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 MiĆ©ville – 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 MiĆ©ville 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.