Sure as Autumn Flame


English, so much fun :)
August 28, 2009, 5:37 pm
Filed under: Entertainment

“There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins were not invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies, while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write, but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce, and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So, one moose, 2 meese? One index, two indices? Is cheese the plural of choose?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

In what language do people recite at a play, and play at a recital?

Ship by truck, and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? Park on driveways and drive on parkways? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another?

When a house burns up, it burns down. You fill in a form by filling it out, and an alarm clock goes off by going on.

When the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it.”

Thanks to a colleague who forwarded this mail, source…just goggle “English Is Really Crazy” and you’ll find it.



When the doors close, the lights turn off…
The evil (short-tongued) Pharoh

The evil (short-tongued) Pharoh

…Life begins after dusk in the museums.

Not in our dear museums, although I wish I will see our trishaw and samsui women come to live, but at Night at the Museum 2, starring Ben Stiller and a whole lot of other characters this round.

Tonight’s premiere was a good one. The sequel to the first movie, Night at the Museum, takes on greater heights with more characters, more artefacts, more history icons, and producers have jacked the humour a level higher. Ben Stiller returns as Larry Daley, successful businessman in suit and all…only to rejoin the excitement of a former museum night-guard in an attempt to bring his exhibit friends back to their original homes when they were shipped off to thelabyrinthine subbasements of the Smithsonian in Washington DC.

More funny are new characters like Hank Azaria as a evil lisping Pharoh (complete with a cheesy accent!) and spunky Amy Adams playing as Amelia Earhart who’s ready for a whiff of adventure. It is a superb play of humour in conversations between the evil Pharoh and Larry; comic duo miniature cowboy Jedediah and miniature Roman General Octavius…and other brief but memorable scenes of Al Capone, Ivan the Terrible (he insisted on being called Ivan the Awesome), Abe Lincoln, Napoleon and a giant octopus deprived of water.

Gotta love the mock battle scenes and exaggerated dramatic flair, combined with a touch of cheesiness with Cupid angels groovin’ to pop music of today.

This movie isn’t about Ben Stiller anymore – I think it takes on a new level with a proper scene for every character/artefact/exhibit within the museum – everybody plays an equal (although albeit quirky) role.

Recommended: Watch it for a gooooood laugh.



I have Meow’ed
April 25, 2009, 4:03 am
Filed under: Entertainment, Films and Musicals | Tags: , ,

I thought I got it right this time, spending a good $110 for decent Cat 3 seats at the Esplanade Theatre, ensuring centre stage view for the girl-friend and myself – to finally get my musical fix for 2009.

The highly anticipated Cats musical was severely dampened by terrible accoustics and sound engineering – the mike fizzled out halfway and we couldn’t hear ’em singing for about 5 seconds. Singing was muffled for a scene or two, and I thought the supporting cast was way better than the female lead. To summarize, it wasn’t bad – but it wasn’t good either. The cast came across as a brillant theatre group, complete with skills ranging from singing to dancing to acrobatics, although I personally thought they exhibited a stronger dance element in the performance.

Stars of the night were dominantly Munkustrap, male lead singer, and Rum Tum Tugger (my personal favourite) – self obsessed, flamboyant, showy…with that little hint of arrogance but you know deep down he’s a pretty nice guy (*ahem* cat) inside, together with sopranos Bombalurina and Demeter. I liked how clearly they articulated their words and how rich their vibratos were. I would think that the cast spend a week observing felines in their natural behavior, given how they so skillfully tumbled, slid and swayed their hinds with utmost agility to the rhythm.

A pretty sound performance overall, pity about the lack of a live orchestra, which I thought made one helluva difference to a good and bad musical. The female lead was struggling to catch up with the pre-recorded music in her solo, which very unfortuantely killed the power of that stanza. What…a pity indeed.



20 Things you Didn’t Know About Sex
April 13, 2009, 1:55 am
Filed under: Beauty & Health, Entertainment

Idle surfing led to the following extract taken from http://discovermagazine.com/columns/20-things-you-didnt-know
Something to chew on, for the Monday blues.

1 Life emerged on earth about 3.8 billion years ago, but sex did not evolve until more than 2 billion years later. Dirty limericks emerged only quite recently, geologically speaking. And we thought it was embedded in our systems since birth.

2 Sex—what is it good for? Scientists are not sure, since asexual reproduction is a better evolutionary strategy. I suppose we get bored with the same parts, some variety needed!

3 For those who refuse to commit to one strategy: The hermaphroditic earthworm Dendrobaena rubida has both male and female genitalia. If it cannot find a partner, the worm doubles up so that its female bits and male bits can go to town. It’s self-satisfaction at a new level, baby.

4 Although famously monogamous, female Adélie penguins slip away from their mates occasionally to couple with unattached males. They exact a fee for such a dalliance—stones to bolster their nests—c’mon women we’ve got to learn from them!

5 Some talented penguin teasers can get a gift even without putting out. Again, not unlike certain people.

6 Barbary macaques have a distinctive way to get their mates to make a sperm donation: yelling. If the female does not shout, the male almost never climaxes. Think: “OHHHHHH OHHHHHHHHH COME ON, MAC – MAX IT OUT!” – literally, figuratively – you have it.

7 How do we know this? German primatologist Dana Pfefferle watched a group of macaques, counting the females’ yells and the males’ pelvic thrusts. She says this work is “quite weird, but it’s science.”

8 Here in the US of A, that kind of stuff ends up on YouTube.

9 Because Barry White sounds terrible underwater: Fish can produce a variety of noises with their bones, teeth, and gas bladders. Grant Gilmore of Estuarine Coastal and Ocean Science Inc. says that male fish probably use some of these sounds to woo females. ...And that explains why males tend to fart louder?

10 The spiny anteater, an egg-laying mammal native to Australia and New Guinea, has a penis with four heads, but only two fit into the female at once.

11 The tiny male paper nautilus, an octopus, impregnates the much larger female by shooting his penis (a modified tentacle) into her—and leaving it there.

12 Homosexual behavior is found in at least 1,500 species of mammal, fish, reptile, bird, and even invertebrate. Hoorah to gays!

13 My two dads: When a male goose courts another male goose, a female sometimes slips in and mates with both males. Later, the male partners share paternal duties.

14 Some seagulls practice lesbian mating, although the eggs that result from their liaisons are sterile.

15 Biologists at the University of California at San Francisco have found that male fruit flies exposed to high levels of alcohol become hypersexual and try to court practically anything with wings, including other male fruit flies. Eventually the revelry turns into a dysfunctional orgy, with “a chain of males chasing each other,” says one insect expert.

16 As the flies get increasingly tanked, their chance for mating success keeps dropping. This is one more reason why the fruit fly is a great model for studying humans.

17 Only a few vertebrates besides humans copulate face to face. Among those that sometimes do this: hamsters, beavers, and some primates, such as bonobos and orangutans.

18 French kissing is rarer still. The only other species known to do it as a prelude to mating is the white-fronted parrot. After the birds open their beaks and touch tongues, the male spews his lunch onto the female’s chest.

19 It is here that the mating habits of the white-fronted parrot and Homo sapiens diverge.

20 Size really does matter: People tend to choose mates of similar race, education level—and chubbiness. A recent British study indicates that obese people usually select partners with comparable levels of body fat.



Merly to Get Makeover – is this some kind of April Fool’s joke?!
April 1, 2009, 3:26 pm
Filed under: Entertainment, Two Cents' Worth

An excerpt I’ve taken from my post on yesterday.sg.

Photo courtesy of jaeWALK, flickr

One month after our pet Merly got struck by lightning; The New Paper announced today that Singapore’s national icon will undergo a makeover.

 

Apparently our newly “botak’ed” Merlion didn’t sit too well with the feng shui masters and the authorities, which led to a search for an architectural firm to redesign our national icon. Today’s news revealed the three proposed designs submitted by Italian architectural firm Scherzo Studio and…oh my, what a change – Merly is no longer the Merly I grew up with!

 

The scar on Merly’s head left by the unscrupulous lightning bolt generated a flurry of talkbacks and discussions on forums, ranging from “bad omen” cries to “Our Merlion has got character now” comments. For me, it reflected the significance of our national icon in all of us, the familiar mythical creature that we all grew up with, and the mascot that international visitors fondly remember us by. I’ve got a stuffed baby merlion-keychain hanging next to my laptop, in memory of my last bumboat ride along the Singapore River.

 

A midnight stroll along the breezy walkway of One Fullerton brought me to the Merlion once more, and I stood there, watching visitors and Singaporeans alike take photos to portray them spewing out water like the Merlion (see photo below).

Photo courtesy of Apricot Café, Flickr

Photo courtesy of Apricot Café, Flickr

The memories we have of our dear Merly dates back to our school days of History textbooks, art lessons and school outings, where the Singapore Merlion has always been the topic of discussion, an object to exercise our creativity juices on (ie. Paint the Merlion! Competition, if you ever had one of those), and an especially comforting icon to remind how truly Singaporean we are all deep down inside our hearts.

 

Back to the makeover of Merly. I suppose there will be mixed comments on the submitted proposals, but like the 86 out of 100 Singaporeans surveyed, I wouldn’t want our familiar national icon to have a makeover – especially not if I’ll have to face any of the three below!

 

I understand well-intended goodwills to have Singapore progress forward as a nation, and we as a country should embrace the better future. However, I feel that this significant “rebranding” of our cultural icon requires much listening from the citizens. I mean, just take a look at proposal #3. Did we decide to embark on Battlestar Galactica Singapura? While proposal #1 looks absolutely phallic (colleagues agree with me on this), proposal #2 will probably threaten to make all our children cry.



random.
March 10, 2009, 11:24 pm
Filed under: Entertainment, Two Cents' Worth

You know the familiar scenarios:

– You stop along the rows of toilet paper brands along NTUC and scratch your head, wondering which brand did not give your ass a sandpaper treatment. You think its Brand X, and when you finally take out the roll on your next visit to the washroom, you groan in disbelief. Damn the sandpaper!

– You tell yourself that the last stick of kebab wouldn’t hurt, and half an hour later, you groan in agony once more simply because you realised you ate too much.

– The alarm clock rings and you wake up to switch it off, telling yourself that you’ll just count up to 10 seconds of shut-eye before you climb out of the bed. But you got as far as counting, “One…two….thr…” and you wake up 3 hours later to a call asking, “Hey where are you, I’ve been waiting for 30 minutes!”

– You screen through your “outbox” and wonder how on earth you do not remember sending your resume and cover letter through a job application – and the email was dated on a Friday night, 4am.

– You lock the gate, only to remember that you forgot your EZ-link card. You step into the house to grab the card, walk down the stairs, and realised you forgot your umbrella. You run up the stairs, unlock the gate, grab the damn brolly, and head back out. At the MRT station, you realised you need to top up your EZ-link credits, and discover you have left your wallet back home.

—–

They say gingko nuts help. They say one huge steamed fish a day helps. Having a Dory memory has scored me negative points with potential bosses (probably, I don’t know), shaved me more calories than needed because of walking up and down the stairs; being greedy cancelled the second effect…and the list goes on.

These redundancies pepper my life with daily doses of dry humour, instances to laugh at myself and remind me that I’m only perfectly human. Till this word, I have no clue what the focus of this very short writing is about, because everyone needs one of those “I don’t care what I write” posts every now and then.

Cheers to that.



Glamorizing the Geeks
November 20, 2008, 2:01 am
Filed under: Entertainment

An excerpt from YouTube’s video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikDdNDt_S70) gave me new insights into the digital realm – baffling to many who haven’t caught on the new wave of Web TVs, E-Zines and Social Media Networks.

We’re sitting here in Ventrilo
Playing some DotA
We push on and we’re owning
with the opponents we’re toying.

We’re sitting here in Ventrilo
Playing some DotA
Running around creeping
the opponents we’re sleeping

My advice would be to play the video for a full minute before you realise the melody suddenly seems kinda familiar..while you search fervently through the heavily cloaked memories of your teenage self on the dance floors with the same music, only different lyrics – if you recalled any at all in your drunken stupour.

Online multiplayer games – what was once a score among boys (and toys) and much discussed social issues of introverts and their cyberworlds – have been glamorized (in my opinion, lah). No need to climb through the ladders to Hollywood stardom; produce your own MTV and post it on YouTube and be instantly recognised overnight. Feature writer? Become a star blogger on established blog feeds and sites.

I am constantly amazed by how far the Internet has driven such progress in the media world, even as a supposed “New Media” graduate, I am finding myself falling behind time given how it takes only *snaps fingers* couple of seconds for news to be up and flying about the World Wide Web. Makes me wonder how the hell do I get my news on the information highway(s) zipping around the world now.