Saturday, November 24, 2007

Random Ramblings

Quoted in context from my friend: "Is it so hard to find someone who isn't spiritually attached at this age?"

I'll leave you all to ponder on what am I talking about here. ^_^

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Singapore's Diversity

Er no, this isn't a topic on racial harmony or the likes. This is more about the very stark contrasts of Singapore during the day vs night; the city vs housing estates.

On one end, some people can be living in 1 or 2 room rented flats and earning paltry sums that can barely pay for their expenses and on the other end we have people living in large Bungalows and earning tens of thousands per month.

1 end of the spectrum has cheap hawker food (doesnt mean it's bad, some are actually wonderful); on the other end we have bars and restaurants.

I can see a very different Singapore from the eyes of different people.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Making Coffeeshop Politics I

Now I have not be in any of the political parties of Singapore and any human rights organisations, but I think I have an idea as to how to circuminvent the current strict regulations in place for holding events.

The opposition should make friends with people that loves making friends and talking, yet do not want to be affliated in any political cause. Ideally, the people should have the following traits:

1. Good in expressing their opinion
2. Good in making friends
3. Good in making a point felt
4. Personal friend of a party member

These people will not be directly affliated to the party, but to the friend. This will mean that they are non-partisan. They will continue with their lives as usual. By having the above traits, I believe there is an increased chance that they can build goodwill for the friend through the word of mouth and gossiping. If this can be accomplished then it should be a passive "force multiplier" for any party, the ruling party included of course.

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Thoughts on Charity Organisations

Recently, the NFK has began to send out donation cards to the public to raise finds. As people received calls from the NFK requesting them to help out, their minds might still wonder whether they should help or not. Those making the call will often have to plead sincerely in order to the cards sent out.

No doubt, NFK's main pillar, the people's support, has taken a severe beating ever since its former CEO, TT Durai got involved with corruption charges. Whether he is ultimately guilty or not, the effect on the public is that people are now less willing to donate to ALL charities in general. Look at the TV Charity Shows in recent years and you should have noticed that their targets were either more modest or the actors and hosts would often have to resort to serious begging to get the sums raised.

With the global increase of food prices due to many factors coupled with an influx of foreigners driving up demand of commodities, the effect is that the cost of living has increased. As shoestring budgets becomes ever the more taut, public monies for charities will steadily decrease. This will probably mean charities will not be able to sustain for long unless a miracle occurs or the Government spends more in funding these Charities.

Who are the one's at the losing end when the sources of fundings slows to a trickle? The beneficaries. This is part of the reason why no matter how bad the management or times is, we should donate - the beneficaries will only suffer more if we dont, since no one else will help except the people.

I think that the Charities try methods other than sending donation cards, tv shows. Be more pro-active and show your presense at those major fairs held in the EXPO or Suntec Convention Hub. Educate the public about your organisation's mission and brief the staff there on the basics of the organisation's cash flows. Passively gather goodwill and people should regain the confidence in charities and donate more willingly, though the amount is really dependent on the person and economy.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

More Fujibayashi Kyou (藤林杏)

(^_^) (^_^) (^_^)
Photos are resized to 1280 x 960 using Photoshop CS2. Some photos are Auto-Leveled, Auto-Contrasted and Auto-Coloured.

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Kyou on a swing.

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On such scales, potted plants does a good job of passing as trees (^_^)

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I like this shot (^_^)

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On hindsight I should have removed the baseplate before taking this shot.

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百花之首。

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The pool shots aren't as nice so I'm putting only 1 here.

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Her hair contrasts well with the flowers.

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This shot seemed to convey some emotion from Kyou.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday Tidbits

The Singapore Daily has a policy of not publishing any news on weekends, stating that weekends are for the family and friends, but I beg to differ. For me, Sunday's are more conductive for blogging on tidbits of news and reflections. Afterall, its one of the few days where people have a little free time to do things they like. マ、each to its own. (^_^)

The Sunday Times today has quite some interesting articles worth mentioning. One of it is about the lottery scam. A teacher was cheated of S$61,000 by China cheats that claims that she won a lottery and that if she transferred some money she will receive the rest of it. Although our MSM have been publicizing it for the past week, warning people of such scams, she did not know about it. Inferring from what she said, this means that she doesnt follow the MSM news. Although our MSM does churn out alot of propaganda, one still needs to read/ watch/ listen to them from time to time for such important warnings. Even if you dont want to pay 80c for the ST, you can still read them on CNA or TodayOnline. I would also guess she's not an English teacher, because as an English teacher part of their job would be to improve the command of the students english and teach the more interested ones on expository essays. Which requires the teacher to get them suitable materials; the local standard would be the ST.

Now the funny thing is that she transferred money not once, but 5 times to multiple accounts, all based in China. Quoting her from the Sunday Times: "Ms Tan insisted that it was her trusting nature, not greed, that made her fall for the scam." - condensing this into 1 word will give me "Gullible". I would agree with her on this point. Who else will transfer money so many times? And financing a loan from the bank at 17.9% is simply incredible...

With all that said, of course I still hope that she will be able to repay all her debts and become stronger from this.

==========================

Next is the depressing news on RenCi's probe by the MOH. Apparently, the MOH audit by Ernst and Young found that RenCi funded a business venture without charging a cent when Venerable Shi was at the helm. The venture sells Buddhist accessories and aimed to return the money + provide a means for additional funding but unfortunately did not suceed.

The MOH can conduct whatever checks it deems to be needed. But I do not think that RenCi should be lumped together with the NFK. The NKF only seeked to earn more and more profits when it was under Durai, and profits were not totally pumped into helping patients get lower costs for dialysis. RenCi, on the other hand, seeks to reduces its charges whenever possible, often waiving/ reducing charges for poor elderly citizens and chronic illness patients. By not helping them we are actually not helping our poorest and most needy group of Singaporeans.

So please do not view RenCi with a coloured glass and continue to donate if you had all along.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Megami Magazine Issue 12

Some of the pictures inside arent as clear as the issues before, like the one on CLANNAD. Megami used TV some TV footage, but they appeared slightly blurred in the print.

And I learnt 1 thing... Nanoha x Fate = $ spent without thinking........

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This issue has Nanoha x Fate as cover!

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A Nanoha Scan

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Nagisa x Kyou ftw!

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Prism Ark. Apparently a Game turned Anime. The OP Single pictures was quite nice.

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Ahh...Konata x Kagamin... I will miss you all very much.

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I used this as a wallpaper not long ago. (Less than 24 hours ago)

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Yume and Otome from Da Capo II

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This is an advertisment for Key works: CLANNAD and Little Busters. Key art has really improved alot from the days of Kanon.

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Nanaka of Myself; Yourself performing a Shrine Ritual.

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Lastly, another ad for Nanoha StrikerS Trading Cards. Dont ask me why people is willing to collect boxes of cards that costs at least half the price of a figurine. Guess each to its own ba.

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Friday, November 09, 2007

Kotobukiya's Fujibayashi Kyou

Recently, oOgA of Anime Banzai! posted about his CLANNAD figurines arriving from Hobby Link Japan. I thought the Nagisa and Tomoyo was ordinary, but the Kyou figurine caught my eye. She was mesmerizing... so with some favourable circumstances today, I skipped school for 3 hours and bought her along with a copy of Megami Magazine which I'll post later. You can view the pictures individually if you wish to see them at a bigger resolution. (Right-click, view selected picture)

~A day in Okazaki Tomoya's life~

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As usual, I was walking along the school corridor when I saw Kyou at the school grounds sitting alone, without her sister Ryou. Seems like she's having a cake down there... Having nothing to do, I went downstairs...

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Now at a distance, I can see that she wasn't eating and seemed to be waiting for someone.
“よ、杏...誰か待ってるか?”

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“アンタですはよ。今日はアンタの誕生日でしょう?”
I was surprised that she remembered my birthday and more so at how she managed to know it when that Sunohara doesn't. Anyway, I was really glad and ate the cake together with her...
~End~

Ok, that wasnt a very good attempt at storyboarding... (=_=) But at least I tried.

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This Kyou is nicely Scruplted by Kotobukiya and sells for S$66.00. A friend said it was expensive, but I'm happy with it. If I had gone tomorrow I'm sure it would be all snatched by as in the case of Nayuki (u_u).

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As with oOgA, I like this side of the figure. It's visually appealing with superb facial detail and hair detail. The ribbon is also very well made. (^_^)

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And the hair. Looks relatively good deshou? Better than some Shana hair that I've seen in figure ads.

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Comparison with the box art.

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Comparison with the Game art. Haiz, I wish I had mini Bento sets for decor and a nicer background.

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This is an obligatory shot for Henry (^_^)||
It's white. I'll prefer to take it under a glass but I dont have one so have to make do with my "extra" hand.

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Lastly, a shot of Kyou with Haruhi and Shana. Haruhi seems very dark in comparison.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Recent News

Was reading blogs and noticed some news over the week.

1. Attacking of WP. It would seem like some people, presumebly supporters of the SDP, and ex-Singaporeans (Such as Gopalan Nair) have denounced the WP over the recent media's report. One blog was even created with the intention to discredit the Worker's Party.

Its regrettable that the SDP has chosen to do such despicable things so as to defame a party that does not sing their tune. It definitely will not serve to win them more votes come the Elections.

Although it is true that Mr Low is relatively passive compared to his predessor Mr JBJ, it does not mean he is happy to allow the WP to stay as it is now. Given the current situation, where the PAP is in near total control, the WP is not even in a position to oppose in any strong fashion. Of course they had to bide their time.

I hope they can come to their senses and stop such childish antics. It does not do any good except to strengthen the PAP's hedgemony.

2. Rising Cost of living

This one can be evidently felt by many of us locals. I dont think I need to say more, except I read a journal where it quotes some analysts saying that Singapore's inflation will probably go up to 3% or even 4% next year. Guess we all have to suffer in silence.

Here are some figures for the increasing cost of living:
When I was in sec 3 and 4, a can of Pepsi Twist cost 55cents. Then it became 70cents. Then now nearly 90cent. I guess next it will break the $1 ceiling. And that was not even 5 years ago...

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Multi-Racial Britain

Reading the Sunday Time's interview with the Welsh expat Professor Furmston, one would have noticed a stunning fact - The reporter seemed not to recgonise that Britain does not consist of just the English, but the union of England, Scotland and Wales. And thus, throughout the article, the questions asked by the reporter seemed largely irrelavant to the Professor.

Here, on behalf of my fellow Singaporean, I must say a very sorry to the Professor for wasting his time and insulting his race.

Here in Singapore, and probably most of Pan-Asia, we see the foreigners in simple monotones. If a person is white, then they are an Angmoh and automatically register in our heads that they are better than us Asians. Whether it is a relic of the colonial times or the sucessful spread of western culture is something I will not bother to discuss much into, but because of this, we tend to over-generalise things by looking at their skin colour.

Britain, was originally inhabited by the Brythons (What we call Welsh now) for thousands of years until Julius Caesar sent a legion into Britain and conquered much of it. The Hadrian's Wall was built then to prevent the Scots, Brythons and Picts in the North from attacking down south. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Germanic tribes (Anglo-Saxxons I believe) began to move into what is now England and gradually settled in the land for good. After many years of calm and wars, some with the Welsh and Scots, others like fighting with the French and Normady princes and even the Pope, the land of Wales was largely conquered by England, and wales fell under the English crown. Scotland, however joined the Union of her free will, and thus in Scotland, they have control of most of their lands, leaving foreign and military affairs to the English Crown.

(I cant verify that this is completely accurate, I can only say this is as best as my head tells me.)

Thus, we can see that even in Britain, even in the land where we assume all white men to be the same, they are NOT. There are many races in that country, and I'm just counting the indigenious population (I assume 300 years as indigenious). It's high time we should open our eyes more and take a sincere attempt in understanding the various races and cultures around the World instead of stereotyping them as Angmohs. Then perhaps we would be able to formulate better racial harmony policies.

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