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Shirlyn ( From UnXpected ) Is Leaving To LA Soon

Shirlyn, who is the lead singer of UnXpected, will be leaving for LA soon.

I often get asked this question, ‘What do you do during the day?’ I guess you guys are curious about whether I have a day job. I have been a full time musician almost all of my music journey, with the exception of a part-time waitressing job in between my last gig somewhere else and the beginning of The UnXpected.

My answer these days, when posed the question, is ‘I practise yoga.’

Shirlyn & UnXpected have made the nights that my gf and I spent at Wala-Wala a special part of our relationship. They aren’t just a band that is on stage playing good music. Each night, they sing songs that transport us back into our past, playing music to guide us through our memories and most importantly, leading us through a night of fun.

Do catch them before she flies off. Their schedule is here.

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OMG – I Met Yongfook Today – Plus His Site Seems To Be Down Now

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Today, I met Yongfook. I don’t think there is anything wrong being a fanboi, especially if you are worshiping the awesomeness which is Megan Fox, but it is slightly worrying when the object of fandom is a male web developer.

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The problem is there is a lot to like about Yongfook. He is rather handsome, has a great sense of aesthetic as evidenced from his sites, seems like a decent web developer ( who can get people excited about his products ) and after today, an eloquent presenter that can get his ideas across effectively and able to actually teach people something. His presentation’s sample case studies were not just an enlightening lesson in what to do but also how to approach the problem of social media metrics.

Incidentally, his site was down for a while. Or at least impossible to connect. I think lots of women are checking out his site after his presentation today. In case you are doing research, he is single. Join the fan club here.

The truth is, from the information that can be gleamed from his sites alone, the story of Yongfook the web personality is a rather interesting one. Like all things good on the web recently, I learned of Yongfook from litford. Earlier this evening, during a dinner which was hosted by IDA and TDM, I managed to learn a little more of Yongfook the person beyond the web personality while sharing a table with him and a few other folks.

Interesting conversation all round and he shared a side of Singapore I can’t get to see as a local.

Did I mention there is a fan club.

A little more of the awesomeness of Megan Fox.

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And yes, I do feel I need to overcompensate in a post on what seems like an awesome dude with an even more awesome babe.

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I Might Have Died In National Service If Not For …

I came across a variation of this quote today,

No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country.
He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.

which triggered my memory of this scene:

and it reminded me of this bad-ass officer that probably saved my life in national service.

This OC was one legendary ‘fucker’. He was strict. He was abusive. He was tough. There was an exercise we were on when he dislocated his shoulder. He finished the whole exercise before going for any proper medical treatment. He made us do a lot of crazy shit during exercises.

And most importantly, he was a fucking tough disciplinarian. And that probably saved my life.

We were in Australia when the accident happened. Just before the accident, my armor vehicle had made a roadside stop for some administrative purposes. The ramp for the vehicle was down and my section mates and me had our helmets off. We were eating our combat rations and were slacking off.

As we were about to move off, with the ramp being brought up, the officer’s vehicle pulled up behind us and he got off the vehicle. We saw him before he could see us without our helmets. My section mate said something to this effect, “FUCK…OC is here. Better wear helmet before he fuck us.”

We were that scared of him.

Anyway, here’s the thing. While against safety protocol, soldiers sometimes get complacent and take off their helmets in the vehicle, even when it is moving, for a little physical comfort. We would have done the same thing that day if we hadn’t seen the OC and weren’t so afraid of him as a strict disciplinarian.

Not too long after we put on our helmets, we collided with another armored vehicle. Everything inside the vehicle flew. A lot of shit hit our heads. A lot of heavy sharp shit.

But we were safe. We were protected because we had worn our helmets.

Reading up on Patton and some of his quotes, I am reminded of what it means to be tough on people you are supposed to care for. Sometimes, you do others a disservice by being soft on them.

Some quotes about the importance of discipline:

It is absurd to believe that soldiers who cannot be made to wear the proper uniform can be induced to move forward in battle. Officers who fail to perform their duty by correcting small violations and in enforcing proper conduct are incapable of leading.

You cannot be disciplined in great things and indiscipline in small things. Brave undisciplined men have no chance against the discipline and valour of other men. Have you ever seen a few policemen handle a crowd?

All men are timid on entering any fight. Whether it is the first or the last fight, all of us are timid. Cowards are those who let their timidity get the better of their manhood.

If you can’t get them to salute when they should salute and wear the clothes you tell them to wear, how are you going to get them to die for their country?

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Jon Stewart Is Possibly The Most Trusted Man In America

I learned of Jon Stewart only when he started hosting The Daily Show. The New York Times has an article on him here. Some excerpts and my thoughts below:

MR. STEWART describes his job as “throwing spitballs” from the back of the room and points out that “The Daily Show” mandate is to entertain, not inform. Still, he and his writers have energetically tackled the big issues of the day — “the stuff we find most interesting,” as he said in an interview at the show’s Midtown Manhattan offices, the stuff that gives them the most “agita,” the sometimes somber stories he refers to as his “morning cup of sadness.” And they’ve done so in ways that straight news programs cannot: speaking truth to power in blunt, sometimes profane language, while using satire and playful looniness to ensure that their political analysis never becomes solemn or pretentious.

I actually find the show the most informative for current affairs. Plus it challenges you to think whenever consuming any form of media.

I became aware of the power that comedy, parody and satire have when I was studying Blazing Saddles by Mel Brooks during my American Film History class – it is this power that The Daily Show wields so adeptly.

Sidenote: The two modules I enjoyed the most when in NUS were ‘American Film History’ and ‘Film and History’. I’m an Engineering graduate and to be honest, it was only when i was taking the cross-faculty modules that I felt I was being challenged to think independently, differently and critically. The Engineering modules were only about the answers and the steps to get there without much appreciation for the steps and the reasons behind them.

Sorry. I digressed.

Anyway, more excerpts:

“In some respects, the heavier subjects are the ones that are most loaded with opportunity because they have the most — you know, the difference between potential and kinetic energy? — they have the most potential energy, so to delve into that gives you the largest combustion, the most interest. I don’t mean for the audience. I mean for us. Everyone here is working too hard to do stuff we don’t care about.”

Mr. Stewart’s comedic gifts — his high-frequency radar for hypocrisy, his talent for excavating ur-narratives from mountains of information, his ability, in Ms. Corn’s words, “to name things that don’t seem to have a name” — proved to be perfect tools for explicating and parsing the foibles of an administration known for its secrecy, ideological certainty and impatience with dissenting viewpoints.

He’s the Jersey Boy and ardent Mets fan as Mr. Common Sense, pointing to the disconnect between reality and what politicians and the news media describe as reality, channeling the audience’s id and articulating its bewilderment and indignation. He’s the guy willing to say the emperor has no clothes, to wonder why in Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “It’s 3 a.m.” ad no one picks up the phone in the White House before six rings, to ask why a preinvasion meeting in March 2003 between President Bush and his allies took all of an hour — the “time it takes LensCrafters to make you a pair of bifocals” to discuss “a war that could destroy the global order.”

While he possesses Johnny Carson’s talent for listening and George Carlin’s gift for observation, his comedy remains rooted in his informed reactions to what Tom Wolfe once called “the irresistibly lurid carnival of American life,”

“Jon’s ability to consume and process information is invaluable,” said Mr. Colbert. He added that Mr. Stewart is “such a clear thinker” that he’s able to take “all these data points of spin and transparent falsehoods dished out in the form of political discourse” and “fish from that what is the true meaning, what are red herrings, false leads,” even as he performs the ambidextrous feat of “making jokes about it” at the same time.

“We often discuss satire — the sort of thing he does and to a certain extent I do — as distillery,” Mr. Colbert continued. “You have an enormous amount of material, and you have to distill it to a syrup by the end of the day. So much of it is a hewing process, chipping away at things that aren’t the point or aren’t the story or aren’t the intention. Really it’s that last couple of drops you’re distilling that makes all the difference. It isn’t that hard to get a ton of corn into a gallon of sour mash, but to get that gallon of sour mash down to that one shot of pure whiskey takes patience” as well as “discipline and focus.”

this was after 9-11:

He talked about feeling privileged to live where you can “sit in the back of the country and make wisecracks.” And he talked about “why I grieve but why I don’t despair.”

Singapore has lots of problems. But we also have got a lot of things right. The question that I think needs to be asked is this – is the current environment one where the people who really care know within themselves that things can get better, that there is hope and despair is replaced. More specifically, do we have the conviction that if any sort of shit hits the fan, we will be able to deal with it with stoic resolve.

In fact, Mr. Stewart regards comedy as a kind of catharsis machine, a therapeutic filter for grappling with upsetting issues. “What’s nice to us about the relentlessness of the show,” he said, “is you know you’re going to get that release no matter what, every night, Monday through Thursday. Like pizza, it may not be the best pizza you’ve ever had, but it’s still pizza, man, and you get to have it every night. It’s a wonderful feeling to have this toxin in your body in the morning, that little cup of sadness, and feel by 7 or 7:30 that night, you’ve released it in sweat equity and can move on to the next day.”

You know something – reading some the posts that are linked by Singapore Daily is my catharsis machine because some of the writers are indeed funny and biting in their commentary of Singapore and the shenanigans that occur. However, it doesn’t seem to be enough. Something is missing and I think Singaporeans need our own Jon Stewart.

This is the link to this post-9/11 speech. This was the clip that made me start to admire him.

The view from my apartment was the World Trade Center…Now it’s gone. They attacked this symbol of American ingenuity and strength and labor and imagination and commerce, and it is gone., but you know what the view is now? The Statue of Liberty. The view from the south of Manhattan is now the Statue of Liberty. You can’t beat that.

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George Carlin On Abortion

The longer you listen to this abortion debate, the more you hear the phrase “sanctity of life,” “sanctity of life.” You believe in it? Personally, I think it’s a bunch of shit. I mean, life is sacred? Who said so? God? Hey, if you read history, you realize that God is one of the leading causes of death.

How come when it’s with us, it’s an ‘abortion’, and when it’s with chickens it’s an ‘omelet’?

Why is it that most of the people who are against abortion are people you wouldn’t want to fuck in the first place?

And my favorite:

If you think a fetus is more important than a woman, try getting a fetus wash the shit stains out of your underwear!

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Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker and Tits

“I think it is the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately.”

George Carlin is apparently dead. I’m sad that I never got to see him perform live. One of his claims to fame was the seven dirty words – Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker and Tits.

He was supposed to receive this year’s Mark Twain Prize, a lifetime achievement award presented to an outstanding comedian.

He did something that none of my English teachers ever did – taught me the concept of unnecessary words and actually made me love the English language. I love how he is so spot-on with the hypocrisies that fill this world.

Discovered him first through his books, then random quotes online. Only when YouTube and video sharing sites took off did I manage to follow more of his stuff after I started working.

Go seek out his works.

George Carlin, I’ll miss you.

I hope he gets to Heaven, assuming there is a God and a Heaven. He was so angry only because he probably actually cared.

Updated: If we keep saying he should go to heaven, he might be pissed enough to come back and kick our asses. That’s a thought.

Updated: New York Times has written an article about him.

“I don’t have pet peeves,” he said, correcting the interviewer. And with a mischievous glint in his eyes, he added, “I have major, psychotic hatreds.”

“Scratch any cynic,” he said, “and you’ll find a disappointed idealist.”

Updated: You know you are getting older when your heroes start dying.

Updated: Buzzfeed has a list of links about George Carlin and his death.

Updated: This was not written by George Carlin.

Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker and Tits

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Yael Naim – New Soul

First heard this song ‘New Soul’ by Yael Naim via Hypem and I totally loved it. So did a Google search on the singer and learned that this was the song used in a Macbook Air commercial.

I couldn’t describe why I loved this song until I found someone online describing it as:

light, ethereal, infectious and personal.

The music video for the song:

The commercial:

The lyrics:

I’m a new soul
I came to this strange world
Hoping I could learn a bit bout how to give and take
But since I came here, felt the joy and the fear
Finding myself making every possible mistake

La, la, la, la (21x)
La, la, la, la (21x)

See I’m a young soul in this very strange world
Hoping I could learn a bit bout what is true and fake
But why all this hate? try to communicate
Finding trust and love is not always easy to make

La, la, la, la (21x)
La, la, la, la (21x)

This is a happy end
Cause you don’t understand
Everything you have done
Why’s everything so wrong

This is a happy end
Come and give me your hand
I’ll take you far away

I’m a new soul
I came to this strange world
Hoping I could learn a bit bout how to give and take
But since I came here, felt the joy and the fear
Finding myself making every possible mistake

New soul… (la, la, la, la,…)
In this very strange world…
Every possible mistake
Possible mistake
Every possible mistake
Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes…

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Keanu Reeves Could Be Our Generation’s Charlton Heston

After reading this article about Charlton Heston on the New York Times, I had a thought that Keanu Reeves, at least in terms of how critics panned his acting, could be the Charlton Heston of our generation.

The paragraph that triggered the thought:

In long shot and choking close up, Welles directs Mr. Heston brilliantly, making particularly memorable use of the actor’s physicality, his big, rangy body and the hard, clean right angles of his face. The ramrod straight, straight as an arrow Vargas, with his impossibly long and loping stride, could not look or register more different from Quinlan, an amorphous blob who all but rolls across the screen. Welles exploits Mr. Heston’s rigidity as a performer (and his American movie-star presence) for the character, using what in other films sometimes seemed like a limitation of craft and technique to the great advantage of the story’s texture and meaning. He turns Mr. Heston’s jutting jaw into the wagging finger of righteousness, deepening the film’s complex morality.

Compare the above to this review of Constantine:

Overall, this was an enjoyable movie to watch. The CGI graphics were shit, but who knows perhaps Hell and hellspawn really does look that pathetically bad. I’ll let you know when I get there. Keanu Reeves has only one facial expression. He uses it well in this role (he used it well in the Matrix trilogy too)

Both have played iconic roles in landmark movies of their respective generations while confounding critics with their successful careers which should not have been due to their supposed lack of talent.

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Charlton Heston Has Passed Away

Charlton Heston has passed away.

IMDB’s page on him.

Heston’s career surged in an era when “the difference between good and evil, and the eventual triumph of the good, the reward of the virtuous, of the heroic, was almost always recognized,”

That was the thing I loved about the movies I watched when I was younger. The movies were a form of escapism, a way to run away into a world where everything was possible and anything could happened yet things were always simple, black and white and more importantly to me, it was a place where the ending always seemed to give hope about life and the choices we make.

Movies and going to the cinema have always been a big part of my family. Two of my favorite movies starred Charlton Heston – Ben-Hur and The Ten Commandments. Charlton Heston was this rugged heroic screen figure with the chiseled jawline that would make even Superman jealous. In a way, he was moral absolutism personified. I remember my family going to watch them when the old Picturehouse, in a building of its own next to Cathay building, screened classics like Doctor Zhivago, Gone With The Wind, Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments. Those were the times of really epic movies when they had an intermission – toilet break. Incidentally, the only modern film I’ve watched with an intermission is Lagaan which is also one of my favorite movies – it finally helped me understand the game of cricket.

I actually enjoyed seeing Charlton Heston in the movie True Lies more than the Jamie Lee Curtis striptease.

From Metafilter:

3 Rules for being a man:

1. No Whining
2. Suck it up and take it
3. What would Charlton Heston do?

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Charles Fawcett – One Interesting Guy

This guy had an affair with his best friend’s mother. I love his quote:

“If that’s child molestation,I would wish this curse on every young boy.”

via:kottke

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