the more things change

The more things change, the more they stay the same…… this Brewster Rockit: Space Guy! (14 December 2014) comic strip says it all……

br 141214

from here

destiny

When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

瓜瓜瓜瓜

为什么只有南瓜和西瓜,却没有东瓜和北瓜?

rhetorical reasons that slogans stick

Slogan is an ancient Gaelic word. It means, or at least it meant, battle cry.

When medieval Scotsmen were charging their enemies in remote and warlike glens, they would shout the name of their clan or their chieftain again and again and again. “Campbell! Campbell! Campbell!” or “McDonald! McDonald! McDonald!”

These days, in the battles of global corporations, there’s slightly less killing, and certainly fewer kilts. But otherwise it’s pretty much the same clamoring to be heard above the competitive fray.

Imagine an army of Apple employees, brandishing iPhone 6s and bellowing “Bigger than bigger!” as they storm a counterattacking legion of Samsung smartphone reps wielding Galaxy S5s and urging one another onward with “The next big thing is here!”

A slogan, a good one at least, is at the heart of a company. It doesn’t just face outward to the consumer, but inward to the employees. One sentence becomes the company identity, the corporate motto and the battle cry. So it had better be a cracking good sentence.

Click here for ‘Rhetorical Reasons That Slogans Stick’ by Mark Forsyth, which I found a very entertaining read!

winter morning

Was walking towards my office this morning……

winter morning

tree-lined avenue:
light breeze tickles, gentle rain
of yellow petals

(Incidentally, where I live, there is no winter, but then……)

you learn something new every day

Armscye is another name for armhole, or the fabric edge to which the sleeve is sewn. Apparently, the word itself has a pretty interesting etymology too!

five little birds

After lunch this afternoon, while walking back to the office, I passed the swimming pool. Noticed four mynahs frolicking happily in the water at a corner, while a fifth remained a short distance away, on the tiled border, resolutely staying on dry ground.

you learn something new every day

Went to see the animated film Big Hero 6 on Friday evening. It’s a hilarious and heartwarming story of a teenage boy, Hiro Hamada, and his giant inflatable robot, Baymax, against a backdrop of love and loss. The way the Hiro dealt with his grief moved me to tears a few times. Definitely worth a watch!

Anyway, when I got home, I browsed the discussion topics about the movie on IMDb. In one of the discussions, I came across the term uncanny valley. A rather interesting concept indeed!

wind and rain

The massive downpour this morning made me think of this poem by Song Dynasty female poet Li Qingzhao:

《如梦令》
李清照

昨夜雨疏风骤,浓睡不消残酒。试问卷帘人,却道海棠依旧。知否?知否?应是绿肥红瘦。

I think that this is a nice English translation. Incidentally, while the poem notes strong winds (‘风骤’),  the rain mentioned in the poem is actually light (‘雨疏’). So it was probably completely unlike the deluge I experienced!

you learn something new every day

Contumelious looks contumelious indeed!

you learn something new every day

Abecedarian is a cuter way of saying ‘alphabetical’.

you learn something new every day

Vigesimal describes something related to or based on the number 20.

december descends

And snow is falling on my WordPress blog…..

shaolin and wudang

So the annual Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) results were released last Friday. As expected, there was an explosion of PSLE and secondary school selection threads on the KiasuParents forum. Read some of them today, and this really amused me……

Someone, on choosing between Dunman High and Raffles Girls':

This is an easy one to me.

R.G.S

Being a Rafflesian is one of the best things that you can get as a Singaporean student. The only other comparable one is to be a HwaChongian. They are like the Shaolin and Wudang in Singapore’s education system.

from here

a rose by any other name

I was fact-checking a local medical history piece, contributed by one of my writers, a couple of months ago when I stumbled upon this 16-year-old news article, which may prove instructive with regard to the Angsana Primary naming issue. I quote (and I do find this portion particularly incisive):

What is needed is not a clinging to historic names but someone to trace their history and evolution, and explain the changes in the context of the social and political developments that they mark. For example, what we know as Fort Canning Park, was once a real fort, called Fort Canning and named after the first viceroy of India.

Before Stamford Raffles annexed Singapore for the British, it was known as Bukit Larangan, or Forbidden Hill, the home and burial grounds of ancient Malay kings. Who knows what it was called before that?

Now, if Singaporean leaders of the 21st century should change the hill’s name to Lee Kuan Yew Park, to honour the man who led the country to independence, would it rob Fort Canning of its history?

Of course not. A place’s current name is like an onion skin. Peel it away and another name, another story lies below.

Continue reading ‘a rose by any other name’


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