Sunday, July 30, 2006

Back at the 190

After a disappointing first experience at the Four Seasons' 190 restaurant, I was invited back by management, following a letter I wrote to them. This time round things worked out a lot better, with everyone getting what they ordered (well, everyone ordered the same thing after all), and pretty solid food quality. Am happy now.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

This is going to be interesting

Why would demonstrators be interested in protesting at a "secure, private area", with "bans on wooden or metal poles to hold up placards". I know - how about balloon clappers and cheerleaders?

Wikipedia says: "A growing trend in the United States has been the implementation of "free speech zones," a fenced-in area which is often far-removed from the event which is being protested; critics of free-speech zones argue that they go against the First Amendment of the United States Constitution by their very nature and that they lessen the impact the demonstration might have otherwise had."

No outdoor demos for World Bank, IMF meets, say police
But those who want to engage the two organisations can do so in secure, private area at Suntec City
The Straits Times, 29 July 2006

OUTDOOR demonstrations and processions will not be allowed during September's International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual meetings, the police said yesterday.

But in keeping with the tradition of these meetings, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) who want to engage the two organisations will be allowed to do so, but only in a private, secured area set aside for them at the Suntec City venue.

Issuing their public order guidelines for the meetings yesterday, the police said demonstrations are already banned by Singapore law, which cannot be changed to accommodate the meeting.

Securing the country against terrorist attacks and protecting residents, conference delegates and visitors, they said, must take priority.

Singapore Police Force chief-of-staff, Senior Assistant Commissioner Soh Wai Wah, said: 'We are talking about a high security period, and we do not want to create opportunities terrorists can exploit, which can then compromise our security.

'The threat of a terrorist incident is a real one, and requires Singapore to take all necessary and effective measures to safeguard the meeting.'

That means accredited CSOs will only be permitted to express their views inside the convention venue, in a special area on Level 1 of the Suntec Convention Centre. Even then, they must stick to the police rules, which include bans on wooden or metal poles to hold up placards.

The area in and around Suntec City, where the meetings are being held, will be tightly secured.

Said SAC Soh: 'We recognise the importance of the participation of CSOs in the event and have made the maximum effort to facilitate their involvement, within the framework of our laws.'

To stay within that framework, groups must not display anything or behave in a way which will offend religious, racial or ethnic sensitivities.

Last night, in response to queries from The Straits Times, the World Bank's Singapore representative, Mr Peter Stephens, indicated that the global body might want to explore alternative arrangements with the Government.

*snip*

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Time capsule in the city

You have driven past it countless times along Holland Road. You may even have heard of it, or seen its pitched blue roof on Google Earth. Built by William Napier in 1854, Istana Woodneuk, also known as Istana Tyersall, was given to Sultan Abu Bakar of Johor in exchange for his land at Telok Blangah. He then had it rebuilt in 1892. Check out these great photos by Wong Chek Poh.

Source: National Archives of Singapore

Source: synapseman

Woodneuk on Google Earth

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Is the 140th actually... talking back?!

Yawning Bread has a thesis that the Straits Times could be sending a message to the Government regarding the Bhavani-Brown Affair in a recent article on political cartoons. Could it be... true?

Our SERS replacement flat

Akan datang in 2010.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Monday, July 03, 2006

Feedback also must exprain

MICA responds to mrbrown's rant on the cost of living. 209 304 370 angry comments ensue. I can just see it coming:

Customer: Eh, your bak chor mee not nice!
Bak Chor Mee Man: What you mean my bak chor mee not nice?!
Customer: I mean, your bak chor mee is not nice.
Bak Chor Mee Man: So, what's your solution?
Customer: How I know? You are the bak chor mee man what. If I know, I will be selling bak chor mee also!
Bak Chor Mee Man: How I know your see lang tau lah! Comprain also must have solution, feedback also must exprain, OK!
Mr Wang helpfully decontructs MICA's response for us, just so we're sure. Heavyweight bloggers add their take on the issue, but I like these, by The Negative Man, and soulgroove. Everyone is so unhappy with their bak chor mee...

Meanwhile, the man himself comes up with a classic response.

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A different take on Joo Chiat

In a post which will make a real estate analyst envious, yawningbread offers a new angle on the Joo Chiat "problem".

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Bourdain boo-boo


The Straits Times' Cheong Suk-Wai spots Bourdain's mistakes in today's review. I'm reading the book too, and the man got sloppy, I must say.

Food - THE NASTY BITS by Anthony Bourdain
The Sunday Times, July 2, 2006
By Cheong Suk-Wai


THIS magpie's nest of foodie irks and quirks is a trove for couch potatoes mad about tell-all musings.

More Zen than Kitchen Confidential (2001) and less self-absorbed than its sequel, A Cook's Tour (2002), this book is a compilation of Bourdain's gourmand globe- trots, published in such rags as Gourmet and GQ.

The ex-druggie and 28-year veteran of hot stoves has since turned TV host with shows like No Reservations (airing currently on StarHub Channel 16).

He divvies up this selection into Salty, Sweet, Sour, Bitter and Umami but it is largely a bittersweet brittle of his pet peeves, especially celebrity chefs.

Still, whether he is swooning over seawater sorbet or slamming cocktails 'that look like fabric softener', his mind is always inventive, his heart in the right place. This nasty is nice.

His homework is not, though. 'I've really come to love Singapore,' he enthuses on the last page. But not enough to get to know it better. He confuses nasi lemak with Nonya laksa, and calls bak kut teh 'an appetizingly- looking Malay specialty'. And that fabric softener remark? He means the Singapore Sling. Oy.

If you like this, read: Fork It Over: The Intrepid Adventures Of A Professional Eater by Alan Richman (2005, US$11.44 or S$18.15 from www.amazon.com) which, as with Bourdain, is about the man, not his munches.