Sunday, October 23, 2016

"Restoration" Works

2 years and $14 million later, the Bukit Timah Reserve has reopened. The Reserve, which houses Singapore’s tallest hill at 163m, was closed in Sep 2014 for “restoration works” and The National Parks Board (NParks) has now proudly said the “restoration works” are done.

According to the NParks, the Reserve now comes with railings along footpaths; new boardwalks; and an upgraded visitor centre. Oh, there’s even a slip-resistant trail to prevent hikers from slipping. I’m sorry. I know we Singaporeans are pampered city-folks but a “slip-resistant” trail? Come on; a “slip-resistant” trail in a nature reserve? 

What in the world is so natural about that? When you go on a hike, surely falling down on the trail is an accepted risk right? I mean if you can’t even accept that, why are you even there? I know the kaisu mentally of Singaporeans means the NParks want to cover their ass but be serious; railings along trails and a slip-resistant trail? I thought the Bukit Timah Reserve was closed for “restoration works”, not create new items that turn a hike into a walk.

Surely Singaporeans are not that pampered…are we? 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

New Prince Album

It was bounded to happen and sooner than I expected, it is happening. Since the death of Prince, fans of the late singer expected that more, if not most, of his unreleased songs will be released in the future. 

On Nov. 22, that will happen.

Prince is famous (or infamous) for his Vault. A location that contains his unreleased recordings which is said to numbered over 500 songs. Rumors has it there are enough material inside the Vault to last till the end of the century. That's about to be put to the test as "Prince 4Ever" is expected to be only the first of many offerings from the Vault. 

Don't know if the new songs will be any good but I do intend to find out. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Comics this week

Astro City #40- Spells seem as contracts between otherworldly beings and mages? Yet somehow, it worked! Writer Kurt Busiek did it again as Marta, tax accountant and minor mage, has to work out a spell/contract dispute between the Silver Adept and the followers of a demigod. Another fine example of what make Astro City different from all the other superhero books out there every week.

Justice League #7- Okay, I’ll just come out and say it. This has been a terrible JL series so far. I don’t know what big overall plan writer Bryan Hitch has but I won’t be here to see it. I mean the previous JL series was great so I gave this series a chance but thus far, to say it has been disappointing is a huge understatement. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Funny Game

Football is a funny game. Maybe it’s because of that, football fans and media covering football are also sometimes void of sense. I say that because after the bore that was Liverpool vs. Manchester United, fans and the media are saying Man Utd manager Jose Mourinho seems to have his swagger back.

No talk about how he sent his team out to defend for 90mins and put 9-10 men behind the ball at all times. At times, Man Utd looked like they had a 6 men defense! Yet people are saying this was "vintage Mourinho" and that he had "his tactics spot on".

Strange because no one said this when Mourinho's predecessor, Louis van Gaal, did it! No wait, van Gaal never did this because he never had a 6-man defense! Yet somehow van Gaal was chased out of Old Trafford for being “boring” while Mourinho was "spot on".

Having 35% of the possession and playing boring football, but somehow that’s a good thing if your name is Jose Mourinho. If you name is Louis van Gaal then…Strange don’t you think? 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Why Is It So Close?

With less than a month to go before the U.S 2016 Presidential Elections, one thing is perplexing to me. I have no idea why the 2016 presidential race is so close! I just don’t get it!

All indications I had seen and read have Hillary Clinton between 4 to 9 percentage points in front of her rival Donald Trump. I have no idea why it’s so close. Donald Trump inexperience as a politician has clearly been shown in this election. He doubled-down when he should have retreated; made fools of the U.S media who then promptly attacked him; and then peddled half-truths and lies thinking no one would check and call him out on them.

Considering the number of mistakes he had made in this presidential campaign, by all rights Hillary Clinton should be heading to a landslide. Yet somehow, Trump is still within striking distance of her. Why? I don’t know what’s going on in America but from the outside looking in, this should be a no-contest. Even without his missteps, Hillary Clinton is clearly the more experienced, able, and capable of the two.

This should be an easy decision, yet if the polls are to be believed, Americans are spilt between the two. Why?  I just don’t get it. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Comics this week

Superwoman #3- Generally speaking, I have been pretty pleased by this series. However I fear writer Phil Jimenez went into info dump overload in this issue. The entire issue was packed front to back with captions and honestly was too cramped for my liking. Too bad really; if Phil could hold off on the info dump, this issue would have been great.

Monstress #7- After a break, writer Marjorie Liu and artist Sana Takeda are back! As befitting the idea of a new arc, Liu introduced a lot of new elements in this issue but it generally worked. Maika, Pippa and Master Ren are still being hunted but there’s a new ally in the form of a Tiger pirate and someone who could be an aunt to Maika. Yes, Monstress is back and it’s as good as ever. Pick this up! 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Comics this week

Astro City #39- After 20 years, there are a lot of stories in Astro City and writer Kurt Busiek don’t let you forgot it. I barely remember Marta Dobrescu and Busiek clearly didn’t because this is a fantastic re-introduction to the character. Not only that, we get to see the growth of the character. I’m sure Mara was nowhere near as powerful as this all those years ago when she was first introduced. Here she is 20 years later, calling up spirits, seeing visions, and speaking to the Hanged Man. My only problem; the origins of the Hanged Man. It was kind of…meh. Other than that, this is a great issue!

Deadly Class #22- "Die For Me" is over but…it’s also not quite over as the survivors of the Finals return to the school. As Master Lim greets the new class, we see the effects the Finals has on the sophomores and all is not well. I love the way writer Rick Remender shows the aftereffects of the Final on everyone. Saya, the only surviving protagonist, is rightfully depressed from killing Marcus, but even the surviving antagonists are having problems living with themselves. Petra is having a metal breakdown; Shabnam is both stressed and paranoid (with good reason); and Stephen looks to be self-destructing. Also I have to say artist Wes Craig outdone himself with that graveyard scene. Showing Saya standing over the graves of all her friends…man; what a scene!

Spider-Gwen #12- The previous issue setup the battle between Spider-Gwen and Frank Castle beautifully. The battle was kind of underwhelming but writer Jason Latour then hit it out of the park with the aftermath. With her father in the dock due to her actions, Spider-Gwen decides to make a deal with the devil (literally). No matter how things turn out, her life will definitely change and from the look of determination Spider-Gwen has at the end (shout-out to artist Robbi Rodriguez for that), she knows it. A wonderful end to the issue that made what came before pale in comparison.