Monthly Archives: March 2009

New Math

I never used to like Math in school, but I’m learning to see Math in a whole new light.

Enjoy! More available at More New Math

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Hiding your shopping purchases

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 “He’s always asking: ‘Is that new? I haven’t seen that before.’ It’s like, Why don’t you mind your own business? Solve world hunger. Get out of my closet.” 

(Michelle Obama in NY Times)

Hmm, hands up how many times you have sheepishly came back home with a paper bag stuffed with new purchases, hiding them from your parents or your Significant Other? I have. 🙂

If they do ask if something is new, I often reply, “Oh no, this thing, not new, I bought it ages ago and it was so cheap, about $xx.” (verbally marking down a 10 – 50% discount from the price I actually paid). 

Maybe I should be learning the replies from Michelle Obama… 

By the way, anyone interested to catch Confessions of a Shopaholic? Me thinks I will identify with Becky Bloomwood. 🙂

 

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Filed under Fashion, Scattered Thoughts

Spring in Singapore

Has anyone realised that Spring has come to Singapore? True, we may not have the lushful jacaranda blooms in Sydney, or the fluttering cherry blossoms in Tokyo, but we do have our blooms of the raintree, the golden shower trees and the flame of the forest trees.

Best enjoyed when pressed against the doors of the trains on your way to work or on your way home.

 

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Since you are stuck in trains, pressed against bodies and doors, you should try smelling like Spring. My current favorite is Body Shop’s Cherry Blossom Range. I now smell like Sakura. 🙂

 

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 I searched, but unfortunately it seems that tropical flowers aren’t so great for shower gels and moisturisers… Hmm, a Rafflesia* range of shower gels anyone?

*Rafflesia: The biggest flower in the world, found only in Southeast Asia. Incidentally, the smell of the flower is like rotting flesh.

 

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Filed under Beauty, Scattered Thoughts

I’m Excited

about my party

… hopefully people are as excited too. 🙂

 Thanks to Ms. J for the beautiful e-vite. tango

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Guardian’s 100 Books

betsy-mayWhen I was younger, I would only ask my parents to buy me 2 things – one was barbie dolls/paper dolls (so that I can dress them up), and the other was story books. My first book was Enid Blyton’s Tales of Betsy May. Then I moved on to devouring Nancy Drew, and who can forget the Sweet Valley High series?

Even till today, I need to read a few chapters of a book before I go to bed. Now, my taste in books ranges from popular fiction (particularly thrillers, chick-lit and Harry Potter) and business, economics, politics and travel writing and I will probably be as happy as a lark if I have an Amazon Kindle 2. 🙂

I decided to tick off Guardian’s List of Top 100 Books of All Times but it seemed I have only read about 13 of them, though I have heard of most of them

But just like our tastes in fashion, it is better to be individualistic in tastes in books too… so for the 87 books I have not read, I may or may not pick you up. But no hard feelings, it’s not you, it’s me. You are just not my taste. 😀

 

 

Guardian’s List of Top 100 Books of All Times

  • Chinua Achebe, Nigeria, (b. 1930), Things Fall Apart
  • Hans Christian Andersen, Denmark, (1805-1875), Fairy Tales and Stories 
  • Jane Austen, England, (1775-1817), Pride and Prejudice  – I was moved to read this after the Colin Firth as the brooding Mark Darcy emerging dripping wet from the pond in BBC’s production. Since then I caught all film remakes of P&P, including the Keira Knightley & the Aishwarya Rai versions
  • Honore de Balzac, France, (1799-1850), Old Goriot
  • Samuel Beckett, Ireland, (1906-1989), Trilogy: Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable
  • Giovanni Boccaccio, Italy, (1313-1375), Decameron
  • Jorge Luis Borges, Argentina, (1899-1986), Collected Fictions
  • Emily Bronte, England, (1818-1848), Wuthering Heights – Read the abridged version
  • Albert Camus, France, (1913-1960), The Stranger
  • Paul Celan, Romania/France, (1920-1970), Poems. 
  • Louis-Ferdinand Celine, France, (1894-1961), Journey to the End of the Night
  • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Spain, (1547-1616), Don Quixote
  • Geoffrey Chaucer, England, (1340-1400), Canterbury Tales – Yeap, but I did not particularly enjoy it. 
  • Anton P Chekhov, Russia, (1860-1904), Selected Stories
  • Joseph Conrad, England,(1857-1924), Nostromo
  • Dante Alighieri, Italy, (1265-1321), The Divine Comedy  – Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita/mi ritrova per una selva oscura/che la diritta via era smarrita
  • Charles Dickens, England, (1812-1870), Great Expectations – It was my “A” levels literature textbook. The hands imagery still haunts me and who can forget the full circle meaning of the name “Pip”. Love the Ethan Hawke & Gwyneth Palthrow film adaptation though. 
  • Denis Diderot, France, (1713-1784), Jacques the Fatalist and His Master
  • Alfred Doblin, Germany, (1878-1957), Berlin Alexanderplatz
  • Fyodor M Dostoyevsky, Russia, (1821-1881), Crime and Punishment; The Idiot; The Possessed; The Brothers Karamazov
  • George Eliot, England, (1819-1880), Middlemarch
  • Ralph Ellison, United States, (1914-1994), Invisible Man
  • Euripides, Greece, (c 480-406 BC), Medea
  • William Faulkner, United States, (1897-1962), Absalom, Absalom; The Sound and the Fury
  • Gustave Flaubert, France, (1821-1880), Madame Bovary; A Sentimental Education
  • Federico Garcia Lorca, Spain, (1898-1936), Gypsy Ballads
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Colombia, (b. 1928), One Hundred Years of Solitude; Love in the Time of Cholera – Love in the Time of Cholera – the book that appeared in Serendipity the movie…
  • Gilgamesh, Mesopotamia (c 1800 BC). 
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Germany, (1749-1832), Faust
  • Nikolai Gogol, Russia, (1809-1852), Dead Souls
  • Gunter Grass, Germany, (b.1927), The Tin Drum
  • Joao Guimaraes Rosa, Brazil, (1880-1967), The Devil to Pay in the Backlands
  • Knut Hamsun, Norway, (1859-1952), Hunger. 
  • Ernest Hemingway, United States, (1899-1961), The Old Man and the Sea – Read the abridged version when I was a kid
  • Homer, Greece, (c 700 BC), The Iliad and The Odyssey
  • Henrik Ibsen, Norway (1828-1906), A Doll’s House
  • The Book of Job, Israel. (600-400 BC). 
  • James Joyce, Ireland, (1882-1941), Ulysses
  • Franz Kafka, Bohemia, (1883-1924), The Complete Stories; The Trial; The Castle Bohemia
  • Kalidasa, India, (c. 400), The Recognition of Sakuntala
  • Yasunari Kawabata, Japan, (1899-1972), The Sound of the Mountain
  • Nikos Kazantzakis, Greece, (1883-1957), Zorba the Greek
  • DH Lawrence, England, (1885-1930), Sons and Lovers
  • Halldor K Laxness, Iceland, (1902-1998), Independent People
  • Giacomo Leopardi, Italy, (1798-1837), Complete Poems
  • Doris Lessing, England, (b.1919), The Golden Notebook
  • Astrid Lindgren, Sweden, (1907-2002), Pippi Longstocking – Of course! Pippi was my heroine as a kid
  • Lu Xun, China, (1881-1936), Diary of a Madman and Other Stories
  • Mahabharata, India, (c 500 BC). 
  • Naguib Mahfouz, Egypt, (b. 1911), Children of Gebelawi
  • Thomas Mann, Germany, (1875-1955), Buddenbrook; The Magic Mountain
  • Herman Melville, United States, (1819-1891), Moby Dick
  • Michel de Montaigne, France, (1533-1592), Essays.
  • Elsa Morante, Italy, (1918-1985), History
  • Toni Morrison, United States, (b. 1931), Beloved
  • Shikibu Murasaki, Japan, (N/A), The Tale of Genji Genji
  • Robert Musil, Austria, (1880-1942), The Man Without Qualities
  • Vladimir Nabokov, Russia/United States, (1899-1977), Lolita – Yes, the scandalious book! 
  • Njaals Saga, Iceland, (c 1300). 
  • George Orwell, England, (1903-1950), 1984 – Yeap, pretty morbid
  • Ovid, Italy, (c 43 BC), Metamorphoses – I have never been able to finish reading this
  • Fernando Pessoa, Portugal, (1888-1935), The Book of Disquiet
  • Edgar Allan Poe, United States, (1809-1849), The Complete Tales
  • Marcel Proust, France, (1871-1922), Remembrance of Things Past
  • Francois Rabelais, France, (1495-1553), Gargantua and Pantagruel
  • Juan Rulfo, Mexico, (1918-1986), Pedro Paramo
  • Jalal ad-din Rumi, Afghanistan, (1207-1273), Mathnawi
  • Salman Rushdie, India/Britain, (b. 1947), Midnight’s Children
  • Sheikh Musharrif ud-din Sadi, Iran, (c 1200-1292), The Orchard
  • Tayeb Salih, Sudan, (b. 1929), Season of Migration to the North
  • Jose Saramago, Portugal, (b. 1922), Blindness
  • William Shakespeare, England, (1564-1616), Hamlet; King Lear; Othello – Hamlet was my “A” level text and thus far, one of my favorite Shakespeare’s plays.
  • Sophocles, Greece, (496-406 BC), Oedipus the King
  • Stendhal, France, (1783-1842), The Red and the Black
  • Laurence Sterne, Ireland, (1713-1768), The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy
  • Italo Svevo, Italy, (1861-1928), Confessions of Zeno
  • Jonathan Swift, Ireland, (1667-1745), Gulliver’s Travels – Yeap
  • Leo Tolstoy, Russia, (1828-1910), War and Peace; Anna Karenina; The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories – I watched Anna Karenina, the movie. Does that count? 
  • Thousand and One Nights, India/Iran/Iraq/Egypt, (700-1500). 
  • Mark Twain, United States, (1835-1910), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Valmiki, India, (c 300 BC), Ramayana
  • Virgil, Italy, (70-19 BC), The Aeneid
  • Walt Whitman, United States, (1819-1892), Leaves of Grass
  • Virginia Woolf, England, (1882-1941), Mrs. Dalloway; To the Lighthouse – I had to critique a passage from “To the Lighthouse” during my studies and I absolutely did not get it. 
  • Marguerite Yourcenar, France, (1903-1987), Memoirs of Hadrian

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Discussing the Divine Comedy with Dante

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Discussing the Divine Comedy with Dante is a painting by 3 Chinese artists, Dai Dudu, Li Tiezi & Zhang An depicting 103 world cultural icons. Click here for larger picture. 

Can you spot them all? First & foremost, try to spot Dante! He is definitely not lost in this “forest”. 

Answers are here.

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Hanky

For some amount, the store can embroider the graph of your stock portfolio to create your own Dow Jones, or STI, Nikkei, Hang Seng or KOPSI hanky.  

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Or check out these funky ones where you can pretend to be a bandit with a funny mustache. 

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Or incur the wrath of a lover with these smoochie ones

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But I never really understood hankies, for that matter (although Mr. Cinical carries them).

Blow your nose in them, isn’t that unhygienic?

Wipe your tears on them? Most of the time, I prefer to brawl and sob on Mr. Cinical’s shoulders and clothes. 

Although admittedly they do have an old-fashioned charm to them, handkerchiefs.

It is much more charming for a man to hand you a hanky when you are brawling your heart out, than a piece of generic tissue paper (although shoulders are still best). And who can forget vintage shows where leading ladies subtly dropped their lace-trimmed handkerchiefs to catch the attention of charming lads? Read also this article on the history of handkerchief.

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Filed under Fashion