Monday, December 31, 2007

We can't show anti-establishment stuff on TV, so let's just substitute with sex?

Just watched the 2nd episode (named "A Perfect Exit") of the Singapore Short Story Project (3rd series). The ending just about saved it. As soon as the main plot was clear to all to see (old man wants to die by having sex with a young lady), I was severely turned-off. This episode was perpetuating the existing bias on sexual relations. (The classic old man, young girl scenario, think the film-makers didn't dared to do a role-reversal instead)

I switched channels, almost wanting to stop watching, as a silent protest against the premise behind this episode. But I managed to watch the whole thing in the end.

Also felt that the series did injustice to the real film-makers in Singapore. Sex seems to be the "cop-out" that certain film-makers adopt when they seek to "push the boundaries", especially when MDA/SFC is funding the film.

The easy way out.

While I'm not asking such film-makers to make a film telling people to revolt, but so many times have we seen the party pointing to liberalisation of sex (or sex-related stuff) as liberalisation of our society.

It sucks. Literally. Really.
  • bar-top dancing
  • Crazy Horse
  • gays allowed in civil service
  • Pleasure Factory
  • the list goes on
Frankly, I'm sick and tired of this argument, and also the various "actors" who are milking this. There are really good local films out there. They don't even have to be anti-establishment to be good. But they remain on the fringes of our society.

I feel pity for those who were involved who think it is art...just because it's showing on Arts Central doesn't mean it's art.

Plot twist warning! Stop here if you do not wish to know the twist at the end

The old man does not die after having sex with the young lady. They manage to have sex again, after which the young lady dies. The rest is pretty easy to guess. Old man finds medical card in lady's purse explaining her medical condition (she also has a heart problem)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Watch where you are going

Citizen Calibre 8651 (AP1030-02E)
(first posted at

Currently looking for a watch to complement my workwear (my current Casio G-shock just does not fit in), the one above looks quite nice...saw a similar design (different brand and model) worn by my friend recently when we got together for a dinner (class reunion gathering).

workwear - step by step

(first posted at, 30th August 2006)

You can show your dress sense by simply changing 1 variable at a time, either colour, pattern, or texture.

For example, a normal blue shirt, but with a textured surface, will enable you to stand out from the rest.

For most Singaporean men, workwear means a long-sleeved shirt, either in white or blue colour, black pants and also black leather shoes.

While there's nothing wrong with the above combo, it's fun to experiment with something different.

one more try to simplify

Having tried once (and failed) to consolidate my blogs, I'm going to try again. Having 9 blogs is seriously not healthy, and also makes for blogs which are focused topically, but not updated regularly.

Anyway, I will progressively transfer blog posts, and retain 2 blogs.

Monday, December 24, 2007

NGO accountability

Many NGOs berate companies and governments for not being transparent. However, what about themselves? This is an important point, as one should be whiter than white before commenting on others...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Carbon myths

The Guardian
Shall we do a Singapore version of the article? It will be great to bust the many "green" myths that currently exists.

Monday, December 10, 2007

nike tennis classic

nike tennis classic. cool, classic sneakers. now to find out if they are made ethically enough for me to consider...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Haiku Productivity: Limit Your Projects to Achieve Completion

zen habits
cool extract from this zen habits blog post...

But what if you don’t control your projects?
There are some of you who have your projects set by your boss, and can’t just decide to do only three and put the rest on hold.

If so, you might not be able to apply Haiku Productivity to your projects. But before you decide that’s the case, consider whether you can do one of these strategies:
  • Accept as many projects as your boss gives you (or alternatively, as few as you can), but focus only on finishing three of them over the next few days (or over the next week). Surely your boss can’t expect you to complete your entire project list in a few days.
  • Talk to your boss and tell him you are really trying to work on completing your projects, rather than just incrementally moving them along. Tell him you want to focus on just a few at a time, get them done, and then focus on the next few. He’ll probably like this idea, if you really execute it. Allow him to choose the three he’d like you to focus on first.
  • Alternatively, if your boss piles more stuff on you, when your list is already full, show him your project list and ask him to choose which you should work on, and which you should put on hold, realizing that you only have a finite amount of time to work on them. Or at least ask him which three are the most important right now. If he won’t let you choose, then choose yourself.
  • If none of the above strategies work, still just focus on three, but when your boss asks for progress on the others, renegotiate to get more time on those while you complete the first three. He’ll be happy when you get the three done, so there shouldn’t be a problem.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Don't let a messy desk disrupt productivity

The Coloradoan - - Ft. Collins, CO.
extract from the above link.
Get organized at the office

14 steps to create a new organized work area:
  1. Bring only critical items and accessories into the work space.
  2. Keep only critical daily items on the desktop.
  3. Store pens, paper clips, etc., in a drawer for easy access.
  4. Maximize the desktop by using shelves for books, extra paper and supply storage.
  5. Be consistent and return items to an assigned home after use.
  6. Remove all items that are not relevant. This includes removing plants that are no longer healthy, old calendars, old newspapers, periodicals and awards from the Y2K era.
  7. Hang pictures and recently completed certificates in view for daily inspiration. If there is a picture of the next vacation destination, add it to the collection. Avoid covering every inch of wall, as that creates a cluttered view and contributes to mind clutter. If there are too many pictures to hang without creating a cluttered view, rotate the items quarterly.
  8. Store current manuals and projects on the work space within view if you are reading them this week. All binders should be stored on shelves and reference books, and manuals should be out of immediate range if not used daily.
  9. Scan critical files and project information from past projects to a CD or DVD, which require less space than files and storage boxes. Keep in mind that 80 percent of items that are filed are never reviewed again.
  10. Think twice before printing an e-mail or article. What will happen to the paper? Will it end up in a pile of clutter that will creep across the desk and take up valuable work space only to be viewed next year while looking for something else? If so, save the paper and ink for another day.
  11. Consider replacing a large monitor with a new flat screen monitor that takes up less work space and contributes to more work area for other activities.
  12. If the cubicle or office space wall color is unappealing and painting is not an option, try adding color by stretching fabric over one wall to add interest. Changing fabric seasonally will keep the view interesting.
  13. If your work area is situated with your back to the door and you cannot rearrange the space, install a small mirror so you can see anyone entering your area from behind.
  14. Schedule 10 minutes a day to eliminate clutter and return the work space to a welcoming, productive area for the next work session.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Hands-on preview: HP iPaq 900 business smartphone - infoSync World

infoSync World

And I was hoping for HTC to come out with something like this first...wifi, GPS, 3G, touchscreen, Windows Mobile 6, QWERTY keypad, all checked...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Japan's free spirits

first posted at evozero on 01/10/04

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Japan's free spirits

It is nearly 15 years since Japan's economy ground to a halt, triggering a period of introspection about the country's values and its place in the world. In the second of a special series, BBC News Online's Sarah Buckley reports on how young people's expectations about work are changing.

Hidden in central Tokyo is an area known as Golden Gai - a strip of anonymous tiny counter-bars which attract those in search of a counter culture.

Bartender Shinichi Yoshimoto used to do a 16-hour day at a loan-sharking company. 'I took the first train to the company and I took the final train home,' he said.
He gave it all up to become a 'furita' - a term to describe those who do part-time or short-term work.

Economic changes, partly stemming from Japan's long economic troubles, mean that the Japanese work pattern is changing.

Previous generations could expect to spend their working lives at the same company and never face the sack. Now such 'lifetime employment' is dying out. Jobs are more scarce as companies struggle to regain productivity.

Many Japanese still choose to follow in their parents' footsteps. But this changing environment has brought more freedom for the young - for some, this is exciting; for others, it is terrifying.

Shinichi, who has travelled to nearly 40 countries, said his time abroad opened his eyes.

'Our parents don't know the joy,' he said.

'I realised that life is very short, so I don't have any time. Life is only for joy... I like losers like me.'

But not everyone is keen on Japan's 'losers', who over the last decade have become an increasingly visible section of the population.

Hideaki Omura, a lawmaker with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said 4 million furita out of a working population of 65 million was "very serious".

"We should enforce a policy to make young people get a proper job," he said.

He stressed that furita do not pay income tax or make pension contributions.

"They work only when they want to, so... they are not the regular workforce that the country can rely on.

"They are young people, very lively with good skills and potential, but they don't contribute their skills."

Shinichi, however, is not just having fun. He has a plan for the future. Using his experience of working in publishing, he is setting up his own publishing company.

"Instead of saving, I'm making a company and making friends. That's my investment for the future," he said.

Other furita interviewed also had plans.

Harumi Sato, 24, who works for a temping agency, wants a variety of experience before post-graduate study in ancient literature. Twenty-eight-year-old Hiroko Abe, who works for two bars, an internet café and a medical check-up car, dreams of setting up a salon where people can meet and exchange ideas.

She is studying law in her spare time and hopes a legal qualification will back up her future.

"I think everyone wants to be like us, but they can't do it so they're envious. They don't have the confidence," she said.

Freedom's dark side

One of those who certainly lacks confidence is Gen Kubata, who lives with his mother, and has not worked since being bullied during a brief spell working at a printing company.

"I was bullied in junior high school and then I got the same experience (at work) so I thought 'that's enough'", said 23-year-old Gen, his shoulders hunched.

He also stopped socialising, and even spent some time as a hikkikomori - a complete recluse who never goes out.

While the furita phenomenon has affected Japan for some years, Gen belongs to a group only recently identified. These people are known as Neet - those Not in Education, Employment or Training and under 25 years old.

While there were only 80,000 Neet in Japan in 1997, there were at least 400,000 in 2000, according to estimates.

Kei Kudo works at Sodateage Net, a centre in Tachikawa city outside Tokyo, which helps Neet people reintegrate into society.

He said he believed there were several reasons for the rise in Neet. Parents are allowing their children to live at home; as people live longer there is less hurry to start a family and career; and more people are entering higher education without a clear purpose.

The last reason is in part due to one of the most significant shifts - there are less job opportunities.

Kei said some of Japan's unskilled work was being outsourced to countries like China or Vietnam, and that corporate Japan was hiring fewer new recruits instead of cutting established staff.

"They (Neet) cannot step into society again because they're afraid of people and lack confidence. They don't need to get into society again because of their parents," Kei said.

What exacerbates their problem, says Yuji Genda, the author of a book on Neet, is their dislocation from a broad social spectrum.

"I have never met a Neet who doesn't want to work. My impression is that they want to work too much. They think about what is the goal or concept of work too much. They are very serious."

He said Neet had no real understanding of the world, for which he blamed shrinking social networks.

"There are lots of kids who have never talked to adults, apart from parents and teachers.

As Japan emerges from its decade of economic upheaval, young people lack support at a time when they need it most.

Society is becoming more polarised as economic changes force it to be more competitive. Those with confidence and skills may be able to forge their own way, but others who are not so fortunate have a tough time ahead.


first posted at evozero on 19/09/04

evo: evolution, mitsubishi lancer evolution vii
zero: neutral, the middle path, light is right
evozero: philosophy of balancing evo & zero

Monday, August 20, 2007

Swarm Behavior

National Geographic Magazine
Great article on swarm intelligence, especially the various applications used in practice.


Culturejammer Headquarters
Wow...found a print publication that's what offthebeatenpath aspires to be...Adbusters is to learn some tricks from them...

ComCare Enterprise Fund (CEF)

ComCare Enterprise Fund (CEF)
Could social enterprise be one of the choices for me to consider?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Fighting procrastination

Have been struggling with procrastination for quite a while...think I really need to put my foot down and do something about it. The problem is in getting started and sustaining it...

NRC - Nokia Sports Tracker

NRC - Nokia Sports Tracker
My SingTel mobile 2 year contract is ending soon. Looking at the Nokia 6110 Navigator to replace my Sony Ericsson P800, and complement my HP RX4240 Pocket PC. Just found out this new beta software for Nokia phones, which allows one to use the GPS as a training device...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

NLB eResources

This treasure trove of information (on-line versions of print articles, eBooks, music, video, etc) can be found under the "eResources" heading under the National Library Board (NLB) website. Only registered NLB Digital Library users are allowed to access the information, but that's not an issue as registration is free.

List of stuff available (offthebeatenpath is still searching through the database)
  1. Economist
    • ProQuest

Monday, June 04, 2007

Casey Stoner & Lewis Hamilton

While not exactly a straight comparison (it's not Casey's debut season in MotoGP this year), this year has been sort of the year of the rookie for both MotoGP and Formula 1.

Casey Stoner has benefited from the top speed of the Ducati GP7 and the competitive Bridgestone tyres, while Lewis Hamilton has been able to keep up with the current World Champion, Fernando Alonso, in the same machinery.

It all makes for the most exciting racing in years for both series...

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Sunday, March 25, 2007

20th Singapore International Film Festival:

20th Singapore International Film Festival
the annual local film fest is back...going to watch the wonderful films showing for free at the Goethe Institute again as usual...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Benq P51

The Benq P51 is finally in Singapore...but its still not the one...its missing 3G.

Monday, February 05, 2007

A new you

Jobsadvice default | Jobs Editorial

Caterham Roadsport

evo Car Reviews

My fav car is being reborn. The Caterham 7 now comes with a Ford engine, ensuring ample engine supply [as compared to the Rover K-series] and EURO4 compliant also.

Streaming Pandora on a bluetooth headset

I just bought a bluetooth headset...but not for use with my handphone. I'm using it to stream internet radio on my laptop, or more accurately, I'm listening to the Pandora Internet Radio service through the bluetooth headset. The damage to the wallet? A reasonable S$40...

Sunday, February 04, 2007

indoor football shoes

Previously, this blog featured 2 great looking indoor football shoes, in contention to replace my current sneakers, the converse star player hybrid (with straps instead of laces), bought in taipei while on tour.

nike tiempo IC

nike vitoria IC

After missing the 2 models above [tiempo IC & vitoria IC]...i'm quite keen not to miss the one available in the market right now...

nike pace vapor IC

Last seen selling for S$70 at Queensway shopping centre

On-line editing tools nurture new video makers

Tech&Sci | Technology |

Saturday, January 20, 2007

nike vitoria indoor football shoe

Another nice sneaker for consideration to possibly replace my currently beloved converse sneakers...this is the nike vitoria indoor football shoe. however, the version i saw in the shops is the one with a black swoosh...not as pretty in my opinion... Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Acer TravelMate C213TMi

Acer Computer Singapore
this would be a great addition to my tech arsenal...tablet PC with core 2 duo, discrete graphics (play some games), firewire port (for transferring DV tapes)...S$2,998...