Archive for December, 2005

Sinking the Yamato 大和 (戦艦)

Link dump featuring the end of the battleship era in modern naval warfare.

PBS first aired it in Oct, then I got to know that a Japanese production (「男たちの大和/YAMATO」) on it is set to hit the big screen in Nippon (or has it already?) this month. I wonder when it will be shown here. (I can’t find the DVD on

Ironically, it was the Japanese who showed the world that battleships with no air cover are vulnerable against aerial attacks (at Pearl Harbor and against Prince of Wales and Repulse of the RN’s Force Z). 大和 would never have stood a chance against the carrier-based bombers of the US navy.

Found (from flickr) the (almost life-sized) mock-up of the ship used in the movie. Check out the 25mm/60 caliber AA guns…

A 1/10 scale model can be found in the Yamato museum in Kure. This flickr set shows you various angles of the ship.


December 29, 2005 at 6:11 pm 2 comments

Empty Nest Syndrome

It is always…trying (for lack of a better word that I can think of) when calling home during the festive season. Invariably the conversation topic (with the old matriarch, OM) will end up on the question of whether I will be going home for the holidays; if so, when and if not, why. With a cousin and me in the US, another in Australia, and a son (my uncle) and his family settling in HK, it is not hard for me to understand why she feels that way.

An excerpt

OM (婆): 这个新年有回来吗?
我: 上课,不回了。
婆: 你们啊,一个一个出国后就不回。外面很好(meh)? 现在过年是越来越静, 每个都不在家。我们在家的,都为 你们担心。

I am sorry I cannot make it in time for the Chinese New Year. But I will go back during the summer. I promise.

Related: A mother’s love, home

December 28, 2005 at 3:06 pm Leave a comment

Of Cheerleaders

This guy captures it so succinctly. Probably explains why the many home football, basketball and volleyball games are always so popular with fans. 😛

Ode To The Cheerleader

O, Cheerleader! What is about you that has so captivated the hearts of sports fans, lo these many years?

Is it your bright smiles, shining gloriously no matter the score? Your brilliant white teeth always on guard so that no athlete could look your way without seeing that pearly reminder to B – E aggressive …

Is it the pom-poms? Those puffy beacons of revelry that never fail to lift the spirits of even the most downtrodden crowd …

Is it the cheers themselves? The chants and calls that rile the spirit, rally the will, and spur the flesh to rise up and conquer the most dreaded foe …

Is it the pyramids? The backflips? The lifts? The throws? The stunning acrobatics that send nubile young bodies hurtling through the skies like angels heralding the latest victory of our favorite squads …

Is it the sweaters? Soft, fluffy, form-fitting cotton hugging your curves, inviting us into the warming embrace of the name emblazoned across your chest — our alma mater (Latin for “nourishing mother”) …

Is it the skirts? Short and sweet no matter the weather, keeping exposed the nimble legs that drive your performance. (You’re an athlete too, you know!) The ruffled symbol of your very cheerleaderness, fluttering with every movement, tantalizingly rising and falling with each shake of your hips, every kick and tumble and jump offering an all-too-brief glimpse of your panties, which match the rest of your uniform, because we can totally see it, but you know that and you don’t care, which is what makes it so freakin’ cool, because where else can you be allowed, in fact, encouraged to try and look in a girl’s drawers, while also enjoying a beer and a football game … it’s like, holy crap, we live in a great country, and your skirts should fly on a flag post right next to Old Glory, because dammit, I’ll sure as hell salute!

Anyway … whatever it is, hold on to that uniform. No matter how old you get, you can always break it out and make some guy very, very happy.

December 27, 2005 at 4:09 pm Leave a comment

Red, Amber, Green

So now you know how it is possible for some scholars to

1) receive a congratulatory letter from the university/department for getting into the Dean’s List (or something similar)

and at the same time

2) a warning from their sponsor for poor academic performance.

Red Amber Green

If you are not yet sick of blog entries dissecting the scholarship issue, I further recommend these to read:

a. The Kway Teow Man (I, II)

b. Kevin

Yeah, I realise this time of the year is also the start of the scholarship applications season in Singapore. So erm, good luck to those of you applying? Ho, ho, ho…

Related: Scholar cannot fail

Edit (1 Jan 2006): A reader to this blog tipped me off about a case of a PRC ex-scholar in NUS being sent to jail under two counts of the Computer Misuse Act. Many of the relevant issues (I think) were already discussed in earlier entries. Although as a Singaporean, I share with many others on this: Why is the MOE giving out so many scholarships to the PRCs to study in the local universities when locals have to take out loans to finance their tertiary education?

December 25, 2005 at 8:17 pm 2 comments

Happy Holidays

I was tempted to wish readers “Merry X’mas and Happy New Year”, as I have had always done in previous years to my family and friends via email, online chats, over the phone or face-to-face meetings. But at the same time, I realise that this is a little not-so-politically-correct (PC) in the 21st century, where there will be some of the non-Christian faith(s) who will get upset. (BTW, I am not a Christian).

For those not in the know, there is currently a big debate in the US right now over the use of “Happy Holidays” in place of “Merry X’mas” by retailers and the government agencies/leaders. There is also that of the “intelligent design” thingy, which I will not go into.

Anyway, whatever your faith(s) is, take the time to reflect on what you had or had not done for the past year, and make new resolutions for the next one. I am sure everyone will enjoy the holiday season. Time to feast and go traveling!

solstice sign
The fine print says “Freedom from Religion Foundation.”

Readers can probably draw their own conclusions with the above signboard. I personally think that it is unwarranted, and highly offensive to those of us who do celebrate the X’mas season even when we are non-Christians. Imagine calling the Christmas Tree the Holiday Tree, and have the sign placed next to the tree in the major malls and government buildings. I think P.C.ness have gone too far.

Have a warm and safe winter break for those of you out on the roads and in the air.

December 23, 2005 at 10:46 am Leave a comment

PSC Scholar siamed NS and broke bond

Thanks for the tip. I am surprised that you have chosen academia. The pianist got a fine; I am wondering what you will get if you ever set foot on Singapore soil. Unlike him who left Temasek’s shores when he was 12, you left Singapore with a PSC scholarship in hand to one of America’s finest universities and an early disruption from your NSF duties.

Do you know that many of your JC peers hold you in contempt?

Well, I hope you will be as big a name in academia as he is in music when you are past 40. Maybe then you can also return be invited home as a prodigal son with no danger of being sent to camp in No.4 or a holiday visit to the Changi resort. And how was your relationship with the American girl that I heard you were dating? Are you married to her already? I am curious to know if one can renew his Singapore passport if he defaulted on his National Service. Will he be stateless then?

December 22, 2005 at 9:42 am 1 comment

Rising China; Mac vs. Char Kway Teow; Passwords for Multiple Bank accounts; Grad School Admissions tips

Another link dump (and quotable quotes) entry.

The new China
Most appropriate in explaining why many PRCs in ECE and CS are heading home. It’s the new frontier.

You can read from the IEEE Spectrum.

A friend (on why he wants to date Ang Moh girls here…):

I didn’t come to MacDonalds to eat Char Kway Teow.

BTW, he’s a SAPper.


Password methods for those of you with Multiple Bank Accounts.

Disclaimer: I will not be responsible for any losses (of your money) if you use it. Be sure to change your passwords regularly.


Self-explanatory. Directed more at the physics PhD wannabes though.

December 21, 2005 at 11:00 am Leave a comment

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