Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Cheers and Happy New Year to all!


This is the last post of the year. What a year! 2008 has been a memorable year. The highlight for me has to be helping Guns N' Roses launch their album here in Singapore - on my birthday some more! I wanted this to be a "Best of IZ Reloaded 2008" post but after looking through my archive, I couldn't decide on a top 10. So do yourself a favour, take a look at my blog archive for 2008 and enjoy some of the posts again. Last words for the year. I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and let's pray hard that 2009 will be a better year. Party real hard tonight and if you drive, don't drink and if you drink, don't drive. Stay safe and I shall see you guys and gals next year. Love you all!

10 Asian bra TV advertisements not to be missed

The bra! Everybody loves it so I've compiled 10 Asian bra ads that I think everyone should watch. Some of these TV ads are cute, some are funny and some are totally hot! You can watch all 10 above. Enjoy the boobies. I mean bra.

Reviews! Reviews! Reviews! All the reviews on IZ Reloaded for 2008!

IMG_2472 - Share on Ovi

Now that 2008 is coming to a close, I thought it's a perfect time to take a look back at the reviews I did this year: Philips BTM630 Micro Hi-Fi System, Philips GoGear SA5245BT MP3 Video Player, Scarlet LG 70 HDTV, Football Manager 2009, Sony Ericsson Xperia X1, Sony Vaio Z, The X-Files: I Want To Believe, The Dark Knight, LG Secret, LG KS20 Smartphone, LG 42LB7RF HDTV and World Golf Tour. I hope you enjoyed reading them. Here's looking forward to more reviews next year!

Star Trek Captain Kirk's Chair

This replica of the Captain's chair on board the Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise will make anyone who sits on it feels like he is Captain Kirk. Chair comes with modern lighting and sound effects and phrases designed to thrill any Star Trek enthusiast.

Anna's Bento Sketches

Anna sketches the design for each of her lovely bento creations before actually making them. That makes sense - seeing how complicated some of her bento sets are. You can view her bento sketches here and her masterpiece bento sets here.

How to draw female manga characters

Techniques for Drawing Female Manga Characters is a book written by Hikaru Hayashi which provides detailed instructions for any aspiring manga artist to learn how to draw a female manga figure. Guys would especially be interested in Chapter 2, the part about boobies. It's very "educational".

The most frightening MP3s from across the globe

Sonic Warfare collects music from all around the world that transcends the merely bad and enters the realm of the surreal. I found a lot of gems there including Sam Hui's Tin Choy Baak Chi Chin Chin Chin (Genius Idiot Money Money Money).

95 Old School Games You Can Play Online

For those of you who miss wasting hours of your time playing classic video games like Counter Attack, Asteroids, Contra and Donkey Kong, now you can play them online for free - all 95 of them, rated and reviewed by the kind folks from Amog.

Directory of Typographic and Graphic Posters

Typo/graphic posters is a directory of posters with notable graphical or typographical quality. The directory has already compiled posters made by more than 120 designers! This one is done by Santiago Gregori from Spain.

(Thanks miki)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Philips BTM630 Micro Hi-Fi System: A Review

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It was two weeks ago when I posted a review of the Philips GoGear SA5245BT digital MP3 video player. Today, I'm reviewing the Philips BTM630 Micro Hi-Fi System.

The Philips BTM630 is a small and elegant Hi-Fi system measuring 390 x 140.5 x 200.5 mm (W x H x D). It plays WMA-CD, MP3-CD, CD, CD-R, CD-RW and also music from any USB device and SD/MMC cards. On top of the BTM630, you'll find the iPod dock, SD/MMC slot and its controls.

The iPod dock is used to dock your iPod player for playback or for recharging. Most iPod models with 30 pin dock connectors are compatible with the dock. Playing a music from your iPod on the BTM630 is easy. Once docked, press Source to select iPod and the music starts to play automatically. While docking, your iPod also charges itself.

One of the main featues of the BTM630 is the ability to enjoy wireless music via Bluetooth technology. I recorded a video below to demonstrate this feature.

The Bluetooth capabilities of the BTM630 allow it to receive audio from Bluetooth enabled devices wirelessly like mobile phones, PDAs, MP3 players. It has an operational range of approximately 10m. Pairing your device with the BTM630 is easy and within minutes, you can start playing music from your device on the BTM630. The BTM630 also allows you to make or end calls of a connected Bluetooth enabled mobile phone. But I don't understand why would anyone want to use a Hi-Fi to answer phone calls.

You can rip music on the BTM630 to a connected USB device or SD/MMC memory card. I really love the speed of the rip. At 2X, it's very fast. But what I don't like is that the mp3 file doesn't have the music details like track name, etc. Instead the BTM630 renames it using numbers. There's no way to edit this using the BTM630. You'll need to use your PC.

Music quality of the BTM630 is surprisingly good. Well, above average to be exact but this isn't a system for audiophiles. Midrange is very good. Voices are correct and defined and all the high frequencies are there. Bass range however is not very deep. The BTM630 struggles when playing a music that has low bass. You can barely hear it especially when the other instruments are loud. The BTM630 has Dynamic Bass Boost which maximizes your music enjoyment by emphasizing the bass content of the music throughout the range of volume settings - from low to high – at the touch of a button. You would want to set this on everytime when you play your music.

The Digital Sound Control of the BTM630 offers you a choice of pre-set Jazz, Rock, Pop and Classic controls. I don't hear much of a difference between the Jazz, Classic and Pop controls - only on Rock. And worse, the BTM630 doesn't have a Graphic Equalizer which in my opinion, is a must in all audio systems.

Overall, the BTM630 is still a good enough system that will provide you with an acceptable sound for your home. Audiophiles may want to look for something better. Photos of the BTM630 here. It is retailing at S$329.

Philips GoGear SA5245BT: A Review
Just in: Philips Micro Hi-Fi System and GoGear audio video player
Philips “Indulge Your Senses” Blogger Event

To Mars via The Moon: An Astronomical Story

I'm currently reading To Mars via The Moon: An Astronomical Story, a surprisingly delightful book published in 1911 that is part astronomy, part Utopian fiction and part adventure. It is about a man who makes a spaceship to visit the Moon and Mars. On Mars, he meets his dead son who is reincarnated as a Martian. You can read everything here. Here's an excerpt from Chapter IX:
"Mars revolves on its axis in 24 hours, 37 minutes, and 22 seconds, thus the 'day' on Mars is nearly 38 minutes longer than our 'day.' Phobos revolves round the planet in the very short period of 7 hours, 39 minutes, and 14 seconds, and therefore makes more than three complete revolutions round the planet in the course of a single Martian day. The peculiar phenomena to which this very rapid motion gives rise, and the numerous eclipses which occur, will be matters of great interest to us all when we reach Mars. Our moon, as you know, takes a month to make one revolution round the earth."

"Professor," said John, "when we get to Mars, it will be rather a curious experience for us to see two moons shining in the sky at the same time!"

"My word!" exclaimed M'Allister, "two moons shining at once! If I go out and see such a sight as that, I shall think the whisky has been a wee bit too strong for me!"

"Well," replied John, "if your usual drink has the effect of making you see double, take good advice, and leave the whisky severely alone when you are on Mars, or else you will be seeing four moons all at once, and receive such a shock that you will never get over it!"

Guide to the English Premier League January Transfers

The new year is coming and that means every English Premier League football fan will be anxious to see which new players their club will be buying when the transfer window opens. BBC Sport's comprehensive guide takes a look at the possible comings and goings at every Premier League club this coming January. From BBC:
TOTTENHAM, Budget: £15-20m.

January previous: Despite consistently maintaining January is not the best time to pick up bargains, chairman Daniel Levy has always put his hand in his pocket post-Christmas. Jermaine Jenas, Pascal Chimbonda and Mido have all arrived in Januarys past, while last year Gilberto, Chris Gunter, Alan Hutton and Jonathan Woodgate were signed at a cost of about £20m.

What they need: Striker, central defender, full-back, left winger, keeper.

Who they might buy: Take your pick… Portsmouth quartet Jermain Defoe, Glen Johnson, Niko Kranjcar and Sylvain Distin may fancy a reunion with Harry Redknapp, while Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough), Emile Heskey (Wigan), Brede Hangeland, Jimmy Bullard (both Fulham), Matthew Upson (West Ham), Carlo Cudicini (Chelsea) and Fernando Cavenaghi (Bordeaux) join a list as long as your arm.

Is this the ugliest website for a bridal shop ever?

You would expect a bridal shop to have a more elegant website design but not Yvette's. Their website is definitely the ugliest website designed for a bridal shop ever. It's shocking! Warning: Watch out for the irritating bag pipe music! Someone please shoot the web designer.

(Thanks GeekGod)

1979 Star Trek The Motion Picture Comic

Marvel Comics Super Special was a series of one-off comic books published by Marvel Comics from 1977 to 1985. In 1979, for their issue number 15, Marvel did a comic adaptation of the first Star Trek motion picture, which some say is better than the actual movie itself. Scans of the comic here.

(via Nerdcore)

Today's Singapore News

The following are stories that are making the headlines over at Topix Singapore News today, edited by yours truly.

-HDB offers 1,181 flats: The Housing Board has launched its last sales exercise for the year, offering 1,181 flats in Choa Chu Kang and Punggol ranging from studio apartments to five-room flats.
-Govt to bear 90% of risk for SME loans: The Singapore government will make it easier and cheaper for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to get access to credit to keep their business going.
-Rare multi-million-dollar watch theft in Singapore: More than five million US dollars' worth of watches have been stolen from a Singapore shop, the dealer said, in a rare crime of such magnitude in one of Asia's safest cities.
-Budget for Lunar New Year celebrations cut: The current economic slump has taken its toll on next year's Lunar New Year celebrations. For one, the fireworks display in Chinatown on New Year's day will be shortened from five minutes in previous years to three minutes next year.
-Govt to proceed with Jurong Lake District development: The Singapore government is proceeding to put in the infrastructure to facilitate the growth of Jurong Lake District.
-3 South West loos lauded: Accolades have been given to three toilets in the South West district as part of its annual Public Health Awards.
-Singapore 2010 launches two school programs: The Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee and the Ministry of Education announced the launch of two programs Monday - the Olympic Education Programme (OEP) and Friends@YOG.
-Anti-cancer jab is safe, say local docs: A recent case in Britain in which a 12-year-old girl was left paralysed after getting a new anti-cervical cancer vaccination has worried parents in Singapore.
-Renaissance City Plan to create high value-added jobs in the arts: Creating high value-added jobs for Singaporeans in specialised arts services such as conservation work, and attracting foreign artists to be based here are some of the initiatives under Phase 3 of the Renaissance City Plan.
-New tenant at Singapore Flyer organizes free concert: Party revellers can expect a back-to-back line up of performances by local Christian rock groups as they usher in the New Year. And that's because "Love the World Bistro Bar" -- the newest tenant at the Singapore Flyer -- will be hosting a free concert on New Year's Eve.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Please don't divorce my dads

"Please don't divorce..." is a community photo project by Courage Campaign to put a face to the 18,000 gay couples in California facing forcible divorce. View the photos over at the project's Flickr photoset here. Gays are people too, with families, as you can see from the photos. Splitting them up is just so wrong.

Doom 1 game now playable on your browser

Some dude has created a flash version of Doom 1, the first episode of the legendary first person shooter game. First released in 1993, Doom was downloaded by an estimated 10 million people within two years! No need to download this time. Just play it right on your browser.

25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Comic Strips

The folks from Progressive Boink showcase, in no particular order, some of their favorite Calvin and Hobbes strips of all time. Fans of Calvin, the imaginative six-year old boy and Hobbes, his energetic and sardonic—albeit stuffed—tiger, will love this one.

Mashup of Billboard's Top 25 songs of 2008

DJ Earworm's year-end mashup is now available for download! United State of Pop is a mashup of the Top 25 hits of the year, according to Billboard Magazine, arranged into a four and a half minute song. Not as good as his 2007 version but it's still worth a listen.

Scientist Action Figures

Some of this century's most notable scientific minds, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Nikola Tesla as miniature scientist action figures!

(Thanks GeekGod)

Soviet Mayan Playing Cards

I love these beautiful Soviet playing cards that are devoted to the Mayan culture. Check out the Joker cards! Apparently, Mayan motives were popular with the Russians back in the Soviet Union times.

(Thanks Wayne R)

Today's Singapore News

The following are stories that are making the headlines over at Topix Singapore News today, edited by yours truly.

-Boom to gloom for fresh grads: For fresh graduates, 2008 was supposed to be a year full of promise but now young people are finding themselves stuck with pay cuts and lower bonuses - that is, if they are lucky enough to be employed at all.
-Singapore government to kick-start deferred property projects: Development projects put on hold in Singapore because of the global financial crisis are to be re-started in a bid to help the struggling property sector.
-Singapore's private home sales, prices & rents fall sharply: Private home sales in Singapore have taken a sharp fall in the fourth quarter of this year. Only 112 private homes were sold in the primary market in October, and 192 units sold in November.
-Means testing feasible even during downturn?: The government is set to implement means-testing next month. The Health Ministry says a patient who is retrenched at the time of hospitalisation will enjoy full subsidy using means-testing.
-Should handphone, Net contracts be shorter?: Long contracts for handphone and Internet broadband subscriptions may soon be history. And if the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) has its way, the penalties that home subscribers pay for breaking these contracts early will be pegged to the length of time left on them.
-Households to receive $125m in rebates: More than 780,000 eligible HDB households will receive $125 million worth of Utilities-Save (U-Save) rebates in 2009. The rebates will be given out in January and July 2009.
-Singapore the first in Asia to use limb-lengthening technology for those wanting to be taller: It was initially devised as a method of leg lengthening for those with congenital growth abnormalities or trauma to the lower limbs. However, since it was introduced in 2001, Fitbone surgery has without much fanfare, slipped into the realm of cosmetics.
-Shorter wait for trains: Commuters on the Circle Line should find it a shorter wait for trains with the newest signalling system from Alstom, the French transport company which is also building the trains for the new SMRT line.
-Help for retrenched workers: The South West Community Development Council (CDC) has rolled out a series of aid schemes to help retrenched workers living in the south-western parts of Singapore.
-More parents sending children to art schools despite downturn: More parents are sending their children to art schools. The number of children competitions has been steadily increasing over the years as more performance schools open and more sponsors jump on board.
-New ez-link cards let you do more: Consumers will now be able to use a new ez-link card to do anything from paying for train and bus fares to Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) fees.
-No timeframe on when Flyer can reopen: Second Minister for Home Affairs K Shanmugam says it's not possible to provide a timeframe on when the Singapore Flyer's license will be reinstated.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Videos show Geylang is the most happening place in Singapore!

These videos taken from inside a slow moving car show illegal sex workers from China standing on the streets of Geylang Lorong 8, 10 and 12. Just what we need, more Chinese nationals flooding our country. Ha! Happening man! Part 1 above, Parts 2 and 3 here and here and lastly, a video of a pimp unloading his street pros here. Who says Singapore is such a boring place? Geylang is definitely not.

The Best Movie Posters of 2008

The folks from Get The Big Picture take a look at the best movie posters of 2008. Lots of cool posters in the list such as those from the movies Australia, Blindness, Burn After Reading and my favourite movie of 2008, The Dark Knight.

(Thanks Rickie)

Twilight Novels Papercraft

Julius has a gift for all you crazy Twilight fans out there - a miniature paper model of the Twilight books. He writes, "Just an idea, girls! you can hang the papercraft on your bag, and boys.. you can make them for gift for your girlfriend or your sister." I think what Twilight fans really want is a papercraft of Edward Cullen!

Fred's Vintage Comics Photoset

I love Modern_Fred's Flickr photoset of covers from old comics and books. There is a lot of very cool sci-fi stuff there including covers from Lost In Space comics that were published in 1960s.

(Thanks Maddy)

What happens to Singapore when it gets nuked

This map shows what happens when the same uranium bomb that was used in Hiroshima, goes off in Singapore. The area highlighted in circles show the thermal damage caused by the nuclear explosion. You can nuke your cities here to see the effects.

Trippy Japanese cartoon about two rabbits

Usavich is a trippy animated series produced by Kanaban Graphics for MTV Japan about two really odd rabbits imprisoned in a Russian prison and their escape. It's like watching Prison Break when you are high on drugs but instead of Michael Scofield and gang, you get two crazy bunnies. Watch an episode above. There's more here on its official website.

Friday, December 26, 2008

2009 Trend Visualisation Chart


This cool 2009 trend visualisation chart hints at some of the nasty things that the future could have in store for us. The PDF is free for download. I'm so not looking forward to the new year already.

Why kids must learn how to spell correctly


This was apparently written by a 3rd grader. As you can tell from his lovely writing, the boy has a thing for hores. Who doesn't? I love hores too! Ooops, I mean horses. Now where do I buy one?

Make Your Own Hot Sauce Kit

Fans of hot sauce can come up with their own killer blend with the Make Your Own Hot Sauce kit. It comes with 6 different spices, 3 bottles, instructions with pepper glossary, recipes, and handling and safety tips. Just make sure you don't kill all your taste buds.

Cup Noodle Tissue Holder

This cup noodle doesn't have any instant noodles inside but it holds a roll of tissue paper! Just lift the top and pull out the tissue. Pretty cute, I think. And it definitely will fool anyone.

(Thanks mikasan)

DJ Riko Merry Mixmas 2008

I forgot to blog this sooner. DJ Riko's Merry Mixmas 2008 mix is available for download. Some of the tracks include Nat King Cole's Toyland, Soul Saints Orchestra's Santa's Got a Bag of Soul and Winter Wonderland by Liz Phair. I love all his Christmas mixes and I've been downloading them every year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Have a Merry Christmas and dance along with me!

It's that time of the year again! I would like to wish all my readers, friends, loved ones and everyone a merry Christmas - however you celebrate it - and happy holidays! Enjoy this little dance (video above, YouTube version here). There are more Christmas elf dances here: Charleston, Classic and Country. Enjoy and don't forget to go Elf Yourself!

Press Kit for the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special

Read the production notes from the 1978 official press kit for the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special. This extremely rare press kit comes with production info, black and white stills, and a nifty mini poster printed on shiny mylar stock. Pics here and here. You can watch the Star Wars Holiday Special here. Warning: It's the worst 2 hours of TV you'll ever watch.

Japanese Racoon Dogs have amazing balls

This series of comic prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi in 1842 shows the supposedly incredible ability of raccoon dogs to voluntarily enlarge their scrotums to perform a wide variety of tasks that includes fishing, sheltering from rain and fighting a catfish!

Make paper models of Santa, his reindeers and sleigh

Yamaha's special Christmas present this year is these delightful papercraft models of Santa Claus's reindeers and sleigh. Assembly instructions and models are available for download in PDF. And if you need Santa, you can download him here, courtesy of the folks from Paper Replika.

25 twisted short films for Christmas

Creepy Christmas is a project by Beck Underwood which showcases a new short film everyday from December 1 to December 25. Each film is directed by a different artist and delivers a new twisted take on the world's most loved holiday.

Fan-made Thundercats movie trailer with Brad Pitt and Hugh Jackman

WormyT made this amazing Thundercats live action trailer using Hollywood actors Brad Pitt, Vin Diesel, Hugh Jackman and soundbytes from the 80's Thundercats cartoon. All the effects were done frame by frame in Photoshop and the footage was edited in Adobe Premiere. You may be forgiven thinking that this is a real movie. Come to think of it, having the likes of Brad Pitt and Hugh Jackman in a Thundercats movie is not a bad thing after all. Thunder, Thunder, Thunder, Thundercats! Hoooooooo!

Passengers stranded on Singapore Flyer, GM says they "a bit disturbed". WTF!


I think they should change the tagline below the Singapore Flyer logo to this: "A moving experience at every turn. A harrowing experience when not turning." More than hundred people got that harrowing experience when the world's biggest observation wheel stopped for about six hours yesterday. 10 passengers even had to be lowered down by rope!

Steven Yeo, the general manager of the Singapore Flyer says that some trapped passengers were "a bit disturbed" by the experience. A bit disturbed? Steven, try getting stuck in one of your capsules for 6 hours, with no where to pee, and the music over your PA system driving you crazy and then, you still have to abseil down to safety. Let us know if you feel "a bit disturbed" after that. Photos here, here and some videos here and here.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

ViO Video Mobile Converter


From the people who bring you Pirate Bay, comes this free ViO Video Mobile Converter, a software that converts virtually any video format file into a file that’s 100% compatible with your mobile phone or iPod, compressing it up to 20% of its original size without any reduction in image quality. I just downloaded it to try it out and it works great!

Portable karaoke machine for you karaoke freaks

Hi-Kara from Takara Tomy is the world’s smallest karaoke machine that plays popular Japanese songs. Just insert the cartridges loaded with the songs and you can begin to sing to the video and lyrics shown on its small colour monitor. They should make an English/International version. I'm sure it will sell like hotcakes.

(Thanks Johnny Q)

Credit Crunch: The Board Game

The folks from The Economist have created a board game that is free to download as part of their Christmas special. Called Credit Crunch, it is a game that best reflects the current economy. You can download the board, risk cards, currency and icons. Have fun playing it.

(via Super Punch)

Zouk Flyer comes with a Christmas/Fill-In-The-Blank New Year Mitten!

IMG_2906 - Share on Ovi

I love Zouk flyers! I think I must have amassed quite a collection over the years. Last week, I received Zouk's Christmas flyer (24 Dec 08 - 3 Jan 09) and it comes with, surprise, surprise, a mitten! The front of the mitten has a drawing of an alien hand and a promo of Zouk's Mambo Jambo Ho! Ho! Ho! Xmas Eve party and on the back of the mitten, you can write down your top 2009 resolutions. Lovely! Last year's Zouk flyers (here and here) for Christmas ain't that bad either.

Google Earth used to find new forest with undiscovered species


A British-led expedition found 7,000 hectares of forest, rich in biodiversity, known as Mount Mabu thanks to Google Earth. Here's the image of the forest from Google Earth. You can also check it out at Google Maps here. From Telegraph:
Julian Bayliss, a scientist for Kew based in the region, discovered Mount Mabu while searching on Google Earth for a possible conservation project. He was looking at areas of land 5,400ft (1,600m) above sea level where more rainfall means there is likely to be forest.

To his surprise he found the patches of green that denote wooded areas, in places that had not previously been explored. After taking a closer look on more detailed satellite maps, he went to have a look...

Within weeks they had discovered three new species of Lepidoptera butterfly and a new member of the Gaboon viper family of snakes that can kill a human in a single bite. There were also blue duiker antelope, samango monkeys, elephant shrews, almost 200 different types of butterflies and thousands of tropical plants.

Sony PlayStation 3 used to study black holes


A group of scientists is using 16 PlayStation 3 sets courtesy of Sony to study the properties of gravitational waves produced by the merger of two black holes. Amazing! And I didn't know that a single PS3 performs better than the highest-end desktops available. From PlayStation3 Gravity Grid:
The Sony PlayStation 3 has a number of unique features that make it particularly suited for scientific computation. First, the PS3 is an open platform, which essentially means that one can run a different system software on it, for example PowerPC Linux. Next, it has a revolutionary processor called the Cell processor which was developed by Sony, IBM and Toshiba. This processor has a main CPU (called the PPU) and several (six for the PS3) special compute engines (called SPUs) available for raw computation. Moreover, each SPU performs vector operations, which implies that they can compute on multiple data, in a single step. Finally, its incredibly low cost make it very attractive as a scientific computing node i.e. part of a cluster. In fact, its highly plausible that the raw computing power per dollar that the PS3 offers, is significantly higher than anything else on the market today!
(via Science Fair)

1978 Marvel Comics Superheroes Card Game

In 1978, Marvel Comics released their Superheroes Card Game. It's played like Old Maid featuring Dr Doom as the Old Maid and other Marvel characters like Spider-Man, the Hulk and Captain America. Dave scanned the cards here.

Cute and Pop! 60s Girls Comics by Eiko Hanamura

PingMag interviews Eiko Hanamura who is a pioneer of Japanese girls comics. Eiko has worked as a manga artist for half a century. She says, "One day, I told the owner — who was a manga artist for rental books — that I studied painting at Joshibi University and showed my paintings. All of a sudden he said I should draw manga.”

Apollo 8: Remembering NASA's giant leap to the moon

This week, NASA celebrates the 40th anniversary of Apollo 8, the first manned voyage to orbit the moon. The crew of Apollo 8 were the first humans to see the far side of the Moon and the first humans to see Earth from the orbit of another celestial body. Watch the animated comic of the historic mission here and download the original Apollo 8 press kit here.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monopoly Repackaged

Andy Mangold redesigns the packaging of the classic board game Monopoly: "The final package is just over 10" x 10" x 1.5" and includes smaller containers for all of the various pieces and cards and a laser-cut holder for all of the houses and hotels." Classy!

(Thanks Martin)

Onion fake gift boxes to hide that crappy gift

These boxes look like they contain a real gadget but there isn't a portable pet feeding/watering system for your MP3 player, or a personal debris removal system, or a USB toaster, or a carrying case that clips on your cap! These crazy gadgets aren't real but the empty boxes are. Wrap your otherwise forgettable gift in one of these gift boxes by Onion and play a prank on your friends this Christmas.

Homemade Wall-E robot

Dude uses parts from his stock of components lying around his basement and electronics room to make a 150mm x 150mm x 160 high Wall-E robot. It can move its arms up and down, pan and tilt its head, open its door and has ultra sonic for the eyes and 4 IR sensors around the base for edge detection and an IR sensor between the eyes for long range.

(Thanks GeekGod)

How to turn any monitor into a Desktop VR Display

In this video, PhD student Johnny Lee explains how he uses a Nintendo Wii remote to turn a normal TV into a desktop VR display. Using the infrared camera in the Wii remote and a head mounted sensor bar with two IR LEDs, you can accurately track the location of your head and render view dependent images on the screen - transforming your display into a portal to a virtual environment! Come on, give the man his PhD!

Being Batman

I've just added Being Batman to my RSS reader. Vinny Goldsmith started the blog so that he can document the real world examples of Batman training, equipment and knowledge, and hopefully learn how one can become the famous caped crusader. From Being Batman:
Batman has always fascinated me. He’s the one main Super Hero who has no super-human powers at all.

If the comics are to be believed, and his origin story is plausible, then any man (or woman) who has enough drive, determination and wealth can become as formidable as Bruce Wayne did when he became Batman...

Is it possible that one man (a boy for the early part of it) could learn all these skills to the degree that Bruce Wayne did in the 12 years he was away from Gotham City? With this blog, I’m going to try and find out.

Twittering from a plane crash

Dude survives a plane crash and becomes the first person in the world to send live updates to his Twitter from the wreckage of a plane. From Tech Radar:
"Holy f****** shit," Wilson tweeted on Saturday night as 2drinksbehind. "I was just in a plane crash!"

The updates that followed included a blurry picture of the scene:

17:57: Ugh ... My glasses fell off in the mass exodus getting off the plane .. Can't see very well

17:58PM: This was crash #2 for me. Maybe I should start taking the bus.

Today's Singapore News

The following are stories that are making the headlines over at Topix Singapore News today, edited by yours truly.

-Online shopping is catching on during Christmas: More Singaporeans are spending their time and money online doing their Christmas shopping. Some of the more popular gifts purchased this festive season include gaming console Play Station, branded bags and tech gadgets like iPhone.
-Smaller shops besting department stores: Department stores are facing pressure from cheaper, smaller shops this Christmas as shoppers hunt for value and good bargains.
-Singapore and World Bank join forces: The World Bank Group and the Government of Singapore announced on December 17 the formation of a unique partnership that will bring together the Bank’s global development knowledge and Singapore’s recognized expertise, particularly in urban management.
-Bus operators in a fix: Many bus operators say they do not have enough buses to ferry both schoolchildren and workers at the same time, if more schools start at 8am, the time that many factory workers begin work.
-Flexi working hours catching on in Singapore: The trend of working flexible hours is catching on, albeit slowly, among Singaporeans, be it in the private sector or government.
-More employees taking sick leave: More employers are going beyond the basic statutory requirements to provide various family-friendly leave benefits, reported a survey from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
-Keeping transport costs low: With 2009 shaping up to be a 'difficult year', the Government will try to moderate public transport costs next year, said Transport Minister Raymond Lim yesterday.
-CPF cut not justified at this point in time: Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Lim Boon Heng pointed out that the wage structure in Singapore has enough flexibility such that a CPF cut should be a last resort.
-Singapore students continue to fare well in school: Singapore students continue to perform well in the national examinations. This is according to figures released by the Education Ministry, covering the years 1998 to 2007.
-Australia watchdog sues Singapore Airlines Cargo: Australia's competition watchdog sued the cargo unit of Singapore Airlines on Monday, the third carrier it has prosecuted on allegations they were involved in international price-fixing.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

1978 Star Wars Cartoon

This is the animated segment from the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special, featuring some of the popular Star Wars characters including Boba Fett! The Star Wars Holiday Special has been called by some as the worst two hours of television ever. You can watch the entire thing here.

Sexy robots show how to "do it" their way

The Sex Life of Robots is an ongoing film project by Michael Sullivan. It is a stop-motion film exploring how robots have sex! The robots or pornobots, are made out of Barbie dolls, G.I. Joe action figures and other toys. Not safe for work.

Help a company choose which of its employees to fire

A Belgian communication agency is having problems during the economic crisis so it is asking Internet users to help it choose which one of its 8 employees to fire. Apparently, the management can't choose so it is doing the next best thing, letting outsiders decide. Great! Being retrenched is already bad enough but this is worse.

Radio Controlled Model Tanks

Over at Mark-1 Tank, you can buy radio controlled model tanks that look really like the real thing except that they are many times smaller. Oh well, small isn't the correct word to use especially when it comes to their 1/4th scale model of the Tiger 1 tank. It is 63" long, 36" wide, 28" tall, has a gun and weighs 200kg!

Kevin's Vintage TVs

Kevin has a small collection of vintage television sets. He started collecting them about 6 years ago. You may be surprised at some of the rare TVs in his collection like this 1947 Motorola VT105, one of the earliest Motorola TVs, with a 10 inch screen and stepped-down sides.

(Thanks Dylan32)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Burger King's new perfume makes you smell like a burger

Hot on the heels of its much talked about Whopper Virgins taste challenge, Burger King has announced that it is entering the perfume business! Flame is Burger King's new body spray with the scent of seduction and a hint of flame-broiled meat that will apparently make you irresistible to women. I don't know. Do chicks love guys smelling like a burger?

The Bush Shoe Throwing Game

The recent Bush shoe throwing incident has started a meme involving animated gifs and now a flash game! Objective of the game is to hit President Bush's face with a shoe, as many times as you possibly can. And the best thing is you don't even have to go to jail for it.

Barrack Obama: The College Years

Amazing black and white photos taken by 20 year old aspiring photographer Lisa Jack back in 1980 shows the very cool, charming, cigarette smoking Barrack Obama during his college years. He was only a freshman when these photos were taken for Lisa's portfolio.

(Thanks Sir Thomas)

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