Friday, May 30, 2008

New media musings

Been following with interest some issues brought up by friends, colleagues as well as the papers this week. Usually, I'll scan through The Straits Times main news section, the supplements are the ones which I spend more time perusing through these days actually, esp Digtal Life and Urban. Ha.

Some issues on my mind which I have been pondering for most of my enforced homestay for the past few days.

First up is the Vuestar issue, where a quick browse through the local forums such as HWZ and SPUG have shown some interesting reactions towards the firm as well as the tactics used to, IMHO, extort money from the new media businesses here by threatening legal action because of a patent they filed. While we know the broad coverage of patents and how some parties deliberately file broad patents to provide themselves as much space to negotiate around and to protect their intellectual property, I'm still astounded by how they managed to get their patent filed successfully here. This diminishes the worth of IP rights when unscrupulous businesses abuse the use of patents to cause unnecessary panic and concern among the community. Even though this case might not stand in court, for it to get as far as the patent offices here shows perhaps a need to review how patents are granted, esp as Spore strives to be an IP hub, among others.

Besides this, another interesting comment which came out in the papers which may pave the way for future local new media policies and regulations, was this comment/headline which stood out for me in Wed's papers, "MM: A lie against the Govt will be pursued - even in cyberspace."
So far, the government's taken the stance of a light touch approach when it comes to governing the cybersphere in Singapore. Though how long this will last has been a question which has been hotly debated amongst myself and my friends, even in our undergrad days a couple of years back, which of course, also depended to some extent, our political inclinations.

Myself though, I've always believed in the power of expression, though I feel that it is impossible, naive even, to achieve freedom of speech, taken in the sense that one can say whatever one wants to, without expecting to face consequences of one kind or another. There are always limits and boundaries in which we operate in the public sphere, and it is pertinent to know that while the rules might be bent and made more flexible in cyberspace, there are still rules withstanding, and more often than not, these rules are transferred to a certain extent from the real physical space, esp in terms of policies and legislation.

Time and again, hints of tightening the regulation of the internet have surfaced but this time, coming from an esteemed and influential political figure, made me wonder - will something actually come out from this case? And how will the changes in the policies and regulations affect us? Are they for particular industries or sectors or will they be applied across the board?

Just some new media musings on the local scene. Hope I've not opened a Pandora's Box with these thoughts. Ha.

Also, I wasn't impressed by Gate's revealing of the latest offering from MS. Almost simultaneously when I received news of Apple releasing their solar-powered iPhone. Bleah. Given the frequency of breakdowns of my N73 lately, am considering the iPhone these days. Hmmm....

Have a great weekend peepz! Just received some disappointing news, well life moves on yea? And congrats to BFF for getting through another trying round - u go gal, am proud of you! ;) *hugz*

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Stuck at home

Know what's worse than being stuck at home? It's missing the SATC premiere!! In the end, I woke up with a sore eye yest morning, together with a stuffed nose. Got a shock when I looked at my usual bed tousled self in the mirror. My left eye had turned into something out of a horror movie overnight. Had to call to make my appt at the doc's, cancel my appts for the day and traipse over for my appt. Managed to drop by my fav haunt, the lib, to get some sustenance for the soul as well as drop off the books I've finished. All the while, keeping my eyes fixedly to the ground and avoiding ppl as I pass by them, though I wasn't sure if the sore eye was infectious or otherwise. Had to put up with a super chatty doc who was delving into my life history during the consultation. It stills discomfits me a lot when ppl go on about academia and myself and putting mi in lofty positions which is still a very long way to go. If I get there. For once, the consultation actually left me more sick than before I entered the room. Ha.

Anyways, got some rest and food, the flu meds really knock me out.... and the eyedrops which were prescribed actually reminded me of Rachel from Friends and her phobia of putting anything near her eye and the ploys which the rest of them devised to medicate her. Some scant comfort for myself. And some friends actually reminded me how I would not have made it for the SATC premiere given my condition anyways. A way for them to make me feel better I guess. Ha. Thanks anyways guys. ;)

Anyways, am trying to get through these books during my homestay these few days: The world is flat by Thomas L. Friedman; The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and The last gospel by David Gibbins. Though I have my homely periods, this is definitely not one of those times. Argh, need to get well soon, lotsa stuff to tackle in sch and the dissertation! Grogginess from flu meds also not helping. Though the rainy weather's a blessing for sleeping. :) Watching SATC on Sunday! :) :) Thanks too for Siti's help in sorting out the registration for the AMIC conference this July when we will be presenting our papers in Manila... you're da best!! :) Also, this enforced homestay has also made me available online more, and catching up with friends over MSN... always a gd thing. :)

P.S: I like this guy's films, he's done amazing work in cinema, both in front and behind the screens. Last saw him in Made of Honour, as Patrick Dempsey's philandering dad. Is this the end of an era? A moment to mourn one of cinema's greats (IMHO): Sydney Pollack.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wobbly start to the week

Woke up to news that SATC movie premiere partner cldn't make it due to last min work commitments. Tres disappointed. :: Still feeling a lil mopey due the flu bug which hasn't cleared yet. :: Clearing and responding to emails for work. :: Tried reading Sepulchre. :: Nodding off in the afternoon humid heat. :: Catching up with mum. :: More reading, checking of emails. :: Encouraging smses from D. :: Dinner. :: Suspicious smses from D. :: Monday tv trilogy: Chuck, PB3, Lost 4. :: Surprise midnight delivery from D. :: Am touched. Really.

Moral of the day: We all could do with a lil cheering up, esp on a Monday.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Social Media Breakfast & happy weekend

An interesting start to the weekend. I've always been of the opinion that as academics, it is imperative not to end up cloistered in one's ivory tower and hopefully, I aspire to be an organic social scientist, especially in the field of communications and new media; where it is almost idealistic to not have any dealings or knowledge of industry trends or even what others in the new media scene have been up. I think gatherings such as the Social Media Breakfast (SMB) provide a platform to engage in meaningful discussions. Therefore, my interest was piqued when Pris babe extended the invite and made me feel right at home at the 2nd SMB, also thanks to Darryl who graciously offered me a lift so that I can escape the unforgiving mid-day sun. ;p

All in all, I had a great time mainly making new friends and listening in to interesting discussions, ironically not so much new media and its future trends and directions, but really just making friends and listening to what other players in the new media industry had to say. A fruitful time all in all, especially glad to have finally put a face to some blogs I've been partaking as part of my blogosphere diet, mainly the food blog(s) though. You guys know who you are. ;) All in all, had a memorable time at the event and I look forward to attending more of such events, may it for networking, keeping in touch with the community which I study for academic interest, or just to exchange thoughts on trends and pertinent issues, if my schedule permits. Hopefully I contributed my two cents to the discussions which I partook although I would have hoped to get to know more of the individuals. :) Pris played the nice role of kickstarting the introductions too, which helped a lot in breaking the ice and warming mi up! haha.

Had a great time catching up with Pris and Marcus over lunch and getting to know more about their new jobs... super exciting stuff! Also realised that the 3rd babe of the trio, Aileen, is a guru in her field. Am seriously proud and happy for Aileen and her achievements! Though I got an inkling of her influence during the past semester supervising the SL project, I got to appreciate her achievements more today! You go babe! :)

Great news today: Got free tix to the latest Indy Jones flick - mixed reviews so far.... keeping my mind open. Also, was invited to the SATC preview next Tues before it opens on the 29th!! Okies now you can turn green! Haha.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Rainy day :: Dinner with "special" peepz

After my first couple of posts, I've been confiding in some seasoned bloggers about how I'm less than satisfied about the quality of the layout, etc. But I was comforted when I was discussing about the issue of being a freshie in terms of public blogging tonite. Personally, I think we already take into consideration so much of others' views in the course of work, etc., that when it comes to expressing my own thoughts online, I would rather do it my way, (to quote Old Blue Eyes) and let others take the (information) highway if they did not like what they read. Frankly this was a conundrum for myself as perhaps I tend to be more consultative a person (occupational hazard, haha.). I was discussing this with Shen Kiat on our trek from City Hall to Dhoby Ghaut. He was supportive about it and also echoed my sentiments about keeping it real. Likewise he's more of a content over aesthetics kinda person and I guess it was good finding a kindred spirit in terms of how we would rather deliver to the readers good, solid and interesting (hopefully) content... when I know that design (or at least creating designs has never been one of my forte - though some of my friends are really gd at tt!).

Anyways, back to the highlights of my day - a thunderous shower while I was crossing the road on my way to meet the NM peepz. Had a seriously?! moment there and then. I was very disappointed coz I was almost totally drenched! And with my blocked nose and flu, was kinda tempted to just head back home and sleep the flu meds off. But these are special peepz, in more ways than one, so I decided to trudge on, wet and drenched or not... but I pity him who was with mi. I realised how the significant guys in my life are always with me on rainy days. Literally. *thanks*

Finally arrived at the restaurant almost an hour late - Cheryl, Irving and Eugene were already seated and with bemused looks on their faces, promptly informed me that they have already started ordering from the ala carte buffet menu. Now you know why they are my special people! Haha. Actually, this is a special group coz they were my very first students! I recall how tough it was to keep it to myself that they were my first students when I started summer class with them, but when the semester ended and I finally 'fessed up, I was pleasantly surprised by how encouraging they were! You guys are the best!! *hugz* As mushy and trite as this might sound, every batch of students I've come into contact with have left impressions upon me in their own ways and I'm proud and glad to say that I've learnt a lot from them in the course of the last three semesters so far! ;)

As the evening progressed, Shen Kiat, Andrew (a pleasant addition to the evening!) and Ruiming (or should I call Boss Jiang!) joined us for dinner. The food was overall nice and pleasant though I think the servings were q a challenge towards the end! I myself did not eat much as my nose was stuffed and also because of the scintillating conversation that was taking place... from holiday plans to debates and discussions on religion and politics and natural calamities and religion... too much talking and not enough eating for myself, heh. But it was very tot-provoking and interesting ideas and beliefs being thrown around... and everyone knows how much I love such discussions and debates! ;) Of coz, we did discuss about movies and more light-hearted stuff like potential love interests (not mine =p). Pity the evening had to end so early, but the great catch up session made parting all the more poignant, coz we know that we will have more great conversations the next time we meet, and the size of this evening's gathering was conducive for interesting discussions and for just some plain catching up. Missing them guys and babe already! Silly mrt incident also resulted in him coming over just to send me back... feel so bad. heh.

Okies, just one pic tonite: The "Special" NM peeps (Yes Andrew, you are one of us now... heh heh!) ;) Cheryl's blog has a v unflattering pose of me post ala carte buffet! haha!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Just a quick one!

Two notes before I dash out for my appointments and errands - BFF got confirmation on something we ALL thought should have been confirmed AGES ago. But good for her!! :)

And.... the David I was supporting won American Idol! I've never really been a fan of AI, dun really follow all the seasons, but I was glad that the winner was the one I was rooting for. Y David Cook in the end for me? While I am amazed how effortless David A makes good singing seem to be and consistent he has been throughout the entire competition, David C was the one I was eventually rooting 'coz of the chances he took and how he managed to take on classics and make them his own - e.g. Mariah Carey's Always Be My Baby... and I prefer his low, raspy and oh so sexy vocals... think I might prefer his version of I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For more than U2's!

More updates when I get back tonite! ;) Can't wait to catch up with the Special Sem-ers this evening over dinner! ;)


My fav song from each contestant yesterday evening:

David Archuleta: Imagine

David Cook: I still haven't found what I'm looking for

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Made of Honour - My Best Friend's Wedding wannabe

Caught it with him last weekend, the trailers got me excited because it had McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey) and the plot was reminiscent of one of my fav movies of all time, My Best Friend's Wedding, which starred Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz and Dermot Mulroney. I think it is an unconventional romantic comedy set in then conventional times. I still think it's one of the more realistic portrayals or at least, how I envisioned relationships to be.

With the plot similarities, I was wondering about the direction of the movie for Made of Honour - Male and female best friends, one of them gets hitched, the other one realises he/she still has feelings for the other party and tries to ruin the impending nuptials. Well, I won't spoil the movie for the peepz who have not caught the latest chick flick, but suffice to say that Made of Honour reeked of My Best Friend's Wedding wannabe. Really quite disappointing, even though it has McDreamy in it.

Photogenic cast aside and the usual "can guys and gals really just be friends" questions thrown about during the movie as well as some gender switching tasks (McDreamy organising a Hen's party, preparing the gifts, going lingerie shopping with the bride), sporadic doses of suggestive humor, the movie really was a run of the mill, utterly forgettable chick flick. Kudos to him for making it through the movie with me, as my expectations of the movie dipped in the course of the show, haha.

Overall, Made of Honour ended up being a recipe Made for Disaster, even for a chick flick. Utter lack of chemistry and there's only so much that McDreamy's eyes can do to salvage the flick. And there was so much potential for the flick too. Sigh.

Rating: 2/5. Dun waste your time, even for McDreamy.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Red velvet cake

Have been meaning to try out the only place in Spore which makes and sells Red velvet cake ever since BFF shared with me the news that the red velvet cakes she has seen online and in London look heavenly and the rave reviews she has heard about this dessert. I finally chanced upon the place with him on our way back a couple of weeks back. I was actually enticed by the exterior of the establishment, a very homely, cosy feel.

I stepped into the bistro and I was sold when I saw the desserts. There were homemade cakes to suit various preferences and palettes. They have your usual choc cakes and carrot cakes but what caught my attention was the Red Velvet Cake. I just had to have a slice of that. Service was prompt and the staff polite and warm. Definitely deserves a return visit, probably to try their main courses, or just more desserts, if the Red Velvet Cake was anything to go by, but more about that soon. Also, I think their idea of incorporating social entrepreneurship was something that was worthy of support - good example of CSR and how it can be practiced by SMEs too, not just MNCs.

The above was a picture taken when I got home using my rudimentary mobile camera, which did not do justice to the cake. It did not capture the luscious loveliness of the buttermilk frosting and the deep intense red colour of the sponge cake. I liked how it's simple in terms of presentation, just a nice thick slice of cake coated in buttermilk frosting. The contrast of the milky white and the intense deep red was a appetite-whetting sight.

But in terms of taste, though I'm not sure how the cake is supposed to taste like, I liked it! Even my mum who's usually q picky about cakes concurred that the cake was "not bad". The buttermilk cream, though rich (which appealed to my mum who's the cream fan in our family) wasn't slathered on too thickly, which suited me just fine. The rich creamy texture of the buttermilk frosting was complemented by the moist sponge cake which had a faint cocoa taste, though I cannot be sure of that. Overall, I enjoyed my first encounter with the red velvet cake from Food for Thought. Will try to make time for a repeat visit one of these days. :) Too bad he did not get to try it. ;p

More red velvet cake pics from the internet! :)



Hello world!

Finally, a public blog! After much nudging, encouragement and dare I say... mild threats(?) from friends, I've decided to start something online, with me being the web design phobic that I am. Well, one has to start facing one's closet demons at some point yea? ;)

Anyways, here goes nothing, this being the beginning of the three month break. So relax, get comfortable and let's enjoy my venture into the vast unknown of the blogosphere! Hopefully, this tiny space online will become a venue for me to air my thoughts on whatever inspires me, may it be life, friends or the general banalities which often assails most blogs. Ha.

Of course, the usual disclaimer of how views expressed here are meant to be taken with a pinch of salt and some humor and are entirely my own applies for this blog. ;)

Let the fun begin!