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New Year Resolution for 2008: Swim faster, Run longer, maybe return to cycling.

Friday, June 24, 2005

The Near Extinction of A Once Ubiquitous Kid Phrase

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am extremely sad to bring you the news of the survival status of a once common kid's phrase.

Many of you who were born before the 1980's would be able to share my sentiments.

As children at the playground, at school, at races, etc., we've always muttered those infamous words. It was in our vocabulary when we were less than 0.90metres tall.

Now, children scream "Ready. Get Set. GO!".

Yes. With the rapidly decreasing popularity of the cassette tape, the phrase
"Ready. Cassette. GO!" will join the league of the dinosaurs soon.

It's so sad, isn't it?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Singaporean Things That Just Don't Make Sense - Part Three of Infinity

The Munn Theory of Vroom

I've noticed - very obviously - that there's this recent phenomenon of duh-looking drivers behind big beyond-2.0 litre-luxury cars. What makes it worse is the almost dumbfounding efforts these drivers make to maneuver their juggernauts.

I see huge Mercedes' with drivers who cannot seem to fit in ergonomically with their ergonomically designed cars. Benzes now come with puny geek drivers who have their seats in the full forward position and leaning TOWARDS the steering wheel. This is not what I see on the car commercials with leather seats that scream SIT BACK AND RELAX!

What about those 7-series beamers that take ages to park despite the advent of reverse sensors and parking mirrors? Bet you have experienced them within the last 2 weeks or so. Rest assured, they are an increasing lot - these dumbasses.

Then how about the Lexus shmexus owners? They drive as if they are the kings of the road. But they really are the Ass of The World - especially when they try to hide their Toyota sheep in Lexus wolf clothes. FAKES! PRETENDERS! SMALL BALLS!

I initially wanted to postulate about the proportionality of car size with testicular/penile size but because of the Women's Charter, i decided to use brain size instead.

Hence, The Munn Theory of Vroom states that the physical size of private car is inversely proportional to the actual cranium size of car owner.

Let "Private Car" be known as "Car", or c
and "cranium" size be "Brain", or b.

Hence, in theory: c = 1/b

Ah, you might have noticed that there might have been a slight tinge of flaw here. I mentioned earlier about testicular size (T) and brains (b) and cars (c).

T is not related to c if c is in its purest form - that is, if c is not modified.

T will become disproportionately smaller the more c is modified. Get it? This relationship is not linear but can be said as negatively exponential. However, an interesting thing occurs as T tends towards zero. In this case, c can either be at the purest form (for women - at T=0 - don't know anything about car modifications) or c could be totally pink and flowery.

How about the relationship between T and b?

The Great Plateau

I have been experiencing the Great Plateau at 77kg since March 2005.

This is after the Great Dip which began in November 2004 when I tipped the scales at 86kg.

Maybe my body is maintaining itself by converting into more muscle mass? (self consolation)

Okay, at least the tailor CONFIRMED my weight loss and overall 'fat shift'. If there's one profession that doesn't lie, it has got to be tailors. They've got my 'before' and 'after' measurements.

Awesome! but the doc says that my 'ideal' weight should be 68kg. ergghh.... stupid 'ideal' weight charts. Is there really anything 'ideal' in this world?

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Singaporean Things That Just Don't Make Sense - Part Two of Infinity

Singapore is located one degree north of the equator. Commonsense therefore indicates that Singapore is a very very hot place to be in throughout the year. Even if her citizens do not know the geographical location of Singapore, I'm 101% sure that everyone can FEEL the heat and humidity. Okay... perhaps we give and take 2-4 degrees of fluctuation in overall daily temperatures. We still have an average of 32 C all year round.

Perspiration (sweating) is the daily name of the game for everyone.

What am I trying to get at?

I want to find out who is the idiot who introduced long sleeve businesswear for men in Singapore. It is totally senseless!

I admit that I'm also a sucker conformist who's got to wear long sleeved business shirts to work especially when I have to attend meetings.

It's really dumb. Seriously.

Can someone influential start wearing something more appropriate to suit the climate? Someone please make a statement so idiot Singaporeans (including me) will obediently follow. Better still, can someone in government make it a law that hefty fines will be imposed on whoever is caught wearing anything more than elbow-length shirts with 1mm thick material?

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Training Update

If there aren't any training updates thus far, please do not misconstrue that I haven't been training. The fact is, I'm still training.

The OSIM Singapore Triathlon will be held on 2nd and 3rd July. I'll be taking part in the Sprint Distance on the 2nd, and the Olympic Distance Relay (Bike) on the 3rd.

At this point, it's just training whenever I can find pockets of free time. So far it's been alright. I need to clock up more mileage on the bike though! haha...

Stay tuned (on the Road to OSIM....)

Friday, June 10, 2005

Singaporean Things That Just Don't Make Sense - Part One of Infinity

The Economics of Taxis

Economics is all about demand and supply. Alright, so sometime back the Public Transport Council (PTC) decided that there isn't enough 'competition' on the roads for taxis. As a non-economics professional (defined as someone - me - who is now a professional in other fields except economics because I was forced to drop econ after JC1), I really don't know what 'competition' means. Can't blame my ignorance.

So you think you know?

Okay, based on my understanding, the PTC felt that there weren't enough taxis on the road. But instead of merely increasing the number of taxis, they decided to allow more taxi operator companies to come on board so that there would be fair competition. I think it has got to do with preventing Comfort-Delgro becoming a monopoly and charge exhorbitant taxi prices 'due to fuel hikes'.

So the likes of SMARTcab, Union Cab, Silvercab, etc came into the taxi queue. And there are now more taxis on the road. It's a fact. Really.

Then you still hear cab drivers complain that there are not enough customers. What is worse is that they have to pay daily rental charges to the taxi company. Minus that, their take-home earnings are quite meagre.

And then there's still the 'magical hours'. I thought that since there are more taxis on the road, the drivers would 'compete' with each other to get customers to earn as much as possible, right? Basic economics right?


It is almost an impossibility to get a cab between 8am and 9am, and between 1045pm and 1158pm. The 'magical hour' appears at 9am and at midnight. This is when ALL phone booking lines are open, and when blue "TAXI" lights flash on.

At every midnight, this is the Singapore equivalent of the Northern Lights or Auroras found in the arctic regions. A beautiful sea of blue lights dance on the roads of Singapore. A wonderful sight.

Where there were NO cabs and thousands of frustrated taxi-waiting customers on the road prior to 1158pm, there are now almost NO customers and thousands of available cabs on the road at the stroke of midnight!

Maybe Cinderella's Fairygodmother took up citizenship in Singapore and all the street rats and cockroaches changed into cabs with neon sky-blue lights at the stroke of midnight. By the way, this is a conspiracy theory and it links with the reason why Singapore is such a clean city as well. The rare rodent/cockroach that you find after midnight are just serving their penalty for using long cab routes or refusing to take passengers to places like Bedok and Tampines from the airport. I also heard that it wasn't cheap to bring in Fairygodmother, but she got a good deal when ICA allowed her to have dual citizenship. That lucky bitch....

Anyway, I just don't understand taxi economics. All I see is that drivers and passengers are always at the losing end while the taxi operator companies are getting richer with everyone's daily rental contribution and 'on-call' bookings.

I also see the negative aspects of this coming into place: Drivers who purposely wait for call bookings during peak hours. Drivers who go to the airport to pick up passngers. Drivers who turn on 'that magic blue light' at the wave of Fairygodmother's wand. All for that extra income.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Analysis of the Gungho American Angmo and Kiasu Singaporean Chinese

Part One of Analysis (?)

Ah yes, we've seen it all in the movies - The Gungho American Angmo. Everything also chiong. Everything also die die must try. Everything also must beat the crap outta your competitor. Brawn, no brains.

And the privileged few (namely the citizens of this teeny weeny red-iota-on-a-1:50000-scale-world-map) have experienced it all in real life (in this teeny weeny red-iota-on-a-1:50000-scale-world-map) - The Extremely and Ridiculously Kiasu Singaporean Chinese. Everything don't dare to chiong (must ask permission first). Everything try and sure die. Everything don't dare to lift a finger to hit someone (or else Big Brother cane you!). Brains (this is still questionable at point of writing), no brawn.

Aren't we all humans after all? The only reason why we are all different is the state of mentality that we have.

The Americans were originally immigrants from Europe about 250 years ago. Singapore's forefathers were immigrants from China about 200 years ago. The mass migration timeline is not much different considering the historical timeline of the human race.

The Americans are fighters. They've always been relying on freedom to live. It is the very reason of continued maintenance of their freedom that keeps them going. From writing the Constitution to freeing the Blacks from slavery. From prejudice to pride. These dudes dare to be different. They dare to think. They dare to speak.

Our chinese forefathers dared to leave their homeland as well. They were hardworking people. In fact, the chinese migrants throughout the world are hardworking folks. What happened to the offspring of the bunch that landed in Singapore?

Did the advent of National Independence spoil the independence of the individual?

Are individuals collectively spoonfed ?

Are we all numb to the easy life?

How can 'creativity' be forced or coerced?

The drive to survive is ebbing with the pleasures of the easy life. Have we made REAL decisions or were these decisions made for us in society? Read: primary school streaming. "Investing" in public housing by ROMing, etc.

The next 5 years for Singapore will be crucial. Let's wait and see. Everyone. We'll be protected somehow. But for how long? I don't know. We're already losing it to "the others".

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Prepubescent Human Pleads Innocent to Push Button Abuse

5 June 2005

The Abused Buttons Committee (ABC) filed a police report last Sunday against a preteen homo sapien for the wrongful and abusive misuse of informative push buttons at the local Science Center.

"We have had enough of abuse from itchy fingers and sweaty palms slamming on us for the sake of it. We are here for a reason but the human species just don't understand our purpose and place in this world." A visibly depressed push button was heard lamenting. Traces of grotesque humanoid fingerprints - evidence of abuse - were clearly seen on its once shiny surface.

Melamine push buttons have always been a target of senseless bullying by juvenile homo sapiens. This is especially more commonplace during the school holiday season of June and December.

A spokeshuman from the local science center clarified that the push buttons are for use in conjunction with informative signs at each exhibit. When properly used, the push buttons help to tell the story of science. He said, "Science explains the world around us, and the push buttons have been very helpful in educating humans for many years. Unfortunately, there has been a recent trend of abusive juveniles who intentionally slam on push buttons just to see exhibit panels light up."

A visit to the local science center by the reporter revealed that other contraptions used to help explain the various exhibits were also abused in the hands of humans.

Indeed, the exhibit panels, joysticks and keyboards are also lodging a similar complaint to the authorities.

When asked by the reporter, a Ministry of Education spokeshuman confirmed that "the Ministry has basically given up on teaching children about the values of learning and finding out about the things around us. Science is dead. Our local homo sapiens have been conditioned to rely on the local education system to give them the required knowledge rather than have the children be inquisitive and to seek knowledge. We actually provide a Knowledge Module provided in a very attractive package. It consists of 10-year-series assessment books and a DVD of exam questions from the local top 10 schools. As long as school fees are paid, the child will get this attractive package. We however, do not guarantee A's as we need to stream children according to their parents' PSLE (or equivalent) results and net worth according to the amount of toilet paper they own. In the past 5 years or so, we have kept up with technology and done away with ardious researching at the library and ownership of full volumes of Encyclopedia Britannica. In fact, we are reviewing the usefulness of internet."

Science is dead. When the things around us cannot be explained by science, then the very notion of Science is dead. Inquisitive humans will be a thing of the past.

Coming back to the original story, the preteen accused of abusing and misuse of push buttons has pleaded innocence to the charge. "I only blindly follow what my friends are doing. It is so cool to press those buttons! It is the in-thing to do! How can I be charged for something that is cool? I don't need to understand why chickens come from eggs, or why aeroplanes can fly. My teacher will tell me that! I don't have to waste my time reading about it at the science center! Don't you know? We all come to the science center to play with the buttons!"

When asked about the on-going Einstein exhibition at the science center, the unabrashed youth replied, "Does IT have buttons to press?"