Saturday, December 23, 2006
Sunday, December 17, 2006
offthebeatenpath has caught the green bug. Ethical living seems to be so right for everyone. Where does one begin? For me, it starts with reducing the number of plastic bags I use. The bakery that I frequent normally uses one clear plastic bag for the hotdog I buy, and then puts it in another plastic bag carrier so that I can take it away. I now have the habit of skipping the plastic carrier bag. But the issue is normally not so simple. For example, is it more environmentally friendly to use disposable plates and utensils, or use conventional plates and utensils, but wash them with detergent and water? Anyway, see Guardian's own ethical living section for tips on how to live more ethically...
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Approximately what Cagiva will say to Aprilia, the title above that is. Since Aprilia mentioned the possibility of putting its 450 V-twin into a RS125 or RS250 chassis, fans have been waiting for the 4 stroke successor to the 2 stroke RS250. But Cagiva has stolen ahead by showing this prototype at the recent Milan Show. A 500cc scrambler single engine isn't exactly the same, but the concept is close enough anyway. The Mito 500 will have no natural competitors...at least for now.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
This article "Suzuki MotoGP: What a Difference 190cc Makes", coupled with the January 2006 comparison article I read in BIKE magazine on various MotoGP bikes (+points for Suzuki - "Useable chassis, midcorner speed"), confirm that the next season of MotoGP could be one of great change in the pecking order...
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
fitness test dateline coming up in less than 2 months. failing the test means several weeks of remedial training 3 times a week, not funny.
working my ass off, yet still struggling to complete my work. definite signs of serious time mismanagement...
weekends going by without much relaxing or leisure activities being done...definitely not making full use of my free time.
where do i start?
Saturday, November 04, 2006
2 referrals in quick succession, offthebeatenpath must be falling for the Guardian Unlimited website. i'm still currently doing the rounds, fishing out the nice bits...the link above is one of them
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Steve Parrish, BBC reporter predicted the future when he wrote in this column,
"I hope we don't have the same outcome as what happened when Schumacher virtually handed the title to Alonso when his engine failed last weekend.
I've a horrible suspicion something like that might happen this weekend in Portugal. "
Well, it happened again. Nicky Hayden was knocked off the track and out of the race by his team-mate, Dani Pedrosa, on lap 2.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Monday, October 09, 2006
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Its always good to see scientific research back up something that almost everyone experiences on a daily basis, in this case, the usual lethargy after lunch.
Updated Thu. Jun. 1 2006 3:41 PM ET
Valerie Iancovich, DiscoveryChannel.ca
Sugar slows the brain
Scientists have long-known that people and animals get tired after eating, but this University of Manchester study is the first to shed some light on how certain brain cells simply turn off after we eat.
When you need sustenance, you're more alert: this is a basic survival mechanism that helps keep you spry until you get proper nourishment. The neurons that normally work to keep you alert when you're hungry are blocked after you've consumed the glucose (sugar) in your meal, the researchers found.
How blocked cells = less gusto
Conducting tests on mice, the team found that glucose interferes and 'blocks' the neurons that make the proteins that help regulate consciousness (orexins).
These orexins respond to "finely orchestrated changes in arousal, food seeking, hormone release and metabolic rate to ensure that the brain always has adequate glucose," lead researcher Denis Burdakov, says.
Pinpointing the role of the orexin cells could help scientists to better understand conditions like narcolepsy and obesity as well as how the cells affect learning, reward-seeking, and addiction, the researchers say.
Alternatives to shut-eye
Regardless of the science, chances are your workplace won't be installing cots or passing-out pillows anytime soon. But, you may want to consider what you're eating to dodge the dreariness, the "study provides neurophysiological rationale for existing studies that show that foods that are more effective in elevating blood glucose (carbohydrate-rich foods) would make you more sleepy, than, say, salads or protein meals," Dr Burdakov tells DiscoveryChannel.ca
The study is published in the journal Neuron.
Friday, August 18, 2006
ASUSTeK Computer Inc.
With the new Intel Core 2 Duo receiving much accolades, offthbeatenpath looks at the Micro-ATX motherboards available for the processor. Seems like the only enthusiast board around is the ASUS P5B-VM. Now to check out how good is the Intel GMA X3000 integrated graphics...
Saturday, August 12, 2006
offthebeatenpath has finally found an article on how to gain weight. Looks like the HPB website has more "juicy" info to uncover...
"According to a recent National Health Survey, about 9% of Singaporeans aged 18 - 69 years are underweight. Are you one of those having trouble trying to gain weight and yet worry that you might overdo it?
Weight gain occurs when you consume more food (that is energy) than your body uses. If you want to gain weight, here are some steps to help you gain weight the healthy way:
|1.||Increase your energy/food intake by eating more servings from the different food groups. Remember, you should not focus on eating high fat and high sugar food to gain weight!|
|2.||Eat more frequently if your appetite is small.|
|3.||Choose food with concentrated calories like yoghurt, milkshakes, fruit smoothies and sandwiches in between meals.|
|4.||Avoid drinking fluids with meals to allow more room for food.|
|5.||Try eating with your friends. This can be a way to boost your appetite.|
Weight gain should be gradual, about ? to 1 kg per week. Make use of the Healthy Diet Pyramid to assist you in planning nutritionally balanced meals. To ensure you have achieved your weight within the normal range, check your BMI to see that it falls between 18.5 and less than 25. BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by the square value of your height in meters.
And don't forget! It's important to engage in regular physical activity to help maintain weight and keep you fit.
If you need more information on how to achieve a healthy weight, please call HealthLine at 1800 223 1313 during office hours for advice."
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Friday, June 30, 2006
Saturday, June 24, 2006
this is a 2005 article, the 2006 BBC article was a TV clip. Found out that not only do they have a "Cool Biz" campaign, they now also have a "Cool Asia" campaign...cool
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
based on nike's mercurial vapor football boots, this version is meant for the street rather than on the football pitch. haven't seen it in singapore yet though. but offthebeatenpath has seen a indoor version of nike's tiempo legend ltd, which looks rather nice too. a S$68.25 price doesn't hurt too. time to make a trip down to queensway shopping centre...
Friday, June 16, 2006
while youtube is being touted everywhere as the latest "killer-app", offthebeatenpath feels that pandora is an even better idea...
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
offthebeatenpath personally feels that the heading should be, "voting must not only be secret, it must be seen to be secret"...
voting must be seen to be secret
Review current voting practices to ensure that the objective of a secret vote is always achieved
Tuesday • May 16, 2006
Siew Kum Hong
YOUR polling card states which voting lane you must use. The serial number of the ballot slip issued to you is recorded against your name. "They" can trace you, and "they" will blacklist or even "get" you, if you vote for the Opposition.
This is the urban legend that never dies, is raised and dismissed every election. It surfaced before and during the recent campaign, and continues to be talked about even days after Polling Day. It has a longevity surpassing the campaign and the issues raised.
Yes, credit must be given where it is due. I have voted twice, and voting was a breeze on both occasions: Fast, simple and efficient, a bit of an anti-climax even. That is no mean feat, and the Elections Department deserves fulsome praise for it.
But people do fear that voting is not secret, and it is not limited to the uneducated, the paranoid or virgin voters.
On Polling Day, a civil servant in her mid-30s told me how proud she was of herself, and how adult she felt — because she had finally overcame her fears and voted according to her conscience, something she had not been able to do in past elections.
It is worrisome when even professionals and repeat voters are afraid. It would be a mistake to simply dismiss these fears as being irrational and unjustified, without taking concrete steps to address them.
The main grouses surround the serialised ballot slips, the recording of serial numbers, and the allocated voting lanes.
The Elections Department has stated that the reasons are to deter ballot stuffing, prevent voter impersonation, and make voting smoother ("Why your vote is secret", May 10). But have they accomplished those objectives?
The serialisation of ballot slips neither prevents nor deters ballot stuffing. It only makes obvious any attempt to do so.
But even without this, any discrepancy between the number of voters and ballots would still be obvious — given how strictly the identities of voters are tracked. In any case, the only way to prevent ballot stuffing is to ensure the presence and vigilance of election officers and candidates' agents at all points of the process — which is already done.
The recording of serial numbers is to prevent impersonation. But a voter must produce both his identity card (IC) and polling card before voting. This is known as the two-factor authentication, whereby there are two criteria to be fulfilled before a person's identity is authenticated. It is more secure than the single-factor authentication used for online governmental transactions (SingPass) and Internet banking (password).
If a person loses or misplaces his IC, the polling card would have been sent to his address and would not have been lost. If a person changes his address, whoever received the polling card would not have the IC. Only persons close to someone would have access to both his IC and polling card — a situation that is hardly conducive to electoral fraud.
And if a person's identity is impersonated, then the problem lies in a failure by the voting officer to match the photograph in the IC with the person presenting it. The recording of serial numbers does not prevent this risk at all.
Furthermore, what happens if someone does allege that a third party had impersonated him to cast a vote? Will the Elections Department search through every ballot to identify the ballot corresponding to the complainant? But what would this achieve? And without CCTV footage of every single vote cast, how would the authorities ascertain that the complainant had not, in fact, cast the vote which is now being challenged?
Finally, I am not convinced that allocation of voting lanes is necessary for smooth voting. Why can't allocation of voting lanes be done on the spot? After all, that is how Changi Airport manages its taxi queues, and it does a wonderful job of channelling masses of people to different stations.
Just as justice must be done and seen to be done, voting must be secret and seen to be secret. The reality is that some voters are unconvinced that their votes are secret. Therefore, the onus is on the authorities to review the practices in question and determine whether they are needed and whether they actually achieve their stated objectives.
Otherwise, say what we will about the integrity of the electoral process and the need to defend it, some people will always view the process as flawed and suspect, and that is not an ideal situation to have in an otherwise efficient system.
The writer is a lawyer commenting in his personal capacity.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Monday, May 08, 2006
looks likesingapore isn't the only country obsessed with acronyms...
Sunday, May 07, 2006
agree with this article, the greens must first concentrate on issues that the man on the street can connect with.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Sunday, April 30, 2006
finally, a review of a PC case which offthebeatenpath thinks, is going to be a success story. Seems like SPCR had a hand in the design. Good news then, as the Antec P180 [their first collaboration] was a very good effort.
Friday, April 28, 2006
Monday, April 24, 2006
Friday, 7th April
Since the end of the ‘80s, Hong Kong has been through tremendous changes - re-unification with China, economic downturn, political reform, etc, have all greatly affected the way of life. In the film, about 60 people are invited to talk about their views on several major socio-economic and political issues.
Director: Tammy Cheung
Country: Hong Kong
Quite good for the first 15 minutes, it then becomes a bore, as its non-stop talking heads. The people talking are placed in the middle of the frame, with a bare white background. I was interesting to see the different ordinary faces of Hongkongers [not like the movie stars we see], but the faces start repeating. I feel that it could have been shorter. but the fact that it made me consider repackaging what I always wanted to do, a human rights film, into one talking about transparency, is a good result.
Sound of Footsteps on the Pavement (PG)
About a bunch of guys trying to save the imminent takeover of their favorite coffee shop by an apparel company. A strange scenario to showcase non-violent action, but quite different.
Coffee and Milk (PG)
Milk is a 6th grader who takes pictures with a camera every day, training to someday be like ARAKI, the Japanese photographer. He is in love with a woman 12 years older than him named Coffee, who is deaf from birth. He tries to imagine what kind of world Coffee lives in, and at first, attempts to fill in what he thinks is lacking there, and fails. Next, the thinks about what his world and hers have in common. He grows by experiencing love, not because Coffee is older than he is, but because she mercilessly hurls her pain in Milk’s direction. Her seriousness is moving, and so when Milk tries to build a bridge again without giving up, his efforts are moving, too.
Director: Izuru Kumasaka
The usual heartwarming kid story. At first, it doesn't seem clear what the kid is photographing, a sleeping passenger, an old lady, plates being broken, aha. He's trying to photograph sound. The keyword here is trying. He also tries to experience what the lady feels, but putting on earplugs. When the lady gets all worked up because what he shows here makes her even more depressed, he sort of gets lost. Acting by the deaf lady could be better, but still a nice watch.
Lonely Planet (PG)
Traveling from one city to another, everyone is searching for something. Back and forth, we are only looking for a chance to start over again.
Director: Tsang Tsui Shan
Country: Hong Kong
2 close friends, talking about what they should do with their lives. One of those "lets laze around and think about life" films...
The director continues her fascination with the relationships between females, this time in the form of a personal documentary of the everyday lives of her mother and grandmother, capturing the different views of life from women of three different ages.
Director: Tsang Tsui Shan
Country: Hong Kong
Same director, better film. This documentary is natural, with the director filming her own mum & grandmum. You can see them going about their lives, zhi4 de2 qi2 le4. Nice look at rural Hong Kong.
Saturday, 8th April
10-year-old Samir lives in a chawl in a metropolis in India with his widowed mother and grandfather. An easily available means to earn money is a grinding machine which brings with it a horrible, incessant and oppressive sound that not only takes away the physical but the mental space of the whole family. Samir’s innocent mind is alert to this oppression and rebels against it.
|Director:||Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni|
Documentary about a nation that still believes the propaganda created by one general and his army. This film gives voice to those silenced during the dictatorship of Soeharto, and takes an in-depth look both on a cultural and personal level.
The Three Dots (PG)
Abortion, Corruption & Cops (PG)
Indonesian Shorts 1
• A Very Boring Conversation
• We are the Children of Indonesia too (PG)
• Lukas' Moment (PG)
The Fish (PG)
Sunday, 9th April
Indonesian Shorts 2
• 60 Years
• To Die For
• Live Under the Same Sun
• Part II: Hell (PG)
• R.I 1 (PG)
• A Moment In and Out of Time (PG)
• Already the Evening Sun (PG)
Haus of Sing
Migrant Workers are not Terrorists (PG)
Tehran Taxi (PG)
Prayers from Kawthoolei (PG)
Waking Up a Nation (PG)
Monday, 10th April
Short Films of Ma Chun Fu (M18)
House of Sleeping Beauty (R21)
Indian Shorts by Sainath Choudhury
• Village Football (PG)
• The Stranger (PG)
• Cataract (PG)
Electric Purgatory: The Fate of the Black Rocker
Tuesday, 11th April
Tale of Carpet Flower (G)
What I'm looking For
Wednesday, 12th April
Blank page (PG)
Looking for the Lost Voice
Friday, 14th April
Saturday, 15th April
Singapore Short Films: Finalists
Singapore Short Films: Non-Finalists
Singapore Short Films: Finalists (Repeat Screening)
Singapore Short Films: Non-Finalists
Download Singapore Short Films screening schedule.
Sunday, 16th April
The Visit (PG)
On The North Diversion Road
Singapore Short Films: Non-Finalists
Saturday, 22nd April
Short & Sweet II - Short Films from Germany
Program I - YOU AND ME
• My Parents
• Transposed Bodies
• Stay Like This
• Got to Go
Short & Sweet II - Short Films from Germany
Program II - CLOSE TO HOME AND FAR AWAY
• Educational Film About State Security Files
• Inside Outside Mongolia
• Notes for the Head
• Howrah Howrah
• On a Wednesday Night in Tokyo
• Sky Film
• Free Choice
Sunday, 23rd April
Short & Sweet II - Short Films from Germany
Program III - YOUNG AND OLD
• Gregor's Greatest Invention
• The Schoolboy
• The Tell-tale Heart
• Dead, At the Moment
• Heavy Pregnant
Short & Sweet II - Short Films from Germany
Program IV - SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO
• Bjorn - The Hurdles of Bureaucracy
• Small Change
• Rabbit in the Hole
• Business as Usual
• The Day Winston Ngakambe Came to Kiel
The speech by the new Chief Justice was very clear, and this article makes it even clearer. Things are going to be different now, as the new CJ is more concerned about providing a fair trial, then simply clearing the backlog of cases. This is a very good sign for the legal environment in Singapore. Lets hope that this will be seen on the ground.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Monday, April 17, 2006
can you see where I'M coming from, Mr Lee?
Friday • April 14, 2006
Lee Ching Wern
WHEN I walked away from the recording of the television forum with Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew on Monday night, I couldn't help thinking that a lot of what he said was true.
As we bombarded him non-stop with questions about an unfair political playing field, the lack of a strong Opposition and the issue of apolitical Singaporeans, he addressed our frustrations one by one with such clarity that you had to wonder for a minute whether your arguments held any water to begin with.
Young Singaporeans rant about a tilted political playing field, he said, but whoever said that politics was fair?
You lament the lack of a strong Opposition, but are you prepared to leave your comfort zone and join one?
Mr Lee's point was, because we are well taken care of, there is no motivation for most people to make such a sacrifice; those with the ability to step up to the political plate would rather make more money.
And should the party whites be tainted one day, the People's Action Party (PAP) will naturally be displaced, said Mr Lee. Because then, competent people will inevitably feel the impetus to come together and fight the PAP for the sake of better lives.
Above all, politics is not about elections or voting. Politics is about life, the Minister Mentor said.
I can see where Mr Lee is coming from.
But even as I try to look at things from his perspective, I wonder if he is doing the same to understand where we are coming from — that what young Singaporeans like me want, does not necessarily clash with what the PAP Government wants.
As a young Singaporean, I want an opposition — not to bring the PAP down, but to provide an alternative. A healthy dose of competition always benefits consumers.
I want checks and balances — not because the PAP is not doing a good job, but because I'd rather not get to the point-of-no-return before a group of people rise up against a rogue Government.
I want to talk about party politics freely without having to join a party — not because I want to slander the PAP, but because I yearn for a lively discourse that can lead to a greater political and social consciousness.
And surely our Government, which has the best candidates available in Singapore and an impeccable track record, can withstand a few biased comments?
I resent the restriction on podcasting — not because we are all avid fans of Dr Chee Soon Juan; most of us probably haven't even listened to his recordings offered on the Singapore Democratic Party website — but because I think we should not be deprived of the right to judge for ourselves what's gibberish or not.
I accept the fact that there is no such thing as a completely level playing field anywhere in the world, but surely there exists varying degrees of fairness?
Politics is about life and bread-and- butter issues, but surely having fewer unnecessary restrictions adds to this quality of life?
I do not think the pursuit of intangible wants such as more political breathing space necessarily has to be at the expense of tangible needs such as my job, my Medisave and my children's future.
Do a good job, and I will vote for you whether I watch Martyn See's Singapore Rebel or not.
What we need is for the PAP to have more confidence in its own merit and record, and to understand that what we young Singaporeans want, really, is not so sinister.
Otherwise, even if we go through another 10 candid forums, we will still be running along parallel lines that will never converge.
The writer is a journalist with Today. She was one of 10 Singaporeans under the age of 30 who participated in the forum, "Why my vote matters — A dialogue with the Minister Mentor", broadcast on Channel NewsAsia on Wednesday. The repeat telecast is at 6.30pm today on MediaCorp Channel 5.
Friday, April 07, 2006
A documentary on the state of democracy in Hong Kong, its basically a simple formula of sitting people in front of a camera, and asking them questions. Cue the candid moments and the contrast between answers provided. Presentation could be improved, like changing the background, or changing the shot angle etc. But the basic premise is good, and Singaporean viewers could easily relate to what is happening in Singapore. Very similar to my 'UDHR' shot last year.
Sound of Footsteps on the Pavement
A documentary that tries to parallel revolutions in history (e.g. Tiananmen) with the things done by a group of students trying to prevent their favorite coffeshop from being closed down. The comparison does not really stick, but I like the scenes with ordinary people reading quotations off books, articles, etc. Much nicer than voiceovers...
Coffee and Milk
A boy who falls in love with a woman about 12 years his senior. She is deaf, and to impress her, he uses a camera to capture sounds, but makes her angry instead. Sound like a sypnosis that is plugged to producers? I think it sounds a bit too drama, but the idea could work for a drama serial, except that it could be censored due to its "jia-di lian" (big sister-little brother love relationship) theme.
A story about a woman returning to Hong Kong from Belgium, to visit her best friend. Think it is a film about deciding where to live, in the borderless world that we now live in.
A lady trains her video camera on her mother and grandmother, and capture them in their daily actitivites. Very heartwarming story, as one can feel the real emtotions appear at certain parts of the documentary. It feels very natural, which is a style which I like.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
World Rally | News | WRC | Suzuki Confirms FIA WRC entry
good that suzuki is joining the WRC. it was beginning to look bad, with manufacturers leaving the championship for 2006.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Polar | RS200sd Running Computer
recently started running again [to prepare for ippt]. was using the garmin forerunner 201 to pace myself. i chose a route with minimum overhead obstructions, to reduce the chances of losing the gps signal. but sometimes, the pacing shown did not feel right.
there are 2 types of pacing devices on the market. one type uses gps to measure pace, while the other uses inertial sensors. some older devices use a pedometer, which rely on the runner maintaining a constant stride length. as stride lengths easily vary, it is not an accurate way of measuring pace, and we will skip them here.
polar just came out with a cheaper version of its s625x model, which still includes the heart rate monitor and the inertial sensor.
garmin also recently launched watch-sized gps models, the forerunner 205 & 305, but they look quite bulky compared to the RS200sd.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
- antec aria
- aspire x-qpack
- silverstone sg01
- ati rs482
- nvidia geforce 6150
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Friday, February 17, 2006
looks like we needed a scientific experiment to tell us that better decision making comes when u don't overthink it. cool research though.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
good news...a victory for greenpeace, and all who lobbied to stop the ship from being dismantled in india.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
while everyone is talking about version 3 of google's desktop search software, i still find yahoo's desktop search more useful for me. search while u type is now available on both software, but i like yahoo's preview function
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
I've been following what four docs have been doing, with its interesting concept of self-uploaded 4-minute documentaries and its useful guides. Now they have a new idea. They are bluecasting [I assume it means transferring via bluetooth] documentaries to handphones at various UK train stations.