Monthly Archives: February 2006

You must sleep with your girlfriend!

Sometimes concerned bosses helps you find excuses.

At a meeting, one of the bosses entertained us with his story of how he spent $1500 in a single night to have his snoring problem diagnosed. He slept in a room with many medical instruments plugged into him. It was found that his snoring could cause his breathing to be affected, and that his brain could be damaged if his breathing stopped and his oxygen intake was cut off for too long. Surgery to correct his air passage is recommended.

The rest of us were naturally concerned about our own brains being damaged if we have this snoring problem. Almost all of us at the table were married, and could depend on our wives to tell us if we do have a snoring problem, all except one of the executives. His boss looked at him and told him that he should sleep with his girlfriend, so that someone can tell him if he snores.

Well, that should be a very original excuse to sleep with one’s girlfriend! But don’t take the boss’s word for it. He only said sleep with your girlfriend, he didn’t say to do anything.

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Servant of Razelikh

In the online game the World of Warcraft, the players can choose to play the Alliance (the good guys, the light) or the Horde (the evil ones). Whenever players from one side enter the territory of the other, there will be an alert that the particular area is under attack. The invader may be challenged by players from the other side, and can be defeated if attacked by multiple enemies. Thus I have not seen “Stormwind is under attack!” because it is one of the home cities of the Alliance and is always filled with players. The horde enters at its peril.

It is very surprising when I find a swarm of players in the Trade District attacking a single enemy, and amazingly, it is not dying! See the screenshots.

WoWScrnShot_021806_170522.jpg WoWScrnShot_021806_181444.jpg WoWScrnShot_021806_181656.jpg

This guy is cursed with up to 10 different negative bonuses and attacked by 20 players, some at the maximum level 60, and still would not die. Apparently, it is a mob (a game character, a computer-controlled enemy) and not a player. As part of a quest, this enemy will not die until the quest is completed and somehow it was sucked in from the Blasted Lands. I had to go quite far away before I was considered out of combat and was allowed to log off.

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Valentine’s Day

V-day is a very important day for ladies in Singapore, thanks to marketing. Here is one woman who saw through the illusion. She’s a regular contributor to Today.

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donorweb.org

WordPress is being put to good use on a volunteer site. Singapore Redcross has a volunteer portal that also runs donorweb.org, a news portal for the Blood Bank to inform its pool of volunteers about its mobile blood drives.

It has a nice dashboard which lets us see the stock levels of the 4 main blood groups. At least I can see that they are not lacking in my blood type, and perhaps I should keep it for a time when they are running low. Dashboards are a simple and efficient way of letting someone have a feel of the situation by translating numbers into meaning. It is not part of wordpress, of course, and neither is the pledge page, but it would not be hard to use the theme editor of wordpress to add a new page and edit the php codes to pull some info from a database. WordPress serves well as a blog software, being easy to setup, use and looks pretty. Privacy is hardly an issue on such public announcement boards.

It is not hard to set up a forum for its more web-savvy donors to share their blood donation experiences with others who may be new or contemplating whether or not to give blood. Such are the benefits of mature open-source software! The barriers to entry are very low and many interested volunteers can pick them up and put them to good use. It is usually harder to keep churning out content that will attract eyeballs to return, and to build up a community that reaches a critical mass able to generate content to sustain itself.

Hmm.. I still haven’t found any information on the medical benefits scheme that I’m supposed to be entitled to as a blood donor. They seem to have discontinued this scheme, but I was supposed to be entitled to jumping some queues when hospitalised. Perhaps this privilege caused too much trouble at some places? The next time I go, I should make it a point to ask if the scheme is still in force.

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Cranberries in the gents

While taking a dump at work, heard drum rolls and a girl’s wailing voice. Guitar, some melodies. Sounds like a MP3 player blasting in the next cubicle. Definitely Cranberries, singing Dreams.

Someone is blasting his ears out. Must have music everywhere he goes. It used to be that people read the papers while on the toilet bowl, now it’s MP3. Soon it will be video. Hope he doesn’t touch his MP3 player before washing his hands.

What kind of music do you listen to when taking a dump? Soothing music? Music that makes you dance? Screeching that sends shivers down your spine and help to loosen your bowels?

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Can you blame them for leaving?

Got this from Today. Insightful views on why people chose to leave, so politicians need not say they don’t understand why people want to leave.

Letter from Jimmy Ho Kwok Hoong

I REFER to the letter, “Puzzle of migrating Singaporeans” by Lim Boon Hee (Feb 2). Let us rationally analyse the “quitter” problem from the perspectives of different age groups.

Our educational curriculum deprives us of a proper childhood from a tender age. Judging from the proportion of students wearing spectacles here, it is not difficult to tell they have been overexposed to textbooks. Parents who cannot bear to see their kids live with the need for regimental “mugging” may consider migration.

On the next level, a hopeful graduate, fresh from his victory in the educational system, may be in for a rude shock when he discovers that the job market — with its plentiful supply of foreign talent — is not prepared to pay him enough for a decent lifestyle.

It may be worth mentioning that our definition of the words “foreign talent” has changed from its initial meaning of highly-paid expatriates and cheaper IT staff to include the foreign worker who clears the dustbin. Although these foreigners may be needed to reduce the overall costs of operations in Singapore, have we gone too far in welcoming them by being reluctant to control their impact on local rice bowls?

When setting up a family, most couples will learn that the house they buy will probably cost them a lifelong mortgage.

When a Singaporean reaches 40 years old, he should realise that his shelf life in the workforce is only about 10 years, upon discovering that he is considered “obsolete” at that age — even after having acquired a Masters’ degree at 30.

The middle-aged professionals, when they are retrenched, will have to decide whether to “upgrade” themselves — taking up menial jobs despite their immense experience in white-collared posts — or to throw their savings into entrepreneurship, for which the chances of success are slim.

Unemployment fell to a low of 2.5 per cent last quarter. However, wages have yet to recover to the level they were at in the previous cycle. In other words, jobs were created but at lower value added as a whole.

The private sector has been asked not to discriminate based on age when hiring, yet public organisations continue to recruit based on age limits.

Older folks in their “golden years” are also not spared. They are expected to slog for their livelihoods to a ripe old age, while their peers elsewhere happily rely on welfare and healthcare provided free of charge by their governments.

The biggest issue may be the refusal to acknowledge that the problems exist — let alone working on solving them. Given such an environment, is it any wonder that some Singaporeans choose to migrate? As I hear someone saying in a coffeeshop say: “Stayers are people who do not have the means to quit!”

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Fearless

Fearless is Jet Li‘s final martial arts epic, so he says, and so fans like me must not miss it. It is a feast for the eyes, as his fighting scenes usually are, but still pales in comparison with his Once Upon A Time in China series.

One of the things that sets him apart from other Kung Fu stars is the way he brings the character to life as a righteous and fearless hero. Oh, a handsome one too, despite his lack of height. The other is the way he executes his fighting scenes, the sheer beauty of his strokes. Yes, I know they were choreographed, but he still looks really good doing those poses.

Call me shallow, but I watch his shows for his fighting scenes, even though he makes them to promote his kung fu ideals. To have most of the fighting scenes showing his earlier vicious and cruel styles, is disappointing. He would often maim his opponents for a quick and decisive victory. The high points would be his fights with the foreigners who are bigger sized than him, and yet he disarmed them with an effortless grace, without killing and maiming them. A pity these are so few and far between.

The review on IMDB tells of the original 2 hour 30min show being cut into less than 2 hours. Apparently there are many more worthwhile scenes that never made it to the big screen. It was a good show, but it does not have the magical feel that the righteous and undefeatable Huang Feihong has. Jet Li would still be better off making such kung fu flicks than being a dog in Hollywood.

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