Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Cereal box packaging sparks cancer scare

Apparently cereal boxes that are made of recycled materials can be hazardous for your health. In a nutshell, printing ink of recycled newspapers that are used in these cardboard boxes contain mineral oils which may get into the food. These oils are linked to inflammation of internal organs and even cancer.

Jordans - whose brands include Country Crisp and Crunchy Oats - has already stopped using recycled cardboard, while Kellogg's and Weetabix say they are taking steps to reduce the risk to human health. 
The alert was sparked when researchers in Switzerland found that mineral oils in printing ink from recycled newspapers used in cardboard can get into foods - even passing through protective inner plastic bags.
Brands of pasta and rice which are packaged in recycled cardboard could also pose a risk. 

The Swiss researchers analysed a total of 119 products bought from German supermarkets last year and found that a large majority contained traces of mineral oils higher than the agreed level. Only those with thicker and more expensive inner lining bags appeared to escape contamination, which increased the longer products were on the shelves.
''Roughly 30 products from 119 were free of mineral oils, nearly all because of an inner barrier,'' said Dr Grob. ''For the others, they all exceeded the limits and most exceeded it by 10 times.
Do check out the full article. There's also a related article on How Mineral Oils from Recycled Paper Enter Food. Interestingly, there have been quite a number of food scares in recent year. No, not just in China as a few of you are probably thinking. There were food scares in Britain and Japan in recent years. Are all these problems with toxins in food new? Or have they existed all along but it's just that people lived without knowing the problem? What do you guys think?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Flushing Forests

Worldwide, the equivalent of almost 270,000 trees is either flushed or dumped in landfills every day and roughly 10 percent of that total is attributable to toilet paper, according to the latest issue of World Watch magazine.

"Meanwhile, growing populations, adoption of Western lifestyles, and sanitation improvements in developing countries are driving the increased use of toilet paper," the Worldwide Watch magazine added. "The result is that forests in both the global North and South are under assault by paper companies competing to fill consumer demand."

But this increase in toilet paper use does not only take place in developed countries...worldwide, developing countries are increasingly increasing rates of toilet paper usage much more than developed countries in some cases. For example, China correlates increased use of toilet paper with advancements in sanitation and improved health outcomes. Other developing countries make this connection as well. South Africa, for example, is undergoing an entrepreneurial revolution in public toilet management and sanitation.

Solutions: Possible?

Some environmentalists advocate personal washing. In Japan, the washlets are installed in many Japanese families and public places. But many cultures around the world may not be able to adapt so easily. Perhaps less idealistic solutions like using recycled toilet paper and reducing the usgae of toilet paper may sink down well with some consumers. As some consumers shared that the usage of toilet paper is a 'personal thing', long-held habits about sanitation may not be easily shaken for the environment. Unlike cutting down the use of paper or plastic bags, toilet paper is a non-elastic commodity, and the least to be thought of in environmental conservation. But does it mean it is impossible? At least I know, attitudes must change, and perhaps one day, technology may come up with even more innovative ways of cleaning your lower body......

Friday, April 16, 2010

A World Heritage Site in Singapore

Hi Gentlemen,

A little background information for you, the United Nations have a body called United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that is would "recognize" heritage sites.

This article is about Singapore application to have a world heritage site in Singapore and the Botanical Gardens are cited as a possible candidate. Click on the link here.


Ask yourself

On the Geography side....

  • Why it is important to have a "recognized" heritage site?
  • What are the implications on tourism? (Will having a heritage site bring in more visitors? Why?)

On the History Side...

  • What is heritage?
  • Can anyone really define and classify "heritage". Do government bodies define heritage or does societies define heritage?
On the Social Studies Side...

  • Can conflict occur due to "claims of heritage"?
  • Can you use your knowledge of conflict in Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka to come up with an explanation of why conflict occurred between Thailand and Cambodia over a couple of temples on a disputed border?
Feel free to comment :)

Monday, April 05, 2010

Is this a cause of celebration?
Even though much has been said about deforestation, and the international community is noticing the loss in forest cover, should we heave a sigh of relief or should we step up measures to ensure no further damage is done?
What are your views?

Reminder on why it is important to watch what you say online....

Hi Gentlemen,

A reminder on why you should start to take what you say on Facebook and other networking sites seriously. Also the reason why I specifically asked you to be sensitive to the issues what talking about Sri Lanka and Northern Ireland in the wiki project. Click on the link to know more.


Mr Tan

Cops nab teen for Facebook threats

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thinking about Healthcare

After going through Healthcare in Britain, does Mr Khaw has a point or has he oversimplified things by dismissing the benefits of a welfare oriented healthcare system by seeing it as a political tool used by politicians to get what they need?

View the story for more details.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Professor sacked for academic plagiarism

As the secondary three students are in the midst of completing their wiki project, just a word of caution from the real world on why we want you to include a bibliography in your wiki project. Think I've mentioned in some of the classes that you can be expelled from the University if you merely copied content and try to pass off the information as your own. This is a case of a professor who was sacked by the university for academic dishonesty. Click on the link to know more. :)

Professor sacked for academic plagiarism

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Globalisation: Boon or Bane?

By Radley Balko

"In a village in the Mekong delta in Vietnam a woman and her twelve-year old daughter sit all day in the shade from five in the morning until five in the evening making straw beach mats. For their labour they receive $1 a day."

"In China, workers at Wellco Factory making shoes for Nike are paid 16 cents/hour (living wage for a small family is about 87 cents), 11-12 hour shifts, 7 days a week, 77-84 hours per week; workers are fined if they refuse overtime, and they’re not paid an extra rate for overtime hours."

Stories like these are common when we hear talk about "sweatshop" plants in the developing world. We hear worse, too -- terrible stories about women and children tricked into bondage, of union organizers getting beaten or killed, of terrible working conditions, long hours, and no bathroom breaks.

And yet American companies still operate low-wage factories - "sweatshops" - in developing countries. And there’s still a copious source of labor in those countries eager to take the low-paying jobs western factories offer them.

So what’s the story on sweatshops? Are they as bad as globalization critics claim they are? Should we boycott companies that operate them? Can they be stopped? Should they be stopped?

Let us take a look at Jesandry's (Sec 3D) PowerPoint Slides on WHAT exactly are sweatshops ... ...

Miss Wong

Jesandry 3D Sweatshop)

Traffic Management in China

Dear Marist Gentlemen,

We have learnt about Traffic Management in Singapore. Can you recall which are the four measures to ensure smooth traffic flow? (well, bet you've forgotten the 4th measure huh~!)

Alright, this PowerPoint presentation is done by Timothy from Sec 3C. His work gives us an insight on how government in another country manages traffic!

Of course, the next question will be...... which approach is more effective? Hope to hear from you soon!

Miss Wong

Traffic Management in China (Timothy Tan(29) 3C)

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Ministers got early angpow?

Ministers got early angpow?

Hi ladies and gentlemen,

Found this little interesting article by Mr Brown during my "Harrnassing Blogs" workshop. I'm not going to debate on the minister salary issue (which is a very long story......) but you can see the importance of looking for details when you are looking at differenent sources in real life (newspapers / webpages / tv). You never know when you will find something interesting in the new budget discussion. :)

Click on the link to find out.

Posted using ShareThis

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Singapore: Geneva of the East, Venice of 21st century — Tommy Koh

This article appeared in the Straits Times a few weeks ago. I really enjoyed reading it and one statement that really struck me was that "we should not become a people who know the price of everything and the value of nothing." I think it is so important today in the ever pragmatic Singapore that we must treasure people above things. As a young teacher long ago, I will always remember this note stuck on the desk of a senior teacher... "love people and use things; not use people and love things"

Enjoy reading!

AUG 19 — This year, Singapore celebrates 50 years of self-government and 44 years of independence. We can be proud of what we have achieved. We should, however, never be complacent. We must continue to strive to build a more perfect Singapore. In that spirit, I would like to share some of my aspirations for Singapore and Singaporeans.

First, I wish we would be less obsessed with money. I have always heeded my mentor S. Rajaratnam's warning that we should not become a people who know the price of everything and the value of nothing. I think we are in such danger.

We seem to calculate everything in terms of money. We think that a person's worth is measured by the amount of money he or she makes. We have imitated one of the worst aspects of American capitalism, by paying our senior executives inflated salaries while, at the same time, stagnating the salaries of our middle and lower strata. As a result, Singapore has become a more unequal society than the United States.

I am glad that President SR Nathan recognises annually outstanding members of the professions that do not pay well but contribute enormously to our society — such as teaching, nursing and social work. I also thank the media for showcasing selfless Singaporeans who help the poor and the disadvantaged.

Money is important. We all need enough of it to live in reasonable comfort. But money cannot buy you a happy family, good friends, good health, peace of mind and joy. We should not allow the greed for money to weaken the moral fabric of our nation and to undermine the integrity of some professions, such as law and medicine.

Second, I would like Singaporeans to be kinder and more gracious. Are we a kind people? I am inclined to say “yes” when I remember the generosity with which we responded to the victims of the Boxing Day tsunami, Cyclone Nargis and the Sichuan earthquake. I am impressed by the letters in this newspaper thanking Singaporeans for the kindness they have shown strangers.

At the same time, I am shocked by the unkindness of some Singaporeans towards foreign domestic workers and foreign workers generally. As for the reports of wanton cruelty towards animals, I wonder who are these monsters. And as for graciousness, there is much room for improvement in our driving manners and in the way we conduct ourselves in trains, buses and elevators.

Third, I would like Singapore to become the Geneva of the East and the Venice of the 21st century.

Singapore can become a diplomatic centre like Geneva. It is a comfortable, efficient and secure venue.

Venice existed as a city state for nearly 800 years. One of the reasons for its longevity was that it welcomed talented people from different countries and civilisations. In the same way, Singapore should continue to welcome the talented from all nations. It can also act as a facilitator of inter-faith and inter-civilisational dialogue.

Fourth, Singapore can be the cultural hub of Southeast Asia. It has the best cultural infrastructure in the region. Because of its small size and short history, it has no choice but to collect, research and display the heritage of the region. As a result, we have the best collection of the visual arts of Southeast Asia, of the 19th and 20th centuries. When the new National Art Gallery opens, it will showcase this collection.

Singapore can also serve a larger region. It can bring together the civilisations of Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia, South Asia and West Asia. The Asian Civilisations Museum is a symbol of our aspiration to be an exemplar of the Asian cultural renaissance.

Fifth, Singapore can be Asia's greenest city. It is already Asia's greenest in the physical sense. It is green too in its policies on water, sanitation, air pollution, land use and transportation. But Singapore can and should do even better.

There is room for improvement in the efficient use of energy. We should progressively phase out incandescent light bulbs in favour of energy-saving bulbs. We should emulate the examples of Japan and the US to encourage car-owners to switch to hybrid vehicles. We should follow the example of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan to require commercial establishments to separate food waste from other waste for recycling.

We could be more energetic in promoting renewable energy. We should consider adopting Hong Kong's rule that no building below the age of 50 can be the object of an en bloc sale. We should develop Singapore as a centre for the financing of green business and technology.

Sixth, I would like Singapore to become an intellectual centre. We are making progress. The National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University are already recognised as world-class universities. I am confident the Singapore Management University will soon join them.

Our schools, polytechnics and arts colleges are much admired. As a result, Singapore is attracting many foreign students. Our think-tanks are expanding in quantity and quality. There has been a quantum leap in the percentage of our GDP that is invested in research and development. Our respect for learning is growing. What more can we do?

I would suggest three things: more funds for research in the social sciences and humanities; greater willingness on the part of the government to release official data to and de-classify documents for researchers; and a stronger culture of tolerance for alternative and dissenting views.

Those of us who attended this year's National Day Parade were inspired and moved. Sitting at Marina Bay, I could feel the spirit of our people — their unity, resilience and optimism. — The Straits Times

Saturday, May 02, 2009

The ‘Face Book Fad’ Is More Than a Century Old

Bryan Benilous, a historical newspaper specialist at the digital-archive company Proquest, said he and his colleagues came across a Boston Daily Globe article from August 24, 1902, titled, “Face Book The New Fad,” describing a party game where revelers sketch out cartoony caricatures for fun.

There are more than a few similarities between current social-networking practices and early-20th century social practices, said Ellen Gruber Garvey, a professor at New Jersey City University...

It was common for Americans in the 19th and 20th centuries to keep guestbooks in which visitors and friends could scribble thoughts or jokes -– not unlike a MySpace or Facebook profile page.

“There’s a whole school of amusements that prefaced social networking and those sorts of interactions with friends on the Web,” said Ms. Garvey.

These sorts of albums and scrapbooks were often kept as records of parties, special events and friendships. Ms. Garvey also said it was common for antiquarian newspapers to publish short articles recommending fun activities
Perhaps the social networking idea might not be that new - the idea of having guestbooks in which friends and visitors can drop notes is indeed similar to having friends write on our FB profiles and walls. It doesn't matter to me that it might not be a new idea. What matters to me is the speed - you don't have to be physically there to write the note. Now, you just have to switch on your computer, go online, go to FB and that's it. Your note done in less than 15 minutes. Works perfect for an impatient person like me.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

History students doing e-learning exercise

NOTE: You are supposed to answer the MAIN QUESTION posed for your class; NOT the 'questions to consider'. The 'questions to consider' are only there to help you interpret the source.

I will read your answer but will not publish it for everyone to see until the e-learning exercise is over. This is to ensure no one 'cheats' by copying his friend's answers. You may post your queries (if you have any) as a comment or email me at varyingshadesoftruth@gmail.com

Have fun with the e-learning. Check out the other blog entries for those of you who have never heard of the Humanities blog (tsk tsk!).

Anyone interested to be our guest blogger, please approach any of your Humanities teacher.

Update: I have been checking every 5 minutes to see how many are doing their e-learning homework. Not that many early birds geese at the moment... But I guess I shouldn't be expecting that many to do the homework today since the e-learning exercise only starts tomorrow. Heh I will check again when I get to school at 6am tomorrow. I hope there will be more submissions by then...

24 March 2009 2200hr - 5 submissions

24 March 2009 2230hr - 7 submissions

24 March 2009 2300hr - 8 submissions

25 March 2009 0730hr - 25 submissions (some of you are night owls yah?)

25 March 2009 0800hr - 30 submissions :) - keep the comments coming!

25 March 2009 0900hr - 33 submissions... things slowing down a bit huh...

25 March 2009 0930hr - 34 submissions (hmm maybe Marists are still sleeping)

25 March 2009 1030hr - 45 submissions :)

25 March 2009 1200hr - 60 submissions - please remind your friends to do their homework...

25 March 2009 1230hr - 68 submissions

25 March 2009 1330hr - 71 submissions... I foresee having to scold people for not doing homework :(

3A History Students' e-Learning Homework

Let Sam do It

THE MAIN QUESTION: What is the cartoonist saying about the League of Nations?

Here are some questions to help you interpret the cartoon:

  • In the caption 'Let Sam do it', who does Sam refer to?
  • Who is the figure on the right?
  • What is happening between the 2 figures in the background?
  • What was the League of Nations representatives doing?
  • From the League of Nations' action, what can you learn about the League?

To submit your answers, please click 'Comment' and type your answer in the Comment Box. You MUST write your name, class, and index number at the end of your answer before submitting it.

3C History Students' e-Learning Homework

THE MAIN QUESTION: Is this a fair explanation for the failure of the League of Nations?

Here are some issues to help you interpret the cartoon:

  • What does the bridge represent?
  • What is the missing brick of the bridge?
  • What is the effect of the missing brick on the overall strength of the bridge?
  • From what you have learnt in class, is this the only reason for the failure of the League of Nations? So, does the cartoon provide a fair explanation of the League of Nations? Please explain your answer.

To submit your answers, please click 'Comment' and type your answer in the Comment Box. You MUST write your name, class, and index number at the end of your answer before submitting it.

3D Index 1-20 History Students' e-Learning Homework

THE MAIN QUESTION: Do you think the cartoonist supports the signing of the Treaty of Versailles?

Here are some questions to help you interpret the cartoon:

  • Who are the 3 figures in black suits?
  • Who does the figure not wearing a shirt represent?
  • Why was his hands tied?
  • What was going to happen to the man whose hands were tied up? What does this imply about the Treaty of Versailles?

To submit your answer, please click 'Comment' and type your answer in the Comment Box. You MUST write your name, class, and index number at the end of your answer before submitting it!

3D Index 21-35 History Students' e-Learning Homework

THE MAIN QUESTION: What can you learn about the League of Nations from this cartoon?

Here are some questions to help you interpret the cartoon:

  • What does the dog represent?
  • Is the dog in the cartoon going to inspire fear? Why?
  • Is the dog an effective guard dog? Why?

To submit your answer, please click 'Comment' and type your answer in the Comment Box. You MUST write your name, class, and index number at the end of your answer before submitting it.

3E History Students' e-Learning Homework

Watch the video and answer the following question:

Which was Stresemann's greatest achivements. Please explain your answer.

To submit your answer, click on 'Comment' and type your answer in the Comment Box. You MUST write your name, class, and Index Number at the end of your answer before submitting it.

3H/3J History Students' e-Learning Homework

Watch the video and suggest ways in which the Weimar government could solve the problem of hyper-inflation.

To submit your answer, click on 'Comment' and type your answer in the Comment Box. You MUST write your name, class, and index number at the end of your answer before submitting it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Singaporeans slow down and smell the roses

As Singapore grapples with a severe downturn, Singaporeans might want to take another look at their values. What really motivates and make us happy? Is it the pursuit of wealth or material things? Would we be hapy if we got that coveted condominium or dream sports car?

People in Singapore are always rushing, and as they struggle to make a living, they are seldom able to find time to build relationships. They have no time to slow down and smell the roses. Life simply passes them by.

Singaporean spend the weekend catching up on lost sleep after having worked 10 hour days. They are slaves to their work.

As you enjoy the festive season, take some time to ask yourself if you are truly happy with who you are, and whether there are things you can improve on.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Good Job Marists!

For those who missed the article on our Marists who did the school proud by winning in the NEA Environment Competition on Dengue, the above is the article taken from the New Paper.

The Humanities Department would like to congratulate all the 10 winners:
1. Manuel Seet 4A
2. Kenneth Chow 4A
3. Hoon Ren Jie 4A
4. Nicholas Hoon 4A
6. Jerel Yeo 4A
7. Augustine Koh 4B
8. Brian Lim 4C
9. Choy Bing Han 4B
10. Shervin Lim 4K

And most importantly, we would like to express our appreciation for the hard work put in by Ms Foo Moo Peck and Mr Low Tung Mun in guiding the team.

For the rest of the Marists, watch out for announcements on upcoming competitions such as the VJC Humanities Quiz.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Latest Shoe Trend - Shoe Throwing

Latest shoe trend - throwing them at people you do not like (especially politicians). First, an angry Iraqi journalist threw a shoe at George Bush during a press conference. Apparently a Chinese man was inspired by this way of registering anger and hurled a shoe at Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao when Premier Wen was giving a speech at Cambridge University. The latest shoe-throwing trend victim is Israel's ambassador in Sweden. The shoe-lobbing incident took place when the ambassador was giving a speech in Stockhokm University.

For those of you who want a little entertainment for the weekend, check out the video below and play this shoe-throwing game! :) Have fun!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Micro- trends and their impacts on society I

I've been following closely a book written by Mark J. Penn about micro-trends and how they impact the nature of society. Although Penn used the United States as a microcosm to discuss certain trends that are emerging, it is also significant to realise that such trends may perhaps be slowly taking shape in our society. 

Microtrends is defined by Penn as "the idea that the most powerful forces in our society are the emerging, counterintuitive trends that are shaping right before us." He attributes such powerful forces to individuals, or as he qualified, "small intense subgroups and communities that are able to lobby about their individual needs and wants" in society. Today, society has never been more individualistic, complicated, sophisticated and definitely more knowledgeable. The whole idea that there are huge forces that will shape the world in time to come has to fade for small ripple-effect forces that can perhaps be from a small percentage of society, but are powerful enough to effect large changes in society. I shall follow the trends identified by Penn, but using Singapore society as a context. Even though Singapore may be vastly different from the United States, it does contain small enough forces that can shape our small nation-state in a large way. In fact, these small forces may themselves re-write the development of our Singapore culture in many ways.

I'm analysing these trends based on observations, newspaper readings and of course speaking to friends about the issues. The statistical validity may not be there, but the phenomenon may already be brewing, and if some sociologists may one day start the data collection, these trends may be proven correct. 

1. Love & Relationships
- In Singapore, more and more women are finding themselves left out from the institution of marriage. Granted that some women may deliberately choose to be single, there are many who storm dating websites, only to be disappointed. Did anything go wrong?
- Nothing went wrong - there are just too few men for all the women; or perhaps there are too few straight men for the women. Thus women in Singapore are left in a situation where they have to chase pants in a sea which is pretty dry. 
- Women in Singapore are now more able than before to assert their wants and needs. They believe that there is a right one that will appear to them. Thus when they storm dating sites, they have such high expectations of men that they price themselves out of the market. Stability and trustworthiness ranks as one of the highest when it comes to selecting a male spouse. Women will rather choose to pursue the single life than have the belief that so-called 'unsuitable' men may ruin their lives. Their earning powers are increasingly close to that of men, and they believe that life without men may be better than life with the wrong men. 
- For some women who want a fairy-tale ending, they may choose alternatives. It used to be women who hope that men may be 3 to 4 years older that forms the criteria of a good spouse. Now, we see no lack of older women who go out with younger men. And perhaps this is all the rage in Hollywood . Can you remember Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher? They may perhaps be one of Hollywood's newbie couple. And some women love dating younger men, for from these men, they see an eternal spring of youth, the potentiality that these men could be with them in their old age (men tend to die earlier than women). Viewpoints may also have changed - women do not see younger men as a desperate outcome, they see a plausible future - progressive and dynamic. 
- Online or professional match-making is the new way of making love work. In Singapore, many women seek out men in all possible avenues. In many events organised by SDU, women always outnumber men, sometimes to the extent of a significant imbalance.  Women are also more daring now, enjoying speed-dating and after-office drinks in the company of men. Love has today been seen as one of the many pursuits - just as you need to study hard for a degree; you need to 'work hard' to get a spouse. No longer are many women viewing SDU with a negative light, they see it as a good way to enjoy events at reasonable rates and perhaps along the way, a match made in heaven may surface.
- There is also an increasing trend towards office romancers. Office romancers may be the new rage in the dating scene. Though office romancers try to hide their affairs, almost everyone knows that it is going on and guess what, nobody actually minds. Forget about what your mother tells you about dating someone at work because it can compromise your professionalism or expose yourself to unnecessary suits. It is the 'in' thing - in the office. The only problem arises if married people are in for the action as well.

What do you think are the implications of these trends for  policy-makers and the government? It will be good to hear your thoughts before we talk of more micro-trends here in our society.

Acknowledgement: Microtrends - Surprising tales of how we live today by Mark J. Penn (2007)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The need to think?

In this school, there are two categories of people:

1. Those who don't bother to think or read up and believe everything, all of the lock, stock and barrel that their teachers tell them.

2. Those who think too much and become cynical towards all mankind

We need a perfect balance. Alas, does such an individual exist?

The problem in our school is that the majority of Marists fall into the first category! It is now time to stand up to THINK for yourself!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

$35,000 commode, $1,400 wastepaper basket, $50m plane

Ousted boss of Merill Lynch spent US$1.2 million redecorating his office. He supposedly spent $35 000 on his commode. According to the Independent, Thain said that expenses including $85,000 on a Persian rug and $1,400 on a wastepaper basket were "a mistake in light of the world we live in today". $1,400 basket to throw your rubbish in?!?! If I have a $1,400 wastepaper basket, I don't think I'll be throwing trash in it. I don't know what you think about this whole thing. I think it is pure madness! But I guess madness is the perogative of the rich. And oh, all right, before you start thinking of lynching this Lynch guy, he has agreed to reimburse the $1.2m spent.

Another bad decision or act of indiscrection or whatever you want to call it... The transgressor in this case is Citigroup. Yes, the people who got a $45 billion bailout from the US government is supposedly going through with plans to buy a $50 million jet that seats 12 people. Citigroup said that the order for the plane was placed 2 years ago and cancelling the order would cause the bank liable to pay a multi-million dollar fee. Citigroup's decision has definitely raised hackles. Do watch the video below.

Heh does the $1,400 wastepaper basket by the Lynch guy sound 'cheap' in comparison... Hmm... no... I still think it is absurd. The absurdities of the rich.

Former Lehman boss sells his $13m House for $100

Heh you must be wishing that you are the lucky chap to land such a deal. So who do you think got the $13m property for $100? Read on...

Richard Fuld, the Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. chairman who led the firm into bankruptcy, transferred his $13.3 million Florida home to his wife last year, property records show. Fuld deeded the house at 265 South Beach Road on Jupiter Island, north of Palm Beach, to his wife Kathleen on Nov. 10, according to records on the Web site of Martin County, Florida. Kathleen Fuld paid her husband $100 in the transaction, the minimum amount allowed to transfer a property ~ via Bloomberg

I guess that means that even if he declares bankruptcy, he'll still have a $13m home to go to. That's too good a deal for someone who caused so many to lose their life savings.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hey you! Yes you! You are not a mere mortal... You are a LESSER mortal!

Those of you following the news would probably have known about how the Permanent Secretary of the Minister of Environment took a 5-weeks leave to take a holiday to attend a culinary course in France with his family. It is belived that they spent at least $45,o00 on the holiday. He has been reprimanded for publicizing his expensive vacation at a time when the country is suffering from a recession.

While Singaporeans are still talking about this episode of indiscretion as you may call it, a PAP MP, Charles Chong, responded by saying that the rebuke of the Perm Sec was rather harsh and went on to say that, "Maybe it [the Permanent Secretary's expensive vacation] made lesser mortals envious".

I used to think I am a mere peasant; a mere mortal... But I guess I was wrong... I am less than a mere mortal... I am a LESSER MORTAL :(

Hmm... why are lesser mortals like me envious of elites like the ministers? Perhaps it is because I am not as highly paid as the Permanent Secretary and the Ministers. By some Singaporeans' standards, I, a lesser mortal, am paid lesser than peanuts.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Obama receives plea from Singapore

Chee Soon Juan, secretary general of the Singapore Democratic Party, posted a message to President Obama on YouTube, talking about political repression in Singapore being no less severe than in Burma. He also said that he has confidence that the US with Hilary Clinton as its new Secretary of State would pay more attention to the human rights abuses of the Singapore government. The video also shows some shots of Singaporeans living in cardboard boxes and he compared the poverty of these Singaporeans to the wealth of the Prime Minister who is paid 6 times what President Obama is getting.

I wonder how the PAP government is going to respond to this latest antic of Mr. Chee. Another lawsuit? What do you guys think?