes Massely Abdul Aziz: a monster! I have this mental image that a well deserving punishment for her (actually for all those animals who abuse their domestic helpers) is the exact kind of treatment that they did to their maids.

Imagine your teeth pulled out with pliers! You played a dentist huh, Massely Abdul Aziz?!

She poured boiling water over her maid's genitals and helped extract the woman's two front teeth with pliers.

On Wednesday, Massely Abdul Aziz, 38, was the last in a family of maid abusers to be convicted of these offences committed in 2007. Her two children and the lesbian lover she lived with, were jailed last year.

During the three-week trial earlier this year, Massely claimed that the 30-year-old maid had asked to be punished in order to repent her 'wrongdoings'.

But District Judge Jeffrey Sim said: 'It may well be that the maid may have committed mistakes... but this does not justify the offences.'

The judge was also convinced that the divorcee had hit Ms Badingah with a metal rod and threatened to kill her if she did not return $60 she was accused of stealing.

All the offences occurred in June and July that year.

From Straits Times, "Convicted for maid abuse".



Update on 04/11: Maselly Abdul Aziz the maid abuser is to be thrown to jail to rot for three (short) years. Seriously, the prosecutor ought to appeal for harsher punishment!!

The woman who poured boiling water on her maid's genitals and joined in to extract the Indonesian woman's two front teeth with pliers, was jailed for three years on Wednesday.

Maselly Abdul Aziz, 39, is the last in a family of maid abusers to be sentenced for these offences committed on Ms Badingah in 2007.

Her two older children and a woman described in court as Maselly's lesbian lover were jailed last year for their part in abusing the maid.

Maselly, a divorcee, was allowed to begin her jail sentence on Dec 28 as her elder daughter would be released on home detention by then to look after a two-year-old grandchild - her daughter's son.

After the three-week trial, District Judge Jeffrey Sim was also convinced that Maselly had hit Ms Badingah with a metal rod and threatened to kill her.

She pleaded guilty to employing another foreign maid without a work permit between March and December 2005 and was fined $7,500.

From Straits Times, "3-year jail for maid abuse".

A GOOD busker with a BIG heart!


I was having a very bad morning today.

Every single phone call that came in was an “invitation” to solve some problems.

And the most ridiculous one was from a home buyer whom my client and I were trying to help even though we were not obligated to.

And instead of words of appreciation, the buyer started spewing profanities about my sellers.

I had to hang up the phone as I do not want to be contaminated with her toxicity.

That particular buyer has problems controlling her rage and anxiety and everyone she knows, including all her family members, are always cast in a bad light by her.

After I hung up the phone, I noticed that it was going to rain and that’s when a SMS from resident Chan came in.

“Have you heard the guy who sings at the tb market? He is really good :) must write a feature for him in your blog”

As I have no idea who that singing guy was and what I was supposed to do…plus I was already having a bad day, I replied rather promptly:

“Can you be the guest blogger?”

Sensing that it might be seen as a form of “TAI CHI” (Pushing away responsibility), I quickly SMS back to check when the guy will be at Tiong Bahru market as I thought the singing thingy was a weekend activity.

(By the way, there are a few “buskers” here at the Tiong Bahru market during the weekends and I’m not impressed with most of them. “PASSION” seems to be lacking in their gig)

Another SMS from resident chan wetted my curiosity:

“Hahah. I am sitting here and he is serenading us to great jazz pieces:) its like I am seated at clarke quay.”

“Serenading!”, “Clarke Quay standard”! Mmm, I must go and check it out.

So even though it was pouring heavily, I took my DSLR and my umbrella and walked to the market.

I could hear the beautiful singing as I make my way up the escalator to the second storey.

Many people where eating away happily while this guy was singing non-stop.

It was a beautiful atmosphere this afternoon and the cool weather complimented it very well.

And instinctively I took out my DSLR to snap a picture and that was when I realised that I had forgotten to put in the SD card!

This is very embarrassing!


I think everyone seated around there will notice an odd ball taking pictures with a BIG camera and thus I became very self conscious.

So when I realised it is not gonna capture any images at all, I had to carry on the act of taking pictures and walked away as soon as I could.

Eventually, I walked back there to drop a $2 into his box and whipped out my phone to snap the above picture.

I don’t think that guy knew that I dropped a note in but it doesn’t matter.

What matters was I managed to find out his name on his busker card and this guy’s name is Daniel Ng.

So I came back and googled up on this guy and IF this is the same Daniel Ng, this busker has a BIG heart!

In 2003, this guy used his singing talent to raise funds for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.

With what little he has earned, he gave them away generously.

Just imagine how many hours he has to sing himself hoarse just to make enough for his daily expenses.

And instead of hoarding the money for himself, he gave some of it away!

Wow, this guy is SELFLESS and he could be our every day hero.

So the next time you see Daniel Ng at the Tiong Bahru Market or anywhere else, show him your BIG token of appreciation.

Resident Chan, thanks for that SMS today!

Don't lose that baby you once delivered - Asian Film Archive CAN help!

A common view of that bus to Kuala Lumpur...

Launched in conjunction with the UNESCO World AV Day, this short clip is one in a series of videos produced by the Asian Film Archive that hopes to raise consciousness on the urgency of saving our creative works and film heritage: http://www.youtube.com/asianfilmarchive.


 

The Archive's Annual Report 2008 is made available for public perusal and shares the efforts and committment of the Archive's donors and partners to making AFA a great home for Asian films. We welcome any feedback that you may have: http://www.asianfilmarchive.org   

 

Asian Film Archive Blog: http://www.asianfilmarchive.org/Blog

FIRST TAKES - November



Mon 2 November , 8pm
The Substation Theatre
Free admission - donations welcome Main sponsor: KODAK
 
Launched in 2004, First Take, a free screening of local and international amateur works now happening every first Monday of the month, is a platform for new filmmakers and anyone who is interested in film-making to meet, exchange ideas and show their works. Plus a Q&A session with the filmmakers – submissions are welcome all year round!
1. CASHLESS/ DEREK AND MELINDA TAN/ 34 MIN/ 2009/ PG 
2. SELF PORTRAIT/ ER KIA HUI/ 6 MIN/ 2007 
3. THE TRIUMPH/ TING SZU KIONG/ 7 MIN/ 2009
4. BRIGHT/ ALEXA CARAVIA/ 10 MIN/ 2009
5. MANU SAVES THE DAY/ SHAWN LEE MILLER/ 9 MIN/ 2009/ PG


Dodgems

Photo: Le Moribond

Here's yet another update from recent featured artists Whis This, some more jackin' fidgit electro in the form of two original tracks and two remixes. Check out the two versions of Dodgems, the first a little down tempo to the second which has plenty of bass and even a dubstep break. Also a brilliant remix of M.I.A.'s 'Tic Toc'.

Whis This - Dodgems pt.1.mp3 (Mediafire)
Whis This - Dodgems pt.2.mp3 (Mediafire)
M.I.A. feat Rye Rye - Tic Toc (Whis This 3 Step Remix).mp3 (Mediafire)
Fukkk Offf - Love My Shake (Whis This Remix).mp3 (Mediafire)

Wake Up

Image: Jonas Bergstrand

You may remember a while back I posted some remixes and a mini interview with Meterhead, well they're back with another fine collection of remixes including official ones due for label release. Here's there latest EP all zipped up and ready for download including remixes for Wale, Black Lips and Acid Girls. Also, check out the EP from July featuring remixes of Richard Vission & Static Revenger, Pop Levi and Tittsworth.

Meterhead Remix EP Oct 09.zip (Direct Link)
Wale ft Lady Gaga - Chillin (Meterhead Remix).mp3
Black Lips ft. GZA - Drop I Hold (Meterhead Remix).mp3
Acid Girls Ft. Frankmusik - Wake Up (Meterhead Remix).mp3

Meterhead Remix EP July 09.zip (Direct link)
Richard Vission & Static Revenger Feat. Luciana - I Like That (Meterhead Remix).mp3
Richard Vission & Static Revenger Feat. Luciana - I Like That (Meterhead Instrumental).mp3
Pop Levi - Police Sign (Meterhead Remix).mp3
Pop Levi - Police Sign (Meterhead Instrumental).mp3
Tittsworth - Drunk as Fuck (Meterhead Dark Disco Instrumental Remix).mp3

Arnel Ramiscal: Art as Essential as Breathing

By Jay Bautista

In an old humble apartment, along a dark alley somewhere in West Rembo in Makati, like clockwork in sync with the crowing rooster by daybreak, moments before the desperate multitude rush to the streets, for the last five years Arnel Ramiscal habitually wakes up and does “this personal karmic thing.”

It doesn’t take more than five minutes to rouse him from his sleep and meditate himself to do his essential yoga. On an empty stomach but with a clear mind, with various stretching, twisting, and squeezing, this usually lasts until an hour.

With an acquired energy so high and an inherent focus rabidly intense afterwards, the same 60-square meter space, where Ramiscal grew up in with his six other siblings back in the 80s, transforms into his studio and workshop.

As the reality of the morning creeps in, Ramiscal’s unconscious takes full control. Observing him at work, he smears, rubs and even incises his canvases and on paper to enable him to continuously filling them up relying much on his instinct. Ramiscal is delighted by mixing various indigenous materials and combining them with oil or acrylic paint, oftentimes with mud powdered pigment to give it that rich texture he longs for in his works.



Inner Tuning, Detail

“Art is but a preparation for that bigger art, the art of living” Ananda Coomaraswamy (1877-1947), a Sri Lankan art critic and curator, once said. And to fully grasp the recent works of Ramiscal is to understand him in the purity of his context. Such is his simple art, basic life, and this is the essence of Ramiscal’s third solo exhibition entitled Dungan (Colors of the Soul) which is a common word for “soul,” a word both accepted in the provinces of the northern and southern Philippines.

For the last five years, Ramiscal has adopted and adapted to the benefits of yoga to his art. As a practicing environmentalist and also a performance artist, this graduate of Philippine Women’s University imparts his feelings on canvas by finding the preferred spaces within lines and colors.

Blending indigenous designs with elements of yoga, his continuous round and geometric figures are common in his artworks. Previously known for his tea-stained mocha-colored paintings of various unusual sizes of rustic and old feel, Ramiscal explores in depth for this show, titles like Heart of the Soul, Soul Circuit, Inner Tuning Mystical Union, and Uplifting Vibration give one a semblance of more meditative sense. His big gray round figures may look like a kindergarten’s writing exercise however the scribbled effect is actually painted gray strokes, resembling manually penciled circles in his masterpieces. It is in the process of doing and undoing that he attains fulfillment. By painstakingly doing this, through constant practice, he hears a timbre sound, similar to a hum from a husky voice, which excites him even more.


Mystical Union, 2009

His cross-motifs are culled from our indigenous people like the designs in the textile cloths of the T’bolis and Igorots. Being also a body painter and a tattoo artist, what may strike the viewer, as shown in his biggest work, Mata ng Dungan, which he specially executed for this show, are the cross and box-like images which were literally stitched on plywood. Here he denounces his frustrations in the environment, failure of religion or rampant poverty he witnesses or is part of, is seen in the crosses and squares. What he may lack in lyricism and harmony, he compliments with the forceful vigor of his colors and brushstrokes. He continues to paint dazzling and lurid colors as he paves the way to a more social, as his processes and materials he used, more enticing as there is more truth in the unspoiled, with never ending perspective.

Viewers may find crudeness in his jumbled up images. Some people may find his works rather loose or unordered, however every line has a meaning and every rounded form follows an age-old system. His paintings stresses the value of spontaneity, his gestural paintings exudes positive energy and contentment. As most abstract works are somewhat like gift wrappers in bookstores, so passive and lifeless. Ramiscal is not as evident in the chakra colors he uses.

His charka colors command in his works as he delights with its meaning. With Violet being the highest being one with the infinite and used with grace, other colors such as indigo, red, orange, yellow and green abound his paintings. Compassion and subtlety are key values that reflect in his expressions.

Heart of the Soul, 2009


The art pieces may be subtle but are meant to evoke positive compassion which is not forceful yet unintelligible and inexplicable. Ramiscal is totally unhindered by any western or academic canon, in fact he had to unlearn everything what fine arts has taught him, what remains is his passion to his craft.

Philippine abstract has come of age with the advent of Dungan (Colors of the Soul). Although for lack of an art classification he doesn’t want his works to be considered non-figurative rather let it be the formless response to his creative impulse. There is nothing that is not related to his well-being. Everything has its own purpose and he considers himself as his own artwork.

The exhibit is ongoing at the Galerie Anna, 4/f Artwalk, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City until November 9, 2009.

Traditional Style Tattoo Skull

Maximus

Photo: Sanne Sannes

California's Harvard Bass has added his touch to Beni's latest release Maximus out now on Kitsune. Its an electro stormer, perfect for dropping mid set when the place is already dripping from the ceiling at 2am. Check out the video for the original version here.

Beni - Maximus (Harvard Bass Remix).mp3 (Mediafire)

Ready for my post-birthday, halloween party!

For my 26th birthday, I thought of celebrating it by throwing a thanksgiving slash costume party. And there is no better date to hold it than on a halloween night! I said to myself, I better do this now while I'm still young and there's an excuse to act goofy =)

I want to dress up as a fairy in all white and glittery drama. A fairy won't be one without wings, of course. But instead of buying a ready-made set, I decided to create my own. The wings I made are quite simple but I loved the result. I learned the how-to through a youtube video which I didn't exactly follow to the letter.

This is how I did my fairy wings:

I bought the materials needed: Flimsy (yes they have to so you can bend them easily) hangers as the frame, pliers to bend the 'wingbone', super glue, black or white tights (depends on what kind of fairy you want to be), ribbons, string, a pair of scissors, and tons of glitters.

First, I bended the hangers into an oval shape. This is the most difficult part of the task. I used two small hangers for the top part and two big ones for the bottom part.


Then, I connected the same-sized circles by tying the ends, which will be the central area of the full wings. After forming the ovals, I dressed them up with white tights.


I also tied the ends of the tights and pulled them down to make a snug fit. Then the fun part begins - putting glitters to make the wings oh so pretty! I don't have much time to be more creative with the design so I just did the simple circles. The feathers helped in glamming them up even more!

Total cost in sgd: $30. Not bad. I like that it's huge and covers my entire back.

Yay! Ready to strut and party.

Exhibition Billboard Project








Exhibition Billboard can be found here on Facebook and an interview with one of its founders, artist, Camille Chedda follows below




What is Exhibition Billboard and what is the idea/ aim behind it?

 Exhibition Billboard Jamaica is a facebook group I created to inform people of exhibitions or art events in Jamaica and exhibitions featuring Jamaican artists internationally. This applies to all visual arts i.e fine arts, applied arts and includes spreading information about art sales, classes, fairs and lectures.

 How does it work if I am interested in posting my event or attending an event?  

 Members of the group can send me an email at ms.chedda@gmail.com with information about any event they would like to see on the group page. I generally provide links to pages outside of the group that others have created to promote their art events.

 Do you attend the events and if so is there any kind of reportage or documentation or plans to do so in future?

 I have not been to most of the events because I am operating out of town (most events are Kingston based). Documentation is something I would like to do in the future for the group. For now I’m relying on the Gleaner/Observer to provide feedback on events, but these sources tend to be inadequate at times because they don’t always report on these shows.

 When was it started and what are your plans for developing this initiative?

 This group was started in the latter part of 2008. So far I have had positive feedback, but I would like to play a more active role in attending events and providing information about them. I would also like to get more people involved in developing the group to make it more interactive. I would like to have more dialogue about shows. I suppose this could be extended into a blog such as artjamaica.blogspot.com.

How do you see this activity in your role also as an arts practitioner? 

Its been beneficial for me. It is important that people see your talents and unique ideas. I think its sad if your works are on display in a gallery or an art fair and no one is there to see it. You get no feedback, you get no sales. I think it's my job to spread awareness of art happenings so that both the artist and the art viewer will benefit.

Is being a kind of arts journalist changing your outlook or place within the arts scene?

 Not sure if I can answer this one since Ive not been attending much of the shows.

  How does a social network like Facebook allow you to devote time to providing this service?

It makes it easy for me to reach people outside the usual art crowd and get them to see art. Facebook has become a daily staple in people's lives so I found it useful in reaching a wide range of people.

 What are the kind of trends/changes you are seeing in the 'Jamaican Arts Scene' with your work with Exhibition Billboard?

I know that people are more aware of art happenings. People use the group as a calendar of events and have been able to plan their time around seeing an exhibition or attending an art class. Art events are getting the notice they deserve. People outside the general art circle are getting involved in viewing art. The Jamaican art scene is growing as a result.


Old Newspaper Articles


This picture was lifted from We CONserve You CONserve, to see the enlarged article, please go to the original website to click on the picture.


While working on her dissertation on SIT flats, L!an stumbled upon some interesting old newspaper articles.


Click on this link to get to the blog : We CONserve You CONserve, of SIT Flats

She also found some interesting article about those demolished Art Deco building that were found in Chinatown. (Read Article : of SIT Flats in Chinatown)

Well Done!

Snapshots - AFA In Conversation with Filmmakers

The Asian Film Archive held a gathering session where filmmakers and people who want to get to know filmmakers can get together. The shot above is a cosmically nice shot because everything falls into place. You got Tee Pao, the AFA newbie capturing the event on camera, you've got Bee Thiam, the originator right in the middle. You got Jason Lai, an seasoned figure finishing off a conversation and you've got Ken Ochiai, an Asian film enthusiast (researcher?) in the background in observation.
Cleopatra Wong on the souvenir booklet.
Ken Ochiai looking at the AFA DVDs.
The very important people at AFA who will keep your film for the next generation.
Check out more on the event at the Asian Film Archive Blog. The above pictures were taken by fellow filmmaker Looi Wan Ping.

Fly By Night - The 'Original' local 48 hour video challenge


Fly By Night is here again. If you are a new filmmaking enthusiast, this is your chance to put yourself to the test against 40 over teams. If you are seasoned filmmaker, this is your chance to make that frivolous or utterly indulgent film you always wanted to do and not get labelled for anything! If you don't know what is Fly By Night, here is a write up from the Fly By Night website:

Bringing together a sizable group of enthusiasts, the objective is to "make the video you have always wanted to make in a weekend". You have one weekend to conceptualise and make your 5-minute video with your 4 friends. All entries are submitted on Sunday afternoon and they screen at the same afternoon.

There is no top prize for this. But there are 10 JUDGES' CHOICE AWARDS. Basically, 10 films will receive cash prizes of $300 each. The Judges' Choice Awards, announced 'live' on the Sunday evening, are given to the most interesting works made within the limited time and budget. These films will be screened at various venues after the Fly By Night event.

Last year's theme was 'X'. What's this year? Be there to find out!

Japanese Tiger Tattoo


Sexy Japanese Tiger Tattoo

nooka press: instyle magazine

text by michael traverzo
nooka was recently featured in the november issue of instyle magazine. the nooka fragrance has been receiving some great press and instyle has placed us amongst fierce competition!

the nooka fragrance is available online, here!

also, don't forget to vote for nooka at pulchra. the voting process may seem a bit tedious, but it is actually really simple. simply drag nooka to the number 1 spot, if that's your choice of course and choose the other 9 objects until you have completed your list. In order for your vote to be valid, you will need to complete the details form. remember you can only vote ONCE PER DAY, so make sure to log on the next day and do it all over again. link is here!

follow nooka on facebook and twitter.

Youth Speed Trouble Cigarettes

Photo: Michael Bojkowski

You may remember a while back I posted some remixes by Argentinian producer JMP
well, he's back with an awesome eclectic mixtape spanning numerous genres of disco and electronica.

DJ JMP - Promo Mixtape October 2009.mp3 (Mediafire)
01. Junkie XL - Cosmic Rave
02. LCD Soundsystem - Tribulations (Lindstrom Remix)
03. Moulinex & Xinobi - D.I.S.C.O Texas Theme (Esto! Remix)
04. Classixx - I'll Get You (Feat Jeppe)
05. Scratch Massive - Spirit Catcher Remix (Baba Black Edit)
06. Retro Grade - Moda
07. Mousse T Suzie - All Nite Long (Dimitri From Paris Dub Ledisco Mix)
08. Hugg and Pepp - Sweet Rosie (Disco dub)
09. Cassius - Youth Speed Trouble Cigarettes (Don Diablo Remix)
10. Eric Prydz - Pjanoo (Dada Life Guerilla Remix)
11. Fuckk Offf - More Than Friends (Markus Lange Stereofunk Remix)
12. Linus Loves - European Vacation (Linus Loves Roadtrip Mix)
13. MSTRKRFT Feat. John Legend - Heartbreaker (Wolfgang Gartner Remix)
14. Hot Chip - Ready for the Floor (LA Riots vs Villains Remix)
15. The Gossip - Love Long Distance (Fake Blood Remix)
16. DJ Alex Kidd - I Feel It (Dirty Mix)
17. Ou Est Le Swimming Pool - Dance The Way I Feel (Avh Dlub Mix)
18. Mason - Exceeder (Original Mix)
19. Calvin Harris - Ready For The Weekend (Fake Blood Remix)
20. Don Rimini - Hools (Mashed Paper Klub Feat. Floating Remix)
21. The Disco Villains - We Just Came to Get the Party Started (Night Drugs Remix)
22. Acid Girls - The Numbers Song
23. Alter Ego - Rocker (Dub) 192k
24. Proxy - Raven (Flashy Rock Remix)
25. Steve Aoki Feat. Zuper Blahq - I'm In The House (Gigi Barocco Remix)

Whis This

Image Via Popwhore
Photo: Popwhore

Whis This are an electro/ fidget duo from Italy. Hailing from different musical backgrounds the duo have started producing both original and remixed material. Check out their efforts below, and in particular my favorite 'Bad Boy'. Don't forget to stop by their Myspace page.

Whis This - Ass Back.mp3
(Mediafire)
Whis This - The Bad Boy.mp3 (Mediafire)
Whis This - BangBangBang.mp3 (Mediafire)

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