Saturday, January 31, 2009

Evelien's paper notebook turns into a notebook pc, plays YouTube!

Watch how a paper notebook turns into a notebook PC in this award winning short film (video above) by Dutch animator Evelien Lohbeck. Check out all her films here.

Amazing Photo Manipulations by Russian Photoshop Master

LiveJournal user tebe_interesno is a talented Russian artist from Moscow, famous for his creative photo manipulations such as this giant man catching a space shuttle during its launch.

(Thanks primus)

Star Wars in Classic Art

Worth1000's Star Wars photoshop contest: "I went to an art gallery the other day. The artworks were all right, I guess, but you know what they were missing? Wookiees... Also no Jedis, no Storm Troopers ... in fact none of the artworks had any Star Wars elements at all! In this contest we're going to rectify the art world's mistake by placing Star Wars character, items, vehicles and scenes into classic art works."

Types of Beard Chart

Guys (those of you with facial hair), if you’re looking for some ideas on how to shape your beard to fit your style, check this expanded chart of facial hair types. All the old favorites are there, as well as some more modern styles. I'm thinking of going Napoleon. LOL.

(Thanks Mr Big)

Anatomy of a Fairy Tale

Anatomy of a Fairy Tale is an art installation by Julia Murakami. I don't have much info about this but I think it looks like some clay sculptures of famous fairy tale personalities gone awfully wrong. This one looks like Little Red Riding Hood having a bad day, no thanks to the Big Bad Wolf.

(Thanks Bel)

Quicksnap: A better ice block tray

Finally someone has come up with a better way to get ice cubes out of the tray! Graeme Davies invented Quicksnap so that single ice cubes can be popped out without the normal problems associated with twisting an ice tray. Brilliant, Graeme!

(via Ektopia)

Anakin's Lightsaber Torchlight

Every aspiring Jedi knight needs a torchlight in the dark so here's Anakin's Lightsaber Full Size Torch, a lifesize replica of Anakin Skywalker's Lightsaber which makes authentic Lightsaber sounds when turned on and off, and emits a cool blue light.

(via Nerdcore)

Google Maps Street View Car hits a deer. Ouch!

Accidents do happen even for the Google Maps Street View car! Apparently, the driver knocked down a deer while the car was taking photos for the Street View feature on Google Maps. The picture was spotted on Google Maps but Google later took it down.

Amazing Paper Airplanes

Kyong Lee teaches you how to build some really kick ass paper airplanes. Check out his folding instructions for the Harrier jet, F-15 Eagle, Nighthawk, F-16 Fighting Falcon and many more amazing planes! I'm going to try fold the F-15 because it looks so damn cool.

Pictures of Science: 700 Years of Scientific and Medical Illustration

NYPL Digital Gallery has hundreds of images from the thirteenth through the early twentieth century, in the fields of astronomy, chemistry, geology, mathematics, medicine, and physics, as represented by manuscript illuminations, engravings, lithographs, and photographs.

Friday, January 30, 2009

1940's Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin face masks

From a 1940's Johnson Smith & Co. mail order-catalog comes this advertisement of face masks of famous personalities like Gandhi, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and Hirohito: "Looks very realistic when worn. You see through eye slits and talk through mouth opening. Covers face fully from ear to ear." The Gandhi and Hirohito masks are ugly like hell!

The greatest snack food stadium ever built

The folks at HolyTaco made a stadium out of lots of sausages, nachos, tortillas, cheetos, cheese, guacamole and more, in honour of the Super Bowl! The stadium is edible of course but watch out for all those calories and fats before you munch into it.

(Thanks GeekGod)

3D Star Wars Starfighter Kites

I'm not a fan of kites but I may just want to start flying one of these X-Wing, Tie Fighter and Millennium Falcon 3D Star Wars Starfighter Kites. They have to be one of the coolest kites ever made! I just hope that they can really fly in the wind.

(Thanks venda65)

Steampunk Exploding iPhone T-Shirt

Artist Kevin Tong captures the invention of Leonardo da Vinci, the imagination of H.G. Wells and the brilliance of Jonathan Ive in his iSteamPhone drawing. And the best thing, it is now printed on a t-shirt! I want one!

Starcom: The U.S. Space Force

Nemesisworld has a nice Starcom fansite listing all the figures, playsets and vehicles in the Starcom toyline. I had some of them when I was a kid! Starcom is one of my favourite cartoons and toys from the 80's era. The plot of the animated series was based on the adventures of an American astronaut brigade as they fought off invasions by a group of aliens and robots known as the Shadow Force.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sony Vaio P is in da house!

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This just in! I just received the new Sony Vaio P pocket style PC in beautiful Crystal White!! You can watch a video demo of the Sony Vaio P here and read about its launch here. I'll be posting a review soon.

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Pics of the unboxing here.

Meet the real Morrie

Renowned journalist Ted Koppel conducted a series of interviews with former sociology professor Morrie Schwartz during the last year of his life after being diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). The interviews were shown on ABC's Nightline and inspired Mitch Albom to write the best-selling book Tuesdays With Morrie. Watch Morrie: Lessons On Living here (part 1 above). A must watch for those of you who read and love the book.

Today's Singapore News

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

-Fewer than 10 bodies donated every year: Fewer than 10 bodies are donated to medical research in Singapore each year. One cancer victim who died on Tuesday decided to pledge her body under the Medical Therapy Education and Research Act.
-Retrenchments likely to surge after Lunar New Year festivities: The Lunar New Year period could be the calm before the storm in terms of the employment situation in Singapore. NTUC Deputy Secretary-General Halimah Yacob expects retrenchments to surge after Chap Goh Meh, the 15th day of the Lunar New Year.
-Primary schools to go single-session by 2016: All primary schools should be single-session by 2016. That is one of the recommendations put forth by the Primary Education Review and Implementation (Peri) Committee.
-Singapore torn over cat rights: Cat lovers in Singapore are campaigning for felines to have the same rights as dogs -- a roof over their heads and a safe home. For decades cats have been banned from Singapore's high-density Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats, which house more than 80 percent of the 4.6 million population.
-Watch what you eat, price-wise: As Singaporeans start to watch their spending more closely, here’s interesting news: In the last half-year or so, cooked food prices have dropped in 10 per cent in some instances, but gone up in 20 per cent of cases, according to a Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) study.
-S'pore airport's passenger growth slows: Passenger traffic at Singapore's Changi Airport grew 2.7 percent last year, its slowest growth in five years as the economic slowdown begins to hurt travel and aviation.
-Jobs Credit scheme may help lessen impact of job cuts: The Jobs Credit scheme is designed to help employers with their cash flow, while providing an incentive to retain workers.
-The lost films of Singapore: An increasing number Singaporeans, it seems, are now beginning to appreciate home-made films. And it's a pity that the reels of some older local movies have gone missing - believed to be lost forever.
-Prince cinemas shut down: Singapore's largest cinema has gone dark, possibly for good. Prince 1 cinema showed its last movie, the Disney animated feature Bolt, on Dec 10 last year. Now, its fate is uncertain.
-Heroin arrests spike again: Heroin arrests rose again last year, making the white powder the most commonly abused drug in Singapore.
-Flyer's spinning again & look what's on board: It's spinning at last and the crowds are back. At 11.18pm on Sunday, the last night of the Year of the Rat, the Singapore Flyer got the green light from the authorities to 'fly' again.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Zombie Hello Kitty Birthday Cake

For her birthday, lucky Kristin got a zombie Hello Kitty birthday cake complete with blood, goo, worms, maggots and a tombstone. Brilliant but don't think the folks from Sanrio will be too pleased with it.

(via Boing Boing)

John Lennon and Yoko Ono spotted at Holland Village

"John Lennon" and "Yoko Ono" made a surprise appearance at Singapore's Holland Village on Saturday night. They took off their clothes at a staircase in a block of flats there and then coolly walked in their flip-flops towards the market. Yes, naked! How exciting.

(Thanks Mr Big, xXx, Lord Kimbo)

Relive your childhood with this huge toy collection on eBay

For US$29,999, you can be the proud owner of this vintage to modern toy collection which was purchased in Ohio from a retired collector/dealer. The collection with 9,185 different toys, games, etc has a retail value of way over $100,0000. Check out the pics!

Betsy McCall Paper Dolls

From the 50s to 90s, the popular home arts and fashions magazine McCall's published Betsy McCall paper dolls for kids to cut out and play with. Each edition came with a little story and then a set of paper dolls and cut out clothing for Betsy. Really cute! Read about the history of Betsy McCall here.

Eric Daigh's Pushpin Art

Eric Daigh uses coloured pushpins or thumbtacks to make beautiful portraits. A newspaper article explains how he does it: "After breaking the image down to a low resolution, Daigh produces a row-by-row grid that dictates where each color pin should be placed to form the image. Daigh then places the pins, one-by-one, following the grid map. It takes some 11,000 push pins to complete one of his 3×4-foot works."

Nikon D3 cut in half

Tokyobling visited the Tokyo Eco Products convention and took some pictures of a Nikon D3 SLR camera cut in half. No, it's not a cake! He writes: "I felt slightly incestous: a Nikon D60 photographing a crippled D3. Behold all the beauty that is Nikon technology! And pray that you never see anything like this again."

(via Neatorama)

Cartoonists redraw classic comic book covers

Covered has several talented cartoonists such as Robert Goodin, Steven Weissman and Andrew Wales, redrawing classic comic book covers in their own style. This is Robert Goodin’s version of an issue of Wonder Woman.

(via Drawn!)

Request Comics and Ben Heaton will draw them

Request Comics is a photocomic by Ben Heaton. Readers send in suggestions for things they would like to see, and Ben will make comics out of those suggestions. This one is a request by mathgrant: "Teach us how to count to 46".

(Thanks Miki)

Pac-Man Dungeons Game

Play Pac-Man Dungeons, a text-mode version of Pac-Man based on the two most popular forms of computer games in the late 70s and early 80s. From Pac-Man Dungeons:
You find yourself in the winding passages of a labyrinth. All you can think of is an urging hunger for those delicious food pellets. A little tune, which your grandma - a yellow, ball-shaped creature like you - used to sing, is nagging at the back of your mind:

"Red, green, orange, pink - Never touch such a thing, Never even dare to think. But if it turns blue, Sweet tastes a ghost so - Tries not to meet you."

You are in a passage leading from west to east. There is a sign on the wall. In the EAST you can see some delicious food just 1 step away. There is a crossing to the east 3 steps away. In the WEST you can see some delicious food just 1 step away. There is a crossing to the west 2 steps away.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Partial Solar Eclipse on Chinese New Year: Pics!!!

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Took a break from all the Chinese New Year visiting to take a look at the partial solar eclipse yesterday. The bad weather nearly ruined everything but thankfully, there were some breaks in the clouds that allowed us to enjoy the first solar eclipse of 2009.

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The eclipse was viewed through my 3 inch refractor using a Mylar solar filter and projection method. More pics here.

Previously: How to watch the Solar Eclipse on Chinese New Year!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

How to watch the Solar Eclipse on Chinese New Year!

Update: Click here for July 22 2009 Total Solar Eclipse!


I was planning to post this on the morning of Chinese New Year which falls on this coming Monday, but you folks have been jamming my emails all week, asking about the eclipse, so I thought ok, I'll post it today since you guys can't wait. Happy now?

The first solar eclipse of 2009 is an annular eclipse, not a total eclipse. An annular eclipse occurs when the Sun and Moon are exactly in line, but the apparent size of the Moon is smaller than that of the Sun. Hence the Sun appears as a very bright ring, or annulus, surrounding the outline of the Moon.


The annular eclipse will be happen on January 26 (Chinese New Year) and will be visible from a wide track that traverses the Indian Ocean and western Indonesia. For those living outside this track (people in the southern third of Africa, Madagascar, Australia except Tasmania, southeast India, Southeast Asia and Indonesia), you will not see the annular eclipse but only a partial one. Timings of the eclipse viewed from respective countries here. Please note that the time given on the chart is in Universal Time.


In Singapore, the partial eclipse will be begin from 4:30PM to 6:30PM (local Singapore time). Maximum eclipse will be at 5:49 PM. The sun will be in the western sky and during maximum eclipse, 72% of it will be covered up by the moon! It will be a pretty impressive sight. Just pray that the clouds stay out of the way.

Please remember that viewing the sun without proper protection is extremely dangerous. Even when 72% of the sun is covered by the moon, the light is still bright enough to blind your eyes. And please do not try to view the eclipse using sunglasses. They will not protect your eyesight. If you have a pair of binoculars or a telescope, please do not look at the sun through them without proper solar filters that are fitted at the front of your instrument, not at the eyepiece!

Ok so you don't have any telescope, how are you going to view Monday's eclipse then? There are a few simple ways to view the eclipse safely. One is to make yourself a pinhole projector. Get a long box (the longer the better), a piece of aluminum foil, a pin, and a sheet of white paper or you can opt for a quick and easy version using just two pieces of cardboard. Instructions here.

But of course, you can always pay a visit to the Singapore Science Centre's Observatory to view the eclipse together with other astronomers. They will have a variety of telescopes there equipped with proper solar filters but it could be very crowded. Details here.

(Graphics above taken from here, here and here)

Update: You can view my pics of the eclipse here.

Update: Lots of you are coming to this page from Google looking for the July 22 2009 total solar eclipse that will be visible in China and India (only partial in Singapore). Here's how you can watch it.

Also read: Catching the next total solar eclipse in our neighbourhood

smashLAB to Discovery Channel: Smash Lab sucks!

The folks from smashLAB, an interactive agency writes an open letter to Discovery Channel saying that their program Smash Lab sucks. Hmmm, but I love Smash Lab. Ok, maybe their first season. I have yet to watch the new season on Discovery so no comment but I do know one thing, I love Deanne Bell. She's delicious. Ahem. From Smash Lab sucks:
Since 2000 we’ve had a nice little design studio called smashLAB and we work hard on it every day. People (generally) say nice things about us, and we were starting to make a good name for ourselves.

Then along you came with your fucking awful television program with the same fucking name. Surely you researched this before airing the program. I can only suppose that you felt we were so small that you could just poach it. Fine enough--I guess that's life.

The problem is that your program seems to suck. So now when someone does a Google search for "smashLAB", they find endless posts about how badly “smash lab sucks”. Great. Now we suck by association, just because you lifted our name.

IZ Reloaded on USA Today and Computer Shopper


You can now read my review of YouTube for Television on USA Today. Meanwhile, my two posts about the new Sony Vaio P Pocket Style PC (its Singapore launch and video demo) can also be read on Computer Shopper here and here.

Professor impersonates Charles Darwin in his lecture

Professor Richard M. Eakin of the Dept. of Zoology, University of California presents a lecture in which he impersonates Charles Darwin in the words, dress, and manner of his time. Watch his entire lecture here: Parts One, Two and Three. The professor was well known for appearing at his lectures dressed as some of the world's greatest scientists.

Dude takes a 1,474 megapixel photograph of Obama's Inaugural Address

David Bergman describes how he took a 1,474 megapixel photograph of Obama's Inaugural Address: "My final photo is made up of 220 Canon G10 images and the file is 59,783 X 24,658 pixels or 1,474 megapixels. It took more than six and a half hours for the Gigapan software to put together all of the images on my Macbook Pro and the completed TIF file is almost 2 gigabytes."

Inauguration Day Crowds shot from Space

GeoEye, a commercial satellite imagery company, took this image of the Inauguration Day crowds in Washington, D.C. using one of its satellites. You can easily spot the Capitol and of course the "forest" of people facing it. More than a million people were there to witness Barack Obama become the 44th President of USA.

Web Design Inspiration on Flickr

I used to create something like this when I was doing web design many years ago. Patrick Haney started a little set on Flickr where he posts screenshots of websites he found inspirational, interesting or attractive. The photoset currently has more than 400 website designs that may inspire all you designers out there. Worth a bookmark.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Masato Shimon's Japanese Sci-Fi and Anime Theme Songs

Japanese vocalist Masato Shimon, is well known for his contributions to the theme songs of various Japanese TV shows and anime. He even sang the Star Wars theme in Japanese in 1978! I just stumbled upon this neat collection of theme songs done by Masato: Parts One (above), Two and Three on YouTube. Enjoy. No one sings them like Masato!

Today's Singapore News

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

-Bak Kwa sales still hot despite the downturn: If Singaporeans are cutting back on expenses during the economic downturn, it isn't evident this Lunar New Year. Especially when it comes to bak kwa, many families are still willing to splurge on the barbequed sliced pork.
-Better than a GST cut: Budget 2009 may be highly pro-business but individuals are not complaining. Households will benefit from measures such as increases in GST credits, U-Save accounts, rebates in HDB service and conservancy charges (S&CC) and cuts to income and property taxes.
-Lower train and bus fares soon: Commuters can expect lower train and bus fares to be announced by the end of next month. This is because the Public Transport Council will work with the Public Transport Operators to reduce bus and train fares this year.
-Singaporeans less likely to cut spending on property and renovations: Singaporeans are less likely than most of their Asia-Pacific neighbours to cut spending on property and renovations, according to a MasterCard survey that measures the resilience of planned expenditure categories to cutback.
-Corporate tax cut makes Singapore attractive: Businesses have hailed the 1 percentage point cut in the corporate tax rate, the second time the Government has done so in three years, in a move that Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said will “sharpen our competitiveness”.
-Singapore's Limits: It's not often that a Singaporean official concedes the limits of the city-state's economic engineering. But the downturn is proving so severe that the Finance Minister said in yesterday's budget speech that the government's stimulus package "will not get us out of the recession," but rather "help avert an even sharper downturn."
-MPs say Budget is bold and decisive: Budget 2009 is bold and decisive - that is the general feeling of Members of Parliament.
-Dole up by $30: Those on the dole and living alone will get more money from the Public Assistance (PA) scheme, starting from April. Single PA recipients will each get an extra $30 per month, raising their grant to $360.
-Easing the credit crunch: Companies have welcomed the Government’s move to bear a higher risk of default in Government loan schemes, but several are sceptical that banks will bite.
-Government to lower tax burden for businesses: In a move to sharpen Singapore's competitiveness, Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said the corporate income tax rate will be cut by one percentage point to 17 per cent from the Year of Assessment 2010.
-GST credits will double: Families will enjoy a doubling of GST credits and generous benefits to help them live on reduced incomes this year.
-Singapore taps reserves to help battle recession: Singapore, facing its worst recession on record as the global slowdown batters the trade-dependent city-state, will tap its official reserves for the first time to help fund a record 20.5 billion Singapore dollar (US$13.7 billion) stimulus package.

Pirating the 2009 Oscars

It's that time of the year when Andy Baio tracks the illegal online distribution of every film that made it to the nomination list of the Academy Awards. From Waxy:
Out of 26 nominated films, an incredible 23 films are already available in DVD quality on nomination day, ripped either from the screeners or the retail DVDs. This is the highest percentage since I started tracking.

Only three films are unavailable — Rachel Getting Married wasn't leaked online in any form, while Changeling is only available as a low-quality telecine transfer and Australia as a terrible quality camcorder recording.

Other findings: Academy members received screeners for at least 20 of the 26 films. 25 out of 26 films leaked in some form online, if you include camcorder recordings. The average time from the time screeners are received by Academy members to its leak online is 6 days.

Gaddafi writes for New York Times, calls for the creation of Isratine

Muammar Gaddafi, the leader of Libya, in his op-ed for the New York Times, calls for a one-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Surprisingly, he does makes sense but would anyone listen to a dictator? From New York Times:
A two-state solution will create an unacceptable security threat to Israel. An armed Arab state, presumably in the West Bank, would give Israel less than 10 miles of strategic depth at its narrowest point. Further, a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip would do little to resolve the problem of refugees. Any situation that keeps the majority of Palestinians in refugee camps and does not offer a solution within the historical borders of Israel/Palestine is not a solution at all.

For the same reasons, the older idea of partition of the West Bank into Jewish and Arab areas, with buffer zones between them, won’t work. The Palestinian-held areas could not accommodate all of the refugees, and buffer zones symbolize exclusion and breed tension. Israelis and Palestinians have also become increasingly intertwined, economically and politically.

In absolute terms, the two movements must remain in perpetual war or a compromise must be reached. The compromise is one state for all, an “Isratine” that would allow the people in each party to feel that they live in all of the disputed land and they are not deprived of any one part of it.

The Story of Barack Obama's Mother

Time has an incredible 7-page story about Stanley Ann Soetoro, the mother of the new US President Barack Obama. From Time:
On Feb. 2, 1961, several months after they met, Obama's parents got married in Maui, according to divorce records. It was a Thursday. At that point, Ann was three months pregnant with Barack Obama II. Friends did not learn of the wedding until afterward. "Nobody was invited," says Abercrombie. The motivations behind the marriage remain a mystery, even to Obama. "I never probed my mother about the details. Did they decide to get married because she was already pregnant? Or did he propose to her in the traditional, formal way?" Obama wonders. "I suppose, had she not passed away, I would have asked more."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Ultimate Barack Obama Action Figure

If you have to buy only one Barack Obama action figure, then this one has to be it! The ultimate President Obama action figure is posable, with facial expressions, has interchangeable hands, katanas, 9mm gun, assault rifle and even a lightsaber just in case he needs to battle Darth Vader.

(via Gizmodo)

Edushi has 3D maps for China and Hong Kong

Google Maps is good but I think Edushi (aka E-City) is the undisputed King of online maps. Check out their 3D maps for China and Hong Kong! Truly awesome. I can spend hours just exploring them. Makes you wish they have one for your city aye. Read more about the company behind the maps here.

Sixties Coca-Cola Radio Commercials

Kevin Sartori posts a total of 108 mp3s of Coca-Cola radio commercials made in the sixties, all ripped from Things Go Better with Coke: Sixties Coca-Cola Commercials 1965-'69 bootleg CD. The commercials were part of a campaign where Coke with the help of popular acts, created musical jingles utilizing the slogan: "Things Go Better with Coke".

Barack Obama retakes Presidential Oath of Office

For those of you who thought that Barack Obama did not really become the 44th President of the United States of America after both he and Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, John Roberts screwed up the Oath of Office during the Presidential Inauguration, Barack has decided to retake the oath. Ok. He is now officially the President. Really.

Confessions of a girl who became an escort to pay for her college

Emma Lee writes about her college years when she first started having sex for money. She thought since she was already having meaningless sex, it might as well pay for her tuition. From Elle:
In the movies, men who use prostitutes are rude and demanding. But a majority of the guys I met at least acted respectful. Most men aren't any more turned on by sterile, businesslike sex than women are. They tried to forge some element of connection, and they wanted me to have an orgasm, even if their ideas about how to give me one were overinfluenced by unrealistic porno flicks.

"lt's your dime," I'd tell them, after they wouldn't stop asking me what I liked, what I wanted to do. Most were nervous and didn't know exactly what they desired, so I ended up playing sex detective while wishing they'd give me some freaking directions so I could finish and go home.Sometimes they made it easy, like this guy on the Lower East Side who'd breathe, "Look at you," like he was in utter awe. That worshipful attention was almost as addictive as the money; on a good call, I felt like a sex goddess. To these men, I was never on my period, never wore granny panties or blew off shaving my legs, was never tired or in a bad mood.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Top 10 favourite George W. Bush moments

As the world awaits the inauguration of Barack Obama, let's take this opportunity to say goodbye and good riddance to George W. Bush and enjoy this top 10 Bush moments courtesy of my favourite funny man David Letterman.

Today's Singapore News

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

-Getting Singaporeans to remain rooted: Even as Singapore inches closer to its goal of being a world-class city, and its citizens are exhorted to think globally, what efforts have been made to get cosmopolitan Singaporeans — aware of opportunities elsewhere — to remain rooted to their homeland?
-Singapore cuts government salaries as slump deepens: Singapore’s government said it will cut the salaries of its top public workers and ministers as a “sharp” recession threatens to increase job losses and hurt lending this year.
-High prices not always due to profiteering: The Committee Against GST Profiteering is adopting a proactive approach to ensure that businesses do not profiteer by maintaining high prices despite the recent fall in prices of commodities.
-Human Organ Transplant Amendment Bill introduced in Parliament: Four amendment bills were introduced in Parliament on Monday. The first was the Human Organ Transplant Amendment Bill, which aims to allow compensation to altruistic living organ donors.
-93 kids abused a year: An average of 93 children a year were abused by adults or their parents in the last five years, with the number rising to 114 in 2008.
-Job losses in recession-hit Singapore could match levels of previous downturns: Acting Manpower Minister Gan Kim Yong has said the unemployment rate due to the current recession in Singapore could reach the levels recorded during the Asian financial crisis in 1998 and the economic downturn in 2001.
-Singapore may see 200,000 foreigners leave: Singapore’s population may shrink in the next two years as “sizeable” job losses amid the city- state’s deepest recession force 200,000 foreigners to leave, Credit Suisse Group said.
-Permanent secretary's article ill-judged: Minister Teo Chee Hean has criticised a permanent secretary for writing about attending a cooking course in Paris, amid gloomy economic times at home.
-Recession-hit Singapore still needs foreigners: Singapore, which relies heavily on foreign workers, will still need overseas labour despite a recession, a minister said in comments released Tuesday.
-Singaporean household income grew across all groups: Household income from work grew in real terms across all income groups in Singapore in 2008 according to an Occasional Paper released by the Singapore Department of Statistics today on 'Key Household Income Trends, 2008'.
-New border facility opens: A new $4 million laboratory and decontamination unit at Tuas Checkpoint, which can spot chemical, toxic and biological agents in consignments carried by trucks into Singapore, opened on Tuesday morning.
-Singapore defends death penalty: Singapore has defended its use of the death penalty, saying capital punishment had deterred drug traffickers in the city-state, which Amnesty says has one of the world's highest execution rates.

YouTube for Television: First Impressions

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Yesterday, I tried out YouTube for Television, the new service from YouTube which offers a dynamic, lean-back, 10-foot television viewing experience through a streamlined interface that enables you to discover, watch and share YouTube videos on any TV screen with just a few quick clicks of your remote control. YouTube for Television is currently in beta and is only available through the Sony PS3 and Nintendo Wii game consoles.

Using YouTube for Television is easy. Just turn on your Sony PS3 or Wii and get to the browser and enter You'll then get to the sleek, black homepage of YouTube for Television. Navigation icons are on the left side. You can click on Featured videos, Top Rated videos and Most Viewed videos. You can also do a simple search and go to your YouTube account and customise the settings. There are also the arrow up and down bars for scrolling down and up the list of videos. Over at My Account, you have access to My Videos, Favourites and Playlists.

I think YouTube for Television is a great idea. More and more people are using their TVs to surf the internet and having a dedicated YouTube site for easy playback of videos on the TV is a step in the right direction but the beta service of YouTube for Television suffers from a few flaws. The biggest flaw is the poor quality of videos. Videos look more pixelated than those found on the normal (web version) YouTube site. The quality is much worse when you maximise videos to full screen. Next, when you are on a video page and if it is accompanied by a long info about the video, clicking More Info doesn't allow you to scroll down to read the extended info. There is also no way for you to go to the YouTube page belonging to the user who submitted the video. The video page also lacks a "More From" icon to allow you to look at other videos submitted by the user. Lastly, on My Account, you don't have access to your subscriptions!

Here's a video of YouTube for Television in action.

More photos here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Vintage Barbie collection for sale!

Charles aka tiojavi has amassed a huge collection of vintage Barbie dolls during the past 10 years. Check out his Barbie dolls here. His collection is impressive. Includes rare Japanese and European exclusives. Envious? You should be but if you have US $115,000, you can try bidding for his collection on eBay. Good luck.

How to turn an iPod or iPhone into a Moleskine Book

If you're thinking of using your iPod Touch as an e-book reader, then try converting it first into the legendary Moleskine notebook. Charlie from Wired Gadgets shows you how: "I decided to disguise my iPod as a book, and if that wasn't pretentious enough, I put it in a modded Moleskine, the notebook of choice for fops and dandies the world over."

The iWood: Wood Protection for your iPod

Miniot creates all natural protection cases for iPods and iPhones, carved from your choice of maple, cherry, oak, mahogany, padouk or walnut wood. You can also have a monogram or logo and a personalised two-line message engraved into the wooden case. Very classy!

Clicking Kitchen Grip

Now you can hold on to your hot pots and pans in true geeky style with the Clicking Kitchen Grip, a kitchen mitten/glove that looks like the pixelated hand cursor of your computer. Cool! Made by Bazar Design from Brazil.

(Thanks miraz)

The Scrabble Keyboard

The Scrabble Keyboard is a beauty! Most of the keys are made from real Scrabble tiles that were hand-beveled and built onto a USB, clicky, mechanical-switch keyboard. Not surprisingly, it was commissioned by several avid Scrabble players.

(Thanks GeekGod)

Animated films by 3 brilliant Russian animators

On his YouTube page, Pavlovich74 posts several animated films done by Russian animators Ivan Maximov, Yuri Norstein and Alexander Petrov. Above is Maximov's bizarre little gem called Provincial School made in 1992 in his home studio.

What people wear in the sixties and seventies

All the miniskirts, hotpants, bell bottoms, sunglasses, boots and hairstyles of the sixties and seventies! 1960s featured a number of diverse trends in fashion, most notably the hippie look. It was a decade that broke with many fashion traditions that mirrored social movements during the period.

Hard Format: Reaching for the sublime in music design

Hard Format showcases unique packaging design of records, CDs, cassettes and other brilliant music-related design. From the site: "Hard Format isn’t intended to become a dusty museum devoted exclusively to past glories, though there’ll certainly be some of that, we also want to highlight the brilliant new design work being produced right now."

(via Nerdcore)

Star Wars Galaxy Map

Dude makes a pretty comprehensive map of the fictional Star Wars galaxy. It shows you the worlds, colonies and territories found in the Star Wars movies, books and games - all carefully projected onto the middle plane of the galaxy disk.

(Thanks Mr Big)

Create tilt-shift style photos with TiltShiftMaker

TiltShiftMaker lets you easily transform your existing digital photos into cool miniature style pictures without the need to use a special camera lens with tilt capability. Tilt-shift style miniature photos are photos of real life scenes that are made to look like miniature scale models.

(Thanks voxchad)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

This is Japan! Awesome video created from 2760 photos makes you wanna go to Japan

Eric Testroete stitched together all the photos he took on a recent trip to Japan to create this truly awesome video.

He describes it here in detail: "We never went there with the plan to do this, but one night we were looking at the pictures. We held down the button to get through the pictures faster and we noticed it looked fairly cool. I figured it would be a good idea to make a video this way.

I used Lightroom to crop and process all the images (it's good at doing batch stuff), M├ętamorphose to rename the exported files into a numbered sequence, Sony Vegas to cut to music, then VirtualDub to compress and scale.

The video is running at 6 frames a second. I originally took 3340 pictures, but doing the math there should be about 2760 images in the video. The camera was a Pentax k20d and I brought an external hard drive to save what ended up being 46 gigs in raw files."

Ikea Wi-Fi Booster

Dude moves to Russia, finds that there's no DSL, so he makes himself a Wi-Fi booster using an Ikea napkin ring, a USB Wi-Fi adapter and some electrical tape to connect to other wireless networks in his neighbourhood. Cool!

(Thanks GeekGod)

1738 Robot Duck can eat and shit!

In 1738, French inventor Jacques de Vaucanson created this mechanical duck with over 400 moving parts. It could flap its wings, drink water, digest grain and even defecate! More amazing retro robots can be found here.

(via Botropolis)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Comics

Here's an online collection of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics. Originally created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, the comic's popularity has gone on to inspire three television series, numerous video games, four feature films and a wide range of toys and merchandise.

(via Drawn!)

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