Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

One day he noticed the brilliant work of a young reporter on another paper and sent for him. The boy came , but the salary that Wynand mentioned had no effect on him. "I can't work for you, Mr Wynand," he said with desperate earnestness, " because you have no ideals." Wynand's thin lips smiled."You can't escape human depravity, kid," he said gently. "The boss you work for may have ideals, but he has to beg money and take orders from many contemptible people. I have no ideals- but I don't beg. Take your choice. There's no other."

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Random Photos from Edinburgh

Singapore, part of Malaysia?

I was just doing the usual city Glasgow saunter: admiring the charm of the Victorian buildings, scrutinizing the locals and conducting my own "globalisation" analysis by counting the staggering number of Starbucks and identifying similar stores that could be found in major cities. I ended up in a typical bookstore, browsing their "bestsellers" and then the travelling section.

Yes..I saw the Frommers, Lonely Planet etc. As they had a huge selection, curiosity overwhelmed me and I wanted to see whether I could find travelling books on Singapore. I glimpsed at the "S" section, but no books on Singapore. Alas! The travelling books on Singapore were actually found on the "M" section, together with travelling books on Malaysia. Where is the geographical sense and knowledge? Having a lil nationalistic pride, I transfered the whole set of travelling books on Singapore to its rightful hearthstone. Hah...

Oh well...

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Univerity of Glasgow

Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery

Merchant City- Glasgow

Her Majesty's Yacht - Edinburgh

This Royal Yacht was launched by Queen Elizabeth II on 16 April 1953. She took Prince Charles and Princess Diana on a honeymoon cruise aboard Britannia in 1981. She was also used to evacuate refugees from a civil war in '86. The last foreign mission was to convey the last British governor of Hong Kong, Chris Pattern, away from Hong Kong for the handover of the British colony to China in 1997. The Yacht was decommissioned in the same year.

The bedroom picture shown above belonged to Queen Elizabeth. During its sails, it carried plentiful royal yachtsmen and officers. Look at the cramped accommodation area as well as the small locker spaces (look at pictures above).


As seen from the picture, Angela (my host) prepares delicious hot breakfasts every morning coupled with loads of fruits, cereals, toasts and tea. Yummy! On the plate, you see this round black thing. It's what they call it as the 'black pudding', made of pig's blood and herbs. Ain't that bad at all!

I also had the opportunity to taste haggis, a traditional Scottish Dish. It is normally made with the following ingredients: sheep's heart, liver and lungs, minced with onion, oatmeal, spices and salt, and traditionally boiled in the animal's stomach for approximately an hour. And of course, you gotta try their whisky.

Besides the traditional restaurants, one finds cuisine from all around the world, particularly Indian and Thai food.

Adam Smith's Tomb

All hail to the father of economics!

Royal Botanic Gardens - Edinburgh

Supposedly one of the grandest gardens in all of Great Britain.

Calton Hill - Edinburgh

Calton Hill, rising 106 m, has been termed as the "Athens of the North". It's a bullshit of monuments. BUT..people visit the top of the hill not only to see them up close, but most importantly to enjoy the paranomic views of the city spread beneath it.

Edinburgh Castle

The Edinburgh Castle is a landmark that symbolizes this city in the way the way Eiffel town represents Paris. Off Princes Street, you'll be welcomed with the sight of a magnificent building perched on top of a hill. Today it is home to the crown jewels, used at the coronation, and the infamous Stone of Scone (which I thought looked rather plain and useless!)

Scottish Delights

Last week, I made my way to Scotland and visited two amazing, vibrant cities: Edinburgh and Glasgow! Before I show you some pictures, let me give you some interesting information about Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Edinburgh, (where the "burgh" is always pronounced as "burra") is a city filled with historic, literary and intellectual associations. Some familiar names from this city include pioneer economist ADAM SMITH, philosopher David Hume, inventor Alexander Graham Bell, and poet Robert Burns. The city dons a historical feeling, with the cobbled alleys and "closes", and elegant streetscapes.

Glasgow, on the other hand, is a much modern city with plentiful art galleries, music halls, shopping malls and stylish bars. Although Glasgow is a short distance away from Edinburgh, the contrast between the two cities is noticeable. It doesn't offer a fairy tale setting such as Edinburgh, but compensates with a big, metropolitan city.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Party for Ian

Office life will never be the same without Ian...We planned a surprise farewell party for him. Too much food...but great fun playing chariots.

Eileen's Birthday and Karaoke

Francis Bacon's Work Sold for 14 Million Pounds

Christie's auction house sold Study for Portrait II for 14 million pounds, surpassing the previous 7.8 million pounds auction record for a Bacon painting.

Friday, February 09, 2007

General 1996 By Botero

Hah....see any similarities between the picture in my last entry and this painting..

The Last King of Scotland

Went to watch "The Last King of Scotland" with Stephen, Sumo and Weeter. Needed some time off amidst the haywire. =p These guys are great fun...after the movie, all of them donned on the african accent, endeavoring to mimic the late "Father of Uganda". Oh well, not too successful as they ended up being Fathers of Jamaicans!

I don't have much knowledge to comment on how much the movie reflected the truth. After all, it's a hollywood movie. Events could be exaggerated, most characters might be fictional..who knows? I did some googling and instead, found some comments from viewers rather amusing.

"I think many nations could learn from goverments like the US. We never have a leader in power long enough for them to become insane like Amin, Saddam, or Kim jung ill. I also wonder when I look at all the past comments how many people of the world would give up voting in their own election just to vote in the US elections.
"- Must be from the US and he must be delusional. I seriously wonder who is the CURRENT MOST INSANE LEADER...

"I am a ugandan living in europe. Am sick and tired of people in the media, books protraying Amin as an evil, heartless man,comparing him to Saddam, which he wasn't. Saying that he killed half of the population, eating people and killing people and giving the dead bodies to crocodiles. oK so he killed a very few people who were against him but which president doesn't even though they do it in secret. Idi is the best president we Ugandans have ever had.He opened our eyes and made ugandans first class citizens in our country. He was not a YES man,like many presidents in Africa who do what ever the white people tell them to do. He was there for us ugandans, he made Ugandans take control of our country, other wise we would have been as South Africa living in ghettos and having hopless jobs.May God bless Idi Amin. I wish the media and the rest of the world could understand what a great man Idi Amin was for us Ugandans. GOD BLESS IDI AMIN.
Oh man..and..God Bless you....

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Waiting Game

Have you ever played the waiting game?
The one where time freezes, a total pain.
You wonder how the cards play out.
No pairs, no flush, you cry foul.

Game theory, some may say.
There's no win-win, I exclaim.
It's all about chances, most agree.
Well, life's like that. Nothing's free.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Let's think green

Call me ignorant, selfish or just pure neglect. I did not care a hoot about mother nature. I detested environmentalists who went on streets and in unison, generating what I termed as "noise". To me, they were the din creators.

Okay. But recent incidents did tug me. First, the continuous rain or flash floods that many of us experienced in Singapore, the freakish cold weather in the US, floods in Jakarta, extreme weathers in Australia...this is quite crazy. We humans, are basically responsible for conditions that will cause killer heatwaves, floods and droughts. Sea levels, a particular concern to Singapore because of threat of flooding here, will rise by 18 cm to 59 cm!

So here I am trying to create a lil awareness. There is only this much legislation can do, it all boils down to us....let's get real, change the attitude and the lifestyle.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Ole ole ole!!!!!

EVERYBODY....we won the ASEAN CUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE MADE IT!!!!! SINGAPORE. =p