Archive for January, 2007

Reads: Out

Four very different friends working in a boxed-lunch packing factory lead desperate, domestic lives. When Yayoi, the youngest and most beautiful of the women strangles her good-for-nothing husband in a burst of rage, it falls on her friends to help her deal with the body, and they are dragged into an underbelly they never knew existed.

I was going to work in a lame joke with ‘Desperate Housewives’ but Out by Natsuo Kirino is above that. The sheer domesticity of the womens’ lives drains with its existential inevitability, but their murderous descent gives an exquisite brutality that actually seems simultaneously uplifting and empowering. I really quite enjoyed this book.

(ISBN No: 978-1400078370) Check NLB Catalogue for item availability.

Thanks to the Viatch for giving me he book – I think it took me a whole year before getting round to reading it.


make anything

I realise it’ll more than a few years before Vernon can play with Lego without swallowing the pieces, but this very clever Lego ad is totally whetting my appetite for 3000-piece Death Star building sessions with my nephew.

beautiful boy

I should point out that there was a brand new 6 pound addition to the family yesterday at 4pm, courtesy of my brother and sister-in-law. Little Vernon is a fantastic little kicking meat-bundle, with the superhuman ability to not-blink and a snorty derision of nipples, and he has come to save the universe.

I was too busy trying not to drop him to remember to take pictures. Will upload after seeing him again tonight.

Yes, I know the orientation’s wrong. I usually just view these on my phone anyway.


Directly led to Jared Hess directing Jon Heder as Napoleon Dynamite. Not as big a hoot as the feature film, but still charming and laidback nonetheless.

feeling (not so) good.

Was kinda underwhelmed by Muse’s gig on Tuesday at Fort Canning. Yeah, that was the best photo I could get. That’s not to say Matt Bellamy (aka the Rat) and Co weren’t tight as a spider’s arse. Cos those guys can freaking play, man.

Probably cos I had a damn long day before that, plus alot of stupid ticketing cockups just before the gig. Oh well, the encore was pretty kickass, so not bad lah. Can go again next time.

Next up, Jens Lekman and Mosaic!

Reads: Iron Council

More steampunk weirdness from China Miéville – this time New Crobuzon is in the middle of a war with another nation, while at the same time dealing with political upheaval at home. Meanwhile, golemist Judah Low and a small band set out to find the legendary rogues of the Iron Council, who may or may not be New Crobuzon’s final hope.

While I certainly enjoyed Iron Council , there was something so oppressive about the atmosphere and tone that made it a little depressing to read. Still, it still has alot of cool, twisted ideas ala Miéville though – I particularly enjoyed the flying zombie parasite hands.

Iron Council
(ISBN No: 978-0330492522) Check NLB Catalogue for item availability.

My next book will be Out by Natsuo Kirino.

mediacorp content for public use

According to CNA, Mediacorp is digitising its archive for use by the public. For a moment, I got quite excited and thought they might be considering a move like what the BBC did with the Creative Archive Licence Group. Doesn’t seem so likely after reading though.

Here’s what Henry Lim, Mediacorp deputy CEO (Corporate Services) has to say about it:

“From the users’ perspective, it is not about technology. It is about the ability to access content and how this content comes to them. For example, one of the research that we are looking at is how we can process the same content that we have and deliver it through various platforms like mobile phones, TV and even to high definition (TV) by using the same stream of delivery.”

Here’s the MDA quote from Michael Yap, deputy CEO of MDA:

“We are always looking to encourage our industry, particularly big industry players like MediaCorp, to move into R&D. So, one of the things we will looking at in MDA is to help to incentivise and facilitate MediaCorp in going deeper into R&D, and create more innovative and exciting genres of programmes.”

Unfortunately, there’s no mention of remixing content by the public ala Creative Commons, which would be massive news, but then totally uncharacteristic of Mediacorp. What it does sound like is tapping archived material for paid viewing by way of MobTV. Which is alright, I suppose.

While the digitisation process seems interesting, what with the metadata and image recognition technology, it would have been nice to see them do something culturally progressive like offering the archives under Creative Commons licensing. But then again, they do have this creepy and faintly embarrassing attitude towards intellectual property.

And what’s with that non sequitur about creating more innovative and exciting genres of programmes“? I’m not really sure thats under R&D, man.

iphone, baby

The iPhone’s quite pretty, no doubt. And running OS X, that’s seriously quite amazing. Cute nod to Pixar with the clownfish too. The interface is the absolute bomb, though I foresee the simulated momentum in the updown scroll might be a pain. Here’s a video from Gizmodo:

Heh, I wonder what ROKR owners are feeling like right now.

A huge caveat though, its only EDGE, no 3G, which is pretty disappointing. Steve didn’t demonstrate the 2MP camera either. And a 5 hour battery life is pretty pathetic too. It’s also kinda big, I think. Jason Kottke’s done a helpful size comparison here. Then again, in terms of UI, the iPhone is pretty unrivalled for a consumer product, I think. Time’s got a pretty illuminating piece about it here.

And when the hell’s the bloody shipdate for Leopard, that’s really what I was waiting for last night. And no “one more thing” either. Damn. In any case, I’ve already ordered my MacBook Pro – screw Leopard’s shipdate. Good news for my MBP, it’ll be shipping with 802.11n (I hope) but unfortunately, the enabler software will only come with the new Airport Extreme Base Station.

Now to wait for the impending unboxing post.

Argh, just cancelled my order. Apparently there’s a possibility of “One More Thing” tonight.

unboxing – adizero PR

Check out my new, incredibly sweet running shoes, bought for me just yesterday by Grace as part of my birthday xmas buffet of gifts. Only freaking 110 grams, man. I think its part of adidas’ attempt to cash in on the barefoot running craze. The adizero PR is really just a breathable mesh sock stitched beautifully to a thin, perforated sole. Chio hor? Got at a pretty good price at Queensway somemore.

Went for a short 2km warm-up (having not run for 2 and half months) and I have to say that I barely even felt them. I don’t think I should even bother with socks. I used to wear the standard issue New Balance SAF running shoes, which are more than a little chunky, so fellow NSMen can imagine the difference. Although I’m a little concerned with the obvious lack of cushioning and how many kilometres they’ll actually last.

But then again although I’m not exactly sure how much faster I ran cos of the new kicks, I certainly felt very pretty from my ankles down the whole time. Just look at them babies.

Drop-dead gorgeous.

So anyway, the reason I got these shoes are really cos of my new 52 weeks project for the year (or in this case, about 48 weeks?) – to attempt the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2007 (half-marathon, though) in December this year. I actually trained pretty hard for a few months for the 2006 one, but forgot to register, and also got prolongedly sick and swamped with assignments. Excuses, I know. So hopefully, putting it out here will serve to push me a little harder.

Started a running log at Cool Running, but the bloody site’s been wonky and won’t let me back in – anybody know where I can find another good site to log my running?

I just realised this is post #200 – cool.

happy birthday, david bowie!!

It’s David Bowie‘s birthday!!! The coolest rockstar who’s ever lived turns 60 today – 8th January – otherwise known as Ziggymas. Seriously, it’s like all the big rock survivors from the 60s are indestructible, just look at Dylan and Keef.

Probably one of the most religious experiences of my life was catching him live at the Indoor Stadium in 2004. Still hands down, the best gig I’ve ever been. I think I cried during “Quicksand”. Er, no lah.