Monday, June 30, 2008

Why is this considered news by Channel NewsAsia?

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Can someone please enlighten me? Why the hell is this considered Singapore news by Channel NewsAsia? Oh, wait a minute. xin.sg is an affiliate of Channel NewsAsia. Ah, now I see the picture.

Social Media in Plain English



"Social Media in Plain English" not only manages to illustrate the forces shaping social media using a simple and effective story but it also makes me wanna make and sell my own ice cream. Hmmm, let me think of a flavour.

Bullets & Bracelets

Bullets & Bracelets is a Flickr photoset that is guaranteed to go down well with all you Wonder Woman fanboys and fangirls. Most of the pics in the set are covers of Wonder Woman comics and screen caps of the 1970s Wonder Woman TV series starring Lynda Carter.

Instant Origami for the hopeless

Instant Origami is the contemporary interpretation of the traditional Japanese paper folding technique focusing on speed and imagination rather than on the technically brilliant execution. In other words, perfect for people like me who are hopeless at origami.

I'm sorry I ran out of name cards

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I spotted this on Sunday at a booth set up by comic artists Ken Foo, Troy Chin and Sonny Liew, aptly named "3 Guys In a Booth" at the Singapore Comic & Toy Convention. I thought it's cute that Ken decided to improvise since he ran out of name cards at the convention.

A sneak peak at Hasbro's upcoming Star Wars: The Clone Wars toys

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At the Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008 held over the weekend at Suntec, Hasbro gave visitors a sneak peak into their much anticipated upcoming new release Star Wars: The Clone Wars before its global launch on July 26. Check out the photos below.



Also, do read all my posts about the Singapore Toy & Comic Convention here.

Retro Kid Cereals

This gallery of retro kid cereals will hopefully bring you back memories of the good old days when eating cereals as a kid was so much fun.

(Thanks Steve)

Strongstuff Poster Art

Tom Whalen aka Strongstuff is a designer and illustrator. Over at his blog and deviantART, you can view some of his works. I especially like his movie posters and of course, his Transformers posters. They are all wonderful!

In search of the greatest chocolate bar

Early this year, Jim decided to embark on a mission to find the world's greatest chocolate bar. On his blog Jim's Chocolate Mission, you can read his reviews of the chocolate bars that he has tasted. This is what he has to say about Nestle Milo Bar:
The 'Milo' base is a mixture of rice cereal and barley - it had a distinct biscuity malty taste which with its substantial nature made for an extremely tasty and filling base to the bar. The chocolate was neither of great or poor quality...it wasnt the strongest in flavour though had a milky sweet taste....in truth this component could be done better. The caramel element to this bar was suprising in taste...I was expecting a very sweet taste but was infact met with a flavour that was more like fudge....it was far creamier than your standard caramel - very tasty.

Overall this is probably the best bar that I have tasted from the Sourthern Hemisphere so far. The 'Milo' combines a nice variety of textures and biscuity malty flavours in a substantial 50g bar that I can imagine when enjoyed with a cool glass of milk would really hit the spot if in a situation of any hunger. The only slight drawback comes with the chocolate which could of been implemented slightly better. Im also not overly sure about its 'Energy Food' positioning but that really dosent matter as at the root of things we have an extremely tasty bar.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008 Preview Night Part 10

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This is the last post of my coverage of the Preview Night of the Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008 held last evening. I'm sorry that I couldn't cover everything. There's lots more stuff at the convention that you have to see. Bandai, Lego, Nintendo are all there.

My final thoughts of Singapore's inaugural toy convention: Well, it's definitely not Comic-Con but I have to say that the people at PI Events did a great job organising this. The Singapore Toy & Comic Convention is a mecca for local toy and comic lovers. My initial reaction when I stepped into the convention hall was similar to the one I had as a small boy going into my first toy store. It was that exciting. If you love toys - I'm sure everyone does aye - then I promise you will have a great time at the convention. I think there's a huge potential in this and I'm positive that the Singapore Toy & Comic Convention will get bigger next year and hopefully it will be as big as Comic-Con one day.

The Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008 is now on until tomorrow at Suntec Convention Hall 603 (Level 6). Admission is free! I'll be there again tomorrow for the Batman: Gotham Knight screening and hopefully to take more pics. See you guys there. And if you do see me, do say hi but try not to shout my name out loud ok.

You can read all the 10 parts of my Singapore Toy & Comic Convention Preview Night coverage here and view all the photos I took over at my Ovi channel.

Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008 Preview Night Part 9

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For me the highlight of the Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008 Preview Night held last evening has to be the exclusive preview of an animation short from Batman: Gotham Knight.

Batman: Gotham Knight is a 2008 animated direct-to-DVD anthology film of six animated short films set in-between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight movies. The short films were done in Japanese anime style. The DVD will be on sale on July 8.

They only showed around 15 mins or so of Gotham Knight at the preview last night but it sure was enough to whet my appetite for the full Asian Premiere Screening to be held tomorrow (Sunday) at 6pm. I understand that it is free and those attending the convention will be able to watch it. I got my pass which gives me a comfy seat so that I don't have to stand while watching the entire movie. I have to thank Daphne from PI Events for that. I really hate standing.

Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008 Preview Night Part 8

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A cool toy that is being demoed at the Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008 is the GP-100. You can find it at the Movies with Motions booth.

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The GP-100 is a motion gaming platform with "Free Fall Sensation Technology" which simulates all the movements and vibrations inside a moving race car. The whole setup is impressive. There's the premium racing components (steering wheel, seat, paddles, stick, etc) which is wired up to what looks like a high end PC and of course to the HD TV. Oh, and not forgetting the high performance surround sound system to complete one hell of gaming experience.

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Check out a video of the GP-100 in action:

Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008 Preview Night Part 7

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One of my favourite booths at the Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008 is the one by Simply Toys, a shop that sells high end collectibles, movie and TV related prop replicas and statuettes. They are displaying some of their latest super realistic busts at the convention including Optimus Prime and Bumbleebee busts! Check out more photos below.

Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008 Preview Night Part 6

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If you are a trekkie, then you should check out the booth by the Singapore Star Trek Fansite. These guys rock! StarTrek.sg is the largest and most active Star Trek fans group in Singapore (non-profit). They have over 500 trekkies in their mailing list, and over 200 users in their online forums. They also take part in cosplay events dressed up in their Star Trek uniforms and face masks.

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I took a pic of some of the Star Trek gadgets that were on display in their booth. You can spot the Communicator, some weapons and medical equipments. Cool!

Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008 Preview Night Part 5

Perhaps the weirdest thing that I saw at the Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008 is this set of bread like toys.

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They called 'em breadou. Apparently they act as a wrist rest and a stress ball too.

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They smell like real bread. They look like real bread. I managed to give a few of them a squeeze. Just had to. My verdict: They are truly weird.

Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008 Preview Night Part 4



Above: At the Star Wars Booth. Darth Vader toys through the years.

Also watch videos of the Star Wars Action Figures from 1977 to 1985 and from 1995 to 2008.

And here are more pics at the Star Wars booth.

Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008 Preview Night Part 3

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One of the highlights of the Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008 is the Star Wars booth set up by Hasbro. I'm a big Star Wars fan and oh boy, was I excited like hell inside the booth.

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There are so many Star Wars goodies like this awesome display of hundreds of Clone trooper action figures.

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And then there's this glorious setting of the Galactic Empire Army with the Emperor and Darth Vader.



Ok, the above pics don't really show much but hopefully this video will.

Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008 Preview Night Part 2

I met lots of stars at the Singapore Toy & Comic Convention (STCC) 2008. First up is 91.3 DJ and my friend Jeremy Ratnam who is the emcee of STCC.

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Boy, we had a great time catching up with each other during his breaks.

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Here's Gary Erskine getting ready to be interviewed by the Animax crew. Animax is a broadcast partner of the STCC and is broadcasting the event on its channel. Gary has worked on comics such as “Transformers”, “Judge Dredd”, “Hellblazer” and “Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron”. He has also worked on licensed properties such as the Dreamworks characters (including Shrek and Madagascar) and for Sony and occasionally freelances with the award winning Glasgow studio Axis Animation.

You can catch Gary at his autograph signing tomorrow from 2-3pm and Sunday at 12.30-1.30pm and 4-5pm. He will also be doing a live art demo tomorrow from 4.30-5.30pm.

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Simone Legno of the tokidoki fame is another one who was very busy during the Preview Night. Here he is signing some autographs for his fans. tokidoki is a lifestyle brand that features a wide range of popular products, including shirts, jewellery, designer toys and skate decks. The art of tokidoki is also recognized throughout the world from his collaborations with brands such as LeSportsac, Onitsuka Tiger, Hello Kitty and Forinara, just to name a few.

Simeone's autograph signing session will be on tomorrow from 12.30-1.30pm and 4-pm and on Sunday from 1.15-2.15pm. You can catch him doing a live art demo on Sunday from 4.30-5.30pm.

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The dudes from Monsterism! Pete Fowler is the one on the right. Pete is best known for his artwork for the Welsh band Super Furry Animals. He is a freelance illustrator and "monster creator" inspired by Japanese art.

You can get his autograph tomorrow from 1-2pm and 5-6pm and on Sunday from 2-3pm. His live art demo will take place on Sunday from 4.30-5.30pm.

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And here's the lovely Kika from madcap who sportingly posed for me. Kika is a international artist, illustrator, designer, scenarist and street art painter. She designs and illustrates for different brands and magazines. Kika is the art director of Madcap.

Watch out for Part 3 of my Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008 Preview Night coverage.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008 Preview Night Part 1

I had a blast of a time at the Singapore Toy & Comic Convention (STCC) 2008 Preview Night earlier this evening. The session was specially reserved for networking opportunities for key manufacturers, distributors, retailers, designers, special guests and members of the media. The STCC is open to the public tomorrow and it is held at Suntec Convention Hall 603 (Level 6).

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A huge welcome board greets the guests.

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This is the Artists' Graffiti Wall which is a panel measuring 16ft by 8ft where the invited artists and designers draw, doodle, sketch and paint on. Some of the participating artists who drew on the Graffiti Wall include DEVILROBOTS, Gary Erskine, Pete Fowler and Tokidoki. Click here to view a close up of the drawings on the Graffiti Wall.

The opening ceremony was graced by the Guest of Honour, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports. Watch the video here.

Covering the Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008



I'll be at the Suntec Convention Centre in an hour to cover the Official Opening and Preview Night of the Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008. Many thanks to Daphne from PI Events for the invite. The Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008 is the first ever pop culture event in Singapore. The visual feast is supported by STB and MDA and features a host of industries cutting across toys, comics, gaming, animation, licensing and design. Watch out for my reports and pics later tonight and tomorrow. I'm also looking forward to watching the exclusive preview of Batman: Gotham Knight at tonight's event. Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008 will open to the public tomorrow and ends on Sunday. Go check it out aye.

Chinese farmer flies homemade airplane



A Chinese farmer builds himself an airplane using parts found in his farm (I think) and successfully flies it around his village. I think this video is a fake but if it's real then I don't mind flying this dude's airplane. Looks fun aye and it sure beats driving to town with all that traffic.

(via Make)

Flashback by National Geographic Magazine

Each month, National Geographic Magazine features a photograph from its archives in Flashback. Lots of great photos and historical images there that capture our past. This Martian was drawn by Arctic explorer Anthony Fiala and was never before published by the magazine.

(Thanks Mike)

Free Photo Booth

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno puts a phony photo booth on a street at Universal Studios in Hollywood. Watch it here. It's damn funny. I remember watching this clip on TV. I think it's from one of the older The Tonight Show episodes.

Captured Monsters

Dude posts screen captures from great and not-so-great monster movies and cartoons on his blog Captured Monsters. This one on the left is a scene from the 80's cartoon The Beany and Cecil Show: Wild Man Of Wildsville.

Today's Singapore News

1) Singaporean consumers most confident: Survey
2) Singapore has an edge in competing for global talent
3) More local film-makers tackle sex and nudity
4) Record pump prices put brakes on Singapore's budget car sales
5) 53-year-old hotel makes way for MRT
6) Confusion surrounds taxi city surcharge
7) Passengers rest easy as Singapore bids to stay ahead of the pack
8) CASE finds many cooked food dishes being sold for S$2.50 and below
9) New drive-in admission to Sentosa from July
10) Over 780,000 HDB households to receive S$134m of utility rebates

Read them all at Topix Singapore News, edited by yours truly.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Simpsons in Quake III Arena



Some dude created a Simpsons map for Quake III Arena, the popular multiplayer first-person shooter computer game. You can move around the Simpsons' house and other areas of Springfield and frag the likes of Homer and Mr Burns.

Be a BMW Sauber F1 driver

I've just finished playing You Be The Driver, a cool flash game by Intel that tests your skills to be a F1 driver. According to the game, I have what it takes to be a BMW Sauber F1 team driver. Yay! Now give me the damn car.

The War of the Worlds Book Covers

345 different covers of HG Well's classic book, The War of the Worlds. This one on the left is a cover of the 1964 publication of the book illustrated by Shannon Stirnweis. Also check out the interior illustrations of some of the books.

(Thanks Sir Thomas)

Today's Singapore News

1) The rise of the male fashionista in Singapore
2) Singapore now has 77,000 millionaires
3) Ageing population may hurt Singapore most
4) Singapore's quest to be less dependent on Malaysia for water started at seperation
5) Fishcam monitors Singapore water pollution
6) Democracy in Singapore
7) Opposition would ruin Singapore: Lee Kuan Yew
8) Electricity tariffs to rise 4.98% from next quarter
9) Singapore good may soon be a part of American diet
10) Price of rice likely to fall in next few months

Read them all at Topix Singapore News, edited by yours truly.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dance Off with the Star Wars Stars



Darth Vader steals the show with a performance of Thriller in this year's Dance Off with the Star Wars Stars (video above) held at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The Dark Lord also made an appearance in last year's competition, together with Queen Amidala. Watch it here.

Retro Reality

Lee Vidal uses Photoshop to mix retro video game sprites into realistic backgrounds and settings. The end result is an amazing set of photos that show how these video game sprites look like living in the real world.

Ryohei Hase's Fantasy Art

I'm totally blown away by the wonderful artwork by Ryohei Hase, a Japanese artist who specializes in realistic fantasy art. Ryohei has painted illustrations for book covers, web, games and magazines. This dude is really talented alright.

(Thanks Brenda)

Japanese Monsters in HDR

Kaiju (Japanese monster) toy collector and photographer Red Yoda has a Flickr photoset of his monster collection in HDR. He says, "I am experimenting with close-up HDR photography and tone-mapping for fun... and to give each figure a bit more personality."

(via Pink Tentacle)

Today's Singapore News

1) Singapore is a cohesive nation, thanks to the HDB
2) Fewer NDP tickets for sale this year
3) Singaporeans are biggest online spenders
4) Parents do not have faith in SAF's screening system
5) Singapore to have most PCs per head in APAC
6) HSA warns potent substance found in dietary supplement
7) Singapore's 4th university to have 2,500 students
8) Foreigners producing badly needed babies in Singapore
9) Pump prices up for 13th time since last July
10) Waiting time for buses in Singapore faster than in other countries

Read them all at Topix Singapore News, edited by yours truly.

Make your own custom receipts

I just shopped at Babes R' Us and bought my two favourite gals, Jun Ji Hyun and Risa Niigaki at a combined cost of only $95! Check out the receipt. How I wish! Make your own custom receipts here.

(Thanks Johnny Q)

View entire Picture Books online

The folks at Lookybook are building their collection of picture books. Their goal is to post current and past picture books that are worth looking at. Lookybook allows you to look at picture books in their entirety—from cover to cover, at your own pace. Picture books are all about the pictures and they want you to know what you get if you buy it. What a brilliant idea!

Watch 5 mins of Gotham Knight

MTV Movies Blog has an exclusive 5 minute clip of Batman: Gotham Knight, the anthology of six animated tales done in Japanese anime style. It will be released on DVD on July 8 and it is made by the the producers of Batman Begins and the upcoming Dark Knight movie. Check out the awesome trailer and all the movie info over at the Gotham Knight official site.

Mulder and Scully visit Guns N Roses Leaker

The dude who recently posted nine tracks from the yet to be released Chinese Democracy album by Guns N Roses got a surprise visit by two FBI agents. From Rolling Stone:
Yesterday Skwerl was surprised to find himself face to face with two FBI agents who paid a visit to his day job. “It was kind of an ambush,” Skwerl tells Rolling Stone. “When I came back from lunch they were waiting in the lobby for me. It’s a little creepy they know where I work.” Two young FBI officers, who Skwerl describes as “Mulder and Scully types,” questioned him for 15 minutes about where he got the tracks and made plans to visit his house at 7:00 a.m. this morning.

“I wasn’t sure if they were going to come by with a warrant and trash the place, like in the movies,” he says. “It was nothing like that.” The FBI officials wanted to see the original files, but Skwerl erased them last week per instructions from Axl Rose’s attorneys. Skwerl ultimately gave them second-hand files that are now widely available on the Internet.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

North Koreans are crazy and scary!



Death of the Father of the Socialist Homeland is a North Korean documentary production that shows how the North Koreans mourn the passing of Kim Il Sung, the communist country's founding leader. I just finished watching it and I find these North Koreans crazy and scary. It looks like they were brainwashed or something. The above clip is part 2 of 3. Watch all three clips here.

International Tokyo Toy Show 2008

Eddie Wong was at the International Tokyo Toy Show 2008 recently to check out the collectors figures. Read his report and view all his pics taken at the show. Also, do check out JapanToday.com's Flickr set for more pics.

Great Art Parodies by Sesame Street

Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Elmo and other Sesame Street characters feature in their own version of some of the world's greatest paintings.

(Thanks primus)

World mosaic created from 1001 web 2.0 logos

The folks at AppAppeal created a world mosaic using 1001 web 2.0 company logos. The logos will appear in full-size when you hover over the mosaic. You can click on a logo to visit one of today's leading web 2.0 sites.

X-Files website update

The X-Files: I Want To Believe official movie website has been updated with tons of new and cool stuff! Check it out. Oh, I love the widget. I've added it to my Facebook.

Why no ERP from Holland Rd to Orchard Rd?

Wenny left a comment in my Topix news post about higher ERP rates and new gantries. She asks why isn't there any ERP gantry from Holland Rd to Orchard Rd? From Topix:
As a road user, I cannot help but wonder why there is not a single ERP gantry on the road from Holland Rd to Orchard Rd. If we take a step back and think, this road services the population living in the West from Clementi, private estates of Bt Timah, Sixth Ave and Holland areas and these are the people who drive to work due to their better financial abilities. I am quite sure they contibute to congestion on the road too, but why is the authority not doing something to curb the traffic on that side? It seems that the authority is favouring the "rich" by compromising the "poor". Or does the authority think that ERP will not work on the "rich" since a few bucks don't matter to them at all as only the middle class will feel the pinch? It is rather ridiculous having to pay $9.50 for ERP when one travels on the CTE to go to the town on a morning. Is it reasonable?

Today's Singapore News

1) 600 graduates held taxi licences last year
2) Cellphones could play key role in tracking infectious diseases
3) Singapore gets flat-rate mobile IM
4) Competition keeping durian prices low in Singapore
5) Father flies from Singapore to Vietnam using son's passport
6) Haze likely in next 3 months
7) Singapore GP Season will give even non-F1 fans a chance to party
8) More and more nomad families in Singapore
9) S'pore's investments in water research cut cost of reclaimed water sharply
10) ERP helps business, says LTA

Read them all at Topix Singapore News, edited by yours truly.

How does one get lost in MacRitchie Reservoir for 18 hours?

That's the question I asked when I came across this story in the Straits Times about a Japanese dude who went to MacRitchie for a jog and ended up getting lost there overnight. From Straits Times:
'The police told me to try to get near the reservoir as they were ferrying the rangers around by boat,' Dr Takei told The New Paper.

By sunset, his handphone battery had gone flat and he suffered cuts and scratches on his arms and legs after walking through thorny vegetation.

For safety reasons, he stopped walking when darkness fell.

Dr Takei said he was afraid of snakes as he could hear animals moving about. He said he had only an hour of sleep around 6am before it began raining at about 7am. He began walking around when the rain stopped and finally came near the reservoir at 9.30am.

He saw the rangers getting off the boat and shouted to them.
I understand that MacRitchie Reservoir and its surrounding area is relatively big (check out the Google Map of the area here) but surely it cannot be that big that one can get lost there for 18 hours aye? Besides, this is Singapore. No one gets lost here. I guess Dr Takei must have been very, very bad with directions - not the sort of dude you want to follow for a walk in your nature reserve.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Playmobil Online Archive

This German site has an archive of Playmobil playsets from 1974 to 2001. As a boy, I used to play with Playmobil long before I had my first Lego. Looking at all these Playmobil sets does bring back some memories of the good old days.

(via MeFi)

Star Wars Star Destroyer Cake

Diane from Bewitching Elegance, a specialist in luscious artisan cakes, made this Star Destroyer cake. Even the Stormtrooper in this pic was impressed by its awesomeness.

(Thanks John M)

Unboxing the new LG Secret mobile phone

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I received LG's hot new phone, the LG Secret aka the KF750 last week. The LG Secret is the third LG Black Label Series following the success of LG Chocolate and LG Shine. Yesterday, I decided to give the LG Secret an official unboxing. Here are the pics. You can click on the thumbnails below.



And of course, no unboxing will be complete without a video aye, so here's one.



Also, do check out my coverage of the LG Secret launch at CommunicAsia here.

Singlish according to Wikipedia

Wikipedia's article on Singlish is perhaps the most detailed and amusing that you can find on the internet. From Wikipedia:
Singlish is strongly discouraged in Singaporean schools at a governmental level as it is believed to hinder the proper learning of standard English, and so faces a situation of diglossia.[11] The use of Singlish when speaking in classes or to teachers, however officially frowned upon, is rather inevitable given that many teachers themselves are comfortable with the variety.[12] For many students, using Singlish is also inevitable when interacting with their peers, siblings, parents and elders. In polytechnics, students feel the greater need to socialise with their peers in a learning environment less rigid than primary or secondary school, and as a result Singlish is popular[citation needed]. The government continues to wage an uphill battle in discouraging students from developing a Singlish-speaking habit.

Singaporean men find speaking Singlish necessary during their time in the military, or national service (NS), as Singlish has replaced Hokkien as the standard vernacular in the Singapore Armed Forces. The informality of Singlish fits well in stressful training situations, and are used among soldiers regardless of ethnic groups and level of education[citation needed]. Many phrases originating in the military have filtered into the lexicon over the years and they have become a method of distinguishing those who have undergone NS (National Service). One such phrase is kena arrow.

(Thanks acidflask)

CommunicAsia 2008 Coverage



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CommunicAsia 2008 may be over but you can still read all my recent coverage of the event here. Check out all the reports, pics and videos of the LG and Yahoo press conferences and their latest products.

It was a blast covering both LG and Yahoo at this year's CommunicAsia and I hope you guys enjoyed reading the live reports and exclusives as much as I did bringing them to you.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

SIA A380 is biggest Lego airplane in the world

Video of the biggest Lego airplane in the world and it is modeled after our very own Singapore Airlines A380! 600 hours were spent building this 1:25 scale replica using a total of 75000 Lego bricks.

Coming to a cinema near you...



"A time not long ago, in a galaxy not far away..."

Ladies and gentlemen, get ready for the epic movie event of the century - "I.Z. RELOADED", coming to a cinema near you! Watch the intro here, done in Star Wars style and don't forget to blast your speakers.
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