you learn something new every day

Prince or Princess of Asturias is the official title given to the heir to the Spanish throne. Ten-year-old Leonor, the elder daughter of King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, is the current holder of this position. The (far more well-known) British equivalent is of course Prince of Wales. (His spouse will then be known as Princess of Wales. Thus far no woman has held this title in her own right.)

you learn something new every day

Supposititious means ‘substituted for the real thing’.

you learn something new every day

Something being gimcrack means it is showy but cheap or badly made.

thoughts to live (and dress) by

I have never known a really chic woman whose appearance was not, in large part, an outward reflection of her inner self.

Mainbocher (1890 – 1976), American couturier

you learn something new every day

Cheesecake isn’t a modern American invention but dates back a few thousand years to ancient Greece (read more here, here and here)!

you learn something new every day

Perspicacious is a nice bombastic synonym for sagacious.

不翼而飞

My JC senior Cheryl, a teacher, posted this status on her Facebook wall earlier today:

改作文有感:认识“不翼而飞”这四个字的日子里,还没想过能这样用“盘子里剩下的最后一个鸡翅膀不翼而飞了!”

 

on co-operation

How to Co-operate

People are drawn together because some tasks are too big for one person. They say too many cooks spoil the broth, but they also say many hands make light work. The trick is having one person work on the soup and the rest on the electrics.

This was extracted from How to Be Normal by Guy Browning, which is a collection of short essays all titled ‘How to (Do Something)’. I didn’t really get its humour at all, and made myself finish it anyway. I thought the above snippet was the funniest part of the book! :P

losing kampung culture is part of progress

I thought this letter was a pretty interesting perspective on the ‘over-regulation’ of void deck usage.

 

Losing kampung culture is part of progress

The functions of our void decks are evolving, but this is not necessarily a bad thing (“Voiding the kampung spirit?“; March 17).

These changes occur due to the country’s progress, which alters people’s demand of their living environment.

Fifty years ago, the kampung lifestyle was an essential part of the then Third World Singapore. Fast forward 50 years, and our country has evolved to become a world economic hub.

Continue reading ‘losing kampung culture is part of progress’

cinquains

Operating Clean Room continues this weekend. Was clearing my secondary school stuff when I came across two cinquains written in Chinese for my CCA when I was in Secondary 1. (Cinquains, a type of five-line poem, were invented by American poet Adelaide Crapsey in the early 1900s. Read some of her cinquains here.)

兔子
可爱 机灵
吃草 跳跃 挖洞
活波的小东西
绒毛娃娃

飞机
闪亮的双翼
起飞 滑翔 降落
在云中飞翔
滑翔机

Upon review 16 years later, I would rewrite the second poem thus, to remove all the repetitive words and make other improvements:

飞机
明亮的双翼
起飞 滑翔 降落
在云中航行
科学奇迹

can’t stump the trump

Well I guess I’m kind of a keyboard supporter of American presidential candidate Donald Trump. (Still trying to figure out their convoluted political system though!) You’ve gotta appreciate the man’s passion, gumption and candour. Recently discovered this subreddit, The_Donald, which calls itself ‘the largest, best, and closest thing to an official campaign subreddit for Donald Trump 2016’. People are sharing tons of related links and commenting actively every day. It’s exactly like a non-stop virtual party full of ‘high energy’ (one of their favourite terms)!

you learn something new every day

Recently found out what wassail (mmm sounds delicious) and wassailing are.

a love of……

One of the more curious things that four years of secondary school instilled in me is a love of…… filing. Yes, you read right. Filing.

Back then most of the teachers would collect our files for each subject, in the middle and close to the end of the school year, to check that all our handouts and assignments were in order. Imagine the number of files they would have to go through! We’d get a score for the condition of our file, which would count towards our final grade. It seemed like a really straightforward way to get full marks, so I’d always put my file together diligently. (Proper filing also made it easier to revise when the end of year exams came around – which I guess was probably the teachers’ point.) I’m quite proud to say I usually got full marks or something close to it.

13 years after graduating, I still enjoy punching holes in my documents (mainly personal finance these days) and arranging them in the right files. Ah, the joys of filing!

separating your combustibles from your recyclables

Was looking through my Secondary 4 elective geography stuff when I found this rather entertaining newspaper article on recycling in Japan……

 

Separating your combustibles from your recyclables
By Kavitha Rao

Taking the garbage out is never much fun, but in Japan it is sheer agony. When I first arrived in Japan, I “oohed” and “aahed” over the exquisite groceries, especially the beautiful packaging, delicate ribbons, and the myriad gift-wrappings. That didn’t last long. Now, when I buy a charming box of rice crackers, I just worry about how much garbage I am going to have to dispose of.

The first thing every resident in Japan learns is how to sort garbage, or gomi, as it is called in Japanese. The second is how not to. How complicated could this be, you think? Very.

Continue reading ‘separating your combustibles from your recyclables’

paper and ink

A few weeks ago, I commenced Operation Clean Room, as one of my New Year resolutions is to clear my study. I didn’t think I could wipe out the whole room in a day, so I decided my strategy was to divide and conquer, attacking one corner at a time. Few days ago, I had fired the opening salvo by pulling out 50 kilograms of old magazines (the karung guni man who came by today thought it was more like 30 though). Today I targeted the stuff from my secondary school and junior college days. (Yes, I have documents dating back 16 years……) The battle is more than half won and I will continue the campaign in the next few days. The amount of paper and ink expended in six years of education is frankly quite amazing! As I flipped through the pages and pages, I couldn’t help but reminisce about the past……


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