Wednesday, October 1, 2014

He’s An Eurasian!

Singapore swimming star Joseph Schooling wins gold in the 100-metre butterfly for Singapore at the current Asian Games and what’s his reward from Singaporeans? He is questioned on his background and whether he is a “true” Singaporean.

Okay, having a name like “Schooling” doesn’t help and I fully understand the distaste most Singaporeans have over foreign-born athletes competing for Singapore, but when Singaporeans start questioning whether a third-generation Singaporean is a foreigner; that’s just crazy talk.

Joseph Schooling was born in Singapore. His father, Colin Schooling, 66, was born in Singapore. His mother, May, is a Malaysian Chinese. So you know what that makes Joseph Schooling?

He’s an Eurasian! 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Strange Sport

I consider myself a sports fan but I will admit this; I don't get American Football. To me, it's a bloody strange sport that stops a lot and when it starts, there's little to almost no action. I just don't get it. 

I also don't get the officiating. 

In America (where else), a player who scored a touchdown was penalized for kneeling in Muslim prayer after scoring. Really? I seem American player kneeling in Christian prayer all the time with no problems but kneeling in Muslim prayer...that's a problem? 

Now I get this is America and the country is in many wars with Muslims forces throughout the world but you need to at least pretend to be tolerant of Muslims in prayer. Especially when you are very tolerant of Christian in prayer.  

But then what the hell do I know? This is American Football. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

So What?

Blizzard's fans are in mourning as the World of Warcraft (WOW) developer announced that they are cancelling Titan MMO. For those of you who do not know, for the past 7 years, Blizzard has been making Titan which is supposed to be the successor to WOW.

Those plans are now in the shredder as the would-be MMO is now vaporware. I take on this; what else is new?

Come on people, games in development gets canned all the time. I mean just look at the number of Kickstarter games that fail. That’s not even counting games in development by respectable companies. Remember Overlord 3? Or Starcraft Ghost? Or the most infamous of them all, Duke Nukem Forever?

So let’s put this in perspective, the “bye-bye” Blizzard said to Titan is nothing new. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Comics this week

Sinestro Futures End #1- After a series of yawn inducing Futures End tie-in, I finally hit one that’s worth something. As expected, the future of Sinestro is a dark one with the Korugarian in prison and without his ring. Most of the issue is on his prison break but the most interesting part of the issue is Sinestro’s flashback of how he got into prison in the first place. The fleeting success he had as well as his reconciliation with Soranik are great teasers and the eventual fate of the Yellow Lanterns? Great!

Red Lantern Futures End #1- Angry white man, Guy Gardener, as a Blue Lantern? Ok, I admit this issue didn’t quite work but the premise is strange enough and interesting enough to get me reading to the end. The story of Guy,  Bleeze and Rankorr is a tad by the numbers but while it’s nothing great, it was interesting enough to make me look forward to see how/if the writers will go about making this version of the future come true. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

History Repeat Itself?

As the U.S launched new air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants, this time in Syria, U.S President Barack Obama hailed the support of Arab nations in the air strikes and proudly said that more than 50 nations had agreed to fight IS.

Honestly, I think President Obama need to can it on the rhetoric of having a coalition to fight IS. The fight is in the Middle East; he is bombing Syria without a United Nations mandate; doing it without the permission of the Syrian government; and doing it without the blessings of China and Russia. Does this remind anyone of anything? 

If your answer is Iraq and George Bush, then you are not alone. This is eerily similar to what happened before the Iraq War and we all know how that war turned out for the Americans.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Review of The Purge: Anarchy

I’ll be honest; I watched “The Purge: Anarchy” strictly because I enjoyed the first film. Starring Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey, I thought “The Purge” was a solid movie that was let down by a kooky ending.

Written and directed by James DeMonaco, the Purge series takes place in a future America where once every year, there is a 12-hour period where all crime, including murder, is legal. “The Purge: Anarchy” takes place a year after the original showing us the sixth annual Purge. As the people countdown to the hour of the start, the film showcased how 3 different groups of people got caught up in the annual “holiday” and how they fight and survived the night.

Starring Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford, Kiele Sanchez, and ZoĆ« Soul, I have to say “The Purge: Anarchy” is an improvement on the first film. Not only that, I have to say I’m very impressed by James DeMonaco’s ability to turn the premise of the Purge into something vastly different from the first film.

“The Purge” was a movie that showed an upper-class family trying to survive the night after their much valued security has been penetrated, “The Purge: Anarchy” went the other way. The sequel showcase people from the lower class, the ways they try to survive the night and how the annual purge is more than a holiday for people to release their aggression, it is also a way of population control for the government.

Not only that; whereas the first Purge was more of a tense thriller, Anarchy is an action movie. Gangs, paramilitary police, men on mission of vengeance like Frank Grillo’s character populated the movie and the action sequences are on a whole other level from the first movie.

Of course, having a man like Grillo in the leading role help immensely. A solid actor who made a name in supporting roles of movies like “Warrior”, “The Grey”, and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, “The Purge: Anarchy” shows how well Grillo could be in the leading role of an action movie. He is a lean mean fighting machine and the movie makes me wonder why Hollywood hasn’t make him an action star yet. This is a guy who could be the next Liam Neeson.

However the main problem that hamstrung the first film also affects Anarchy; the ending sucks! James DeMonaco really went looking for a good ending in this movie and he did not succeed.

Spoiler Alert! I mean after 12 hours of hell, Frank Grillo’s character suddenly decide NOT to take vengeance? Now I admit there’s a laundry list of characters throughout the film trying to convince the man not to take vengeance on the man who accidently killed his son but for him to suddenly decide not to do the deed just does not jell with the determined character that was portrayed throughout the film. I personally think it was a cop-out by DeMonaco.

Another (minor) point that got me was the timeline of this film. This was the sixth Purge so it meant that the purge the previous year was the fifth. However in “The Purge”, Ethan Hawke’s character explained to his young teenage son that when they were younger, both him and his wife went out purging. Does that mean they went out even when they had tween kids at home? That doesn’t make sense.

Still, the Purge series is a fascinating concept that was taken to a logical and engaging new level in “The Purge: Anarchy”. A sequel that’s actually better than the first film, watch this movie for a brutal action movie that is also thought provoking.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Who Say They Are Banned?

Today in Singapore, The New Paper asked the question, "So why are electric scooters banned from our roads and pavements?" After reading the article (twice), I have to ask the question, "Are they banned from the pavements?"

I asked the question because nowhere in the article did anyone say the electric scooters are banned! To give the reporter (Ng Jun Sen) credit, he got quotes from the LTA (Land Transport Authority), the TP (Traffic Police) and the NParks (National Parks Board) on the issue, but I can't see anyone saying the scooters are banned.

The LTA say they are banned on roads (which I think everyone in Singapore will agree is a good idea), but the LTA did not say the scooters are banned on pavements. The NParks say they are banned in parks and on park connecters. I agree with their decision because if you are going to a park; walk!

The TP statement says, "To ensure the safety of all road users, enforcement action is taken against riders of unauthorised vehicles on public roads Riders caught using unauthorised vehicles on public roads are liable, on conviction, to a fine of up to $2,000 or a jail term of up to three months for the first offence."

So...who say the electric scooters are banned on pavement? Correct me if I'm wrong, but the TP statement did not say that the electric scooters are banned; only what's the fine and punishment is are using "unauthorised vehicles". They never say the electric scooters are "unauthorised vehicles.

So if no one is saying the electric scooter is banned on pavements, doesn't that mean they are legal?