Archive for August, 2005

Oh, umm, yeah

August 29, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

So that’s what the “delete WordPress database” button in the website control panel does.

Everything’s been restored, thankfully (except a few comments that slipped through my backup window). Oops.

Dracula hearts oranges

August 29, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

Oranges = teh ♡♡♡!!

Oranges

Chicken vs Commie

August 27, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

In a futile attempt to not get bored out of my skull during the Teaching of Math class:

Chicken vs Commie

More to come, I’m certain of it.

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Bye, congrats

August 23, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

Took me a while to get around to uploading this — Min-li and Paul’s wedding (and farewell) reception. Congrats, you two.

Just one more

August 20, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

Eek kindly pointed out that the new Muppet Show Season 1 DVD is out… Another one for the wishlist (or when I can get cheap shipping from the US).


The Muppet Show – Season One (Special Edition)

Interesting to note this particular statistic (as at time of posting):

What similar items do customers ultimately buy after viewing this item?

  • 33% buy Sin City DVD
  • […]
  • More than 5% buy DVDs from The Tales From the Crypt Series.

Ah, the classic entertainment mix of sex, ultraviolence, spookiness and muppets.

Linkerificness

August 17, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

Got turned off surfing the web by the horrendously slow in-room network in the Hall, and apparently missed a bit.

  • The Rent movie by Chris Columbus has a trailer and music video (Seasons of Love, of course) up on the Apple trailers site. I was just listening to the soundtrack for the first time in months this week — magical as ever. Can’t wait for November.
  • Plans, the new album by Death Cab for Cutie, will be out end of the month. I’ve only listened to it once (the, ummm, “pre-release version”), and it’s really not bad. Might even buy it when it’s released, if it shows up anywhere for a reasonable price.
  • Comic Relief: Newsweek article on the rising popularity of graphic novels (via dsng.net). The blurb begins with “Take that, Batman. Graphic novels are moving out of the hobby shop and into the mainstream.”, and the rest of the article demonstrates a similarly narrow-minded view of comics. “For at least a decade, no other comic novel approached the significance of ‘Maus’” — right, right. Interesting comments by Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis) and Chris Ware (Jimmy Corrigan) among others, and a good (albeit limited) introductory list of “serious” graphic novels for the uninitiated, but not much more to offer.
  • Strip Generator: Flash-based comic-strip creating program. Limitless fun. Also reminds me I should get around to scanning my drawings and shit.
  • What book can’t you put down?: From Ask Metafilter. A good list to check out after I get through this giant stack of recently-purchased books, say, sometime next year (damn you and your 20% sales, Kinokuniya).

Whu?!?

August 15, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

Remember I was compraining about how my NIE tutor for Communication Skills couldn’t pronounce the letter ‘h’ correctly the other day? (She’d pronounced it “hedge” on several occasions, annoying me to no end.)

So during today’s class on phonetics, this same tutor showed two pronunciations of the letter ‘h’ on the board — ‘hedge’ and ‘aych’ — then proceeded to explain that the latter was the correct pronunciation. Wait, what?! She knows the right pronunciation? Of course she would, she teaches communication skills. In fact, she explained it like this (I paraphrase): “So remember, class: the letter hedge is pronounced without a hedge in front.”

Whu?!? Oh my poor exploding brain.

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Comics This Week

August 15, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

When writing these mini-reviews, I’m beginning to have more and more trouble remembering what the hell I actually read the past week. These are actually from two weeks ago.


“Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 13: Hobgoblin” (Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Bagley)

More of the usual Bendis/Bagley fare. Not as silly as the previous volume with the Wolverine body-switch, but not as horribly grim as the one before that with Carnage. Short summary: disturbed son of Norman Osborn (the Green Goblin), Harry Osborn, returns to Peter Parker’s life — huge fight ensues. Not particularly outstanding and quite easy to breeze through in one reading.


“Wanted” (Mark Millar, J.G. Jones)

The lead character’s father, part of a secret super-villain cabal that runs the world, dies and leaves him a place high in the villain pecking order. The lead character then transforms from sad ordinary 8-to-5er into The Killer, in a fantasy life where actions have no consequences and where self-gratification is the order of the day.

There’s a lot more to the story, but there’s no point ruining it — suffice to say, it’s deeper than the usual Millar power-trip story that my description might have evoked an impression of. My only quibble was that there was a ton of extra material in the book that made the story look like it’d end much later than it actually did, so the ending was a bit of an anticlimax. This also happened with the 50th anniversary edition of Fahrenheit 451, and in both cases, I found the respective endings unpleasantly sudden, though sensibly concluded after some thought. A good read, nonetheless — it’s not often that I feel like I want to finish reading a graphic novel in one sitting (unlike the case above), and this was just page-turning fun.


“The Pulse Volume 2: Secret War” (Brian Michael Bendis, Brent Anderson)

Bendis again, this time with Brent Anderson of Astro City fame. I’d forgotten how much I appreciated his art — functional and nicely embellished at the same time. In this volume, lead character Jessica Jones gets caught right in the middle of super-spy leader Nick Fury’s Secret War, losing boyfriend Luke Cage to inexplicable attack, injury and kidnapping. Having never read Bendis’ Secret War series, I was just as befuddled as Jones was about what the hell was going on. That’s when I realised — what an effective crossover! Bendis gets to play the man-on-the-street angle very nicely (last done effectively by Kurt Busiek in Marvels) with Jones’ lack of inside knowledge on the War, writing her into various investigative and reactive situations very effectively. Pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable this was, and now I’m really curious about what the hell Secret War was all about. Where’s the graphic novel?!

Oh, and a manic-depressive Wolverine cameos for a few pages. That certainly justifies his cover appearance.

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Comprain, comprain

August 13, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

Observations from two weeks of edjamacator edjamacation (I mean, NIE):

  • The Teaching of Math class is a fucking nightmare. Not only is it 6 units (out of 21 for the semester), but the tutor for my group teaches us like we’re secondary-school kids. She even called for volunteers to complete, on overhead transparencies in front of the class, worksheets on negative numbers. Negative fucking numbers! Gah! Furthermore, the tutor’s well-versed in dodging questions, the way one would when trying to avoid answering questions posed by schoolchildren — ask her anything, and she’ll happily repeat whatever she’d just said in the last five minutes in order to deflect the question. “Isn’t this another way of answering the question?” “The way of answering the question is… [repeats whatever she just taught]” Sorely underdeveloped sense of humour, laughs at her own jokes, complete fucking tool. Ahhh! Stop hurting my brain! Please!
  • The Communications Skills class is nearly as bad, but we only meet once a week for two hours. The content is at least vaguely useful, but the tutor’s humourless and boring. And I’m sorry, but if you want to criticise Singaporeans for the widespread mispronunciation of “th” as “t” (“three” as “tree”, for example), the least you could do is not pronounce the letter “h” as “hedge”.
  • The Educational Psychology textbook, rewritten for a Singaporean context by a NIE prof, blows major balls. Not only does it have no index and a sorely under-represented glossary, but it slips in and out of its original American and revised Singaporean contexts carelessly, haphazardly skipping case studies for Singaporean schools where inconvenient. A pain to read for something so potentially interesting (though, really, I’ve forgotten how to read textbooks without equations). This is a criticism of the textbook, not the class — the latter is remarkably bearable.
  • The remaining classes (Teaching of Physics, Use of IT in Education) are, for the moment at least, not overly offensive. That could be because the respective tutors happily went and cancelled classes at random, or did not schedule make-up classes for the National Day holiday.

You think you know

August 8, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

From a class today:

Prof: Can anyone name a Ministry of Education initiative from the last few years?
Trainee Teacher: “Thinking Schools, Learning Nation”?
Prof: Yes, that’s right. One of the MOE initiatives was thinking.

Ah, an initiative for thinking. What would we have done without MOE?