Friday, December 25, 2009

Little Mermaid - Under the Sea

The seaweed is always greener
In somebody else's lake
You dream about going up there
But that is a big mistake
Just look at the world around you
Right here on the ocean floor
Such wonderful things surround you
What more is you lookin' for?

Under the sea
Under the sea
Darling it's better
Down where it's wetter
Take it from me
Up on the shore they work all day
Out in the sun they slave away
While we devotin'
Full time to floatin'
Under the sea

Down here all the fish is happy
As off through the waves they roll
The fish on the land ain't happy
They sad 'cause they in their bowl
But fish in the bowl is lucky
They in for a worser fate
One day when the boss get hungry
Guess who's gon' be on the plate

Under the sea
Under the sea
Nobody beat us
Fry us and eat us
In fricassee
We what the land folks loves to cook
Under the sea we off the hook
We got no troubles
Life is the bubbles
Under the sea
Under the sea
Since life is sweet here
We got the beat here
Even the sturgeon an' the ray
They get the urge 'n' start to play
We got the spirit
You got to hear it
Under the sea

The newt play the flute
The carp play the harp
The plaice play the bass
And they soundin' sharp
The bass play the brass
The chub play the tub
The fluke is the duke of soul
The ray he can play
The lings on the strings
The trout rockin' out
The blackfish she sings
The smelt and the sprat
They know where it's at
An' oh that blowfish blow

Under the sea
Under the sea
When the sardine
Begin the beguine
It's music to me
What do they got? A lot of sand
We got a hot crustacean band
Each little clam here
know how to jam here
Under the sea
Each little slug here
Cuttin' a rug here
Under the sea
Each little snail here
Know how to wail here
That's why it's hotter
Under the water
Ya we in luck here
Down in the muck here
Under the sea

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Orianthi Panagaris


An interjection or exclamation describes a noun without a grammatical connection with the rest of the sentence and simply expresses emotion on the part of the speaker, although most interjections have clear definitions. Filled pauses such as uh, er, um, are also considered interjections. Interjections are generally uninflected function words and have sometimes been seen as sentence-words, because they can replace or be replaced by a whole sentence (they are holophrastic). Sometimes, however, interjections combine with other words to form sentences, but not with finite verbs. When an exclamation point is not needed, a comma can take the place.
Interjections are used when the speaker encounters events that cause these emotions — unexpectedly, painfully, surprisingly, or in many other sudden ways. However, several languages have interjections that cannot be related to emotions.
The word "interjection" literally means "thrown in between" from the Latin inter ("between") and iacere ("throw").
Interjections are words used to express strong feeling or sudden emotion. They are included in a sentence usually at the start to express a sentiment such as surprise, disgust, joy, excitement, or enthusiasm.

Conventions like Hello, Bye, and Goodbye are interjections, as are exclamations like Cheers! and Hurray!. In fact is like a noun or an a pronoun, very often they are characterized by exclamation marks depending on the stress of the attitude or the force of the emotion they are expressing. Well can also be used as an interjection, for example when put at the beginning of a sentence. Much profanity (expletive) takes the form of interjections. Some linguists consider the pro-sentences yes, no, amen and okay as interjections, since they have no syntactical connection with other words and rather work as sentences themselves. Expressions "Excuse me!", "Sorry!", and similar ones often serve as interjections. Interjections can be phrases or even sentences, as well as words, such as "Oh!" or "Wow!".

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Parable of the Lost Wallet

In Jesus' parables of the lost coin, lost sheep and prodigal son, there is a common theme: despite an initial loss, they all end in celebration.

And so my preoccupation about how to cope with the fallout of my lost wallet has been replaced by a thought of how to celebrate the resurrection of my lost wallet.

Grimly, I listed the contents of my wallet at the police station. I calculated a net loss of about $400 in cash and kind, excluding those of priceless sentimental value. I chided myself for being so careless. Ruminating on the erstwhile contents of my wallet, I was rather embarrassed at the things that were found there, especially all the membership cards from F&B outlets! We really are such foodies.

I traversed Sengkang in search of it: looked at home, in school and even painstakingly retraced my route from home to school that morning - nothing. I was in despair and had given up hope. I remarked to the police officer as I signed the report, "What are the odds, eh?" He had said that they would call me if someone returned it.

Eventually, I found out this morning from my colleague Jennifer that I had left it in my class cabinet. I still don't remember how it ended up there.

Long story short, to quote Counting Crows and Vanessa Carlton in Big Yellow Taxi: "You don't know what you've got till it's gone."

So, c'mon - let's celebrate! But maybe after SA2 lah.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."
- Winston Churchill

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure."
- Clarence Darrow

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."
- William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it."
- Moses Hadas

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it."
- Mark Twain

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends."
- Oscar Wilde

"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a
friend.... if you have one."
- George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one."
- - Winston Churchill, in response.

"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here."
- Stephen Bishop

"He is a self-made man and worships his creator."
- John Bright

"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial."
- Irvin S. Cobb

"He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others."
- Samuel Johnson

"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up."
- Paul Keating

"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily."
- Charles, Count Talleyrand

"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.."
- Forrest Tucker

"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?"
- Mark Twain

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork."
- Mae West

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."
- Oscar Wilde

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather
than illumination."
- Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."
- Groucho Marx

'There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure.'
- Jack E. Leonard

'He has the attention span of a lightning bolt.'
- Robert Redford

'They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human
- Thomas Brackett Reed

'He has Van Gogh's ear for music.'
- Billy Wilder

'He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.'
- Abraham Lincoln

'A modest little person, with much to be modest about. '
- Winston Churchill

The exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor:
She said, "If you were my husband I'd give you poison."
He said, "If you were my wife, I'd drink it."

A member of Parliament to Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the gallows
or of some unspeakable disease."
"That depends, Sir," said Disraeli, "whether I embrace your policies or your

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bobby Robson you legend!

A Newcastle fan who had been on a flight to London with Robson and his Toon squad once told me that one of the players told the rest a joke in English. After he'd finished and the laughter died down Sir Bobby repeated the punch line in Spanish, French and Dutch just so his international players wouldn't miss out on the gag - a legacy of his international stature in the game.
But, of course, Sir Bobby was also known for those comic moments he produced inadvertently and none more so than this gem - another from his time on Tyneside. After a match a journalist asked Toon striker Shola Ameobi, "Do you have a nickname?" Ameobi said, "No, not really." The reporter enquired further, "What do the lads call you?" Ameobi replied, "Shola'. 'So what does Bobby Robson call you?" the reporter added. Shola said: "Carl Cort."

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Behind every man there is a smart woman

Barbara Walters, of 20/20, did a story on gender roles in Kabul, Afghanistan, several years before the Afghan conflict. She noted that women customarily walked five paces behind their husbands.

She recently returned to Kabul and observed that women still walk behind their husbands. Despite the overthrow of the oppressive Taliban regime, the women now seem to, and are happy to, maintain the old custom.

Ms. Walters approached one of the Afghani women and asked, 'Why do you now seem happy with an old custom that you once tried so desperately to change?'

The woman looked Ms. Walters straight in the eye, and without hesitation said, "Land mines."

Monday, September 21, 2009


Likewise, 'presentable' harkens from the days where debutantes were presented at the ball.

Source: The Open University. (1998). Block 5: Myths and conventions. (p. 27) Milton Keynes, UK: The Open University.


The word 'obscene' is a corruption of 'off-scene', as obscene scenes were usually depicted off-stage in a play.

Source: The Open University. (1998). Block 5: Myths and conventions. (p. 11) Milton Keynes, UK: The Open University.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Most irritating Beatles covers

"Hey Jude" by Tiny Tim and the Brave Combo
"Mission Impossible/Norwegian Wood" by The Alan Copeland Singers
"Something" by Telly Savalas
"Help!" by Mme. St. Onge
"Yellow Submarine" by Wendy Huang
"I Want to Hold Your Hand" by Cathy Berberian


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Commonwealth Essay Competition (2004) Winner - Amanda Chong (Singapore) - 'What the Modern Woman Wants'

A 15-year-old Singaporean student, Amanda Chong, has won the 2004 Commonwealth Essay Competition. Amanda, a Raffles Girls Secondary School student, beat more than 5,000 other contestants to win the £500 prize in the Competition organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS). She topped the 16-18-year-old category for the annual literary award, by submitting a short story in a higher age category as a personal challenge to compete with writers older than herself.

Amanda's winning entry, 'What the Modern Woman Wants', focuses on the generational conflict of values between an old lady and her independent-minded daughter. Amanda said: "I got the inspiration for my essay from the book, 'The Joy Luck Club'. We were studying Asian American Literature in school. I was inspired to use mother-daughter relationships as a platform to further explore the themes of identity and what a modern woman wants. The message I wanted to convey was that one should not forsake their roots for the sake of success and that what our society holds important today are fleeting and ephemeral. I felt sad that modern society conditions us to believe that we can find happiness in material wealth. The story was more a hypothetical situation instead of a real life scenario or autobiography. Through my story, I attempted to convey the unique East-versus-West struggles and generation gaps that I felt were characteristic of young people in my country. I wanted to give a sense of my own identity and culture."

Amanda has had a fascination with words and a love for languages since she was young. "Writing has always been my passion and I've been writing stories even before I could spell properly. Words to me are like a blank canvas, a medium to amplify my world-view and shape my own spheres: I consider this a form of empowerment."

In her story, Amanda describes the generational gap between the protagonist, Elaine, and her aged mother: "She will not be like me, the woman prayed as she watched her daughter grow up and drift away from her, speaking a language she scarcely understood. She watched her daughter transform from a quiet girl to one who openly defied her, calling her 'laotu' -- old-fashioned. She wanted her mother to be 'modern' -- a word so new there was no Chinese word for it. Her daughter had forgotten her mother's values. Her wants were so ephemeral; that of a modern woman."

Amanda, who is interested in drama, literature and history, is a member and councillor in the Creative Arts Programme for young writers run by the Gifted Education Branch and the National University of Singapore. She aims to become a lawyer and politician, and intends to "keep writing for the rest of my life."

Dr Charles Kemp, the Chief Examiner, said: "Amanda has written a powerfully moving and ironical critique of modern restlessness and its potentially cruel consequences. The writing is fluent and assured with excellent use of dialogue. The story is vividly told and full of insight and observation."

Soo Ling Yeo, Amanda's English language teacher, commented that her profound understanding and way with words has enabled Amanda to write with ease. Ms Yeo said: "What was clearly more remarkable was her sensitivity to the tensions that exist between generations -- traditions and pragmatism; perceptions of happiness and success; familial responsibilities and sacrifice; and the conflicts of cultures. Amanda's short story reveals an appreciation of the plight of the elderly that shows a maturity beyond her age."

A Singaporean last won the top prize in 2000, said Britain's Royal Commonwealth Society, which has been organising the competition since 1883. Singaporeans also came in second in the 14 to 15-year-old category, and fourth in the under-12s. Other winners included students from Australia, Canada and South Africa.


'What the Modern Woman Wants...' By Amanda Chong Wei-Zhen

The old woman sat in the backseat of the magenta convertible as it careened down the highway, clutching tightly to the plastic bag on her lap, afraid it may be kidnapped by the wind. She was not used to such speed, with trembling hands she pulled the seatbelt tighter but was careful not to touch the patent leather seats with her callused fingers, her daughter had warned her not to dirty it, 'Fingerprints show very clearly on white, Ma.'

Her daughter, Bee Choo, was driving and talking on her sleek silver mobile phone using big words the old woman could barely understand. 'Finance''Liquidation', 'Assets' 'Investments'... Her voice was crisp and important and had an unfamiliar lilt to it.

Her Bee Choo sounded like one of those foreign girls on television. She was speaking in an American accent.

The old lady clucked her tongue in disapproval. 'I absolutely cannot have this. We have to sell!' Her daughter exclaimed agitatedly as she stepped on the accelerator; her perfectly manicured fingernails gripping onto the steering wheel in irritation.

'I can't DEAL with this anymore!' she yelled as she clicked the phone shut and hurled it angrily toward the backseat. The mobile phone hit the old woman on the forehead and nestled soundlessly into her lap. She calmly picked it up and handed it to her daughter.

'Sorry, Ma,' she said, losing the American pretence and switching to Mandarin. 'I have a big client in America. There have been a lot of problems.'

The old lady nodded knowingly. Her daughter was big and important.

Bee Choo stared at her mother from the rear view window,wondering what she was thinking. Her mother's wrinkled countenance always carried the same cryptic look.
The phone began to ring again, an artificially cheerful digital tune, which broke the awkward silence.

'Hello, Beatrice! Yes, this is Elaine.' Elaine.The old woman cringed. I didn't name her Elaine. She remembered her daughter telling her, how an English name was very important for 'networking', Chinese ones being easily forgotten.

'Oh no, I can't see you for lunch today. I have to take the ancient relic to the temple for her weird daily prayer ritual.'

Ancient Relic. The old woman understood perfectly it was referring to her. Her daughter always assumed that her mother's silence meant she did not comprehend.

'Yes,I know! My car seats will be reeking of joss sticks!' The old woman pursed her lips tightly, her hands gripping her plastic bag in defence.

The car curved smoothly into the temple courtyard. It looked almost garish next to the dull sheen of the ageing temple's roof. The old woman got out of the back seat, and made her unhurried way to the main hall.

Her daughter stepped out of the car in her business suit and stilettos and reapplied her lipstick as she made her brisk way to her mother's side.

'Ma, I'll wait outside. I have an important phone call to make,' she said, not bothering to hide her disgust at the pungent fumes of incense.

The old lady hobbled into the temple hall and lit a joss stick, she knelt down solemnly and whispered her now familiar daily prayer to the Gods.

Thank you God of the Sky, you have given my daughter luck all these years. Everything I prayed for, you have given her. She has everything a young woman in this world could possibly want. She has a big house with a swimming pool, a maid to help her, as she is too clumsy to sew or cook. Her love life has been blessed; she is engaged to a rich and handsome angmoh man. Her company is now the top financial firm and even men listen to what she says. She lives the perfect life. You have given her everything except happiness. I ask that the gods be merciful to her even if she has lost her roots while reaping the harvest of success.

What you see is not true, she is a filial daughter to me.She gives me a room in her big house and provides well for me. She is rude to me only because I affect her happiness. A young woman does not want to be hindered by her old mother. It is my fault.

The old lady prayed so hard that tears welled up in her eyes. Finally, with her head bowed in reverence she planted the half-burnt joss stick into an urn of smouldering ashes.

She bowed once more. The old woman had been praying for her daughter for thirty-two years. When her stomach was round like a melon, she came to the temple and prayed that it was a son.

Then the time was ripe and the baby slipped out of her womb,bawling and adorable with fat thighs and pink cheeks, but unmistakably, a girl. Her husband had ticked and punched her for producing a useless baby who could not work or carry the family name.

Still, the woman returned to the temple with her new-born girl tied to her waist in a sarong and prayed that her daughter would grow up and have everything she ever wanted.

Her husband left her and she prayed that her daughter would never have to depend on a man. She prayed every day that her daughter would be a great woman, the woman that she, meek and uneducated, could never become. A woman with nengkan; the ability to do anything she set her mind to. A woman who commanded respect in the hearts of men. When she opened her mouth to speak, precious pearls would fall out and men would listen. She will not be like me, the woman prayed as she watched her daughter grow up and drift away from her, speaking a language she scarcely understood.

She watched her daughter transform from a quiet girl to one who openly defied her, calling her laotu, old fashioned.... She wanted her mother to be 'modern', a word so new there was no Chinese word for it.

Now her daughter was too clever for her and the old woman wondered why she had prayed like that. The Gods had been faithful to her persistent prayer, but the wealth and success that poured forth so richly had buried the girl's roots and now she stood faceless with no identity, bound to the soil of her ancestors by only a string of origami banknotes.

Her daughter had forgotten her mother's value. Her wants were so ephemeral, that of a modern woman. Power, wealth, access to the best fashion boutigues and yet her daughter had not found true happiness.

The old woman knew that you could find happiness with much less. When her daughter left the earth, everything she had would count for nothing. People would look to her legacy and say that she was a great woman but she would be forgotten once the windblows over, like the ashes of burnt paper convertibles and mansions.

The old woman wished she could go back and erase all her big hopes and prayers for her daughter now that she had looked out of the temple gates. She saw her daughter speaking on the ophone, her brow furrowed with anger and worry. Being at the top is not good, the woman thought, there is only one way to go from there - down.

The old woman carefully unfolded the plastic bag and spread out a packet of beehoon in from of the alter. Her daughter often mocked her for worshipping porcelain Gods. How could she pray to them so faithfully and expect pieces of ceramic to fly to her aid ? But her daughter had her own gods too, idols of wealth, success and power that she enslaved to and worshipped every day of her life.

Every day was a quest for the idols, and the idols she worshipped counted for nothig in eternity. All the wants her daughter had would slowly suck the life out of her and leave her, an empty souless shell at the alter.

The old woman watched the joss stick. The dull heat had left a teetering grey stem that was on the danger of collapsing.

Modern woman nowadays, the old lady signed in resignation, as she bowed to the east obne final time to end her ritual. Modern woman nowadays want so much that they lose their souls and wonder whey they cannotfind it.

Her joss stick disintegrated into a soft grey poweder. She met her daughter outside the temple, the same look of worry and frustration was etched on her daughter's face.

An empty _expression, as if she was ploughing through the soil of her wants looking for the one thing that would sown the seeds of happiness.

They climbed into the convertible in silence and her daughter drove along the highway, this time not to fast as she had done before.

Ma, Bee Choo finally said. "I don't know how to put this. Mark and I have been talking about it and we plan to mve out of the big house. The property market is ggod now, and we managed to get a buyer willing to pay us seven million for it. We decided we'd prefer a cosier penthouse apartment instead. We found a perfect one in Orchard Road. Once we move into our apartment, we plan to get rid of the maid, so we can have more space to ourselves...."

The old woman nodded knowingly. Bee Choo swallowed hard. "We'd get someone to come in to do the housework and we can eat out - but once the maid is gone, there won't be anyone to look after you. You will be awfully lonely at home and, besides that the apartment is rather small. There won't be space. We thought about it for a long time, and we decided the best thing for you isif you moved to a Home. There's one near Hougang -it's a Christian home and a very nice one."

The old woman did not raise an eyebrow.. I"ve been there, the matron is willing to take you in. It's beautiful with gardens and lots of old people to keep you company! Hardly have time for you, you'd be happier there." " You'd be happier there, really." her daughter repeated as if to affirm herself.

This time the old woman had no plastic bag of food offering to cling tightly to, she bit her lip and fastened her seat belt, as if it would protect her from a daughter who did not want her anymore. She sunk deep into the leather seat, letting her soulders sag and her fingers trace the white seat.

Ma, her daughter asked, seaching the rear view window for her mother. "Is everything okay?

What had to be done, had to be done. "Yes" she said firmly, louder than she intended, 'if it will make you happy,' she added more quitely.

It's for you, Ma! You will be happier there. You can move there tomorrow, I already got the maid to pack your things.' Elaine said triumphantly, mentally ticking yet another item off her agenda.

'I knew everything would be fine' Elaine smiled widely; she felt liberated. Perhaps getting rid of her mother would make her happier. She had thought about it. It seemed the only hinderance in her pursuit of happiness. She was happy now. She had everything a modern woman ever wanted; money, status, career, love, power and now freedom without her mother and her old-fashioned ways to weigh her down......

Yes she was free. Her phone butted urgently, she picked it up and read the message, still beaming from ear to ear. "Stock 10% increase"

Yes, things were definitely beginning to look up for her and while searching for the meaning of life in the 1 uminance of her hand phone screen, the old woman in the backseat became invisible and she did not see her in tears.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Wonderwall of Broken Songs

Girl attacks BF in the groin over and over again -- and he just stands there and takes it

Probably caught cheating.

This woman was seen standing outside her car, hitting her boyfriend in the groin repeatedly with her shoe, and he just took the hits without retaliating.

She was also seen hitting him on the face.

STOMPer James, who took videos of the incident, said:

"This woman was seen stopping on the road shoulder, pounding on her BF and causing a major traffic jam.

"I hope that LTA gives her a ticket."

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dave Hill photography

090417 Girl on an Adventure - Behind the Scenes from Dave Hill on Vimeo.

Bavaria spoofs Heineken walk-in fridge

Heineken Walking Fridge

Singapore Lights Timelapse by Yeo Wee Han

Singapore Lights Timelapse from Weehan Yeo on Vimeo.

Red vs Blue - Fire Safety

Okinawa Chiraumi Aquarium (Kuroshio Sea) by Jon Rawlinson

Second-largest aquarium in the world

Daniel Radcliffe vs Japanese girl

Saturday, July 04, 2009

USA for Africa - We are the World

Haiku - Singapore

A little red dot
At the south end of Asia
We are an island

Managing Discontent by Wayne Cordeiro

We had a really informal ALG session yesterday night, just sitting around eating rambutans and mangosteens. In between, we learnt about how we can handle discontent in our lives, with authentic examples from Agape's 16-year history. Matthew, Jeannie, Jasmine & I took turns to regale the newer ones with stories from the past, just so that we could all learn from how others handled discontentment, and do better for ourselves in the future.

In view of all this, I am at least partly grateful for preventive H1N1 precautions in school. I have to go earlier to school and because I want to see Jasmine off before she goes even earlier to school, I sometimes reach school at 6.35am when I'm only due at 7.10am. I mean the general office and staff room aren't even open yet! I took the cue from a Christian colleague and use the time to dedicate the day to God. I have about 10-15 minutes alone with God and also talking to fellow believers about work-related struggles. Then the staff room opens and I go in to switch on my super-slow laptop. During that five-minute wait, I proclaim to God that I intend to spend the day in His joy, and I try my best to look for His joy in all situations.

The key verse that we shared in ALG was "David encouraged himself in the Lord", probably in 1/2 Samuel/Kings. And this was when his own men wanted to kill him! I learnt that it is my responsibility for how much joy and discontentment there is in my life. I intend to complain less, as it will only result in grudges and bitterness. I will spend time in solitude with God daily, praying and reading His Word, to encourage myself in Him. And if faced with conflict, I will approach the person in nearest authority to resolve it, and not blab about it to people who can't do anything about it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Paramore - Conspiracy (Live at Anaheim)

Paramore - That's What You Get

AFI - Miseria Cantare (The Beginning)

A-la Terminator!


Here's a funny story in the Jun 19 issue of the New Sabah Times.

A supporter of Belgian football league champions Standard Liege was told by his factory employer to take down a banner he had put above his store as they felt it was "distracting". The employee refused and was then threatened with a fine. The workers' union then staged a 24-hour strike in protest at his treatment.

Here is the union spokeman's ironic statement:
"It's a disproportionate and heavy-handed action relating to a minor incident."

He could well have been talking about the union itself.

Monday, June 15, 2009

England in the 1500s

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, “Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.”

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, “It's raining cats and dogs.”

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how four-poster canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, “Dirt poor.” The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. Hence the saying “a thresh hold.”

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, “Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.”

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, bring home the bacon. They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a dead ringer.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


We're glad the wedding went well, and that many of our friends, relatives, colleagues, ex-classmates were all there. We're glad that they were generous in their giving, enabling us to give back to God in thanks for His blessing. We're glad everyone liked the no-frills, fuss-free wedding with live music and good food.

Most of all we're glad that the wedding, while enjoyable, is over and we can look forward to the rest of our lives together i.e. our marriage. Thank you for your well-wishes and we hope we can be a blessing to you the same way you have been a blessing to us.

Yours sincerely,
Mr & Mrs Aaron Wong

Barcelona 2-0 United

Deserved what we got - nothing. Shades of 2007's capitulation to Milan. Can't outpass the best.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Last day of singlehood

No it is not an emo song. I'm getting married tomorrow and it still hasn't sunk in. Still feels like any other Friday, except there's no ALG. At least there are no butterfiles in the stomach. =]

Al Jarreau - Take Five (1976)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Stag night

The guys brought me to a stand-up comedy at DXO, Esplanade. It was full of the usual risque jokes and I was the butt of many of them given that EVERYONE in the club knew I was getting married but I enjoyed it with my close friends beside me, laughing at me.

On top of all that, United won the title halfway through the night, so it's all good.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Exams - the kids' and mine

I hope I've done enough for the kids despite the mad rush. The SA1 practice papers & answer keys, the Revision Tests and the worksheets came thick and fast. I never like to rush, but there really was no time. And now I have to rush the non-core stuff during my marriage leave, after going through the SA1 papers and the files.

That aside, I completed my first UniSIM exam paper for Introduction to Humanitites I. I somehow could not get going over the weekend only really studied today, the day of the exam. No wonder they call it study leave - MOE knows we're gonna study at the last minute! By God's grace, I studied selectively, spotting certain questions I knew would emerge - painting evaluation, Colosseum/gladiators/Roman games, and the study of history. Drawing mind maps really helped with the memorising part, together with desperate kinesthetic memory techniques. I remembered whatever I wanted myself to remember in a few hours, with naps in between. I had never felt so lethargic! And so I finished my paper with 15 minutes to spare, enabling me to catch a cab with three others headed to the northeast. I overestimated the cost, so as I got off last, I paid only $2.

Thanks, God. =]

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Plot: Wolverine lives a mutant life, seeks revenge against Victor Creed (who will later become Sabertooth) for the death of his girlfriend, and ultimately ends up going through the mutant Weapon X program.
My take: Made me interested in the whole X-Men fanboy thing again, especially figuring out why/who things and people are in the movie. Interesting.


Saturday, May 09, 2009

Predicting religious holidays

Ever wondered why it's so difficult to portend when Hari Raya Puasa/Haji, Deepavali, Vesak Day, Chinese New Year comes every year? Fret no more, as an NUS Maths professor explains how the different calendars (lunar, solar, Gregorian, lunisolar etc.) come together to make planning leave so chaotic.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

MOE Statement on Sexuality Education Programme

The erstwhile new Exco did have a point, then.
1 In recent weeks, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has received feedback on the Sexuality Education Programme conducted by AWARE, as well as other lesson material not involving AWARE. MOE has done a thorough investigation. This statement presents the Ministry’s findings and future steps.

2 MOE and the schools do not promote alternative lifestyles to our students. MOE’s framework for sexuality education reflects the mainstream views and values of Singapore society, where the social norm consists of the married heterosexual family unit.

3 Today, schools are allowed to engage external vendors to supplement MOE’s sexuality education programme. MOE has reviewed the internal processes for selecting and monitoring vendors and found that they can be improved. MOE will put in more stringent processes to ensure that training materials and programmes delivered in schools are in line with the Ministry’s framework on sexuality education. Schools will suspend the engagement of external vendors until the new vetting processes are completed. The Ministry is also reviewing ways to provide parents with more information about sexuality education in the specific schools that their children are in.

4 MOE has examined AWARE’s “Comprehensive Sexuality Education: Basic Instructor Guide”. The Guide contains some positive aspects, like the accurate information provided on STIs/HIV and role-play practice for students to say no to sex. However, MOE’s assessment is that in some other aspects, the Guide does not conform to MOE’s guidelines. In particular, some suggested responses in the instructor guide are explicit and inappropriate, and convey messages which could promote homosexuality or suggest approval of pre-marital sex.

5 In view of this, AWARE’s programmes in schools will be suspended and subjected to the new vetting processes.

6 MOE has also investigated feedback about materials used during General Paper (GP) lessons in junior colleges which carry information on alternative lifestyles. These materials and lessons did not involve AWARE. GP lessons are meant to promote critical thinking and discussion on contemporary issues. MOE investigations showed that the teachers had used these materials to initiate discussion on family structures, and not to promote alternative lifestyles. Nevertheless, MOE will remind school leaders and teachers to exercise greater professional discretion in guiding their students when such topics are discussed. They should also adhere to social norms and values of our mainstream society.

7 Parents are ultimately responsible for inculcating values in their children. MOE’s sexuality education programme aims to complement parents’ role in helping students make informed, responsible and values-based decisions regarding sexuality.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Michael Essien dropped!

Michael Essien was dropped by Guus Hiddink for this game after turning up for training 13 stone overweight yesterday. On closer inspection, it was found that he still had Steven Gerrard in his pocket from Wednesday evening.

Keira Knightley's Women's Aid - Domestic Violence Ad 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

ˈfaɪnəlɪ ə ˈwebsaɪt hweə ju: kən taɪp ɪn ˌɪntəˈnæʃənəl fəˈnetɪk ˈelfəbət

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pope vs Rabbi

Several centuries ago, the Pope decreed that all the Jews had to convert to Catholicism or leave Italy. There was a huge outcry from the Jewish community, so the Pope offered a deal.

He'd have a religious debate with the leader of the Jewish community. If the Jews won, they could stay in Italy; if the Pope won, they'd have to convert or leave.

The Jewish people met and picked an aged and wise rabbi to represent them in the debate. However, as the rabbi spoke no Italian, and the Pope spoke no Yiddish, they agreed that it would be a 'silent' debate.

On the chosen day the Pope and rabbi sat opposite each other

The Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers.

The rabbi looked back and raised one finger.

Next, the Pope waved his finger around his head.

The rabbi pointed to the ground where he sat.

The Pope brought out a communion wafer and a chalice of wine.

The rabbi pulled out an apple.

With that, the Pope stood up and declared himself beaten and said that the rabbi was too clever. The Jews could stay in Italy.

Later the cardinals met with the Pope and asked him what had happened.

The Pope said, 'First I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up a single finger to remind me there is still only one God common to both our beliefs.

'Then, I waved my finger around my head to show him that God was all around us. He responded by pointing to the ground to show that God was also right here with us.

'I pulled out the wine and wafer to show that God absolves us of all our sins. He pulled out an apple to remind me of the original sin.

'He beat me at every move and I could not continue.'

Meanwhile, the Jewish community gathered to ask the rabbi how he'd won.

'I haven't a clue' the rabbi said. 'First, he told me that we had three days to get out of Italy, so I gave him the finger.

'Then he tells me that the whole country would be cleared of Jews and I told him that we were staying right here.'

'And then what?' asked a woman.

'Who knows?' said the rabbi. 'He took out his lunch so I took out mine.'

Aaron runs errands

Got a lot done with the help of Jasmine's Dad's car. No accidents today, thankfully.
1. Gave tuition
2. Got measured for new tuxedo shirt
3. Collected ceremonial tea set
4. Bought wardrobe, cushions frm Ikea for new room
5. Brought invitation cards to my place
6. Bought Bengawan Solo cake cards
7. Ate helluva lot of food!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Little Big Planet wins 4 awards

"LittleBigPlanet" sacked the competition to win four trophies at the Game Developers Choice Awards.

Developed by Media Molecule, the cutesy PlayStation 3 adventure game which allows players to create and share their own levels was honored for best game design, debut, technology and innovation at the Game Developers Conference ceremony Wednesday evening.\General-Entertainment\20090326\Games-Developer-Choice-Awards.xml&cat=entertainment&subcat=&pageid=1

Friday, March 20, 2009

Monday, March 09, 2009

A celebration

Hi guys!

As you know, Agape has recently launched Agape Transformation in 300 Days, AT300. In April, the ALGs will be rebranded. Details for the ALGs will be released later, but we want to commit this very important ministry into God's hands. This will probably be one of our last events together as 'Professionals'.

Our intention for this event is quite simple:
1. We want to commit Agape, AT300 & ALG to God.
2. We want everyone to enjoy themselves.
3. We want everyone to get to know everyone better, especially those we don't know that well.
4. We want to celebrate what ALG means to us.

As one era comes to an end, so another rises to take its place. I pray you'll be a part of Agape's new dawn, with ALG a very big part of that. I ask each of you who hears about this event to tell/remind three other people about it. Don't take no for an answer!

Group leaders, for one more time, please exhort the people in your group to come for this celebration. Let's work together to make things happen.

When?: Fri, 13 Mar 2009, 7.45pm
Where?: Church Office, Serangoon
Blk 266, Serangoon Central Dr, #04-255
Take Lift C to enter from the back door.
Things to Bring: Yourself, a willingness to share & the three Professionals you invited to the meeting.

Let's have fun. =]

Agape, Aaron

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Liniment, (or embrocation) from the Latin linere, to anoint, is a medicated topical preparation for application to the skin. Preparations of this type are also called balm. Liniments are of a similar viscosity to lotions (being significantly less viscous than an ointment or cream) but unlike a lotion a liniment is applied with friction; that is, a liniment is always rubbed in.


An ointment is a viscous semisolid preparation used topically on a variety of body surfaces. These include the skin and the mucus membranes of the eye (an eye ointment), vagina, anus, and nose. An ointment may or may not be medicated.

The vehicle of an ointment is known as ointment base. The choice of a base depends upon the clinical indication for the ointment, and the different types of ointment bases are:
Hydrocarbon bases e.g. hard paraffin, soft paraffin
Absorption bases e.g. wool fat, beeswax
Water soluble bases e.g. macrogols 200, 300, 400
Emulsifying bases e.g. emulsifying wax, cetrimide
Vegetable oils e.g. olive oil, arachis oil, coconut oil

The medicaments are dispersed in the base and later they get divided after the drug penetration into the living cells of skin.

Ointments are homogeneous, semi-solid preparations intended for external application to the skin or mucous membranes. They are used as emollients or for the application of active ingredients to the skin for protective, therapeutic, or prophylactic purposes and where a degree of occlusion is desired.

Ointments are formulated using hydrophobic, hydrophilic, or water-emulsifying bases to provide preparations that are immiscible, miscible, or emulsifiable with skin secretions. They can also be derived from hydrocarbon (fatty), absorption, water-removable, or water-soluble bases.


A crisis (plural: crises) may occur on a personal or societal level. It may be a traumatic or stressful change in a person's life, or an unstable and dangerous social situation, in political, social, economic, military affairs, or a large-scale environmental event, especially one involving an impending abrupt change. More loosely, it is a term meaning 'a testing time' or 'emergency event'.

It's change, that's all.

Concertina wire

Concertina wire is a type of barbed wire or razor wire that is formed in large coils which can be expanded like a concertina. Each coil actually consists of two oppositely wound helices which support each other against crushing while allowing easy longitudinal movement. In conjunction with plain barbed wire and steel pickets, it is used to form military wire obstacles. During World War I soldiers manufactured concertina wire themselves, using ordinary barbed wire. Today it is factory made.

Concertina wire packs flat for ease of transport, but can then be deployed as an obstacle much more quickly than ordinary barbed wire.

A platoon of soldiers can deploy a single concertina fence at a rate of about a kilometer per hour. Such an obstacle is not very effective by itself, and concertinas are normally built up into more elaborate patterns as time permits.