Thursday, July 24, 2008

What not to say in your convocation speech

Today the university I studied did something unique, the valedictorian giving the speech does not seem to be a winner of any good medal although the literal meaning of valedictorian is a student with the best grade. Rather strange. Yet it's good because it shows that appreciation should also be given to the general student.
One thing that really strike me rather odds from that student's speech is that the basically ridicule the university life unwillingly (perhaps). He was basically very honest in his speech. He talked about tough 4 years of bachelor life, talking as if all present are singaporean. Talking about students staying in the university hostel and only going back home on weekends while at tims not going home for weeks to study for exams or such, talking about students who stay at home who end up spending much of the time in study room trying to study very hard for a tough university life. Basically, he portrays that students in the university (NTU by the way) who have no life because of the need to study very very very hard. Although he is true (well, basically if you want a great grade, unless you are genius, you'll be studying like mad in NTU), I don't think such is an ideal valedictorian speech. It's kind of shameful to tell such a terrible university life to the foreign dignitaries or lecturers in the hall. Hahaha... I think he needs to tone down or reword his story a bit. :-)
Anyway now I know what not to say if I were ever chosen to do so. :-)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Misleading news

Just read a news from Indonesia's ANTARA website reporting that Japanese government is giving 1 mil of bird flu vaccine to ASEAN. The news made me realize how important it is for a journalist to be schooled into what he/she is reporting or at least make effort to search further information. News are read by multitude of people, and when a news is wrongly reported without other newspaper to verify, you'll get quite a number of potential wrongdoings caused by the news.
The news mentions that the bird flu vaccine increases Tamiflu (antiviral commonly used to cure bird flu in human although not necessarily effective) stock twice the previous level. This is a mistaken identitiy. Tamiflu is NOT a vaccine more like a flu medication. Furthermore Tamiflu is for human while no bird flu vaccine for human is even created yet!
It's either the vaccine or the Tamiflu which is mentioned wrongly.
Indonesia's biopharma should be able to produce bird flu vaccine for birds although I am not sure whether they have done it or not.
One thing for sure, the reporter of the news may want to wiki or google Tamiflu before he reports the news

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Money, woman, and the boys

Singapore is famous for its kiasuism and kiasiism. Basically it translates literally to "afraid to lose" and "afraid to die". Those two behaviour is good to spurn the sense of competitiveness. The drawback is that I think they are the causes of Singaporean men having quite a bad reputation on ladies. Not being prejudice, but that's what I hear, perhaps I have heard from the wrong end.
What I realize is that most ladies that complain mentioned the unwillingness of the guys to treat. Not that I treat often as well. I intend to analyze the perception a bit further.
If one guy was to go out with a lady and the guy has "afraid to lose" mentality, the guy may think twice. After all, if he really spends that extra money treating the lady, he may perceive that he'll part with all those expenditure while there is no certainty to gain the lady's heart. Hence, he'll definitely think twice before treating the lady. Furthermore, it's perceived to be difficult to earn your keep nowadays.
Another reason is perhaps the sense of adventurous among the people. After all, courting a girl requires some sense of adventurous. Part and puzzle of trying to win a girl's heart is to try out something new and go beyond the comfort zone. Without adequate willingness to be adventurous, no effort will be spent appropriately.

Strangely though, being competitive should have helped the guy if he see that a girl he likes is being chased by some other guys. Not sure why it doesn't help...

Business Travel

I like business travel for the sake of travelling and seeing other things, so more dynamics working life. However, I realize that business travel is normally tiring. The main reason is that when you travel, you don't have the time allocated to do other normal office work, while it "seems" that other people (your superior) and perhaps yourself, expect that work to continue even while you are travelling. So the tendency is for you to work at hotel even to late night, after you finish your work at the client side. All this additional working tires people eventually.
Furthermore, the travel time normally takes quite long as well, especially if you have a long flight.
It may be hard to find a boss that understands the toll of business travel and gives the worker a bit more break or compensation due to the travel. Unless perhaps the boss is also travelling like mad and is not that workaholic. Haha..
But well, the easiest is to strike balance and work smart. Easier said than done, isn't it?

Sungei Kadut

Heard so many good news about Sungei Kadut, so we went there thinking that perhaps we'd be able to get good deal for furniture, what the area is famous for. What we realize was that the stores there have branches in the city area as well. Basically, they carry the same items! Hence, not sure what actually make Sungei Kadut famous for. We actually realize that we found some items we like in the city branches, but the items were not available in the Sungei Kadut.
Basically the stores in Sungei Kadut is the HQ for most of the furniture chains. It's partly their warehouses as well. Hence, it could have more display sets, more rejected products, or something in that line. It'd be definitely cheaper if you are willing to settle for those things. But if you don't, don't go there. Useless.

Condo priced HDB?

Recently the Government of Singapore built quite a number of condo like HDB. Basically HDB is the apartment for average public in Singapore. Condominium is a private apartment with guard, swimming pool, gym, and bla bla.. so basically it's more expensive. However, the government now has started building HDB that is styled like condo minus the extra items... so basically HDB with more expensive content and better layout. The average price for HDB, 3 bedroom is around S$300k. The condo style HDB is priced at S$700k!
The amazing part is that, normally HDB is only allowed to be purchased by Singaporean with household income <>
The S$8k a month actually excludes the 20% CPF contribution. Hence it's actually S$6.4k real income a month. Subtracting S$2.5k from S$6.4k, the household has S$3.9k to spend including savings... Not so wise a choice for the buyer I frankly say. Considering that on average a couple will spend on average S$1.2k a month, I am not so sure that that couple with a long 30 year loan can live a decent life when they grow old. In addition, some household tend to buy a car which can amount to around S$800 more expense a month. Not much money left for savings, services bill, etc. huh?
But one thing for sure, the government takes away a small slice of private condo pie from the private.
I'd strongly advise friends to refrain from buying such a pricey apartment. Not worth a living style.