Friday, August 29, 2008

I am glad it turns out well

At a post almost dated a year back, I did mention I do love to dance. In the beginning of this year, Eric also pluck up his courage & started to learn dancing as well.

About 4 months ago we started basic Waltz classes. Months passes we also advances to Intermediat. The school Shawn & Gladys is holding exams for dances this coming weekend.

Both of us decided not to take as I generally does not like being stressed out by an exam. However last Tuesday, being our last class of this semester, our good friend Zinc actually helped us to video our routine. I am really glad all turns well.

Click this link to the video

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Excitement on the Track

Who say I am a weirdo that watches F1 only hoping there are some excitement like spins, crashes, overtakes etc...

Last Sunday was the first street race in Valencia. My opinion, the street circuit looks like any of the season's race track but with some buildings & a bridge to cross. *Yawn*

On the overall, its rather an empty piece of land with a circuit slam right in the middle of it. The race was rather boring & the position that qualifies returns the with the podium position as well.

Even at also commented on a boring race.

Formula Boredom at Valencia
no action, very little surprise

Valencia's new Formula One street circuit failed to deliver much excitement during the European Grand Prix on Sunday, the press declared.

"Ho-hum in Valencia," the International Herald Tribune headlined, panning the processional race on the streets of the Spanish port city.

Even the Spanish media did not disagree.

"A boring track," the sports daily Marca admitted, "with hardly any possibilities for overtaking."

"It was a procession, during which nothing happened, except for that which should not have happened: Alonso retiring," El Mundo Deportivo added.

All the expectation of several Safety Car periods never materialised, and podium-getters Felipe Massa, Lewis Hamilton and Robert Kubica finished in the positions they qualified without ever challenging one another.

"It was a Grand Prix with much glamour but no Safety Car," the newspaper lamented.
"The most exciting place was the pitlane," El Mundo said, referring to the incidents involving Ferrari.

"A boring race," Spain's Diario Sport echoed. "At this venue, pole position is crucial."

BMW Sauber test driver Christian Klien commented: "I was actually surprised that it was a relatively boring race in which nothing really happened."

"In the other categories racing here we saw some really good racing with spectacular overtaking,"
the Austrian is quoted as saying by the Credit Suisse emagazine.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dumb Blond

I told my friend the other day - I suddenly became a Dumb Blond but without the blond hair....

Incident # 1
We have this company benefit where we are allow to claim annually $450.00 SDG for any purchase or services made. However the catch is no chemical related or health harming purchases or services.

I am going on a holiday soon & bought air tickets online. The only receipt given was the e-ticket.

Me : Oh I can use my air tickets to claim the flexi benefit?!?!
Friend : Oh ya you could. Do it immediately just in case company policy starts changing.
Me : Huh???? Use my e-ticket to claim??? What if other people use my e-ticket to fly instead?? Then I will not get to go for my holiday....
Friend : Hello... to use your e-ticket, you have to present the passport as well!!!!
Me : Oh ya hor :P

Incident # 2
Talking to my travel agent who will be helping me to book my hotel.

Me : Hey Ken, I'd purchase my air ticket on line. Very cheap!
Ken : Great! I am glad you manage to secure the tickets at a good price.
Me : But hor... because its budget everything needs to pay lo.. Lugguage, Food & even Seats.
Ken : What seats?
Me : When you almost finishing your tickets purchase, they ask you which seat you wanna take ma. Each seat you chose must pay one le!
Ken : You mean you've pre-selected the seat?
Me : Ya....
Ken : Did you also select the insurance as well?
Me : Ah.. this one I smart. I didn't!!! Cause I know I can get my own travel insurance without the need of going through the Airline.
Ken : You are smart not selecting to buy insurance, but do you know you can skip the step of seat selection as well?
Me : Really?!?!
Ken : YES!!! You just need to click next & proceed. Comes the day of flight, make sure you are the first in the queue & its free seating!!!!
Me : ......

Speachless already la...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Art of Counterfeits

I shall not denied the fact where some of the best counterfeits products does comes from the smart Chinese where at times some of us really cannot tell whether is it real or not!

Last Friday I am impress on the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing. I don't denied the fact where it was a magnificent choreograph ceremony where many of us watch with much delight & seeing many mouth dropping stuns or effects being brought right in front of our eyes.

However for the last couple days, reading the news had made me even more impress on the Chinese on what they have done to put together this event.

Do you remember the very nice fireworks display especially the one with many giant foot prints? Its like a huge giant walking towards the bird nest stadium?

The other day on a news report, this fireworks was actually computer generated graphics. See below news cutting from

As the ceremony got under way with a dramatic, drummed countdown, viewers watching at home and on giant screens inside the Bird's Nest National Stadium watched as a series of giant footprints outlined in fireworks processed gloriously above the city from Tiananmen Square.

What they did not realise was that what they were watching was in fact computer graphics, meticulously created over a period of months and inserted into the coverage electronically at exactly the right moment.

The fireworks were there for real, outside the stadium. But those responsible for filming the extravaganza decided in advance it would be impossible to capture all 29 footprints from the air.

As a result, only the last, visible from the camera stands inside the Bird's Nest was captured on film.

The trick was revealed in a local Chinese newspaper, the Beijing Times, at the weekend.

Gao Xiaolong, head of the visual effects team for the ceremony, said it had taken almost a year to create the 55-second sequence. Meticulous efforts were made to ensure the sequence was as unnoticeable as possible: they sought advice from the Beijing meteorological office as to how to recreate the hazy effects of Beijing's smog at night, and inserted a slight camera shake effect to simulate the idea that it was filmed from a helicopter.

"Seeing how it worked out, it was still a bit too bright compared to the actual fireworks," he said. "But most of the audience thought it was filmed live - so that was mission accomplished."

He said the main problem with trying to shoot the real thing was the difficulty of placing the television helicopter at the right angle to see all 28 footsteps in a row.

One advisor to the Beijing Olympic Committee (BOCOG) defended the decision to use make-believe to impress the viewer. "It would have been prohibitive to have tried to film it live," he said. "We could not put the helicopter pilot at risk by making him try to follow the firework route."

A spokeswoman for BOCOG said the final decision had been made by Beijing Olympic Broadcasting, the joint venture between the International Olympic Committee and local organisers that is responsible for providing the main "feeds" of all Olympic events to viewers around the world.

"As far as we are concerned, we let off the fireworks - that's what's important to us," she said.

Mr Gao said he was worried that technologically literate viewers who spotted the join might be critical, but comments online suggested more admiration of the result.

Although the event as a whole received rapturous reviews abroad, that has not been entirely the case at home. Some internet comments were hostile, saying that while it looked stunning the contents were vacuous.

Others focused on the sheer numbers of people involved - more than 16,000 performers, mostly from People's Liberation Army song and dance troops.

"That certainly showed China's unique character," said one comment. "Namely, that we have 1.3 billion people."

Another interesting being publicize was the little gal singing on the opening ceremony. From the same source of

The girl in the red dress with the pigtails, called Lin Miaoke, 9, and from a Beijing primary school, has become a national sensation since Friday night, giving interviews to all the most popular newspapers.

But the show's musical designer felt forced to set the record straight. He gave an interview to Beijing radio saying the real singer was a seven-year-old girl who had won a gruelling competition to perform the anthem, a patriotic song called "Hymn to the Motherland".

At the last moment a member of the Chinese politburo who was watching a rehearsal pronounced that the winner, a girl called Yang Peiyi, might have a perfect voice but was unsuited to the lead role because of her buck teeth.

So, on the night, while a pre-recording of Yang Peiyi singing was played, Lin Miaoke, who has already featured in television advertisements, was seen but not heard.

"This was a last-minute question, a choice we had to make," the ceremony's musical designer, Chen Qigang, said. "Our rehearsals had already been vetted several times - they were all very strict. When we had the dress rehearsals, there were spectators from various divisions, including above all a member of the politburo who gave us his verdict: we had to make the swap."

Mr Chen's interview gave an extraordinary insight into the control exercised over the ceremony by the Games' political overseers, all to ensure the country was seen at its best.

Officials have already admitted that the pictures of giant firework footprints which marched across Beijing towards the stadium on Friday night were prerecorded, digitally enhanced and inserted into footage beamed across the world.

Mr Chen said the initial hopefuls to sing the anthem had been reduced to ten, and one, a ten-year-old, had originally been chosen for the quality of her voice. But she, too, had fallen by the wayside because she was not "cute" enough.

"We used her to sing in all the rehearsals," Mr Chen said. "But in the end the director thought her image was not the most appropriate, because she was a little too old. Regrettably, we had to let her go."

At that point Yang Peiyi stepped up to the plate.

"The main consideration was the national interest," he said. "The child on the screen should be flawless in image, in her internal feelings, and in her expression. In the matter of her voice, Yang Peiyi was flawless, in the unanimous opinion of all the members of the team."

That was until attention turned to Yang Peiyi's teeth. Nevertheless, Mr Chen thought the end result a perfect compromise.

"We have a responsibility to face the audience of the whole country, and to be open with this explanation," he said. "We should all understand it like this: it is a question of the national interest. It is a question of the image of our national music, our national culture.

"Especially at the entrance of our national flag, this is an extremely important, an extremely serious matter.

"So we made the choice. I think it is fair to both Lin Miaoke and Yang Peiyi - after all, we have a perfect voice, a perfect image and a perfect show, in our team's view, all together."

One question remains: why was Lin Miaoke allowed to give interviews in which she lapped up the praise for her singing. Mr Chen said she might not have known that the words she was singing could not be heard. She had, in fact, only known she was going to perform at all 15 minutes beforehand.

Yang Peiyi is said to have reacted well to the disappointment. "I am proud to have been chosen to sing at all," she is reported to have said.

Come to think of it, Chinese are really very good in making everything looks so perfect!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Road to Singapore F1 Night Race

To start off this road, I shall not blah blah too much on the tickets purchases as it was rather in a mess. The hot line was forever so hot & they even sent my confirmation letter to the wrong email address. Luckily I called then & the confirmation letter came.

Today 11th Aug 2008, I throttle my way down to SingPost Jurong Point & with a small little girl delight of like getting a huge gift, I waited in the long snake queue for almost 15 mins.

Finally my turn came & I hand over the letter. The counter lady was friendly & told me hold on a minute while she search for my tickets. Seconds later this thing came.
The ticket Box side
The ticket Box front

Frankly I didn't expect to collect a box of tickets. I thought it will be like couple strip of papers - the usual ticket alike I meant. The girl saw my shocked & she added, don't worry its just something small inside.

I went home later & ply open this magnificent ticket box. This was what it looks like inside.
Inside the box

HAHAHA.. its really small in there! Took that 2 black things out & the tickets were held in here. This is the cover of the 3 days pass.
The cover

Opening the covers up, to my surprise (sorry I've never been to a F1 race, so I don't know how a F1 ticket looks like) the tickets its really like a pass. You know like the company badge with our name & picture on it.
The 3 day pass

At the same time each pass has its own lanyard as well.

So the front & back of the tickets looks like this...
Ticket front
Ticket back

In addition, the box also came with the map of the circuit + you do's & don'ts for the race.
The map
Things to know

For those guys whom had not gotten your tickets... what are you waiting for?!?!?!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

A very Happy Man!

*Shy* this post should have been written on Monday, was so caught up with things at work & etc... didn't have a chance to complete this till now.

I am sure those F1 fanatics like me will have watched last Sunday Hungary Race. Robert Kubica says this is a Mickey Mouse track. Not that it is easy, but there are so many turns & corners it really make it looks like driving round multiple Mickey Mouses ears!!

The race started nice, no collision. Hamilton lost the 1st corner to Massa & you can see the spirit of the McLaren Team really drops. Of course the Ferrari camp was escalated. Massa had 2 good pit stops & it still puts him on the lead till the last 4 or 5 lapse to go disaster happens. His engine blew & that is it for him!

Not only Massa suffers from an engine blow, Hamilton also blew his tyre as well. Lucky for him, the rims did not cut through & he was still able to complete the race with 5 (Behind Alonso!!!)

The podium has a new Fin (not Kimi) on Number 1. Its Heikki Kovalainen. He drove well, no accidents. Stay on track & he wins his first career podium finishes at the top. Look at this happy man. I really likes his smile.
Heikki first win