Showing posts from July, 2004

Carrie Fever

Sex and the City has finally started showing in Singapore, "only" months after the show finished its run in the US.

Searchless in Singapore

Here's a funny article on the day Google went down . Frustrating as all heck. It was the day I learnt that Yahoo and MSN searches are nowhere near as good.

Delta Sierra Arts launches

In a fit of consolidation, I've created an Arts section for this blog. So now there's Delta Sierra Arts for film and music reviews (since I don't only watch films at the Singapore Film Festival ), Singapore Sox Fan for baseball writing, and good ol' here for random thoughts on life, the universe, and everything. Including punctuation and grammar. Especially punctuation and grammar.

Think local, act local

People in Singapore like to say "local" whenever they mean "Singaporean". So even when in the US, you catch Singaporeans saying "I discovered a restaurant that sells local food!". This Epinions review of Singapore Airlines notes this when the reviewer realises that the peanut packet says "local mixed nuts". Local mixed nuts, incidentally, is not a bad name for a band.

Random things on eBay

For sale: One church, inflatable . Pity there's no bouncy floor.

Searching for Bobby Fischer

I love the New York Times' website's summary of the arrest of Bobby Fischer . Makes him sound like some sort of seriously wanted criminal, in hiding from American officials, deviously capturing pawns en passant. The cheek of it, playing chess in Yugoslavia! Probably tried to mate with a bishop or something.

Me = Comic Book Guy

An excellent summation of the Spider-Man comics . I wonder whether Gwen Stacy will ever feature in the movies? Or the Hobgoblin? Edit: Change of title. Also, here's an excellent Lego version of Spiderman 2 .

Mr Sparkle

Oh great, a new product . Now people will feel like they can brush their teeth in public. Just what I've been waiting for. Is it just me, or does "Oral-B Brush-Ups" sound like the title of a porn film?

"Please select Reason for Living"

Wow, I do an online questionnaire to enter a contest, and I get an existential response. These Japanese department stores are tough.

Saya Bercakap Bahasa Singaporean

My friend "1ntrovert" (a nom de plume - or should that be nom de keyboard? - of course) pointed this out on his blog - the Air Asia website somehow thinks "Singapore" is a different language from the main languages spoken here! I suppose they just take the English site and convert it to Singlish? :)

The French are revolting

Or, more precisely, they were revolting, on this date, way back in 1789. Happy Bastille Day one and all!

Cane Film Festival

There's some sort of food festival going on in the centre of Ngee Ann City , and I bought a sugar cane drink from one of the stalls. The picture, for my non-Singaporean visitors, is of the machine that compresses the sugar cane till the juice comes out. The only time I saw it in America was in the middle of Corona Park in Queens, when one of the Spanish radio stations was having a festival. I spotted the machine at the back of a van, and I promptly shelled out US$3 to the Guatemalan (if memory serves me right) family operating the machine for a taste of home. Gave me that nice global-village glow to know that people from Central America have something in common with people from Singapore. And just the thing for a wicked hot New York summer day. "Mother's cane" is hardly the most inspiring of names though - calls to mind corporal punishment and other echoes of strict upbringing (which, fortunately, I didn't have). I could see this name turning off a number of c

Department of Redundancy Department

From one of the Japanese-snack counters at the basement of Takashimaya , a sign that states the obvious.

We Apologise for the Delay in Transmission

The Girlfriend was leaving town, and there are things more important than blogging. It's stunning the number of long-distance relationships there are in Singapore sometimes - a function of the fact that so many of us study overseas. Sigh. Will return to random postings now.

Gotham City

Interesting article in the New York Times today on the typeface used for the World Trade Center memorial. It's Gotham, designed by Tobias Frere-Jones. (The logical question, of course, was for me to ask if he was related to the New Yorker's music critic, Sasha Frere-Jones. A comment on the City of Sound blog notes that they're brothers. I'd love to hear their family discussions.) Gotham's based on those signs that are classically New York - the Port Authority Bus Terminal sign, chiefly, as well as those P.S. 124 (or whatever number) signs, and so on. I love typefaces that immediately makes one think of a city: I feel that way about Johnston , the London Underground font.

Erratum, Errata

Some errors from the New York Times . My personal favourite, at least when I read the book , is on the page: March 11, 1975 In yesterday's issue, The New York Times did not report on riots in Milan and the subsequent murder of the lay religious reformer Erlembald. These events took place in 1075, the year given in the dateline under the nameplate on Page 1. The Times regrets both incidents. Classic.

Images of Alexander the Great

Was Alexander the Great gay? This discussion says - well, that it's not illuminating to consider the past using the terms of the present.


Funny quote from Timothy Noah over at Slate : But Krugman isn't a leftist--just read the columns he writes on economics--so much as a liberal who really, really hates George W. Bush. Which is probably true. It's been fascinating watching the transformation of Krugman from one of the premier trade economists 1 to the anti-Bush columnist . Especially because the stance seems to have arisen organically: it feels like Krugman wasn't hired to be the anti-Bush writer on the NYT staff, but he got more and more appalled by the Bush administration, particularly - in true academic/economist fashion? - when the seeming weight of evidence didn't seem to cause the administration to change its position one bit. 1 I remember reading Peddling Prosperity in both junior college (the Singaporean equivalent of high school) and in college, and Krugman does a very good job of demolishing those against free trade.

On time, every time

Wouldn't it be cool if they invented earplugs that somehow evaporated after eight hours or some set period of time? You could get a good night's sleep but also hear your alarm clock go off.

Another great passes

Farewell Marlon Brando .

Fonts of wisdom

Since people have somehow stumbled onto my blog looking for typeface information, let's just say that while I love typefaces and general questions of design, maybe Karen over at Snog Blog can provide much more in-depth information. I particularly like that I learnt the name of the typeface used on street signs in Singapore (it's Rotis, if you're too lazy to click the link).

Serial comma killer?

"Punctuation / punc, punc, punc, punctuation / they are the little dots that use their influence / to help a sentence make more sense." (from the Electric Company , I think. 30% of my mind seems to comprise lyrics to songs I learnt when I was a kid.) Here's an amusing article on the battle between Lynne Truss and Louis Menand on punctuation. Mmm. Sometimes I want to be a copyeditor. Or a copy editor, depending on house style. :) My own take on New Yorker house style: I like its pluralisation of "CD" as "CDs" unlike the New York Times' "CD's", which I abhor. I like the use of the serial comma, which is more common in American English but has Fowler's stamp of approval. The umlaut over repeated vowels (as in "coöperation") is somewhat pretentious, but bearable. What really gets to me about the New Yorker 's English usage is the use of "insure" for cases where "ensure" should do. I know, I know,

Sunrise, Sunset

I'm so excited about Before Sunset , the new Richard Linklater film (the link's to David Edelstein's Slate review, which doesn't give away anything, thankfully). Before Sunrise was so good in so many ways, bottled lightning - Edelstein just about gets it right when he says he watched it in 10-minute doses; it's a great film to sip and savour from. Consider me mystified and intrigued. Edit: Here's my own review .

Meanwhile, back at the ranch

Talk about getting pumped up for a trial - this judge was caught using ah, ahem, "male enhancement pump" in a court room. Also, the New York Times Magazine has a piece on how consumers perceive that products that hurt must be effective. (In this case, the product is Lip Venom, which supposedly produces the bee-stung lip look.) That's why original Listerine has that medicinal taste - or so one hears.

Get Firefox Now!

Proving that it's truly independent of its Microsoft ownership, Slate runs a piece trumping the virtues of Firefox over Internet Explorer. And about time, too - the word needs to get out. Less security holes, no annoying pop-ups and I can't remember the last time my home page was hijacked to become some ridiculous advertiser's page. And I can't live without tabbed browsing anymore.