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CHRONICLE - Nanyang Technological University

18

CHRONICLE


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SCI-FI

REALISED

New Media Village opens in NTU

with 3D immersive experiences and

cutting edge simulation.

NEWS | 6

NEWS | 3

ALUMNI SHINE AT ANNUAL AWARDS

| 27


02 NEWS

News Bites


CHRONICLE


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05

NTU

NTU SOLAR CAR BEATS ESTAB-

LISHED TEAMS IN RACE

An NTU-developed solar car beat

more established teams like that

from MIT and Cambridge when it

travelled more than 2,000 km over

six days in a solar racing competition,

which started on October 16th

and was held in Australia. The

Nanyang Venture 5, developed by

an 11-strong team, came in 14th at

the Veolia World Solar Challenge.

NTU INNOVATION CLINCHES

“BEST OF SHOW” AT TECHVEN-

TURE INNOVATION AWARDS

Led by Dr Tan Ee Leng and Assoc

Prof Gan Woon-Seng from the

School of Electrical & Electronic

Engineering, their innovation, Immersive

Soundscape took the “Best

of Show” (Blue Ribbon Award)

at the TechVenture Innovation

Awards 2011. The innovation demonstrated

the ability to reproduce

3D sound effects from conventional

sound inputs with applications in

the media and gaming industry.

NTU, A*STAR RESEARCHERS DE-

VELOP HIGHLY EFFICIENT AND

CHEAP SILICON SOLAR CELLS

The new thin-film silicon solar

cells are made from cheaper, lowgrade

silicon and yet are able

to generate electricity currents

comparable to costly, high-quality

silicon solar cells.

Developed by NTU and A*STAR

Institute of Microelectronics (IME),

the new cells were created using nanostructure

technology. With this

development, the researchers hope

to halve the costs of solar energy.

NTU, INDUSTRY AND RESEARCH

PARTNERS COOPERATE IN

OCEAN ENERGY RESEARCH

NTU is collaborating with industry

players and world-renowned

research partners on a multidisciplinary

venture, the Joint Industry

Programme in Offshore Renewables.

This collaboration aims

to develop efficient and effective

wind and marine power generation

systems. The programme will have

over twenty-five projects over the

next three years, such as offshore

wind turbines and other sea-based

power generation research.

NBS’ MBA PROGRAMME

RANKED SINGAPORE’S TOP

FOR 8TH YEAR

NTU’s Nanyang Business School

has maintained its 69th position in

The Economist magazine’s global

rankings of MBA programmes,

and is ranked third in Asia. Strong

ratings for education experience

and increasing new career opportunities

have helped NBS maintain

its position. NBS admits about 80

full-time MBA students and about

40 part-time students annually.

SINGAPORE

CALLS TO REVISE MEDISAVE

At a debate in Parliament, Dr Lam

Pin Min, head of the Government

Parliamentary Committee

for Health, said that Medisave

spending should be expanded to

cover more outpatient treatments,

especially for chronic illnesses.

Health industry experts and MPs

suggested that the usage of funds

be revised yearly to match rising

costs in Singapore.

Upcoming Events

CHILDCARE CENTRES INTRO-

DUCE SUPPORT STAFF AP-

POINTMENTS

The Ministry of Community Development,

Youth and Sports

(MCYS) announced that childcare

centres can now hire “para-educators”

and “para-educarers” to aid

childcare teachers in the development

of children. This change will

take effect from January 1st next

year. In a statement released by

MCYS, these new appointments

will help teachers to “provide

greater instructional attention for

children who require additional

support”.

SLOWING EMPLOYMENT

GROWTH

The Monetary Authority of Singapore

(MAS) announced that employment

growth is expected to

slow down later this year, as the

economy cools. MAS stated that

job cuts have already been noted

in the financial and trade-related

sector. This is related to the weakening

global growth. Unemployment

rate in Singapore rose from

1.9 per cent in the previous quarter,

to 2.1 per cent in three months

ending June 2011.

5TH BODY FOUND AT BEDOK

RESERVOIR

The series of ghastly deaths at

Bedok Reservoir have been a

cause for concern for many Singaporeans

on whether they could be

due in part to the influx of immigrants

and the detrimental effects

of the two casinos. The recent

deaths have also sparked discussions

over the possible effects on

property prices in the vicinity and

future developments in the area.

TRANSFORMERS THEME PARK

RIDE TO OPEN AT USS

The world’s first theme park ride

based on the sci-fi franchise

Transformers will open its doors

to the public at Universal Studios

Singapore, on December 3rd 2011.

The ride will feature 12 scenes, 3D

digital media, blending sets and

special effects. Michael Bay—director

of the movies—will celebrate

the ride’s world premiere at an exclusive

party on December 2nd.

WORLD

NEW CURBS ON ENTERTAIN-

MENT IN CHINA

China has been known for political

censorship, but for years the

Communist Party has tolerated a

creeping liberalisation in popular

culture. Chinese leaders proposed

new limits on media and Internet

freedoms that include some

of the most restrictive measures

in years. Major television stations

were ordered to broadcast

two hours of state approved news

every evening and to disregard

audience ratings in programming

decisions. These measures will go

into effect on Jan 1st 2012.

2 WEEK OLD BABY RESCUED

FROM TURKEY’S QUAKE

A two-week old baby was pulled

out from the wreckage of a building

47 hours after a 7.2 magnitude

earthquake struck eastern Turkey.

The baby’s mother and grandmother

are reportedly still trapped

inside the crumbled building, but

are believed to be still alive. The

official death toll has been put at

366, with about 1,301 injured in

the quake.

MIXED REACTIONS OVER DIS-

PLAY OF GADDAFI’S BODY

As the public display of Gaddafi’s

body ended, and more details of

his last moments alive were revealed

through the gruesome video

recorded by one of the rebels

who captured him, there were

mixed reactions about what the

brutal treatment of the deposed

dictator might mean for Libya’s

future. Rights groups called Gaddafi’s

death a potential war crime.

Arab journalists and bloggers noted

that GaDuffy’s end was similar

to the fate suffered by Benito Mussolini

and Nicolae Ceausescu, two

notorious European dictators.

CROCODILES BREAK FREE IN

THAI FLOOD

Floodwaters in Bangkok have

resulted in crocodiles that have

broken loose, menacing the local

population. Authorities have

warned that crocodiles are swimming

through rising floodwaters

around the outskirts of Bangkok.

Reports state at least 100 broke

free last week in Ayutthaya province,

north of the capital. Authorities

have offered case rewards of

1,000 baht (S$40) for each crocodile

caught alive.

COMPUTERS IN JAPAN’S PAR-

LIAMENT INFECTED WITH VIRUS

In the latest series of mysterious

cyber attacks that have raised

concerns about leakage of sensitive

information. Media reports

said that one of three lawmakers

accidentally released the virus.

This comes a month after Japanese

defence contractors revealed

that they had also been targets of

cyber attacks, which may have

been aimed at classified military

data. No known classified information

has been stolen.

NTU CAC

IMPRESARIO

NTU CAC Impresario 2012:

Nationwide Talent Search

Competition

Categories: Vocal Solo, Duet/

Group, Original Composition,

Dance

Register online now at www.

cacimpresario.com!

Registration Closes on December

4th 2011.

If you have any

exciting events to

publicise, please contact us at

chronicle@ntu.edu.sg

Vocal Auditions in Dec 2011.

Dance Audition in Jan 2012.

For further enquiry, email

enquiry@cacimpresario.com,

call Dorothy at 9668 2935 or

Dawn at 9199 0143


News

Interview


with the Vice President – Page 5

Outstanding alumni awarded

HAPPY HOMECOMING: WP Secretary General Low Thia Khiang (centre) was inspired by his NTU education to go into politics.

PHOTO | WAN ZHONG HAO

SINGER Stefanie Sun, and Members

of Parliament (MP) Teo Ser

Luck and Low Thia Khiang shared

the stage with other industry leaders,

all NTU alumni, at the Nanyang

Auditorium to receive the

Nanyang Alumni Awards on October

15th.

Everest Mountaineer: redefine the impossible


WHEN NTU Alumna Lee Peh Gee

and her five women friends declared

their goal of climbing Mount

Everest, they were laughed at.

But, that only made them more

determined.

“People laugh in disbelief when

they cannot comprehend something

so impossible,” said Singapore

Armed Forces Major (MAJ)

Lee Peh Gee, who was part of the

Singapore Women’s Everest Team.

She eventually stood on the

8,850m summit on May 22, 2009.

“When you finally go and do

it, you have redefined what they

previously thought was possible

or impossible,” the 35-year-old

told a packed audience of students

at the Nanyang Auditorium on

October 12th.

The seminar was the highlight

of eFEST 2011 with the theme of

‘Learning is Everywhere’. The annual

event, running in its fourth

year, aims to promote the use of

e-Learning tools and resources

among NTU students.

MAJ Lee said that learning does

A total of 34 alumni, the biggest

number since the award started in

2005, were awarded for either excelling

in their fields, or for their

contributions to the university or

society.

The Awards has four categories:

the Nanyang Distinguished Alumni

Award, Nanyang Alumni Achievement

Award, Nanyang Outstanding

Young Alumni Award and Nanyang

Alumni Service Award.

Education Minister Heng Swee

Keat, the guest-of-honor, attributed

the success of NTU to the strong

examples set by earlier alumni

members, so that future graduates

will follow in their footsteps.

“In a world of constantly

evolving changes, our graduates

not only come from books, but also

from various life experiences.

“I want to let others know that

it is possible to pursue a dream,”

she said.

One important step to take is

to step out of comfort zones, even

when the outside world seems scary

and dangerous, said MAJ Lee.

During the expedition, she

would wake up in her tent to hear

it flapping violently at times.

After all, Mount Everest is

known for its notorious wind speeds

of up to 100 kilometers per hour and

the temperature could dip as low as

negative 40 degree celsius.

“The storm always seemed

worse from inside the tents,” said

MAJ Lee. “But the storm outside

may be nothing more than the

regular winds we normally encounter.”

“The moment you get out, you

are just one step closer to your

goal,” she said.

The climb to Mt Everest’s peak

from their base camp took the

team about four days, and preparation

for their climb took five

years, where the team did staircase

training at 30-storey HDB

flats.

MAJ Lee revealed that in t he

road up to their expedition, all of

them had to double up as marketers,

fundraisers, public relation

managers and public speakers so

as to raise funds for their cause.

She said that her education in

NTU helped her in that aspect.

“It was similar to the time

when I was a hospitality and tourism

management undergraduate

balancing my eight months practicum

and studies," she said.

"I managed to do a hotel project

and my own final year project then."

MAJ Lee’s speech inspired Joel

Gan, a third-year Mechanical and

Aerospace Engineering (MAE) student,

in pursuing his dreams of

achieving a “big feat” like that

someday.

Also, he felt that MAJ Lee’s

experiences could be applied to

his goal of setting up a business.

“There will be multiple problems

along the way, so the best thing is

to never give up and always keep

trying,” he said.

Daniella Ng, a former national

must be nimble and adaptable,” he

said.

They must not only have the

confidence and ability to succeed,

but must also be deeply rooted to

Singapore, so that they can take

Singapore forward.”

Ms Sun, Mr Low and Mr

Teo, who were all awarded the

Nanyang Alumni Achievement

Award with four others, expressed

attachment to their alma

mater.

“I feel very honored (to receive

the award) and also hope to

work together (with the university)

in the future to promote NTU,”

said Ms Sun, who graduated in

2000 from the Nanyang Business

School.

Ms Sun was awarded for her

achievements in the entertainment

industry, both locally and internationally.

About 100 fans at the ceremony

cheered and chanted her name

as she took to the stage to receive

her award. Some even managed to

get her autograph during the reception.

“I feel that education helps you

to mature in your thinking and

helps you to see things in a different

light,” Ms Sun said.

Mr Low, Secretary General of

the Workers Party, agreed with Ms

Sun.

Mr Low, who graduated in

1980 with an Arts degree, was

awarded for his role of providing

an alternative voice for the

PURSUE YOUR DREAMS: MAJ Lee Peh Gee, speaking at a seminar for eFEST 2011, urged students

to conquer their own Mount Everest. PHOTO | MALCOLM KOH

people in Singapore’s political

scene.

According to him, his education

sparked off his political

thinking, which shaped his ideals

of democracy.

“I was particularly inspired

by a lecturer who had a deep

knowledge of political systems

and I listened intently to his lectures.

He taught me how to look

at politics in a different light,”

he added.

Mr Teo, Minister of State of

Trade and Industry, said that his

education at Nanyang Business

School helped in his current line

of work as it developed his understanding

of business and economics.

“What it teaches you is to understand

how to see an issue and

come up with the solution. Issue

changes everyday and what NTU

teaches you is how to solve those

problems,” he said.

“That is the biggest advantage.”

It was the second time Mr

Teo was present at the Nanyang

Alumni Awards, having received

the Nanyang Outstanding Young

Alumni Award last year.

At the ceremony, NTU president

Professor Bertil Andersson

also revealed that eight in 10 students

from the class of 2011 made

a graduation gift to NTU, which

he said is a sign of the growing

sense of identification among

younger alumni with NTU.

sailor also found the determination

of the team particularly inspiring.

“It motivates me to set out

some goals for myself to attain

during my four years here,” said

the first-year student from Sports

Science and Management.

For Ashekan Hosseinloo, the

most memorable part of the seminar

was when MAJ Lee challenged

the audience to overcome their

own Mount Everest.

“It was a physical thing for

them, but could be other things

for us as well,” said the graduate

student currently pursuing a masters

in MAE.

Everyone has an Everest.”


04 NEWS

Students react to

climate change




GREEN CONSCIENCE: Jeremy Lim (back row, right), his team members and mentor after

presenting their project at the National Climate Change Competition.

PHOTO | COURTESY OF TONG SIAN CHOO


A SAIL boat trip and a water

bucket three years ago taught

undergraduate Jeremy Lim the

value of water conservation.

Lim survived for 14 days

with only half a bucket of water

a day to bathe with.

The experience taught the

22-year-old that it is possible to

live on much less resources than

he was used to.

“I realised that when I had

the options presented by the

comfort of modern life, I did not

choose to save. Since then I have

become uneasy about wasting

resources,” said the third-year

student from Wee Kim Wee

School of Communication and

Information.

During the last semester

break, Lim collaborated with

three other NTU undergraduates

to create the ‘Green Seed Initiative’

to encourage Singaporeans

to conserve energy and water

consumption.

The project won first prize

in the National Climate Change

Competition

Lim is one of many NTU students

who have become more involved

in green initiatives.

“When I had the

options presented

by the comfort

of modern life, I

did not choose to

save."

Jeremy Lim

Third-year student

Wee Kim Wee School of

Communication and Information

The environmental club also

reported collecting a record

amount of recyclables at the end

of the last academic year during

its annual recycling drive.

It collected 2,670kg of paper

from 16 recycling bins across

campus as opposed to 800kg the

year before and just 420kg in

2009.

According to them, the spike

in collection shows that more

students now know that their

belongings can be recycled, instead

of simply being thrown

away.

While some chose to do their

part via Earthlink NTU, others

chose to take up initiatives more

in their areas of expertise.

Another student who joined

an eco competition is Nelson Tan

Yan Cong, 20.

The first-year student from

the School of Art, Design and

Media was among the 12 finalists

in the National Environment

Agency Eco Music Challenge

2011.

For him, raising awareness on

being environmentally friendly

is a form of eco-friendliness in

itself.

“Caring for the environment

is everyone’s responsibility and

we can all use different means to

do our part. For those who are

musically inclined, why not do

their part by doing what they do

best with music,” he said.

He composed a Chinese song

titled “Green Environment” to

raise awareness about climate

change and the importance of

the environment.

In another initiative, a team

of eight NTU students showed

their care for the environment

by designing and building a fuel-efficient

car named Nanyang

Venture IV.

It not only won the top prize

in the diesel fuel category at

this year’s Shell Eco Marathon

Asia but also won the Off-Track

Award for Safety.

Team member Kuganeshan

Ganesamoorthy, a third-year

student from the School of Mechanical

and Aerospace Engineering,

said: “Until people completely

accept alternative energy

sources, fossil fuel will be used

extensively.”

“Caring for the

environment

is everyone’s

responsiblity."

Nelson Tan Yan Cong

First-year student

School of Art, Design & Media

He added that it is important

to ensure fuel efficiency in cars

so that we can reduce our carbon

footprint.

Vice-president of Earthlink

NTU, Nandita Beri, 19, said the

increase in student participation

is simply a result of increasingly

visible consequences of climate

change such as change in weather

patterns, shortage of water

and food in many countries.

The third-year student from

the School of Chemical and

Biomedical Sciences said: “Not

only is climate change and the

environment a pressing global

issue, it’s become an individual

concern.”

Earthlink NTU has reported

an increased participation in its

initiatives this academic year. Its

membership increased by 30 per TEST DRIVE: NTU students won the top prize at this year’s Shell Eco-Marathon Asia

cent this year alone.

with their fuel-efficient car. PHOTO | COURTESY OF NTU VENTURE IV TEAM


CHRONICLE


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A meeting of minds

FREE IDEAS: Entrepreneur Wong Meng Weng intriguing students with an iPhone

application demonstration.

PHOTO | NG JUN SEN


STEVE Jobs may have passed

on, but the legacy of his foresight

and creativity lived on

through some 400 participants

at a seminar organized by NTU

graduates on October 15th.

Named TEDxNTU, the seminar

held at the Marina Bay

Sands Expo and Convention

Centre was the largest one so far.

TED, a non-profit organisation

that hosts idea-sharing

conferences, stands for ‘Technology,

Entertainment, Design’.

But it has since broadened its

scope to include talks by accomplished

thinkers such as

local entrepreneurs, academics

and researchers.

It boasts people like James

Randi and Steve Jobs as its

honorary alumni.

Vivek Manoharan, 23, assembled

his team of graduates

to host the seminar after being

inspired by watching the riveting

TED videos on YouTube.

Despite bearing the name

of the seminar, official TED

organisers played no role in

organising the event. Instead,

it was Manoharan and his

team who brought the seminar

to fruition, with the help of

funding from NTU’s Student

Affairs Office.

“TED is all about people

coming together, sharing

ideas,” said Manoharan, who

is currently pursuing a PhD in

biomechanics.

The speakers were selected

based on their remarkable

achievements and their ability

to inspire others.

One of them was entrepreneur

Wong Meng Weng, who

demonstrated an iPhone application,

which could teach users

how to order the different permutations

of “kopitiam-styled”

coffee.

Wong is the founder of

several technological companies,

such as pobox.com,

and organised the TEDxSentosa

event in 2009.

Other speakers spoke on pursuing

ideas, and shared insider

tips on how to reach career or

personal goals.

“This session was about how

to dream and succeed. It is for

people with ideas, and how if

they have the right method, they

can make it work,” said Manoharan.

Although many in the audience

felt inspired after attending

the event, some saw room

for improvement.

Elvin Zhang, a second-year

student from Nanyang Business

School, said that the session had

given him a lot of good ideas.

But the 22-year-old felt that

the speakers could have been

more energetic, as the seven

hour long seminar could wear

some listeners out.

Others, like School of Computer

Engineering undergraduate

Arun Puraiswamy, 22, felt

that while the event was not

on the same level as global TED

events, there was still value to

such seminars as they are important

to the places where the TED

conferences do not officially

visit.

“The talk could be made specific

to the younger generation,

such as NTU students,” he said.

On hearing such feedback,

Manoharan admitted that

TEDxNTU is still at its starting

stage.

“We’re still growing, and the

main TED event also started off

like this.”

He intends to make it a biannual

event, and promised “an enhanced

experience” in the future,

which he said would depend on

future selected speakers.

But the essential message

of TEDxNTU will still be unchanged.

“Have an idea. Life is all

about ideas, good ideas, bad

ideas, doesn’t matter. Just follow

it,” he said.


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05


CHRONICLE

NEWS 05

GOING GLOBAL: Professor Er Meng Hwa ensures students are prepared for the international stage through partnerships with external institutions. PHOTO | COURTESY OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE

Royce’s University Technology borders in your opinion?

Centre.

A: Geographical borders are

Through these joint collaborations,

our industrial partners are world for countries to protect

still relevant in the modern

Go international, able to tap on NTU’s expertise in their sovereignty. However, the

the form of our talented faculty changing global environment

and students and our world-class in the fields of communication

facilities.

and information, trade and finance,

politics and security,

At the same time, our students

and faculty benefit from the opportunity

to work with leading has created new opportunities

and science and technology

stay competitive

private sector researchers on and challenges.

complex and challenging reallife

systems.

top talents whose skills, expe-


In the globalised economy,


By working together on projects,

they are also able to access borders will be highly sought

rience and expertise transcend


the latest state-of-the art technology

and better understand countries.

after by employers in many


emerging trends.

Q: What does your position as

Vice President in charge of International

Affairs entail?

A: As Vice President for International

Affairs, I work closely

with the senior management

team to shape and carry out

NTU’s international agenda of

ensuring that our students are

well prepared for life and careers

that will increasingly have

an international dimension, and

to enable the university to effectively

compete on the world

stage for the best students and

faculty.

As ideas and knowledge in

every field become international,

being at the cutting edge of

higher education and research

requires a strong dialogue with

our peer institutions in other

countries.

This means that NTU needs

to enhance our reputation as a

choice partner with top international

universities and organisations.

This is another important

part of my job. Our partnerships

range from strategic education

and research collaborations, to

joint undergraduate and graduate

degrees, and international

undergraduate and graduate

student exchanges.

Q: How can NTU students prepare

themselves to be global

talents?

A: The world is increasingly becoming

more connected and interdependent.

To succeed in the working

world in the future, NTU students

need to have a cosmopolitan

mindset and they must be

prepared to meet the challenges

of working with people of different

nationalities and expertise.

This requires our students

to cultivate their cultural intelligence

and gain the right skills

and global exposure, so that

they can effectively engage and

work with teams anywhere in

the world.

Currently, one in two students,

or 50 per cent of the

graduating cohort, participate

in various programmes to grow

their global exposure and competence.

NTU’s new Office of Global

Education and Mobility aims to

raise this participation rate to 70

per cent, so that more students

can gain from a global educational

experience even though

they are studying in Singapore.

Q: Apart from an affiliation

with China by setting up a

campus there, how else is NTU

being internationalised?

A: We are developing more opportunities

for our students to

study and immerse themselves

in various overseas environments.

We are continuing to attract

top international students.

Every year, we bring in more

than 1,000 international students

from our partner universities

to spend a semester on our

campus.

This cultural exchange is an

important part of internationalisation.

NTU is also stepping up our

efforts to seek and enhance collaborative

agreements with the

best universities around the

world.

We have established joint

graduate and PhD programmes

with renowned universities, like

Imperial College London and the

Technical University of Munich.

NTU is also an active player

in GlobalTech, the network

of the world’s top technological

universities chaired by NTU

President Prof Bertil Andersson.

We are also expanding our

involvement in China and India,

as well as other regional networks

and alliances.

Our overseas alumni are a

valuable resource in these efforts,

and I look forward to cultivating

deeper ties with them.

NTU has established more

than 30 international alumni

chapters to network with our

alumni and potential partners.

“We are developing

more opportunities

for our students to

study and immerse

themselves in

various overseas

environments."

We have also been offering

international executive programmes

to professionals and

senior officials from the region

to be trained on NTU’s campus.

Q: How are international industrial

partners encouraged

to set up research facilities in

NTU? And how will this benefit

students?

A: NTU has established a number

of joint labs with our strategic

international industrial partners

on campus such as BOSCH

and THALES. NTU is also Rolls-

Q: Which international figure

do you look up to and why?

A: Our former Prime Minister Lee

Kuan Yew. Under his visionary

leadership, he has transformed

Singapore from a third world

country to first world status in

just one generation.

Singapore’s development and

transformation as a nation is a

miracle to many people around

the world and has drawn admiration

from many state leaders.

I come from a humble background

and my late father was a

hawker. I owe my success largely

to Singapore’s system.

Q: Which aspects of international

affairs would you like to

highlight during your tenure as

Vice President in charge of International

Affairs?

A: I intend to work with our

colleagues in the colleges and

schools to provide more global

educational programmes and opportunities

for our students.

I also aim to achieve the new

target of 70 per cent participation

rate during my tenure.

At the same time, I will be

working closely with President,

Provost and other senior colleagues

to help raise NTU’s international

profile and reputation

through various alliances and

networks.

This would also help raise

NTU’s visibility and improve

NTU’s global rankings.

Q: How relevant is geographical

“I come from

a humble

background and

my late father

was a hawker. I

owe my success

to a large part

to Singapore's

system."

Q: Which is your favourite

canteen in NTU?

A: I like to take Subway and

Japanese food for lunch when

I am on campus.

Q: What do you do in your

free time?

A: I like to read, especially

books on leadership and management,

I Ching, and Human

Brain Research.

I am also a keen golfer and

a Chinese classical song crooner.

I practice my golf swing at

the driving range 3 to 5 times a

week as a form of exercise and

relaxation.

I have developed a technique

called “PID” which

stands for “Posture, Inertia and

Dynamics” for my golf swing

which has proven good enough

to win the 3rd position in NTU’s

President Golf Challenge 2009.

I sing occasionally. I won the

championship in NTU’s Talentime

in 1989.


06 NEWS





























CHRONICLE

Try clothes on your virtual "self"

DOWN THE RUNWAY: Models like these may become obsolete with the interactive digital

technologies.

PHOTO | WAN ZHONG HAO

THE next time you shop for clothes

online, you may no longer have to

worry whether your purchase fits

you. Instead, you will be able to see

how the clothes fit on your virtual

“body” from your computer screen,

before making a decision.

This is possible with a new invention,

due to be launched in four

to six months' for online shops.

Called the Virtual Fashion &


GLOBETROTTER: Francis Lau has travelled to far off countries such as Denmark on business trips.

PHOTO | TAN WEI ZHENG

Clothes Simulation technology, it

was one of many interactive digital

media inventions showcased

in NTU’s New Media Village at

the Institute of Media Innovation

(IMI) on October 12th and 13th.

These inventions were the result

of a collaboration among the

different disciplines in NTU such as

computer engineering, mechanical

engineering and psychology.

The Virtual Fashion & Clothes

Simulation technology was developed

by Professor Nadia Thalmann,

the director of IMI. All you

have to do is key in your body

size into any website which has

the technology embedded, and

you will see a virtual “you” strutting

around, clad in the apparel of

your choice.

Professor Thalmann said that

this technology will help customers

avoid the disappointment of

purchasing ill-fitting clothes from

online retailers in the future.

“While the application is still

in its prototype phase, its real

value lies in bringing such a 3-D

virtual environment directly into

the design industry’s production

process, helping to shorten design

cycle times and cut physical sample

costs,” she added.

Designers would also benefit

from the technology, as they will

be able to try their designs on the

virtual models.

“This will revolutionise the fashion

industry as it would help designers

save on materials and money,

reduce time spent on marketing,

and cut the industry’s carbon footprint,

making for a more sustainable

planet,” said Professor Thalmann.

Other highlights unveiled at

IMI included the 3-D Immersive


18


05

Room, MAVEN (Mobile Avatar for

Virtual Engagement by NTU) and

the Crowd Simulator.

MAVEN is a remote-controlled

device on wheels, with Internet

and mobile video conferencing

capabilities.

It is different from normal

video conferencing devices as it

provides a 180-degree view of the

surroundings of the person you

are speaking to through its three

overhead cameras.

Visitors can also fully immerse

themselves in a virtual world with

the Immersive Room. Measuring

10m by 10m, the room features a

curved projection screen wall that

stretches almost 360 degrees all

around.

The Immersive Room is

equipped with infrared emitters,

high-end projectors, stereoscopic

lightweight 3-D glasses, position

trackers and computer graphics.

It has been used in applications

such as the Pink Dolphin

Simulation, a joint effort between

IMI researchers and the Underwater

World Singapore.

The simulation aims to help

autistic children improve their

communication and learning

skills through interaction with

virtual dolphins, as research has

shown that they respond and interact

well with dolphins.

Using Kinect technology, the

same used in Xbox consoles, the

dolphins in the simulation move according

to a user’s hand movements.

Dr Noel Chia, Assistant Professor

with the Early Childhood

& Special Needs Education Academic

Group, explained that this

simulation could potentially be

a cost-effective tool to improve

interaction skills in autistic children,

given the high costs of conducting

Dolphin Assisted Therapy

with live dolphins.

On display was also the Crowd

Simulator, which helps to predict

human behavior during emergency

evacuations by allowing the

user to control a virtual avatar using

hand gestures and guide other

virtual characters in the direction

he wants them to follow.

Professor Thalmann believes

that the multi-disciplinary collaborations

have played a significant

role in contributing to IMI’s

research discoveries.

She said: “This is a multi-disciplinary

initiation with professors

and students from different schools,

linking arts and hard science. This

is a new image for NTU now.”

Expand your horizons with a Maritime career
















































































CANDICE NEO


18

NEWS 07




05 CHRONICLE

Take your tastebuds global





EL-HASSAN~TASTE OF MOROCCO

(CANTEEN 11)

WATCHING Mr Nasir Bin Ali chatter

with his customers, you can

hardly tell he only took over the

business four months ago.

His passion for his stall is

expressed through his regular

prompts for feedback from his

customers to ensure that their expectations

are met.

“First and foremost, I [enjoy]

meeting people. I don’t really regard

[students] as my customers, I

regard them as my friends,” said

Mr Nasir.

Though born in Singapore, Mr

Nasir remains confident about the

authenticity and taste of his food.

He picked up the trade from

his Moroccan uncle who taught

him how to make the stall’s signature

kebab.

This stall is hard to miss with

Qu’ran prayers playing in the

background and the aroma of kebab

wafting from it during busy

hours.

While many may know it as

the western stall, it is not the typical

stall selling your usual chicken

chop and spaghetti.

A closer look will find a menu

peppered with varied Middle Eastern

or Moroccan influences.

The stall is in fact, an extension

of his family business, El-

Hassan ~Taste of Morocco, a F&B

business partly owned by his Moroccan

uncle.

Mr Nasir believes that the

skills his uncle imparted to him

have allowed him to prepare

high quality Moroccan food

which could rival that of a native

cook.

He revealed that Arab students

regularly buy his Kebab,

which he says is a sign of its authentic

taste.

The 38-year-old stallholder

picked up his passion for cooking

from helping his mother in the

kitchen when he was young.

“I don't really

regard students as

my customers, I

regard them as my

friends."

Mr Nasir Bin Ali

Stallholder

El-Hassan ~ Taste of Morocco

“Initially, I was not interested

at all but I ended up in the kitchen

with my mother and had to

help her. In the process, I learnt

a bit about cooking, and [my interest]

grew and developed,” he

said.

His current job is a completely

different scope of work from his

previous job as a safety engineer

at Exxon Mobil.

Asked if he likes the job

switch, he said, “I’m passionate

about cooking, I love food and I

think the hall 10 and 11 students

are very lucky people. They have

a lot of good food here.”

MANNA KOREAN CUISINE

(CANTEEN 13)

AFTER a six-year work attachment

as a branch manager for

Hyundai in Singapore, Mr David

Sin decided to make a permanent

shift here in 1999 and dived into

the food business for his family’s

sake.

“My family wanted to stay…

because if we return to Korea then

maybe the education system will

be different. I wanted to allow my

children to continue studying in

Singapore so I resigned,” said the

56-year-old.

He opened his stall in the revamped

Canteen 13 in July 2006,

at the suggesiton of the canteen

owner who had heard of Mr Sin's

restuarant business, to attract Korean

food-lovers.

The food stall was hailed as a

must-try by Felicia Chin and Dasmond

Koh, hosts of Channel U

food programme, Campus Yummy

Hunt.

The native Korean is also the

owner of Manna Korean Restaurant

and his Korean food can also

be found at Telok Ayer Street and

Takashimaya Food Village.

Many of Mr Sin’s ingredients

such as his special sauce are imported

from Korea to preserve authenticity.

Some of the food is also

prepared at the restaurant by their

Korean chef before being sent to

NTU.

Despite the cost, Mr Sin continues

to keep his food affordable

at the canteen outlet; prices are

half or a quarter of their usual

rates. $3.80 can get you a piping

hot bowl of their popular bibimbap

and soup.

He said. “Our workers give big

portions [and] the price is low but

quality is not compromised. So

pretty much everyone can enjoy

Korean food.”

SPECIAL XI'AN NOODLES

(CANTEEN 9)

MRS XU Shuang Zhi, 49, has seen

cohorts of graduates come and go

in her 15 years selling Chinese

fare.

“Call it fate,” she said when

asked why she opened the stall. “I

first found this stall when I saw

an advertisement while flipping

through the newspapers”

She had been looking for a

job, having married a local and

migrated to Singapore.

“Call it fate... I

first found this

stall when I saw

an advertisement

while flipping the

newspaper."

Mrs Xu Shuang Zhi

Stallholder

Xi'an Specialities

SAY KIMCHI: Mr David Sin outside Manna Korean Restaurant, one of the chain of stalls he

owns selling authentic Korean food. PHOTOS | GOH CHAY TENG

her family of six, and the stall is

kept open for business everyday

except for the three days of Chinese

New Year.

Her husband often comes by

to help her at the stall.

“It’s not an easy job. Usually

we wake up at 5, 6am or sometimes,

even 3 or 4am just to prepare

food.”

The time depends on the

quantity of food that Mrs Xu has

to prepare for the next day.

All her noodles and dumplings

have to be traditionally

handmade with pure flour everyday.

“When you talk about Xi’an

food, you are really talking about

our noodles," she said

"Xi’an noodles are very special

in that they are made of pure

flour and they can be very thick

in texture."

“It’s not like your normal

mee pok or mee kia. Our noodles

have to be consumed fresh within

the day or it will become fermented,

which is why we need

so much time to prepare the food

everyday.”

She also sells traditional cold

side dishes like cold tossed seasoned

shredded potatos, cold

tossed seaweed, and marinated

cucumber to accompany the noodles.

Speaking of hometown food,

she shared that “the famous director,

Zhang Yimou—he’s also

a Xi’an person. It is known that

every five to six days, he must go

back home to have a meal.”

AUTHENTIC TASTE: Mr Nasir's Middle Eastern dishes have a devoted following among

Arab students.

Though an accountant back

in China, Mrs Xu decided to open

a food business due to her poor

command of English.

For her, Xi’an Noodles is her

bread and butter for supporting

TWIST OF FATE: Mrs Xu was an accountant in China but decided to run a food stall at

Canteen 9 after marrying a Singaporean.


Lifestyle

Discover

Vietnam’s rural charm – Page 14

CHILLING OUT

DJ STYLE





QUIET MARINA: Boy Thunder likes Marina Barrage for the gentle

breeze that helps even first timers fly their kites high.

BOY THUNDER AND ADAM PIPERDY





WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE CHILL-

OUT SPOT?

BOY THUNDER: The first place that

comes to mind is Marina Barrage. My

girlfriend brought me there on a date

about a year ago, and I thoroughly enjoyed

my time chilling out on a picnic

mat with a kite in hand.

You’ll be amazed at how good you are

even if you’re a first time flyer, thanks

to the breeze.

Since then, I’ve been hanging out there

once a month without fail.

ADAM PIPERDY: I usually go to Changi

Beach—Bistro@Changi. I’ve been going

there for three years.

My ex-girlfriend’s uncle owns the pub

there, so we used to hang out there

quite a bit.

I usually grab a few beers, then take a

walk down the beach and admire the

lights from the boats.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS PLACE

THAT HELPS YOU TO RELAX AND

DE-STRESS?

BOY THUNDER: The gentle breeze and

the escape from the usual Orchard

Road crowd. This place has a vast

field. Families gather here for picnics

and the sky is a picturesque view of

kites all over.

ADAM PIPERDY: It’s a little hard to

get here by public transport and that

means that not many people get here.

It is much quieter and more peaceful

than East Coast Park, so you get a sense

of tranquillity just by watching the

sunset or people riding bikes.

You can also hear the waves coming

in, and the rhythmic crashing of waves

onto the sand calms me down and

gives me a sense of peace.

Since we host shows for crowds, sometimes

we really need to get away from

everything, sit down, and listen to the

waves coming in.

Call me old school but that’s how I like

to spend my free time. (Laughs)

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME OF THE

DAY TO HANG OUT THERE?

BOY THUNDER: From 4.30pm till before

it gets too dark.

ADAM PIPERDY: I guess watching the

sunset is great. And if you happen to

ton (stay up for) the night, you can

watch the sunrise too.

MR YOUNG






WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE CHILL-

OUT SPOT?

Does Facebook count? Just kidding.

There’s pretty much two places I’m

at most of the time these days—either

at home, savoring my alone

CHANGI CALM: Changi beach is much quieter and more peaceful than East Coast Park, as it’s a little hard to get there by

public transport, says Adam.

PHOTOS | GOH CHAY TENG, WAN ZHONG HAO, COURTESY OF 91.3FM

time, or at Evolve Mixed Martial

Arts, a mixed martial arts gym in

Far East Square. I’m there Monday

to Friday in the afternoon till early

evening, and most of Saturday.

I take Muay Thai classes, boxing

classes, chat with the people there,

and read up on whatever’s interesting

that I can use on my radio show

in between classes.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS PLACE

THAT HELPS YOU TO RELAX AND

DE-STRESS?

It’s the nice, friendly vibe there—an

atmosphere of learning and respect.

No matter how good you are, there’s

always someone better that you can

learn something from. It’s a refreshing

change from the oft-pretentious

world I’m in.

Plus, exercise is an amazing tool

for de-stressing. When I’m there, job

stress, worries, frustrations, everything

that brings me down doesn’t

exist. I sweat, punch, kick, elbow,

knee it all out. The fact that it’s getting

my fat butt in shape is a bonus, too.

It’s funny because some may see

the combat sports as wild and violent,

but it’s really helped me focus and

calm my mind.

SWEATING IT OUT: Taking Muay Thai and boxing classes at Evolve Mixed Martial

Arts helps Mr Young keep cool.


12

LIFESTYLE


CHRONICLE


18


05

LEARNING FROM OTHERS

HOOT.ME



Hoot.Me is a collaborative study tool that makes your social network also your knowledge network. Using

the application, you can join a study session and discuss questions and problems with friends on Facebook,

using group video conferencing and smart chat, which supports math symbols for equations and YouTube

video embedding. Study sessions are stored, so you can view conversations that you missed or that were

held a while back to find possible answers.

OPEN STUDY



Open Study is a real time, give-help-and-get-help study site open to

students worldwide. There is a wide range of study groups based on

topic. Students directly answer questions posted, resulting in Q&A

format instead of drawn out discussions. If no one in your circle of

friends can help, try tapping on the brains of more than 50,000 students

registered on the site.

MANAGING TIME AND TASKS

SIX-DAY EVENT SCHEDULE




Start maximising your 24 hours a day, six days a week in a snap with

this basic Microsoft Office Excel sheet. Straightforward and printerready,

it has columns for Mondays to Saturdays with hourly rows from

7am to 11pm. Make the template uniquely yours and add a column for

Sunday for more study time, or adjust the hours to suit your body clock.

YOUR STUDY

BU D DY:

THE INTERNET




FACEBOOK FOR STUDYING: Hoot.Me allows you to hold study sessions with group video conferencing and smart chat,

which supports math symbols for equations and YouTube video embedding. PHOTOS | INTERNET

ACCESSING YOURSELF

STUDY BLUE



Create flash cards that support text (including special characters for

mathematics and languages), audio recordings and images with Study

Blue. Check on your progress by converting your flash card deck into a

multiple-choice or true/false quiz. You can compare and combine flash

card decks with friends. For studying on the go, access your material

via the Study Blue mobile phone app.

QUIZLET



Like Study Blue, you can create flash cards with Quizlet and access a

database of flash cards created by other students. To add to that, Quizlet

also has study games like Scatter (matching game) and Space Race

(speed game), and a text-to-speak feature that allows you to listen to

terms and definitions instead of reading them, if you prefer.

OTHER USEFUL TOOLS

SPREEDER




Spreeder will help you get through your avalanche of readings before

you know it. It trains you to speed read by making you read a passage

you upload first at your base rate (the rate you can read with full

comprehension), then at double that rate, and a third time back at

your base rate. Repeat this cycle and you will find your base rate has

increased. Upload your readings as practice passages, and your pile of

readings will decrease as your base rate increases.





Collate all your study material for a particular topic with Just Paste

It—import notes from word processors including Microsoft Word,

Microsoft Works and Open Office (text formatting will be preserved),

insert images, and even embed videos. Your work will be automatically

saved to the server every three minutes, so you need not worry about

LEARN TO SPEED READ: Spreeder trains you to speed read by increasing your base rate (the rate you can read with full a browser crash interfering. When you are done, save your work as a

comprehension) through free online practice. PHOTOS | INTERNET PDF file, or publish it to generate a URL that you can share with friends.


18


05

SARNIES

TO ENJOY: Instead of having a sandwich to go,

savour Sarnies’ flavourful dishes amongst its

cosy interiors.

LOCATED amidst the bustling financial

district, Sarnies is a modestly-sized café

specialising in freshly prepared gourmet

sandwiches. Its name comes from the word

“sarnie”, which refers to the British slang for

sandwich.

The café has an understated charm, with

the wooden furniture and dim lighting of

the interior giving off a rustic and cosy feel.

The breakfast menu is available from

7.30am to 11am, while lunch is sold after

11am till 3pm. The food usually gets sold out

by then 3pm, but the café remains open till

5pm selling drinks only.

ARTISAN WICHES



SIMPLY

BREAD


CHRONICLE


WITH a name like Simply Bread, it is no

surprise that bread takes centre stage here.

The fragrant smell of freshly-baked bread

wafting through the air, hits you when you

step into the store—which has a wide array of

bread, pastries, and loaves on display.

Located in a quiet corner on the second

level of Cluny Court, the café’s interiors are

minimalist—with a clean design and white

furniture. The floor-to-ceiling windows offer

a scenic view of the greenery outside and also




The lunch menu has several savoury

sandwich choices, such as Aussie Grass

Fed Steak, Smoked Salmon and Chicken

Schnitzel, all priced from $11.90 to $14.90.

At the owner’s recommendation, I ordered

the Roast Chicken Sarnie ($12.90), the café’s

signature and bestseller.

It had generous portions of roasted

chicken, house cured bacon, and homemade

guacamole tightly packed between two

crusty slices of bread. This is one of their less

sinful options as the chicken is roasted and

the bacon is free from preservatives.

The chicken tasted of flavourful herbs

and spices, which contrasted elegantly with

the crunch of bacon. The vine tomatoes and

lettuce gave a zingy bite to complement the

taste of the meat.

To top it all off, guacamole complemented

the strong and earthy flavour of the other

ingredients. All in all, this fancy sandwich

tasted marvellous, and was worth every

penny.

The other item I tried was the Basil Pesto

Sarnie ($11.90). It came with a layer of grilled

mushrooms, oven roasted tomatoes, and fresh

greens tossed in olive oil.

The aromatic basil pesto sauce was spread

thickly across the toasted bread. The portion

was just right, with quality ingredients

packed generously, leaving me satisfied

without feeling too stuffed or bloated.




CLEAN AND CRISP: As bread was their main attraction, Simply Bread kept their interiors minimal yet

stylish. PHOTOS | WAN ZHONG HAO

allows sunlight to stream in, brightening

the place. It has a laid back feel and offers

a comfortable spot where you can sit back

and relax.

Their lunch menu serves up a good

variety of sandwiches and each order comes

with a side of coleslaw. Aside from the classic

Grilled Cheese Sandwich ($6.45), they also

have standard options like Ham & Cheese

($9) and Chunky Egg ($7.10). Like Subway,

you can pick out your preferred bread from

Much of the sandwich’s flavour came from

the sauce, but it was not too overpowering

and blended nicely with the juicy mushrooms

and refreshing greens. To ensure freshness,

the sauces are made daily and produced from

scratch.

As well as sandwiches, the café serves

soups and salads, priced from $9.90 to $12.90.

And alongside the usual coffees, they sell

brews from Singapore-based gourmet tea

company Tea Connection which only sells

to cafes.

I washed down my sandwich with a

the display counter. There is a wide selection

of loaves ranging from White Sourdough to

Ciabatta and Rustic White, each with their

own distinct taste.

The first sandwich I ordered was the

Turkey Sandwich ($8.50). It came in

two halves of palm-sized portions, with

thinly sliced turkey, lettuce, and sweet

ploughman’s pickle tucked between two slices

of Rustic Wholemeal bread. However, it was

disappointing as it tasted like something that

can be easily replicated in your own kitchen.

The only thing that stood out was the

sweet ploughman’s pickle. It added a punch

to the overall taste, giving the sandwich

a savoury bite. However, it got a little

overpowering at times, masking the taste of

the turkey as a result.

The BLT Sandwich ($9.50) fared slightly

better. I had this with Sourdough Rye, a rustic

loaf with a thick crust and soft interior. The

sandwich had generous amounts of bacon,

lettuce, and tomatoes, and every mouthful

was crunchy and flavourful, with the

refreshing taste of the greens contrasting

against salty bacon. The crispy lettuce and

juicy tomatoes attested to the quality of

ingredients used. My only qualm was that I

could only taste faint traces of the thin layer

of mayonnaise that was spread across the

bread. As a result, it became a little too dry

halfway through the sandwich.

Service, however, scored high on my

cards. The variety of breads available left

me spoilt for choices but the staff were

forthcoming in their recommendations. This

friendly gesture will no doubt help diners

pick out a type of bread that best suits their

preference.

Sandwiches aside, you must give their

LIFESTYLE

13

Lemon and Ginger Tea ($5) which had an

invigorating lemon zestiness and a cooling

ginger aftertaste.

To complete your meal, the café also

offers sweet treats. The menu for the baked

goods changes daily and it includes muffins,

cookies, scones and brownies. Do check out

their Facebook page for their daily specials.

Being a small café, it is relatively quiet

and is a decent location to lunch and lounge

around for a bit, but do take note that it can

get crowded from 12-2pm when the nearby

office crowd starts filling in.

BURSTING WITH FLAVOURS: The Basil Pesto Sarnie was worth every dollar as they were generous

with the ingredients, which went marvellously with the fragrant pesto sauce.

PHOTOS | GOH CHAY TENG

Sticky Bun ($1.85) a shot. The bun is a crowd

favourite, and it will usually be sold out

in the late afternoon. The bun was chewy,

dense, and generously glazed, with hints of

cinnamon. It was sweet, but not cloyingly

so, making a perfect afternoon snack. This

sweet treat paired well with the Orange Pekoe

Tea ($2.80), a drink that had a subtle citrus

aroma and taste to it which also left a pleasant

lingering sweetness.

Simply Bread is a comfortable and

peaceful place which provides a tranquil

ambience for an afternoon snack. However,

there is nothing exceptional about their main

courses. With prices and tastes comparable

to other sandwich cafes around, it might not

be worth the trouble to go out of your way

for a bite of their sandwich.

MEDIOCRE: Unless you live in around the

neighbourhood, Simply Bread’s sandwiches

are not worth travelling for.


14

LIFESTYLE



CHRONICLE

OFF THE BEATEN TREK




18


05

RUSTIC LANDSCAPE: Paddy rice and maize corn fields make up the mountainous region of Sapa, home to a rich diversity of ethnic minority groups with breathtaking views of sunsets.

ith just a return ticket

from Singapore to

Ho Chi Minh and

W no accommodation,

tours, or transport booked for the

entire trip, I set out on a nineday

backpacking trip, in hope

of unexpected adventures. Some

have called me crazy for doing

that, especially in a country

where I have never been and

whose language I do not speak.

But I have always wanted to

experience what it was really like,

off the tourist route.

As we had to navigate the

country on our own, we encountered

taxi drivers who insisted on

longer routes, or even “helpful”

locals who wanted a quick buck.

We realised the hard way that

hotels close for the night when

we arrived at one too early in

the morning and had to wait two

hours at its door before it opened

for the day.

After walking through the

hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh

and Hanoi for the first three

days, I was yearning for some

open spaces and rustic scenery.

A staff at a local tour agency in

Hanoi told us that Sapa was a

rural little village situated in the

mountainous region of Vietnam,

and is home to a rich diversity of

ethnic minority groups. Eager to

get away from the city, we immediately

took up the tour package

to Sapa.

Hanoi bid us goodbye in its

typical chaotic manner at the

Hanoi Railway Train Station.

Each time a train pulled up,

hoards jostled to get off and on

it, while the train attendants blew

their whistles incessantly. We

were trying to squeeze past the

crowds to locate our platform,

when a Vietnamese man in

uniform stopped us in our tracks.

He took a glance at our tickets,

smiled, and waved us over to

follow him. At that point, I was

relieved, thankful for the valueadded

service that the station

provided. When we arrived at our

train, the man stopped us again.

This time, he gestured to us for

money. From then on, I learnt that

there is no such thing as a free

lunch in Vietnam.

After travelling for more

than eight hours on a sleeper

train from Hanoi, we finally

made it to Lao Cai Province in

northwest Vietnam. It is located

near the border of China, where

the Red River separates the two

communist countries. Unlike

Hanoi, which was hot and humid,

this province has a fairly cool

temperature, ranging from 15°C

to 29°C. It was such a relief to feel

the cool breeze once I made my

way down from the train and on

to another bus which would take

us to Sapa town.

We were packed into the

small bus with 20 tourists, but

I was lucky enough to get a

window seat. I was rewarded

with a magnificent view of the

mountains as the bus pulled its

way up the steep and winding

roads, which bears a staggering

altitude of 1,600m. I was faintly

reminded of the ride up Genting

Highlands, but with more majestic

and breathtaking views this time.

The precipitous slopes are

carved into beautiful green

terraces of paddy rice and maize

corns fields. At six in the morning,

we saw the blazing red sun slowly

appearing behind the mountains,

and the sky was tinged with

shades of orange and blue.

As soon as we arrived, we

heard the line, “Excuse me,

can you buy this from me?”

being repeated relentlessly. A

group of women dressed in their

traditional ethnic costumes stood

by the bus, hands stretched into

the bus’s open windows, shoving

handicraft items at us. This

definitely made for a bizarre

introduction to the minority

ethnic people.

A while later, I learnt from

my local guide, Viet, that these

aboriginal ladies would walk

miles from their villages to the

town centre of Sapa and spend the

rest of the day selling handicrafts

to tourists. With limited English,

they would attempt to strike up

small talk by asking, “Where are

you from?”, but they all end with

the imminent question, “can you

buy this from me?”. A group of

three tailed us during our trek,

from Sapa’s town centre to Cat Cat

Village. Due to their persistence,

I finally gave in and bought a

keychain.

At Cat Cat Village, shrieks

of village kids came within

earshot as we entered the village.

They were playing outside their

homes which are lined along the

undulating slopes in the valley.

Instead of battery-operated toys,

they played with sticks, stones,

and whatever they found in their

environment. Due to the high

influx of tourists in the village,

they did not look surprised to see

us, preferring to return to their

own fun and games instead.

Our guide Viet kindly took us

into one of the villagers’ homes.

I was astonished to see how

sparse and primitive the place

was. I noticed that simplicity

and functionality are priorities

in their lifestyle. There were

only a few pieces of furniture,

and no hint of technology, save

for a television set. It made me

reflect on how most things in our

urban environment are not that

necessary.

We continued our way down

the valley, where a stunning

waterfall awaited at the bottom.

With the sun beating against the

cascading waters, it was like a

shower of diamonds. With such

alluring views of nature, the

trek was anything but tiresome.

We also saw farmers plowing the

paddy rice fields, while chickens

and pigs roamed freely on the

PHOTOS | COURTESY OF JEREMY TAN

SCISSORS, PAPER, STONE: The kids of Cat Cat Village make do with what they

have and fashion toys out of their immediate surroundings.




farm grounds.

When evening came, we

enjoyed a cup of hot Vietnamese

coffee on the rooftop of one of

the many cafes in Sapa, and took

in the breathtaking sight of dusk

approaching. We watched the sun

retreat behind the mountains,

and listened to the crows of the

rooster as it announced the end

of another day. This is Sapa, a

rural countryside that allows

you to leave behind the bustle of

cities, and admire the slow-paced

beauty of village life.


18



16 CHRONICLE LIFESTYLE

05


She’s

Got The

Love


18


LIFESTYLE CHRONICLE 15








THE BEST compliment anyone

can pay to Florence

and the Machine is that she

sounds like nothing you’ve

ever heard in your life.

There have been many

labels attached to the redhaired

songstress—baroque

pop and art rock among

them, but Florence Welch

defies them all.

Her music runs across

the entire musical spectrum,

from breathy ethereal

ballads to rebellious punk

anthems, all delivered with

a knowing wink and a pout

of the lips.

At just 25, the singer

has already become a global

star. Her debut studio album

Lungs was certified gold in

the USA, selling over 730,

000 copies – a rarity for a

British musician since the

glory days of the Beatles.

Frequently turning up

for interviews dressed in an

eclectic mix of clothing and

digressing into tangents to

discuss Nabokov’s Lolita and

the British cult film Withnail

and I, everything about

Florence Welch screams

unconventional. Even her

stage name (often stylised

as Florence + The Machine)

came from a private joke in

which she referred to her

friend Isabella Summers as

Isabella Machine, and herself

as Florence Robot.

“I was an hour away from

my first gig when I realised

the name Florence Robot/

Isabella Machine was so long

it would drive me mad,” she

said in an interview with the

Sunday Times.

The ‘Machine’ today refers

to the rotating group

of musicians who provide

backup vocals and instrumentals

for Welch, while

Summers remains as her

main keyboardist.

“I knew I loved

singing and

music...it was

always just

something that

I loved but I was

never thinking

of it as a career.

It was more just

like, ‘OH, I CAN

SING! WOO!”

Florence Welch

Interview with Clash Music

The 31-year-old is no

slouch in the creative department

herself, having

earned six producer and five

co-writer credits on Lungs,

a 2010 BRIT Masterclass

Award winner.

It would come as no surprise

to learn that Welch’s

path to fame was fittingly

unique as well.

Starting out at the bottom

rung of the London

club scene in the mid-2000s,

she caught her big break in

December 2006 while performing

in London, Soho for

the Queens of Noize, a band

of influential music promoters

and producers.

Thoroughly inebriated,

Welch cornered band member

Mairead Nash, in the

bathroom and started singing

the 1962 hit Something’s

Got a Hold on Me by Etta

James.

“I invited her back for

another night, and I remember

thinking ‘Oh…my…God,

I’ve literally never heard

anyone with such a powerful

voice ever,” recalls Nash in

an interview with the Daily

Telegraph. “I had to manage

her.”

Florence and the Machine

eventually released Lungs in

2009 to widespread critical

acclaim.

Peaking at number one

on the UK charts and second

in Ireland, it would eventually

reach the top of the

American charts as well.

Chart success isn’t the

only indicator of the singer’s

influence though.

Tracks from Lungs have

been used in official movie

soundtracks such as Eat,

Pray, Love, and featured in

episodes of television series

like 90210, Skins, and Glee.

“Do I want

to be stuck

in teenage

land, where

everything’s

free and easy?

Is it time to

grow up?”

Florence Welch, reflecting on

her new-found maturity.

Interview with The Observer

The music videos created

for Lungs all display her love

of colour and crazy clothes.

In Dog Days Are Over she

prances around in a kimono

and rags through a cloud of

cloured smoke.

Another common element

of her videos is her eccentric

refusal to wear pants.

Irreverent, playful and

whimsical—it perfectly encapsulates

both Florence and

her Machine both as a person

and a music band.

The October 31st release

date of their upcoming album

Ceremonials cannot

come soon enough.

Lungs (2009)

BRIT Award winner and certified platinum in a dozen countries

across Europe, what is it that makes Lungs so special? The sheer

variety of the songs on the album, for a start.

Kiss With a Fist, for example, is a cheerfully manic song with

lyrics like: You smashed a plate over my head / So I set fire to our

bed. It sounds absolutely nothing like the majestic Cosmic Love,

with its epic swelling overtures.

According to Florence herself, the entire album is a journey. It was

designed as a cohesive whole from start to finish, with its very randomness

an integral part of linking the different songs together.

“It’s like a scrapbook,” she said in an interview with Artist Direct.

“You have to listen to everything to understand the whole body

of work.”

There are albums that you only play when you feel sad, or happy.

The beauty of Lungs is that it has any song to fit any occasion. It

is full of wonder and nonsense with equal measure. How else can

you explain lyrics like: Washes away down the kitchen sink, taken

from the album’s crowning jewel, Dog Days Are Over?

In her own words, “I really love the idea of making the totally

mundane magical.”Adding a dash of colour to an otherwise grey

day, Lungs is one of those albums you’d pick if you had to choose

one to take with you to a desert island.

PHOTOS | INTERNET


16 LIFESTYLE


MUSIC


CHRONICLE


18


05

MYLO XYLOTO

(Alternative Rock)

Coldplay


According to Coldplay, the

album’s lyrics were inspired

by ‘old school American

graffiti’ and the ‘White Rose

Movement’.

IT COULD have been just

another pretentious name

for a Hollywood celebrity’s

baby. Instead Mylo Xyloto

is Coldplay’s latest offering

following their 2008 hit

record, Viva La Vida or Death

and All His Friends.

When asked by the New

York Times about the meaning

of the album title, lead singer

Chris Martin was reluctant to

tell the truth.

“Music comes from a

place we don’t know. It sort

of comes through the fingers

and toes,” he said vaguely.

Martin later revealed that

the title came out of the

‘randomness of the universe’

on American political satire

program The Colbert Report.

Billed as a concept album,

Mylo Xyloto delves into a

narrative of two young

lovers, Mylo and Xyloto in an

oppressive, dystopian urban

environment.

The term ‘concept album’

RACHAEL Yamagata is, by

her own admission, not one

to write happy songs.

So it is a pleasant surprise

to find that Chesapeake,

which was three years in the

making, is a more uplifting

release than her previous effort

Elephants...Teeth Sinking

Into Heart.

The 34-year-old’s signature

sultry tones are a mainstay

on the album, and lend

themselves well to the variety

of genres she samples.

Opening track Even If

I Don’t is a twee, upbeat

number reminiscent of a pop

song, with a sprightly tempo

punctuated by drumbeats.

This jaunty, refreshing

track is likely to find the

songstress some new fans—it

is an accessible entry point

into an album in which

Yamagata discovers her more

optimistic side.

Stick Around, with its

smoky jazz flavour, is a hopeis

debatable though, as the

narrative is not properly

explored, nor does it seem

to go beyond the surface

storyline of boy meets girl.

But that is easily forgiven,

as the individual tracks in

the record are enthusiastic,

upbeat and generally more

uplifting than any of

Coldplay’s previous albums.

With the help of coproducer

Brian Eno, the

album achieves a very

luxurious, surging sound that

is a mix of swelling synths,

exhilarating guitar riffs and

Martin’s gorgeous falsetto.

The melodies, guided

along by catchy piano tunes,

simply bring everything

together in a right balance,

especially in tracks like Hurts

Like Heaven.

Balance is the key word

for this album. The band’s

previous work produced very

heavy anthems like Viva La

Vida.

While that formula still

features prominently in

Mylo Xyloto, it is smoothed

out by light, playful beats

paired with delicately

beautiful instrumentation.

Their song Paradise elegantly

exemplifies this balance.

Martin sings a thirdperson

narrative about a girl

whose life has not measured

up to her expectations: When

she was just a girl she expected

the world / But it flew away

from her reach so she ran

away in her sleep.

With a strong hook, and

the always-loved stretched

vocals of Martin, one can

easily imagine a ginormous

sea of swaying arms at a

stadium, well-equipped with

light sticks or mobile phones.

While Eno, who also

produced U2’s 1991 record

Achtung Baby, also worked

on Coldplay’s last album, his

touch is more evident in Mylo

Xyloto.

Eno’s signature use of

synths and keyboards is more

apparent, especially in one of

the album’s standout tracks

Princess of China which

features R&B artist Rihanna.

The band’s trademark

piano and light guitar riffs

take a backseat to make

way for robust synths and

compellingly heavy guitar

riffs in this song.

Rihanna unexpectedly

lends a sense of depth to the

song and elevates Martin’s

comparatively weak vocals

to a level that might not have

been possible without her.

While Mylo Xyloto still

carries the world music

elements that Coldplay had

infused in their music three

years ago, it is also packed

with well-placed urban traces

that will cement their status

as the biggest-selling band in

the world.

-JENNIFER DHANARAJ

U.F.O: Mylo Xyloto’s title is so bizzare, inspiration for Coldplay’s fifth album might have come from outer space.

STICK AROUND: Fans of honest, mellow and soulful music will certainly not go wrong giving Rachael Yamagata’s (left) Cheaspeake a listen.

PHOTOS | INTERNET

CHESAPEAKE (Indie)

Rachael Yamagata


Rachael Yamagata’s songs

have featured on popular TV

shows like ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

and ‘How I Met Your Mother’.

ful take on second chances in

love. She sings: I’ve been in

trouble before with my rushing

in / but I’m willing to take the

chance again.

Older fans may be pleased

to note that Yamagata has not

completely abandoned her

contemplative, somber roots.

Full On is a delicate,

wistful piano ballad, with

Yamagata’s vocals reined in to

convey the disappointment of

a lover ‘faking it for so long’.

For this album, Yamagata

reunited with music producer

John Alagia, with whom

she also collaborated on her

debut album Happenstance,

released in 2004.

However it is evident that

this soulful songbird has

evolved since she emerged

onto the music scene.

From song to song,

Yamagata writes with a maturity

and intimacy that is not

often found among contemporary

pop artists.

Chesapeake enters previously

uncharted territory in

Yamagata’s repertoire by being

slightly eclectic, resulting

in a collection of songs that

lacks a clear direction for her

as an artiste.

However this exploration

of Yamagata’s happier persona

is, above all, a commendable

exercise in self-discovery.

-CLARA LOCK


18


CHRONICLE


05


MUSICAL

DICK LEE: THE ADVENTURES OF THE

MAD CHINAMAN


Fresh from his stint as creative director for 2010’s

National Day Parade, Dick Lee returns to theatre

production with a bang.

BASED on his biography of

the same title, The Adventures

of the Mad Chinaman is Dick

Lee’s intimate and often

hilarious recount of his life

journey towards musical

stardom.

Featuring many wellloved

local hits such as

Rasa Sayang and Fried Rice

Paradise, the solo recital hits

home as both a lively depiction

of the life of a local musician

and a record of Singapore’s

music history.

One of the most successful

local musicians, the 55-yearold

is well-known for his

numerous music compositions

and plays, including the

renowned play Forbidden

City: Portrait of an Empress,

LOOKING SPLENDID: Dick Lee captivates the audience with his honesty.

“If I could go

back in time, I

would tell my

20-year-old self,

“Don’t worry,

just do it.” But,

looking back,

I think I did it

anyway.”

Dick lee, in an interview with

August Man.

first staged in 2002.

With his characteristic

down-to-earth narration,

Lee manages to bring both

laughter and tears to the

audience.

From sharing personal

stories such as the death of his

beloved sister to poking fun at

local politics, he comes across

as honest and straightforward.

Set in a living room with a

mix of designer furniture and

artefacts from the past, he also

infuses a nostalgic flavour

into this solo recital.

Lee looked sharp in a

pink suit as he alternated

between lively performances

at his white grand piano and

unpretentious recounts of his

life’s many trials, setbacks

and triumphs while seated on

his sofa.

He delivers a great

performance beyond a

simple music recital, belting

out renditions of famous

songs like Heart of Gold,

prancing around to the beat

of old Chinese pop songs, and

sharing humorous stories.

The audience is given a

peek into Singapore’s past as

Lee recounts the transition

in Singapore’s music culture

over the decades, such as the

move from use of Laser Discs

(LDs) to Compact Discs (CDs)

and the phasing-out of video

cassettes.

Among his numerous

heart-warming tales, one

highlight is an escapade

during his years in Saint

Joseph’s Institution.

He recalls an early

mischievous attempt at

business when he sold books

containing objectionable

material to his classmates.

Despite his admission of

guilt at that incident, the

comical manifestation of Lee’s

entrepreneurial spirit at such

a young age was greeted with

both laughter and awe from

the audience.

In a more significant

episode, Dick Lee describes

his initial difficulty in

establishing himself as a

musician.

His admiration for

successful Western musicians

had led him to strive hard to

imitate them.

However, he realised that

in the process he had lost sight

of something more important

than fame and glory—his

Singaporean identity.

This would prove to be

critical to his success later on.

Spurred on by this

LIFESTYLE 17

HE’LL BE BACK: A sequel, The Return of the Mad Chinaman, is in the works.

PHOTOS | INTERNET

awareness, he created a

form of national identity

through his composition of

the National Day song Home

in 1998, which was performed

by local singer Kit Chan.

Similarly, The Adventures

of the Mad Chinaman does

more than just entertain.

Beyond the laughter, tears,

and a lesson on Singapore’s

history, the audience is led

to contemplate their life’s

achievements and goals.

A sequel, The Return of the

Mad Chinaman, is currently

in the works.

It will continue the story

from where Lee left off, and

with luck it will be just as

good as the first.

-ALOYSIUS LAI

BOOKS

DAMNED

Chuck Palahniuk (Fiction)

$24.95 at Kinokuniya

Published by Jonathan Cape

Ltd

Damned is Chuck Palahniuk’s

new novel that unfortunately

reads like a diary of a typical

adolescent, reminiscent of the

unfortunate Adrian Mole.

The writer of the provocative

novel Fight Club, capable

of searing social commentary,

decides here to parody a

child’s relationship with God.

Although the premise is

interesting, the climax and

the ending of the book leaves

much to be desired.

This version of Hell is

introduced to the reader by

Madison, a 13-year-old adolescent

dead from a freak

accident supplemented by

marijuana.

She meets her Breakfast

Club posse of friends along

and together they conquer

hell as their territory.

Although precocious for

her age, Madison still struggles

with the adolescent issues

of self-identity, image and

acceptance.

Her narrative oscillates

between biting sarcasm and

hopeful naivety, and offers

few insights in between her

cutting observations.

Although the character

development was lacking,

Palahniuk’s description of

Hell’s inner workings is enjoyable

in every way.

The conundrum of telemarketers’

accuracy in striking

just before dinner is

served is solved in Damned.

Apparently in Hell, making

calls during the customers’

meal, bath and relaxation

times is a respected job of its

hellish occupants.

Palahniuk’s Hell is essentially

a consequence of

humanity’s own existence.

For example the physical

landscape is made out

of various kinds of human

waste—a different take from

the burning realm we’re

more familiar with.

Ironically, beneath the

overly pessimistic portrayal

of mankind some hope is

revealed.

It is Madison’s unabashed

hopefulness that

keeps her apart from the

wailing masses of the despondent

and damned.

Eventually, under her

command, Hell takes on a

more cheery form.

Unfortunately, the lack

of a compelling storyline

in Damned is accompanied

by character relationships

that are unconvincing and

lack focus. Madison does

not lose, but she never truly

wins either.

Palahniuk continually

reminds us that the expectation

for both Earth and Hell

to be like Heaven is a fundamental

flaw of humanity.

That indeed seems to be

the point for the book—do

not read Damned with the

expectation that it will be

extremely good, or you

might very well just be

damned in your own hopes.

-LIM XIANGYUN

LOBSTERS SCREAM

WHEN YOU BOIL THEM

Bruce Weinstein and Mark

Scarbrough (Non-Fiction)

$23.11 at Kinokuniya

Published by Gallery

EVER heard a high-pitched

sound when a lobster is

dropped into a pot of boiling

water?

No, it is not the crustacean

screaming in agony, although

the resemblance is uncanny.

The sound was apparently

so convincing Adolf Hitler’s

Nazi government banned

the Germans from cooking

lobsters in this way.

The sound is actually produced

when steam whistles

out from the joints of its shell.

Simple science, yet even

today many people still believe

that lobsters have the

ability to scream even though

they do not have vocal cords.

American authors

Bruce Weinstein and Mark

Scarbrough debunk this and

a hundred other food and

cooking myths in their latest

book Lobsters Scream When

You Boil Them.

The two writers contribute

regularly to various food

publications, including recipe

website Eating Well and The

Washington Post .

While the duo’s past 19

books have primarily been

cookbooks, their 20th piece

of work is more of a scientific

investigation into the

many kitchen myths and

misconceptions that have

been passed down from one

generation to the next.

From simple errors like

storing coffee beans in the

refrigerator to the technicalities

of differentiating

grilled steaks, Weinstein and

Scarbrough substantiate their

points with scientific evidence

and real-life examples.

The writers are careful

not to use too much jargon

so that the book is more

‘kitchen-friendly’. They use

a humorous and to-the-point

writing style that makes the

book read more like a lighthearted

conversation.

Lobsters Scream When

You Boil Them therefore

reads like a collection of

short stories, a pleasant

surprise from the usual

textbook-style culinary

texts.

Each fact starts with the

myth as the headline and

the authors’ short answer,

often hilarious, as the subheader.

One example is Myth

number 50, “Putting an

avocado pit in the guacamole

will keep it from turning

brown.”

The authors have a short

and simple reply to such a

piece of ‘wisdom’, “In your

dreams.”

The organisation of information

is a bit madcap,

as is the mix of food history,

science and culinary

expertise.

But this haphazardness

is what makes this book

of myths and their corresponding

truths so much

fun to read.

The only drawback is

the lack of pictures which

would have appealed to

Masterchef wannabes with

a phobia for text-heavy

books.

-BENJAMIN LIM

BOOKS FROM KINOKUNIYA


18


FILMS


LIFESTYLE

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS

ROMANTIC COMEDY

Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams

94min

PARIS, YOU ARE MY LOVE: Adriana (Marion Cotillard) and Gil (Owen Wilson) take a romantic walk in Paris.

PHOTOS | INTERNET

WOODY Allen’s newest film is a charming

ride, weaving his nostalgia for Paris’ timeless

beauty in an uncharacteristically buoyant

romantic comedy.

Gil Penders (Owen Wilson, Marley and

Me) is a restless Hollywood scriptwriter

working on his first draft of a novel that he

refuses to let anyone read.

He longs for Paris of the 1920s, a time

and place of great artistic vibrancy and

congregation of creative talents.

On vacation with his fiancée, Inez (Rachel

McAdams, The Time Traveler’s Wife), and

his future parents-in-law, the writer soon

discovers that his dream holiday in Paris

does not go according to plan.

Gil pokes fun at his fiancée, whom he likens

to a typical spoiled American housewife,

as well as her equally intolerable parents.

His fiancée however does not pay too

much attention—as she does to all things—

towards what she hopes is a passing fancy

in Gil’s novel writing.

Their future is already set in her mind: a

married life in Malibu of attending parties

and raising their children on Gil’s scriptwriting

pay checks.

Not only does Gil have to deal with her

disapproving parents, he also has to contend

with Paul (Michael Sheen), Inez’s former

crush who is an insufferable know-it-all.

After one too many taunts from Inez’s

family, Gil ends up walking the streets

of Paris alone after their dinner together,

slightly drunk and lost.

When the clock strikes midnight, a vintage

convertible arrives and beckons to him

to join the passengers in their revelry, which

turns out to be in the 1920s. He is transported

back in time.

In one night he meets American novelist

couple F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald (Tom

Hiddleston and Alison Pill) and writer Ernest

Hemingway (Corey Stoll).

Despite feeling utterly disoriented, Gil

goes along with the flow and engages his

literary heroes in conversation.

The following nights bring him into the


CHRONICLE

18


05

company of more of his idols, including

Getrude Stein (Kathy Bates), T.S Eliot and

the legendary Picasso.

The numerous cameos are delightful

and Adrien Brody (The Pianist) is especially

wicked in his role as Spanish Catalan surrealist

painter Salvador Dalí, of which he

evidently enjoyed playing.

Not only does Gil get to have his novel

draft read by Stein, he strikes up a romantic

alliance with the lovely Adriana (Marion

Cotillard, Inception), Picasso’s lover and

muse.

Ironically just like Gil, she is discontented

with her own era, yearning for the Belle

Époque of the 1890s, which she believes was

the golden age of Paris.

This is when Gil realises that his own

nostalgia is timeless and insatiable.

Allen speaks to us through his many dialogues

executed perfectly in singular shots

that are as tight as they are minutely detailed.

Visually, Midnight in Paris is a feast for

the eyes, suffused with warm colours and

backlight that frame the city and its characters

gorgeously. It is hard to not want to

wander the streets of Paris upon watching

this film.

Perhaps this really is the magic of Paris.

The romance is sweet without being overwhelming.

As fantastic as midnight time travelling

may seem, Midnight in Paris is still sufficiently

anchored in reality.

Having the characters stick by their respective

decisions somehow makes the present

more believable, and in turn, alluring.

-LIM XIANGYUN

GO TO SLEEP LITTLE ONE: Don’t open your eyes.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3

HORROR

Chloe Csengery, Jessica Tyler Brown

85min


WHEN bodies are thrown out of bed and

dragged forcefully across the floor, a child’s

‘imaginary’ friend may be more than just a

mere fantasy.

Set in the Eighties, Paranormal Activity 3

is the third installment of the franchise and a

prequel that sets the premise for the hauntings

in the first two movies.

Acclaimed for their work in 2010’s Catfish,

the new directorial duo of Henry Joost and

Ariel Schulman offers a plot that revolves

around the childhood of sisters Katie (Chloe

Csengery) and Kristi Rey (Jessica Tyler Brown).

Sticking to the franchise’s signature style,

Paranormal Activity 3 is once again shot in

the ‘found-footage’ format, making it seem

as if the events of the movie were actually

real life recordings. This style was also successfully

used in other horror movies such

as Cloverfield and The Blair Witch Project.

The mysterious ‘Toby’ is the confidante

of Kristi, the youngest in the family. Her

mother (Lauren Bittner) plays down this

strange behavior, insisting Toby is imaginary,

much to the suspicion of her boyfriend

Dennis (Christopher Nicholas Smith).

As the father figure, Dennis believes he

must take action to deal with the hauntings,

and installs several security cameras to hunt

for the supernatural entity.

He soon discovers a cult symbol drawn

in the room that Kristi points out as belonging

to Toby. At this point, the pace of the

story quickens.

The horror climaxes when Kristi’s refusal

to comply with Toby’s demands leads to

increasingly traumatic and violent hauntings.

The downward spiral of the family that

ensues petrifies and throws both the characters

and the audience into a gripping panic.

Shock factor aside, the turbulence of

relationships, strong storyline and a clever

twist at the end merge together, resulting in

a surprisingly well-developed horror film.

The relatively unknown cast is competent

in delivering their roles in a believable

fashion, adding authenticity to the ‘foundfootage’

angle.

Despite several loose ends in the overall

plot, like how the spirits are connected

to the cult symbols, the story’s delivery is

nonetheless brilliant.

By confining the set to three spaces in

the house, Joost and Schulman let audiences

familiarise themselves with the scenes and

invite them to play an intense game of spotthe-difference

within each setting.

Subtle hauntings become more menacing

as the movie progresses, ramping up the

terror, which keeps audiences on the edge

of their seats.

Joost and Schulman let us scare ourselves

with our anticipation and impatience,

and this is the genius that makes Paranormal

Activity 3 an exceptional horror film.

-SARAH THIAM

EN GARDE: Aramis (Luke Evans, centre) and the Musketeers do battle with Cardinal Richelieu’s soldiers.

THE THREE MUSKETEERS

ACTION

Logan Lerman, Matthew Macfadyen

110min


AWAY from the T-virus pandemic of

Resident Evil and gruesome extra-terrestrial

beings in Alien Versus Predator, Paul W.S.

Anderson ventures into the classic novel by

Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers.

Tous pour un, un pour tous—all for one,

one for all—is the spirit that unites the three

musketeers of 17th century France, Athos

(Matthew Macfadyen), Aramis (Luke Evans)

and Porthos (Ray Stevenson).

They are soon joined by young

D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman). Trying to

achieve his dream of being a musketeer

like his father, D’Artagnan travels to Paris

and ends up picking fights with the Three

Musketeers, but eventually forges a strong

friendship with them instead.

The evil Cardinal Richelieu (Christoph

Waltz) attempts to sabotage the heroes

by influencing their friend Milady (Milla

Jovovich) to double-cross them.

He sets into motion another plot to frame

Queen Anne of France of having an affair

with the Duke of Buckingham, with the ultimate

goal of dethroning King Louis XIII. It

is up to the Musketeers to untangle the web

of deception and save the day.

Anderson made minimal changes to the

original novel’s plot, a brave choice as audiences

would naturally expect something more

from an adaptation.

Bearing this in mind, Anderson included

extensive swordplay scenes and dazzling

special effects, reminiscent of action adventure

movies like Pirates of the Caribbean.

Some parts of the movie seemed a little

rushed and unrealistic, especially the scene

where D’Artagnan met and fought with all

the Musketeers in a single day.

But if you are looking for a fun action

flick, The Three Musketeers is well worth

the time.

-CHOO WEN RUI


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CHRONICLE


LIFESTYLE 19


it’s a basic remix

Credits.

Photography: Bryan Ho

Stylist: Farhana Ja’afar

Makeup & Hair: Geraleine Yap

Models: Rachel Lim, Sam Duckett

Stockist.

Fanny Fashion, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, #02-41 The Central

DeSoul, 14 Scotts Road #03-25A Far East Plaza

Zhoppetizer, 14 Scotts Road #03-134B Far East Plaza

Spellbound, 14 Scotts Road #03-24 Far East Plaza

The Corner Shop, 14 Scotts Road #03-16 Far East Plaza


20 SHOW



CHRONICLE

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On Sam (from left to right):

white top, blue jeans, stylist's own.

white top, green & white shorts $69.90,

DeSoul. white top, straw hat, blue

shorts, stylist’s own, blue coat $149.90,

The Corner Shop.

white top, dark blue shawl,

grey trousers, stylist's own.

white top, black layered jacket $169.00,

and grey harem pants $119.00, DeSoul.

On Rachel (from left to right):

white top, blue jeans, stylist’s own.

white top with floral leggings $10.00,

Fanny Fashion,

floral jacket, stylist’s own.

white top with blue bodycon skirt

$45.00, yellow mustard skirt $39.90,

Spellbound.

white top with black suspender, stylist’s

own, grey criss-cross grey skirt $35.00,

Spellbound.

white top with black trench coat

$109.90, The Corner Shop, black skirt

with gold pattern $45.00, Spellbound.


22 SHOW




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SHOW 23

The finalists from Nail That Unique STYLE

have come together for the grand challenge.

Clearly, they have their own personal

style, but do they have what it takes

to transform a simple white tee shirt into

something uniquely stylish and edgy?

This style challenge had the five finalists

creating two different looks — something

edgy to wear on campus in the day, and

something fabulous for a night out in

town.

Their outfits have been posted on Facebook

(www.facebook.com/Ntusg) for voting.

The total votes will contribute to 50

per cent of the results, while the other half

will be in the hands of a panel of judges.

The winner will walk away with $500

worth of vouchers for Sweddish apparel

store H&M.

ALICE NG. School of Art, Design and

Media

ONG SOON KUEY. School of Mechanical

and Aerospace Engineering

WILFRED LIM. School of Art, Design and

Media

GINGER CHIA. Wee Kim Wee School of

Communication and Information

LEONG CHONG YEN. School of Mechanical

and Aerospace Engineering

Come for a “hey-ppening” event on campus

on November 1st, 12.15pm at Canopy

K at LT 1A where the contestants debut

their creations live.

On top of that, NTU President Prof Bertil

Andersson will launch HEY!, a new NTU

magazine targeted at prospective and

current students while NTU students show

off their unique fashion sense in the final

round of Nail That Unique Style.

Walk away hey-py with exclusive goodies,

MacDonald’s vouchers, and perhaps even

a cool gadget. (Hint, it starts with an I!)


22 SHOW




CHRONICLE

18


05

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CHRONICLE

SHOW 23

The finalists from Nail That Unique STYLE

have come together for the grand challenge.

Clearly, they have their own personal

style, but do they have what it takes

to transform a simple white tee shirt into

something uniquely stylish and edgy?

This style challenge had the five finalists

creating two different looks — something

edgy to wear on campus in the day, and

something fabulous for a night out in

town.

Their outfits have been posted on Facebook

(www.facebook.com/Ntusg) for voting.

The total votes will contribute to 50

per cent of the results, while the other half

will be in the hands of a panel of judges.

The winner will walk away with $500

worth of vouchers for Sweddish apparel

store H&M.

ALICE NG. School of Art, Design and

Media

ONG SOON KUEY. School of Mechanical

and Aerospace Engineering

WILFRED LIM. School of Art, Design and

Media

GINGER CHIA. Wee Kim Wee School of

Communication and Information

LEONG CHONG YEN. School of Mechanical

and Aerospace Engineering

Come for a “hey-ppening” event on campus

on November 1st, 12.15pm at Canopy

K at LT 1A where the contestants debut

their creations live.

On top of that, NTU President Prof Bertil

Andersson will launch HEY!, a new NTU

magazine targeted at prospective and

current students while NTU students show

off their unique fashion sense in the final

round of Nail That Unique Style.

Walk away hey-py with exclusive goodies,

MacDonald’s vouchers, and perhaps even

a cool gadget. (Hint, it starts with an I!)


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Opinions


WEIGHING OUR WORDS

The Occupy Wall Street

movement has captured the

imagination of people across

the world in the last month.

Protests over economic inequality—the

dominance of the

minority over the economy—

have finally given a voice to

the majority.

The protest drew attention

to fundamental structures

that our society is built on,

and the possible dangers and

harms should we continue

along these lines.

It has shown anger at the

fact that it is not the greater

numbers who are always

heard, but those with the resources

to make sure they are.

Many times, the topics

that are trumpeted, are not

the issues of actual concern

to people.

So do we, as ordinary

people, have weight behind

our words? Actually, being

someone who can contribute

a voice to important issues

is not too far a stretch of

imagination.

Graduates from NTU have

gone on to become important

movers in society. Low

Thia Khiang has provided,

and continues to be, an important

counterbalance in

Singapore’s political scene.

CHIEF EDITOR


SUB-EDITORS






NEWS EDITORS



LIFESTYLE EDITORS



REVIEWS EDITOR


DAPPER EDITORS



CHINESE EDITORS



OPINIONS EDITORS




CHRONICLE

SPORTS EDITORS



LAYOUT EDITORS



PHOTO EDITORS



GRAPHICS EDITOR


ONLINE EDITORS



BUSINESS MANAGERS




PRODUCTION SUPPORT



TEACHER ADVISORS




And Stefanie Sun is a powerful

influence as a top singer.

If we can learn anything

from the Occupy Wall Street

protests, it is that ordinary

people can make an important

difference.

This can be seen even

among our university population.

Graduate students from

NTU organised the TEDxNTU

seminar recently, to give innovative

people a platform to

inspire. Its theme was to show

people how to translate their

dreams into reality.

More students from NTU

have also been taking part in

green initiatives to highlight

the importance of environmental

well-being.

So it is not whether we

have a voice—it is about how

we use it.

As a newspaper, we have

the responsibility to make sure

that the things that we write

about, matter. And as citizens

of the world, that the issues we

lend a voice to are significant

enough to deserve it.

At this time of market turmoil,

with unemployment and CHIEF EDITOR

CASSANDRA YEAP

costs of living fast getting beyond

the common man, there

may be no time as important to

through the

consider what causes we lend

reports on Steve Jobs’

weight to. death, I came across

Reading



















Facebook: The Nanyang

Chronicle

Website: www3.ntu.edu.

sg/chronicle

General Enquiries:

chronicle@ntu.edu.sg



Human factor affects

articles that recorded

the last piece of advice

he gave Tim Cook, his successor.

“Just do what is right,” he said,

“not do what Steve Jobs would.”

This reminded me of what

someone else who filled similarly

large shoes had said. Sister

Nirmala who took over Mother

Teresa as the head of the global

Missionaries of Charity Order,

said she was clear that she was to

be herself, not the Nobel Prizeawarded

nun.

Jobs and Mother Teresa were

visionaries who left lasting changes

in terms of products, programmes

and culture, they mentored

the people they worked with.

Their successors were to be

unique individuals, not slavish

followers of a cult of personality,

nor of the characteristics that had

worked for their mentors.

Products and results—these

things are important. But for

me, the deepest meanings are

created at the intersection of one

life with another. For Jobs and

Mother Teresa, the effect they had

through personal relationships

left legacies that outlived them

through their successors.

Great figures like Mother

Teresa, Jobs and Princess Diana

understood true achievement as

their impact on fellow human

beings and this was evident in

their lives.

Mother Teresa worked with the

poorest of the poor and the abandoned

in the slums of Calcutta for

50 years, while Diana has been

immortalised in images of her

holding hands with HIV patients

and lepers.

Even Jobs, whose attention to

detail meant at times a tyrannical

working style, was driven by the

needs of the consumers first—the

human experience.

Throughout my life, what

stayed with me and impacted

who I was as a person and where

I was going, were the people and

relationships.

When I became president of

the debate club, I set myself a

long to-do list of new initiatives

to complete or existing projects

to improve. Through a year’s

flurry of activity, I eventually got

through the list.

Looking back over that year, I

should have felt a sense of accomplishment

over all that had been

achieved. Instead, the satisfaction

of advising and coaching my juniors

was what lingered on and still

continues to be an important part

of my life through the relationships

formed.

Likewise, as a news editor at

The Nanyang Chronicle, I was

glad to see news articles on timely

issues produced by the paper. But

the most memorable aspect was

GRAPHIC | GOH WEI CHOON

working with writers who were

not too confident in their abilities,

and through a bit of guidance on

my part and a lot of passion and

drive on theirs, seeing them turn

in incredible work.

That is also where the primary

fascination with journalism lies

for me—the chance to interact

with diverse types of people, hear

their stories and share in aspects

of their lives.

It is no surprise then that as

the Chronicle closes for the semester,

what I will take away will

be the crazy overnighters during

production of the paper, the

laughter and frustration shared—

the sense that despite the fatigue,

you were with people who wanted

the same goal as badly as you.

With technology increasingly

replacing human functions, it has

become even easier to downplay

the difference made when on life

meets another.

Recently, the movie ‘Up in the

Air’ drove home for me how easy

it is to lose sight of what matters

due to the seductiveness of efficiency.

In the drama, a system to

fire people by videoconferencing

is introduced by an ambitious

fresh graduate.

She is later devastated when

her boyfriend breaks up with her

over text message.

Her hypocrisy highlights a

greater truth about life—on the

surface we may appear to be all

business, but it is the relationships

that keep us going.


34

OPINIONS



CHRONICLE

Driving beyond the COE

ALOYSIUS LAI

easier than weaving around car

parks for at least 15 minutes. This

an you imagine having time can be better spent blissfully

to ferry younger siblings sipping a cappuccino at Starbucks.

from one extra-curricular

activity to another? from the edge of Singapore to the

In fact, taking public transport

COr being the designated central areas can be quicker than

driver when your friends go clubbing?

I would much rather be stuck such example—the newly-opened

driving during peak hours. One

in a crowded train.

Circle Line, has greatly increased

It is easy to understand why accessibility across the country.

many would desire a vehicle of Regardless of traffic conditions,

their own. A car offers better mobility,

greater travelling comfort, place in Bishan now last 45 min-

my trips from NTU to my aunt’s

and shorter waiting time. However, utes, down from an hour previously.

buying a car in Singapore is no

simple undertaking and I am certainly

glad I am not driving one. port seems like the better option, I

However, even if public trans-

Not only do we have to consider

the price of the vehicle, but with the cost of public transporta-

still face a dilemma as a commuter

also the cost of the Certificate of tion going up as well.

Entitlement (COE), Electronic Road A price hike in transport costs

Pricing (ERP), road taxes, customs of one per cent has recently been

duty and fuel prices.

approved in August this year.

To make matters worse for This came at a time when congestion,

service disruptions, and

prospective car owners—especially

undergraduates like us—owning a erratic arrival times were matters

car is almost guaranteed to become of much debate among citizens.

costlier in the future.

Before the purchase of a new

GRAPHIC | GOH WEI CHOON

vehicle, a potential buyer has to bid Taking public

for a COE according to the vehicle’s

CLARA CHAN

town in your own car might take $1,100. Factoring in miscellaneous

category. The COE allows the buyer transport from

a while.

expenses such as fuel and parking

to use the vehicle for 10 years, after the edge of

When the latest rates were announced,

my friends and I were left tain a car hovers around $2,000

charges, the total amount to main-

which it has to be scrapped or have

t’s 6pm and you just escaped

its COE renewed. This is a major Singapore to the

from an agonising meeting feeling frustrated.

a month.

cost component of a Singaporeregistered

car. For instance, the

You drag your exhausted not help but question—how can I sum, most of us would be enjoy-

with a demanding client. All things considered, one can-

While it is a rather extravagant

central areas can

COE of a 1600cc Honda Civic is at be quicker than Iself to the train station, afford a car? And we’re not even ing bonuses and a healthy raise

least $50,000—almost the price of

only to squeeze your way into an talking about the vehicle itself, after working for two years, which

the car itself.

driving during

already packed train.

but a Certificate of Entitlement—a would ease the burden.

Besides cost of purchase, vehicle

maintenance is also an is-

of starting your car’s engine and anywhere else in the world, just made only after being certain of

peak hours.

Contrast this with the feeling piece of paper that is unheard of Furthermore, if the purchase is

sue. ERP was introduced in 1998

being greeted by your favourite to own a car.

having the ability to cope with the

to control traffic in the Central

song on the radio. Obvious choice, Let’s take a step back and be monthly payments, this rather significant

expenditure is definitely

Business District, along expressways

and busy roads.

This choice became even more pected? Definitely not. COE prices

isn’t it?

honest: was the rise in cost unex-

Frequent ERP rate increases There has been some concern apparent during my 10-week have never remained low for long.

and expansion of ERP area coverage

have been a thorn in the delays and disruptions are becom-

summer. I was more than willtedly

exorbitant levels, this does carefully planned

side for many local drivers. As of ing more frequent this year, deing

to work overtime on several not mean that cars are a luxury

that Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) internship at Tanjong Pagar this Despite the rates reaching admit-

I believe that with

August 2011, ERP rates have been spite the increase in fares. On the

occasions, just so I could avoid reserved only for the wealthy. and prioritised

increased at two gantries and other hand, there has been marked

the peak hour crowd and have a To me, the ability to afford a

decreased at a third after a quarterly

traffic review by the Land public transport infrastructure.

progress in the expansion of the

spending, coupled

comfortable trip home.

car is based on our ability to manage

our finances. Tough as it may with regular

I relished the rare occasions

Transport Authority (LTA). With the introduction of the Circle

when I was allowed to use the be, I believe that with carefully

Despite layman complaints, Line, there is hope for better travelling

experiences for commuters.

family car instead of the dreaded planned and prioritised spending, healthy savings,

there is good reason for constraining

vehicle population in Singapore. If you compare monthly ex-

being a car owner

public commute. Despite the coupled with regular healthy savings,

being a car owner is possible,

heavy parking charges and massive

jams, the comfort more than regardless of the price hike. is possible.

When roads can no longer penditure on transportation between

a car owner and a com-

handle the increasing vehicle load,

made up for it.

the only option left is to expand muter, I anticipate that they would

Let’s do the math: according

Having your own wheels

road networks. LTA is already cost me at least $1,000 and at

to a survey conducted by the

widening the Central Expressway most $200, respectively. With

spells freedom, convenience and Ministry of Manpower, a fresh

and has approved construction of Singapore’s good public transportation

infrastructure, it is more ment you desire. Craving prata af-

Arts (Hons) degree earns an aver-

After all, inflation is something

independence at almost any mo-

graduate armed with a Bachelor of within reach.

the North-South Expressway.

Property prices in the vicinity cost-effective to be a commuter. ter watching a late-night movie? age of $2,360 a month, after the that we constantly deal with, seeing

how much prices have risen for

of these road works will probably After all, should the need No problem. No need to forgo mandatory 20% Central Provident

decline, and residents will have arise, cab services are within easy supper and rush for the last bus to Fund (CPF) deduction.

food, utilities and accommodation.

to be relocated to make way for reach at the dial of a telephone. avoid paying the ridiculous 50% Based on my current spending, Owning our very own car is

these new roads. To minimise these It does not take much imagination

to figure out what my savings Yearning for a day trip away ary, after deducting portions for when we rush to get our driver’s

midnight taxi surcharge. and factoring in the higher sal-

something that we all dream of

problems, it is important to control

vehicle growth.

of a whopping $800 per month from the stresses of piling school our parents ($500), food ($400), license at the magical age of 18. I

Beyond all cost issues, car can do. I can easily save up to work? Easy! Drive across the transport ($300) and entertainment

($410), I can expect to save While it has been three years

certainly did.

ownership may be worth the $10,000 within a year and fly to causeway and feast on barbequed

money if it brings about sufficient Greece for a vacation.

seafood after shopping to your at least $750. This amounts to since I earned my legal right to be

convenience. However car owners

do encounter problems that a luxury than a necessity in a And my favourite reason for With this $18,000 serving rowing my parents’ car, it doesn’t

Car ownership is clearly more heart’s content.

$18,000 after two years.

behind the wheel, I am still bor-

commuters usually do not, such small and highly-urbanised country.

Personal transportation in 8.30am instead of 7.30am and still the cost of a car under 1500cc longer than I had initially hoped

owning a car? I can wake up at as down payment, this reduces bother me. It may now take even

as parking and traffic conditions.

For example, finding parking Singapore is not a viable option be early for my 9.30am lecture. to $81,500, inclusive of COE. for, but that isn’t going to stop

space within busy shopping areas for many, especially with recent However with COE prices going

at a whopping $50,000 mini-

year bank loan, monthly installing

one, and it shouldn’t stop

Factoring in interest for a seven me from working towards buy-

can be difficult on weekends. additions to the public transport

Taking a train to City Hall is a lot network.

mum, being able to zoom around ments would cost slightly under you either.


18


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CHRONICLE

Smoking us out?

BENJAMIN LEE

I

have been a smoker for as

long as I remember. Over

the years, I have become

completely immune to

judgemental stares, disdainful

sniffs and the usual frantic

fanning of the air because of

my nicotine-laden breath.

With fewer places to light up

legally as the years go by, smokers

like myself have no choice

but to congregate at whatever

space that is left—creating an

even more undesirable environment

for non-smokers. A true

paradox indeed.

Of the many reasons I can

come up with, the most convenient

would be to blame the extension

of the smoking ban.

Since 2009, smoking has

been prohibited in many places,

including playgrounds and exercise

areas, shopping centres, and

within five metres of entrances

and exits.

There are precious few smoker-friendly

locations as it is.

Smokers can choose between

being packed like sardines in the

tiny, designated smoking rooms in

bars, standing around awkwardly

puffing around a dustbin along

with hundreds of their peers, or

simply enduring the baleful glares

of passers-by as they attempt to

quickly finish a stick.

Vera Lim, 23, a graduate

student from the School of Humanities

and Social Sciences

said: “With so many restrictions,

people break them because they

have little or no other choice.”

“While some smokers need

to be more considerate, the rules

and regulations that force smokers

to stand in corners, or sneak

a cigarette, creates more problems

than it solves.”

I do understand where all the

unhappiness directed towards

smokers is coming from.

Even as a smoker, I would

sometimes choke from the noxious

amounts of smoke produced

where smokers congregate.

Its health detriments and

problems are well-documented,

and anti-smoking evangelists

are more than effective at convincing

non-smokers that they

are the ones who are truly suffering.

Despite the Ministry of Environment

and Water Resources’

plan to extend the smoking ban,

to further restrict the areas where

smokers can congregate, so to

reduce the impact that secondhand

smoke is having on nonsmokers,

the current restrictions

are already being openly flouted.

Why go to such

lengths to corner

us smokers into

being tempted to

break the law, or

look for loopholes

to exploit?

GRAPHIC | SWARNALI MITRA

Just take a look at areas in

town such as Orchard. At any given

building, the number of smokers

smoking illegally in places

such as stairwells, carpark corners

and lift lobbies is incredible.

Thomas Lam, 28, an NTU

alumni, sums it up perfectly: “With

all the bans in place, it is a toss-up

between walking a huge distance

to take a smoke, or getting ready

to run like the wind when the

National Environmental Agency

guys try to approach you.”

A very basic carrot-and-stick

argument is at stake here. Further

governmental regulation

could attempt to cordon off the

smokers, or they could take the

‘soft’ method by appealing to

their public spirit to spare nonsmokers

the agony of having to

breathe the toxic smoke.

A little consideration goes a

very long way, instead of having

the long, and often brutal, arm

of the law intervene.

For example, before an interview

with a prospective employer,

or a date with someone new,

we try not to go in there reeking

of cigarettes so as to not give a

poor impression.

Neither do we intentionally

inflict on non-smokers the gruesome

ills and diseases that are so

freely displayed on our cigarette

packs.

Even as the crusade towards

banning tobacco altogether in

Singapore picks up steam, regulations

that squeeze smokers into

small corners continue to create

a paradox.

Maintaining levels of public

health is necessary, but why

go to such lengths to corner us

smokers into a position where

we would be tempted to break

the law, or look for loopholes to

exploit?

Sean Lee, 23, a first-year

student from the National Institute

of Education concurs:

“Smokers just have to be a little

more considerate. No one likes

having cigarette smoke blown

in their faces. New parents, especially

if they are non-smokers

themselves, would be extra

careful with regards to their

children”.

Get out of that tiny stairwell

and take a walk to somewhere

open to get your nicotine fix, or

just resist the temptation for a

little while.

With all the negative aspects

of smoking, exercising restraint

would do us a world of good,

and have the added benefit of reducing

a problem before the authorities

see fit to intervene and

make yet another hurdle that we

would have to jump over.

I know I will be taking my

own advice from now on.


OPINIONS 35






I prefer to use my

phone manually. It

is very weird to be

talking to my phone

in public. There is no

privacy.

Sia Wan Rong, SBS, Yr 3, 22


While the iPhone

technology is

cutting-edge, I’m

skeptical that

Siri will recognise

Singaporean

accents.

Nurazleena


Ramli, HSS, Yr 2, 20

The iPhone 4S is

counter-productive.

If the phone can’t

catch what I’m

saying, it may carry

out the wrong

function for me.

Shawn Tan, EEE, Yr 2, 21


After watching

numerous videos of

the Siri application

being tested, I

feel that it’s more

entertaining than

practical.

Elton Lim, SBS,


Yr 3, 23

I feel that a phone

that can serve my

basic needs is good

enough. I don’t see

the need to buy

a phone like the

iPhone 4S.


T. Deepa, NIE, Yr 4, 22

TEXT | JAYASHRI LOKARAJAN ; PHOTOS | WAN ZHONG HAO


36 OPINIONS



CHRONICLE


18


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GOH WEI CHOON

GRAPHICS EDITOR


18


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bpl talk

Solidarity through adversity

CLEMENT ONG


ALTHOUGH the recently concluded

Manchester derby dominated the

headlines, with Manchester City

crushing their United rivals 6-1,

one should not forget that City

constitute only one of the two currently

unbeaten clubs in the league.

The other club holding this unblemished

record is, surprisingly,

Newcastle United.

At the moment, Newcastle are

sitting pretty at fourth, behind

Manchester City, Manchester

United and Chelsea.

This comes as a surprise to

many, since the club was embroiled

in turmoil at the start of the season.

Firstly, midfielder Joey Barton

controversially demanded to be

transferred out due to what he

claimed was a lack of ambition

within the club’s leadership.

Moreover, the club lost two

influential players, namely excaptain

Kevin Nolan and defender

José Enrique, to West Ham United

and Liverpool respectively.

They also searched in vain for a

successor to the prolific Andy Carroll,

who moved to Liverpool last season

for £35 million (S$70 million).

All this meant that Newcastle

entered the season in a seemingly

GOAL DELIGHT: Cheik Tioté (far left) celebrates his late match goal against Arsenal. PHOTO | INTERNET

shambolic state.

But they have so far confronted

any doubts over their ability with

an impressive run of results which

saw them climb up the table.

Of particular note is the team’s

defensive solidity this season,

which saw them conceding just six

goals in nine matches so far.

This stands in stark contrast

to last season, when they leaked

goals throughout the campaign,

including heavy defeats to Bolton

Wanderers and Stoke City.

Newcastle have also been playing

more like a unit this season.

This could be credited to the dynamic

central midfield pairing of

Yohan Cabaye and Cheik Tioté.

Cabaye, a French midfielder

signed from French champions Lille,

was a seamless fit into the team, and

struck up an understanding with

the more defensively minded Tioté.

The results that have followed

show a team that allies a solid

backline with a healthy dose of

finesse in attack.

But as impressive as Newcastle’s

form has been thus far, the strongest

team they have faced is arguably,

Arsenal.

It remains to be seen if

Newcastle have the pedigree to

challenge the likes of Manchester

United, City and Chelsea, whom

they will face in three consecutive

weeks at the end of this year.

But if Newcastle remain galvanised,

and continue to maintain

a high level of performance in the

league, the Toon Army could rise

from obscurity, to possibly challenging

the Europa League, or even

a Champions League spot.

SPORTS 37








Tennis player Serena WIlliams

on the 2009 US Open

semifinal incident where

she threatened to choke a

lineswoman with a tennis ball.









F1 driver Lewis Hamilton after

finishing second in Korea.

Medals to rule them all

XAVIER KOO

sports talk

IT COMES as no surprise that

in a results-driven society like

Singapore, the viability of a sport

is determined almost entirely on its

medal-winning potential.

This was shown when Singapore

Table Tennis Association (STTA)

Chief Lee Bee Wah was questioned

for fielding two inexperienced

youths—Isabelle Li and Zena Sim—

for the 2011 SEA Games in November.

Lee nominated the two in hope

of developing the youngsters who

were just entering their professional

phase.

The Singapore National Olympic

Council (SNOC) subsequently rejected

the nomination on grounds that

the selection of world-class female

players like Feng Tianwei, Wang

Yuegu and Li Jiawei, world ranked

fourth, ninth and 18th respectively,

should take precedence.

In the quest to use our best

athletes for international competitions,

we have overlooked the painful

reality that this over-emphasis

on sporting excellence has spread

to multiple levels in Singapore.

In our relentless pursuit of

glory, we have neglected the larger

benefits of sports for young people.

Sporting competitions develop

character, and through these ex-

periences, participants learn intangible

qualities like fair play and

humility in the face of defeat.

Unfortunately, these benefits

are now only conferred only upon

the privileged, medal-worthy few.

At the amateur level, the pursuit

of results is unrelenting.

Schools pride themselves on

their niche sports and actively

recruit players through the Direct

School Admission (DSA) scheme to

enhance their teams.

Schools like Anglo-Chinese

School (Independent), Raffles

Institution and Saint Andrew’s,

for example, are constantly placed

among the top three for rugby

GRAPHIC | WEE JIA HUI

at the national level and attract

hordes of DSA candidates.

Through DSA, secondary

schools can admit anywhere from

five per cent of their annual intake,

to a staggering 100 per cent.

Unsurprisingly, the environment

of results-motivated competition

leaves out equally passionate, but

relatively undeveloped, athletes.

And like their professional

counterparts, they are usually

relegated to mere bench-warmers.

Findings by the Straits Times in

2006 showed that, on average, only

15 per cent of students make the team.

The result? Some defect to other

sports or even worse, quit entirely.

This problem is aggravated in schools

with limited spots reserved for those

who are deemed “good enough”.

Similarly, budding athletes in

the international arena need their

fair share of competition experience.

This will aid their overall development

as professional athletes,

helping them deal with the reality

of competitive sports—the stress,

the stakes, even the defeats—that

they will inevitably face.

The pursuit of sporting excellence

inadvertently favours established

rather than budding athletes.

Ms Sum Chee Wah, director of

Education Programmes Division at

the Ministry of Education, told the

Straits Times in 2008: “Students

with potential will represent their

school in competitions and be

groomed by the National Sports

Association (NSA).

“Many of our national athletes

were first exposed to sports via cocurricular

activities and inter-school

games competition.”

Does this mean that the less

talented will never get competition

experience?

It may seem obvious enough but

we must realise that there is more

to competition than just winning.

Until the day we stop our obsession

with results and start thinking

about athletes, the chase for sporting

excellence has gone too far.

GRAPHIC | WEE JIA HUI











Norwich City winger Anthony

Pilkington on his pre-BPL

football experiences.









Wigan Athletic chairman

Dave Whelan on Liverpool’s

idea of negotiating their own

overseas television rights.


38

SPORTS


Handball newbie now a champ

Handball in

Singapore





























NTU HANDBALL











AVRIL HONG

SHE mistook handball for an

entirely different sport just two

years ago.

But this did not stop Rose

Tan from eventually excelling

in the sport and leading the

NTU women’s handball team

to victory at the Singapore

University Games (SUniG) this

year, where they triumphed over

powerhouse NUS.

The 22-year-old picked up

handball inadvertently two

years ago at a clinic organised

by students from the School of

Physical Education and Sport

Science (PESS).

She had confused the

rules of handball with that of

Tchoukball—another sport she

was playing around the same

time back then.

“The coach and my seniors

kept laughing at me because

I kept forgetting I should not

bounce the ball before scoring

(as per Tchoukball rules) in my

first handball match,” said the

third-year Sport Science and

Management student.

“Sometimes key

players can get a

little arrogant and

snobbish, but Rose

is very down-toearth”

NTU’s handball coach

Wong Shin Yee

Tan, who also played

basketball competitively during

her secondary school days, felt

the variety of sports she played

made it difficult for her to pick

up a new game.

She said: “It’s more difficult

to learn a new sport when you’re

older because your muscles have

developed in a certain way for

your current sport.

“What’s more, handball was a

sport I had never heard of while

I was in primary and secondary

school.”

Despite being new to

handball at the time, Tan went

on to represent NTU in 2009.

She also tried to make up for

lost time by embracing training

opportunities.

As captain of the women’s

handball team, Tan trained with

the players that represented

Singapore at the Youth Olympic

Games (YOG) and received

scoring tips from the team’s

coaches.

But the highlight of her

experiences was at a training

expedition to the National

Taiwan University in Taipei,

where she discovered a new side

to handball.

She said: “It was in Taiwan


CHRONICLE


18


05

POISED TO SCORE: In just two years, Rose Tan has risen to become a crucial part of the NTU handball team. PHOTO | WONG JING YING

where I realised that handball is

such a beautiful game.”

“Their players defend so fast

and attack so gracefully that it

was an inspiration to train with

them.”

Perhaps the reason for her

success as team captain is her

belief in the overall well-being

of players.

Tan’s coach Wong Shin Yee,

25, who has coached at NTU for

three years, said: “Rose builds

the team in aspects that I cannot.

She has a deep understanding

of team dynamics and their

challenges.”

She added: “Sometimes key

players can get a little arrogant

and snobbish but Rose is very

down-to-earth.

“That’s how she gained the

team’s respect.”

Tan is so dedicated to her

handball team that school work

takes a back seat at times.

“I practically push my

projects aside during competition

season,” Tan admitted.

“So far, I’ve been lucky

to have group members who

understand that I will focus on

projects after my games.”

While Tan is considered

a recent convert to handball,

it was the thrill of learning

something new that motivated

her to excel in the sport.

And this desire to learn still

motivates Tan, who also added

that she is still learning the

ropes.

She explained: “I am still

trying to understand some grey

areas in handball rules that are

very complicated.

“Sometimes when we shoot,

defenders might block us in a

way that would usually result

in a foul but referees might see

it as a good defence.”

But in spite of a seemingly

slow start, Wong feels Tan will

make a valuable player in the

local handball scene with time.

Wong said: “She really has a

lot of potential and is only just

beginning to blossom.

“I expect to see great things

from her in the future.”


18



05 CHRONICLE

SPORTS 39


RUSSIAN TWIST

DEFENSIVE POSITION

1

2

Twist your upper body to the right

placing the ball on the floor.

1

Raise your arm

to block your

opponent’s

shooting arm

while keeping

your weight on

the back foot.

Lie on the floor

while holding a ball

over your torso with

both hands.

3

Repeat on the other side.

Transfer your

weight to the

front foot and

nudge your nonblocking

arm

against your

opponent’s hip

to block her.

2


Rain fails to dampen street spirit


Wounded hand no obstacle for champ


PHOTO | WONG JING YING

THE NTU Street Challenge 2011 organised

by the NTU Sports Club took place at a first-year student at Nanyang Busi-

Kwong, 21, the event’s chairperson and

the Sports and Recreation Centre (S&RC) ness School.

on October 22nd. It boasted a total of six For some, the competition was an opportunity

for cross-cultural friendships.

sports: soccer, handball, frisbee, captain’s

ball, floorball and handball.

“It was an exciting experience because

Despite delays caused by poor weather,

the organisers had contingency plans Norway,” said Nur Hidayat, 21, a third-

we got to play against footballers from

in place.

year student from the School of Physical

“We were not caught off guard (by and Mathematical Sciences and a finalist

the weather). Since most of the events in the football event.

only took five to 10 minutes to set up, “The event had many participants

the captain ball teams were agreeable

to move indoors,” said Ling Siew new friends

from different countries and I made some

today.”

AN INJURED hand was not

enough to stop Robert Gorczakowski.

The first-year American

exchange student at

Nanyang Business School

(NBS), 20, stormed to victory

at the men’s singles

finals of the NTU Tennis

Open Championships.

He beat Romain Delon,

22, a first-year exchange

student at NBS, 6-1, 7-6 to

clinch the title.

“I had to tape up my

finger halfway through the

finals match, but I did not

let it affect me at all,” said

Gorczakowski.

“In the end, I just stuck

to my game and held out to

the end. Barely.”

Held from October 10th

to 24th, this year’s NTU

Tennis Open Championships

featured the biggest

run of the annual event

ever.

The event garnered a

record total of 108 participants

competing in four

categories—the Men’s Singles

and Doubles, as well

as the Women’s Singles

and Doubles.

PHOTO | WAN ZHONG HAO


Sports

Show

of strength at tennis open – Page 39

NTU overall 2nd in SUniG

Overall Champion

VICTORY HUG: The NTU men's football team faced an uphill battle in their title defence. PHOTO | COURTESY OF JOSIAS TEO

LAI JUNJIE

SPORTS EDITOR

IT WAS almost an all NTU

and NUS (National University

of Singapore) affair at the

Singapore University Games

(SUniG) this year, with the longtime

rivals clashing in as many

finals.

But despite the good showing

this year, NTU dropped to

second place among the four

universities at the games, which

lasted from August 27th to

October 8th, losing out to NUS

by a single championship gold

medal.

NUS won the overall title

with 13 championship gold

medals, edging out NTU's 12.

NTU were SUniG champions

last year after trailing behind

NUS for four years.

Ms Sheryl Low, Deputy

Director of the Sports and

Recreation Centre, was pleased

with the efforts of NTU’s athletes.

She said: “There are always

ups and downs and we cannot

be champions in every sport we

take part in.

“SUniG was created to give

opportunities for students

from all the universities to get

involved and come together, so

winning fewer golds does not

mean we are worse off.”

Despite coming in second, Ms

Low and NTU’s SUniG athletes

pointed out commendable

performances by several teams

in the games.

The NTU men’s football team

was one such example that put

in a noteworthy performance

during the games.

The team suffered a poor

start in their first match, falling

THIS IS NTU!: The men's volleyball team were a dominating presence, winning all their

matches. PHOTO | LAM ZHAO YAO

to Singapore Management

University (SMU) 4-1.

As the competition was

played in a round robin format,

this meant that NTU had to win

their final match against NUS by

a minimum four goal difference

to retain the title.

Salvation for the team arrived

in the form of a goal during

injury time in the match against

NUS, when a strike from forward

Hasbullah Johari allowed them

to win the match 4-0.

This enabled NTU to snatch

the gold from SMU and retain

the men’s football title.

“We wanted to defend our title

so badly that we psyched ourselves

up and gave everything we had

in that match (against NUS),” said

captain Aidil Osman, 23.

The second-year student

from the Nanyang Business

School added: “I was utterly

speechless when that final goal

came in at the last minute.

“I couldn’t say anything

while the whole team went crazy

celebrating. It was unreal.”

Others like the touch football

women’s team contributed to

the share of gold medals as

well.

The gold was especially

sweet for the team who had

played second fiddle to NUS

and Singapore Institute of

Management (SIM) for the past

three years at SUniG.

“Our philosophy at every

competition is to go in with no

fear and just do it,” said touch

football captain, Jolene Tan,

23, a final-year student from

National Institute of Education.

9 Ball Pool

Aquathlon

Badminton

Basketball

Bowling

Cricket

Cross Country

Handball

Netball

Rugby 7s

Soccer

Squash

Swimming

Table Tennis

Tennis

Touch Football

Ultimate Frisbee

Volleyball

Waterpolo

Sports

Overall ranking

1st: NUS

2nd: NTU

3rd: SMU

4th: SIM

Mixed

Men

Women

Mixed

Men

Women

Men

Women

Men

Men

Women

Men

Women

Women

Men

Women

Men

Women

Men

Women

Men

Women

Men

Women

Men

Women

Women

Mixed

Men

Women

Men

NUS

NTU

SIM

NTU

NTU

NTU

SIM

SMU

NUS

NTU

NUS

NUS

NTU

NUS

NUS

SIM

NTU

NTU

NTU

NUS

SMU

NUS

NUS

NTU

NUS

NUS

NTU

SMU

NTU

NUS

NUS


13

12

3

3

ALL THE WAY UP: Their championship gold was a long anticipated victory for the touch

football women's team. PHOTO | COURTESY OF ASHLEY MAK

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