February 14, 2008

A visit to www.mrbrown.com today resulted in total laugh-out-loud hilarity. Period.

He had quoted a passage from uncyclopedia (a spoof of wikipedia), from an entry on the SAF.
[Please see: “SAF: Most powerful military organization in the world“]

Following further exploration of the website, I came across an entry for Singapore.

The following are several excerpts from the site:

  • Although Singapore has been largely forgotten in the annals of world history, the city-state has seen tremendous growth in terms of international recognition; in 2004, a worldwide poll ranked Singapore as the 4th “country that no one would miss if it were completely obliterated next Tuesday”, behind Bhutan
  • On the map, Singapore appears to be a little “red dot”, which can be seen as a pimple on the ass of the world.
  • Singapore is famous for being a shopper’s paradise. There are 2.1 million shopping malls in Singapore, or nearly one for every two citizens. Of these malls, over 2 million of them have the same shops, which makes it easy to find exactly what you are looking for.
  • Also, SBS (Si Beh Slow) Transit buses always travel with the speed of a cyclist, and sometimes it will go so slow while approaching the traffic light while it’s green, gaining only a few seconds of speed when the light turns yellow.
  • The Board of Film Censors classifies censored movies into different ratings:
    • G (Goddamn boring)
    • PG (Phails Godly)
    • NC16 (No Cunts under 16)
    • M18 (Manly 18)
    • R21 (Raunchy 21)

* Disclaimer: Please note that the entries on the above website should be taken in a tongue-in-cheek fashion and should not be viewed seriously. Not for the weak-hearted nor for the extreme patriotic.

BEWARE… of Diet Coke

February 14, 2008

Recently, I learnt that food and drinks containing artificial sweeteners are harmful for your body contrary to popular belief, so do abstain from consuming too much of these products and not go downing the next 6-pack of diet coke you see.

As general advice, warning bells should start ringing when you see food and drinks which are either sugar-free or contain low sugar levels. Especially when they still manage to give you the nice sugary sensation when consumed, or leaves you with the delightfully strong sugar aftertaste. Going “Yippee! No sugar = no diabetes or calories or fat!”? Think again.

Prior to reading the article on artificial sweeteners in the Feb 12 2008 edition of mypaper, I already knew that a certain kind of artificial sweeteners – aspartame – actually increases the risk of diabetes. Now, the article mentions that these fake stuff may actually contribute to weight gain as well, which definitely will come as a shock to those weight-conscious anaemic people out there who still relish getting their daily fixture of gassy non-sugar drinks.

Researchers allege that the human body is prompted to prepare  itself for a high calorie intake upon consumption of sweet foods, but when the sweetness is in the form of artificial sweeteners is not followed by a large amount of calories, the body gets confused and it eventually may lead to eating more or expending less energy than normal.

A quick research through the Internet later, and I have started to thank the skies that I am not weight-obsessed to the extent that I am a big fan of these fake sweeteners.

Believe it or not, it’s up to you!

The following paragraph is quoted from Wikipedia.org:

Owing to the Government’s policy of promoting Mandarin Chinese, for many years local television was not allowed to show programmes in other dialects of Chinese. The Cantonese used by popular TV serials from Hong Kong had to be dubbed into Mandarin, while local television series or programmes may not use dialects. Similarly, local newspapers were not allowed to carry listings for Malaysia’s TV3, which showed programmes in Cantonese. However, Hong Kong’s TVB, broadcasting in Cantonese, is now available on cable.

It all seems contradictory to me.

On one hand, our government is attempting to spearhead the “Hua Yu Cool!” campaign which encourages our fellow Chinese comrades to speak proper ‘Mandarin Chinese’ (Well, since we’re supposed to speak like them, we ought to use terms like ‘comrades’). Why? I suppose it’s to transcend whatever language communication barriers which may be omnipresent between the different dialect groups in Singapore, should everybody go on talking in their Teochew or Hokkien or Cantonese. After all, Singapore is multi-racial, and within each and every race, Singapore is also multi-dialectal.

However, on the other hand, our leaders themselves, being the people who championed the campaign (and all the other campaigns which campaign-loving Singapore has; we seem like such a wonderfully-motivated group of people who really needs campaigns, just to ensure that we’re on the same page as the government, and to nudge us into the same direction if we’re not), are also the ones who are finding it a real pity that our culture and heritage are gradually being lost as times go by. We call that globalisation and losing touch with our past. AND (trying to) speak Good Mandarin Chinese and English. So, on the latter note, it does not really come as a surprise that censorship laws regarding the usage of dialects in the media today has gradually become more laxed. And that is why it really came as a pleasant surprise to me as I read in the papers yesterday, an article a columnist wrote on the above issue as two CNY films (namely, “Kungfu Dunk” and “Ah Long Pte Ltd”) had featured dialect dialogues in the movies, while he tried to kick up a brouhaha that “CJ7” was fully dubbed.Of course, the standpoint to take is that censorship laws have not been laxed to such an extent that a movie can be shown in entirety in its original dialect language without flouting the rules. Naturally “CJ7” has to be dubbed. Also, it makes entirely no sense to dub a few lines of the movie Chinese and to leave the rest of the movie undubbed in Cantonese. That’d probably affect the enjoyment of the movie in viewers. So, two choices – show the film entirely in Chinese (more profitable locally as well as it does not alienate any Chinese dialect groups) or show the film entirely in Cantonese (which is kind of impossible).Over the past few years, dialect has already been appearing in the media over various instances such as the movies or songs or even charity programmes. Remember “881”, Roystan Tan’s phenomenal box office hit regarding Chinese Opera in Singapore which is predominantly in dialect? How about Wang Lee-Hom and Selina’s duet “You’re The Song In My Heart”, or Ocean Au’s “How’re You Lately, My Friend”, both of which feature Hokkien lines?

So, what’s so surprising about the usage of dialect coincidentally, in an astonishing total of two movies released together that warrants a column?

Insight – Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2008

So, the day is here. You know, THE day…
V-Day aka Valentine’s Day.

This is the day when couples go all lovey-dovey in an in-your-face kind of manner and singles feel alienated, as though they are under this constant spotlight wherever they go. At least, that’s how I used to feel.

This is the day when suddenly, the prices of flowers are akin to the prices of bak kwa during Chinese New Year – totally exorbitant. Prices that make me cringe at the sight of. Prices which make me secretly thank Someone Up There that I was created as a receiver, not a sender, of flowers.

This is the day when marketing gurus will exploit the public, with everything possible turning into “Exclusive Valentine’s Day Packages”. For instance, a tram ride around the Night Safari, with dinner and wine included of course. Cost-wise? Around a few hundred bucks or so I think. All I do know is that buying a tram ticket for two on any other normal day, and throwing in some kay-eff-see set meal for dinner while on the tram ride will be so much cheaper. Well, it’s not as if the animals showcased are any different, while the romantic ambience is hardly lost in any case.To quote, “Some gifts are big, others are small. Gifts from the heart are the best gifts of all.” So really, there isn’t really a need to pamper The Princess with luxurious gifts and bouquets which are so exorbitantly priced, nor have that oh-so-romantic candle-light dinner at some chic restaurant. A simple home-cooked meal with a handmade card telling her how much she is appreciated will suffice.

Surely girls wouldn’t want to (and can’t bear to, of course) see their own prince go begging on the streets and surviving on bread and water for months just for that one day!