Feb 28, 2010

Interview with Kumar: Singapore’s #1 drag queen

Interviewed Kumar, drag queen and funnyman extraordinaire, for a story on CNNGo. Captured it all on video. So I wrote it up, got photos and edited the interview into a video.

Kumar’s quite the interviewee as he’s amazingly quick witted and loquacious. And his answers aren’t on-the-beaten track. Catch him at Three Monkeys at Orchard Towers on Fridays and Saturdays, and Hard Rock Café on Mondays.

Link to article: CNNGo

Feb 25, 2010

You know that Cadbury ad…

…of kids with nubile eyebrows that act like caterpillars on speed? Amazing isn’t it?

It did so well that Cadbury took it to the streets in 2009 and hauled up bystanders to mimic the kids with nubile eyebrows.

One of the bystanders turned out to be a friend, Preman Rajalingam, who was waylaid at Shaw Cinema’s underpass and made to wriggle eyebrows for milk chocolate.

Preman wriggles Cadbury eyebrows

By all counts, he acquitted himself pretty well. I just hope that he didn’t sprain an eyebrow in the process. Personally I think ordinary people should stay away from eyebrow calisthenics…

Cadbury Official ad

Feb 22, 2010

Peace One Day: 21 Sept

If you looked for one day of peace but couldn’t find it…what would you do then?

Filmmaker Jeremy Gilley tried to look for one day of peace. But couldn’t find it at all. Not a paltry 24 hours of non violence within any continent – Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe or Australia.

And that drove him to launch his Peace One Day where one day is dedicated to 24 hours of non-violence.

“Pretty cool. But what’s the big deal with just one day of peace?” you might ask.

Oh nothing much, except for ruminating on what might have been… In a day of peace Gilley estimated that we could vaccinate a country, or drop enough food aid to feed starving nations, or even teach much-needed skills to anyone.

But now they’ve either gone up in gunpowder and artillery shells, or spent cowering behind mud packed walls. 

So if you think a day of peace is important, then keep 21 Sept circled on your calendar. And tell your friends and friend’s friends.

Understatement of the day: “The important thing about it is to keep talking about it and keep trying, you know.” – Chris Martin, Coldplay.

Read it over at Peace One Day

Feb 16, 2010

Man pushes van out of train’s way

Argentina: A man jumps off his friend’s motorcycle and pushes a minivan off the train tracks and jumps out of a train’s way with inches left to spare.

That takes crazy balls to do something like that. As you’ll see in this YouTube clip below.

From: itnnews

Feb 15, 2010

福: A Chinatown Walking Tour

Chinese New Year -- three days of food, drink, gambling, relatives, and ang paos (red packets filled with money) for luck, fortune, and good health. All the good stuff that we’ll ever need to tide us over the next 365 days.

福: A Chinatown Walking Tour in Singapore
Chinatown during Chinese New Year (src: Chinatown Album on Imageshack)

In recognition of its significance to ethnic Chinese, I’ve created a walking tour for Chinatown based on the Chinese character 福, which means fortune, to bring prosperity to the walker.

It’s kitschy, a little silly, and a little hard to get around. But I think it’s a tour that’s that out of the norm and shows another side of Chinatown that you might not have seen at all.

As usual it’s free to use the map. If you do use or embed it elsewhere, please leave a comment on my blog and link back to this post. I’ll also be very happy if you could link to my Twitter account @ http://twitter.com/skybe077 as well. :D 

福: A Chinatown Walking Tour in Singapore
Street scenes from up high (src: Chinatown Album on Imageshack)

Oh yes, the how-to part of the walking tour.

Caveat: I drew the character through buildings and blithely disregarded how I’d follow the lines. So if you’re following the walking tour, try to walk through stone. Failing so, I’d recommend going around the buildings.

Start point: Outram Park MRT, Tat Hong Exit
Exit point: Chang Jiang Porridge
Instructions: Follow the blue line whenever possible. I’ve marked out detour routes in red. You can follow the tour in sequential order from 1 to 13, or just make up your own sequence.

View Chinatown - A Walking Tour in a larger map

Feb 13, 2010

Frozen sausage stylus for the iPhone

Imagine night market vendors hawking the sausage stylus: “Cheap and fresh iSausages! Comes in beef, kimchi, and barbequed pork! Hardness guaranteed while you’re outdoors!”

Sausage stylus for iPhone

Brilliant stuff.

Found it from: Business Insider

Sichuan food

My love affair with Sichuan food started in Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan.

During my two weeks in southwestern China, I gobbled on ma la (麻辣) pork, beancurd, pig’s intestines, whatever. Every meal was the same. First a tingle, followed by burning pain across the tongue. The food scraped my tastebuds raw as it bounced from palate to throat. A few more rounds by which I’d be panting for water (more like Yanjing beer). Finally numbness of the tongue.

It was sweaty and masochistic. It was also the best food I’ve ever tasted. And I loved it all, despite next morning’s affair in the toilet that ended in hot tears.

Sichuan food

It’s hard to find good Sichuan food in Singapore. They’re either too oily or just not ma la (麻辣) enough.

But this little stall just outside of People’s Park Food Centre is probably the exception. It serves cold Sichuan dishes and it’s the best one that I’ve had so far. It’s like a mixed rice stall sans rice. Just point out your choice of vegetables, meats or innards, and the doughy Chinese owner will put them in a Styrofoam box to take away.

As they all taste the same after a while, I’d suggest mixing and matching dishes based on texture for variation. Each dish has just enough oil without overpowering the base ingredients, and coupled with ma la spices, they are reminiscent of how Sichuan can bite.

And I’m not just talking about the food.

Ma La Tang (麻辣烫) stall; Outside People’s Park Complex Hawker Centre

Ma La Tang (麻辣烫)
Stall just outside of People’s Park Food Centre, 32 New Market Road Singapore 050032
Three choices cost S$3.50 to S$4.

Feb 12, 2010

Man gives away his fortune to be happy

Ex-millionaire Karl Rabeder gave away his entire fortune to be happy. Now he’s back to being a pauper.


His reasons are…

"For a long time I believed that more wealth and luxury automatically meant more happiness," he said. "I come from a very poor family where the rules were to work more to achieve more material things, and I applied this for many years," said Mr Rabeder.

"More and more I heard the words: ‘Stop what you are doing now – all this luxury and consumerism – and start your real life’," he said. "I had the feeling I was working as a slave for things that I did not wish for or need. I have the feeling that there are lot of people doing the same thing."

I’m hearing more of these “millionaire gives away fortune to be happy” stories recently. Are they really jaded by their luxe living? Or they just nostalgic for the good ol’ days when beans were luxury items? Isn’t there a way to balance having money and still being happy? Geez… what’s happyness?

Whatever the case, I can’t help but wonder: “Will Karl Rabeder be happy when he’s starving and cold?”

Source: Neatorama

Feb 10, 2010

Turning an interview into an audio stream

I like new stuff and ways of presenting things. So I thought “why not stream parts of an interview to accompany the written portion?”

I went off, did the interview, wrote the story.

And cringed when I listened to it on mp3.

“Errr… i think… I mean y’know that it really isn’t like that…”

We don’t speak like we read, do we?

So here’s eight short tips to turning your interview into an audio stream.

  1. Start off the interview with an explanation.
  2. Ask the interviewee to pause after every answer.
  3. Pronounce your words care-ful-ly. Wecan’tunderstandwhatyou’resayingifyou’rerattlingitofflikeamachinegun! Whew!
  4. Make sure that you’re not “eeee”, “ahhh”, “orrrrhhh”, “errrrmmm” when phrasing questions. Editing it out is a bitch.
  5. Record in a quiet environment. Otherwise you might just inadvertently pick up things that weren’t met for your ears (“Ehhh, I heard that she went for breast surgery…”).
  6. Don’t move the microphone when we’re speaking. Screechy noises are not good on the ears!
  7. Make sure that you’ve got a script. And your interviewee has read it.
  8. Inject enthusiasm into your voice or find someone who can.

For more podcasting tips head to Jack Herrington’s O’Reilly page.

I used Wavepad sound editor.

Feb 7, 2010

Little India: Turn right, turn left

It's not your standard walking tour for Singapore's Little India -- that area of unmitigated mess of spices, Bollywood music, liquor shops, jaywalking Indians and Briyani.

I took a page from The Lonely Planet Guide to Experimental Travel by Rachael Antony and Joël Henry, and alternated between left and right turns at every junction.

My journey is documented in my walking guide to Little India for CNNGo. At the same time, I did up a Google Map of Little India walking trail that was used in the article.

I’ve embedded the map below. Please feel free to use it. Just remember to link back to my blog. Thanks!

See Little India - A walking tour in a larger map


  1. Pick a start point
  2. Walk straight until you come to a junction
  3. Turn left or right
  4. Take a photo & note what’s happening
  5. Walk until you come to another junction
  6. Turn in the opposite direction of the previous turn
  7. Take a photo & note what’s happening
  8. Repeat 2. to 7. until you reach a dead end

Feb 4, 2010

Macau: Dice, Wine & Loots of Women

“On a recent visit, some 100 women - almost all of them from the mainland and dressed in not much more than a colorful scarf and a sneeze - were available to entertain guests in one of the 26 renovated karaoke rooms.”

Macau KTV and women

That, I never saw when I tripped through Macau a couple of years back.

But it was a day-trip. Both wine and women appear when the sun sets.

Had I stayed, I would have seen many gorgeous women endlessly waltz through hotel lobbies (for example, the very Las-Vegan Lisboa Hotel) while the “classier” variety were paraded by their KTV Mamis “in not much more than a colourful scarf and a sneeze” (accurate blow-by-blow account here).

Most of the women are mainland Chinese with a handful of Vietnamese and Eastern Europeans, who enter the Special Administrative Region without much fuss. They might be in Macau to satisfy Stanley Ho’s enormous appetite for tits and cracks.

Apart from him, the women cater mostly to gamblers. Winners celebrate using them; losers console themselves in them. Non-gamblers and alternative tourists do not need fret. Nowadays, there are deals known as “honeymoon” deals (pasted all over ferry terminals to Macau) that “include a woman, a room and several hours of whatever for about HK$1,900  [SGD$400]”.

And if you’re hungry after whatever, Macau’s got pretty good Wanton Mee somewhere between casinos and churches.

First appeared in Skybe’s World

Feb 1, 2010

A photo exploration of Singapore

Came across a set of old photos in my old blog. Thought I’d repost them here to start up my Explore section…

Preserved Sausages & Waxed Ducks


03-01-09_2215  03-01-09_2213

Socially Responsible Exhibits

Post Museum
(Makisquarepatch is now Doinky Doodles???)

12-12-08_2121  12-12-08_2122

Bags, Shoes & Feet

Shop in Haji Lane

19-12-08_2035  19-12-08_2034


Haji Lane

19-12-08_2048  19-12-08_2047

Related Posts with Thumbnails