Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Vet Joke

I received this from a friends. A good one... I mean both the friend and the Joke  : )

A Dead Duck & a Fat Bill
A woman brought a very limp duck to a veterinary surgeon. As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest. After a moment or two, the vet shook his head sadly and said, "I'm sorry, your duck, Cuddles, has passed away." 
The distressed woman wailed, "Are you sure?".
"Yes, I am sure. The duck is dead," replied the vet.
"How can you be so sure?" she protested. "I mean you haven't done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something.

The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room. He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador Retriever.  As the duck's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head. The vet patted the dog on the head and took it out of the room.  A few minutes later he returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and also delicately sniffed the bird from head to foot. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly and strolled out of the room. The vet
looked at the woman and said, "I'm sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck."
The vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman.
The duck's owner, still in shock, took the bill.
"$150!" she cried.
"$150 just to tell me my duck is dead!"    
The vet shrugged, "I'm sorry. If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but with the Lab-Report and the Cat-Scan, it's now $150.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Temple Eating Tree Quiz

Sadly, my first attempt at posing a quiz on my blog failed miserably. http://frankiekoh.blogspot.com/2010/09/temple-eating-tree.html
I still haven't received a single answer after 3 months. Is the subject not something that people would be much interested in? Too easy? Too difficult? I guess as a general practice quizzes should come with a prize for the winning entry, haha. Maybe one day I'll give out one for my quizzes. Anyway let me try and revive this by offering some hints and hope some kind readers is willing to help me with this one so as to maintain my ego.
  • The tree is on the right side of this picture which is the rear gate of this building
  • This whole building is now vacant.
  • The road where is tree can be seen is now closed to traffic.

A wider angle picture.
Near this area but not those 2 street names mentioned on the signboard.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

The most amazing Teh Tarik!

One uniquely Singapore past time is that of enjoying a nice cup of Teh Tarik at our neighborhood sarabat stall with friends at night. Of course some of us prefer ours with ginger juice - Teh Halia (ginger tea). Our fascination with the Indian tea brewer doing the "Teh Tarik" would have faded over time, but you have to watch this Teh Tarik from Thailand. Amazing feat!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Teh tarik (literally "pulled tea" or 拉茶 in Mandarin) is a hot tea beverage which can be commonly found in restaurants, outdoor stalls and kopi tiams in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. Its name is derived from the pouring process of "pulling" the drink during preparation. It is made from black tea and condensed milk.

Chatuchak (or Jatujak; Thai: จตุจักร) weekend market in Bangkok is the largest market in Thailand. Frequently called J.J., it covers over 35 acres (1.13 km²) and contains upwards of 5,000 stalls. It is estimated that the market receives between 200,000 visitors each day.[1] Most stalls only open on Saturdays and Sundays. The market offers a wide variety of products including household items, clothing, Thai handicrafts, religious artifacts, collectibles, foods, and live animals.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Old Gramophone at Sungei Road

I spent last Sunday afternoon at Sungei Road thieves/flea market. Every visit to Sungei Road is always fascinating browsing through the many old, odd, quirky and at times offbeat merchandise that could have come from somebody's discarded rubbish after a spring cleaning.

Photo credit: Wikipidia
On this occasion I striked out a conversation with a Mr Koh Ah Koon who sort of specialise in sound systems like gramophones, turntables, amplifiers and speakers besides other odds and ends. Mr Koh was an event organiser. Not the type that does conventions and exhibitions but "pasar malam" (night market) or what is sometimes referred to as trades fairs. Due to intense competition in the trade fair organising business he started to deal in secondhand goods.

Among the items on sales at his stall was an old gramophone. It was a familiar one because my family had an identical one when I was a child.  This was an early 1930s portable wind-up phonograph from His Master's Voice. The familiar trade mark of the picture of a Jack Russel Terrier listening intently to the sound coming out of the horn of the gramophone goes way back then. EMI and RCA used to own the trade mark. It is now the trade mark of HMV.

Photo credit: Wikipedia
An item like that attracts a lot of attention without fail. And to add to the excitement of the moment was the sound of an old familiar Cantonese song from a 78 rpm record being played. The casing had some dents, but other than that it works fine. A short while after I took this video clip a Eurasian looking gentlemen bought it. He seemed to be a regular and a familiar figure with the stall holders. As soon as he appeared a number of stall holders greeted him and started chattering.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia;
The phonograph, record player, or gramophone is a device that was mostly commonly used from the late 1870s through the 1980s for playing sound recordings. Usage of these terms is not uniform across the English-speaking world (see below). In more modern usage, this device is often called a turntable, record player, or record changer. When used in conjunction with a mixer as part of a DJ set up, they are often called decks.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Grandma sunning baby for Jaundice

I was on my way to my usual Sunday morning Tai Chi class at Clementi Community Club when I caught sight of this lady sunning her grandchild at the foot of a HDB flat nearby. It was 9.30am and out in the open. I was concerned that baby may be over exposed to the sunlight, so have I to kaypoh (singlish for busybody) as I always am. I casually remarked "baby having Jaundice huh?". And then I asked the lady if she may be over-exposing baby avoiding sounding too intrusive. She replied that because of overcast sky earlier in the morning the sun wasn't shinning.

It common practice among many Singaporeans to sun baby with Jaundice. In fact our elders recommends a little morning sun helps keep Jaundice away; and that what we did for our daughter when she was a baby. We took care to exposed only very short duration in early morning sun that shine through the window. I read with great surprise when I goggled on this subject to find on SingHealth website (http://www.singhealth.com.sg/PatientCare/ConditionsAndTreatments/Pages/Jaundice%28Baby%29.aspx) that such a practice is NOT recommended.

What's your experience with your children?

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Singapore Wonder Girls - "Nobody but you"

I was at the SAFRA AGM 2010 on Sunday 31 October 2010 at SAFRA Mt Faber. In the entertainment segment after the meeting a cute version of  the Korean Wonder Girls song "Nobody but you" was presented in Mandarin/Hokkien dialect by Singapore's Wonder Girls "BIG" - Big, Intelligent and Glamorous. Pay attention to the chorus - everybody mei you (mandarin=do not have) bak chew (Hokkien=eyes).

For those of you who likes this catchy tune, here's a pretty cools cover version done by a Vietnamese boy living in Singapore. Enjoy : )

Friday, November 05, 2010

Checking out the The Subaru Challenge at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza

Last Sunday I decided to check out the action at The Subaru Challenge at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza Orchard Road for the first time since it's inception nine years ago. This year it is called Subaru Impreza Challenge 2010 - The Asian Faceoff, with challengers from Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Taiwan and for the first time10 new challengers from Vietnam. The prize - Subaru Impreza WRX 2.5L Manual worth SGD 80,000!

I spoke to the guy holding up the placard "DO NOT GIVE UP". He was himself a challenger who have dropped out earlier in the day from car  No.9 and was back to give support.  It was  interesting to see camaraderie developed among the contestants. This guy too have not  been there ever before to witness the competition and yet he decided to enter it.

 Friends and family members were there to lend their support. Some camped overnight.

And the winner for this year is ........46 year old technician Aloysius Lim, who lasted 75 hours and 17 minutes.

Afterward I took a stroll down the pedestrian mall and came across a two piece band busking. It was a pleasant surprise for me to see a large group of people mostly Filipinos dancing merrily to the music. The band "D' Highlights" comprises an organist and a vocalist. They played mainly lively disco music. They were good. I couldn't resist, so me and my wife did a rock and roll. I would love to see more of this including the HDB heartland. In Shanghai and Beijing people would get together in a neighborhood park to dance freely.

Monday, November 01, 2010

A new road named Albert Winsemius Lane

A new road has been named after Dr Albert Winsemius, Singapore's Chief Economic Advisor from 1961 to 1984.So who is Albert Winsemius?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Winsemius
Albert Winsemius (1910-1996), a Dutch economist, was Singapore's long-time economic advisor from 1961 to 1984. He led the United Nations Survey Mission to Singapore,[1] and was to play a major role in the formulation of Singapore's national economic development strategy. In 1960, Dr Winsemius led the United Nations team to examine Singapore’s potential in industrialization. At that time, Singapore had just attained self-government and was facing high unemployment and growing population. He presented a 10-year development plan to transform Singapore from an entrepot trade port into a centre of manufacturing and industrialization.

Albert Winsemius Lane as it is called is located off Clementi Road/Sunset Lane. It is not quite a road as you would expect a road to be. It starts from the entrance to the soon to be completed Centre for Aquatic Science Research CASR Blog, squeezed between the NEA South West Regional Office and the Eastlodge Hostel.
Set up by Singapore-Delft Water Alliance (SDWA) at the bank of Sungei Ulu Pandan along the the Park Connectors, the centre is set to be the hotspot for freshwater research and is the first if it's kind in Asia. It will be open to the public showcasing their projects and technologies for public education.

Credit: SDWA

SDWA is multi-national, interdisciplinary research Centre of Excellence for Water Knowledge involving PUB (Singapore), National University of Singapore and Deltares (The Netherlands), established through an initiative of the National Research Foundation in Singapore. SDWA is hosted by National University of Singapore and provides research home to scientists and engineers from all partner organizations. 

View CASR location in a larger map

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Doggie Parkour - "Barkour"

In the recent President's Star Charity, Mediacorp celebrities like Gurmit Singh (picture), Daren Tan, Adam Chen and Paul Foster showed off their gravity-defying stunts of leaps and  vaults along with Parkour performance team Ashton Movements. So what is "Parkour"?

From howstuffworks.com
Parkour is an international discipline, sport and hobby that is best described as the art of forward motion in spite of obstacles, or to put it simply: the art of movement. Parkour's chief aim is never to move backward but instead to overcome obstacles fluidly, with strength, originality and speed. The number of possible movements is endless, but here are the basics:
Cat Leap
This move consists of running and leaping from a take off point. Before leaping, the traceur spots where his hands will grab hold of the wall. He launches from the take-off point at a 45-degree angle. As he approaches, he moves his body into landing position that appears as if he's almost sitting in mid air. With legs bent to absorb shock, the traceur makes impact and grabs hold of the ledge while his feet grip the wall. From there, the traceur bends his knees for the power to push up and climb over the ledge.
Landing from a jump, when the traceur is traveling forward, he lands and bends his knees to absorb the impact. As he does this, he uses the forward momentum to go into a roll over his shoulder to transfer the shock of the landing. He places his hands on one side of his head to ensure minimal impact between his shoulder and the ground and, in the meantime, protects his head. The momentum of the jump enables him to land, roll and continue moving so that he is back on in his feet and in a running position. He does all of this in one fluid movement.
Precision Jump
The traceur balances on the edge of a wall, rail or roof, and spots his landing point. After sizing up the distance, he leans toward his landing point while bending the knees. As he jumps, his arms go up and he straightens his body. As he approaches the landing point, the traceur brings his legs forward to make contact while his descending arms provide necessary counterbalance. Upon landing, he bends his knees to slow down and makes a precise jump from point to point.
Kong Vault
Traceurs use this move to propel themselves over a wall when running toward it. The traceur jumps with a good amount of space between him and the wall, and stretches toward it, planting his hands. By this time, he has made his legs parallel to the ground. As his legs catch up with the rest of his body, he uses his arms to catapult him forward. Before landing, the traceur makes sure his posture is correct and spots where he'll finish the move with either a roll (if executing from height) or will carry on running (if the move is executed at a low level).
Speed Vault
This move allows traceurs to launch over a wall without compromising speed. As the traceur approaches the wall, he lays one hand down and leans sideways as he jumps. His hand briefly touches the wall to keep himself stable, he completes the jump and continues running without any break in momentum.
Whilst Parkour is a human endeavour., train a dog in Parkour and you have "Barkour" haha. Most of us would be familiar with Dog Agility - doggie obstacle course. But compared to Parkour, Agility would be child's play. Parkour is an extreme sports that is physically demanding as you can see.

TreT, a 33 pound, 4 year old American Staffordshire Terrier wonder dog from Ukraine is a hit at YouTube doing the doggie version of Parkour, attracting over 480,000 views.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Nature right in our backyard and neighbourhood

We may be living a urban jungle with all the high rise buildings all around us but if we would just open our eyes and keep a look out we'll find an amazing variety of critters and nature around us.

I found this rather unusual Grasshopper at the back of my house one evening. It is not your usual grasshopper as you can see. Looks like some kind of Alien from another planet lol. I have probably come across this species of insect a couple times before. After doing a little research I learned that it is a species of Katidids. Curious about the hook shaped belly at the rear, I searched and found the answer - it is a female and the "scythe-shaped ovipositor" is where the eggs will come out. 
This type of snails I have not seen for a long time. Recently spotted a few crawling in the neighborhood grass patch. Anyone knows what the name for this species?

I have seen squirrels many times in pretty built-up areas. This one at Chip Bee Estate.It has a rather longish snout, longer than others I've seen.

Wild mushrooms anyone? I've seen many different types of wild mushrooms but that's one subject that I am totally unfamiliar with. Any mushroom expert?

Spotted this common Kingfisher in a HDB neighborhood, Commonwealth Cresecent. White Throat Kingfisher? Too bad I don't have a long lens but I am glad today's mobile phone comes in real handy with it's camera feature. I have a Sony Ericsson VIVAZ and I like it very much. Give me a mobile phone with a good camera in it. That's all I ask : )

This unusually large lizard, 8" long head to tail, and the skin texture and markings unlike our regular house lizards had been spotted a number of times in our kitchen before I decided to capture it for a closer examination. Unfortunately the tail broke off as they always do. I remember when I was young every time we catch a lizard the tail would invariably break off. I found out that it's a self-defense mechanism. If a predator is chasing them and grabs them by the tail, it'll break off, allowing the lizard to escape. The broken tail will wriggle for quite some time. I released it afterward. I have been told that the tail will regrow.

Being a nature lover I somehow have a heightened sensitivity about their presence. I have seen many different types of Parrots and Parakeets in the Bukit Timah district. Once I spotted a Hornbill perched on a rooftop TV antenna. I am beginning to see one of the many benefits of blogging; it pushes me to seek answers which otherwise I would not have bothered.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Happy ending in Chiliean mine rescue


Watching news reports of the successful rescue of the 33 miners who had been trapped in a Chilean mine for more than two months I can't help but compare it to the bungled rescue efforts of a bus hijacking in the Philippines in August that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead. One can't help but feel for the families of the victims in these incidences; it is only human. I felt sad for the families of the Hong Kong tourists killed in the Philippines hijack The Chilean amazing rescue was really something to cheer about, when under pretty difficult conditions both the miners and their rescuers prevailed.

  • August 5 Mine collapsed
  • August 22 a narrow drill breaks through 2,257 feet (688 meters) of solid rock to reach an emergency refuge where the miners had gathered. 
  • August 23 Preliminary estimate it will take 4 months to carve a tunnel wide enough to pull them out. 
  • Oct. 9 Sixty-six days after the mine collapse, a drill breaks through to their emergency refuge.
  • Oct. 13 The effort to bring the trapped men out of the mine one-by-one begins.
  • Escape shaft : 2041ft
  • Escape Capsule : Named FENIX 2, 5.1/4ft Height x Slightly less than 23" wide. 
  • Though the journey up the shaft was originally estimated to take half an hour, it took only 16 minutes for miners to be pulled up the shaft, with the final ascents lasting only around nine.  
  • Rescue time: 22 hours 
  • 14 October Rescue ended : 3:35 GMT Thursday,

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The way to eat Teochew Muay (Porridge)

I've had these two picture in my file for quite some time. It captures the way the common folks used to eat their Teochew Porridge. Remember that these are mostly the working class as YG have mentioned in his blog http://ivyidaong4.blogspot.com/ and Teochew Muay was something that's most affordable to them. It's not such a common sight nowadays. You can say they are a dying breed. If my memory serves me right, my father told me that in the 50's each bowl of porridge cost just two cents.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tailor Wax Philosophical

I was passing some HDB shops at Commonwelth Crescent when I came upon this notice stuck outside a tailor shop. The English part is an odd translation from the Chinese verse but I am sure readers should have no difficulties understanding it. Mr tailor certainly have some sense of humour haha..
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Temple Eating Tree

Last Sunday I had to take my wife to attend a beauty workshop in town. Across the road where I parked my car was this tree which reminded me of Cambodia's Ta Prohm Temple aka the Tomb Raider Temple where trees take roots and encompassed the building.  The temple was built about mid-12th century to early 13th century (1186) by the King Jayavarman VII, dedicated to the mother of the king so the trees are most likely more than 100 years old. Whereas the Ta Prohm is understandably in such a state because it is an ancient ruin, this tree which I came across is right in the heart of town in present day modern Singapore. Why is it left to grow to such a state without intervention is puzzle.

Quizz questions: Where is this tree located?
Hopefully after I reveal the location we can uncover why it is left in this state.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Bruce Lee playing Ping Pong with Nunchaku

This video in black and white, of the Legendary Kungfu master and actor Bruce Lee is making it's round in China and is a hot item on YouTube. I wouldn't be a surprise that Bruce Lee actually could do this but it is most likely editing by computer software. Fake or real it is nevertheless really awesome and entertaining. A Limited Edition of the Nokia N96 mobile phone is featured at the end of the video clip so this could be a Nokia advertisement.

One arm motorcyclist on Pan Island Expressway

Picture taken by my passenger

I was driving along the PIE when I spotted this motorcyclist riding with one arm. His other arm is rested behind his back. Who does he think he is, "One Arm Morotcyclist"? like the "One Arm Swordsman" in the movies with superhuman skills. I can't understand motorcyclists mentality really. Most of them do not care about their own safety. Having motorcyclist weaving dangerously between motorcars is a daily encounter on the roads. They are always trying to get ahead. I drive a double cab van and because of the extra long body visibility of these small vehicles is compromised. I have witnessed so many close shaves by these careless motorcyclist and came across quite a few casualties in my 29 years of driving. I wish motorcyclists are more safety conscious take greater care while on the road, both for their own sake and those of other road users.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Dog Event

National Dog Walk & Carnival 2010

Date : 5 September 2010, Sunday
Time : 9am to 7pm
Venue : West Coast Park, Grand Lawn (near McDonald's)
Website :

Time Events
9.00am Fun Event - Great Minds Think Alike
9.00am Carnival commences
9.30am Dog Demonstration by Police K9 Unit
10.15am Fun Event - Hot Dog Dunk
10.45am Dog Demonstration by SCDF DART Team
11.30am Fun Events - Hot Dog Retrieval
12.00noon Stage Games
12.45pm Fun Events - Snoopy Says
1.00pm Stage Games
2.00pm Competitive Agility Games Challenge 1
2.30pm Competitive Agility Games Challenge 2
3.00pm Competitive Agility Games Challenge 3
5.00pm Family Event - Amazing Race
6.00pm Prize Presentation

Click on image to enlarge

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Walking half an hour a day helps keep cancer at bay

According to World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) breast and bowel cancer could be prevented through people being more physically active. WCRF recommends being physically active for at least half an hour a day. “By taking up walking as a hobby or even walking to the shops instead of taking the bus or car, people can make a real difference to their health. People who are regularly active are less likely to be overweight, which is an important cancer risk factor",

So those of you who have a dog, how about taking your beloved K9 out for daily walks if you haven't been doing it. Now there's a reason to do it. No dog? Take your spouse after dinner for a romantic evening stroll.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hawker food song, sung in Hokkien to Shang Hai Tan (上海灘 ) tune, .

I heard this song probably twice at some clubs, I can't remember clearly where. I was surprised to see the video titled "Kuching Food". In any case any Singaporean listening to the song would have no difficulty identifying the food dishes in the lyrics. Enjoy! Anyone knows who composed the Hokkien lyrics and who's the singer?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Dog's Name

Naming a dog can be easy for some dog owners but for others it can be quite a task. I found that people who read a lot tend to come up with doggy names more easily and are more creative. Some choose names with a great deal of care like choosing a name for a baby while others seems to do it without much thought. This is reflected in the end result. Kids get excited not just about the arrival of puppy but also in choosing a name for their pet.

Some years back I read that "Max" is the most popular name for our beloved canine. Coincidentally my records from 20 odds years training dogs found that to be true even here in Singapore. Certain names are popular with certain races. Other favorites are "Coco", "Cookie", "Pepper", "Bruno", Buddy", "Monty" and "Snowy".  The Japanese likes "Hana" which means Flower (花) and the Koreans like "Sarang" which means Love. I understand that "Diesel" is a popular with farmers in the west. Here in Singapore I remember "Lucky" and "Blackie" were common for our Singapore Specials (mongrel).

Then there are owners who choose to give their K9 friends human names; "Alex", Billy", "Daisy", "Joe", "Lucy", Stanley", I dislike it. I mean how would you feel if someone called out your name in public but they are actually calling their dog? Unfortunately, I do have 2 grooming clients with the name "Frankie".

But seriously, I am of the view that a name ending with "y" or "ie" is a good name to give to your K9 companion. It's got a cheery pitch to it. Also I am for two syllables names and am against mono syllable names. You know people will often shout their dog's name when they are angry with it. It would come out more harsh sounding with a mono syllable name than one with two syllables name ending with that "y" or "ie". By the way please don't scold your dog this way; using the name in a harsh tone. If you have to reprimand your dog use the words "Ahh Ahh" or "No!" instead.

Our friend, blogger Lam Chun See (http://goodmorningyesterday.blogspot.com/) have a dog named "Nappie". According to Urban Dictionary Nappie means :
  • A word use in Ireland or UK for a diaper.
  • sleeping in the middle of the day
  • Or a nasty person who does not take care of them selfs with disgusting or greasy hair that is a mess and not taken care of.
I guess it's chosen because puppies like babies takes afternoon naps.

Dog Problems : http://petzcentral.com

Thursday, August 19, 2010

China Got Talent - China Talent Show 中國達人秀

America Got Talent, Britain Got Talent, and now China's Got Talent (China Talent Show 中國達人秀). And I am not at all surprise. I'll be surprise not to see greater or more talent from China. We've seen all the great sportsmen/sportswomen in the Beijing Olympics, the migration to other countries of these chinese talents in various fields and even now here in Singapore at the Youth Olympics Games, YOG 2010.

You'll be moved to tears watching this video. Liu Wei, 23, an armless, self-taught pianist from Beijing playing  “Mariage D’amour” in ”China’s Got Talent” competition. Using his toes, he played the piano to a stunned audience and impressed the judges. Liu lost both his arms at 10, in a freak accident after touching an electrical wire while playing hide and seek.

One judge was speechless and asked instead that he relate how he is able to master the piano in his condition. His reply  “I feel there can only be two paths for me in my life; one is to end my life swiftly and the other is to lead a wonderful life. Nobody stipulates that one can only play the piano by hand." On participating in the Chinese Talent Show, he said his objective is to be in the Top 3.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Does God Exist?

I've received this story by email many times. And then today I received it in the form of a Youtube video. It seems that the story had been circulating for some time since 2004 when it was first attributed to Albert Einstein. Always careful to make sure information are true and accurate, I did a little research and found that there are doubts about the story or at least that the boy in the story wasn't Einstein. http://www.religioustolerance.org/culeins.htm

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Singapore Heritage Fest 2010 Concert

English Concert - 20 August 2010, Friday, (8-10pm), SMU Campus Green
Lovers of local Music and supporters of local bands party the night away with popular bands from the past and rising artistes of the present. The English concert features a tapestry of musical genres and local bands such as The Great Spy Experiment, Tania, Gypsy featuring Mel and Joe Ferdinands, Wendi Koh, former members of the Flybaits and The X-Periments – all hosted by popular Radio DJ and Host, Hamish Brown.

English Concert - 21 August 2010, Saturday, (8-10pm), SMU Campus Green
If you are a big fan of Chinese evergreen songs, then mark this date on your calendar right now. Featuring artistes such as Chen Wei Lian, Chen Diya and Carrie Yang, Yi Ge Da Liang Ge Xiao, Xian Hong, Hong Shao Xuan, Pan Ying, Li Fei Hui, Ye Pei Fen, Li Chuan and Huang Qing Yuan, it's going to be an evening of songs and music under the stars.

Admission is free.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Life in Singapore in the 60's

Great video of Singapore in the 60's.  You get to see what life was like. Everything from the buildings, the automobiles, the clothings, the shopping and trade and the most interesting of all the happy faces of children having a lot of fun over simple things.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

ONCE UPON A SINGAPURA, A journey through local music

On 7 & 8 August 2010 Esplanade presented National Day Celebrations ONCE UPON A SINGAPURA, A journey through local music at the outdoor theater. Bands of the 60's The Mysterians performed their hits such as Please Don't Tease, The Vadham family's Moses and Regina delivering familiar oldies and Sausalito in tribute to their brother Chris Vadham of Western Union Band, Terry Mortimer of Tony & Terry and Peter Diaz of the Surfers played some memorable rock & roll songs. This is such a wonderful event to reminisce about the good old music of the 60's and our very own local bands.

Regina & Moses Vadham singing Sausalito

Terry Mortimer of Tony & Terry and Peter Diaz of The Surfer "Can't Buy Me Love"

Brian Richmond interviews Terry Mortimer of Tony & Terry and Peter Diaz The Surfers.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Give way to YOG Song (With Lyric and Sing along)

Another big event coming up. Singapore will be hosting the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) from 14 to 26 August 2010. The Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games will receive some 5,000 athletes and officials from the 205 National Olympic Committees (NOCs), along with estimated 1200 media representatives, 20,000 local and international volunteers, and more than 370,000 spectators. Young athletes - aged between 14 and 18 years - will compete in 26 sports. Along with all the publicity, the Youth Olympic (YO) Lane was introduced to facilitate the smooth travel of athletes and officials during Games time. Motorists only need to give way when they see Youth Olympic Vehicles approaching.
Give way to YOG Song (With Lyric and Sing along) - Mr Brown Show Production

Monday, July 26, 2010

20 Parrot Tricks in 2 Minutes

This guy did a great job in training his pet parrot. World record parrot tricks. Senegal Parrot performs 20 parrot tricks in just 2 minutes.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Singapore of old

Singapore in 1938
Rare 1938 pre-war black and white film footage of Colonial days Singapore before I was born. I was born in 1953. It is wonderful to be transported back in time to see what life was like in the bygone days. There are lots of familiar sights except for some of the old landscape and roads which I wouldn't have recognized. Many buildings still stand today - Fullerton Building and Clifford Pier (2.05), MICA Building and Coleman Bridge (3.31), Sri Mariamman Temple (4.50), The Sultan Mosque (5.22), Vitoria Memorial Hall, City Hall (Municipal Building). In the film the commentator called St Andrew's Cathedral, St George's Cathedral (8.38); this is a puzzle. Perhaps some Anglican parishioners would like to take up the challenge to investigate and let us know how and when the name got changed. And then there is our love and pride, the Raffles Hotel. No more around but recognizable are the Public toilet by the river near Clark Quay (2.58 building on the right), the Godowns (warehouse), the Tongkangs (wooden boats) and the Coolies (Labourers).

"Beautiful residential section of Tanglin" (8.51), wow I grew up in Tanglin Road but I don't recognize it in the film. It is beautiful nonetheless, with trees neatly lining both sides of the road. 

The rickshaw, old  motorcar, Overhead Electric Cable buses, Lady barbers in Samfu (4.08), Anchor Beer Van (4.42), Bullock cart (6.31) and the Amahs dressed in Black and White stirs up a sense of nostalgia.

Singapore in 1957

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Singapore Flash Flood 2010 Song

"The Wave Song" Lyric credits to MrBrown Production. Music from K'NAAN - Wavin' Flag. Enjoy..

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Super Talking African Grey Parrot

This African Grey parrot named Einstein can really talk. She is not the Einstein that appeared in the TV show Animal Planet Pet Star but just as talented. She have an amazing vocabulary of 128 words, 104 phrases and 26 sounds.

I have an African Grey Parrot named Weiwei. He is not too bad himself. He is Bilingual. Translates English to Mandarin. Whereas Einstein's owner call their parrot "Girl", I call mine "Boy", and similarly I do not know without a DNA test.

Monday, July 12, 2010

World Cup predictions - Mani the Parakeet vs Paul the octopus

"Paul" the octopus in Germany say's Spain is gonna win the world cup 2010. Here in Singapore we have "Mani" the parakeet who has become a sort of celebrity status predicting Holland will win. Considering that Paul the Octopus picked Germany to win the Euro 2008 but Spain won, his credibility should somehow have been dented. Being a Singaporean I am betting on our own psychic animal, haha. In a video clip from Reuters (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wy4hzSatq8Q) it is reported "Mani, the seven year old bird from Malaysia......". Singapore viewers in particular are left wondering if that statement is true as otherwise it may leave viewers from other parts of the world confused that Singapore is still part of Malaysia. Singapore broke off from the Federation of Malaysia and became independent in 1965. We celebrate our 45th year of independence this year on the 9th of August. Here is a report from our very own CNA Channel News Asia.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

TCM Acupuncture Moxibustion & Cupping

My mother-in-law receiving TCM treatment, Acupuncture Moxibustion & Cupping for Knee pain while on a trip to Shanghai China. This video shows the various stages of the treatment by the TCM doctor. 1) Acupuncture Needle, 2) Moxibustion (heating the needle tip), 3) Cupping and lastly 4) Bandage around the knee with a herbal mix. Note the facial expression before and after; anxious at first and all smile at the end.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Shanghai Paramount

Shanghai Paramount was built in the 1930s. It has undergone many changes. Today it is a popular modern dance hall with well-preserved old-time charm of  "Night Shanghai" where Ballroom dancers congregate. You can come along with your dancing partner or hire one. Guys can hire hostesses clad in shimmery sequined Qipaos by the hour. According to some writers they are called Taxi-Dancers. Ladies can hire male dance partners. I have no idea what they are called. Here in Singapore they are known as DIs (Dance Instructors) . They are also referred to as "Ducks" in the ballroom dancing circle.

Due to time constraint and my wife undergoing her knee treatment by the TCM doctor we didn't go dancing there as I have wished. But we had to at least pay a visit. Too bad it was past 4pm in the afternoon and the Tea Dance session have ended. There were two couples on the dance floor; one gentleman practically with two left feet being led by a hostess dressed in Qipao doing the Rumba and a lady with a DI dancing the Waltz. You may be wondering how on earth can they be dancing to two different beats. Ah, yes that's the wonder of the dancing world. You see, instead of waiting for the correct music which would be a waste of time, the professional dance partners will just make the best use of the time adapting the dance to the music. After all patrons pay by the hour. A band plays at night so it is likely to attract a bigger crowd.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mum caught the travelling bug!

You know ladies just love shopping. They can shop till you drop lol. On our many shopping stops I observed something rather fascinating. Mum was either shy or slow to decide or perhaps still retaining the thrifty habits of the older generation, not to spent unnecessarily. My wife and her sister would be extremely enthusiastic as if trying to make a sale, more so than the sales person present. They were trying so hard to pick the design/color which they think was nice but mum just wasn't interested. After a few days of shopping I found out that mum have a mind of her own. In their excitement to push their choice selection the girls were oblivious to this. On one occasion after all the usual suggestions by the girls and mum turning down all of them and the frenzy have died down; mum pointed to a particular piece from her wheelchair and said she liked that one lol.

All in all I'd say mum had a "Rolling Good Time" on this Shanghai holiday trip. She discovered that with the wheelchair it's possible to travel, Osteoarthritis of the knees not withstanding. She have became more cheerful and now without hesitation she would ask when is our next holiday.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mahjong in the middle of the day

I am not sure if you could call this a gambling den. I came across this place where people were playing the game of Mahjong, a favorite past-time for the Chinese. And this was in the middle of a working day. It's a surprise for me because Shanghai being a big city, one would expect people to be caught up in the rat race and such leisurely pursuit would have been reserved for a non- working day like a Sunday or Public Holiday.
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I never thought I would find an establishment with my name on it on this trip to Shanghai, though
I must admit I was quietly hoping to spot one. This fantasy was planted when my nephew came back from Shanghai a couple of years ago with a picture of a Cafe literally named after him. This picture was taken in ShuZhou. I am not too sure what business they are in and there aren't anybody around for me to find out. Possibly some cultural or art centre, as there are some old items on display which looks like antiques.
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Toddler's Split Pants

Disposable Diapers? What disposable diapers? In China the Toddler's split pants 开档裤 kāi dàng kù allows babies and toddlers to answer nature's call with neither hindrance nor hassle. This great Chinese invention allows little kids to do their business anywhere. At first sight it may seem bizarre, perhaps a little embarrassing to foreigners, particularly Westerners to see baby's little Willy or naked butt exposed. I was surprised to have spotted a number of these toddlers in a modern city like Shanghai in this day and age. The Split Pants isn't totally alien to me. I remember when I was young, one of my younger brothers wore them. Not everyone of us wore them. I believe those who were hard to "potty train" were made to wear them. And I remember it's only a small slit at the front for peeing only, not all the way to the back.