Syonan Jinja

So I’ve been doing some research trying to find some interesting trekking sites in Singapore. One of the less mainstream walks seems to involve finding the derelict Shinto Shrine which was built in 1942 following Singapore’s fall to the Japanese.

Now, quite a few people have visited and blogged about it, but I just thought this particular resource was a little funny: it’s from a blog for a luxury condo developer, selling the “Thomson Three” at Bright Hill:

Infested by various snakes, scorpions, spiders and mosquitoes, superstitious trekkers who lose their way in search of the Syonan Jinja would blame it on the haunting of the Japanese spirits who protect the Jinja its treasures from intruders.

Because that’s what every potential luxury condo investor is looking for–proximity to ancient ghosts guarding war loot.

Nanotech Breasts

Saw this online today:


It intrigued me. I do try to keep up with Sciencish stuff, and consider myself to be pretty well-informed. I hadn’t heard of the wonders of nanotech being applied to bust enhancement, though. Were carbon nanotubes being used to sculpt breasts now?

So I clicked the link. It led to the website of some slimming agency with a couple of pretty generic weight-loss/bigger-breast programmes. I looked around for anything to do with nanotech, and to my disappointment found this little piece of nonsense:


Arguably, it is nanotech they’re using in the sense that the “particles” are in their “nano serum” probably are in the nano scale, but frankly it’s just nonsense science-terms being thrown into a marketing proof to make it sound more convincing. That said, I’m impressed someone in their marketing department actually bothered to make the rough calculations that ~2000 times smaller than skin pores is about 25nm, which is about right for “nanotechnology”.

Other than that, though, none of their technology is anywhere near what is commonly understood to be “nanotechnology”. In fact, considering nanotech is the domain of the very small, it almost seems incongruous to see it mentioned in an ad for gigantic bosoms.

I hate to stereotype, but I guess if you’re the kind of woman who goes for bust enhancement you’re probably in the marketing segment that’s likely to fall for this kind of claptrap anyway…

Homely :: homey

Quite a lot of people I know tend to describe themselves as being lazy bums who prefer to stay at home rather than going out, and I have heard the term “homely” being used to this purpose far too often.

Save yourself some embarrassment!

# homeliness – dowdiness: having a drab or dowdy quality; lacking stylishness or elegance
# homeliness – an appearance that is not attractive or beautiful; “fine clothes could not conceal the girl’s homeliness”

Oh! And a happy new year to one and all too.

Perhaps “homey” would be a better word to use, even if it isn’ quite proper.

Just so you know. Because I use the word homely correctly for myself, and I really hate it when others cheapen the word.

My Life on the D-List

I don’t watch much television, but Kathy Griffin’s My Life on the D-List is a nice diversion. AND in season 4 she dates Steve Wozniak, one of the Apple co-founders.

I haven’t laughed so much in a long time. Kathy is trying to set one of her friends up with one of Wozniak’s “geeky successful Apple guys” by double dating at the H’ckry Pit, a diner that’s “almost as nice as Denny’s” (Steve has very humble food tastes despite having a billion). Unfortunately, Steve’s alpha geek nature takes over and he ends up dominating the lunch conversation with really geeky conversation. Stuff like “I’ve put an electronic metronome in a friend’s locker” and “37 is a really great number, it’s the first irregular prime number”.

It’s priceless. Sadly, no clips on Youtube.

Arrested Development on MSN

Why did MSN get buy the rights for internet broadcast of Arrested Development and not doing any marketing for it at all?

Watch Arrested Development on MSN!

Arrested Development, for those of you who haven’t seen it, is a wonderful American sitcom about a dysfunctional wealthy family facing financial problems (perhaps not the most sympathetic of situations right now). No canned laughter, Varicam filmed (for that movie-look), machine-gun-speed joke-injection and a relatively large cast sadly did not make it a popular success on Fox, though it won several Emmys and various other critical awards.

One of the best things I’ve watched over ever. Not quite burst-out-laughing funny like Fawlty Towers, perhaps, but more of an I-see-what-you-did-there-oh-its-so-clever funny.

Flight of the conchords

I’ve been watching Flight of the Conchords, and was pleasantly delighted to find live Flight of the Conchords performances on YouTube. Flight of the Conchords is a folk-comedy duo from New Zealand (self-allegedly the 4th most popular there) and also the name of a HBO comedy series featuring the band. It’s cutely funny. Here’s one of their songs.

The TV show version:

Also, something completely different–Up in Town–a “black comedy monologue” by Joanna Lumley. I’m not exactly sure what to make of it–I definitely wouldn’t have classified it under “comedy”. Joanna Lumley performs the role of Maddie Blacklock wonderfully, a former socialite and professional upper-crust wife whose star has long since faded since her ruined marriage, and who has nothing to do with her time other than to fantasize and reminisce. It’s actually rather touching and sad and full of painful dramatic irony.

Child labour!

Child labour! But in a good way. Read more about the Playpump here.

Of course, I have my doubts about how much underground water there is in sub-saharan Africa and the feasibility of using it for general consumption. If underground-water was such an easy answer, why aren’t there any hand-drawn ones?

Also, is it just me or does a play pump remind you of old-fashioned mills–the kind you see on TV used as torture devices, with captives chained to it and slavedrivers whipping them from behind?

Perhaps some form of punishment for naughty children?

“Ukundu! Do your homework or you’ll have to go out and play!”


Headline: Children play to pump water–suffer dehydration