Thursday, July 31, 2008

More impossible art by Li Wei

Remember the Chinese artist Li Wei who did all those seemingly impossible art - hanging in mid-air or with his head buried in the ground? Over at the crazy dude's website, you can view photos of all his performances from 1999 to present and watch videos too. Also, check out some photos that revealed how he did it.

Previously: The impossible art of Li Wei

Star Wars, Star Trek, LOTR amigurumi

Sammi makes amigurumi Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Star Trek characters. More here. Amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed toys. You can buy some of her cute creations on her Etsy site.

Why Japanese video game box art is better

japgames

Japanese box art is weirder, happier, has fewer floating heads, keeps priorities straight, more artistic, more romantic, subtler, simpler and just plain different! That's according to the folks at Games Radar who compared Japanese video games and their US cousins and found that the Japanese have the coolest and most creative video game box art in the world.

Google China and Korea get animated icons

google

I'm not sure how long this has been going on but Google has peppered its Korean and Chinese sites with colorful, animated icons while the rest of us still get its same old boring page. Google, we want animated icons too!

A cleavage for every occasion

If men edited the Cosmopolitan magazine, then their style manual on how much cleavage should women show off when they are at work, on a first date or on other occasions would be something like this. Ahem. More cleavage please.

(Thanks Shy)

Free magazines anyone?

We already have websites that pirate movies and music and now there's one that pirates magazines. Mygazines is a site where you can browse, share, archive and customize unlimited magazine articles. Popular titles such as Popular Science, Business Week and TIME are all there, uploaded by users. Let's see how long Mygazines can stay online before the magazines shut them down. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the May 2008 issue of Popular Science. Yay!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

NUS, NTU, SMU and Polytechnics Notebook Deals

If you are a student in NUS, NTU, SMU or one of the polytechnics in Singapore and are looking to buy a laptop under the campus purchase scheme, do check out Cnet's excellent tertiary campus notebook deals coverage and see how much you can save compared to buying at retail stores.

(Thanks Rickie)

Design the logo for the first Youth Olympic Games

The organisers of the first ever Youth Olympic Games in 2010 to held in Singapore are inviting everyone to submit a design for the Singapore 2010 logo. Prizes include a chance to be one of the Torchbearers during the torch relay and tickets to the opening and closing ceremony of the games.

Friendster claims it's number 1 in Singapore

Interesting figures from a press release issued by Friendster which claims that it is the number one social networking website in Singapore and twice as big as Facebook:
• For users from 15-24 years old, Friendster is 2.2 times larger than Facebook and over 8 times larger than MySpace. Friendster has 313,000 unique visitors while Facebook has 141,000 and MySpace has 38,000.

• For users from 25-34 years old, Friendster is 1.5 times larger than Facebook and over 8 times larger than MySpace. Friendster has 248,000 unique visitors while Facebook has 164,000 and MySpace has 30,000.

• For users from 35-44 years old, Friendster is 1.6 times larger than Facebook and 5 times larger than MySpace. Friendster has 149,000 unique visitors while Facebook has 92,000 and MySpace has 30,000.

• For users from 45-54 years old, Friendster is 37% larger than Facebook and over 6 times larger than MySpace. Friendster has 100,000 unique visitors while Facebook has 73,000 and MySpace has 15,000.
If you look at the 25-34 yrs old and the 35-44 yrs old categories (the demographics highly attractive to most advertisers), Friendster is only leading by a small margin and I think the results may not be that significant. We all know that the age group of Facebook users is a lot more mature than those using Friendster and this shows in the figures above. And judging from the increasing number of Friendster users migrating to Facebook, I think it's just a matter of time before Facebook takes the number 1 spot away from Friendster in Singapore. In fact, I won't be surprised that it already has.

40's Soviet animal reanimation video has similarities with new X-Files movie



This creepy film from the late 40's documents several animal reanimation experiments done by scientists from Soviet Union, beginning with individual organs and moving on to body parts and eventually a dead dog. What's creepier is that it has similarities to the plot behind the new X-Files film, The X-Files: I Want To Believe, now showing in theatres. Ooops. There goes another spoiler. Check out my review of The X-Files: I Want To Believe here.

(Thanks Kevin via his Twitter)

I just solved an impossible challenge

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Reader Charlotte sends me this seemingly impossible challenge that has been floating around the cyberspace. I couldn't do it after trying it a couple of times but just when I was about to give up, I found a way to draw the "6" without my right foot changing direction: draw the "6" from the inside!

Guy Robot

Guy Robots are robot sculptures handmade from industrial parts that are destined for final disposal. Each Guy Robot is mixed and matched with different parts until each has its own unique character.

(Thanks Spiller)

1975 IBM Slide Presentation

It's the good old 1975 and this man is about to show you the future. More of the 1975 IBM slides here.

(Thanks GeekGod)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

BBC uses Monkey to promote Olympics



This two minute animation made by the team behind Gorillaz is part of BBC Sport's marketing campaign for its Olympics coverage. It twists the story of Journey to the West, the popular classical Chinese novel and turns it into a "Journey to the East" and the Beijing Olympics. Not contend with just being the face of BBC's Olympic coverage, Monkey and friends even have their own album and opera!

Today's Singapore News

The following are stories that are making the headlines over at Topix Singapore News today, edited by yours truly.

-New water & environment scholarship: Financial help will soon be available for students wanting to pursue degrees in the environment and water sectors.
-Singapore's Olympic hopes rest on reluctant Li: After nearly 50 years without a medal, Singapore is pinning its Olympic dreams on a China-born table tennis player who says she loves playing the piano more than her sport.
-Nationwide call for ideas on sustainable development: Singapore has launched a nationwide call for ideas to make the country more eco-friendly and to ensure more efficient use of its resources.
-Increasing demands take toll on men in blue: The demands on the Singapore police force have gone up but the numbers have not. There were 12,516 full-time officers in service last year, a slight drop compared to the 13,377 in 2004.
-Worker loses appendage in Singapore every three days: A worker in Singapore loses a hand or finger every three days, a startling statistic revealed at a forum on protecting limbs at the workplace.
-Sungei Road is now a pirate's market: In the last couple of months, the flea market at Sungei Road has emerged as the new haven for hawkers of illegal video discs.
-Record high older people working last year: More older Singaporeans were working last year, compared to the past 16 years.
-Singapore charities under greater scrutiny: The Commissioner of Charities and six Government agencies made 44 field visits to charities, compared to 11 in 2006, to promote good governance and best practices.
-ICA officers are overworked and understaffed: Overtime hours pile up and the number of unclaimed leave days is mounting among officers of the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA).
-Singapore's charities received S$5.45b in 2006: Charities received S$5.45 billion in income, which includes donations, services rendered and government grants in 2006.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Advertlets Sponsored Post Opportunity: ST701

Advertlets is offering 80 sponsored post opportunities to Singapore bloggers to write about ST701, the Singapore e-marketplace for jobs, property, cars, products and services. Bloggers must be with Advertlets and have at least 30 unique visitors a day. More here.

(Disclosure: I'm a Blog Ambassador for Advertlets and this blog is an Advertlets Partner Blog.)

Giant Marilyn Monroe Garden Wall Art

P27-07-08_17.44 - Share on Ovi

P27-07-08_17.45 - Share on Ovi

Spotted this giant Marilyn Monroe garden wall installation yesterday at the Singapore Garden Festival held at Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre. The Singapore Garden Festival ends on 1 August. You should check it out if you love flowers and beautiful gardens. There is a lot of photo taking opportunities too. Adult tickets are at $6.

Japanese DVD wants to help you shy guys

Crazy Japanese DVD from Avex called Just Looking, features various models/idols doing nothing but staring expressionlessly into the camera. The DVD hopes to cure those afflicted with shyness so that they may rejoin society.

Yoda like you've never seen him before

I never thought I would see a steampunked version of Yoda to look something like this. Silof, the dude behind the Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Steampunk figurines writes, "Yoda was the most challenging figure in this line. He had to be Yoda-esque but not too much. I did not want to do robes, as the line is more urban European then ancient Asian."

(Thanks Mr Big)

Mr Lee Cat Cam

J. Perthold mounts a little camera around the neck of his cat, Mr Lee. The cam takes a picture every few minutes and will show what Mr Lee does each day.

Museum of Notebooks

Museum of Notebooks is an ongoing project to collect the best and brightest notebooks in the world. This one was found at some market in southwest China.

(Thanks Charlotte)

Today's Singapore News

The following are stories that are making the headlines over at Topix Singapore News today, edited by yours truly.

-Singapore's business model under threat: According to the Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore's business model has always been under threat and now it has a number of hungry, growing cities breathing down its neck as viable financial hubs.
-Trio quit jobs to hunt for Mas Selamat: Three Singaporeans have quit their jobs to search for Mas Selamat in Indonesia hoping to claim the one million dollar bounty.
-Drop in pump prices is biggest cut since Aug 2003: Pump prices fell 10 cents on Monday morning - the biggest cut since August 2003.
-New Aids prevention scheme to target ‘high-risk’ students: A new programme to stop the spread of Aids and other sexually-transmitted infections (STI) among youth here is being drawn up by the authorities to target students in the Normal stream.
-KKH is 150 years old: Despite bearing witness to a shrinking number of births over the decades, KK Women's and Children's Hospital did not settle for becoming a smaller maternity hospital.
-Singapore parking less expensive than many cities: Parking in Singapore's prime area is not cheap but less expensive than in many other cities worldwide, ranking 52nd out of 138.
-Energy resources critical for Spore's sustained development: If Singapore spends the same amount of effort on building energy efficiency as it did for water management, the country will enjoy benefits in the long run.
-Top up your kids' ez-link cards using cellphone: Top & Tap is the new remote top-up service that allows OCBC Mobile Banking customers to draw funds from their OCBC bank accounts for their ez-link card needs.
-Singapore devours first eating contest: A small but enthusiastic Singapore crowd got its first taste of professional eating as the sports' two titans - Takeru Kobayashi and Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut - made their debut in the city-state.
-Singapore set for summer movie crunch: It is going to be a hot summer in Singapore especially for local films as the releases of four Singapore-made movies are packed into the space of the next three weeks.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Comic-Con Clip



At Comic-Con 2008, visitors were showed a 4 minute clip of the upcoming Stars Wars animated movie, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The clip shows Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker leading the Clone troops against the Droid army. It looks awesome and I'm really looking forward to watching this when it's out in the theaters.

I'm on Technorati's front page!

iztechno2 - Share on Ovi

My previous post on the Adult Swim X-Files: I Want To Believe trailer has just made it to the front page of Technorati and its Entertainment page. I'm not sure how long it will last so here are two screen captures. Above is a screencap of Technorati's Entertainment page and you can click here to view a screencap of the front page of Technorati - both taken just a couple of minutes ago. The last time I was on Technorati's front page was in 2005 as its Featured Blogger! Gosh, that was so long ago.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The X-Files: I Want To Believe trailer like you've never seen before



This is the specially made trailer for The X-Files: I Want To Believe that was shown on Adult Swim (video above), an adult-oriented television network in the US. The X-Files: I Want To Believe is now showing in a cinema near you. No, you won't see Mulder in a red speedo in the movie but you'll get to see Scully in a bikini. Really! Go watch it and don't forget to watch right until the credits end.

Previously:
Review: The X-Files: I Want To Believe
AXN Beyond's Premiere of The X-Files: I Want To Believe
Highlights from the L.A. Premiere of The X-Files: I Want To Believe

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Singapore and its scholars who leave

Acidflask writes a thought provoking piece about why Singaporeans shouldn't harass and mock scholars who break their bonds if they want Singapore to grow ahead of other economies. From Acidflask:
Why would people want to get stuck with staid, stolid government careers when they think other people can offer them more challenging, more exciting, better-paid jobs? The proletariat classes have found job security to be based on nothing more than empty promises. Six years of indentured labor is not an asset, it is a fatal liability, a sign that they don’t trust their recipients to do the right thing. Is it any surprise that the recipients chafe under this paternalistic, supercilious arrogance?

The government agencies handing out scholarships have the power to tilt the balance. They set the rates, they set the agenda. They can make better deals than the ones that have served our country so well in the twentieth century. The government makes a big deal about maintaining Singapore’s competitiveness, and not being complacent. Yet it seems to turn its blind spot on its immense complacence regarding Singapore’s competitiveness in the top-echelon labor markets.

Creature Discomforts

The Creature Discomforts commercials were specially commissioned by Leonard Cheshire Disability from award-winning studio Aardman Animations to change the way people think about and respond to disability. The commercials feature cute animal characters voiced by real people with disabilities. Watch all the ads here.

Cake Wrecks

I've added Cake Wrecks to my bookmarks. It is a cool blog featuring photos and commentary of professional cakes go horribly and hilariously wrong such as this one made for a new mummy.

Hitoki: A Narrative Map of the World

Hitoki is an online literary project collecting stories of singular experiences tied to locations in cities worldwide. The site is currently looking for short narratives describing pivotal moments of elation, confusion, absurdity, love or grief — or anything in between — inseparably tied to a specific place in Tokyo, New York, Shanghai, Paris, London, New York or Sofia.

It's always six o'clock

This art installation (bigger pic here) featuring a very helpless Winnie the Pooh stuffed bear attacked by small figurines of Mario, Charlie Brown, Bart Simpson and friends, is part of It's always six o'clock, an exhibition where ordinary things become mysterious by Eva and Franco Mattes aka 0100101110101101.ORG.

Dude paints using RC Cars



British artist Ian Cook is no ordinary artist. Instead of using brushes to paint, he soaks the wheels of remote controlled cars in paint and then painstakingly driving them around on his canvas to create his masterpieces.

November Rain dissected minute by minute

One of my favourite music videos of all time, November Rain by Guns N Roses, gets dissected minute by mind blowing minute by Guardian's Anna Pickard. From Guardian:
Minute one: In a darkened bedroom, Axl Rose, lead singer of the enormous Guns N' Roses, is taking tablets.

Sleeping tablets, we imagine, but we don't know how many. We could therefore assume that everything following this is either a drug-induced dream or a memory of events that might have led up to a sleepless/possibly suicidal state. We cut to a large G N' R concert filled with screaming fans, and then, in contrast, to Axl playing the piano alone in a deserted chapel and, for some reason, a desert.

Minute two: Axl tosses and turns in the large lonely bed. We cut to a cathedral, with cute flowergirls throwing rose petals and a statue of the crucified Christ that appears to be weeping blood. Down the aisle walks a beautiful bride who, though she has remembered her corset and train, seems to have succumbed to general memory failure when it came to the lower half of her dress.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Review: The X-Files: I Want To Believe

izxfiles

"I can hear her.

What is she saying?

She's calling out my name, over and over again. She's crying out for help but I can't help her. I can't move.

Are you scared?

I know I should be but I'm not.

Do you know why?

Because of the voice in my head. It's telling me no harm will come to her, and that one day she'll return.

Do you believe the voice?

I want to believe."

That's the end scene in the episode Conduit of Season 1 of The X-Files in which Mulder was asked under hypnotic regression therapy about witnessing his sister's abduction by aliens. The four words, "I want to believe" sum up the quest of Mulder and his fellow FBI partner Dana Scully to find out the truth in the 9 seasons of The X-Files from 1993 to 2002.

Now 6 years later in the return of Mulder and Scully to the big screen, those four words make it into the title of the new X-Files movie, The X-Files: I Want To Believe. There are no aliens this time. No werewolves. No monsters even. And Mulder and Scully are still wanting to believe.

Yesterday, I watched The X-Files: I Want To Believe at the premiere held by AXN Beyond, a new Sci-fi cable channel. They are also showing the old X-Files every Thursday. So do check them out aye. It's on Channel 100 on Starhub. Before the movie started, the folks from AXN showed a cool clip of what their new channel is about. Once that was done and all the customary ads were over, the audience could finally sit back, relax and watch Mulder and Scully in their new adventure.

In The X-Files: I Want To Believe, both Mulder and Scully are no longer agents for the FBI. Scully works in a Catholic hospital as a doctor while Mulder isolates himself in his little room in his house shared with Scully. Yup, they are living and sleeping together! While at work, Scully gets a visit from an FBI Agent who needs to locate Fox Mulder. The FBI wants their help to assist in the search of a missing FBI Agent. Mulder is hesitant but Scully says that all his sins will be forgiven by the FBI. A priest, Father Joe who is also a convicted pedophile and has mysterious visions and claims psychic connections to the missing agent gets Mulder interested in the case and he decides to go back to the FBI and assists them.

Soon more women are being abducted in the wintry hills of rural Virginia. The only clues to their disappearance are the grotesque human remains that begin to turn up. With officials desperate for any lead, Father Joe's questionable visions send Mulder, Scully and the FBI on a wild goose chase and straight to a bizarre secret medical experiment. Who's behind this experiment? Who took all these women? And what are they doing with them? You got to watch the movie to find out yourself.

The plot of The X-Files: I Want To Believe was so tightly guarded that no one really knows what it was about before the film's opening. But after watching the movie last night, I can't help but noticed that the plot was actually revealed way back in April in a photo that was released by the producers. So for those of you who really want to know...

xfilesreview1

Here's the photo. Now look closely at the newspaper cutting to the right of Mulder.

xfilesreview2

I enlarged it. "FBI arrests modern day Frakenstein doctor" is the headline. Yup. That's it! Frankenstein!!

The X-Files: I Want To Believe is nothing like the blockbuster movies that you have watched so far this year. It has no CGI, no special effects, no monsters, not even sex. Darn! And I thought I could see Mulder and Scully doing it in bed. It's basically a Mulder and Scully movie and a good old fashion thriller. Gillian Anderson who plays Scully is superb in her role and so is David Duchovny as Mulder. Their chemistry is unbelievable and they get pretty intense dialouges in the film. I also like the Father Joe character played by Billy Connolly. I kinda pity him as the priest that no one really believes because he was a convicted pedophile. He really thinks that his visions are god's way of giving him a chance to make up for his past sins. But is he for real?

I think this movie is definitely for the fans although I'm pretty sure those who do not watch The X-Files on TV can follow what is going on in the movie pretty easily. But yup, fans will love this because of the many references made to the old TV series. Do watch out for a cameo by Chris Carter (director, writer, creator of The X-Files) in a scene in the Catholic hospital. I also spotted the girl who played the young Samantha Mulder (Mulder's sister) in the TV series, wandering in the hall of the FBI. Oh and not forgetting FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner who also makes an appearance. Yay Skinner! Lastly, don't forget to watch right until the end credits are over. Trust me. You do not want to miss it!

Overall, I enjoyed The X-Files: I Want To Believe. It could have been much better and exciting but yes, I was smiling, screaming, shouting and clapping to the various scenes of the film. I think some of the audience found that funny. I could hear their giggles and laughter and some even joined me in my fanboy moments. Phew. Thankfully I didn't get thrown out of the theater for being noisy. The X-Files: I Want To Believe will not make all of you into believers but it might just make you want to re-watch the old X-Files again and again.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

AXN Beyond's Premiere of The X-Files: I Want To Believe

axnxfiles

I can't recall the last time I was this excited and nervous to watch a movie. Tonight, I will be attending the premiere of The X-Files: I Want To Believe by AXN Beyond, a new cable channel for sci-fi lovers. And I'm really nervous because as an X-phile, I really want the movie to be great and I hope it will do well. I've been reading all the initial reviews coming from the US and Australia over the past day and they have been mixed. It seems that you either love it or you hate it. Crikey! But whatever it is, I'll definitely be there at Cineleisure tonight to catch my heroes, Mulder and Scully on the big screen. I just hope the audience tonight won't mind my fanboy shouts and screams. I'll post a review tomorrow. Believe it.

Highlights from the L.A. Premiere of The X-Files: I Want to Believe

The live webcast of the L.A. Premiere of The X-Files: I Want to Believe is now over but for those who missed it, here are some highlights:

David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Frank Spotnitz and Chris Carter took the stage to answer some questions from the fans at the premiere. Gillian said it's nice to work together with the entire X-Files team after so long. Frank said it's a revelation to see so many people still loving Mulder and Scully. Gillian agreed and said it's really awesome that all the fans are showing up and supporting them this way. Someone asked about David's and Gillian's favourite X-Files episodes. Gillan's favourite X-Files is Bad Blood while David says his is Post Modern Promotheus. Another fan asked them if they can provide one word each to sum up the new X-Files movie. Frank: Gross. Chris: Sweet. Gillian: Hot. David: Loyal. Chris Carter said this is the 17th year that he has been involved with the Mulder and Scully characters and that it's time for a hookup. Woohoo!

During the one on one live interviews where the stars answered questions from fans online, Chris revealed that The X-Files: I Want To Believe is based on current time and if you're an X-Files fan, you will not be dissatisfied. He also added that the best thing about this movie is that it is refreshing. He also said that his favourite X-files episode is Beyond The Sea and confirmed that the Lone Gunmen are really dead and another X-files movie may be on the horizon but there will be no more TV series. When asked about Mulder in the new movie, Chris replied that Mulder who has become reclusive in the new movie, looks trimmer and hinted that we may see Mulder's naked bod.

Frank Spotnitz who co-wrote the script with Chris Carter, said that he hoped fans will embrace The X-Files: I Want To Believe. He said it gives him great pleasure to be giving fans this new movie.
Frank's favourite X-files episodes are the ones written by Darin Morgan and revealed he got some ideas for his own X-Files episodes from the most unlikely of sources - cookbooks! He also said that the X-files can always go on forever.

David Duchovny said one of his most disturbing moments doing the X-files TV show was him hurting his shoulder while shooting Jersey Devil. When asked if there will be a X-Files movie trilogy, he said yes but it all depends on the fans. David said his most memorable moment while doing the new movie is watching a fan compilation video with Gillian Anderson on YouTube.

Gillian Anderson said that you can feel it while watching the movie that the characters of Mulder and Scully have moved on. She always thought the idea of both her and David coming back together for a movie was very exciting. Gillian also revealed that she did know how many of her own character traits that she might not have today if she did not play Scully. Regarding the tight security of the script during filming, she said that was a real challenge for her while doing the new movie.

Ryan Thomson who played the Alien Bounty Hunter in the X-files TV series was also at the Red Carpet event. He was asked about his role as the Alien Bounty Hunter and after describing it, added that David dubbed him the Booty Hunter. He also said that he missed seeing and working with the old cast from the X-files.

Mark Snow, the X-files composer said it's great doing the music for the X-files again and that this time there were so many different moods and styles that he could work with. He said his favourite scene in the new movie is towards the end and hopes that the next X-files movie will be filmed in Hawaii!

Lastly, here are some screencaps that I took from the live webcast. More here.

Watch the L.A. Premiere of The X-Files: I Want to Believe

The Los Angeles Premiere of The X-Files: I Want to Believe will be broadcast live online from 8.55 am Singapore time today! Watch the Q&A with fans at the premiere and X-Files stars Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny and others as they walk the Red Carpet.

Update: I'm live blogging this on my Twitter. Also check out the highlights and screencaps of the webcast here.

Mike's creepy Mickey Mouse

This creepy looking Mickey Mouse is drawn by illustrator Mike Mitchell who has a deep affection and utter hate for the world's famous mouse. Ah no wonder. Check out his other illustrations here including his versions of Mario and dinosaur from Super Mario World and Batman!

Be a doll!

Just give Cyndi your front and side profile photos and she will immortalize you in a doll! Cyndi is a doll artist and she hand sculptures each doll head from photos. The head is then sculpted onto a vinyl doll or action figure and dressed in the clothing of your choice. I want an I.Z. action figure!

10,000 Pages

10,000 Pages is a colouring book of abstract line art by Pixohammer. All 10,000 pages of the book will be made available at the 10,000 Pages blog. It's at page 9,367 now. Even if you're not into colouring, just looking at the abstract line drawings is fascinating.

More retro cartoon minisodes

Remember the He-Man minisodes that I blogged last week? Well, here's another YouTube channel called RetroHeroes that has all your favorite cartoons from the 60s, 70s and 80s in minisode format. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I am Adam, Prince of Eternia



Fan made Masters of the Universe trailer (video above) starring Brad Pitt as He-Man/Prince Adam will make you laugh. Here's another trailer (less funny but much more awesome) to whet your appetite for the new He-Man movie which I heard is going to be awesome. I just hope they choose the right guy to play He-Man/Adam. From The Geek Files:
A script has now been completed and one sneak preview of the screenplay has called it a "fanboy masterpiece" in which "Lord of the Rings meets Matrix and a little Batman Begins thrown in for good measure."

Marks also co-wrote the screenplay for the exciting superhero movie project Green Arrow: Escape from Supermax. His live-action adaptation of He-Man is titled Grayskull: The Masters of the Universe.

Information on Marks' first draft came out from movie site Latino Review but has gone largely under the radar, perhaps because it is at such an early stage with no director or actors attached to the project.

In the story, Prince Adam of Eternia is able to transform into the superstrong He-Man by raising his sword; at the same time, his cowardly tiger Cringer becomes Battle Cat. They and several companions defend Castle Grayskull from the evil sorcerer Skeletor.
Update: Here's the Grayskull: Masters Of The Universe script review. (Thanks GeekGod)

Singapore responds to Wall Street Journal again

It's confirmed. Our government does read Wall Street Journal but I bet the paper isn't one of its most loved publications. Last month, the Press Secretary to Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew wrote to the Wall Street Journal criticizing an editorial. This time, it's the Press Secretary to the Minister for Law's turn to write to the Wall Street Journal to rebut a recent editorial about Singapore's judiciary. From WSJ:
Western newspapers, NGOs and human rights groups like the IBA's Human Rights Institute prescribe Western norms as the way for other countries to "join the ranks of modern democracies." But not every Western norm is suitable to all countries in the world. Singapore cannot allow those who carry no responsibility for Singapore's future to dictate its political and legal systems. Singaporeans know that they have a noncorrupt government and an independent judiciary. They live in one of the top five most transparent countries in the world, with the freedom to express their views, oppose the government and take part in free and fair elections. Singaporeans will choose for themselves the shape and norms for their society.
Previously: Press Secretary to MM Lee responds to Wall Street Journal

Today's Singapore News

The following are stories that are making the headlines over at Topix Singapore News today, edited by yours truly.

-Singapore claims waters around Pedra Branca: Singapore wants to claim a territorial sea and an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) around Pedra Branca.
-Arts Fest not a flop: Fewer tickets were sold at this year's Singapore Arts Festival but the Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts does not think it was a failure.
-No change to Section 377A enforcement: Police do not actively enforce against consensual gay sex and this “basic approach” has not changed.
-Night race, no problems so far: Singapore Grand Prix officials are confident driver safety concerns such as glare on the track for Formula One's first night race have been adequately addressed.
-Most GPs able to perform liposuction under new rules: Most GPs would clear what many see as the main new hurdle - having one year of surgical training in fields ranging from urology to paediatric surgery.
-More petrol theft in Singapore: There were 41 cases of petrol theft in the first half of this year, compared to 27 cases for the whole of last year.
-Labour pains for the Singapore bosses: Some employers, especially the smaller ones, lamented about the extra costs and manpower problems they would incur if Singapore adopts the Swedish system to solve our baby blues.
-Bus-lane offences down 40%: The number of motorists straying into bus lanes has dived since cameras were mounted on buses to catch errant drivers in the act.
-Singapore delays more building projects: Singapore announced deferments Tuesday on more public construction projects worth 1.7 billion Singapore dollars in a bid to ease cost pressures within the industry.
-Bounty for Mas Selamat's capture a good idea: Many in Singapore say the S$1 million bounty for Jemaah Islamiyah fugitive Mas Selamat Kastari is a good idea.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Inside the Lego Factory

The folks at Gizmodo (those lucky b@st@rds!) visited the Lego Factory recently and filmed every step in the creation of the Lego brick including the most guarded secret of the company. Go watch all the 3 videos.

Super Mario Kart Wedding Cake

Couple decided that for their wedding, they will have a Super Mario Kart wedding cake! The groom says, "We were looking for ideas to make our wedding different and our own. My wife suggested the idea of having a video game cake after we saw one online. Coincidentally, the latest Mario Kart game was released on the same weekend of our wedding. This cake was designed with elements from multiple Mario Kart games, as well as a few aspects from other Super Mario Bros. games." Here's a preliminary sketch of the cake.

Classic Chinese tales retold in comics

Some of the popular classic Chinese tales such as Monkey King, Three Kingdoms, Red Chamber and Golden Lotus in easy to read comic form.

(Thanks ANG)

Caltech astronomer has a blog

I've been following Mike Brown's Planets, an astronomy blog started by Mike Brown who is an astronomer at Caltech. For those of you who don't know him, he is the dude whose discovery of Eris led to the demotion of Pluto from a real planet to a dwarf planet. Yup, Pluto fans, go ahead and send him your hate mails. In one of his entries, he talks about how astronomers give their new discoveries a name. From Mike Brown's Planets:
We take naming objects in the solar system very carefully. We’ve picked out the names for Quaoar (creation force of the Tongva tribe who live in Los Angeles), Orcus (the earlier Etruscan counterpart to Pluto, for an object that appears much like a twin of Pluto), Sedna (the Inuit goddess of the sea, for the coldest most distant Kuiper belt object at the time), and Eris (the greek goddess of discord and strife, for the object that finally led to the demotion of Pluto). Each of these names came after considerable thought and debate, and each of them fit some characteristic of the body that made us feel that it was appropriate.

Coming up with a new permanent name for Easterbunny was the hardest of all of these. Orcus and Sedna fit the character of the orbit of the body. Eris was so appropriate it is enough to make me almost start believing in astrology. Quaoar was, we felt, a nice tribute to the fact that all mythological deities are not Greek or Roman.

But what for Easterbuuny? It’s orbit is not particularly strange, but it is big. Probably about 2/3 the size of Pluto. And it is bright. It is the brightest object in the Kuiper belt other than Pluto itself. Unlike, say 2003 EL61, which has so many interesting characteristics that it was hard choosing from so many different appropriate name (more on this later), Easterbunny has no obvious hook. Its surface is covered with large amounts of almost pure methane ice, which is scientifically fascinating, but really not easily relatable to terrestrial mythology. (For a while I was working on coming up with a name related to the oracles at Delphi: some people interpret the reported trance-like state of the oracles to be related to natural gas [methane] seeping out of the earth there. After some thought I decided this theme was just dumb.) Strike one.

Larry King talks about UFOs



Intriguing stuff. CNN's Larry King and guests debate about UFOs! Yup, you can't get any better than this. Watch part 1 above, part 2, part 3 and part 4. Bloody aliens! They're everywhere.

Today's Singapore News

The following are stories that are making the headlines over at Topix Singapore News today, edited by yours truly.

-Petrol prices drop third time in two weeks: Shell cut 4 cents per litre off its main grade, 3 cents off V-Power and 2 cents off its diesel prices on Monday.
-NAC to review S'pore Arts Fest: The National Arts Council will review the organisation and form of the Singapore Arts Festival to improve its programming and delivery.
-Singapore plans new measures to boost birth rate: The new measures will include more financial support for parents and policies to encourage a pro-family environment in the workplace.
-About 1,000 Singaporeans give up their citizenship each year: In the last three years, an average of 1,000 Singaporeans gave up their citizenship each year because of reasons from marriage to foreigners, to yearning for a different environment.
-Customers complained of overcharging of electricity bills: A record number of complaints about overcharging for electricity were investigated by Singapore Power last month.
-$1 million bounty for Mas Selamat: Singapore on Monday offered a reward of one million dollars for information leading to the recapture of an alleged extremist leader whose escape in February stunned the city-state.
-Free durians in Singapore: Wild durians in Singapore are less fleshy than those for sale, but pickers say some of the breeds are XO or red-fleshed varieties, which are purportedly of better quality.
-HOTA to be amended to increase donors: Changes will include removing the age limit on cadaveric donors, and could also allow financial compensation by third-parties to altruistic donors.
-Govt property vacant for years: Government chalets left to go to seed and unleased for over 14 years and other buildings and tracts of land left empty for years on end.
- Singaporean girls - hot or not?: Matador Nights, an Internet travel magazine that claims to explore 'the world's best nightlife', has ranked Singapore among the top 10 cities in the world with the hottest girls.

Monday, July 21, 2008

MSNBC thinks penguins are mammals. WTF!

penguins

I think the person writing the subheadline for this AP story carried by MSNBC either failed his biology or he's a complete buffoon. Penguins are not mammals, you dumbass! They are birds! And it's apparent that he's not too good with his spelling too. Babes? What babes? Babies, you mean.

Update: I guess someone in MSNBC doesn't like me calling their editor a buffoon so they have corrected the error. It's now birds! (Thanks Shy, GeekGod)

Divide & Kreate's Mashups & Remixes

I've just downloaded a mashup of Bon Jovi's You Give Love A Bad Name vs The Hives' Main Offender by Divide & Kreate. Surprising, it's really good. Divide & Kreate - yup, that's really his name - has a few interesting tracks that you can download here. All mashups and remixes.

Keep your bird close

Those of you with pet birds can now bring your flying friends out for a walk in the park or even the shopping mall thanks to the PetPocket Bird Carrier. It is a vest-style pet carrier that keeps your bird close and hands free. Durable mesh fabric allows good airflow and visibility for your bird. Zippered opening at top and bottom allows access. Your bird will love it, I think and so will you.

Ann P. Smith's Robots

Ann Smith makes little robotic like figurines from broken electronics and machine parts. Her robot sculptures are sold in stores and galleries throughout the US and have been published as illustrations in magazines and brochures. Her clients include Chevron which commissioned her to do a T-Rex robot! Some of her sculptures are for sale on her Etsy site.

Looks like a robot

I love the Looks Like A Robot Flickr group. It has a collection of pics of everyday objects that look like robots. I think I may have a few photos to contribute.

(Thanks GeekGod)

Dude puts lyrics to film scores


Andrew Goldenberg sings along to famous film scores from Batman (video above), Superman and Indiana Jones. He's planning to do Star Wars next. I can't wait!

(via BoingBoing)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Steampunk R2-D2

Amoebaboy recently just finished making this beautiful steampunk R2-D2. Its head is made of brass and it has a steel tube boiler body with wooden lagging, brass and copper gauges and front panel and lots of other steampunk goodies! More of the making process here, here and here.

He-Man Minisodes

IGN is now showing the He-Man minisode, The Shaping Staff. The new He-Man minisodes are a part of a series of minisodes produced by Sony's The Minisode Network which takes classic TV shows and pack a whole lot of story and action into just a few minutes. Unfortunately only those in the US can watch the minisodes on The Minisode Network's YouTube channel. The unlucky ones like me have to resort to using sites like Zamzar to download and convert the YouTube videos in order to watch them.

Nokia's Exclusive Batman Motion Comic

Over at Nokia Singapore's Dark Knight website, you can watch all four parts of an original Batman motion comic produced exclusively by DC Comics for Nokia. Just click on "Motion Comic" once you enter the flash website. You can also download it!

Chinese dude makes own submarine

I'm beginning to think that people in China really have a lot of free time. There's the dude who makes and flies his homemade helicopter. Then there's the Chinese farmer who builds his own airplane. And now, a Chinese labourer makes his own submarine at home using mainly metal barrels. What's next? A Chinese homemade spaceship?

Boom! Bonk! Baaam!

This Flickr photoset shows how comics used words to portray sound effects. Boom! Bonk! Baaam! Zoom! Vo-rooom! Splosh! My favourite is Kliong!

(via Mefi)

Today's Singapore News

The following are stories that are making the headlines over at Topix Singapore News today, edited by yours truly.

-Singapore ticks off British writer over article: Singapore has taken to task a British writer who disparaged the Republic as a modern, undemocratic form of authoritarianism.
-Singapore's first TCM scholarship awarded: Global healthcare company Eu Yan Sang International awarded Singapore's TCM scholarship to two outstanding undergraduates.
-Sabah youths forced to work as sex slaves in Singapore: Sabah has called for an investigation into reports that youths hired by employment agents to work in Singapore were forced to do menial work and the girls turned into sex slaves.
-Pump prices down again, but CNG costs up: Pump prices fell for just the second time in 18 months yesterday, following a slip in crude oil prices.
-A new solution to empty cabs problem: Why not allow taxis, which now cruise empty past bus stops, to pick up those waiting for feeder buses and drive them to the nearest hub for a flat charge of $1 or less?
-Business as usual for taxis despite diesel surcharge: There was comparatively little angst when the 30-cent diesel surcharge for ComfortDelGro cabs kicked in yesterday.
-Survey shows more S'poreans going for HIV tests: The number of Singaporeans getting anonymous HIV testing has more than doubled in the past 12 months.
-Singapore circuit takes shape as race nears: Singapore is two months away from hosting its first Formula One grand prix and its ambitious street circuit is slowly taking shape.
-Ren Ci suffers sharp drop in donations: Donations to the troubled Ren Ci Hospital and Medicare Centre have plunged. It collected just $1.1 million in the last seven months.
-Singapore Dragon Boat Association apologises to families: SBA has apologised to families of the five national dragon boaters who drowned in Cambodia but it stopped short of taking responsibility for factors that contributed to the accident.

It's a Flying Car!



This amazing flying car (watch the video above) is actually an advertising blimp created by Gear Factor. The Hong Kong based company makes remote controlled ultra light blimps of almost any shape and size. Just give them the CAD data of your product and they will build you a blimp that is shaped accurately like your product - so accurate that your audience may think that it is the actual thing that is flying! Here's a pictorial tour of their factory.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Holy crap Batman! The Dark Knight reviewed!

P16-07-08_21.43

Sequels. You either love them or hate them. Director Christopher Nolan said recently in an interview that there are very, very few good sequels that are made. He named The Godfather II and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back as the two good ones he had in mind. After watching the Dark Knight, I think he can now put this sequel to Batman Begins on top of his list of very good sequels.

I attended the Star World VIP Access exclusive preview screening of The Dark Knight last evening at Lido. The Dark Knight tells the story of Batman a few years after the events in Batman Begins. Gotham City's evil goons are slowly being wiped out by Batman, this time with the help of Lieutenant James Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, who is the dude that is dating Bruce Wayne's (aka Batman) childhood sweetheart Rachel Dawes. Oh yes, there's a love triangle in this film which unfortunately leads to a tragic end for two of them. Since this is a no spoiler review -hey, the film will only be officially out in Singapore today - I will not reveal who. Ha! But it's obvious isn't it?

Anyway, the film opens with a bank robbery scene and we get the first glimpse of the Joker who later on would demand that Batman reveal his true identity to the world or else more and more people in Gotham City will die. Batman together with Lt Gordon and Harvey Dent teamed up to try to stop Joker's campaign of destruction.

There are several things worth noting in The Dark Knight. The Scarecrow whom we last saw in Batman Begins, also appears in this sequel, albeit just a short while. Rachel Dawes who is one of the few people who knows Batman's secret is played by Maggie Gyllenhaal. Katie Holmes played the same character in Batman Begins. There's also a new Batsuit designed to give Batman more "ummmph" and we also get to see the Batpod which is Batman's "escape pod" when his Batmobile was destroyed in the later part of the movie. Ooops. Did I give that away?

The Dark Knight is a great movie. It is better than Batman Begins and it has to be the best Batman movie ever made. Much of this has got to do with Chris Nolan who directs and also pens the script. He really has created a movie that will make all the Batman fanboys very happy and the casual movie goer captivated with his intense storyline and action scenes. But I think the true gems of The Dark Knight are its stars, Heath Ledger, Christian Bale and Aaron Eckhart who plays the Joker, Batman and Harvey (Two Face) Dent respectively.

darkknight

Much publicity has been given to Heath Legder, no thanks to the fact he died recently because of a drug overdose. I admit that I was never a fan of Heath Ledger but he is very impressive in his role as the Joker - by far the best portrayal of the maniacal Batman archenemy I have ever seen. Should he be given an Oscar for this? I don't know. Maybe a nomination looks pretty sure but knowing the Academy's distaste for this kinda films, I doubt they will give him an Oscar. But to say that he steals the show in The Dark Knight is not quite right.

I thought Christian Bale and Aaron Eckhart both gave equally strong performances. Hey this is a Batman film after all, and no one plays the role of Batman better than Bale. But back to Heath Ledger. It's a real pity that he is no longer around because I would definitely like to watch more of his Joker in future Batman films. You know after I watched The Dark Knight and I came out of the cinema, I was thinking wouldn't it be better if Christoper Nolan kill off the Joker in the film? Because after seeing Heath Ledger's Joker I cannot see anyone else playing the role in future Batman sequels, that is in itself a testimony to the outstanding work put in by Heath Ledger. And I'm very sure even he will agree to it.

(Thanks Chen Weiyun/Star World)

Also read:
5 reasons why you should watch Wanted
Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull
Singapore Gala Premiere of Transformers

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Screen Kiss

Jillian McDonald gets to kiss Daniel Day Lewis, Vincent Gallo, Johnny Depp and even Angelina Jolie in her video project called Screen Kiss. Using clever video editing, she inserts herself into existing film scenes as stand-in for the actresses (or actor) being kissed by these stars.

Dude photoshops himself

Henry says of his Tell a Lie project, "The most controversial lies told with photography today are those told by news photographers who manipulate their work photographs to tell a different story. Working with my friend Ed Cornish, we decided to flip this lie on its head and use a camera to mimic common Photoshop effects."

Defender of the Favicon is the world's tiniest game!

Some crazy dude has created an online game based on the arcade game Defender. He calls it Defender of the Favicon. The game resides in the 16×16 pixels of the favicon that is displayed on the top left of your Firefox browser! Damn, I need a magnifying glass.

(via Mefi)
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