Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Juvenile Speculations - War in the South China Sea?

On Monday [23 Jan 2017], new White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the United States would prevent China from taking over territory in international waters in the South China Sea.
His comments were widely interpreted as doubling down on remarks by Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, on Jan. 11 that the United States would not allow China access to islands it has built in the South China Sea, and upon which it has installed weapons systems and built military-length airstrips.
The adult in you should be horrified at the prospects of another war. With the two largest economies. And so close to home. To be clear, China doesn't want a war. Does the US want a war? With Trump, who knows?

The juvenile in you (and me) may just want to speculate: Can China successfully defend those islands they reclaimed and the facilities they built on it? Will the US (under Trump) be able to take the fight to China?

How will this impact the rest of the world, and specifically Singapore? More importantly, who will win such a war or any lesser confrontation? Or if not "win", prevail?

(The juvenile in you is the one who still thinks questions like "Superman vs  Green Lantern - who will win?" is a deep important philosophical question.)

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Nothing to crow about

And so it was that within the first week of the Year of the Rooster, the AVA acted to put down "wild" chickens roaming Sin Ming Ave because of complaints from about 20 residents that the birds' crowing were annoyances.

And the irony was not lost on readers who commented mercilessly on a) the pettiness of the residents, and b) the draconian measure of culling the chickens by AVA instead of say, relocating them to the Botanic Garden, Ubin, Central Catchment area, etc.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Is the plural of Terrex, "Terrexes", "Terrexs", or "Terrice"?

In November 2016, nine "Terrexes", SAF's Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICV) or troop carriers, or armoured personnel carrier (APC, the carrier is armoured, not the personnel) or "battle taxis" were seized in HK by the Chinese authorities claiming non-compliance with HK Custom laws. 

And the internet went wild. Or "wow!"

While there were some hand-wringing, sabre-rattling, self-recrimination (or recrimination of the govt), and the usual blame-storming and pretentious armchair analysis (of which, this might be one), the official response has been more low-key (which allows the more vociferous of the armchair analysts free range with their over-the-top theories and recriminations.)

The problem of course is that China has no legal reason to seize those vehicles. So how to return those vehicles, without losing face and seeming to be quite silly?

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Good Old Days (and Bad New Days)

Is it me or does the old days seem better and the new ones just suck like an Electrolux?

A few minutes ago, my neighbourhood's usual midnight serenity was interrupted by primal yells into the darkness of the night.

I could not make out the grievances that the various yellers were trying to convey.

Perhaps I was not the intended recipient of the message.

Perhaps they were not even grievances (though they were shouted out with considerable angst, but I could be mistaken).


Thursday, 24 November 2016

Recycling - pursuing the last grain of rice

From a TODAY article:

‘Malls, hotels must look into improving efforts to reduce waste’



SINGAPORE — From hotels throwing out leftover food to shopping malls discarding paper and plastic packaging, such large commercial premises alone churned out about 302,000 tonnes of waste last year, taking up 4 per cent of the total waste generated in Singapore...

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

How (not) to order steaks at a food court

Stories from the food court
At lunch. Western Grill at a local food court. 
Man (Customer, potential): Your Airflown Ribeye Steak from Australia or New Zealand, ah?
Hawker Stall Operator (employee): It's... frozen.
Man: Ya, but from Australia or New Zealand?
Hawker: Honestly, I don't know leh.
Man (on phone to wife): Honey, he says he don't know... Okay. (walks away).