Saturday, April 28, 2007

Dick LEE sings about PM LEE

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This song by Dick Lee is HILARIOUS!!! Hope he doesn't get into trouble with the ISD or something :p

Sung at his 40th anniversary concert: Dedicated to our dear PM LEE... Count on HIM

Thursday, April 26, 2007

OMG- Piano Playing Cat!

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Oh wow, this is REALLY REALLY cute, a cat that can/try to play the piano!


Help Save the Tigers!

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The WWF (world wide fund for nature... not the wrestling company) has came up with this project to do a Tiger Mosiac, essentially everyone submits their photo and it will all add up to form a Mosiac picture of a Tiger. The result will be a powerful display of the world’s support for wild tiger conservation, which will be presented to delegates from 171 countries at the June meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in the Netherlands. So pls help by submitting this and also spreading the word.

Click here to help with the mosiac!

The tiger is one of the most revered, feared and popular species on Earth. It is perhaps the most powerful symbol of our planet’s endangered wildlife.

Once widespread across Asia, fewer than 5,000 wild tigers are now found in just 7% of their historic range.

The good news is that the Chinese government has taken action to help save the species. In 1993, China outlawed all domestic trade of tiger products and public awareness campaigns have curbed a demand that once saw tiger products annually sold in the tens of millions.

But there is a new threat in China that could put every last wild tiger at risk: The increasing population of captive-bred tigers on so-called "tiger farms." These farms, currently used as tourist attractions are speed-breeding tigers in hope that China will one day allow the sale of their parts and products.

More than 4,000 captive-bred, semi-tame tigers live on these farms today, and farm owners are now pressuring the government to allow them to sell tiger products.

Reopening even limited legal trade in tiger products from farms would reignite a demand for tiger products. It also would give international crime syndicates an easy avenue for "laundering" illegally killed tigers from India, Russia and other tiger range states and make law enforcement nearly impossible. In essence, legal trade in tiger products from China's tiger farms would spark an open season on tigers in the wild.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Uncyclopedia: Hwa Chong Institution

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I have no idea who took the time to do up this WIKI on Hwa Chong Institution, but it was definitely a good laugh about this entry about my Alma Mater. Seriously, to write this kind of crap must take some serious brain power

Just a sample of what was written on the wiki entry.

Hadst I a choice of where I wouldst like to have studied Advanced Gypsy Magick, it wouldst've'd been NASA. But then again, NASA doth not offer Turnip as a third language, so I doth think I wouldst've chosen Hwa Chong Institution.

~ Conan O'Brien on Hwa Chong Institiution

You know, before we invented rocks, we had to use pinatas to scratch our 'nads.

~ Denzel Washington on a plane

Simply the best 12 years of my life.

~ Oscar Wilde on Hwa Chong Institution

"Hadst I known that mine strategies would fail, I wouldst've enrolled in Hwa Chong Institution."

~ Macbeth's final words before being decapitated by Macduff

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Good reason to get drunk - Fruity Cocktails are health foods!!!

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Now this is a good excuse to drink and get drunk, its all in the name of STAYING HEALTHY!

Stumbled upon this report on the health benefits when you mix alcohol with bright fruits. Now this is good new, so instead of a morning coffee, I will have vodka orange, or strawberry next time :)

From Reuters

"A fruity cocktail may not only be fun to drink but may count as health food, U.S. and Thai researchers said on Thursday.

Adding ethanol -- the type of alcohol found in rum, vodka, tequila and other spirits -- boosted the antioxidant nutrients in strawberries and blackberries, the researchers found.

Any colored fruit might be made even more healthful with the addition of a splash of alcohol, they report in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture." full story



This is the way I want to start my day, healthy and drunk :p

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Did you know.......?

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Did you know SIZE matters?

At least that is what this video says:

KEEPON -- SOoooooo CUTE

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When I first saw the video for the Keepon, I was wondering what so intersting about this yellow marshmellow like thing with 2 eyes. Then as I watched the video, I was simply awed (OMG KAWAIIIIII) by its ability to pick up rythmn and dance according to it, I simply loved it when it did that saturday night fever move as well as a marshmellow like object could. Not only that, it has built in video camera to pick up visual stimuli for more "intelligent" dancing! If I can get my hands one 1, I am bringing it clubbing with me, it might be a the new chick magnet that I am in need of :p

Its an interesting project done up by this Carnegie Mellon University phD student

Friday, April 20, 2007

Original Song Dedicated To Families Of Virginia Tech Victims

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In light of the tragic events at Virginia Tech, and all the crazed media hype going around the killer, I found these 2 videos on songs dedicated to the victims and their family. I am sure glad that in Singapore, we do not get any of these events, or whatever is happening around the world, like in Iraq etc...

Suddenly the looming exams in front of me sure seem like nothing....



Thursday, April 19, 2007

8 days promotes Sammyboy.com

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OMG, 8 days made such a funny screw up. Guess the editors had no idea betweent Sammyboy.com (NSFW do not click on this unless you are 18 and above... i am NOT responsible)and the Sammyboy Alfresco Coffee Shop (Good forums to visit).




Got this from Mr Brown's website

Working "Elites" work for half a catty, get 8 taels...

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Saw this at theonlinecitizen website, provided a nice chuckle from the nice exam stress I am facing right now (OMG MATLAB!!!)

Nice satire about singapore politics ( we ain't gonna let this pay raise thing die :p)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Drunken Squirrel and Japanese Pranks

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As the exam stress and workload piles up.... I start surfing randomly to relax.... not productive I must mention but oh well.... this beats studying CN2116 anyway. After the exams is over, I am so gonna go out and get drunk.... Then I will probably end up like this cute little drunken squirrel



The japanese sure have some interesting pranks.... giant snowball rolling down a hill?!?



In other news from parts of the world:

KARACHI (Reuters) - Mobile service providers in Pakistan have been inundated by calls from subscribers worried by a prank message that they could die of a deadly virus being transmitted via their phones.

The rumor was so effective that some mosques in the country's biggest city, Karachi, made announcements that people were being killed by a mobile virus and they should be aware of God's wrath.

In a prank reminiscent of the plot in the hit Hollywood movie "The Ring" in which people die within a week after watching a video, the prankster warned users that a deadly virus transmitted through phones had killed 20 people. Full story

Yup... those who read this blog post are now infected with a deadly virus that will make you send me $5 each!!!

Monday, April 16, 2007

A New Web Directory, Big Weblinks.com

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I learnt about this new web directory, Big Web Links Directory, which uses a new and novel way to rank their listings. Instead of voting or page clicks, websites instead are ranked by the amount of dollars contributed to the listing, which offers more control for web site owners!!! This is really great for those who are trying to or already making money off their blog!

Right now this webdirectory is fairly new, but it is being very heavily promoted to offer traffic as well as very good link value. The site is expected to have a very respectable Google PR soon.

The million dollar question that is best answered from Big Web Links Directory
How is that a different reflection of popularity from other web directories?
Web directories usually equate the number of clicks a listing receives to popularity. For example, if more people click on a listing, that particular listing tends to remain popular in that directory simply because of its high ranking in the first place. This is hardly an accurate reflection of true popularity on the Internet.

Theoretically, every website on the Internet has a chance of becoming the most popular piece of virtual real estate in cyber space. Big Web Links Directory simply attempts to reflect that by ranking websites according to the dollar amount contributed for that website. A major benefit of such a ranking system is that it provides some indication of the quality of traffic from a particular website. This is the directory where advertisers will come looking for you and visitors will find you!

So if you want to increase traffic, get more advertisers this might just be the site for you.



Want to drive someone crazy? Introducing the Annoy-o-tron!!!

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Yes... after my last encounter in the tutorial room, I went back to surfing randomly for a while and found this nice article on the Newyork Times and IHT. It was about interesting gadgets and why we have been buying up such weird BUT COOL stuff from places like thinkgeek.com etc.

What caught my eye at first was.....

"BEHOLD the Annoy-o-tron. The easy-to-hide magnetized device promises to drive a co-worker insane.

“The Annoy-o-tron generates a short (but very annoying, hence the name) beep every few minutes,” assures the sales copy from ThinkGeek, its maker, which says it has sold 6,000 of the $10 practical-joke gadgets online since December.

“It is very annoying,” confirmed Jennifer Kuropkat, a ThinkGeek spokeswoman, who was a victim of the Annoy-o-tron during its testing phase. After three days of wondering where the brief ear-jangling sound — bzz-eee-eeep! — was coming from, she found the device hidden under her desk and managed to switch it off."

So I decided to go off to thinkgeek to check it out :

photo from thinkgeek


This is the description from thinkgeek:

The ThinkGeek Annoy-a-tron would be useless against an army of Snowbots, but it's very effective at disturbing that guy in the sales department or your "friend" down the hall. With its thin design and embedded magnet for easy hiding, the Annoy-a-tron can be placed in a variety of locations. Select one of the three sound choices (2 kHz, 12 kHz, or alternating) and push the switch to the on position. Place it in a proper hiding spot and let the "fun" begin.

The Annoy-a-tron generates a short (but very annoying, hence the name) beep every few minutes. Your unsuspecting target will have a hard time 'timing' the location of the sound because the beeps will vary in intervals ranging from 2 to 8 minutes. The 2kHz sound is generically annoying enough, but if you really really want to aggravate somebody, select the 12 kHz sound. Trust us. The higher frequency and slight 'electronic noise' built into that soundbyte will make a full-grown Admin wonder where his packets are.

    3 simple steps.
  • Turn on.*
  • Hide it.
  • Muahahaha...
Now this has gotten me thinking... what if I got a few of these.... placed them strategically in popular study spots in NUS, eg: tutorial rooms, study rooms, quite corners where people study and couples.... erm...

I would get CHAOS!!! MUAHAHAHAH ANARCHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

/Rant: Inconsiderate tutorial room users

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/Rant mode ON

Studying in NUS is a habit of mine, so arriving extra early to beat the crowd, I was still not surprise that only a few tutorial rooms were left.. number 13 and 14... naturally i chose 14 :p

Lo and behold.... I walked in and was greeted with a sight. What is it with people these days, I walk into a tutorial class room (NUS engin building lvl 6 ROOM 14) and what do I find, the place is slightly messed up.... but all the window blinds where TAKEN DOWN...

Yes I spent 20 mins putting back all the window blinds.... apparantly the last users or last last users or (yea yea you get the idea).. decided that instead of moving the blinds to 1 side... it would be more efficient or better to TAKE THEM ALL DOWN... now that is all fine and dandy with me, but apparantly those who took it down forgot 1 simple rule about using tutorial rooms during exam period... RETURN IT TO THE ORIGINAL STATE WHEN YOU ARE BLOODY DONE WITH IT!!!!

Why does the person who waked up extra early, brain still exhausted from his battle to master MATLAB have to be! Is putting back the blinds eating into too much of your study time that you will not get 1st class honors? Well you have 3rd class attitude BAH... I know I would have placed it back... or better yet... I would have just used the chains to move them to 1 side... that isn't so hard considering its ENGINEERING.

ok I am done ranting... time to power nap and then study

/Rant Mode Off

*Arzhou would like to mention that the blinds might not be the case of undergrads taking it down but simply cos they fell off and no one bothered to put them up again. But nevertheless, it was a good excuse not to start studying and start blogging, checking email, pinging around then going back to sleep. Pls do not be too bothered by the language in the rant if you somehow find it offensive k.... me very sorry :p

Anyway this is kind of mild compare if say if someone left all their food in the tutorial room or made some kind of mess they never cleaned up. But I needed an excuse to RANT!! ranting wakes the brain up! I need my brain to waaaaakeeee upp.............zzzzzzzzz

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Europe MPs 'gagged' by Singapore

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After stunning a white house official over the pay issue, another incident that is giving the foreign press a ball of a time with Singapore.....

Its not some no-name news agency, but this story is on BBC and CNN, so that is pretty big readership/viewership.

This does spark a debate, is singapore really that oppressive such that we refuse to let people speak at forums? These people who were "gagged" are european member of parliments, some even were warned that they could be arrested....

But then again, the counterpoint is that they should no meddle in Singapore's politics, which I do agree to some extent, after all, who likes others butting into our business? But then again, they might not even be speaking about Singapore politics, they could be speaking about general things relating to democracy or liberalism. After the IMF incident where activist can only protest in a yellow box in a room (SAF smoking point FTL), this is not really good for our international reputation, especially if you notice the way BBC and CNN phrased their reports.

From BBCnews:

"Singapore has been accused of acting like an "authoritarian state" after refusing to allow European Parliament members to speak during a visit.

The seven MEPs, as well as a Cambodian and a Philippines congresswoman, were denied permission to speak at a forum on democracy in Europe and Asia.

One MEP likened the Singaporeans' to repressive regimes such as North Korea.

The Singapore government said foreigners did not have permission to address the event......." Full story


Blogger's Choice Award!

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Just before going to bed after mugging the entire day, I decided to pop by payperpost to take a look at any intersting opps avaliable. I found this opp at the payperpost site for the Blogger's Choice Award web awards. So i decided to pop by and take a look at the website, there is a crazy amount of catagories including freakiest blog and The "Blogitzer" (whatever that meant).

After surfing around, I came to realise 1 thing, turns out that one of the regulars at ping.sg , eastcoastlife, is a nominee for hottest mommy blogger, so here is a reminder to vote for her here! If everyone votes I am sure she can catch up, just about 100 votes behind the leading site from when i last saw. So what are you guys waiting for, go vote!

Aside from just nominating others for awards (heck why not nominate me for worst blog or something lol), others can also vote and comment on the blogs you've nominated. The exciting thing is votes will be shown on the site in real-time, so you can see who's leading within each category!

There are no restrictions to nominations, votes, or comments. You can nominate as many blog sites as you want. In fact, the more the better! You can also comment as often as you'd like.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Real Hustle- BBC's show on lying, cheating and stealing

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Studying for exams definitely sucks, just sitting at the bench staring at notes making summary sheets, practicing tutorials which i should have done in the first place...

It is also during this period that my youtube, heavy, etc etc usage goes up several fold, nothing beats wasting an hour of study time just watching mindless videos of youtube.

One of the series that I watch a lot of is BBC's "The Real Hustle", they got 3 ex cons to talk about and demonstrate some of the scams that are going on in the world.

The scams range from some what believable, like the fairgrounds scam. Others are just downright ridiculous. Its pretty obvious most of these scams are staged, considering the show has not gotten sued (at least to my knowledge). But the lead female, Jess, is WAAAAY HOT... its no wonder she can easily get away with all her hustles, esp those that occur in the pubs.

Simple stuff like pickpocketing techniques are show:

Others are more elobrate scams like "selling" a rental car


I loved the way they made all the victims show up at the same time :)
(probably staged though)

OMG... This is one EVIL Windows PRANK

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Seriously... i am not letting anyone access my laptop/desktop again if this ever gets out... oh wait I am helping to spread it around... :p


Friday, April 13, 2007

Dangers of Benchmarking Minister's Salaries

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To ensure I get a nice balance view of the world, I do not just read our usual govt approved media (ranked 147th in terms of free speech), but also some online, alternative view publications. I am not saying which is right or wrong, but having multiple views is good way to get the brain thinking. I rather not end up like some mindless autoMAN of an engineer in the future.

This is the latest article from theonlinecitizen, and i feel its a pretty good read.

Excerpt:

From “boboshooter”

I would like to add to the discussions and debates regarding the latest round of ministerial and civil service pay increases.

Firstly I applaud our Prime Minister for taking the lead and donating his increments to charity. I hope the other ministers will follow suit. However, even if they do so, what they do only masks the symptoms but do not solve the root cause of the problem that caused the public’s anger in the first place.

Benchmarks are supposed to be external indicators which people measure themselves against. They are supposed to be independent and immovable numbers that people (at least individually) cannot influence or change. Hence when a law firm pays a top lawyer a remuneration package based on law industry benchmarks, the lawyer is just a “taker” - he cannot engineer changes in the industry to increase the benchmark so he gets a higher pay.

Influence over benchmarks

However, the same cannot be said of the collective efforts of the entire top echelon of the civil service in Singapore. By the force of the laws, the rules and the policies they formulate, their pervasiveness in all aspects of Singapore life, I would argue they have considerable, if not an all-encompassing influence over the benchmarks that they use to measure themselves against. So in other words, the “benchmark” has instead become some sort of collective “performance indicator” for top civil servants and it is one that potentially rewards the wrong performance targets.

Any basic management text would tell you that people are influenced to behave in a certain way through incentives and disincentives given to them. In the case of our top civil servants, their pay is directly linked to the pay of a small group of top private sector earners in Singapore. As such, if top earners earn more, they earn more too. Is this not a clear cut incentive for our top civil servants, ministers included, to collectively ensure that the group whose pay that they are benchmarked against, do even better?

An “elitist” malaise

Many people feel that our national policies are increasingly “elitist” - designed to nurture few “winners” that “take all”. Better still, why not just import a number of highly paid “foreign talents” and make them Singaporeans or PRs? This will have immediate impact on (their) bottom lines. Therefore is there any wonder why, in the period of a few years, the benchmark figure gone up while everybody else is scratching their heads and asking ” I where got increment“?

This is precisely the malaise that has affected our country - In the recent years since this benchmark has been in place, top salaries in Singapore have sky rocketed, while middle incomes have stagnated, and bottom incomes have fallen off. We see more Ferraris on the street nowadays just as we see more homeless people. Is this inevitable with globalisation?..........

full article

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Pet Insurance

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pet insurance from my knowledge has been quite a big hit in the USA, especially in dog crazy states like California where people seriously pamper their pets (think paris hilton). The question is, would this be a viable industry here in Singapore and perhaps asia?

Some points to consider, this is data from the USA, but i guess eventually Singapore will be like that too, any pet owners would like to update me on this?

Data gotten from PetCare Pet Insurance

-Veterinary costs are rising. The field of animal medicine has advanced rapidly in past decades allowing veterinarians to successfully treat conditions that were previously considered untreatable. However with these advances has come an increase in the cost of veterinary care. It is estimated that North American pet owners now spend over $10 billion a year on healthcare for their pets.

-One in three pets will need emergency veterinary treatment every year.

-Two out of every three pets will experience a significant health problem during their lifetime.

-pet insurance allows you to proceed with the best course of action recommended by your veterinarian, not what you can afford. You are able worry less about the finances, and concentrate doing the right thing for your sick pet.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Watching American Idol can increase your chances in the Job Market

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Once again, random surfing landed me on this nice gem of an article. And to think i was wondering why SANJAYA is STILL NOT VOTED OFF, OMG PPL WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!!!!


In short, this article is all about self-branding, self image. You do not have to be the smartest kid on the block (take that ya dean list cap 5.0!!! :p), or the most handsome/pretty (yay for me! now i got a chance!). Its about making people remember you, PERIOD. (not for the wrong things of cos)

After reading the article, I realised it was a reflection on my experiences in the internship hunt. When I first went for my interview, I was definitely a forgettable person, heck i would forget myself too! I had no idea what i really wanted from the internship, I could not state my personal goals clearly....

After that failed interview, I took a hard look at myself, did some rebranding, made a concious decision on what I wanted from any internship (which was to learn about business anaylsis and being a business analyst). I made it clear why I wanted it, why i believe I was suited for it.

But I find that this is not only relavent to job hunts, its good for networking, general socialising, even doing presentations. It was never about how damn good it is (but you still DO need some level of substance, not just hot air!), but how you package it! Best example.... IPOD vs creative :)

Taken from CNNmoney

Are you currently interviewing for a better job? Try watching American Idol.

If you follow this huge money-making singing contest from Fox these days, you already know all about this phenom.

Love it or hate it, American Idol (and their other country equivalents) is a good metaphor for life on a number of different levels, which is one reason why it's so popular.

If you're currently in job interview mode, you could learn a lot by watching this show.

Branding versus the "best" candidate

American Idol sometimes seems like some weird group interview where each candidate makes his or her case to three fickle interviewers and is either advanced or sent packing.

Aside from the constant reminder that this is a singing competition, we all know it's more than that. It's about that elusive quality called a "total package." Ditto the job interview. Here's the reason why all job interviewees should take heed of what happens on Idol: "differentiation."

Some candidates understand this early, while a few just get lucky.

Too often, we'll see a very weak singer retained while a much stronger performer gets cut. Some may call this an injustice, but it's not so. What's happened is that the "total package effect" came into play.

One singer won more votes, not for singing ability, but for that fact that his or her "brand" differentiated them from the pack. No one else is like those people by a long shot and that brand triggers visibility, notoriety and votes.

The moral of the story: You don't have to be the best singer, just the most memorable decent singer. Same for the job interview. You don't have to be the best candidate with the top skills. You do have to find a way to be the most memorable, hirable candidate....... Full Article


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One of the worst possible business idea EVER

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I have no idea what this invention can be used for or how the heck is he going to commercialise it... pls watch this video for the PITCH:



Pretty nice video yar?

I guess his target market could be super heroes who need to do a uber quick change or something. Maybe Stan Lee can introduce it on the next "WHO wants to be a SUPERHERO"

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Stunning even more people: PM Lee will donate his pay raise!

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Just a follow up on my previous post on " PM Lee's Salary Stuns white house official "

In even more stunning news from channelnewsasia:


"Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says he will hold his own salary at the present level for five years and will donate any increases in his salary during that period.

He made the announcement in Parliament on Wednesday, as the House continues its debate on salary revisions for government ministers and civil servants.

Mr Lee said making a large adjustment in public sector salaries now is politically a most difficult decision.

But it is something that must be done.

While it is very difficult to get people to understand and emotionally accept it, he said the issue is absolutely critical.

"If we do not tackle it now, the problem will not go away; it will just get worse - we will be in serious trouble," he said.

After discussing it at length in Cabinet, and with Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew in particular strongly encouraging him to do it, PM Lee decided to move now because of the overriding importance of keeping public sector salaries competitive.

The Prime Minister said that to make clear why he is doing this, and to give him the moral standing to defend this policy to Singaporeans, he will hold his own salary at its present level for five years.

The Government will pay him his full pay, because that is how the system must work.

But for five years, he will donate the increase in his salary from this and subsequent revisions.

Mr Lee said he does not expect other Ministers to follow......" Full story

While this is a noble move I mean it is really nice that he decided to donate his pay raise, I cannot help but feel this is more of a political move to sooth the pissed of $2000 a month lower - middle income class.

In other news from yahoo sg:

"Singapore is governed by extraordinary men willing to make personal sacrifices, said MP for Tampines GRC Irene Ng in Parliament.

The MP, who supported the civil service and ministerial pay revisions, cited the contrasting fortunes of two former labour chiefs, Lim Chee Onn and Lim Boon Heng.

The first left public office for the private sector, while the latter joined the public sector after a successful stint in the private sector.

Ms Ng said that Mr Lim Boon Heng is currently paid "a small fraction" of the $5.5m-$5.7m that Mr Lim Chee Onn now earns in the private sector.

This, she said, is a "stark contrast between the reward systems for high-calibre people who stay in politics and for those who leave it." full story


Once again, our dear MPs just love to compare public and private sectors, talking about money money money....

Maybe I am just idealistic in nature, but isn't public service not just about HIGH PAY?! Yes I agree that money is a very pragmatic issue and we should compensate good and talented ministers properly (ONLY AFTER THEY PROVE THEMSELVES), but this has gotten to a stage where I feel that my leaders are motivated by cash and not because they are intersted in the general welfare of the populance... I guess I will get shipped off to batam once i grow old and cannot perform :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Singapore PM's salary stuns White House official

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More random surfing brings up interesting news!!!


Taken from Yahoo Singapore News:

"A senior White House official on Tuesday admitted he was floored by the news that Singapore's prime minister earned five times more than US President George W. Bush.

"I'm going to emigrate and run for office in Singapore," the official said on condition he be identified only as "a senior administration official who sits in disbelief after reading that story."

On Monday, the Singapore government had announced a fresh 25.5 percent pay hike for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, boosting his salary to 2.05 million dollars per year.

Bush gets paid 400,000 dollars per year for doing his job, according to the White House.

Combined with personal investment income, he and his wife Laura reported 618,694 dollars in taxable income in the 2005 fiscal year. They had to pay 187,768 dollars in federal taxes.

But maybe Bush shouldn't feel so bad. The Singaporean's paycheck is eight times fatter than Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's"


Looks like this is one way to attract even more foreign talent :p Someone better remind that "senior administration official" he should be joining ONLY the PAP



Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Minister Pay Hike - My 2 cents (i need a pay raise too!)

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Only last monday (which was about 24hrs ago) parliment voted on raising the ministers salary which more or less makes our top politicians one of the highest paid in the world.
Channelnews asia: PM, ministers to get pay rise of between 14% and 33%

There has been quite a bit of public outrage of this pay raise issue, after all its not often that people get such pay raise so often, in fact PM Lee is now set to make $3.1M after this revision. The most vocal of those who are against the pay raise stems from the internet with many political blogs and social blogs giving their 2cents (2cents! compared to a few millions our ministers make) worth of opinions. (Links at the bottom)

It might be too hasty to simply dismiss critics as disgruntled citizens who just cannot believe how much the ministers are making compared to say what most of us make. Just take me for example, I make -$10(yes a loss) a day on average for a school day, factoring in food, travelling random expenses. But on a more serious note, one can calculate that a minister makes about $5000 +++ a day depending on who he is (PM Lee is about $8500 a day), now compare this to your average income family, i am not talking about those whose parents are doctors, lawyers etc, they are a small percentage of the total population. From what i gather, 20% 0f the population has a MONTHLY salary of $1900.

While I do agree that due to the nature of the responsibility that our ministers do undertake, they should be compensated well, after all being in charge of a country with 4.5million citizen and a very vulnerable economy is no joke. But I am not entirely convinced that throwing another million at them would suddenly make everything even better. When it comes to governing, I think to it then just GDP, foreign reserves, trade which are the buzzwords being used in defense of the pay raise. Governing a country is not just about the bottom line, if not Singapore would be no more then a really big company... (Singapore Inc... sounds familar right?). After all, we have to take care of income inequality, ensuring all citizens (or at least most) have a proper roof over their head, social work for the less fortunate etc etc.. After all the public sector and private sector are 2 very different environments.

At the rate we are going and from the impression i get when i read the news articles about why the pay raise has to occur, it seems that Singapore is becoming a rather cold place, ruled by cold hard cash, pragmatism and performance. I guess it would be best to just ship all our old folks to batam, or we could reclaim a new island for that purpose, but personally, I detest the idea that we should be doing such things, many of the old folks did lay the foundation for this country.

Maybe I am just being idealistic here, but perhaps to be human is to be more then just about $$$, perhaps a little care, concern?

If this blog post does not make sense... well probably cos I posted this after doing exam preparation, you know how studying engineering actually fries your brain.

Links
Mr Wang
Deep thoughts of a Singapore Critic
theonlinecitizen
The New York Times
zyberzitizen

There are definitely more blogs about this issue out there. :p

Online Shopping made easier with Online Coupons

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I remember back when I was in Philadelphia, aside from buying tons of cheap stuff at factory outlets, I did get caught up in online shopping. Guess it was the convienience of having stuff delivered to your place and also the return policy helps alot, and you get tons of good deals at the clearance sections.

But what makes online shopping even better is the presence of ONLINE COUPONS! Having these helps to make the online shopping experience more fun... and its cheaper too! That is the trick to online shopping as taught to me by the girls on NOC, if there is no coupon, no point buying from that shop.

One of the brands that i often do get my shirts from was American Eagle, probably cos its nice and cheap (clearance section) and also the fact that unlike other brands I do not really notice it being worn back in singapore, hence less likely to be pirated and sold at 3 for $10 at pasar malams. Hence I like to get it, besides, Eagles are nice. Fly Eagles Fly! (yea i support the philadelphia eagles)

One such site that provides such coupons is Couponchief (link below)
coupon codes

They provide all kinds of coupons like stuff including some of the brands i buy:

American Eagle Coupons
Banana Republic Coupons
Urban Outfitters Coupons (great for college kids)

I am sure my friends back over in philly would love more online coupons! Being an intern with limited cash sure hinders shopping!

This has been a sponsored post.

Get Paid to help out at the Largest Blog Comment Chain World Record Attempt!!!

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Well, I was doing my random surfing around ( I am always randomly surfing anyway, google should introduce this random button that really randomly sends you somewhere, sometimes blindly surfing around does bring up interesting reading material)

Anyway I found out about this Largest Blog Comment Chain World Record Attempt, its by PayPerPost, a website that actually pays bloggers to post about certain things. Its one of the ways bloggers can make money off blogging aside from the usual google adsense and other paid advertising.

And no surprises here, blogging about this interesting attempt at a world record actually gets you paid!

Well I have no idea how they are going to achieve it, after all there is really no specific topic to comment on, so people will be kind of clueless, but I guess that is not really a problem. After all, people do join useless facebook groups cos well.... its just interesting to join a facebook group. So why not, just go post some random stuff and see if this indeed gets to become a world record!

The attempt at the uber large blog comment chain can be found at the blog of PayPerPost.

And when you are done, do give PayPerPost a try, it might just be an interesting way to make some cash blogging about the things you normally blog about. Or you could read up on new stuff and blog about those!


Monday, April 09, 2007

What is your visual DNA?

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How to MAKE Sushi YUM YUM!!!

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As usual I was bored out of my mind studying for the exams, there is only so much one can take when studying catalytic reactions. So i just found this nice random video on sushi... i have no idea what they are saying



Thursday, April 05, 2007

World of Warcraft explaining the recent Britain-Iran Incident

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Leeroy Jenkins again!

Battle of the Billionaires: Donald Trump vs Vince McMahon

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Although i stopped watching WWE wrestling years ago (during the era of Stone Cold, Rock, HHH), I saw this piece of news at SI.com and could not help back take a look at it. Donald Trump, star of his own TV show.... at WrestleMania?!?!

Totally funny LOL, Donald Trump apparantly got to SHAVE OFF McMahon's hair..... then he got hit with a "Stone Cold Stunner" by none other then Stone Cold Steve Austin himself


Photos from SI.com, courtesy of AP

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Rock Band - the new age simulation game?

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I was doing my daily surf at Penny-arcade when i saw the link to this interesting piece of news. LINK

Summary:

Harmonix, EA & MTV are teaming up to bring us Rock Band on 360 & PS3. Harmonix co-founder Alex Rigopulos: " Rock Band takes the core premise of Guitar Hero and expands it tenfold. It lets you create a complete collaborative band."

For those who have no idea what this is about, just try to recall the game DANCE DANCE revloution, basically guitar hero/rock band is like DDR except you play a guitar and not on some dance pad. I used to play DDR pretty well myself, destroying 3 dance pads practicing at home. (DUN LAUGH!!!)

Basically in guitar hero, you can only play as the guitarist, but for rock band we have bass, lead, drums and singer (I have no idea how they are going to do the singer part), and interestingly the game can be played online so that means your "band" can be international.

Another part about the news that intrigued me was that some record companies were thinking of releasing new songs via this game rather then by traditional means, now that is an interesting marketing concept, especially if the game does take off and gets tons of users. Instead of people hearing it on the radio or TV, they will get to try it out and SING it on the game, that would really be an interesting way to market a new song or album.

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