Sabtu, 30 Desember 2006

0 Inflationary Spaces of the Aero-Gothic Future

In the summer of 2005, a Swiss architecture firm called Instant designed an inflatable addition to the Berlin art space KW.

[Image: Courtesy of Instant].

According to I.D.'s Michael Dumiak, the inflatable, "fiber-reinforced PVC foil" design served as "a temporary summer entrance to the museum's bamboo garden," complete with its own staircase and balcony.
The "surprisingly strong, see-through structure," Dumiak explains, "consist[ed] of inflated stairs leading to an enclosure cantilevered over an 18th-century lane in the formerly communist east."
It was an internal prosthesis for the building, in other words, a new interior that could be deflated and moved elsewhere.

[Image: Courtesy of Instant].

To function properly, and to support the weight of museum visitors, the project used an inflatable variant on structural tensegrity, a concept first developed by sculptor Kenneth Snelson with the input of Buckminster Fuller.
From I.D.: "By attaching two spiral tension cables beneath the weakest part of a strut, and connecting the parts to an air-inflated shell, [Instant's project engineer Mauro Pedretti] found he could use thin and light – even transparent – materials and still carry heavy loads. One inflatable demo structure supports a light truck."

[Image: Two renderings of the project, courtesy of Instant].

"Unfortunately," we read, in Instant's own project recap, "the structure was rigid enough to withstand the loads but not its aggressive social urban context. As much as it was successful as a catalyst during the day, it was repeatedly vandalized during the night."
You can see films of the structure, both real and rendered, on Instant's website (click on "Detail," then go to "ON_AIR").
When I first saw the project, however, flipping through back issues of I.D. last night, I initially misunderstood it as being an entire museum addition, of perhaps indefinite duration – alas, it was a temporary installation, now long gone.
While thus deluded, though, I found myself imagining what might happen if you could design inflatable additions to suburban houses: your in-laws come to visit, or your weird and apparently unemployed uncle who doesn't really talk to anyone stops by, but there's literally no room for them inside the house. No worries: the smiling matron of this lucky household pops open some hinges on the back French doors and voilà: the house's central air-conditioning doubles as an air pump, and you all watch in pleased awe as a twin house, identical in all respects to the one you're now standing in, takes bloated shape in the lawn behind you. Even your uncle manages to say he's impressed.
Whole suburbs of inflatable houses!
So I imagined a new chapter for Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities, in which our untrustworthy narrator is taken out into the gardens of the king – whose courtiers proceed to inflate an entire palace, over a half-dozen acres, full of flamingos and orchids, unrolling in the summer heat. A thousand rooms. Turrets and hallways.
Somewhere in the midst of all that is the chamber you'll be staying in...
Which reminded me of Tobias Hill's novel The Cryptographer, in which an ultra-rich Bill Gates-figure purchases literally an entire borough of London, walling it off and transforming it into a private homestead (an agonizingly brilliant set-up for a book, although the story itself falls flat) – at which point I thought: you could inflate an entire borough that has never otherwise existed, sprawling across the marshy floodplains of SE London.
Call it Hackney 2, or Stoke Airington.
It's one seamless piece of fiber-reinforced PVC foil. It looks like a huge plastic bag lying across the landscape – until the fans kick in. Two days later there's a whole new city, complete with streets and traffic lights built into the plastic. The lamps have shades, the windows shutters. It's a Gesamtkunstwerk so total it would make Mies van der Rohe panic.
To pay the investors back, you hire it out as a film set and produce award-winning mobile phone commercials there. Or strangely elaborate pornos, using transparent sets, described as "artistically stunning."

[Image: Courtesy of Instant].

Finally, I came back to Instant and their inflatable design for KW.
What if it had been slimmer and less bulky, for instance, taking up less space inside the museum – and, in a way, more ambitious, with better funding? In other words, what if you could show up at KW with a bunch of air pumps and a different design, and – after clearing the building – you'd inflate a whole new interior, perfectly matched to the architectural plan, subdividing galleries, adding stairways and lofted office space?
You come back a day later and twist a valve, blocking air from entering one room – and so another room unfolds somewhere deeper in the structure. Which, in turn, causes a corridor to inflate, leading onward to another room – where you have a choice: you can either open a valve and inflate the rest of the ground plan, or you can leave the valve closed, and thus a four-story tower of inflated rooms will gradually lift itself above the courtyard...
Leading me to wonder if there's some Hindu myth, or an obscure Upanishad, in which a multi-lunged god of air parades his wizardry of inflated worlds to stunned worshippers – or if there was a Christian heresy, from medieval Spain, in which the breath of God, a holy spirit animating base flesh, became interpreted as God, Inflationist, Lord of Balloons.
Had the heresy survived, a new breed of cathedrals would now dot the European landscape, supported by inflatable buttresses – inaugurating the Aero-Gothic. Aero-Romanesque. Aero-Baroque.

(To see how easy some of this could really be, take a long stroll through we make money not art's inflatable projects archive).

0 Worst dressed ever

Eh, any similiarities are purely coincidental, and below scenario is just a figment of the author's imagination.


It couldn't have been a more ordinary day at the newsroom. Everyone had left, it was late. Well, almost everyone.

Wee Tuck was walking along his colleagues desks, interestingly lined with colourful posters of the various celebrities they like and the more expensive of the junk given out during press conferences.

He was slobbering over a doughnut bought from the level 5 food court, slightly aware of the calories adding to his increasingly pudgy body, but what the fuck, not like anyone thinks of him as an sex object or something.

He snorted into the doughnut at that thought. Yeoh Wee Tuck the sex god! Ha!

What's that sound?!

He heard a slight buzz from Jeanmaria Tan's (or Jaria as they called her for short... what's with the two first names anyway?!) desk and looked into her cubicle.

Something looks suspicious. Jaria was focusing intently on her computer screen, which had a picture of a man.

Her hands were not on the mouse nor keyboard, but tucked under the messy desk.

"JARIA!" Wee tuck shouted. "Watcha doing?!"

The ugly woman screamed "FUCK!" and something clanked to the floor. Something bulky and silver and black and... vibrating?

It was an iPamper.

The iPamper, oblivious to the questioning stare of Wee Tuck, continued to buzz happily on the carpet, turning itself a full circle before Wee Tuck looked up incredulously at Jaria.


Ew, ew, ew.

Comprehension dawned on his face, and the woman looked suitably embarrassed, all while mumbling something about it being late and she thought nobody was around...

He suddenly remembered himself having a backache after a football report last Monday, and he had rubbed his back all over with that borrowed iPamper and EWWWWWWWWW... FUCK! He retched into the bin, his wet doughnut bits soaking up the waste papers.

To Wee Tuck's horror, while he was trying to get the bile spit out, Jaria started wailing like she just got widowed.

"JUDGE ME WILL YOU?" She screamed. "I am LONELY, OK? My husband only... wait, you gay right Wee Tuck?"

Wee Tuck frowned. What has that got to do with anything?? "Yes, so what?" he asked tensely, adding "you stupid fuck" in his head.

"Gay people can't keep secrets, they are always gossiping," declared Jaria.

"I can keep a secret," whispered Wee Tuck in what he hoped was a sympathetic voice. He really couldn't care less about Jaria's sordid affairs but a secret's always welcome.

"Well my husband... He only wants to have sex like once every 2 months or something! And when he does, he screws me sideways in the dark - 3 mins, max - and leaves the wet patch on my side of the bed! MY SIDE! The fucking bastard!" Jaria was lolling in terror at the memory.

Wee tuck look at Jaria and thought, Well, who could blame him? and formed various vicious standpoints in his mind about how women should always keep up with good physique like gay boys always do.

Instead he said, "Oh, I'm sorry, I guess that would explain the iPamper... I won't tell anyone." He already decided he would warn people not to touch the cursed device. Ew ew ew.

"Was on discount," Jaria whimpered.

There was an awkward silence and Wee Tuck leaned forward towards the computer screen (thank god girls don't leave residue) to check out Jaria's arousal object.

She realised what he was doing, and hastily turned off the power, but alas! a gasp of recognition was already issued from Wee Tuck's mouth.

Jaria groaned. Today was seriously not her day.

"YOU KIDDING ME. Xiaxue's boyfriend??! Hahahaha! Didn't know you liked angmohs!"

Jaria explained incoherently about how she just happened to surf by and attempted to change the topic by asking what Wee Tuck wrote about today. She also turned off the iPamper, which was proving to be an annoyance buzzing endlessly when not applied on one's genitals.

"Best dressed celebrities of 2006," Wee Tuck lamented in a drone.

The gay stylish instints inside him radiated with anger thinking about Singapore's celebrities and their boring dress sense. UNFORGIVEABLE! They are sooo boring! Look at the hollywood stars! He rolls his eyes.

"OH?" said Jaria, her eyes shining with maliciousness. Man, Wee Tuck thought. This woman is really, really frustrated and angry.

"Think you could include a worst dressed category?" she inquired.

Wee Tuck squirmed, thinking he already knows what the bitch was up to. "Erm, I already wrote the article."

"I'll add it in for you! Page long?" she quipped.

"Ya... So you wanna put Xiaxue into worst dressed?" Let it go, woman, why hold a grudge for so long?? Wee Tuck couldn't understand.

"Naturally, duh! Hate her! Let me see, gotta go get her stock photos and choose a picture." Jaria never stopped smiling rather crazily while talking, and actually rubbed her hands in glee.

"But she is not generally badly-dressed... Not like she goes to star awards or something... She's mostly just in tank tops yeah?"

"AHA! How about this one?" Jaria found a photo in their database.


Wee Tuck stared at her.

"What do you think?" she asked in a crazed whisper. The glint in her beady eyes was freaky.

Wee Tuck stuttered a little.

"Well, firstly, it won't qualify Xiaxue as a 2006 worst dresser because that photo was taken almost half a year before 2006 even started... And secondly, what you gonna say about her attire?"

Jaria shrugged and said, "Eh... It's fucking skanky."

Wee Tuck frowned. 2005 was the year of the bohemian, and everyone wore stuff like that. Bailing is shanky. A midriff top and a long skirt? Nay. A tad fat maybe, but not shanky.

Besides, if he didn't remember wrongly, it was their paper who ask XX in for an interview, and told her to dress as sexily as possible. Seems a tad unreasonable to attack her for what they told her to wear...

"So? Use this?" Jaria stared at him rather fiercely.

"Can't you try to find something else?" Wee Tuck sighed. "Something that is more reasonable to attack her with?"

Jaria picked up the iPamper and smacked Wee Tuck on the head with it. Ew!


"Fine, ok ok, I'd put Fiona next to her or something, just promise NOT to touch me with that thing again!"

Jaria smiled her ugly smile.


In Teban Gardens, someone was smiling too. She decided that she would dress a thousand times more skankily just so she can get the award again next year too!

They can say all they want!

The internet was fully functional (and way more flexible) for her retorts, and most importantly, unlike all celebrities, reporters had absolutely nothing to gain from the extra fame.


Woah, article of me today!

This has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO with what I wrote above. That's a totally fictional story, of course. :)

Kamis, 28 Desember 2006

0 2006: The Year in Construction

Engineering News-Record has released its "Images of the Year" – and some of them are really fantastic.

[Image: Merle Prosofsky, Edmonton, Canada; "Backlighting diffused by early-morning fog dramatizes the beginning of the five-hour erection of a 310-tonne vacuum distillation tower. The 37-meter-long, 8.5-m-diameter tower will extract oil for OPTI Nexen’s $3.6-billion Long Lake steam-assisted gravity drainage project from northern Alberta’s oil sands." Via ENR].

[Image: Timothy J. Gattie, Boise, ID; "The $330-million Otay River Bridge in Chula Vista, Calif. rises into the morning mist. 'As the sun peeked through the fog, I couldn’t make out the bridge,' says Gattie, area engineer for Washington Group. 'So I put the sun behind the columns, and the picture came out.'" Via ENR].

[Image: Leah C. Palmer; "The scaffolded 'village green' of the recently completed St. Coletta School charter school in Washington, D.C., felt like the belly of the beast to Palmer... Palmer, who studied architecture, is fascinated by the framework of buildings." Via ENR].

[Image: Brian Fulcher, Walnut, CA; "A tunnel construction enthusiast, Fulcher took this shot of workers on the Gotthard Base Tunnel, Sedrun, Switzerland, a Bilfinger Berger-led joint venture. The crew is installing steel support ribs which, with the shotcrete applied to the tunnel’s forward wall, prevent collapse. This portion of the tunnel was bored through 'squeezing ground, which pushes in on the tunnel walls,' Fulcher says. 'It’s very dangerous work.'" Via ENR].

I've only uploaded four of my favorites; go to ENR for two dozen or so that I didn't choose. Many of the images are like photographic updates of Fernand Léger and his Constructors, including this bizarre sky bicycle, or these two guys with their roped bottles of water.

All rights belong to the photographers credited above.

0 Mies van der Rogaine

I was thinking today about performance art pieces involving architecture, and I thought maybe someday there should be a man who travels around the world, visiting cities and jungles and deserts and islands – and it's all so he can take Flomax inside famous architectural structures.

[Image: A bunch of pills, via the European School of Oncology].

It's the new art of pharmaco-architourism.
Similarly, I was speaking to someone a few weeks ago about "gonzo" architectural journalism, and how most people seem to think that just means getting high before interviewing Rem Koolhaas, or taking hallucinogens, or a cannabinoid, etc., and then off you go on a plane to Dubai – but who's to say a building would be any less interesting if you experienced it all jacked up on prescription diuretics? Or high on Cialis, for that matter? Every church in Rome, visited in a libidinal haze – surely some interesting journalism would result? You could sign yourself "The Cialisian." Soon, you've got a monthly column in Vanity Fair.
For Christmas, you receive a specially tailored set of loose trousers.
Or you cover your head with a spot of Rogaine foam inside every building Mies van der Rohe ever designed – except, by the end of the piece, your hair is so long you're actually refused entrance to Berlin's National Gallery. Your book would be an instant, if controversial, bestseller.
It would be called Mies van der Rogaine.
Or you take heroic quantities of Prilosec in buildings built before 1500AD, and you pitch the resulting articles to Archinect. Pop some Adderall and plow through the High Gothic monuments of Europe, publishing your research in The New York Times.
The next year it's Lipitor, or Effexor, or a whole rucksack full of Brovana inhalers, as you write about anything built by Le Corbusier.
Because then, of course, there's Clozaril, for your upcoming feature on Gaudí...

0 Going behind that door

[Image: 10 Downing Street, from the new virtual tour].

The BBC reports that London's 10 Downing Street "has opened its famous front door to the public after more than 270 years, with a virtual tour for web users. Visitors can look at rooms, find out historical information and click on objects such as paintings and furniture for extra details. Tony Blair told the BBC the tour was 'an excellent way of showing the tremendous history of this building'."

[Image: 10 Downing Street, from the new virtual tour].

So I immediately thought of security risks: people casing the place to check for back doors, routes, cameras, blindspots. What to steal, whether it's alarmed, where the nearest windows are. While all of that has no doubt been considered by the tour's developers and their legion of security consultants, it would still be interesting to know how they did it, what specific steps were taken to deter possible burglars, terrorists, midnight visitors, and other unwanted guests. Were the truly expensive objects removed from display? Were surveillance cameras detached from the walls, and hidden?
Or, more architecturally, were whole internal stretches of the building somehow faked: some extra wainscoting and temporary wallpaper, all mounted on movable plasterboard, so that we, the unsuspecting public, never realize that the Prime Minister's main study actually has two more doors... leading back to a series of rooms that aren't in the tour at all – but that pop out and around to a dark corridor connected to the kitchen, through another door that's been conveniently blocked with a refrigerator digitally added after the fact?
Who would know?
If it's not uncommon for some governments to issue fake maps, or at least maps with whole cities missing – military bases left as empty mountain ranges, and so on – who's to say a virtual tour of the ruler's actual home would be any different?
From the BBC: "The tour's developer, Aral Balkan, said: 'I thought it was too interesting a project to pass up. Working on it has been very exciting and a great privilege. Downing Street is an extraordinary place and I hope to have captured a real sense of the history and importance that comes from going behind that door.'"

0 How to Choose a Charity

This is the time of year that thousands of people contribute to a charity. For some it's because it has a cleansing effect on their soul, for others it's simply a way to reduce taxable income.

To be honest, I don't care why you contribute. The simple fact that you do it is sufficient for me. What I do care about is that our contribution is spent wisely. To figure that out, I want to chat briefly about a site named Charity Navigator.

In a nutshell, Charity Navigator tracks and reports the behavior of over 5,000 charities.
"...We ensure our evaluations are widely used by making them easy to understand and available to the public free of charge. By guiding intelligent giving, we aim to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace, in which givers and the charities they support work in tandem to overcome our nation's most persistent challenges."

So for sample purposes, I randomly chose a charity in Chicago to see their expenses and stats:

I can also compare them to other charities in their peer group:

Get the idea? Good. My point is not to talk you into donating. My point is that you do it with care.

While you are at their site be sure to read through some of their tips. Here is a sample:

Rabu, 27 Desember 2006

0 What happens when you Quit Smoking

I have never shared this on Dumb Little Man and I thought it was about time I did. It's not about me gloating, but more about providing support to those about to embark on the same mission.

This Saturday marks 2 months of smoke-free living for me. Yep, I was a pretty hard core smoker that went through two packs per day for the last 15 years. To put that into perspective, I smoked roughly 219,000 cigarettes over that time. I also had to quit drinking because having a cocktail without a cigarette was not going to happen.

This was probably my 8th attempt at quitting and make no mistake about it, it's very difficult. It was actually one of the toughest things I've done in my life and I still struggle to this day. However, the family comes first and my smoking was hurting everyone (although I never smoked near the kids or even within their sight

The point of this message today is to share some information that helped me through the agony. It is a simple chart that I kept with me and even posted in my office.
  • 20 Minutes After Quitting
    • Your heart rate drops.

  • 12 hours After Quitting
    • Carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.

  • 2 Weeks to 3 Months After Quitting
    • Your heart attack risk begins to drop.
    • Your lung function begins to improve.

  • 1 to 9 Months After Quitting
    • Your Coughing and shortness of breath decrease.

  • 1 Year After Quitting
    • Your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.

  • 5 Years After Quitting
    • Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s 5-15 years after quitting.

  • 10 Years After Quitting
    • Your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker’s.
    • Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas decreases.

  • 15 Years After Quitting
    • Your risk of coronary heart disease is back to that of a nonsmoker’s.

All in all, this time around was the simplest because I had a little help by using the laser therapy that I originally thought was a scheme. Trust me, it's not. I don't want to turn this into a commercial so if you want to know what this laser therapy is, email me. In the meantime, here are some resources that you can use regardless of your quitting method.
Sources: Various Sections from Mayo Clinic, CDC, Philip Morris

In case your efforts at quitting smoking fail, it is recommended that you try addiction recovery programs that might help you quit successfully.

0 When the doors of the earth slam shut

[Image: Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica].

"Imagine if plate tectonics stopped tomorrow," New Scientist suggests. A world without tectonics would be a world without earthquakes, the continents frozen in place, coastlines locked where they are. New mountains could never form, islands would stop emerging from the sea, and apartment insurance would be considerably cheaper.
While the end of tectonics is "not likely to happen any time soon," the article reminds us, "a controversial new theory says it could [come to an end] in about 350 million years." In fact, global tectonic activity may have ceased once before – "around 1.6 to 1.1 billion years ago, as a supercontinent called Rodinia formed." At that point, "all plate tectonics could have ceased for 100 million years." This caused the earth's surface to thicken, forming "a large band of granites" that now "stretches across the northern hemisphere."
But the internal roiling heat and liquid rock of the earth's core and mantle gradually intensified, growing strong enough to punch through the earth's rocky surface; this, kick-starting an era of volcanic eruption strong enough to break the continents apart, "would have got plate tectonics going again."
The belts of the earth were soon turning; new mountains began to rise; island chains drifted, crashing into one another; coasts trembled from below as their guts turned to gravel.
And it all may happen again: according to Paul Silver, of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, the doors of the earth may slam shut in 350 million years, locking closed – perhaps initiating another one-hunded million years of terrestrial calm.

Minggu, 24 Desember 2006

0 Xmas eve sucks!!!!

Xmas eve sucks!!!!!

I don't really know anyone who sincerely enjoys it (maybe bangalas, but of course, I don't "know" them), because it is so bloody festive that you are EXPECTED to have fun, EXPECTED to not be lonely.

Everyone else is also busy pretending to have fun, so if you don't, you seem like a bloody loser.

And what happens when you have expectations and do not meet them? Disappointment and frustration.

Organising stuff to do on Xmas eve is always a bloody pain in the ass. You can go to organised events (ie parties on bloody orchard road - I hope you guys have the sense not to go, unless of course you are a bangala, then you can meet a lot of people from your country have foam the girls), but organised events are always sooooo crowded.

Before you can start to enjoy yourself, you have to defend yourself against the crowds. Theft, molest, people stepping on your toes, etc. How fun!


You can organise "fun" stuff yourself.

But firstly, WHAT fun stuff? And secondly, organising is a pain, and besides, everything is so expensive.

And the most troubling of all - who should you go out with?

I wonder if in real life people have friends like in Friends (I'm talking about Monica Ross Phoebe Friends), a stable group of people you can hang out with every year on lonesome holidays (I can act emo by saying "the more crowded it is the more alone I feel" but lucky for you I am not that sort of disgusting blogger) and be sure not to go into a frenzy trying to get something to do.

But IMHO, it is near impossible to have a stable group of friends, because realistically speaking Monica-and-Chandler rarely happens, and people in the group (especially the girls) will tend to have their other halves to spend Xmas with, and will abandon their group.

Or be spending Xmas overseas, also effectively abandoning the group...

Group of four dwindles to two, then do you still meet the "group", or seek other plans?

Maybe meet another group that you are not so familiar with? But you don't wanna spend Xmas with people you don't really know leh...

People say you can always fall back on family, but Momo is out partying with her boyfriend and his friends (what did I say about girls?), Clinton is staying at his friend's place, and I am alone at home!

Well with stupid Cloudy who shitted in the hallway yesterday. GAH!

Anyway this year I've got Kelvin, who is the sort of person who will BRING the girlfriend into the group (because he is key person of the group and if he is missing likely everyone won't meet at all; and also, said girlfriend will be abandon HER group, thus making HER group not be able to meet up), so I am invited to the party at his house with the rest of the gang lar.

In that sense I feel that male friends seem to be more reliable.

Obviously there are also the sort of guy who will go missing when their girlfriend is around, but my guy friends are constantly bringing different girls into the group, making me feel...

That girls are somehow just... part of their men.

I don't know why I had this startling feeling that day, but I was out with some of my girlfriends, and all of them were attached.

We talked about our boyfriends, and it suddenly hit me that we are not WHOLE, we are merely the other half of our men. A sidekick if you must.

I realised that one fine day, all of us will get married, have a family, and that family will consume all that is important to us. Friends will rank way below husband and kids.

I'm not really explaining this feeling I have very well, but it felt a bit like the boyfriends LET their girlfriends out for a gathering among ourselves, and there we are, chattering, insignificant, unwhole.

I think I might be going crazy.

It was just a very fleeting feeling, and I told Shuyin about what I felt, and she just frowned and said she disagreed with me and never felt that way.

But you know what I mean right? I am not talking about my particular girlfriends in this scenario coz they are not like that, but surely you girls know what I am talking about.

Like, everyone has this female friend who has always been attached, and seems that her whole life will topple if she didn't have someone to lean on even for a bit. She can't survive as a lead character on her own.

I suppose there are guys like that too, but it is quite a bit more uncommon than females.

Anyway, went off on a tangent. As I was saying, the last reliable alternative is going to church. But going to church just for xmas seems really stupid (and not to mention blasphemous)!

In conclusion, Xmas sucks. So does New Year, V-day, etc.

Mindless clubbing pictures:

Nose's all blurred out coz you guys are supposed to get the first glimpse of it on the last episode of Girls Out Loud!

Before meeting Junne and the boys...

Can see the bridge and my lovely implant.
*implant blushes in pleasure*

Went to MoS!

New club "The Clinic".

It's really cool, go check it now! Now complimentary entry via MoS I think.

We go into Smoove's members' area, which is designed to look like a basketball court:

Basketball chairs!


Martin moments later! Ha!

Hehe inner gayness shows in Kelvin

Tim's turn

Tim also wants a piece of the action!

Ann looks at Vyasa in a new light.
My implant stares.

Vyasa looked wonky-eyed in this, so I added some photoshop sunglasses for him.
But look at Tim! Look so funny can.

Kel + me + new implant + new tattoo (photoshopped)!

A juicy bracelet I bought from the states... :D

Kel again

p/s: Vyasa just called to say the boys are gonna play dota for a bit. Did I just say they are reliable???!

Me, "You guys are not going to do the countdown thing in the lan shop right?"

Vyasa, "Ha! We are not going to do the countdown thing at all!"

Well, Merry fucking Xmas to you! Hate it. So commercialised. (WOoo I just realised I typed "Merry Xmas" at the exact stroke of midnight!!)

Want my baby here but he is sooooooooooo far away.

Sabtu, 23 Desember 2006

0 Daytipper: Submit a Tip, Earn Money

The nature of Dumb Little Man is to share sites and ideas that save time or money. You know that. Well, we're going to point you to another site that does the exact same thing and they do have a lot of tips to share. However, they have an added element. They pay users to submit the tips.

Daytipper allows users to submit tips by writing 300 words on roughly any topic that helps save money, time, etc. If Daytipper approves the tip, they'll use it on the site and pay you $3. It doesn't sound like much but their leaderboard has a woman that sent in 66 tips so she's collecting nearly $200!

If you are trying to earn a little money online this seems like an easy place to start. I have to believe most of us have little tricks and tips at home that could be shared. The only portion of the site that worries me is the first sentence of their terms and conditions which is shown here:

"Every tip that you submit becomes the property of Daytipper for any use whatsoever."

Perhaps that's no big deal to you. I am just never crazy about giving away the rights to anything, especially when it's an idea that I believe is totally original. All-in-all I see this site growing substantially and becoming a great destination for anyone interested in tips and minor life hacks.

Jumat, 22 Desember 2006

0 I know, Girls Out Loud rules!!

Thanks for the good feedback for the 3rd episode!! Haha...

Many people were like asking me if I was really pissed at Mia, or just faking it for the camera.

I wish I were faking it ah! Means I am a wonderful actress. But unfortunately I don't think I am up to that level yet.

But you tell me lar, if some ugly "model" keep preaching to you how to live your life and write your blog, you not sian meh? Obviously pissed right? You guy can't see, but I was actually trembling in anger (and also a bit scared and awkward - it's a horrifying mix of feelings).

Mia actually said more ridiculous things, like how for example, her love for bangalas stemmed from the fact that once upon a time... She was in Little India MRT, and an old man fell down and got trapped by the closing train door or something...

And according to her, "a dozen black hands" stuck out and helped the old man.

*cue heroic music*

She therefore thinks that all bangalas are very kindly, sweet creatures.

And also, as a "pageant winner", the grand responsibility of defending bangalas lies on her, because - obviously, don't you see? - people who help an old man get untrapped can never be lecherous lawless molesters.

*looks very confused, implant shakes in disbelief* (I'm gonna blog from now on about how my implant reacts to situations. It is as if it has a life of it's own!!! Help me think of a name for it muahahaha.)

Dunno lar! It was really super awkward, Gillian had us doing the staring scene AGAIN and AGAIN, and can you imagine I have to keep looking into Mia's eyes for like 20 times till G is happy!!!!!!!!!

GILLIAN HATES ME!!! She thinks that making me face people I don't like makes good tv!!! (Mia, Steven Lim, Izzy - they all make my implant shrivel)

Next season maybe we will have Jean Marie Tan and the blogtv old chick. The people who dislike me and vice versa are aplenty! Rozz says she has none. -_- Where got people get along with everybody one??!

You can watch episode 3 of GoL on youtube...

Been thinking of getting a tattoo for a long time now...

Wanna get the bottom pink ribbon on my left arm, but I spoke to Momo about it today, and she said she will chase me out of the house if I ink myself.

Damn drama ok.

I'm getting it anyhow, it's just a matter of time.

I don't care if you guys don't like my pink ribbon! It symbolises that from this moment on in life, I am clear what I want to do - I want to be FRIVOLOUS.

For the past 22 years, I've always been torn between two things - vanity and intellect.

I could focus on the fun part of life - being pretty, being vapid; or I could be dull but, well, smarter.

It seems at first thought that the two need not be exclusive, but they ARE. Well, at least to me they are.

I don't really know how to explain this (possibly coz vanity won the battle since years ago and rotted my brains)...

I was telling Wong the other day when we were driving back from supper.

Supposing this life, I am still me inside, but my physical appearance is so far from below average that I could do nothing to salvage it.

My only other source of enjoyment will be to focus on my studying (so ugly, might as well study hard, earn money), which, at the younger part of my life, I excelled in, and brought me attention and distinction from other people.

I am that sort of person who lives for attention. Nothing makes me more happy than people paying attention to me, and praising me for the good jobs I do.

If being 1st in class brought me admiring glances, then study I will.

But unfortunately for me, nothing brings more instant gratification than looking good.

If I didn't care that much about my looks and the other superficial stuff in life, or rather, chose not to care, I'm sure I could have spend a lot more of my time on reading, maybe writing a novel, or I dunno what else I would have done. Trying to earn a lot of money maybe?

When I started this blog it was just light-hearted writing, but people started saying how they think I am stupid.

Up till today, I am the pioneer of full-time blogging in Singapore, yet people are still saying that! Let's see them try to earn a living doing this. =D

I got very uncomfortable being labelled STUPID, and felt I had to prove them all wrong by raking out PSLE or O Level results, and the ultimate is of course to attempt to join Mensa.

So now Mensa tells me my IQ is 148 and above, higher than 98% of you reading this, but SO WHAT?

There will always be an endless flow of people saying I am stupid, just because of my appearance.

Yes, people in that 98%, calling me dumb. It used to infuriate me so bad.

I love blonde hair, love fake eyelashes, and I love my big curls. I love writing in Singlish, love scolding vulgarites, and I love making bimbo jokes... and if all these things I love are mutually exclusive with how an intelligent person is perceived to be, then SO BE IT.

But now, especially with the show stamping a new benchmark in my life, I DECIDED AM DONE WITH PROVING MYSELF TO THE PUBLIC.

If people are gonna say I am a bimbo, I will just smile, knowing that it is them who are too simple-minded to see through a PERSONA.

Yes, that's what it is, a persona.

You think Ali G is real? Or Borat? Is Oprah really concerned? Howard Stern really so straightforward? Or is Paris Hilton really so stupid? The fact is you will never know, so don't judge.

Just because some people have different priorities in life, it doesn't mean that if the situation arises they cannot solve a logarithm equation.

I decided on my priorities (ie focusing on superficiality) when I decided to go into Polytechnic, so from today onwards I will not waver anymore and just appear to be as air-headed as everyone chooses to perceive me to be.


intelligence (ABILITY)
noun [U]
the ability to learn, understand and make judgments or have opinions that are based on reason

Doesn't say anything about having a degree or not having heavy make up on.

Two super long blog entries in a row! I'm getting my blogging bug back.

0 Ask the readers: Get the In-Laws to Leave

As a child, my husband's holidays were unfortunately filled with family wars and most festivities ended with people throwing cocktails, screaming, crying, etc. It was a nightmare and no I am not exaggerating (police have actually been called before).

Fast forward the story and here we are: 33 years old, 2 young kids, a cat, etc. So our lives have changed but the invite list to the holiday events has not. All those trouble making relatives are still around and they are all invited which means it's our turn to play referee again.

My largest concern is getting people to leave once the night is over. Letting people sit around chatting for hours must be avoided because inevitably someone has to make an ill-advised comment which turns the house into a Jerry Springer episode.

Here is what I have been doing but I'd love to hear some other ways that you politely get people out of your house. Please note that with an average party, you will have to use at least 2 of these ideas because none of them on the list will work for everyone.

  • Begin cleaning - I've done this before and it works especially when you pull out the vacuum as a last resort. Start by clearing the dessert dishes, coffee cups, etc.

  • Doggy Bag - Begin passing out leftovers in Tupperware. My mother-in-law always did this exactly 60 minutes after dinner was over. It implies that the guest should leave to get the food in the fridge. It tends to work and most people are gone 10-15 minutes later.

  • Laundry - Bring down a basket of laundry. Enough said, people want no part of that.

  • Oprah - Put on a show that you know the guests hate. If you are trying to get rid of men, put on Oprah or Dr. Phil. If it's women, put on ESPN. If you want everyone out, turn the TV off and slowly start shutting off lights.

  • Yawn repeatedly - In order for this to work you have to do it in front of the people that will take pity for you. If the guys are having a good time sucking down Miller Lite, they are not going to care about your yawning. Put on the act in front of their wives.

I think you get the idea. If anyone has any other tips, let me know. We have guests arriving at 2:00 and if they are not out by 6:00 or 7:00, it gets nasty.

Marie (Jay's wife)

Kamis, 21 Desember 2006

0 Architectural Sci-Fi

[Image: Steve Pike].

I picked up a few books yesterday at Hennessey + Ingalls, including a collection of student work from Unit 20 of the increasingly exciting Bartlett School of Architecture in London. The book is edited by Marcos Cruz and Salvador Pérez Arroyo, and its projects date from 1999-2002.
It's also amazingly interesting.
I can't find any links to it online, however, so I'll just give you a random walk-through of the book's contents...

[Image: James Foster].

There's James Foster's "Inhabitable Growthscape," a "series of incubators" which he constructed from vacuum-formed perspex and electronic circuitry; the system's larger architectural applications are pictured above: it's part boatyard, part aeroponic farm for the cultivation of "disease free cloned plants."
There's then a ten-page spread by Kevin Chu illustrating the industrial use of "clustering robots." Chu describes a colony of "mining robots breeding on a lake in Helsinki," as well as a cluster of similar robots "forming a silicon mining factory in Tenerife." These are "small-scale insect-like robots which form a tactile and transformable surface," although "the overall form alters according to the relocation of individual entities." In other words, it's an Artificially Intelligent swarm of robots transforming the surface of the earth into a quarry...
In fact, if I can interject something here, the book is a little preoccupied with insect shapes and machinery – to the point of looking like a deleted scene from Minority Report 2 – so I will say that architectural studios should be wary of turning themselves into machine-development classes; but that's a minor complaint, and a larger discussion.

[Image: Lisa Silver].

We then turn to RIBA Award-winner Lisa Silver, whose architecture consists of "alien objects... fused, subverted and juxtaposed to form a unified whole."
Specifically, Silver presents a space defined by "surfaces and meshes of varied transparency," made from roof suspension systems and ramps. The result is a bricolage of car chassis and old farm implements, assembled on the banks of the Mississippi River.

[Image: Lisa Silver].

Tom Foster, then, proposes a "swarm of hyper crystallisation submersible robots" that will spend an entire winter underwater in the Gulf of Helsinki, "artificially enhancing the ice sheet from underneath." This – referred to as "ice periphery management" – is done in the service of an "ice suburb" that "will exist [out on the ice] for 5 months of each year." The ice sheet can be strengthened with "coolant filled reinforcement bars," and the ice suburb will generate its own energy "from high winter winds and sea/ice movements."
So you've got an entire sci-fi trilogy, economically compressed into a few renderings and photo captions.

[Image: Annika Schollin].

Returning to land, Annika Schollin writes about urban decay, abandoned buildings, and the formation of "micro-jungles within the urban structure."
Concentrating specifically on London's Brick Lane, Schollin describes how the unmaintained city is soon "reeking of rot and humidity." Her project is a way of "[c]elebrating decay," she explains, "as the organic inhabitants of the site begin to take over, weaving through, ambivalently undermining and reinforcing the built structure." The actual architectural proposal appears to involve constructing a kind of permanent exoskeleton around the ruined markets of Brick Lane, complete with "water dispensing ducts" and a "hydro percolating roof."
So – almost literally to repeat myself – architectural design becomes more and more like science fiction.

[Image: Annika Schollin].

Other projects have a distinctly biological theme – including open bacteriological collaboration with the microbiology lab at University College London. Steve Pike, for instance, outlines an "algaetecture" of blown glass and high transparency acrylic. Inspired by the industrial manufacture of car windshields, these glass structures look simultaneously deformed, alchemic, and bio-anatomical.

[Images: Steve Pike's "vitreous occupational chambers" and "monitor vessel support infrastructure"].

Pike explains how he built glass Interaction Vessels, Monitor Vessels, and Transformer Vessels, studying so-called algaetectural "parallels to human occupation." He has an essay later in the book about contamination, the London Underground, and "non-sterile environments," in which he proposes a catchment mechanism for airborne particles (the illustrations of which look like a scene from Alphaville).
I could go on and on here. I just think the ideas are great (excuse the enthusiasm, if this isn't your thing).
For instance, there's a project by Mark Mueckenheim called "London Urban Farming." Mueckhenheim points out that the decline of farmland throughout the EU will necessitate "bring[ing] farming into the urban fabric." He thus proposes a food processing plant "with a fish hatchery attached to its façade."

[Image: One of Mark Mueckenheim's urban farms; again, note the insectile nature of student work produced for this unit].

The rest of the book confronts us with acoustic wind membranes; the city of Chicago as a kind of machine made out of retractable bridges; health clinics and sports research institutes; a hydroponic farm, by Stephen Clements, apparently modeled after the human nervous system; and even a Finnish fish farm, by Natalia Traverso Caruana, where "research labs and fish nets creat[e] a new luminous landscape" in the sea.

[Image: Natalia Traverso Caruana's cultural HQ for Texaco].

Caruana's next project is a "cultural branch" for the headquarters of Texaco – it's magnificently colored and practically leaps off the page.
There are strange photographic labs, and elevators that appear to analyze their passengers' DNA. There's even a plastic surgery lounge, or "Body Transformation" complex, proposed for Heathrow Airport, by Jia Lu (something tells me this will actually be constructed). Andy Shaw jumps in at the very end of the book with some robotic machine-space studies for "technical appliances based on the work of Eduardo Paolozzi."
Etc. etc. etc.
In other words, I like the book. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to exist anywhere online, so you'll just have to take my word for it – or you can visit the Bartlett's various Unit 20 homepages.
Finally, my larger point in citing and describing so many of these projects is to demonstrate, in perhaps exhaustive detail, that some of today's most imaginative artistic, technological, and even literary work is being produced in architectural studios. Whether you like their projects or not, in other words, architecture students are out-thinking, out-structuring, and out-performing novelists, hands down.
It is now architecture that lets us rethink the world anew.
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