Monthly Archives: October 2008

Happy Halloween

Unfortunately, I am not going for any Halloween Parties. With the ghosts from my present (un-read stacks and stacks of notes) and the future (exams in 2 weeks) haunting me, I have more than enough fright to last me for a while.

I can’t seem also to conjure up a worthy enough costume. Maybe I should go as myself, aka “Cin pre-exam period” complete with ratty T-shirts, too-loose draw-string cotton pants, uncombed hair and bad skin. Enough to scare most people, I’m sure. 

Here’s some Haunt Couture inspiration for those who are out for a good time tonight. If you have to be decked out in a costume, make sure you are in the forefront of fashion. 🙂

 

The one which takes the cake, or rather scare the hell out of me was this. It’s like Sadako from The Ring with 2 extra heads. 

Happy Halloween!

Post-script: Shortly after this post, Ms F in Shanghai asked me to give her ideas about what to wear for a Halloween Party. Considering her geographical location, I suggested dressing as a carton of milk with the words “Made in China”. That should frighten most people. 

Another option for people in Hong Kong and Singapore will be to dress up as Bond. Nope, not James Bond, but the Lehman Brothers Bond. People are going to steer clear as well.

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Take on Capitalism


Thanks to Ms. N for forwarding this. Now my choice of study makes so much more sense. 😛

My take on the Singapore System (similar to Swiss): You have about 7000 sheeps. None of them belong to you. You pay for them to be here. 

 

 

 

TRADITIONAL CAPITALISM:

You have two sheep.
You sell one and buy a ram.
Your flock multiplies, and the economy grows.
You sell them and retire on the income.

AN AUSTRALIAN CORPORATION: 

You have two sheep.
You sell one, and force the other to produce the wool of four sheep.
You are surprised when the sheep drops dead.

A FRENCH CORPORATION:

You have two sheep.
You go on strike because you want three sheep.

A JAPANESE CORPORATION:

You have two sheep.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary sheep
and produce 20 times the wool.
You then create clever sheep cartoon images called Sheepkimon and
market them worldwide.

A GERMAN CORPORATION:

You have two sheep.
You reengineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and
shear themselves.

A BRITISH CORPORATION:

You have two sheep.
Both die from foot and mouth.

AN ITALIAN CORPORATION:

You have two sheep, but you don’t know where they are.
You break for lunch.

A RUSSIAN CORPORATION:

You have two sheep.

You count them and learn you have five sheep.
You count them again and learn you have 42 sheep.
You count them again and learn you have 12 sheep.
You stop counting sheep and open another bottle of vodka.

A SWISS CORPORATION:

You have 5,000 sheep, none of which belong to you.
You charge others for storing them.

A CHINESE CORPORATION:

You have two sheep.
You have 300 people shearing them.
You claim full employment, high productivity, and arrest the newsman
who reported the numbers.

A NEW ZEALAND CORPORATION:

You have two sheep.
That one on the left is kinda cute…

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Androgynous Charms

The androgynous look seem to be “in” again. I think it was the haircut of Victoria Beckham and Katie Holmes that triggered it. Or perhaps it’s fashion’s backlash against the frou-frou excesses of the past few seasons. Or maybe it’s fashion’s answer to the muted and rather sombre mood of the economy.  

Whatever it is, girls who look/dress like boys are in again! Click here for full selection. 🙂

I will love some of these pieces from Oak (first discovered via Fashionation) to start off, although they are way beyond my budget. Note to self: should start looking around for some “inspired version”. 🙂

I like the clean cut lines of the overall and the pseudo-emo boy look of the hoodie. They seem so wear-and-go. No fuss no muss. 

PS: Thinking of a short-crop too, a la the model’s hair. But I think, with my figure, I will really look like a boy. Hmm.

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Even models and escorts aren’t spared from the recession

3 days ago, the NY Times announced that the financial crisis had hit Main Street, with corporate America, including many firms in the Fortune 500 retrenching in the last 2 weeks. With names like Merck, Yahoo, GE, Coca-Cola retrenching, one can’t help but feel worried about the ripple effects of the financial crisis. 

Even models aren’t spared. Elite Models have apparently let go of 60 models whom they feel can’t bring in the dough. 

Of course, the hit on Wall Street, Main Street and now, 5th Avenue have taken a toll on the world’s oldest profession – escort services.  They have even written in to renowned economist, Tim Hardford for advice. 

Resolution for 2009: Think cheap-chic recessionista, not fashionista! Then again, who’s going to save the economy without consumption? 

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Chocolates and Flowers

I love chocolate. I love flowers.

I love them even more when they are put together. 🙂

PS: I have resisted eating them for the past few days… Did not want to destroy the bouquet, but resistance is futile, when you are stuck in a room with no other food (as in snack food, not food-food) to eat.

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Filed under Scattered Thoughts

My Favorite Bunny

Somehow, I just could not resist taking a picture of my favorite bunny, Peter Rabbit, posing on top of the Sydney Good Food Guide. Famed for his naughtiness, ability to escap from all scraps of trouble (including eating way too much at a farmer’s garden) and his fear of ending up in a pie. 

Come to think of it, I haven’t had rabbit meat before… hmm. 

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The Recession and Adjustments in Salaries…

I was catching up on my reading of the Singapore Straits Times when I came across the news that “Senior Civil Servants’ Pay to Fall (ST, 24 October 2008). As part of the bonus for senior civil servants come in the form of a GDP bonus, a slower economic growth this year (i.e. lower GDP growth rate) will lead to a lower bonus payout. 

But wait! Look at the last part of the article! It says that there will be an “adjustment” in the salaries of top civil servants and ministers by year’s end. Again, for Ministers (political appointees), the benchmark is set at two-thirds of the median pay of the top eight earners in these 6 sectors (banking, law, engineering, accountancy, multinational corporations and local manufacturers). 

Now, given the near collapse of the global financial sector and countries, including the US, putting out proposals to limit the earnings of top bankers, I wonder how the salary adjustment in the year-end will be.

One thing’s for sure, it’s unlikely to be an adjustment downwards. Assuming I’m right, does this mean that even with a cut in bonus, pay for senior civil servants (and ministers) are still going to be adjusted upwards? So where’s the cut?

Wow, we sure need to pay them more to get us out of the technical recession, don’t we? 

PS: Talking Cock has 2 related articles on this! Hilarious, I must say. Do read “Leaked: This Year’s O Levels Math Paper” and “Singapore in recession: Minister to get pay raise”

Senior civil servants’ pay to fall 

Part of their annual pay is linked to growth rate of gross domestic product

(Straits Times, 24 October 2008)

SENIOR civil servants can expect their annual pay package to shrink next year, because a significant portion of it is tied to how well the economy is doing.The inevitable decline was indicated by the Public Service Division (PSD) yesterday when it responded to media queries on whether the civil service would be making a salary revision.

No decision had been reached on any revision, it said in a statement, as data on private-sector salaries was still being compiled.

‘Given the recent turmoil in the financial markets and revised economic forecasts, the PSD will need some time to study the data and salary trends before coming to a decision,’ it added.

The PSD, a department in the Prime Minister’s Office that oversees civil service matters, said the salaries are reviewed and revised regularly to keep them in line with the private sector’s.

It noted that a ‘significant part of a senior civil servant’s annual pay’ is in the form of a GDP Bonus, which is linked to the gross domestic product’s growth rate.

‘If the GDP growth rate falls, the GDP Bonus will also fall, resulting in a reduction in the annual salaries of senior civil servants,’ the PSD said in a statement.

The bonus applies to administrative officers, senior civil servants and political, judicial and statutory appointment holders.

It is paid out in March each year, based on the GDP growth rate of the preceding year.

It was introduced in 2000 and, last year, was revised to form 20 per cent of the annual pay of top officials.

This bonus is three months if the economy grows by 5 per cent and can go up to eight months should growth hit 10 per cent or more.

However, it is zero if the economy grows by 2 per cent or less.

Given the official forecast of an economic growth rate of around 3 per cent this year, top officials are likely to get a GDP Bonus of one month.

This year will also see an adjustment in the salaries of top civil servants and ministers by year’s end.

This third round of pay adjustments was announced in April 2007.

The Government said then that it planned to make further changes to bring annual salaries of ministers at the entry-level grade of MR4 to 88 per cent of the benchmark by the end of this year.

The benchmark is set at two-thirds of the median pay of the top eight earners in each of six sectors: banking, law, engineering, accountancy, multinational corporations and local manufacturers.

 

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