Tuesday, July 31, 2007

American arms deals in the Middle East

The U.S sealed a multi-billion dollar arms deal with their Middle East allies these few days ago. Now I know the aim was to contain Iran's influence in the region, but even Americans have to admit the arm deals are just strange.

The United States announced new military pacts worth 20 billion dollars for Saudi Arabia, 13 billion dollars for Egypt and 30 billion for Israel. A lot have been foucsed on the Saudi deal. The deal was announed even though a lot of people believed the Saudis are part of the problem in Iraq. That did not deter the U.S selling them new missile defenses, early warning systems, air power and naval systems.

What I'm truly surprised at is the deal with Israel. The pact with Israel is 30 billion over 10 years (3 billion a year), and it is all in AID! This means that the U.S is virtually giving money and arms away for free. Now I know Washington want to maintain the military and strategic balance within the region, but what is the U.S getting from this deal? Israel is already a firm U.S ally, so why give away your arms? At least the Saudis and Egyptians are paying you for these weapons, why not charge Israel also? It's not like they don't have the money to pay for these weapons.

As a Singaporean, I find it hard to understand why the U.S (or anyone) can just give away money and arms like this. No matter how I looked at it, it seems like a terrible deal for the Americans. It may please the lobby in Washington but what are the Americans getting out of this? The Saudi deal will move the Saudis closer to the U.S, but the Israel deal is just...I just don't understand it.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Comics this week

Countdown 40- Like most issues on this series, this issue is taking slow, meticulous steps to...something. Yes, after 12 issues we still don't know what the hell we are counting down to. Darkseid, Mary Marvel and Jimmy Olsen all make their usual 2 page appearances while the Holly Robinson/Harley Quinn story went off the deep end. I think the writers were going for intrigue but I just want someone to kill off those annoying Amazons. Luckily, the Piper & Trickster story is finally finding its' legs. The Penguin make a appearance, but the Question is the star this issue (even if she only showed up on the last page).

Silver Surfer: Requiem #3- Requiem has changed my views on J. Michael Straczynski. I have always thought he was over-rated but Requiem changed everything. This issue doesn't match the earlier 2 issues but even then it is a very good book. Surfer blasts off for the stars and encountered two races locked in an eternal war. The Surfer examined this conflict from an outsider's perspective and the resulting tale is a thing of beauty. If you haven't picked up this series, do yourself a favor and do so. It is the mini-series of the year.

Samurai: Heaven & Earth Vol. 2 #5- The story is over and the samurai finally get the girl. So far, so normal, which was disappointing for me as I thought Ron Marz could do much better. Luke Ross's art is incredible, but he is let down by the plot (if you can even call it that). The battle scenes were great and the resolution was good enough but if they want me to collect Vol 3, Ron Marz's writing need to improve.

Friday, July 27, 2007

F1 extraordinary hearing

Amazing what can happen if you are a multi-million company, isn't it. In Formula One, the Ferrari and McLaren team are locked in a spying row. A row that McLaren seems to have gotten away with.

A disaffected Ferrari employee gave McLaren's chief designer, Mike Coughlan, confidential Ferrari documents. Police raided Coughlan's home under a tip from Ferrari and the 780-page technical dossier was found. However in an extraordinary hearing, the FIA's 25-strong World Motor Sports Council ruled that there was no evidence that McLaren had benefited from the confidential Ferrari documents that were found in the possession of their chief designer.

An FIA statement said: "The WMSC was satisfied that McLaren was in possession of confidential Ferrari information and is therefore in breach of Article 151c of the International Sporting Code. However, there is insufficient evidence that this information was used in such a way to interfere improperly with the FIA F1 championship. We therefore impose no penalty."

I'm no lawyer but doesn't this mean that McLaren were found guilty by the FIA World Council but no action will be taken? Talk about an extraordinary hearing! Michael Rasmussen must be laughing his guts out in France at this!

BTW, if anyone is interested, reports state that Rasmussen has hired a lawyer already. That didn't take long did it?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Witch-hunt at the Tour de France

For those people who need some background, the Tour de France is the most famous cycling race in the world. Now cycling has been under a huge cloud as doping scandal after doping scandal has hit the sport.

That however cannot match the sheer stupid actions of the race officals. Current leader of the Tour Michael Rasmussen was sensationally kicked out by his own Rabobank team. The reason; because the 33-year-old Danish climbing specialist missed four random doping controls over the past 18 months and told his team that he was in Mexico when he was in Italy.

Now I am not a cycling fan, but even I know that to be convicted of a doping offence, the cyclist need to test positive for a banned substance. The cyclist will give 2 samples, and only after both samples have tested positive, then is he convicted. Rasmussen has not tested positive for any banned substance in any test on any samples! Yes he gave incomplete and confusing explanations as to why he had failed to inform the authorities of his whereabout; Since when is that all that's needed to throw someone out of a race?

Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme has been very critical over Rasmussen's missed tests, well he better get his lawyers ready because Rasmussen is going to take the Tour to the cleaners! If Rasmussen sued, he will win. The man has not tested positive for ANYTHING! How the hell does the Tour expect their case to stand up in court? They don't even has one sample of banned substances, much less two!

The race strict ethical policy has truly went overboard here. You cannot say people are doping when you don't even has a single sample of proof! Prudhomme said that he do not want the Tour to be dishonoured and mocked. Dude, you are doing more damage to the Tour de France than anyone. When Rasmussen sued and win (let's admit it, can you see how he can lose?), I cannot even begin to guess the damage it will do to the anti-doping efforts in sports.

Michael Rasmussen has not tested positive for any banned substances. He was kicked out because he was just suspected of doping. If that is all that's needed then all Muslims in America are terrorists and every product out of China is sub-standard. Afterall, that's what every suspect right?

Rasmussen 's lawyers are going to have a field day with the Tour. Stupid!

I'm not a shopper!

After fights in Hong Kong and Taiwan, I guess it is to be expected. The Singapore distributors of the eco-friendly "I'm Not a Plastic Bag" have cancelled the launch of the designer bag.

The "On Pedder" store in Ngee Ann City was to released the bag on 18 August but the store said it had decided not to go ahead with the launch. And they are not alone. Retailers in Beijing, Shanghai and Jakarta have also cancelled the bag launch. Following the stampede at its launches in Hong Kong and Taiwan earlier this month where shoppers pushed and shoved to get their hands on the bag, some shoppers exactly landed in hospital. Hospital stay for shopping! I guess some women are right; shopping is a sport!

Let I say this upfront: I am a guy who hate shopping with a passion. Why would anyone want to pay $25 for 1 bag is a question I can't answer. Why is a bag so wonderful that you will risk a stay at the hospital? Please, someone tell me?

Comment please.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Funny, Spolited Singaporeans

Singaporeans are funny sometimes. They always complain about taxis. How they can't get ont during peaks hours, can't flag down a taxi when they need it most etc. The list is pretty endless. The problem is most people from overseas find taxis in Singapore to be clean, safe and relatively cheap.

So why the big differences in views on taxis? Are Singaporeans taxi-drivers that bad? Of course not! As someone who has a relative driving a taxi, I say the problem is because Singaporeans are too spolited. How else can you answer some of these complains? Have difficulties in getting a cab during peaks hours? I guess that's why it's called the peak hours because everyone is also using taxis. Can't flag down a taxi? Go book one! Most Singaporeans have 1 handphone right? Most other countries require you to make booking.

I remember a few weeks ago there was a newspaper article about a woman who took a taxi to Ngee Ann City. The taxi dropped her at a taxi-stand across the road and the woman refused to pay because she wants to drop right at the door of Ngee Ann City. I don't know what was worse; the fact that the woman think she has a right not to walk across the street or the fact that some Singaporeans exactly thought the woman has a right to demand such nonsense! No wonder taxis companies in Singapore has taxis that they can't rent out. Who want to be a taxi driver when the customers are so spolited!

No more taxi-drivers! That right, the day is coming. With Singaporeans so spolited, I can't really blame them. Can you?

Monday, July 23, 2007

CPF Board has too much free time

I believe the CPF Board has too much free time on their hands. Do you know that Singaporean students can borrowed from their parents' CPF accounts to pay for higher/tertiary education? But do you know that the CPF Board have an enforcement department to make these students pay the money back into their parents accounts? Even when the parents did not asked them to?

Manpower Minister Dr. Ng Eng Hen says that 13 percent of these students have not been able to pay back the money despite the Board's enforcement efforts. I can guess why.
1) The parents did not ask their children to pay back the money. I mean would Dr. Ng Eng Hen asked his children to pay back all the school fees he spend on their education?
2) The parents were paid back in cash! As they can't take out their CPF, why would the parents asked the children to pay back the money to the CPF? I wouldn't!
3) They don't have the money to pay.

My main gripe is why is the CPF Board chasing after the money when no one is asking them to? If the parents involed are asking the CPF Board to help them recover the money, ok! But if the parents aren't asking for help...why is it involed? Parents pay for their children's eduaction, how many of them will ask for their money back from their children? Dr Ng say that only 40 percent of active CPF members turning 55 are able to meet their CPF minimum sum. But if the parents are happy about it and aren't asking the Board to chase their children for the money, so what? It's their account and their money. Why shoud the CPF chase students for money for their parents, who are NOT asking for any help?

Answer: They have too much free time on their hands.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harry Potter is finally out

Even I who have never read a single page of Harry Potter knows when the last book is coming out. The much-anticipated final volume of the Potty saga hit bookstores in Singapore @ 7.01am.

The Harry Potter series has sold over 325 million copies in 64 languages and the first five books have been turned into films (Yes, I've seem the movies). The franchise is finally over...Thank God!

I have Harry Potter overload these past days. I just want it out so that I don't have to see Harry Potter on the news, on radio, on TV, everywhere you can think of! Maybe in the future I will read the books but for now, I am going Harry Potter cold turkey...until I see the next movie.

There's just no running from Harry Potter.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The iPhone that does not work

The most coveted gadget of the year! Users in the U.S. queued overnight to be the first few to own it and someone in Singapore already has it...even if it doesn't work!

Sadegh Mortazavy is that person and he was willing to hand over a thousand dollars to be the first person to own the iPhone in Singapore. And he knows it doesn't work! I was laughing my guts out when I saw the story on ChannelnewsAsia tonight.

I know the iPhone is a (supposed) revolution in mobile phone technology. A single button and a touch screen are all you need to make a call, surf the net, iPod music and much more. But people, what is the main use of a mobile phone? To make calls when you are outside the house! The iPhone can't do that now because current iPhones released for the US market are not compatible with Singapore's mobile phone network. And Sadegh wanted three iPhones'! Only after discovering that it doesn't work here, he decided to just get me one. "Should be enough for now" was what he said. To me, it was one too many.

I know Singaporeans loved status symbols. Cars, houses, certs of all kind; we love it to stand out from everyone else. The iPhone is but the latest, but do we Singaporeans loved them so much that we would spend good money on things that DOES NOT WORK? Hell, Sadegh had to tinker and hack into his iPhone to even began to access its many functions. And he still could not make a call. We don't even know if the iPhone is even that good of a phone as it is that new!

Still ChannelnewsAsia reported that a shop here will order 100,000 units of iPhones the moment it get approved from Singapore. Who cares if it isn't that good? The need to own one overrides everything, that seems to be the Singapore view. Nonsense, sad, but true.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Comics this week

Countdown #41- Something strange has happened; Countdown has improved! The writers has finally decided to clean up some of the mess the book has been in recently. The Trickster/Piper story is becoming a buddy film with a huge dose of comedy in it. Comedy is what Jimmy Olsen is there for as well as we see his misadventures to develop a superhero identity. Stories are moving along nicely, which was more than you can say earlier in the series. Of course, not everything is good. Mary Marvel showed up for only 1 page sitting and thinking; if that is the case, why not DON'T show her at all? The story of Jason Todd, Donna Troy and "Bob" (that was cute), on their quest to find Ray Palmer still doesn't have anything foe me and oh, there's a new storyline. Karate Kid is staying on in this timeline, not sure why and don't ready care. Countdown is getting better, hope the improvement is for real this time.

Avengers: The Initiative #4- This issue come in with one bad thing before I even opened the book; it is a tie-in comics to the terrible World War Hulk event. Seeing that this is a fledgling series still struggling to get itself off the ground, I wondered why they bother with it but Dan Slott did a ggod job explaining everything. These guys are Avengers in training right? So it is natural that it tie-in to World War Hulk. The story starts with Hardball showing off a new power and stealing something from the base (villian in training?) and a surprise appearance from the dead MVP, then the War World Hulk story began. A tie-in that did not ignore previous issues? Good work!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

EDB never review UNSW's plans

The University of New South Wales saga is still onging in Singapore. The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) has finally reported how much Singapore lost in the venture. EDB had given S$15 million in loans and S$17.3 million in grants to the university. The S$15 million is back up by bank loans and can be retrieved, but as for the S$17.3 million, negotiations are underway with the university to come up with a feasible plan for repayment.

Good luck on that. Thing is...this isn't the exact cost spent by the Government on the UNSW Asia deal. There hasn't been any report on whether Singapore has any outstanding liabilities to third parties such as banks, construction companies etc. "Confidentiality obligations" I think the EDB are calling it. (The fact that UNSW has issued public statements on its liabilities and losses to the Australian Parliament is quite another matter to Singapore it seems.)

Now, the blame will be non-stop between the EDB and UNSW chief Fred Hilmer, but I still have some questions. Why does it takes a sitting of Parliament for the EDB to come clean (half-clean) on this? Nine MPs have tabled questions on the failed high-profile project, only then did the EDB showed us these figures. This is Singapore's public money isn't it? Why can't the EDB showed us these numbers from the get-go? Also reported was the fact that 18 private schools were shutted in the past 5 years in Singapore, but to our Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore is "on its way to becoming an education hub". Really?

To me, the UNSW saga is NOT a minor setback and the amounts loss is VERY important. I find it amazing that the EDB never reviewed the soundness of UNSW's business plans. Mr.Lim says that the Government does not evaluate business proposals. If that is the case, then someone at EDB needs to take responsibility for this and get his head chopped off. I can understand if this is a business plan that failed, it happens. But the EDB issued a cheque to UNSW without looking at their business plans? That is just plain wrong and someone at the EDB made a huge mistake here.

Singaporean businessmen has horror stories on the mountains of paperwork they need to fill out to get even the smallest grants from Singapore agencies, and EDB issued millions to UNSW but never review their plans? If what Mr.Lim says is true, then heads must roll at the EDB.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Road of the Patriarch by R. A. Salvatore

Road of the Patriarch is the final episode of The Sellswords Trilogy by R. A. Salvatore. Continuing the story of the infamous assassin Artemis Entreri and the cunning drow mercenary, Jarlaxle Baenre in Vassa and Damara, we are treated to their search for adventure, glory, and treasure.

As you would expect from two main characters who are antagonists to the famous Drizzt Do'Urden, this is a villians' book. BTW, the legendary drow ranger did NOT show up which in my view is a good thing; instead we are treated to the mind of cold, calculating Artemis and ambitious Jarlaxle.

Having defeated the tower of Zhengyi, the Witch King, the two (exactly Jarlaxle) decided to claim the surrounding area as a new nation. Naturally, this does not wash with King Gareth Dragonsbane who also claim Vassa as part of his kingdom of Damara. After capturing Artemis for treasonous acts to the crown, Jarlaxle and his mercenary band, Bregan D'aerthe, put together a plan to free Artemis and safe passage out of the kingdom. In between, Artemis gave his views on Gareth's kingship, and classifies why strength of arms is the most important thing to being king even if he is a 'goodly' paladin king like Gareth Dragonsbane.

As with most works of Salvatore, this book is a mix bag. The action scenes are great as usually. Jarlaxle, Artemis and their dwarf associate Athrogate were involved in some great fights (Look out for one between Artemis and a ranger friend of Dragonsbane). However part of the action seems forced. To think that a paladin king like Gareth will just sit there and take in the views of an assassin is truly reaching for it.

However, the meat of the story is the background of Artemis and Jarlaxle. We finally see how and why Artemis became the fighting machine that he is, and the backstory of Jarlaxle in his youth. For that alone, I would pick up this book. Even if you are not a fan of Salvatore, there is enough great action in this book to please you. Recommended! Now if only I know why is the book called Road of the Patriarch.

Monday, July 16, 2007

U.S Trials

When I heard that the Asian Football competition will be held in South-East Asia this year, I (like most people) thought that the hosts are going to be crush. Upsets after upsets later...man was I wrong or what!

Now Singapore's very own star striker, Indra Sahdan is going to the U.S for upcoming trials with Utah-based Real Salt Lake. Just think, Indra Sahdan lining up againest David Beckham in the American Major League Soccer (MLS) league. I'm not sure when is the exact dates for his trials, but good luck Indra Sahdan! Make Singapore proud!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Runaway property market in Singapore

If you have the slightest knowlegde of the Singapore property market, you will know that market has went into space in the past 2 and a half years. As I have stated earlier in my blog, the main reason for this is the property buying by foreigners who has set up homes in Singapore.

So it was of little surprise for me when I read that the number of applications by foreigners (including permanent residents) seeking approval from the government to buy landed properties in Singapore rose 30 per cent in 2006 against the preceding year. With how things are going in 2007, that number will again this year.

What I can't understand is why people believe that the Singapore government should make it even easier for foreigners to buy property in Singapore? Look at those numbers! Does it look like property agents need any help to sell houses to foreigners? Isn't the property market hot enough for you?

If anything, I say the government should look for ways to cool down the runaway property market. Normal Singaporeans already have no chance of owning a condo now without putting themselves in debt for the next 20-30 years. Even that might not be enough if the market countinue its rocket-like rise so far this year.

HDB flats are the best Singaporeans can hope for, anything else is out of reach and the distance is getting worse. Is that the what you want for Singapore? Forget about lending a hand to the property market I say, cool it down.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Comics this week

Countdown 42- It's another mixed issue for Countdown. Good: a hoot seeing the Riddler advising clean cut Mary Marvel to go for anger management. Or to be exact, the formerly clean cut Mary Marvel. As usual, it was the best story in Countdown.
The bad: almost everything else. Jimmy Olsen has one page designing costumes for himself. The Trickster and Pied Piper got cuff together because...I have no idea! A shameless Batman cameo. Still no idea what Holly Robinson is doing. To be truthful; why the hell am I still reading this series?

Nova #4- What a shock! That last page! W-O-W! As a reader that has collected comics for over 10 years, WOW! The last page of this issue was great, sad, amazing, everything together. In 4 issues, the Nova crew has made Nova my must-buy series. WOW!

Stormwatch PHD #9- With Wildcats MIA, Auth...let just say that the Wildstorm relaunched is a guide for future comics company how NOT to launch a line. Rant over, this issue was pretty good. A surprise at the end which was a little too simple for my taste, but good overall as we get to see all the members of Stormwatch Prime & PHD. The interaction was a little forced at times, but hey, beggars for Wildstorm action can't be choosers.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The white horse is alive and well

Hahaha! That was what happened when I heard that the Defence Ministry has formally charged and reprimanded second lieutenant Li Hongyi after he contravened orders by broadcasting a letter of complaint to other servicemen.

The interesting thing is what Li Hongyi, who is a son of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, did. He had apparently sent an email to the Defence Minister to lodge a complaint against another serviceman. Okay...nothing wrong there. But he is also believed to have copied the email to other servicemen who are not directly under his command and who are not in any official capacity to deal with the matter. Wow! Talk about stupid or what?

Basically Li is said to have written a complaint against another officer whom he alleged had been absent without leave on two occasions. Li also said that he had reported the matter to the officer's supervisors but disciplinary action had not been carried out. As with all complains by white horses in the SAF, MINDEF swung into action. An investigation was conducted and the officer who was found to have been absent without leave will be court-martialled. Then two supervising officers have been issued warning letters for poor judgement in administering inappropriate disciplinary action.

What does this means? It means that if you have a complaint againest anyone in the SAF, you can email the complaint to everyone in uniform. No need to complain to the proper channels, that is just a waste of time. Just email it to everyone and you will just get a warning letter...if you the son of the Prime Minister of course. Hahaha! People, the white horse is alive and very well!

To think that MINDEF has the cheek to say that to maintain organisational discipline, all SAF servicemen with complaints or grievances should take them up through proper channels for redress. Please! If he wasn't the Prime Minister's son, Li Hongyi would have been locked up already. I don't think anyone will argue with that assesment and he deserved to be locked up. If anyone (who is NOT a white son) had sent a complaint to everyone in the SAF, not bothering about the proper channels, what do you think will happen? The guy would be locked up and the keys thrown away! And this guy got a warning letter?

Oh yes! The white horse is alive and well.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Gaia Party

Guess Live Earth was of some use afterall. MediaCorp's had a "The Gaia Party" which was to encourage people to help save the environment. A conservation project by MediaCorp in Singapore? Never throught it will happen.

The Gaia Party want to plant about 500 trees in Singapore and is but one of the events under the MediaCorp Saving Gaia initiative. Is this a good thing? Yes! Would they have done this without Live Earth? Maybe.

So, guess what? Live Earth may be of some use afterall. One of the few times I'm glad I'm wrong.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Review of Transformers

When I heard that they were making a live-action Transformer movie, my first thought was, "I have to see how bad it is." After hearing that Micheal Bay is directing the movie, my already low view of the movie became even lower. After watching the movie, I am glad (very, very glad) to say that the Transformer franchise have a movie worthy of the name.

Starring Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky, the story center of the war between the Autobots and Decepticons for the map to the Allspark. Yes, the film's story has almost nothing to do with the cartoon but who cares? You watch to see Optimus Prime transform from robot to trailer and back. It is smooth! The CGI people deserved a oart if the movie's profit because they did a great job.

My only complaint is that there were too few Transformers in the movie. The Autobots has Optimus Prime, Jazz, Ironhide and Ratchet; the Decepticons has Megatron, Blackout, Starscream, Sconponok, Frenzy, Barricade, Bonecrusher and Devastator. (In case you are wondering; some of them are brand new and others are transformed into different vehicles.) Where's Wheeljack? Where's Starfire? Where's Soundwave? Man, those were some of my favorites.

Overall, Transformer is a very good movie filled with action and a lot of unexpected humour. Worthy of the Transformer name. People, roll out and watch it!

Monday, July 9, 2007

The American Idol 'Seven Wonders of the World'!

The votes are in. At a celebrity-studded televised ceremony, seven "new" wonders of the world were crowned. The Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal in India, the Coliseum of Rome, the pink ruins of Petra in Jordan, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, and the Mayan city of Chichen Itza in Mexico got the most votes and are now the Seven Wonders of the World. (Note: The Pyramids of Egypt, the only one of the orginal Seven Wonders still standing today, is given Wonder statues and was ruled out of the contest.)

In the age of American Idol, a private Swiss foundation launched the contest in January, allowing Internet and telephone voters to choose between 21 short-listed sites. Over 100 million votes were casted by the end of polling. Those sites who didn't make it include the Acropolis in Greece, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Angkor Wat temples in Cambodia, the Statue of Liberty of America and Britain's Stonehenge.

Now, will anyone really believe them to be the 'Seven Wonders of the World'? I mean since when did culture become a voting contest. Now everyone has their own idea on which site is a 'Wonder' and which sites isn't; which sites should be on the list (Angkor Wat temples, cough); which sites shouldn't be on the list (pink Petra?); so I won't go into that, but shouldn't the Seven Wonders be selected by some experts. By Internet voting, it means that even I can say vote 1000 times for the Great Wall. And I have never been to any of these sites!

The Swiss foundation that launched the contest meant well, but they should not have went American Idol on the selection process. It just make a mockery of the orginal Seven Wonders. I wonder how many of those people who voted has exactly went to all the 21 short-listed sites. I will be mightly surpised if the number go past 5!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Comics this week

Countdown #43- This issue focus on one thing and one thing only; the funeral of the Flash, Bart Allen. So the problem I had last week happened this week as well. The Flash died on another title which I do not read! Don't get me wrong, this is a very well done hero funeral with some great scenes from Wonder Girl, Robin etc, but I don't care. Really, the pages devoted to Flash's service just mean that there are even less pages than normal for the development of the other storylines. Worse, there's no Mary Marvel this week. The horror...

New Warriors #2- The book seems to be in a team-building phase at the moment. Wind-dancer's journey from average waitress to rebel starts with a...dream? That is just weak. Sad because the rest of the issue works pretty well. The various groups react to the reforming of the New Warriors, with Iron Man and Wolverine making their moves on the new group. We even get to see Jubilee and what she has been doing since losing her powers on M-day. Boy, has she grown or what! This book has a solid foundation to start with, keep it coming.

Loners #4- I will happily admit this; I have never read a single Power Pack issue in my life and I'm damm proud of that fact! So C.B. Cebulski really did great work getting me interested in one of them, Julie Power. Yes, she has a stupid power (flying with a rainbow streak?) but Julie Power is more than that , and this issue was great showing (hinting) this. She has a secondary healing power, was the responsible one in her family and is gay. All in one issue. Great. Now if the team-building phase is out of the way, maybe we can finally see the team fighting together.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Is "Live Earth" good for global warming?

MediaCorp will broadcast one of the biggest global events of the year, Live Earth!, for 24 hours this Saturday. Promoted by Al Gore, "Live Earth" aims to inform people globally about the climate crisis the world is facing.

I questioned why we need a concert to inform people about global warming. Everyone knows about global warning now, anyone who don't know about global warming don't believe in it. And a concert will not change that.

Yes, I have a cynical view of Live Earth. The aim to raise awareness about global warming is good, but I don't believe a concert will change anything. Most people, like me, will watch not because of global warming, but because of the acts in the concert. That might be the saddest thing of all.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The GST effect

The new GST will have no affect they say. HA! The Singapore government should take a look at the newest Certificate of entitlement (COE) prices.

COE prices fell with the biggest drop in the big car category. It was an across the board fall with Cat B cars (cars more than 1,600cc) falling the most, down by $1,492 to $17,399. The only expection to the fall was Cat D, the motorcycle category.

Car dealers said that the GST hike is the main reason for the lack of interest in buying cars. Cars are the least of the Singapore government problems. The rise in GST was poorly explained to the people and just because the economy is doing well doesn't mean that the people will just accept a tax increase, especially when there hasn't been a salary increase in some time.

I have said on this blog that I will have to lower my purchases when the GST increase come into play. Well, it seems that I'm not the only one with that idea.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

It's over!

It's over! My sister's wedding is over and done with. Everything went pretty smoothly, with the expection that the coat I rented was NOT altered by the tailor. Outside that, everything went pretty much accordingly to plan. Had to open up a new table, but that's not a big deal. Now, hopefully the family will go past their insane phase and go back to normal.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

1 more day

Ok. 1 more day to my little sister's big day. The score so far; a new fridge, a new coat of paint for the house, a new vaccum cleaner, and a lot of other stuff some people insisted are vital for a wedding day (why is a question no one bother to either question or answer). 1 more day of madness and my family will return to normal...or as normal as a family can get. 1 more day, 1more day, 1 more day...