Monday, November 27, 2006

Brilliant goals!

Superb Totti volley!

Nakamura's freekick!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design)

The TED conference is an annual meeting of great minds. I first came across it after watching Han Rosling's fascinating talk on data (which I blogged here). I highly recommend everyone to check out their blogs and their video feeds of the presentations given by some of the speakers. Here're two great clips.

RC Jumbo Jet

I wish I have one too!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Al-Jazeera International (English)

I was disappointed to learn that Al-Jazeera International didn't manage to secure any programming deals with the major cable/satellite providers in US.

Massachusetts School of Law on the book "Al-Jazeera"

Official launch video.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Iraq: the hidden story

This is by far the most honest attempt, that i've seen, by a western media agency to give the audience a sense of what's really happening to the ordinary Iraqis. It is a great pity that I have yet seen any of the major networks here in US put out a program of such integrity (this documentary is done by Channel 4, a UK channel). Anyway, a must-watch and a great reminder again of how extremely fortunate I am to be where I am now.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

变形金刚 圣斗士片头版

This is brilliant man!!!! Another superb mash-up! Just compare with the original below.

The original 片头版

Brilliant mash-up

This is a brilliant example of mash-up; the combination of materials from different sources to create something entirely different. Will this be considered violating the "synchronization right" of the movie, as well as the copyright of the game. It is a fine line, one that I hope the law will tilt the side in favor of these mash-up artists, because I think there's incredible value in what they're creating here.

Cute animation

Urban Ninja & Chinese internet

Since I'm taking a "management of technology in China" class, I've been finding out alot more about the internet space in China. From what I can tell, the competition there is incredible. For every Facebook and Youtube you'd have over 100+ exact copycats in China. But this intense level of competition also means that there's a lot of new innovation; it's no longer the case of just merely copying what the web2.0 start-ups here in Silicon Valley have done. I'd be watching the Chinese internet space much more closely from now on (just finished picking up and subscribing to a dozen chinese blogs). Meanwhile, enjoy this clip I came across while surfing through this YouTube-Chinese clone.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


For those of you who, like me, only think about "聖闘士星矢" when you're young, you'd definitely appreciate what this dude tried to do...he's soooo into the mood man!! hahaha!

Brain Machine Interface

My buddy Takeshi is a brain-interface probing electrode naturally he pointed me to these 2 amazing videos. I've also read about how some researchers can hook up electrode to a mouse's brain and direct whether it goes forward or turn right or turn left (supposedly used for emergency scenario to search for survivors under wrecks.) Pretty amazing stuff!

Brain-controlled wheelchair

Brain-remotely-controlled artificial hand

Thoughts on "NS stint may hinder job prospect for S'poreans"

I read with great interest the ongoing discussions online regarding this post on Straits Times forum titled "NS stint may hinder job prospects for S'poreans". Some discussions can be found here:

AsiaOne Forum

Singapore Media Watch

First of all, I'd say that the 2.5 years spent in NS are some of my most productive and creative years. "Achieving" a higher rank certainly helps as the level of responsibility associated with the rank brings an equal exposure to opportunity for learning about my own weaknesses, learning how to be a follower and a leader, learning how to think under stressful conditions and all those good things. Unfortunately, I'm afraid I might be in the minority. Most of my peers have the worst things to say about the experience in the military, and it's easy to see why.

Just throw in a "lower" rank (a CPL vs a CPT) and a "lower" serving status (NSF/NSmen vs regulars/professional), you'd suddenly find yourself being treated as "expendables" without the ability to think. Granted, in a regimental setting, an order is an order and all good soldier should be taught/trained to execute on what he/she was being told to do. This is how order can be maintained under the chaotic nature of real combat. But under the context of a peace-time armed force and that fact that bulk of the force comes from "civilian" soldiers, there's much more that the SAF can do to ensure that the time the "civilian" solders have sacrificed for the interest of the nation's self-defence is not wasted.

So train us hard, but give us room to exercise our own analytical skills, regardless of rank. Take those 2 years and 3-4 weeks/year of reservist training, but make sure that it will indeed be an enriching experience for all involved. There are many military-style mini-courses overseas that target business executives who want to advance their teamwork or leadership skills; so clearly there is some benefit in this sort of training. Why can't we look forward to our annual reservist training as a time to meet up with old friends and as a time for personal enrichment? I know for a fact that the SAF is working hard to achieve this (as I was a reservists trainer during my NSF days and I'd seen first-hand some of the measures that my unit was implementing to create a fulfilling experience for the reservists), but clearly this is not an easy task at all as it requires a big shift in mentality of everyone involved.

As for the effect of NS on job prospects, I can definitely see the source of hesitation for a firm to recruit a NSmen. Unfortunately, this inherent conflict will never go away so long as our Armed Forces is primarily a civilian-based one. Should we shorten the service duration? Or even go so far to abolish the civilian model and adopt a purely professional SAF (as some of the blogs suggest)? These are questions that require an in-depth analysis, something that I wouldn't dare to offer an opinion without sufficient evidence and data to back up. I have high hopes though that MINDEF will be flexible enough (as shown by their decision to shorten NSF service to 2 years a few years ago) that they will not dismiss these suggestions being discussed and proposed. Nevetheless, I do believe that there's much that SAF can and should do in the meantime; which is to place the "personal enrichment" of individual soldier as one of its topmost priority.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Best (flash) site ever!

Wow! I can't say that I'm a big fan of sites that are overly flash-based. But in this case (a Vodafone site that hints at what our near digital future will look like), the richness of different forms of media (text, images, video, animation etc) really shows off the power of Flash! I'm SUPER IMPRESSED!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A new way to multiply~ Super amazing!

Easy Mental Multiplication Trick - video powered by Metacafe
wow..still trying to figure out the "theory" behind this...Patrick, did they teach you this in ur Math class before?

Amazing explosion!

Saw this a year ago....really really scary~

Monday, November 13, 2006

Age Discrimination

After reading through Derek's now famous blog post and hundreds of comments, it got me thinking alot about age discrimination. One of the readers commented:

"I am just over 50. I lost my job arround 50. There is no job available for the last few years searching despite my extensive experience/qualification. Some recruiters even told me I should retire and asked why should I bother to find a job. When I was around 30/40, I was always headhunted for well-paid jobs. But, now there is hardly any call from headhunters...It seems my skill/experience was highly sought in past years whereas it has suddenly become useless in recent years. Why?.."

It is something my dad has been grappling with for the past few years. There is simply no job security once you reach a certain age. It used to be when you hit 50 you'd be in trouble looking for a new job...but it seems that now even at 40 you might have a problem. And this is not an isolated phenomenon in Singapore. Is this really age discrimination or just survival-of-the-fittest? hmm....

Singapore's elitism

Only found out about the Wee Shu Min (think farmer vs scholar) saga today.

This "elitism" in Singapore is something I felt very strongly when I first migrated to Singapore from Hong Kong. I've always been good with exams so I know the system works in my favor. But I was very frustrated with the streaming system which, in my opinion, really affected my younger brother's potential (I shalln't go into the details, suffice to say that I'm not impressed with this arrangement at all). It always baffles me that streaming starts at such an early stage, and the mobility between the "top" and "lower" class is so low. Essentially, if you screw up early (in schools' exams), you don't really have a very high chance to recover later on.

However, I can't place the blame squarely on Singapore's streaming system. It is also this prevailing, overarching assumption in the society that success can only be obtained through better formal education. Compared that to Hong Kong, where there's also some form of streaming (though somewhat less rigid), the pressure is not so much for the kids to perform in schools. There're just so many counter-examples (in HK) of entrepreneurs who don't have a "proper" education yet go on to become admirable figures in the business or political sector. There's this belief that a well-regarded education path need not be the only way to go. This is something that I felt was missing when I first settled down in Singapore. It's always "Do well in your studies, or else..... (insert bad words here)). On the other hand, Hong Kong's education system has a host of its own problems as well and frankly speaking, there's a lot to admire about Singapore education system and I really feel that MOE is now taking some innovative approached toward the right direction (ie. more creativity in classroom etc).

In any case, I'm very aware of my status as an "overseas scholar" and the kinds of assumptions/stereotypes/privileges that're associated with it (especially since I went to a neighborhood school). As I return to Singapore in a month's time, I think that I really have to make an effort to get in tuned with the concerns/perceptions/world-view of the heartlanders. Not to say that I have to totally unlearn my 4 years exposure to John Stewart and the likes, but there's truly a myriad of going-ons in Singapore that I've missed out in the past 4 years, and I fully intend to catch up on lost times when I'm back home (finally).

The story of 1

A "Monty Python" version of the number "1"...pretty funny, and interesting. Here's an interesting note: Arabic numerals (1,2,3...) we use today actually originates from India!

Stop-motion video

One of the better stop-motion videos I've watched.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Times they're a-changing

I'm a big Dylan fan...this one is a classic!

Sorry you're sick

A Ted Hawkins cover. I really can't do his voice justice. A great street-singer with a truly amazing voice, Ted Hawkins is among my all-time fav (though hardly known). I discovered his music almost 8 years ago when I was ramdomly listening to CDs on display in a Borders store...a great find.

Blogger screw-up?

I was introducing my new friend from Switzerland about blogger and he promptly went ahead to open a new account (in German), only to find that there's no button to submit his signup form!

The signup page (in English) with the orange "continue" button

Where's the "continue/submit" button?

For Tammy

"For Tammy"...a song I wrote :)


One of my all-time fav~ The lyrics is just perfect!

Great documentary on Iraq

This is what I'd call professional journalism. Not the usual hyperbole hear-say you get from the major networks here. Came across it in one of the posts on the "Healing Iraq" blog. Or go straight to the video here.

From the Information Clearing House site:
" 'Iraq: The Lost Generation' (is a documentary that) opens a window onto the hidden world of Iraqi youth, revealing the brutalisation and psychological trauma of living under military occupation. It reveals how the people with whom the future of Iraq rests, are reacting with anger, aggression and, in some cases, violence."

Saturday, November 11, 2006

9/11 Commision Report in Comics

Pictures speak a thousand words. In this case,

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Check if you're tone deaf~

Come across this site today...rather challenging actually.

I got 86.1% (=> "excellent musical capabilities")

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Discovering new music (again)!

I remembered when I first came to USA, one of my best memories during freshman year was all the new music that's thrown at me by my roommate Luke and next-door music-fanatic Henry. That was a great year of music education for me as I expanded my music horizon, and provided inspiration as I started writing songs at a higher frequency again. Sadly, once I move out of dorm (or even when I became a RA for my final year), somehow this music discovery sort of came to a dead end.

Well, internet to the rescue! I've been testing two web-based radio services ( and Pandora) for a while now...and the experience is really fun (and free too)! Both uses some kind of recommendation mechanisms to feed you song after song. For instance, if you create a station called "Bob Marley Station", you'd be treated to all sorts of Bob Marley or Bob Marley-like raggae songs.

Pandora actually hires professional musicians to listen to individual tracks and rate them according a matrix of 400+ qualities (such as rhythm, tone, pitch etc) and based on that feed you the songs. takes a much more social approach (rather evident from their another-social-networking-site look) and uses collective wisdom to give you the songs. I'd say that the experience on Pandora so far seems more coherent, in that when I setup a Bob Marley stations I really get songs that are really close to Bob Marley style, whereas on I started listening to some Jack Johnson number after setting up a "Norah Jones" station. In any case, both are still excellent way to discover new music and I'm loving it! Have a feeling I'm gonna start writing songs again~

PS: We actually had the founder of Pandora come to talk to us during my "Telecom" class last night. A great insight into how an enterpreneur really rough out thro the thick and thin (almost 7 years, been thro the bubble burst and many nights sleepin on friends' couch, 300+ pitches to VCs, many delayed paychecks to employees before finally getting to 4 million registered users...) Inspiring!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Hitomi wo tojite (guitar)

Since this song's been in my head for the past week, I know I have to get it out somehow...and here's the end-product. (My first time doing Japanese cover, pardon my bad diction~)

My public Google Reader feed~

Last time I checked, I've subscribed to 103 RSS feeds on my Google Reader. Most of the stuff I read are technology-related, but I also throw in a mix of blogs covering product design, finance, media, politics, china, japan, environmental awareness etc. Recently I also started using the "share" function in my Google Reader. Essentially, everytime I come across a great article I'd mark it as "share" and you'd be able to access these specific articles here!

Hope you'd also find these articles interesting~

Good night, and good luck

"Good Night, and Good Luck" turned out to be everything I expected it to be and more. Great acting, great lines and the interface with actual footage of Senator McCarthy gives the film a sense of realism you seldom get from a Hollywood movie. The subject matter is also more relevant than ever...

I especially love this last line from Edward Murrow:
"To those who say people wouldn't look; they wouldn't be interested; they're too complacent, indifferent and insulated, I can only reply: There is, in one reporter's opinion, considerable evidence against that contention. But even if they are right, what have they got to lose? Because if they are right, and this instrument is good for nothing but to entertain, amuse and insulate, then the tube is flickering now and we will soon see that the whole struggle is lost. This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box. Good night, and good luck."

Friday, November 03, 2006

Hitomi wo tojite

A better MTV of my current fav song!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

世界の中心で、愛をさ けぶ

This movie is on my top 100 movie list. Realized someone actually put up the full movie on YouTube (broken into 28 parts thou). Too bad it doesn't have subtitle, so you gotta know abit of 日本語 to understand.

The ending song in the movie is my current fav song! Been listening it non-stop~ If you watch the movie and find out what the lyrics can move you to tears...

"なくしたものを 越える強さを 君がくれたから