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DJ Meatmachine's Churrascaria of Life

Thursday, May 26, 2011

1:58AM - Six months in

Six months in, and we're ready to start another ride.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

4:22AM - It's a new year

Arriving at a nice round number this year. Another 12 months gone by.

Where did it all go?
-A new job
-Vancouver and Melbourne
-All things sartorial
-More reading

Current mood: contemplative

Sunday, February 28, 2010

3:52AM - Hello again

Hi there! It's been awhile hasn't it. Many things have changed. There's this thing called Twitter now. Find me there!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

12:29PM - Bus tickets for sale! KL-Singapore!

KL-SG
23rd Dec departure
Sunway Pyramid @ 6pm
Arriving Harbour Front Centre.

SG - KL
27th Dec departure
Harbourfront Centre @ 8pm
Arriving Corus Hotel, Jalan Ampang.

Please note the difference in the KL departure location on the 23rd and the arrival location on the 27th. The Singapore location remains the same both ways.
The ticket price is RM80 per ticket per way. But we're willing to sell it for half price. So that means RM40 per ticket per way on the full service Aeroline bus.

email me joonian at gmail . com or leave me a comment here! ASAP!

also, tickets now on the kl-singapore route are sold out... so this is probably your only chance of getting tickets if you need to be in singapore for christmas.

Monday, August 13, 2007

4:56PM - unblocked...for now!!

the gfw looks like its allowed LJ back in again. update your bookmarks to http://blog.joonian.com that'll be my new online home :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

6:38AM - i can post again!

now that i am beyond the clutches of the great firewall of china -- henceforth known as the GFW -- i can post to my subversive, democracy-spreading livejournal again.

so whats new? im in singapore to do my visa -- close call yesterday, almost didnt get the necessary papers. our admin person took my stuff to the gov and they rejected it on the grounds that iw as not experienced enough. of course you must understand that i am technically applying to be a proofreader. our admin confidently told me she would fabricate some more stuff on my CV and re apply. it worked, with just 30 mins left on the clock. i was due on a plane to spore last night.

work's been pretty hectic -- dont even know why. the magazines are pretty crappy. lot of work to be done and most of it is in planning and researching and knowing the subjects. which is asking quite a bit considering its a new industry every month. good news is im getting better at planning in advance and hitting deadlines, and also building up my contacts base and freelancers pool. bad news is the work just never seems to end, and the quality is not where i want it to be yet.

rather hungry now... will look for something to eat.

Friday, March 2, 2007

2:07AM - disaster strikes again

do you want a medal for all your pain? disaster strikes again.

check out the excellent ferns! one of rolling stone's top 25 myspace bands. myspace.com/fernfrens

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got my gprs running on my phone. dlded opera mini. its sweet!

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check out www.myclick.cn -- meatspace hyperlinking in the service of advertising -- of course

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want to make a new ringtone.. gonna rip 8 bit peoples' 'axel funk', an 8 bit rendition of axel f by harold faltermeyer (as heard on the beverly hills cop soundtrack)

sms tone? ymck's 'synchronicity' which has a nice snippet 'this is a message... message... beep... from alpha centauri'

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www.pipot.com -- hairul azwar's race report on completing his first ironman, in langkawi, is great. inspiring. the malay bits just make it better. also check out the lance video on top of his page.

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saw a collapsed migrant worker in the subway. paramedics stretecherd him off. old guy. an onlooker insisted he was dead. others refuted him.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

12:27AM - nostalgia

watched a documentary at the museum of contemporary art in people's square just now. it's called nostalgia. it was a very shaky, DV docu about the director's old neighbourhood in a shikumen nong tang. he spliced interviews with old neighbours and relatives with reenactments of his boyhood from the 70s and 80s. tender and touching. he perched a foot on a concrete stump, telling how this used to be the local well, and they would get water from it to cool watermelons in the summer. oh and a few people jumped in it to commit suicide too, he said. there was a scene at the beginning where he talked about cats in nong tangs. they were elusive, although you knew they were there. they caught mice, that was their primary purpose. i recalled deng xiaopeng's old feline analogy. in the end he talked about xintiandi, how his city was being turned into a tourist postcard. the old snack shop he used to go to was now the site of the four seasons shanghai. he went inside for a tour. looking through the huge windows next to the swimming pool, the hotel manager told him guests loved this view. it was overlooking the brown roofs of his neighbourhood, da zhongli. it gave tourists a sense of old shanghai, they loved its authenticity, the mnanager said enthusiastically. at some points he played snippets of old tv shows and the audience, crammed into two small rooms of the museum started murmuring and humming along in glee, surprise, warmth. i wanted to get a dvd but we would have had to wait until the end of the director's q&a. i was too hungry after work.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

11:35PM - malaysia's democratisation of crime

petty theft in malaysia -- the democratisation of crime? cheap labour, cheap motorbikes and an affluent middle-class create the factors for easy access to crime. compared to the organised crimewave in malaysia of the 70s and 80s, todays crime wave consists of petty criminals; snatch thieves spread out over vast swathes of the urban landscape, moving seemingly at random and untraceable after they meld into the crowd. in the past, intitation into organised crime represented a significant barrier to entry for would-be criminals, now all you need is a cupchai and RM20 in the tank. so crime became mainstream, accessible to anyone who is so inclined. my pet theory for now anyway. lol.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

2:12AM - silly people

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/2/2/nation/16745834&sec=nation&focus=1

Fun programme to teach students about integration

By SIM LEOI LEOI

PUTRAJAYA: Students will soon be required to go for camping trips to learn about each other’s culture as part of a government national unity programme.

At the camps, the children would be taught the different cultural practices and the activities would include eating with fingers or chopsticks as a learning experience.

National Unity and Integration Department director-general Datuk Azman Amin Hassan said the programme, which covers primary and secondary schools, is designed as a fun learning experience about integration and racial unity.

The camp programme – billed kembar padu (integrated triumvirate) – was created following concerns that children of various races were not mingling, with many attending vernacular schools, he said.

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another ridiculous newsflash from malaysia. how do they expect kids to be racially integrated when the grown-ups are constantly attacking each other for looking different? the whole country is organised according to race. you can hardly expect the kids to think differently. actually, it's a wonder ANY racial integration is going on at all, given the blatant racism of the country's organising principles.

and why are people attending vernacular schools? it's not that they want to stick to their own race--just look at the rising numbers of indians and malays going to chinese schools. could it be that vernacular schools provide better education than national ones? the logical solution would be to improve the quality of national schools instead of blowing more money on hare-brained 'unity' camps, national service, and such like.

Monday, November 27, 2006

11:14PM - working in the press in singapore and elsewhere

cherian george again has some insightful analysis of the press situation in singapore, and by extension, malaysia and elsewhere.

he notes that election coverage in singapore this year has improved, by all measures. what about the singapore govt's repressive attitude towards the press, then? he explains this relationship: "there is a government that has always recognised that it must temper its impulse to control – not out of respect for liberal ideology, but because it knows if it completely destroys the mainstream media’s credibility, it will lose its main ideological vehicle."

so according to cherian, singapore's mainstream media--lets just call it the straits times--has a certain measure of independence guaranteed by the singapore government's understanding of what an effective ideological vehicle is.

that being the case, is there any point in being a journalist in singapore? "If you have no ties to Singapore, it is entirely rational to avoid practising journalism here. It is just too difficult. However, if you are a Singaporean with a love and respect for the written word, insatiable curiosity and a questioning mind, and a sense of duty to your community, the answer is equally clear: journalism in Singapore is challenging but still meaningful. If you are intelligent and conscientious, is the public better served by you stepping into the profession, or staying out? The answer is still the former."

does the same apply to journalism in malaysia then? Unfortunately, it appears the answer must be no, at least if you are working in the mainstream malaysian media. "If the PAP mismanages the press and utterly crushes the profession, the only journalists who’ll remain are the unthinking and unethical – stupid or self-serving sycophants"

"unthinking and unethical"--they would seem to be the most suitable terms to describe much of the work put out by the malaysian english-language press. because the ruling parties in malaysia have crushed the mainstream media, few 'intelligent and conscientious' young malaysians would be attracted to those institutions.

the good thing is, crushing the profession turns off enough readers to warrant an alternative. in malaysia's case, the country has an increasingly vibrant array of independent press. so the question is--do you want a mainstream press that may or may not be professionally run, with a small measure of independence, as defined by the ruling party, or do you want a mainstream press that's in a shambles, but with numerous small, independent alternatives that may or may not have the resources to do quality journalism? between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

8:10AM - marathon history

i'm taking a break from weiqi history (don't ask) to present: marathon history!


490BC - herodotus wrote that athenian courier philippides ran 150 miles over 2 days to request spartan help against the persians in the battle of marathon.

100AD - plutarch wrote 'on the glory of athens', inventing the popular myth of the marathon's origin. he said phillipides had run 25 miles from marathon to athens to bring news of a miraculous athenian victory. upon arriving, he declared 'rejoice, we conquer', then promptly collapsed, dying of exhaustion.

1896 - french linguist michel breal proposes a recreation of the philippedes myth for the first modern olympics, held in athens. it was to be a 40km (24.8 mile) race as the games' final event. a year earlier, breal had coined the term 'semantics'.

april 10 1896 - a 24-year-old greek shepherd named spiridon louis wins the first modern olympic marathon in 2:58:50, beating 16 others wearing donated shoes. bronze medallist spiridon belokas is stripped of his medal after admitting to having covered part of the distance in a horse-drawn carriage.

april 19 1897 - noting the athenian marathon's crowd-pleasing finish, the boston athletic association's officials plan their own race the following year in boston. fifteen runners are rounded up to run 24.5 miles from ashland to boston. ten finish. today, the boston marathon is the world's oldest such race.

summer 1908 - a 26 mile course, from windsor castle to white city stadium, was planned for the 1908 london olympics. however, 385 yards were added so runners would finish in front of the stadium's royal box. this distance, 42.195km, remains the official standard marathon distance. john 'johnny' hayes of the united states was ultimately awarded the gold, finishing in 2:55:18, but it was italian dorando pietri who crossed the line first. according to the new york times of 25 july, 1908, pietri was "staggering like a drunken man, he slowly tottered down the home stretch. Three times he fell, struggled to his feet, and each time, aided by track officials, he fought his way toward the tape." the officials' aid disqualified him.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

5:18PM - surrounding chess

weiqiweiqiweiqiweiqi... -lives on adrenaline-

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

6:30AM - wish i got my strength from the sun

sitting in the brightening room. outside is turning grey. 'i wish i got my strength from the sun. a long time ago, noone told me. that i would always change.'a glowing rectangle, of words and music and dreams. just being human.

2:47AM - Fu: Press freedom alive in Malaysia

KUANTAN: Press freedom is alive and flourishing in the country, according to Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Fu Ah Kiow.

“I beg to differ that the Government is curtailing the freedom of the press.

“Just look at the reports of the murder of a Mongolian model.

“All kinds of speculative reports and theories were published in the newspapers. Even I am confused which ones are right and wrong,” he said at Wisma MCA here yesterday.

Fu said the number of stories was an indication of the freedom given to the local media.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/11/13/nation/16002002&sec=nation

it really is bolehland. looney looney tunes.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

6:58AM - last.fm

join immediately. www.last.fm
now with flash players for your listening convenience.
add me: pigpog

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

7:31AM - economically dominant minorities

essential reading... i've come across amy chua's work before, but foolishly, only now have i read her stuff properly. she summarises her main conclusions in this article.

some interesting points:

Market-dominant minorities are the Achilles heel of free market democracy. In societies with such a minority, markets and democracy favour not just different people or different classes but different ethnic groups. Markets concentrate wealth, often spectacular wealth, in the hands of the market-dominant minority, while democracy increases the political power of the impoverished majority. In these circumstances, the pursuit of free market democracy becomes an engine of potentially catastrophic ethnonationalism, pitting a frustrated indigenous majority, easily aroused by opportunistic politicians, against a resented, wealthy ethnic minority. This conflict is playing out in country after country today, from Bolivia to Sierra Leone, from Indonesia to Zimbabwe, from Russia to the middle east.

..

But if global free market democracy is to succeed, the problem of market-dominant minorities must be confronted.

The most obvious step is to try, in consensual ways, to dilute the market dominance of certain groups.

..

The underlying causes of market dominance are poorly understood and in any event seem highly intractable

Indeed, many of these minorities succeed despite official discrimination against them. Any explanation of their success will include the effect of own-group networking as well as a host of intangibles such as religion and culture.

..

To level the playing field in developing societies will thus be a painfully slow process, taking generations if it is possible at all.

..


A more controversial strategy consists of direct government intervention in the market designed to "correct" ethnic wealth imbalances. The leading example of such an effort is Malaysia's New Economic Policy (NEP), a programme established after violent riots in 1969 by indigenous Malays angry over the economic dominance of foreign investors and the country's Chinese minority. The Malaysian government adopted sweeping ethnic quotas on corporate ownership, university admissions and jobs.

In many respects, the results have been impressive.

..

But few countries enjoy the prosperity to make NEP-type programmes feasible. Affirmative action in favour of disadvantaged majorities - rather than minorities as in the west - also risks alienating the wealthy educated minority who may abandon the country taking their skills and assets. Moreover, such programmes can exacerbate ethnic tensions rather than relieve them, especially when politicians are themselves ethnic partisans. In his own mind, Slobodan Milosevic was conducting a form of affirmative action on behalf of a long-exploited majority.

Monday, October 23, 2006

12:33AM - splish splash

-listening to fascinating bbc podcast on china's ancient inventions- -splash- -sees ipod nano swimming in freshly pissed in toilet bowl- -grabs it without a second thought as the flush waters already start to rise- -soaps and dries off- -ipod nano appears to be working- -ipod nano starts resetting itself- -ipod nano screen remains resolutely dark- -cry-

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

7:22PM - shincorp

the singapore blogosphere seems abuzz with comment on the libel/defamation (unclear which one the lees want) suit the lees are bringing against the far eastern economic review. but it appears the more terrifying, if you were singaporean, case is the shincorp/temasek deal, which is on the verge of going terribly sour.

one good thing about this deal is that at least one of the companies is from a country with a free press. the nation, which is the more outspoken english paper, carries an article about the deal.

it says temasek has lost usd800mm in book value because of its shincorp acquisitions. temasek paid about usd3.74bb for 96 percent of shincorp, and about half of that was paid to thaksin and other shareholders in cash. the problems start with the 96 percent figure. one of shincorp's companies is a mobile phone operator. thai law allows foreigners to hold a maximum stake of less than 50 percent in such a company. the temasek deal brought foreign ownership in the company, advanced info service, to 91.1 percent. the main objection to this was that telecom licenses, a significant part of national wealth, were being 'given' to foreigners. another objection to the deal arose from the fact that the shincorp sellers, thaksin and family, did not pay any tax for on the almost usd2bb they received for their 49 percent stake. taken together, a case can be made that thaksin had leveraged a national resource to enrich himself and his family, and then avoided repaying the country. there are other aspects of the deal that thaksin's opponents made hay of. these factors culminated in a successful coup.

according to the nation, the premise of the deal was that the singaporeans believed thaksin's grip on power was solid, and that therefore, this added up to a solid investment for temasek. since thaksin was removed from power, temasek's shin stake has become a poisoned chalice. presumably they will want to sell their share before the investigation concludes, which may find them guilty or not, but they would have to sell it to a thai company, and there are very few buyers with sufficient capital or desire. even if they did sell, it would be at a potential loss of usd0.5bb.

this would already be of concern to a singaporean, but it is compounded by the fact that temasek is the singapore government's main investment vehicle. singaporean tax dollars and central provident fund money continue to bankroll the increasingly spectacular folly of the island's ruling bureaucrats.
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http://singabloodypore.blogspot.com/2006/10/temasek-may-lose-heavily-on-sale.html
http://singaporeelection.blogspot.com/2006/10/lee-familys-role-in-shin-corp-deal.html
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NB: the nation's journalists do a good job of explaining the big, muddled mess of figures and events this has turned into. wonder if the straits times or star would be up to a similar task.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

1:47AM - monopolising the news

singapore press holdings has a virtual monopoly on printed news in singapore, a situation that has helped them generate staggering profits--40 percent on revenues in 2000 (update: 42 percent Q1 2006)--over the years. they are also run by former operatives of the country's internal security department. the isd operates, effectively, as a secret police. in 1987, the isd ran operation spectrum, a dragnet that was supposed to catch marxist conspirators in singapore. they detained 22 people, including church activists, social activists and lawyers. the isd then was run by tjong yik min, who then became group president of sph from 2000 to 2002. here are some interesting and revealing links to more information.

operation spectrum
http://www.answers.com/topic/operation-spectrum

sph
http://ericellis.com/sph.htm
http://ir.asia1.com.sg:80/sph/lat_result.html
http://thosewhodare.blogspot.com/2005/05/irony-thy-name-is-singapore.html

tjong yik min
http://www.yeos.com.sg/content.nsf/aboutus/management

some extra stuff http://simonworld.mu.nu/archives/cat_singapore.php

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