Friday, December 31, 2010

Comics this week

Green Lantern #61- When they first came out, most people didn’t think much of the Red Lanterns. Beings of rage who did nothing grunt and destroy, they just didn’t cut it beside the Green Lanterns, Star Sapphires and the Sinestro Corps. So this issue came as a pleasant surprise as the Red Lanterns and their leader, Atrocitus, were given their time in the sun. Explaining the rage that burns in their heart, the guest-starring Specter was totally overshadowed as for the first time Atrocitus’ rage was shown. Another great issue in a series that’s quickly becoming DC’s best.

S.H.I.E.L.D #5- After alternating between confusion and revelation, I guess it’s no surprise that #5 made me go, “WTF?” again. Outside the power struggle of Sir Isaac Newton and Leonardo Da Vinci, the rest of the issue made no sense. The time traveling of the 2 S.H.I.E.L.D agents didn’t help matters at all. Frankly I rather writer Jonathan Hickman just focus strictly on the struggle between Newton and Da Vinci. If he did that, this would have been a great series.

Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time #7- Now this is more like it. In this Wheel of Time series, most characters have stayed true to their characters in the book. The one exception has been Moiraine. In the books, she was a woman who would turn and twist her words into anything to get her way. She’s on a quest to save the world and although her vows prevent her from outright lying, she didn’t let that stop her from getting things done. Finally we see something of that personality instead of the mother-hen act we’ve seen so far. Another solid outing in the series.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


News of Facebook and internet users getting into a bit of bother with authorities is nothing new. Usually this is due to the users posting something critical of the government or authorities in their country. However Egypt has made the news for being maybe the first country in the world to jail someone for promoting the country!

An Internet user in Egypt, Ahmed Hassan Bassyouni, was sentenced to jail for starting a Facebook group for army recruits. The kicker however is that according to Reporters Without Border, the Facebook group Bassyouni set-up was to encourage his fellow Egyptian Internet users to enlist in the Egyptian armed forces! He was promoting the Egyptian Armed Forces to his fellow Egyptians and for that reason, he was sentenced to six months in prison by a military court.

Wow! Now since I’m not in Facebook, I can’t check to see if the Facebook group really is promoting the Egyptian armed forces but if it is…how do you spell paranoid is Arabic?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What Morals? We Are In A Capitalist World!

2 nights ago, I was watching ChannelNewsAsia and there is this program about compensated dating. Basically young girls willing go on dates with strange men in return for lavish gifts and money.

The program showed 2 cases in Hong Kong and the dangers behind compensated dating. In one case, the girl got sexual transmitted diseases while in the other, the girl was killed by her…date. The program is supposed to be a warning for young girls not to get their greed and curiosity lure them down this road. To educate girls not to trade their dignity and morals for money.

Good luck! I say that because I fully expect the program (as good and as well-meaning as it is) to be ignored. Money makes the world go round and frankly in this world dignity and morals isn’t worth a lot. Think I’m wrong?

Then how do explain the fact that this is happening throughout the world. The practice of compensated dating is thought to have originated in Japan but compensated dating is almost innocent compare to China’s biggest dating website, Jiayuan, where men and women openly advertised their willingness to marry for money. In some cases, even their willingness to be mistresses and boy-toys of rich men and women! Before anyone has any idea, this is hardly an Asian problem. Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy, is at 84 marrying one of his girlfriends who is 60 years younger than him.

I feel there is no way to stop things like compensated dating. In the capitalist world we are living in, we have better luck stopping a tsunami. And like a tsunami, the best anyone can do is to pick up the pieces.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Global Warming & Weird Weather

I’m sure by now everyone has heard of the travel chaos that has engulfed Europe and America. Airports throughout Europe and America had been forced to shut down as snow has made air travel impossible.

Global warming has caused the weather to go out of whack throughout the world but to fully see the effects of global warming, don’t look at Europe or America. As bad as it is there, snow is expected. This is winter after all in Europe and America, so snow (even heavy snow) is a given this time of the year. It’s not weird. Weird weather is what is happening in Australia right now.

It is suppose to be the height of summer now Down Under but you wouldn’t know it in parts of Australia. The state of Tasmania has been hit by snow. Yes, snow in summer! And if not snow, then it is torrential rain. Rain in eastern Australia have left has flooded roads and even whole towns. All in the season of summer!

Snow and torrential rain at the height of summer! Now that’s the full effect of global warming. If this continue, I wonder when will Singapore see its first snowfall?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Comics this week

Green Lantern #60- The last few issues of Green Lantern has been leading to this. The big revelation of just who was capturing the entities was good. A little surprising but it made sense and both of that is always good. However even the good reveal will be overshadowed by the battle between Hal Jordan and a Parallax-possessed Barry Allen. Senseless banter notwithstanding, the action was good and the art from Doug Mahnke was excellent. Good issue all around.

Brightest Day #16- Firestorm and the new Aqualad, Jackson Hyde, take center-stage this issue. The Firestorm story has been by far the weakest of the lot and this issue didn’t do anything to change it. Luckily the majority of the issue is on Aqualad. Unluckily for us, the story of Aqualad this issue didn’t make much sense. The message from the chest didn’t make much sense because 1) Mera is still alive so why can’t Aquaman just bring her to see the new Aqualad and 2) how did those weapons just happen to be in the chest? The leap of logic needed for the story to work is a step down for me.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Hurricane Smith

WikiLeaks has released some pretty funny cables so far, but this one has to be the one to beat. A recently released Wikileaks cable reveals that American celebrity Anna Nicole Smith was indirectly the reason for the collapse of the government in the Bahamas.

According to the cable, Anna Nicole Smith was a hurricane that changed the face of Bahamian politics. The Anna Nicole Smith scandal was due to an alleged $10,000 bribe she paid to Minister of Immigration Shane Gibson to speed up the process of getting residency in the Bahamas. The resulting scandal toppled a string of officials and the government 2 months after Anna Nicole Smith left the country.

Here I was thinking she was nothing more than B-list celebrity who was famous for being famous and nothing else. Show how much I know!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Singapore is NOT a country!

How do you know that the PAP (People’s Action Party) is facing a tough fight in the next general election? When government ministers suddenly decided that Singapore is NOT a country but a city!

I read this article on Yahoo Singapore (dilemma-over-singapores-national-identity/), and while it’s amazing that our own ministers are saying that they are ministers of a non-country, let’s be honest on why they said such things. Foreigners!

With foreign workers and PRs flooding the country, foreign immigration is one of the most contentious issues in Singapore today. The Singapore government allows a lot of foreigners into the country…city…country…city…whatever, to bring down the cost for companies. Companies employed foreign workers instead of Singaporeans because they are cheaper and a majority of Singaporeans also believe that the influx of permanent residents buying property in Singapore is pricing citizens out of the market.

And if there are 2 things Singaporeans care about more than anything, it is jobs and housing. There is anger on these issues and, looking on the bright side, it seems the PAP know it. That's why our Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is talking about “The Singapore Spirit”, why our Law (and Home Affairs) Minister K. Shanmugam say Singapore is not a country, and why our Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew (the man behind Singaproe) said that Singapore was not a nation.

Seeing that this is Singapore and the PAP is always right in the country...uh city, this means Singapore is a city and is NOT a country! Now if only I can get my 2 years of National Service back...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Splinter Cell Package

Now I’m no fan of Ubisoft but when I read that Ubisoft is going to re-release the first 3 Splinter Cell games in one package, the news was almost enough to make me a fan of Ubisoft.

Ubisoft will have high definition updates of the original Splinter Cell, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, and will release the package sometime in 2011. Now I’m not a big fan of “stealth games,” but this is a welcome move and I wonder why more game publishers don’t do the same thing.

Old games like Splinter Cell may be great but players are not going to buy them unless it’s for nostalgia. However if you update the game, and then package it together with other games, suddenly it becomes very attractive for people to buy the games.

Not only will this get sales, it may also get you fans for the franchise which in the long run is what developers really want. So this is one gamer that hope more developers will jump on the bandwagon.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

European Laws Are Insane!

Regular readers of my blog know that at times I find the law in Singapore to be confusing, and at times down right stupid. However recent events lead to conclude something else; Singapore law makes much more sense than the laws of Europe!

The laws of Europe are insane! Before you disagree with me, let me show you 2 examples;

Example A) Singaporean student, Mr. Jonathan Wong, 23, plead guilty after police in the United Kingdom found 50 child pornography videos in his computer. What’s his punishment for pleading guilty to 17 charges of making child pornography videos in the United Kingdom?

A 6 months imprisonment sentence that was suspended for two years! That means he will walk free despite being guilty of being a child pornographer!

Example B) Information was leaked to the press on why rape charges were filed against Mr. Julian Assange of WikiLeaks. Now it seems that rape charges were filed because Mr. Assange had unprotected sex with the 2 women and then refused to have an AIDS test. The 2 women then filed rape charges because “they want peace of mind.”

This has to be one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard of. Man and woman meet. Man and woman have sex. Man refused to have an AIDS test. That means the man is raping the woman?

Another thing is that if the 2 women want “peace of mind,” then why not do the AIDS test on themselves? If Mr. Assange did the test and don’t have AIDS, that doesn’t mean they don’t have AIDS (unless both were virgins). If Mr. Assange did the test and do have AIDS, that doesn’t mean the women have AIDS either because they may not be infected. This is the reason why rape charges were filed? Are those guys in Sweden for real?

The laws of Europe are insane! A man who refused to have an AIDS test is charged with rape while a convicted child pornographer walk free after getting a suspended sentence! Someone tell me I’m wrong!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pale in Comparison

Every Christmas, there is something called the Orchard Road light-up. Basically bright shiny lights are hung along Orchard Road to give it the Christmas spirit, aka entice people to spend money.

This light-up cost millions every year but it pales in comparison to a Christmas tree that cost $11 million in Abu Dhabi. Yes, a luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi in the UAE (a Muslim country that doesn’t even celebrate Christmas) put up a Christmas tree that holds a total of 181 diamonds, pearls, sapphires etc that totals $11 million.

Already people are screaming that they had went over the top. True! But say what you want about the Arabs, they don’t do things halfway.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Do Better Sweden!

As WikiLeaks continued to release U.S. diplomatic cables to the world, pressure continued to be put on its founder Julian Assange. As Bank of America became the latest U.S. company to stop accepting payment for WikiLeaks, Sweden has released information on the rape charges against Mr. Assange.

As the Singapore government is no friend of Mr. Assange right now, the Strait Times newspaper has been more than happy to give a full page to the charges. There’s only one problem; this is a clear example of how NOT to charge someone with rape!

According to what I read so far, I’m amazed that charges were ever filed against Mr. Assange. Maybe rape has a different definition in the Swedish language but to a man in Singapore, the rape charges are a joke. No force was used, no one was hurt, both women accusing Mr. Assange parted with him on friendly terms, one woman had lunch with Mr. Assange on the day AFTER the alleged rape, the other woman agreed that she had consensual sex with Mr. Assange, both women only accused Mr. Assange of rape AFTER speaking with each other and comparing stories, and the basis of the rape charges seems to be because Mr. Assange did not use a condom on both occasions.

As a man who knows next to nothing about Swedish law, is having sex without using condoms illegal in Sweden? If that’s the case, what’s the birth-rate there? If the Swedish prosecutor wants to convince the world they are NOT part of a conspiracy against Mr. Assange, my goodness do a better job than this!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What The Hell!

It used to be that managers in England need to fail to meet expectations before getting the sack. “Used to be” because that’s no longer the case now.

In England, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley sacked manager Chris Hughton, a man who had quietly guided newly promoted Newcastle to 11th in the table. A mid-table position for a newly promoted club? Hell, that’s great work!

Then the new owners of Blackburn Rovers sacked respected manager Sam Allarydce despite the club being in 13th place in the EPL. Worse, reports say the owners intend to replace the manager with… Diego Maradona! The man who almost single-handedly prevent Argentina from being in the World Cup!

With such nonsense, it’s almost make one glad he’s not seeing the EPL this season.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A MacBook For Education

Geeks and Apple lovers in Singapore went into ecstasy as a local school, Maris Stella High School, announced that it would now be compulsory for all of its 1,500 students to own an Apple MacBook for used in school assignments and projects.

A lot of Singaporeans are in favor of this move, I am not. I suspect this is an idea that’s better on paper than in real life. 2 problems spring to mind.

First, why the Apple MacBook? Wouldn’t it be easier for everyone if everyone just bring along a laptop to school instead of making parents fork out money for a MacBook? By making it compulsory for its students to have an Apple MacBook, you are making parents come out money. However if the students can just bring a laptop, they can just take their parents’ laptop. I’m sure the number of parents who own a laptop is much higher than the number of parents who own a MacBook.

The second of the problems I see are students from disadvantaged families. Maris Stella said that students who cannot afford the MacBook will be rendered financial assistance. Define what sort of financial assistance they will receive. A MacBook cost between $1,500 to $3,500, so how much of this cost would Maris Stella foot? Also what if students need to replace their MacBook? Would Maris Stella help with financial assistance then as well?

This might work in a school like Maris Stella but Singaporeans in favor of this move should be…realistic. This is NOT the way of the future because I don’t see this “project” being implemented in the whole of Singapore. Hell, I don’t see this being implemented in most of Singapore!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


It’s one of the strangest streaks on television. In 17 seasons, no all female team has won the "The Amazing Race" or at least the American version of "The Amazing Race." All female teams had won other edition of it like the first winners of "Amazing Race Asia."

However that streak is now gone as doctors Nat Strand and Kat Chang crossed the finish line first to win the 17th season of the race. It’s about time! Every season we got all female teams going on about how they will be the first all female team to win the race and frankly, I’m tired of it. Now the monkey is gone, so hopefully we will never have to hear of it again.

This season was a little boring but at least one record was broken. Bring on season 18.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Get A Grip

As the leaks from WikiLeaks continued, I again wonder why America is so worried about them. There’s nothing too damaging about them and seriously, it’s causing more problems for other people than America. I’m sure the Saudi King isn’t having a good time of it at the moment and the latest country to get into trouble is Singapore.

The latest batch of diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks has comments made by high-ranking Singapore diplomats to U.S officials. Basically, we had been badmouthing every country from Japan to India to our American allies.

Now in light of these leaks, some Singaporeans have been quite proud of the fact that the Americans are asking Singapore about our assessment of the region. These Singaporeans need to get their heads out of the clouds. Although Mr. Lee Kuan Yew is highly respected, I believe the reason why the Americans asked for our assessment is quite simply because Singapore is the most pro-America country in South-east Asia.

It’s that simple. You ask your allies what they feel about their neighbors and that’s why Singapore is in WikiLeaks. Singaporeans should understand that just because these are our diplomats’ assessment, that doesn’t mean they are true or even these are their true feelings.

Take for example the case of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. He has been charged for sodomy in Malaysia, a case most Singaporeans (and Malaysians) do not believe. One cable from WikiLeaks state that Singapore told Australia that Mr. Anwar did engaged in sodomy. Is that true? Maybe not because Singapore made that assessment based on intercepted communications. That doesn’t mean those intercepted communications were true. Also factor in the fact that it is in Singapore’s interest that Anwar do not come to power in Malaysia. We have 40+ years of trade and business dealings with the current Malaysian government, so it is in our interest the current Malaysian government stays the government of Malaysia.

Another thing is that these assessments were made in 2008. A lot can happen in 2 years and some had already been proved wrong. A Singapore senior diplomat Bilahari Kausikan was quoted as saying Russia’s economy is “Third World” and some of their problems were insurmountable. Yet they just got the World Cup.

I feel too much has been made of the whole WikiLeaks thing. The diplomats' comments are unlikely to stoke tension in the region because talk is just talk. Worse, these are talk from 2 years ago! Embarrassing but they are nothing Singaporeans should be afraid or proud of.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 1

Okay, I don’t think the usual introduction is needed here. Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years…on Mars, you probably should know that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the last book in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling.

In a bid to squeeze even more money from the series, the producers have decided to spilt the last book into 2 movies. So instead of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, we got Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 1.

Directed by David Yates and written by Steve Kloves, the same team did the entertaining Half-Blood Prince, I was looking forward to this movie. Unfortunately, the end result is mixed.

The story followed Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) on his quest to find and destroy the Horcruxes, which house the soul of Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). By far the darkest film so far in the series, the movie has cameos from almost every character that had shown up in the series but mostly it is a chase movie as Harry, Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) tried to find the Horcruxes while running from the Death Eaters.

The high point in the movie for me has to be the meeting between Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Smoldering with danger, this was the first time you can truly see how dangerous Voldemort really is. Ralph Fiennes finally get to show off as the ultimate bad guy and he did his job admirably.

Which is a good thing as a lot of people would die in this movie. A lot of the secondary characters were killed as the action has been increased in this movie. Spells fly left, right and centre as the Death Eaters clashed with the Order of the Phoenix and the Ministry of Magic.

However it’s not all good as parts of the movie just didn’t work. As almost every character that had shown up in the series show up, at times it look like the movie was a cameo parade. Characters show up and then disappear never to show up again.

I also wonder just how chunky was this book. Even when it was spilt into 2 movies, parts of the movie was rushed through. Some of the deaths were only mentioned as it happened off-screen and the farces at the wedding of Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour lasted all of 5 seconds. All this in a movie that lasted more than 2 hours!

One of the reasons for the rush was a wish to focus on the 3 leads. In a way, that’s understandable as Harry, Ron and Hermione had always been the stars but at times this focus take things away from the movie. The fight at the wedding and the escort of Harry from Privet Drive could and should have been great but were not because both were too short whereas the scenes of Harry, Ron and Hermione in the old headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix were too long.

The biggest problem I have with the movie is that it seems incomplete. Yes yes, I know this is Part 1 so it should be incomplete. However that does not excuse the plot-holes in the movie. I hate it when writers leave gaping plot-holes in books to be filled later in the series and I don’t like it when it happened in movies either. The Malfoys must have seen Harry, Ron and Hermione dozens of times by now, all of the Malfoys including Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter), but none of them can recognized Harry even with the stupid puff up face?

The best way to describe this movie is that it’s a set-up. It is the appetizer to the main course that will be in Part 2, and like most appetizers, there is no satisfaction. Hopefully Part 2 will finish the series off in a flourish.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Comics this week

First Wave #5- After 4 issues, the action kick into high gear as Doc Savage and Batman began their investigation and attack on the Golden Tree. Action filled the pages from front to back in this issue as writer Brian Azzarello tried to wrap up his project. Unfortunately I feel he tried too hard. The action sequences are rushed as Rags Morales seems to run out of pages. The diversion by Batman and the destruction of Black Hawk Island were just begging for more panels. After 4 issues of gentle pacing, this ramp-up pace seems desperate. It almost seems as if Azzarello suddenly realized that he only have 1 more issue to go and the story is no more near finished. Not a bad issue but unfortunate about the pacing.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Pot and The Kettle (Part 2)

When the "Warisan Merdeka" tower was first announced, the Malaysian government got muck flak as the 100-story commercial skyscraper was considered a white elephant. Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak has been defending the mega-project from all comers including Malaysian’s former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Now I’m not saying Mahathir is wrong, Kuala Lumpur need a new skyscraper the way Eskimos need to buy ice, but talk about the pot calling the kettle black! When he was the PM, Mahathir presided over the construction of several mega-projects like the Petronas Twin Towers, the Malaysian capital, Putrajaya, and Port Klang.

Some of these projects were success (Petronas), some were not (Putrajaya), while some were outsight disasters (Port Klang). But for Mahathir Mohamad to scold anyone for spending money on mega-infrastructure project is like…well, the pot calling the kettle black!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Pot and The Kettle

At first it was funny, but now this has become ridiculous. Ever since WikiLeaks started to release secret US diplomatic cables, the whistleblower site has been facing pressure from America and its allies.

Threats have been made against WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange by U.S politicians (even presidential hopefuls) and there’s even a trumped up rape charge against him. Stupid since the leaks doesn’t contain anything that damaging to America.

However things have gone one step further with cyber-attacks against the WikiLeaks site and government pressure against servers hosting WikiLeaks. In the past few days, WikiLeaks had to jump from the Amazon server in the U.S to three new addresses in Holland, Germany and Finland as governments are pressing to ban WikiLeaks. France's Industry Minister Eric Besson has already called for WikiLeaks to be banned from French servers, and the list of American politicians threatening to act against any American company hosting WikiLeaks is too long to be put up here.

I can only say this to all these people; I never want to hear any complains from the West about China’s Great Firewall, censorship or unfair reporting by state newspapers ever again. Things are going too far. Julian Assange has been arrested in the U.K due to that trumped up rape charge and even a Swiss bank account of his has been closed due to government pressure.

It’s a simple case of the pot and the kettle. By showing their colors, Western governments are no longer in any position to call anyone else "black". Now if only they could act this way against real problems like global climate change and the global recession instead of one man releasing undamaging secrets.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Make Things Big?

A few days ago, a local celebrity in Singapore, Mr. Pierre Png, was accused of being a road bully by another motorist. According to the motorist, Mr Png’s car swerved into his driving lane and he had to slam his brakes to avoid an accident. When he honked at Mr. Png’s car, the actor stopped his Mercedes car in the middle of the Pan Island Expressway and came out of the car to confront him. The motorist even put up a photo of Mr Png coming out of his stationary car.

When told of the accusations, Mr. Png naturally defended himself that he is a reckless driver and a road bully. In fact, the actor accused the motorist of being the one who was driving dangerously. According to the actor, he had signalled his intention to switch lanes but when he tried to do so, the other motorist suddenly sped up to close the gap even though he was more than 2 car lengths behind him.

Now this is a simple case of “he says, he says.” Singaporeans drivers are infamous for not giving way to anyone and Mr Png should have known better than to signal before changing lanes. He did the right thing on paper, but in Singapore where drivers don’t give way…

However the funniest thing about the whole incident is the other motorist. When informed by reporters of Mr. Png defense, the motorist refused to give his name as “he don’t want to make things big.”

Too late my friend! You put a photograph on the internet and you “don’t want to make things big?” Talk about a joke! This unnamed motorist remained me of all those people who complain about taxi-drivers and bus-drivers but refused to leave down any name or contact no. You want to mess with other people’s ricebowl but don’t even have the guts to leave down a name?

As an actor and celebrity, Mr. Png will be affected by this publicity and it will affect any future projects he may or may not received. Furthermore if you don’t want to make things big, why the hell did the motorist put a photograph on the internet?

Well, I hope the motorist is really to make things big now because Mr Png also took a photo of his car and now intend to make a police report on the matter. Frankly speaking, the moment the motorist put the photograph on the internet, he was just asking for it.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Comics this week

Brightest Day #15- In Brightest Day, writers Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi seems to have decided that Martian Manhunter will be the Batman of the cast. It’s good to see J’onn use his detective skills, even if it’s just a mental battle. A good issue with the only drawback being the return of Firestorm.

Heroes for Hire #1- I was never a fan of Heroes for Hire, both the Iron Fist/Power Man and the Colleen Wing/Misty Knight versions just didn’t interest me. However after their great work in the cosmic section of Marvel, I thought I give writers Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning a chance and try out Heroes for Hire #1. The end result is mixed. Don’t get me wrong, this was a highly entertaining book. There was some high octane action, the art by Brad Walker was good, and the way the heroes work together was interesting. However in the end, this was just too much like Birds of Prey. The twist at the end (and the darker tones) saved it for being actually like Birds of Prey but there was no disguising where Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning got their idea from. I mean Misty Knight even went under the name of "Controller!" Still there’s no way to go but up after “Shadowlands” so it’s a good start for Marvel.

Taskmaster #4- Let me say this one more time to Marvel; “Taskmaster is a VILLAIN!” Not only is he a villain, he is a villain that teaches other villains. That’s what he is, that’s what fans love about him! He is NOT a former S.H.I.E.L.D agent with memory problems! That’s NOT what fans like about him. N’uff said.

Friday, December 3, 2010


When world football chief Sepp Blatter revealed that Russia and Qatar won the battle to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, I was in shock. I can understand the choice of Russia who had held various Olympic Games before, but Qatar?

I know of the various plus factors Qatar brings to the table; rich, relatively stable, in a region that never held the World Cup before, but Qatar has a huge minus; Qatar has never played in a World Cup before! In fact in the last few World Cups, Qatar didn’t even come close to qualifying for the World Cup.

Their national team sucks and as host they will be in automatically! In South Africa 2010, South Africa became the first host to be knocked out in the first round of the competition and unless something change real fast, Qatar is going to go one better and be the first host to be knocked out after losing all their games.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

One Piece To Rule Them All

In the world of Western comics, there are 3 big franchises; Batman, X-Men and Spiderman. There are so many series on them, these 3 are almost an industry by themselves.

In the world of Japanese manga, the Big 3 used to be One Piece, Naruto and BLEACH. I said “used to be” because this is the figures for the highest-selling manga of 2010:

1 - One Piece 32,343,809
2 - Naruto 7,409,068
3 - Kimi ni Todoke 6,572,813
4 - Fairy Tail 5,739,526
5 - BLEACH 5,204,193

Yes, One Piece sold 4 times more than Naruto in 2010. In fact, it sold more than the rest of the top 5 put together. Wow! That’s all I can say. The pirate adventures of Luffy D. Monkey have slaughtered most of the existing sales records in 2010, and this is a year when overall sales of manga in Japan had actually went down!

Wow. Luffy D. Monkey may or may not be the Pirate King at the end of his adventures but right now, he is most certainly the Sales King in the world of manga.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Worst Case Scenarios

Worst case scenarios are always a little morbid. A study of the worst that can happen usually is but it is also necessary if only for preparation. As they say, “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”

So I find studies by international groups on the climate to be so fascinating. Studies indicate that in the worst case of global climate change, world temperatures could rise by 4 degrees Celsius by the 2060s. A simple rise like that would mean that sea levels might rise by between 0.5 and 2 meters.

In my self-interest, I find a sea level rise of 2 meters to be very scary. Living on the island nation of Singapore, a 2 meters rise in sea level would mean a lot less real estate here in Singapore. Considering how much Singaporeans love their property, that’s a scary though for all Singaporeans. I guess there’s always immigration.