CHRONICLE - Nanyang Technological University

CHRONICLE - Nanyang Technological University

CHRONICLE - Nanyang Technological University


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18<br />

<strong>CHRONICLE</strong><br />

<br />

05<br />

<br />

<br />

SCI-FI<br />


New Media Village opens in NTU<br />

with 3D immersive experiences and<br />

cutting edge simulation.<br />

NEWS | 6<br />

NEWS | 3<br />


| 27

02 NEWS<br />

News Bites<br />

<br />

<strong>CHRONICLE</strong><br />

<br />

18<br />

<br />

05<br />

NTU<br />



An NTU-developed solar car beat<br />

more established teams like that<br />

from MIT and Cambridge when it<br />

travelled more than 2,000 km over<br />

six days in a solar racing competition,<br />

which started on October 16th<br />

and was held in Australia. The<br />

<strong>Nanyang</strong> Venture 5, developed by<br />

an 11-strong team, came in 14th at<br />

the Veolia World Solar Challenge.<br />




Led by Dr Tan Ee Leng and Assoc<br />

Prof Gan Woon-Seng from the<br />

School of Electrical & Electronic<br />

Engineering, their innovation, Immersive<br />

Soundscape took the “Best<br />

of Show” (Blue Ribbon Award)<br />

at the TechVenture Innovation<br />

Awards 2011. The innovation demonstrated<br />

the ability to reproduce<br />

3D sound effects from conventional<br />

sound inputs with applications in<br />

the media and gaming industry.<br />




The new thin-film silicon solar<br />

cells are made from cheaper, lowgrade<br />

silicon and yet are able<br />

to generate electricity currents<br />

comparable to costly, high-quality<br />

silicon solar cells.<br />

Developed by NTU and A*STAR<br />

Institute of Microelectronics (IME),<br />

the new cells were created using nanostructure<br />

technology. With this<br />

development, the researchers hope<br />

to halve the costs of solar energy.<br />




NTU is collaborating with industry<br />

players and world-renowned<br />

research partners on a multidisciplinary<br />

venture, the Joint Industry<br />

Programme in Offshore Renewables.<br />

This collaboration aims<br />

to develop efficient and effective<br />

wind and marine power generation<br />

systems. The programme will have<br />

over twenty-five projects over the<br />

next three years, such as offshore<br />

wind turbines and other sea-based<br />

power generation research.<br />



FOR 8TH YEAR<br />

NTU’s <strong>Nanyang</strong> Business School<br />

has maintained its 69th position in<br />

The Economist magazine’s global<br />

rankings of MBA programmes,<br />

and is ranked third in Asia. Strong<br />

ratings for education experience<br />

and increasing new career opportunities<br />

have helped NBS maintain<br />

its position. NBS admits about 80<br />

full-time MBA students and about<br />

40 part-time students annually.<br />



At a debate in Parliament, Dr Lam<br />

Pin Min, head of the Government<br />

Parliamentary Committee<br />

for Health, said that Medisave<br />

spending should be expanded to<br />

cover more outpatient treatments,<br />

especially for chronic illnesses.<br />

Health industry experts and MPs<br />

suggested that the usage of funds<br />

be revised yearly to match rising<br />

costs in Singapore.<br />

Upcoming Events<br />




The Ministry of Community Development,<br />

Youth and Sports<br />

(MCYS) announced that childcare<br />

centres can now hire “para-educators”<br />

and “para-educarers” to aid<br />

childcare teachers in the development<br />

of children. This change will<br />

take effect from January 1st next<br />

year. In a statement released by<br />

MCYS, these new appointments<br />

will help teachers to “provide<br />

greater instructional attention for<br />

children who require additional<br />

support”.<br />


GROWTH<br />

The Monetary Authority of Singapore<br />

(MAS) announced that employment<br />

growth is expected to<br />

slow down later this year, as the<br />

economy cools. MAS stated that<br />

job cuts have already been noted<br />

in the financial and trade-related<br />

sector. This is related to the weakening<br />

global growth. Unemployment<br />

rate in Singapore rose from<br />

1.9 per cent in the previous quarter,<br />

to 2.1 per cent in three months<br />

ending June 2011.<br />



The series of ghastly deaths at<br />

Bedok Reservoir have been a<br />

cause for concern for many Singaporeans<br />

on whether they could be<br />

due in part to the influx of immigrants<br />

and the detrimental effects<br />

of the two casinos. The recent<br />

deaths have also sparked discussions<br />

over the possible effects on<br />

property prices in the vicinity and<br />

future developments in the area.<br />



The world’s first theme park ride<br />

based on the sci-fi franchise<br />

Transformers will open its doors<br />

to the public at Universal Studios<br />

Singapore, on December 3rd 2011.<br />

The ride will feature 12 scenes, 3D<br />

digital media, blending sets and<br />

special effects. Michael Bay—director<br />

of the movies—will celebrate<br />

the ride’s world premiere at an exclusive<br />

party on December 2nd.<br />

WORLD<br />



China has been known for political<br />

censorship, but for years the<br />

Communist Party has tolerated a<br />

creeping liberalisation in popular<br />

culture. Chinese leaders proposed<br />

new limits on media and Internet<br />

freedoms that include some<br />

of the most restrictive measures<br />

in years. Major television stations<br />

were ordered to broadcast<br />

two hours of state approved news<br />

every evening and to disregard<br />

audience ratings in programming<br />

decisions. These measures will go<br />

into effect on Jan 1st 2012.<br />



A two-week old baby was pulled<br />

out from the wreckage of a building<br />

47 hours after a 7.2 magnitude<br />

earthquake struck eastern Turkey.<br />

The baby’s mother and grandmother<br />

are reportedly still trapped<br />

inside the crumbled building, but<br />

are believed to be still alive. The<br />

official death toll has been put at<br />

366, with about 1,301 injured in<br />

the quake.<br />



As the public display of Gaddafi’s<br />

body ended, and more details of<br />

his last moments alive were revealed<br />

through the gruesome video<br />

recorded by one of the rebels<br />

who captured him, there were<br />

mixed reactions about what the<br />

brutal treatment of the deposed<br />

dictator might mean for Libya’s<br />

future. Rights groups called Gaddafi’s<br />

death a potential war crime.<br />

Arab journalists and bloggers noted<br />

that GaDuffy’s end was similar<br />

to the fate suffered by Benito Mussolini<br />

and Nicolae Ceausescu, two<br />

notorious European dictators.<br />



Floodwaters in Bangkok have<br />

resulted in crocodiles that have<br />

broken loose, menacing the local<br />

population. Authorities have<br />

warned that crocodiles are swimming<br />

through rising floodwaters<br />

around the outskirts of Bangkok.<br />

Reports state at least 100 broke<br />

free last week in Ayutthaya province,<br />

north of the capital. Authorities<br />

have offered case rewards of<br />

1,000 baht (S$40) for each crocodile<br />

caught alive.<br />



In the latest series of mysterious<br />

cyber attacks that have raised<br />

concerns about leakage of sensitive<br />

information. Media reports<br />

said that one of three lawmakers<br />

accidentally released the virus.<br />

This comes a month after Japanese<br />

defence contractors revealed<br />

that they had also been targets of<br />

cyber attacks, which may have<br />

been aimed at classified military<br />

data. No known classified information<br />

has been stolen.<br />

NTU CAC<br />


NTU CAC Impresario 2012:<br />

Nationwide Talent Search<br />

Competition<br />

Categories: Vocal Solo, Duet/<br />

Group, Original Composition,<br />

Dance<br />

Register online now at www.<br />

cacimpresario.com!<br />

Registration Closes on December<br />

4th 2011.<br />

If you have any<br />

exciting events to<br />

publicise, please contact us at<br />

chronicle@ntu.edu.sg<br />

Vocal Auditions in Dec 2011.<br />

Dance Audition in Jan 2012.<br />

For further enquiry, email<br />

enquiry@cacimpresario.com,<br />

call Dorothy at 9668 2935 or<br />

Dawn at 9199 0143

News<br />

Interview<br />

<br />

with the Vice President – Page 5<br />

Outstanding alumni awarded<br />

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


SINGER Stefanie Sun, and Members<br />

of Parliament (MP) Teo Ser<br />

Luck and Low Thia Khiang shared<br />

the stage with other industry leaders,<br />

all NTU alumni, at the <strong>Nanyang</strong><br />

Auditorium to receive the<br />

<strong>Nanyang</strong> Alumni Awards on October<br />

15th.<br />

Everest Mountaineer: redefine the impossible<br />

<br />

WHEN NTU Alumna Lee Peh Gee<br />

and her five women friends declared<br />

their goal of climbing Mount<br />

Everest, they were laughed at.<br />

But, that only made them more<br />

determined.<br />

“People laugh in disbelief when<br />

they cannot comprehend something<br />

so impossible,” said Singapore<br />

Armed Forces Major (MAJ)<br />

Lee Peh Gee, who was part of the<br />

Singapore Women’s Everest Team.<br />

She eventually stood on the<br />

8,850m summit on May 22, 2009.<br />

“When you finally go and do<br />

it, you have redefined what they<br />

previously thought was possible<br />

or impossible,” the 35-year-old<br />

told a packed audience of students<br />

at the <strong>Nanyang</strong> Auditorium on<br />

October 12th.<br />

The seminar was the highlight<br />

of eFEST 2011 with the theme of<br />

‘Learning is Everywhere’. The annual<br />

event, running in its fourth<br />

year, aims to promote the use of<br />

e-Learning tools and resources<br />

among NTU students.<br />

MAJ Lee said that learning does<br />

A total of 34 alumni, the biggest<br />

number since the award started in<br />

2005, were awarded for either excelling<br />

in their fields, or for their<br />

contributions to the university or<br />

society.<br />

The Awards has four categories:<br />

the <strong>Nanyang</strong> Distinguished Alumni<br />

Award, <strong>Nanyang</strong> Alumni Achievement<br />

Award, <strong>Nanyang</strong> Outstanding<br />

Young Alumni Award and <strong>Nanyang</strong><br />

Alumni Service Award.<br />

Education Minister Heng Swee<br />

Keat, the guest-of-honor, attributed<br />

the success of NTU to the strong<br />

examples set by earlier alumni<br />

members, so that future graduates<br />

will follow in their footsteps.<br />

“In a world of constantly<br />

evolving changes, our graduates<br />

not only come from books, but also<br />

from various life experiences.<br />

“I want to let others know that<br />

it is possible to pursue a dream,”<br />

she said.<br />

One important step to take is<br />

to step out of comfort zones, even<br />

when the outside world seems scary<br />

and dangerous, said MAJ Lee.<br />

During the expedition, she<br />

would wake up in her tent to hear<br />

it flapping violently at times.<br />

After all, Mount Everest is<br />

known for its notorious wind speeds<br />

of up to 100 kilometers per hour and<br />

the temperature could dip as low as<br />

negative 40 degree celsius.<br />

“The storm always seemed<br />

worse from inside the tents,” said<br />

MAJ Lee. “But the storm outside<br />

may be nothing more than the<br />

regular winds we normally encounter.”<br />

“The moment you get out, you<br />

are just one step closer to your<br />

goal,” she said.<br />

The climb to Mt Everest’s peak<br />

from their base camp took the<br />

team about four days, and preparation<br />

for their climb took five<br />

years, where the team did staircase<br />

training at 30-storey HDB<br />

flats.<br />

MAJ Lee revealed that in t he<br />

road up to their expedition, all of<br />

them had to double up as marketers,<br />

fundraisers, public relation<br />

managers and public speakers so<br />

as to raise funds for their cause.<br />

She said that her education in<br />

NTU helped her in that aspect.<br />

“It was similar to the time<br />

when I was a hospitality and tourism<br />

management undergraduate<br />

balancing my eight months practicum<br />

and studies," she said.<br />

"I managed to do a hotel project<br />

and my own final year project then."<br />

MAJ Lee’s speech inspired Joel<br />

Gan, a third-year Mechanical and<br />

Aerospace Engineering (MAE) student,<br />

in pursuing his dreams of<br />

achieving a “big feat” like that<br />

someday.<br />

Also, he felt that MAJ Lee’s<br />

experiences could be applied to<br />

his goal of setting up a business.<br />

“There will be multiple problems<br />

along the way, so the best thing is<br />

to never give up and always keep<br />

trying,” he said.<br />

Daniella Ng, a former national<br />

must be nimble and adaptable,” he<br />

said.<br />

They must not only have the<br />

confidence and ability to succeed,<br />

but must also be deeply rooted to<br />

Singapore, so that they can take<br />

Singapore forward.”<br />

Ms Sun, Mr Low and Mr<br />

Teo, who were all awarded the<br />

<strong>Nanyang</strong> Alumni Achievement<br />

Award with four others, expressed<br />

attachment to their alma<br />

mater.<br />

“I feel very honored (to receive<br />

the award) and also hope to<br />

work together (with the university)<br />

in the future to promote NTU,”<br />

said Ms Sun, who graduated in<br />

2000 from the <strong>Nanyang</strong> Business<br />

School.<br />

Ms Sun was awarded for her<br />

achievements in the entertainment<br />

industry, both locally and internationally.<br />

About 100 fans at the ceremony<br />

cheered and chanted her name<br />

as she took to the stage to receive<br />

her award. Some even managed to<br />

get her autograph during the reception.<br />

“I feel that education helps you<br />

to mature in your thinking and<br />

helps you to see things in a different<br />

light,” Ms Sun said.<br />

Mr Low, Secretary General of<br />

the Workers Party, agreed with Ms<br />

Sun.<br />

Mr Low, who graduated in<br />

1980 with an Arts degree, was<br />

awarded for his role of providing<br />

an alternative voice for the<br />

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

to conquer their own Mount Everest. PHOTO | MALCOLM KOH<br />

people in Singapore’s political<br />

scene.<br />

According to him, his education<br />

sparked off his political<br />

thinking, which shaped his ideals<br />

of democracy.<br />

“I was particularly inspired<br />

by a lecturer who had a deep<br />

knowledge of political systems<br />

and I listened intently to his lectures.<br />

He taught me how to look<br />

at politics in a different light,”<br />

he added.<br />

Mr Teo, Minister of State of<br />

Trade and Industry, said that his<br />

education at <strong>Nanyang</strong> Business<br />

School helped in his current line<br />

of work as it developed his understanding<br />

of business and economics.<br />

“What it teaches you is to understand<br />

how to see an issue and<br />

come up with the solution. Issue<br />

changes everyday and what NTU<br />

teaches you is how to solve those<br />

problems,” he said.<br />

“That is the biggest advantage.”<br />

It was the second time Mr<br />

Teo was present at the <strong>Nanyang</strong><br />

Alumni Awards, having received<br />

the <strong>Nanyang</strong> Outstanding Young<br />

Alumni Award last year.<br />

At the ceremony, NTU president<br />

Professor Bertil Andersson<br />

also revealed that eight in 10 students<br />

from the class of 2011 made<br />

a graduation gift to NTU, which<br />

he said is a sign of the growing<br />

sense of identification among<br />

younger alumni with NTU.<br />

sailor also found the determination<br />

of the team particularly inspiring.<br />

“It motivates me to set out<br />

some goals for myself to attain<br />

during my four years here,” said<br />

the first-year student from Sports<br />

Science and Management.<br />

For Ashekan Hosseinloo, the<br />

most memorable part of the seminar<br />

was when MAJ Lee challenged<br />

the audience to overcome their<br />

own Mount Everest.<br />

“It was a physical thing for<br />

them, but could be other things<br />

for us as well,” said the graduate<br />

student currently pursuing a masters<br />

in MAE.<br />

Everyone has an Everest.”

04 NEWS<br />

Students react to<br />

climate change<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

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

presenting their project at the National Climate Change Competition.<br />


<br />

A SAIL boat trip and a water<br />

bucket three years ago taught<br />

undergraduate Jeremy Lim the<br />

value of water conservation.<br />

Lim survived for 14 days<br />

with only half a bucket of water<br />

a day to bathe with.<br />

The experience taught the<br />

22-year-old that it is possible to<br />

live on much less resources than<br />

he was used to.<br />

“I realised that when I had<br />

the options presented by the<br />

comfort of modern life, I did not<br />

choose to save. Since then I have<br />

become uneasy about wasting<br />

resources,” said the third-year<br />

student from Wee Kim Wee<br />

School of Communication and<br />

Information.<br />

During the last semester<br />

break, Lim collaborated with<br />

three other NTU undergraduates<br />

to create the ‘Green Seed Initiative’<br />

to encourage Singaporeans<br />

to conserve energy and water<br />

consumption.<br />

The project won first prize<br />

in the National Climate Change<br />

Competition<br />

Lim is one of many NTU students<br />

who have become more involved<br />

in green initiatives.<br />

“When I had the<br />

options presented<br />

by the comfort<br />

of modern life, I<br />

did not choose to<br />

save."<br />

Jeremy Lim<br />

Third-year student<br />

Wee Kim Wee School of<br />

Communication and Information<br />

The environmental club also<br />

reported collecting a record<br />

amount of recyclables at the end<br />

of the last academic year during<br />

its annual recycling drive.<br />

It collected 2,670kg of paper<br />

from 16 recycling bins across<br />

campus as opposed to 800kg the<br />

year before and just 420kg in<br />

2009.<br />

According to them, the spike<br />

in collection shows that more<br />

students now know that their<br />

belongings can be recycled, instead<br />

of simply being thrown<br />

away.<br />

While some chose to do their<br />

part via Earthlink NTU, others<br />

chose to take up initiatives more<br />

in their areas of expertise.<br />

Another student who joined<br />

an eco competition is Nelson Tan<br />

Yan Cong, 20.<br />

The first-year student from<br />

the School of Art, Design and<br />

Media was among the 12 finalists<br />

in the National Environment<br />

Agency Eco Music Challenge<br />

2011.<br />

For him, raising awareness on<br />

being environmentally friendly<br />

is a form of eco-friendliness in<br />

itself.<br />

“Caring for the environment<br />

is everyone’s responsibility and<br />

we can all use different means to<br />

do our part. For those who are<br />

musically inclined, why not do<br />

their part by doing what they do<br />

best with music,” he said.<br />

He composed a Chinese song<br />

titled “Green Environment” to<br />

raise awareness about climate<br />

change and the importance of<br />

the environment.<br />

In another initiative, a team<br />

of eight NTU students showed<br />

their care for the environment<br />

by designing and building a fuel-efficient<br />

car named <strong>Nanyang</strong><br />

Venture IV.<br />

It not only won the top prize<br />

in the diesel fuel category at<br />

this year’s Shell Eco Marathon<br />

Asia but also won the Off-Track<br />

Award for Safety.<br />

Team member Kuganeshan<br />

Ganesamoorthy, a third-year<br />

student from the School of Mechanical<br />

and Aerospace Engineering,<br />

said: “Until people completely<br />

accept alternative energy<br />

sources, fossil fuel will be used<br />

extensively.”<br />

“Caring for the<br />

environment<br />

is everyone’s<br />

responsiblity."<br />

Nelson Tan Yan Cong<br />

First-year student<br />

School of Art, Design & Media<br />

He added that it is important<br />

to ensure fuel efficiency in cars<br />

so that we can reduce our carbon<br />

footprint.<br />

Vice-president of Earthlink<br />

NTU, Nandita Beri, 19, said the<br />

increase in student participation<br />

is simply a result of increasingly<br />

visible consequences of climate<br />

change such as change in weather<br />

patterns, shortage of water<br />

and food in many countries.<br />

The third-year student from<br />

the School of Chemical and<br />

Biomedical Sciences said: “Not<br />

only is climate change and the<br />

environment a pressing global<br />

issue, it’s become an individual<br />

concern.”<br />

Earthlink NTU has reported<br />

an increased participation in its<br />

initiatives this academic year. Its<br />

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

cent this year alone.<br />

with their fuel-efficient car. PHOTO | COURTESY OF NTU VENTURE IV TEAM<br />

<br />

<strong>CHRONICLE</strong><br />

<br />

18<br />

<br />

05<br />

A meeting of minds<br />

FREE IDEAS: Entrepreneur Wong Meng Weng intriguing students with an iPhone<br />

application demonstration.<br />


<br />

STEVE Jobs may have passed<br />

on, but the legacy of his foresight<br />

and creativity lived on<br />

through some 400 participants<br />

at a seminar organized by NTU<br />

graduates on October 15th.<br />

Named TEDxNTU, the seminar<br />

held at the Marina Bay<br />

Sands Expo and Convention<br />

Centre was the largest one so far.<br />

TED, a non-profit organisation<br />

that hosts idea-sharing<br />

conferences, stands for ‘Technology,<br />

Entertainment, Design’.<br />

But it has since broadened its<br />

scope to include talks by accomplished<br />

thinkers such as<br />

local entrepreneurs, academics<br />

and researchers.<br />

It boasts people like James<br />

Randi and Steve Jobs as its<br />

honorary alumni.<br />

Vivek Manoharan, 23, assembled<br />

his team of graduates<br />

to host the seminar after being<br />

inspired by watching the riveting<br />

TED videos on YouTube.<br />

Despite bearing the name<br />

of the seminar, official TED<br />

organisers played no role in<br />

organising the event. Instead,<br />

it was Manoharan and his<br />

team who brought the seminar<br />

to fruition, with the help of<br />

funding from NTU’s Student<br />

Affairs Office.<br />

“TED is all about people<br />

coming together, sharing<br />

ideas,” said Manoharan, who<br />

is currently pursuing a PhD in<br />

biomechanics.<br />

The speakers were selected<br />

based on their remarkable<br />

achievements and their ability<br />

to inspire others.<br />

One of them was entrepreneur<br />

Wong Meng Weng, who<br />

demonstrated an iPhone application,<br />

which could teach users<br />

how to order the different permutations<br />

of “kopitiam-styled”<br />

coffee.<br />

Wong is the founder of<br />

several technological companies,<br />

such as pobox.com,<br />

and organised the TEDxSentosa<br />

event in 2009.<br />

Other speakers spoke on pursuing<br />

ideas, and shared insider<br />

tips on how to reach career or<br />

personal goals.<br />

“This session was about how<br />

to dream and succeed. It is for<br />

people with ideas, and how if<br />

they have the right method, they<br />

can make it work,” said Manoharan.<br />

Although many in the audience<br />

felt inspired after attending<br />

the event, some saw room<br />

for improvement.<br />

Elvin Zhang, a second-year<br />

student from <strong>Nanyang</strong> Business<br />

School, said that the session had<br />

given him a lot of good ideas.<br />

But the 22-year-old felt that<br />

the speakers could have been<br />

more energetic, as the seven<br />

hour long seminar could wear<br />

some listeners out.<br />

Others, like School of Computer<br />

Engineering undergraduate<br />

Arun Puraiswamy, 22, felt<br />

that while the event was not<br />

on the same level as global TED<br />

events, there was still value to<br />

such seminars as they are important<br />

to the places where the TED<br />

conferences do not officially<br />

visit.<br />

“The talk could be made specific<br />

to the younger generation,<br />

such as NTU students,” he said.<br />

On hearing such feedback,<br />

Manoharan admitted that<br />

TEDxNTU is still at its starting<br />

stage.<br />

“We’re still growing, and the<br />

main TED event also started off<br />

like this.”<br />

He intends to make it a biannual<br />

event, and promised “an enhanced<br />

experience” in the future,<br />

which he said would depend on<br />

future selected speakers.<br />

But the essential message<br />

of TEDxNTU will still be unchanged.<br />

“Have an idea. Life is all<br />

about ideas, good ideas, bad<br />

ideas, doesn’t matter. Just follow<br />

it,” he said.

18<br />

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05<br />

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<strong>CHRONICLE</strong><br />

NEWS 05<br />

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<br />

Royce’s <strong>University</strong> Technology borders in your opinion?<br />

Centre.<br />

A: Geographical borders are<br />

Through these joint collaborations,<br />

our industrial partners are world for countries to protect<br />

still relevant in the modern<br />

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

the form of our talented faculty changing global environment<br />

and students and our world-class in the fields of communication<br />

facilities.<br />

and information, trade and finance,<br />

politics and security,<br />

At the same time, our students<br />

and faculty benefit from the opportunity<br />

to work with leading has created new opportunities<br />

and science and technology<br />

stay competitive<br />

private sector researchers on and challenges.<br />

complex and challenging reallife<br />

systems.<br />

top talents whose skills, expe-<br />

<br />

In the globalised economy,<br />

<br />

By working together on projects,<br />

they are also able to access borders will be highly sought<br />

rience and expertise transcend<br />

<br />

the latest state-of-the art technology<br />

and better understand countries.<br />

after by employers in many<br />

<br />

emerging trends.<br />

Q: What does your position as<br />

Vice President in charge of International<br />

Affairs entail?<br />

A: As Vice President for International<br />

Affairs, I work closely<br />

with the senior management<br />

team to shape and carry out<br />

NTU’s international agenda of<br />

ensuring that our students are<br />

well prepared for life and careers<br />

that will increasingly have<br />

an international dimension, and<br />

to enable the university to effectively<br />

compete on the world<br />

stage for the best students and<br />

faculty.<br />

As ideas and knowledge in<br />

every field become international,<br />

being at the cutting edge of<br />

higher education and research<br />

requires a strong dialogue with<br />

our peer institutions in other<br />

countries.<br />

This means that NTU needs<br />

to enhance our reputation as a<br />

choice partner with top international<br />

universities and organisations.<br />

This is another important<br />

part of my job. Our partnerships<br />

range from strategic education<br />

and research collaborations, to<br />

joint undergraduate and graduate<br />

degrees, and international<br />

undergraduate and graduate<br />

student exchanges.<br />

Q: How can NTU students prepare<br />

themselves to be global<br />

talents?<br />

A: The world is increasingly becoming<br />

more connected and interdependent.<br />

To succeed in the working<br />

world in the future, NTU students<br />

need to have a cosmopolitan<br />

mindset and they must be<br />

prepared to meet the challenges<br />

of working with people of different<br />

nationalities and expertise.<br />

This requires our students<br />

to cultivate their cultural intelligence<br />

and gain the right skills<br />

and global exposure, so that<br />

they can effectively engage and<br />

work with teams anywhere in<br />

the world.<br />

Currently, one in two students,<br />

or 50 per cent of the<br />

graduating cohort, participate<br />

in various programmes to grow<br />

their global exposure and competence.<br />

NTU’s new Office of Global<br />

Education and Mobility aims to<br />

raise this participation rate to 70<br />

per cent, so that more students<br />

can gain from a global educational<br />

experience even though<br />

they are studying in Singapore.<br />

Q: Apart from an affiliation<br />

with China by setting up a<br />

campus there, how else is NTU<br />

being internationalised?<br />

A: We are developing more opportunities<br />

for our students to<br />

study and immerse themselves<br />

in various overseas environments.<br />

We are continuing to attract<br />

top international students.<br />

Every year, we bring in more<br />

than 1,000 international students<br />

from our partner universities<br />

to spend a semester on our<br />

campus.<br />

This cultural exchange is an<br />

important part of internationalisation.<br />

NTU is also stepping up our<br />

efforts to seek and enhance collaborative<br />

agreements with the<br />

best universities around the<br />

world.<br />

We have established joint<br />

graduate and PhD programmes<br />

with renowned universities, like<br />

Imperial College London and the<br />

Technical <strong>University</strong> of Munich.<br />

NTU is also an active player<br />

in GlobalTech, the network<br />

of the world’s top technological<br />

universities chaired by NTU<br />

President Prof Bertil Andersson.<br />

We are also expanding our<br />

involvement in China and India,<br />

as well as other regional networks<br />

and alliances.<br />

Our overseas alumni are a<br />

valuable resource in these efforts,<br />

and I look forward to cultivating<br />

deeper ties with them.<br />

NTU has established more<br />

than 30 international alumni<br />

chapters to network with our<br />

alumni and potential partners.<br />

“We are developing<br />

more opportunities<br />

for our students to<br />

study and immerse<br />

themselves in<br />

various overseas<br />

environments."<br />

We have also been offering<br />

international executive programmes<br />

to professionals and<br />

senior officials from the region<br />

to be trained on NTU’s campus.<br />

Q: How are international industrial<br />

partners encouraged<br />

to set up research facilities in<br />

NTU? And how will this benefit<br />

students?<br />

A: NTU has established a number<br />

of joint labs with our strategic<br />

international industrial partners<br />

on campus such as BOSCH<br />

and THALES. NTU is also Rolls-<br />

Q: Which international figure<br />

do you look up to and why?<br />

A: Our former Prime Minister Lee<br />

Kuan Yew. Under his visionary<br />

leadership, he has transformed<br />

Singapore from a third world<br />

country to first world status in<br />

just one generation.<br />

Singapore’s development and<br />

transformation as a nation is a<br />

miracle to many people around<br />

the world and has drawn admiration<br />

from many state leaders.<br />

I come from a humble background<br />

and my late father was a<br />

hawker. I owe my success largely<br />

to Singapore’s system.<br />

Q: Which aspects of international<br />

affairs would you like to<br />

highlight during your tenure as<br />

Vice President in charge of International<br />

Affairs?<br />

A: I intend to work with our<br />

colleagues in the colleges and<br />

schools to provide more global<br />

educational programmes and opportunities<br />

for our students.<br />

I also aim to achieve the new<br />

target of 70 per cent participation<br />

rate during my tenure.<br />

At the same time, I will be<br />

working closely with President,<br />

Provost and other senior colleagues<br />

to help raise NTU’s international<br />

profile and reputation<br />

through various alliances and<br />

networks.<br />

This would also help raise<br />

NTU’s visibility and improve<br />

NTU’s global rankings.<br />

Q: How relevant is geographical<br />

“I come from<br />

a humble<br />

background and<br />

my late father<br />

was a hawker. I<br />

owe my success<br />

to a large part<br />

to Singapore's<br />

system."<br />

Q: Which is your favourite<br />

canteen in NTU?<br />

A: I like to take Subway and<br />

Japanese food for lunch when<br />

I am on campus.<br />

Q: What do you do in your<br />

free time?<br />

A: I like to read, especially<br />

books on leadership and management,<br />

I Ching, and Human<br />

Brain Research.<br />

I am also a keen golfer and<br />

a Chinese classical song crooner.<br />

I practice my golf swing at<br />

the driving range 3 to 5 times a<br />

week as a form of exercise and<br />

relaxation.<br />

I have developed a technique<br />

called “PID” which<br />

stands for “Posture, Inertia and<br />

Dynamics” for my golf swing<br />

which has proven good enough<br />

to win the 3rd position in NTU’s<br />

President Golf Challenge 2009.<br />

I sing occasionally. I won the<br />

championship in NTU’s Talentime<br />

in 1989.

06 NEWS<br />

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<strong>CHRONICLE</strong><br />

Try clothes on your virtual "self"<br />

DOWN THE RUNWAY: Models like these may become obsolete with the interactive digital<br />

technologies.<br />


THE next time you shop for clothes<br />

online, you may no longer have to<br />

worry whether your purchase fits<br />

you. Instead, you will be able to see<br />

how the clothes fit on your virtual<br />

“body” from your computer screen,<br />

before making a decision.<br />

This is possible with a new invention,<br />

due to be launched in four<br />

to six months' for online shops.<br />

Called the Virtual Fashion &<br />

<br />

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


Clothes Simulation technology, it<br />

was one of many interactive digital<br />

media inventions showcased<br />

in NTU’s New Media Village at<br />

the Institute of Media Innovation<br />

(IMI) on October 12th and 13th.<br />

These inventions were the result<br />

of a collaboration among the<br />

different disciplines in NTU such as<br />

computer engineering, mechanical<br />

engineering and psychology.<br />

The Virtual Fashion & Clothes<br />

Simulation technology was developed<br />

by Professor Nadia Thalmann,<br />

the director of IMI. All you<br />

have to do is key in your body<br />

size into any website which has<br />

the technology embedded, and<br />

you will see a virtual “you” strutting<br />

around, clad in the apparel of<br />

your choice.<br />

Professor Thalmann said that<br />

this technology will help customers<br />

avoid the disappointment of<br />

purchasing ill-fitting clothes from<br />

online retailers in the future.<br />

“While the application is still<br />

in its prototype phase, its real<br />

value lies in bringing such a 3-D<br />

virtual environment directly into<br />

the design industry’s production<br />

process, helping to shorten design<br />

cycle times and cut physical sample<br />

costs,” she added.<br />

Designers would also benefit<br />

from the technology, as they will<br />

be able to try their designs on the<br />

virtual models.<br />

“This will revolutionise the fashion<br />

industry as it would help designers<br />

save on materials and money,<br />

reduce time spent on marketing,<br />

and cut the industry’s carbon footprint,<br />

making for a more sustainable<br />

planet,” said Professor Thalmann.<br />

Other highlights unveiled at<br />

IMI included the 3-D Immersive<br />

<br />

18<br />

<br />

05<br />

Room, MAVEN (Mobile Avatar for<br />

Virtual Engagement by NTU) and<br />

the Crowd Simulator.<br />

MAVEN is a remote-controlled<br />

device on wheels, with Internet<br />

and mobile video conferencing<br />

capabilities.<br />

It is different from normal<br />

video conferencing devices as it<br />

provides a 180-degree view of the<br />

surroundings of the person you<br />

are speaking to through its three<br />

overhead cameras.<br />

Visitors can also fully immerse<br />

themselves in a virtual world with<br />

the Immersive Room. Measuring<br />

10m by 10m, the room features a<br />

curved projection screen wall that<br />

stretches almost 360 degrees all<br />

around.<br />

The Immersive Room is<br />

equipped with infrared emitters,<br />

high-end projectors, stereoscopic<br />

lightweight 3-D glasses, position<br />

trackers and computer graphics.<br />

It has been used in applications<br />

such as the Pink Dolphin<br />

Simulation, a joint effort between<br />

IMI researchers and the Underwater<br />

World Singapore.<br />

The simulation aims to help<br />

autistic children improve their<br />

communication and learning<br />

skills through interaction with<br />

virtual dolphins, as research has<br />

shown that they respond and interact<br />

well with dolphins.<br />

Using Kinect technology, the<br />

same used in Xbox consoles, the<br />

dolphins in the simulation move according<br />

to a user’s hand movements.<br />

Dr Noel Chia, Assistant Professor<br />

with the Early Childhood<br />

& Special Needs Education Academic<br />

Group, explained that this<br />

simulation could potentially be<br />

a cost-effective tool to improve<br />

interaction skills in autistic children,<br />

given the high costs of conducting<br />

Dolphin Assisted Therapy<br />

with live dolphins.<br />

On display was also the Crowd<br />

Simulator, which helps to predict<br />

human behavior during emergency<br />

evacuations by allowing the<br />

user to control a virtual avatar using<br />

hand gestures and guide other<br />

virtual characters in the direction<br />

he wants them to follow.<br />

Professor Thalmann believes<br />

that the multi-disciplinary collaborations<br />

have played a significant<br />

role in contributing to IMI’s<br />

research discoveries.<br />

She said: “This is a multi-disciplinary<br />

initiation with professors<br />

and students from different schools,<br />

linking arts and hard science. This<br />

is a new image for NTU now.”<br />

Expand your horizons with a Maritime career<br />

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18<br />

NEWS 07<br />

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<br />

05 <strong>CHRONICLE</strong><br />

Take your tastebuds global<br />

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(CANTEEN 11)<br />

WATCHING Mr Nasir Bin Ali chatter<br />

with his customers, you can<br />

hardly tell he only took over the<br />

business four months ago.<br />

His passion for his stall is<br />

expressed through his regular<br />

prompts for feedback from his<br />

customers to ensure that their expectations<br />

are met.<br />

“First and foremost, I [enjoy]<br />

meeting people. I don’t really regard<br />

[students] as my customers, I<br />

regard them as my friends,” said<br />

Mr Nasir.<br />

Though born in Singapore, Mr<br />

Nasir remains confident about the<br />

authenticity and taste of his food.<br />

He picked up the trade from<br />

his Moroccan uncle who taught<br />

him how to make the stall’s signature<br />

kebab.<br />

This stall is hard to miss with<br />

Qu’ran prayers playing in the<br />

background and the aroma of kebab<br />

wafting from it during busy<br />

hours.<br />

While many may know it as<br />

the western stall, it is not the typical<br />

stall selling your usual chicken<br />

chop and spaghetti.<br />

A closer look will find a menu<br />

peppered with varied Middle Eastern<br />

or Moroccan influences.<br />

The stall is in fact, an extension<br />

of his family business, El-<br />

Hassan ~Taste of Morocco, a F&B<br />

business partly owned by his Moroccan<br />

uncle.<br />

Mr Nasir believes that the<br />

skills his uncle imparted to him<br />

have allowed him to prepare<br />

high quality Moroccan food<br />

which could rival that of a native<br />

cook.<br />

He revealed that Arab students<br />

regularly buy his Kebab,<br />

which he says is a sign of its authentic<br />

taste.<br />

The 38-year-old stallholder<br />

picked up his passion for cooking<br />

from helping his mother in the<br />

kitchen when he was young.<br />

“I don't really<br />

regard students as<br />

my customers, I<br />

regard them as my<br />

friends."<br />

Mr Nasir Bin Ali<br />

Stallholder<br />

El-Hassan ~ Taste of Morocco<br />

“Initially, I was not interested<br />

at all but I ended up in the kitchen<br />

with my mother and had to<br />

help her. In the process, I learnt<br />

a bit about cooking, and [my interest]<br />

grew and developed,” he<br />

said.<br />

His current job is a completely<br />

different scope of work from his<br />

previous job as a safety engineer<br />

at Exxon Mobil.<br />

Asked if he likes the job<br />

switch, he said, “I’m passionate<br />

about cooking, I love food and I<br />

think the hall 10 and 11 students<br />

are very lucky people. They have<br />

a lot of good food here.”<br />


(CANTEEN 13)<br />

AFTER a six-year work attachment<br />

as a branch manager for<br />

Hyundai in Singapore, Mr David<br />

Sin decided to make a permanent<br />

shift here in 1999 and dived into<br />

the food business for his family’s<br />

sake.<br />

“My family wanted to stay…<br />

because if we return to Korea then<br />

maybe the education system will<br />

be different. I wanted to allow my<br />

children to continue studying in<br />

Singapore so I resigned,” said the<br />

56-year-old.<br />

He opened his stall in the revamped<br />

Canteen 13 in July 2006,<br />

at the suggesiton of the canteen<br />

owner who had heard of Mr Sin's<br />

restuarant business, to attract Korean<br />

food-lovers.<br />

The food stall was hailed as a<br />

must-try by Felicia Chin and Dasmond<br />

Koh, hosts of Channel U<br />

food programme, Campus Yummy<br />

Hunt.<br />

The native Korean is also the<br />

owner of Manna Korean Restaurant<br />

and his Korean food can also<br />

be found at Telok Ayer Street and<br />

Takashimaya Food Village.<br />

Many of Mr Sin’s ingredients<br />

such as his special sauce are imported<br />

from Korea to preserve authenticity.<br />

Some of the food is also<br />

prepared at the restaurant by their<br />

Korean chef before being sent to<br />

NTU.<br />

Despite the cost, Mr Sin continues<br />

to keep his food affordable<br />

at the canteen outlet; prices are<br />

half or a quarter of their usual<br />

rates. $3.80 can get you a piping<br />

hot bowl of their popular bibimbap<br />

and soup.<br />

He said. “Our workers give big<br />

portions [and] the price is low but<br />

quality is not compromised. So<br />

pretty much everyone can enjoy<br />

Korean food.”<br />


(CANTEEN 9)<br />

MRS XU Shuang Zhi, 49, has seen<br />

cohorts of graduates come and go<br />

in her 15 years selling Chinese<br />

fare.<br />

“Call it fate,” she said when<br />

asked why she opened the stall. “I<br />

first found this stall when I saw<br />

an advertisement while flipping<br />

through the newspapers”<br />

She had been looking for a<br />

job, having married a local and<br />

migrated to Singapore.<br />

“Call it fate... I<br />

first found this<br />

stall when I saw<br />

an advertisement<br />

while flipping the<br />

newspaper."<br />

Mrs Xu Shuang Zhi<br />

Stallholder<br />

Xi'an Specialities<br />

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

owns selling authentic Korean food. PHOTOS | GOH CHAY TENG<br />

her family of six, and the stall is<br />

kept open for business everyday<br />

except for the three days of Chinese<br />

New Year.<br />

Her husband often comes by<br />

to help her at the stall.<br />

“It’s not an easy job. Usually<br />

we wake up at 5, 6am or sometimes,<br />

even 3 or 4am just to prepare<br />

food.”<br />

The time depends on the<br />

quantity of food that Mrs Xu has<br />

to prepare for the next day.<br />

All her noodles and dumplings<br />

have to be traditionally<br />

handmade with pure flour everyday.<br />

“When you talk about Xi’an<br />

food, you are really talking about<br />

our noodles," she said<br />

"Xi’an noodles are very special<br />

in that they are made of pure<br />

flour and they can be very thick<br />

in texture."<br />

“It’s not like your normal<br />

mee pok or mee kia. Our noodles<br />

have to be consumed fresh within<br />

the day or it will become fermented,<br />

which is why we need<br />

so much time to prepare the food<br />

everyday.”<br />

She also sells traditional cold<br />

side dishes like cold tossed seasoned<br />

shredded potatos, cold<br />

tossed seaweed, and marinated<br />

cucumber to accompany the noodles.<br />

Speaking of hometown food,<br />

she shared that “the famous director,<br />

Zhang Yimou—he’s also<br />

a Xi’an person. It is known that<br />

every five to six days, he must go<br />

back home to have a meal.”<br />

AUTHENTIC TASTE: Mr Nasir's Middle Eastern dishes have a devoted following among<br />

Arab students.<br />

Though an accountant back<br />

in China, Mrs Xu decided to open<br />

a food business due to her poor<br />

command of English.<br />

For her, Xi’an Noodles is her<br />

bread and butter for supporting<br />

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

Canteen 9 after marrying a Singaporean.

Lifestyle<br />

Discover<br />

Vietnam’s rural charm – Page 14<br />


DJ STYLE<br />

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QUIET MARINA: Boy Thunder likes Marina Barrage for the gentle<br />

breeze that helps even first timers fly their kites high.<br />


<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />


OUT SPOT?<br />

BOY THUNDER: The first place that<br />

comes to mind is Marina Barrage. My<br />

girlfriend brought me there on a date<br />

about a year ago, and I thoroughly enjoyed<br />

my time chilling out on a picnic<br />

mat with a kite in hand.<br />

You’ll be amazed at how good you are<br />

even if you’re a first time flyer, thanks<br />

to the breeze.<br />

Since then, I’ve been hanging out there<br />

once a month without fail.<br />

ADAM PIPERDY: I usually go to Changi<br />

Beach—Bistro@Changi. I’ve been going<br />

there for three years.<br />

My ex-girlfriend’s uncle owns the pub<br />

there, so we used to hang out there<br />

quite a bit.<br />

I usually grab a few beers, then take a<br />

walk down the beach and admire the<br />

lights from the boats.<br />



DE-STRESS?<br />

BOY THUNDER: The gentle breeze and<br />

the escape from the usual Orchard<br />

Road crowd. This place has a vast<br />

field. Families gather here for picnics<br />

and the sky is a picturesque view of<br />

kites all over.<br />

ADAM PIPERDY: It’s a little hard to<br />

get here by public transport and that<br />

means that not many people get here.<br />

It is much quieter and more peaceful<br />

than East Coast Park, so you get a sense<br />

of tranquillity just by watching the<br />

sunset or people riding bikes.<br />

You can also hear the waves coming<br />

in, and the rhythmic crashing of waves<br />

onto the sand calms me down and<br />

gives me a sense of peace.<br />

Since we host shows for crowds, sometimes<br />

we really need to get away from<br />

everything, sit down, and listen to the<br />

waves coming in.<br />

Call me old school but that’s how I like<br />

to spend my free time. (Laughs)<br />



BOY THUNDER: From 4.30pm till before<br />

it gets too dark.<br />

ADAM PIPERDY: I guess watching the<br />

sunset is great. And if you happen to<br />

ton (stay up for) the night, you can<br />

watch the sunrise too.<br />

MR YOUNG<br />

<br />

<br />

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<br />

<br />


OUT SPOT?<br />

Does Facebook count? Just kidding.<br />

There’s pretty much two places I’m<br />

at most of the time these days—either<br />

at home, savoring my alone<br />

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

public transport, says Adam.<br />


time, or at Evolve Mixed Martial<br />

Arts, a mixed martial arts gym in<br />

Far East Square. I’m there Monday<br />

to Friday in the afternoon till early<br />

evening, and most of Saturday.<br />

I take Muay Thai classes, boxing<br />

classes, chat with the people there,<br />

and read up on whatever’s interesting<br />

that I can use on my radio show<br />

in between classes.<br />



DE-STRESS?<br />

It’s the nice, friendly vibe there—an<br />

atmosphere of learning and respect.<br />

No matter how good you are, there’s<br />

always someone better that you can<br />

learn something from. It’s a refreshing<br />

change from the oft-pretentious<br />

world I’m in.<br />

Plus, exercise is an amazing tool<br />

for de-stressing. When I’m there, job<br />

stress, worries, frustrations, everything<br />

that brings me down doesn’t<br />

exist. I sweat, punch, kick, elbow,<br />

knee it all out. The fact that it’s getting<br />

my fat butt in shape is a bonus, too.<br />

It’s funny because some may see<br />

the combat sports as wild and violent,<br />

but it’s really helped me focus and<br />

calm my mind.<br />

SWEATING IT OUT: Taking Muay Thai and boxing classes at Evolve Mixed Martial<br />

Arts helps Mr Young keep cool.

12<br />


<br />

<strong>CHRONICLE</strong><br />

<br />

18<br />

<br />

05<br />


HOOT.ME<br />

<br />

<br />

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

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

using group video conferencing and smart chat, which supports math symbols for equations and YouTube<br />

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

held a while back to find possible answers.<br />


<br />

<br />

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

students worldwide. There is a wide range of study groups based on<br />

topic. Students directly answer questions posted, resulting in Q&A<br />

format instead of drawn out discussions. If no one in your circle of<br />

friends can help, try tapping on the brains of more than 50,000 students<br />

registered on the site.<br />



<br />

<br />

<br />

Start maximising your 24 hours a day, six days a week in a snap with<br />

this basic Microsoft Office Excel sheet. Straightforward and printerready,<br />

it has columns for Mondays to Saturdays with hourly rows from<br />

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

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


BU D DY:<br />


<br />

<br />

<br />

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

which supports math symbols for equations and YouTube video embedding. PHOTOS | INTERNET<br />



<br />

<br />

Create flash cards that support text (including special characters for<br />

mathematics and languages), audio recordings and images with Study<br />

Blue. Check on your progress by converting your flash card deck into a<br />

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

card decks with friends. For studying on the go, access your material<br />

via the Study Blue mobile phone app.<br />


<br />

<br />

Like Study Blue, you can create flash cards with Quizlet and access a<br />

database of flash cards created by other students. To add to that, Quizlet<br />

also has study games like Scatter (matching game) and Space Race<br />

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

terms and definitions instead of reading them, if you prefer.<br />



<br />

<br />

<br />

Spreeder will help you get through your avalanche of readings before<br />

you know it. It trains you to speed read by making you read a passage<br />

you upload first at your base rate (the rate you can read with full<br />

comprehension), then at double that rate, and a third time back at<br />

your base rate. Repeat this cycle and you will find your base rate has<br />

increased. Upload your readings as practice passages, and your pile of<br />

readings will decrease as your base rate increases.<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

Collate all your study material for a particular topic with Just Paste<br />

It—import notes from word processors including Microsoft Word,<br />

Microsoft Works and Open Office (text formatting will be preserved),<br />

insert images, and even embed videos. Your work will be automatically<br />

saved to the server every three minutes, so you need not worry about<br />

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<br />

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

18<br />

<br />

05<br />


TO ENJOY: Instead of having a sandwich to go,<br />

savour Sarnies’ flavourful dishes amongst its<br />

cosy interiors.<br />

LOCATED amidst the bustling financial<br />

district, Sarnies is a modestly-sized café<br />

specialising in freshly prepared gourmet<br />

sandwiches. Its name comes from the word<br />

“sarnie”, which refers to the British slang for<br />

sandwich.<br />

The café has an understated charm, with<br />

the wooden furniture and dim lighting of<br />

the interior giving off a rustic and cosy feel.<br />

The breakfast menu is available from<br />

7.30am to 11am, while lunch is sold after<br />

11am till 3pm. The food usually gets sold out<br />

by then 3pm, but the café remains open till<br />

5pm selling drinks only.<br />


<br />

<br />

SIMPLY<br />

BREAD<br />

<br />

<strong>CHRONICLE</strong><br />

<br />

WITH a name like Simply Bread, it is no<br />

surprise that bread takes centre stage here.<br />

The fragrant smell of freshly-baked bread<br />

wafting through the air, hits you when you<br />

step into the store—which has a wide array of<br />

bread, pastries, and loaves on display.<br />

Located in a quiet corner on the second<br />

level of Cluny Court, the café’s interiors are<br />

minimalist—with a clean design and white<br />

furniture. The floor-to-ceiling windows offer<br />

a scenic view of the greenery outside and also<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

The lunch menu has several savoury<br />

sandwich choices, such as Aussie Grass<br />

Fed Steak, Smoked Salmon and Chicken<br />

Schnitzel, all priced from $11.90 to $14.90.<br />

At the owner’s recommendation, I ordered<br />

the Roast Chicken Sarnie ($12.90), the café’s<br />

signature and bestseller.<br />

It had generous portions of roasted<br />

chicken, house cured bacon, and homemade<br />

guacamole tightly packed between two<br />

crusty slices of bread. This is one of their less<br />

sinful options as the chicken is roasted and<br />

the bacon is free from preservatives.<br />

The chicken tasted of flavourful herbs<br />

and spices, which contrasted elegantly with<br />

the crunch of bacon. The vine tomatoes and<br />

lettuce gave a zingy bite to complement the<br />

taste of the meat.<br />

To top it all off, guacamole complemented<br />

the strong and earthy flavour of the other<br />

ingredients. All in all, this fancy sandwich<br />

tasted marvellous, and was worth every<br />

penny.<br />

The other item I tried was the Basil Pesto<br />

Sarnie ($11.90). It came with a layer of grilled<br />

mushrooms, oven roasted tomatoes, and fresh<br />

greens tossed in olive oil.<br />

The aromatic basil pesto sauce was spread<br />

thickly across the toasted bread. The portion<br />

was just right, with quality ingredients<br />

packed generously, leaving me satisfied<br />

without feeling too stuffed or bloated.<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

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

stylish. PHOTOS | WAN ZHONG HAO<br />

allows sunlight to stream in, brightening<br />

the place. It has a laid back feel and offers<br />

a comfortable spot where you can sit back<br />

and relax.<br />

Their lunch menu serves up a good<br />

variety of sandwiches and each order comes<br />

with a side of coleslaw. Aside from the classic<br />

Grilled Cheese Sandwich ($6.45), they also<br />

have standard options like Ham & Cheese<br />

($9) and Chunky Egg ($7.10). Like Subway,<br />

you can pick out your preferred bread from<br />

Much of the sandwich’s flavour came from<br />

the sauce, but it was not too overpowering<br />

and blended nicely with the juicy mushrooms<br />

and refreshing greens. To ensure freshness,<br />

the sauces are made daily and produced from<br />

scratch.<br />

As well as sandwiches, the café serves<br />

soups and salads, priced from $9.90 to $12.90.<br />

And alongside the usual coffees, they sell<br />

brews from Singapore-based gourmet tea<br />

company Tea Connection which only sells<br />

to cafes.<br />

I washed down my sandwich with a<br />

the display counter. There is a wide selection<br />

of loaves ranging from White Sourdough to<br />

Ciabatta and Rustic White, each with their<br />

own distinct taste.<br />

The first sandwich I ordered was the<br />

Turkey Sandwich ($8.50). It came in<br />

two halves of palm-sized portions, with<br />

thinly sliced turkey, lettuce, and sweet<br />

ploughman’s pickle tucked between two slices<br />

of Rustic Wholemeal bread. However, it was<br />

disappointing as it tasted like something that<br />

can be easily replicated in your own kitchen.<br />

The only thing that stood out was the<br />

sweet ploughman’s pickle. It added a punch<br />

to the overall taste, giving the sandwich<br />

a savoury bite. However, it got a little<br />

overpowering at times, masking the taste of<br />

the turkey as a result.<br />

The BLT Sandwich ($9.50) fared slightly<br />

better. I had this with Sourdough Rye, a rustic<br />

loaf with a thick crust and soft interior. The<br />

sandwich had generous amounts of bacon,<br />

lettuce, and tomatoes, and every mouthful<br />

was crunchy and flavourful, with the<br />

refreshing taste of the greens contrasting<br />

against salty bacon. The crispy lettuce and<br />

juicy tomatoes attested to the quality of<br />

ingredients used. My only qualm was that I<br />

could only taste faint traces of the thin layer<br />

of mayonnaise that was spread across the<br />

bread. As a result, it became a little too dry<br />

halfway through the sandwich.<br />

Service, however, scored high on my<br />

cards. The variety of breads available left<br />

me spoilt for choices but the staff were<br />

forthcoming in their recommendations. This<br />

friendly gesture will no doubt help diners<br />

pick out a type of bread that best suits their<br />

preference.<br />

Sandwiches aside, you must give their<br />


13<br />

Lemon and Ginger Tea ($5) which had an<br />

invigorating lemon zestiness and a cooling<br />

ginger aftertaste.<br />

To complete your meal, the café also<br />

offers sweet treats. The menu for the baked<br />

goods changes daily and it includes muffins,<br />

cookies, scones and brownies. Do check out<br />

their Facebook page for their daily specials.<br />

Being a small café, it is relatively quiet<br />

and is a decent location to lunch and lounge<br />

around for a bit, but do take note that it can<br />

get crowded from 12-2pm when the nearby<br />

office crowd starts filling in.<br />

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

with the ingredients, which went marvellously with the fragrant pesto sauce.<br />


Sticky Bun ($1.85) a shot. The bun is a crowd<br />

favourite, and it will usually be sold out<br />

in the late afternoon. The bun was chewy,<br />

dense, and generously glazed, with hints of<br />

cinnamon. It was sweet, but not cloyingly<br />

so, making a perfect afternoon snack. This<br />

sweet treat paired well with the Orange Pekoe<br />

Tea ($2.80), a drink that had a subtle citrus<br />

aroma and taste to it which also left a pleasant<br />

lingering sweetness.<br />

Simply Bread is a comfortable and<br />

peaceful place which provides a tranquil<br />

ambience for an afternoon snack. However,<br />

there is nothing exceptional about their main<br />

courses. With prices and tastes comparable<br />

to other sandwich cafes around, it might not<br />

be worth the trouble to go out of your way<br />

for a bite of their sandwich.<br />

MEDIOCRE: Unless you live in around the<br />

neighbourhood, Simply Bread’s sandwiches<br />

are not worth travelling for.

14<br />


<br />

<br />

<strong>CHRONICLE</strong><br />


<br />

<br />

<br />

18<br />

<br />

05<br />

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.<br />

ith just a return ticket<br />

from Singapore to<br />

Ho Chi Minh and<br />

W no accommodation,<br />

tours, or transport booked for the<br />

entire trip, I set out on a nineday<br />

backpacking trip, in hope<br />

of unexpected adventures. Some<br />

have called me crazy for doing<br />

that, especially in a country<br />

where I have never been and<br />

whose language I do not speak.<br />

But I have always wanted to<br />

experience what it was really like,<br />

off the tourist route.<br />

As we had to navigate the<br />

country on our own, we encountered<br />

taxi drivers who insisted on<br />

longer routes, or even “helpful”<br />

locals who wanted a quick buck.<br />

We realised the hard way that<br />

hotels close for the night when<br />

we arrived at one too early in<br />

the morning and had to wait two<br />

hours at its door before it opened<br />

for the day.<br />

After walking through the<br />

hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh<br />

and Hanoi for the first three<br />

days, I was yearning for some<br />

open spaces and rustic scenery.<br />

A staff at a local tour agency in<br />

Hanoi told us that Sapa was a<br />

rural little village situated in the<br />

mountainous region of Vietnam,<br />

and is home to a rich diversity of<br />

ethnic minority groups. Eager to<br />

get away from the city, we immediately<br />

took up the tour package<br />

to Sapa.<br />

Hanoi bid us goodbye in its<br />

typical chaotic manner at the<br />

Hanoi Railway Train Station.<br />

Each time a train pulled up,<br />

hoards jostled to get off and on<br />

it, while the train attendants blew<br />

their whistles incessantly. We<br />

were trying to squeeze past the<br />

crowds to locate our platform,<br />

when a Vietnamese man in<br />

uniform stopped us in our tracks.<br />

He took a glance at our tickets,<br />

smiled, and waved us over to<br />

follow him. At that point, I was<br />

relieved, thankful for the valueadded<br />

service that the station<br />

provided. When we arrived at our<br />

train, the man stopped us again.<br />

This time, he gestured to us for<br />

money. From then on, I learnt that<br />

there is no such thing as a free<br />

lunch in Vietnam.<br />

After travelling for more<br />

than eight hours on a sleeper<br />

train from Hanoi, we finally<br />

made it to Lao Cai Province in<br />

northwest Vietnam. It is located<br />

near the border of China, where<br />

the Red River separates the two<br />

communist countries. Unlike<br />

Hanoi, which was hot and humid,<br />

this province has a fairly cool<br />

temperature, ranging from 15°C<br />

to 29°C. It was such a relief to feel<br />

the cool breeze once I made my<br />

way down from the train and on<br />

to another bus which would take<br />

us to Sapa town.<br />

We were packed into the<br />

small bus with 20 tourists, but<br />

I was lucky enough to get a<br />

window seat. I was rewarded<br />

with a magnificent view of the<br />

mountains as the bus pulled its<br />

way up the steep and winding<br />

roads, which bears a staggering<br />

altitude of 1,600m. I was faintly<br />

reminded of the ride up Genting<br />

Highlands, but with more majestic<br />

and breathtaking views this time.<br />

The precipitous slopes are<br />

carved into beautiful green<br />

terraces of paddy rice and maize<br />

corns fields. At six in the morning,<br />

we saw the blazing red sun slowly<br />

appearing behind the mountains,<br />

and the sky was tinged with<br />

shades of orange and blue.<br />

As soon as we arrived, we<br />

heard the line, “Excuse me,<br />

can you buy this from me?”<br />

being repeated relentlessly. A<br />

group of women dressed in their<br />

traditional ethnic costumes stood<br />

by the bus, hands stretched into<br />

the bus’s open windows, shoving<br />

handicraft items at us. This<br />

definitely made for a bizarre<br />

introduction to the minority<br />

ethnic people.<br />

A while later, I learnt from<br />

my local guide, Viet, that these<br />

aboriginal ladies would walk<br />

miles from their villages to the<br />

town centre of Sapa and spend the<br />

rest of the day selling handicrafts<br />

to tourists. With limited English,<br />

they would attempt to strike up<br />

small talk by asking, “Where are<br />

you from?”, but they all end with<br />

the imminent question, “can you<br />

buy this from me?”. A group of<br />

three tailed us during our trek,<br />

from Sapa’s town centre to Cat Cat<br />

Village. Due to their persistence,<br />

I finally gave in and bought a<br />

keychain.<br />

At Cat Cat Village, shrieks<br />

of village kids came within<br />

earshot as we entered the village.<br />

They were playing outside their<br />

homes which are lined along the<br />

undulating slopes in the valley.<br />

Instead of battery-operated toys,<br />

they played with sticks, stones,<br />

and whatever they found in their<br />

environment. Due to the high<br />

influx of tourists in the village,<br />

they did not look surprised to see<br />

us, preferring to return to their<br />

own fun and games instead.<br />

Our guide Viet kindly took us<br />

into one of the villagers’ homes.<br />

I was astonished to see how<br />

sparse and primitive the place<br />

was. I noticed that simplicity<br />

and functionality are priorities<br />

in their lifestyle. There were<br />

only a few pieces of furniture,<br />

and no hint of technology, save<br />

for a television set. It made me<br />

reflect on how most things in our<br />

urban environment are not that<br />

necessary.<br />

We continued our way down<br />

the valley, where a stunning<br />

waterfall awaited at the bottom.<br />

With the sun beating against the<br />

cascading waters, it was like a<br />

shower of diamonds. With such<br />

alluring views of nature, the<br />

trek was anything but tiresome.<br />

We also saw farmers plowing the<br />

paddy rice fields, while chickens<br />

and pigs roamed freely on the<br />


SCISSORS, PAPER, STONE: The kids of Cat Cat Village make do with what they<br />

have and fashion toys out of their immediate surroundings.<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

farm grounds.<br />

When evening came, we<br />

enjoyed a cup of hot Vietnamese<br />

coffee on the rooftop of one of<br />

the many cafes in Sapa, and took<br />

in the breathtaking sight of dusk<br />

approaching. We watched the sun<br />

retreat behind the mountains,<br />

and listened to the crows of the<br />

rooster as it announced the end<br />

of another day. This is Sapa, a<br />

rural countryside that allows<br />

you to leave behind the bustle of<br />

cities, and admire the slow-paced<br />

beauty of village life.

18<br />

<br />

<br />

16 <strong>CHRONICLE</strong> LIFESTYLE<br />

05<br />

<br />

She’s<br />

Got The<br />

Love<br />

<br />

18<br />

<br />

LIFESTYLE <strong>CHRONICLE</strong> 15<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

THE BEST compliment anyone<br />

can pay to Florence<br />

and the Machine is that she<br />

sounds like nothing you’ve<br />

ever heard in your life.<br />

There have been many<br />

labels attached to the redhaired<br />

songstress—baroque<br />

pop and art rock among<br />

them, but Florence Welch<br />

defies them all.<br />

Her music runs across<br />

the entire musical spectrum,<br />

from breathy ethereal<br />

ballads to rebellious punk<br />

anthems, all delivered with<br />

a knowing wink and a pout<br />

of the lips.<br />

At just 25, the singer<br />

has already become a global<br />

star. Her debut studio album<br />

Lungs was certified gold in<br />

the USA, selling over 730,<br />

000 copies – a rarity for a<br />

British musician since the<br />

glory days of the Beatles.<br />

Frequently turning up<br />

for interviews dressed in an<br />

eclectic mix of clothing and<br />

digressing into tangents to<br />

discuss Nabokov’s Lolita and<br />

the British cult film Withnail<br />

and I, everything about<br />

Florence Welch screams<br />

unconventional. Even her<br />

stage name (often stylised<br />

as Florence + The Machine)<br />

came from a private joke in<br />

which she referred to her<br />

friend Isabella Summers as<br />

Isabella Machine, and herself<br />

as Florence Robot.<br />

“I was an hour away from<br />

my first gig when I realised<br />

the name Florence Robot/<br />

Isabella Machine was so long<br />

it would drive me mad,” she<br />

said in an interview with the<br />

Sunday Times.<br />

The ‘Machine’ today refers<br />

to the rotating group<br />

of musicians who provide<br />

backup vocals and instrumentals<br />

for Welch, while<br />

Summers remains as her<br />

main keyboardist.<br />

“I knew I loved<br />

singing and<br />

music...it was<br />

always just<br />

something that<br />

I loved but I was<br />

never thinking<br />

of it as a career.<br />

It was more just<br />

like, ‘OH, I CAN<br />

SING! WOO!”<br />

Florence Welch<br />

Interview with Clash Music<br />

The 31-year-old is no<br />

slouch in the creative department<br />

herself, having<br />

earned six producer and five<br />

co-writer credits on Lungs,<br />

a 2010 BRIT Masterclass<br />

Award winner.<br />

It would come as no surprise<br />

to learn that Welch’s<br />

path to fame was fittingly<br />

unique as well.<br />

Starting out at the bottom<br />

rung of the London<br />

club scene in the mid-2000s,<br />

she caught her big break in<br />

December 2006 while performing<br />

in London, Soho for<br />

the Queens of Noize, a band<br />

of influential music promoters<br />

and producers.<br />

Thoroughly inebriated,<br />

Welch cornered band member<br />

Mairead Nash, in the<br />

bathroom and started singing<br />

the 1962 hit Something’s<br />

Got a Hold on Me by Etta<br />

James.<br />

“I invited her back for<br />

another night, and I remember<br />

thinking ‘Oh…my…God,<br />

I’ve literally never heard<br />

anyone with such a powerful<br />

voice ever,” recalls Nash in<br />

an interview with the Daily<br />

Telegraph. “I had to manage<br />

her.”<br />

Florence and the Machine<br />

eventually released Lungs in<br />

2009 to widespread critical<br />

acclaim.<br />

Peaking at number one<br />

on the UK charts and second<br />

in Ireland, it would eventually<br />

reach the top of the<br />

American charts as well.<br />

Chart success isn’t the<br />

only indicator of the singer’s<br />

influence though.<br />

Tracks from Lungs have<br />

been used in official movie<br />

soundtracks such as Eat,<br />

Pray, Love, and featured in<br />

episodes of television series<br />

like 90210, Skins, and Glee.<br />

“Do I want<br />

to be stuck<br />

in teenage<br />

land, where<br />

everything’s<br />

free and easy?<br />

Is it time to<br />

grow up?”<br />

Florence Welch, reflecting on<br />

her new-found maturity.<br />

Interview with The Observer<br />

The music videos created<br />

for Lungs all display her love<br />

of colour and crazy clothes.<br />

In Dog Days Are Over she<br />

prances around in a kimono<br />

and rags through a cloud of<br />

cloured smoke.<br />

Another common element<br />

of her videos is her eccentric<br />

refusal to wear pants.<br />

Irreverent, playful and<br />

whimsical—it perfectly encapsulates<br />

both Florence and<br />

her Machine both as a person<br />

and a music band.<br />

The October 31st release<br />

date of their upcoming album<br />

Ceremonials cannot<br />

come soon enough.<br />

Lungs (2009)<br />

BRIT Award winner and certified platinum in a dozen countries<br />

across Europe, what is it that makes Lungs so special? The sheer<br />

variety of the songs on the album, for a start.<br />

Kiss With a Fist, for example, is a cheerfully manic song with<br />

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

bed. It sounds absolutely nothing like the majestic Cosmic Love,<br />

with its epic swelling overtures.<br />

According to Florence herself, the entire album is a journey. It was<br />

designed as a cohesive whole from start to finish, with its very randomness<br />

an integral part of linking the different songs together.<br />

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

“You have to listen to everything to understand the whole body<br />

of work.”<br />

There are albums that you only play when you feel sad, or happy.<br />

The beauty of Lungs is that it has any song to fit any occasion. It<br />

is full of wonder and nonsense with equal measure. How else can<br />

you explain lyrics like: Washes away down the kitchen sink, taken<br />

from the album’s crowning jewel, Dog Days Are Over?<br />

In her own words, “I really love the idea of making the totally<br />

mundane magical.”Adding a dash of colour to an otherwise grey<br />

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

one to take with you to a desert island.<br />


16 LIFESTYLE<br />

<br />

MUSIC<br />

<br />

<strong>CHRONICLE</strong><br />

<br />

18<br />

<br />

05<br />


(Alternative Rock)<br />

Coldplay<br />

<br />

According to Coldplay, the<br />

album’s lyrics were inspired<br />

by ‘old school American<br />

graffiti’ and the ‘White Rose<br />

Movement’.<br />

IT COULD have been just<br />

another pretentious name<br />

for a Hollywood celebrity’s<br />

baby. Instead Mylo Xyloto<br />

is Coldplay’s latest offering<br />

following their 2008 hit<br />

record, Viva La Vida or Death<br />

and All His Friends.<br />

When asked by the New<br />

York Times about the meaning<br />

of the album title, lead singer<br />

Chris Martin was reluctant to<br />

tell the truth.<br />

“Music comes from a<br />

place we don’t know. It sort<br />

of comes through the fingers<br />

and toes,” he said vaguely.<br />

Martin later revealed that<br />

the title came out of the<br />

‘randomness of the universe’<br />

on American political satire<br />

program The Colbert Report.<br />

Billed as a concept album,<br />

Mylo Xyloto delves into a<br />

narrative of two young<br />

lovers, Mylo and Xyloto in an<br />

oppressive, dystopian urban<br />

environment.<br />

The term ‘concept album’<br />

RACHAEL Yamagata is, by<br />

her own admission, not one<br />

to write happy songs.<br />

So it is a pleasant surprise<br />

to find that Chesapeake,<br />

which was three years in the<br />

making, is a more uplifting<br />

release than her previous effort<br />

Elephants...Teeth Sinking<br />

Into Heart.<br />

The 34-year-old’s signature<br />

sultry tones are a mainstay<br />

on the album, and lend<br />

themselves well to the variety<br />

of genres she samples.<br />

Opening track Even If<br />

I Don’t is a twee, upbeat<br />

number reminiscent of a pop<br />

song, with a sprightly tempo<br />

punctuated by drumbeats.<br />

This jaunty, refreshing<br />

track is likely to find the<br />

songstress some new fans—it<br />

is an accessible entry point<br />

into an album in which<br />

Yamagata discovers her more<br />

optimistic side.<br />

Stick Around, with its<br />

smoky jazz flavour, is a hopeis<br />

debatable though, as the<br />

narrative is not properly<br />

explored, nor does it seem<br />

to go beyond the surface<br />

storyline of boy meets girl.<br />

But that is easily forgiven,<br />

as the individual tracks in<br />

the record are enthusiastic,<br />

upbeat and generally more<br />

uplifting than any of<br />

Coldplay’s previous albums.<br />

With the help of coproducer<br />

Brian Eno, the<br />

album achieves a very<br />

luxurious, surging sound that<br />

is a mix of swelling synths,<br />

exhilarating guitar riffs and<br />

Martin’s gorgeous falsetto.<br />

The melodies, guided<br />

along by catchy piano tunes,<br />

simply bring everything<br />

together in a right balance,<br />

especially in tracks like Hurts<br />

Like Heaven.<br />

Balance is the key word<br />

for this album. The band’s<br />

previous work produced very<br />

heavy anthems like Viva La<br />

Vida.<br />

While that formula still<br />

features prominently in<br />

Mylo Xyloto, it is smoothed<br />

out by light, playful beats<br />

paired with delicately<br />

beautiful instrumentation.<br />

Their song Paradise elegantly<br />

exemplifies this balance.<br />

Martin sings a thirdperson<br />

narrative about a girl<br />

whose life has not measured<br />

up to her expectations: When<br />

she was just a girl she expected<br />

the world / But it flew away<br />

from her reach so she ran<br />

away in her sleep.<br />

With a strong hook, and<br />

the always-loved stretched<br />

vocals of Martin, one can<br />

easily imagine a ginormous<br />

sea of swaying arms at a<br />

stadium, well-equipped with<br />

light sticks or mobile phones.<br />

While Eno, who also<br />

produced U2’s 1991 record<br />

Achtung Baby, also worked<br />

on Coldplay’s last album, his<br />

touch is more evident in Mylo<br />

Xyloto.<br />

Eno’s signature use of<br />

synths and keyboards is more<br />

apparent, especially in one of<br />

the album’s standout tracks<br />

Princess of China which<br />

features R&B artist Rihanna.<br />

The band’s trademark<br />

piano and light guitar riffs<br />

take a backseat to make<br />

way for robust synths and<br />

compellingly heavy guitar<br />

riffs in this song.<br />

Rihanna unexpectedly<br />

lends a sense of depth to the<br />

song and elevates Martin’s<br />

comparatively weak vocals<br />

to a level that might not have<br />

been possible without her.<br />

While Mylo Xyloto still<br />

carries the world music<br />

elements that Coldplay had<br />

infused in their music three<br />

years ago, it is also packed<br />

with well-placed urban traces<br />

that will cement their status<br />

as the biggest-selling band in<br />

the world.<br />


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

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


CHESAPEAKE (Indie)<br />

Rachael Yamagata<br />

<br />

Rachael Yamagata’s songs<br />

have featured on popular TV<br />

shows like ‘Grey’s Anatomy’<br />

and ‘How I Met Your Mother’.<br />

ful take on second chances in<br />

love. She sings: I’ve been in<br />

trouble before with my rushing<br />

in / but I’m willing to take the<br />

chance again.<br />

Older fans may be pleased<br />

to note that Yamagata has not<br />

completely abandoned her<br />

contemplative, somber roots.<br />

Full On is a delicate,<br />

wistful piano ballad, with<br />

Yamagata’s vocals reined in to<br />

convey the disappointment of<br />

a lover ‘faking it for so long’.<br />

For this album, Yamagata<br />

reunited with music producer<br />

John Alagia, with whom<br />

she also collaborated on her<br />

debut album Happenstance,<br />

released in 2004.<br />

However it is evident that<br />

this soulful songbird has<br />

evolved since she emerged<br />

onto the music scene.<br />

From song to song,<br />

Yamagata writes with a maturity<br />

and intimacy that is not<br />

often found among contemporary<br />

pop artists.<br />

Chesapeake enters previously<br />

uncharted territory in<br />

Yamagata’s repertoire by being<br />

slightly eclectic, resulting<br />

in a collection of songs that<br />

lacks a clear direction for her<br />

as an artiste.<br />

However this exploration<br />

of Yamagata’s happier persona<br />

is, above all, a commendable<br />

exercise in self-discovery.<br />


18<br />

<br />

<strong>CHRONICLE</strong><br />

<br />

05<br />

<br />




<br />

Fresh from his stint as creative director for 2010’s<br />

National Day Parade, Dick Lee returns to theatre<br />

production with a bang.<br />

BASED on his biography of<br />

the same title, The Adventures<br />

of the Mad Chinaman is Dick<br />

Lee’s intimate and often<br />

hilarious recount of his life<br />

journey towards musical<br />

stardom.<br />

Featuring many wellloved<br />

local hits such as<br />

Rasa Sayang and Fried Rice<br />

Paradise, the solo recital hits<br />

home as both a lively depiction<br />

of the life of a local musician<br />

and a record of Singapore’s<br />

music history.<br />

One of the most successful<br />

local musicians, the 55-yearold<br />

is well-known for his<br />

numerous music compositions<br />

and plays, including the<br />

renowned play Forbidden<br />

City: Portrait of an Empress,<br />

LOOKING SPLENDID: Dick Lee captivates the audience with his honesty.<br />

“If I could go<br />

back in time, I<br />

would tell my<br />

20-year-old self,<br />

“Don’t worry,<br />

just do it.” But,<br />

looking back,<br />

I think I did it<br />

anyway.”<br />

Dick lee, in an interview with<br />

August Man.<br />

first staged in 2002.<br />

With his characteristic<br />

down-to-earth narration,<br />

Lee manages to bring both<br />

laughter and tears to the<br />

audience.<br />

From sharing personal<br />

stories such as the death of his<br />

beloved sister to poking fun at<br />

local politics, he comes across<br />

as honest and straightforward.<br />

Set in a living room with a<br />

mix of designer furniture and<br />

artefacts from the past, he also<br />

infuses a nostalgic flavour<br />

into this solo recital.<br />

Lee looked sharp in a<br />

pink suit as he alternated<br />

between lively performances<br />

at his white grand piano and<br />

unpretentious recounts of his<br />

life’s many trials, setbacks<br />

and triumphs while seated on<br />

his sofa.<br />

He delivers a great<br />

performance beyond a<br />

simple music recital, belting<br />

out renditions of famous<br />

songs like Heart of Gold,<br />

prancing around to the beat<br />

of old Chinese pop songs, and<br />

sharing humorous stories.<br />

The audience is given a<br />

peek into Singapore’s past as<br />

Lee recounts the transition<br />

in Singapore’s music culture<br />

over the decades, such as the<br />

move from use of Laser Discs<br />

(LDs) to Compact Discs (CDs)<br />

and the phasing-out of video<br />

cassettes.<br />

Among his numerous<br />

heart-warming tales, one<br />

highlight is an escapade<br />

during his years in Saint<br />

Joseph’s Institution.<br />

He recalls an early<br />

mischievous attempt at<br />

business when he sold books<br />

containing objectionable<br />

material to his classmates.<br />

Despite his admission of<br />

guilt at that incident, the<br />

comical manifestation of Lee’s<br />

entrepreneurial spirit at such<br />

a young age was greeted with<br />

both laughter and awe from<br />

the audience.<br />

In a more significant<br />

episode, Dick Lee describes<br />

his initial difficulty in<br />

establishing himself as a<br />

musician.<br />

His admiration for<br />

successful Western musicians<br />

had led him to strive hard to<br />

imitate them.<br />

However, he realised that<br />

in the process he had lost sight<br />

of something more important<br />

than fame and glory—his<br />

Singaporean identity.<br />

This would prove to be<br />

critical to his success later on.<br />

Spurred on by this<br />

LIFESTYLE 17<br />

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


awareness, he created a<br />

form of national identity<br />

through his composition of<br />

the National Day song Home<br />

in 1998, which was performed<br />

by local singer Kit Chan.<br />

Similarly, The Adventures<br />

of the Mad Chinaman does<br />

more than just entertain.<br />

Beyond the laughter, tears,<br />

and a lesson on Singapore’s<br />

history, the audience is led<br />

to contemplate their life’s<br />

achievements and goals.<br />

A sequel, The Return of the<br />

Mad Chinaman, is currently<br />

in the works.<br />

It will continue the story<br />

from where Lee left off, and<br />

with luck it will be just as<br />

good as the first.<br />


BOOKS<br />

DAMNED<br />

Chuck Palahniuk (Fiction)<br />

$24.95 at Kinokuniya<br />

Published by Jonathan Cape<br />

Ltd<br />

Damned is Chuck Palahniuk’s<br />

new novel that unfortunately<br />

reads like a diary of a typical<br />

adolescent, reminiscent of the<br />

unfortunate Adrian Mole.<br />

The writer of the provocative<br />

novel Fight Club, capable<br />

of searing social commentary,<br />

decides here to parody a<br />

child’s relationship with God.<br />

Although the premise is<br />

interesting, the climax and<br />

the ending of the book leaves<br />

much to be desired.<br />

This version of Hell is<br />

introduced to the reader by<br />

Madison, a 13-year-old adolescent<br />

dead from a freak<br />

accident supplemented by<br />

marijuana.<br />

She meets her Breakfast<br />

Club posse of friends along<br />

and together they conquer<br />

hell as their territory.<br />

Although precocious for<br />

her age, Madison still struggles<br />

with the adolescent issues<br />

of self-identity, image and<br />

acceptance.<br />

Her narrative oscillates<br />

between biting sarcasm and<br />

hopeful naivety, and offers<br />

few insights in between her<br />

cutting observations.<br />

Although the character<br />

development was lacking,<br />

Palahniuk’s description of<br />

Hell’s inner workings is enjoyable<br />

in every way.<br />

The conundrum of telemarketers’<br />

accuracy in striking<br />

just before dinner is<br />

served is solved in Damned.<br />

Apparently in Hell, making<br />

calls during the customers’<br />

meal, bath and relaxation<br />

times is a respected job of its<br />

hellish occupants.<br />

Palahniuk’s Hell is essentially<br />

a consequence of<br />

humanity’s own existence.<br />

For example the physical<br />

landscape is made out<br />

of various kinds of human<br />

waste—a different take from<br />

the burning realm we’re<br />

more familiar with.<br />

Ironically, beneath the<br />

overly pessimistic portrayal<br />

of mankind some hope is<br />

revealed.<br />

It is Madison’s unabashed<br />

hopefulness that<br />

keeps her apart from the<br />

wailing masses of the despondent<br />

and damned.<br />

Eventually, under her<br />

command, Hell takes on a<br />

more cheery form.<br />

Unfortunately, the lack<br />

of a compelling storyline<br />

in Damned is accompanied<br />

by character relationships<br />

that are unconvincing and<br />

lack focus. Madison does<br />

not lose, but she never truly<br />

wins either.<br />

Palahniuk continually<br />

reminds us that the expectation<br />

for both Earth and Hell<br />

to be like Heaven is a fundamental<br />

flaw of humanity.<br />

That indeed seems to be<br />

the point for the book—do<br />

not read Damned with the<br />

expectation that it will be<br />

extremely good, or you<br />

might very well just be<br />

damned in your own hopes.<br />




Bruce Weinstein and Mark<br />

Scarbrough (Non-Fiction)<br />

$23.11 at Kinokuniya<br />

Published by Gallery<br />

EVER heard a high-pitched<br />

sound when a lobster is<br />

dropped into a pot of boiling<br />

water?<br />

No, it is not the crustacean<br />

screaming in agony, although<br />

the resemblance is uncanny.<br />

The sound was apparently<br />

so convincing Adolf Hitler’s<br />

Nazi government banned<br />

the Germans from cooking<br />

lobsters in this way.<br />

The sound is actually produced<br />

when steam whistles<br />

out from the joints of its shell.<br />

Simple science, yet even<br />

today many people still believe<br />

that lobsters have the<br />

ability to scream even though<br />

they do not have vocal cords.<br />

American authors<br />

Bruce Weinstein and Mark<br />

Scarbrough debunk this and<br />

a hundred other food and<br />

cooking myths in their latest<br />

book Lobsters Scream When<br />

You Boil Them.<br />

The two writers contribute<br />

regularly to various food<br />

publications, including recipe<br />

website Eating Well and The<br />

Washington Post .<br />

While the duo’s past 19<br />

books have primarily been<br />

cookbooks, their 20th piece<br />

of work is more of a scientific<br />

investigation into the<br />

many kitchen myths and<br />

misconceptions that have<br />

been passed down from one<br />

generation to the next.<br />

From simple errors like<br />

storing coffee beans in the<br />

refrigerator to the technicalities<br />

of differentiating<br />

grilled steaks, Weinstein and<br />

Scarbrough substantiate their<br />

points with scientific evidence<br />

and real-life examples.<br />

The writers are careful<br />

not to use too much jargon<br />

so that the book is more<br />

‘kitchen-friendly’. They use<br />

a humorous and to-the-point<br />

writing style that makes the<br />

book read more like a lighthearted<br />

conversation.<br />

Lobsters Scream When<br />

You Boil Them therefore<br />

reads like a collection of<br />

short stories, a pleasant<br />

surprise from the usual<br />

textbook-style culinary<br />

texts.<br />

Each fact starts with the<br />

myth as the headline and<br />

the authors’ short answer,<br />

often hilarious, as the subheader.<br />

One example is Myth<br />

number 50, “Putting an<br />

avocado pit in the guacamole<br />

will keep it from turning<br />

brown.”<br />

The authors have a short<br />

and simple reply to such a<br />

piece of ‘wisdom’, “In your<br />

dreams.”<br />

The organisation of information<br />

is a bit madcap,<br />

as is the mix of food history,<br />

science and culinary<br />

expertise.<br />

But this haphazardness<br />

is what makes this book<br />

of myths and their corresponding<br />

truths so much<br />

fun to read.<br />

The only drawback is<br />

the lack of pictures which<br />

would have appealed to<br />

Masterchef wannabes with<br />

a phobia for text-heavy<br />

books.<br />



18<br />

<br />

FILMS<br />

<br />




Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams<br />

94min<br />

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


WOODY Allen’s newest film is a charming<br />

ride, weaving his nostalgia for Paris’ timeless<br />

beauty in an uncharacteristically buoyant<br />

romantic comedy.<br />

Gil Penders (Owen Wilson, Marley and<br />

Me) is a restless Hollywood scriptwriter<br />

working on his first draft of a novel that he<br />

refuses to let anyone read.<br />

He longs for Paris of the 1920s, a time<br />

and place of great artistic vibrancy and<br />

congregation of creative talents.<br />

On vacation with his fiancée, Inez (Rachel<br />

McAdams, The Time Traveler’s Wife), and<br />

his future parents-in-law, the writer soon<br />

discovers that his dream holiday in Paris<br />

does not go according to plan.<br />

Gil pokes fun at his fiancée, whom he likens<br />

to a typical spoiled American housewife,<br />

as well as her equally intolerable parents.<br />

His fiancée however does not pay too<br />

much attention—as she does to all things—<br />

towards what she hopes is a passing fancy<br />

in Gil’s novel writing.<br />

Their future is already set in her mind: a<br />

married life in Malibu of attending parties<br />

and raising their children on Gil’s scriptwriting<br />

pay checks.<br />

Not only does Gil have to deal with her<br />

disapproving parents, he also has to contend<br />

with Paul (Michael Sheen), Inez’s former<br />

crush who is an insufferable know-it-all.<br />

After one too many taunts from Inez’s<br />

family, Gil ends up walking the streets<br />

of Paris alone after their dinner together,<br />

slightly drunk and lost.<br />

When the clock strikes midnight, a vintage<br />

convertible arrives and beckons to him<br />

to join the passengers in their revelry, which<br />

turns out to be in the 1920s. He is transported<br />

back in time.<br />

In one night he meets American novelist<br />

couple F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald (Tom<br />

Hiddleston and Alison Pill) and writer Ernest<br />

Hemingway (Corey Stoll).<br />

Despite feeling utterly disoriented, Gil<br />

goes along with the flow and engages his<br />

literary heroes in conversation.<br />

The following nights bring him into the<br />

<br />

<strong>CHRONICLE</strong><br />

18<br />

<br />

05<br />

company of more of his idols, including<br />

Getrude Stein (Kathy Bates), T.S Eliot and<br />

the legendary Picasso.<br />

The numerous cameos are delightful<br />

and Adrien Brody (The Pianist) is especially<br />

wicked in his role as Spanish Catalan surrealist<br />

painter Salvador Dalí, of which he<br />

evidently enjoyed playing.<br />

Not only does Gil get to have his novel<br />

draft read by Stein, he strikes up a romantic<br />

alliance with the lovely Adriana (Marion<br />

Cotillard, Inception), Picasso’s lover and<br />

muse.<br />

Ironically just like Gil, she is discontented<br />

with her own era, yearning for the Belle<br />

Époque of the 1890s, which she believes was<br />

the golden age of Paris.<br />

This is when Gil realises that his own<br />

nostalgia is timeless and insatiable.<br />

Allen speaks to us through his many dialogues<br />

executed perfectly in singular shots<br />

that are as tight as they are minutely detailed.<br />

Visually, Midnight in Paris is a feast for<br />

the eyes, suffused with warm colours and<br />

backlight that frame the city and its characters<br />

gorgeously. It is hard to not want to<br />

wander the streets of Paris upon watching<br />

this film.<br />

Perhaps this really is the magic of Paris.<br />

The romance is sweet without being overwhelming.<br />

As fantastic as midnight time travelling<br />

may seem, Midnight in Paris is still sufficiently<br />

anchored in reality.<br />

Having the characters stick by their respective<br />

decisions somehow makes the present<br />

more believable, and in turn, alluring.<br />


GO TO SLEEP LITTLE ONE: Don’t open your eyes.<br />


HORROR<br />

Chloe Csengery, Jessica Tyler Brown<br />

85min<br />

<br />

WHEN bodies are thrown out of bed and<br />

dragged forcefully across the floor, a child’s<br />

‘imaginary’ friend may be more than just a<br />

mere fantasy.<br />

Set in the Eighties, Paranormal Activity 3<br />

is the third installment of the franchise and a<br />

prequel that sets the premise for the hauntings<br />

in the first two movies.<br />

Acclaimed for their work in 2010’s Catfish,<br />

the new directorial duo of Henry Joost and<br />

Ariel Schulman offers a plot that revolves<br />

around the childhood of sisters Katie (Chloe<br />

Csengery) and Kristi Rey (Jessica Tyler Brown).<br />

Sticking to the franchise’s signature style,<br />

Paranormal Activity 3 is once again shot in<br />

the ‘found-footage’ format, making it seem<br />

as if the events of the movie were actually<br />

real life recordings. This style was also successfully<br />

used in other horror movies such<br />

as Cloverfield and The Blair Witch Project.<br />

The mysterious ‘Toby’ is the confidante<br />

of Kristi, the youngest in the family. Her<br />

mother (Lauren Bittner) plays down this<br />

strange behavior, insisting Toby is imaginary,<br />

much to the suspicion of her boyfriend<br />

Dennis (Christopher Nicholas Smith).<br />

As the father figure, Dennis believes he<br />

must take action to deal with the hauntings,<br />

and installs several security cameras to hunt<br />

for the supernatural entity.<br />

He soon discovers a cult symbol drawn<br />

in the room that Kristi points out as belonging<br />

to Toby. At this point, the pace of the<br />

story quickens.<br />

The horror climaxes when Kristi’s refusal<br />

to comply with Toby’s demands leads to<br />

increasingly traumatic and violent hauntings.<br />

The downward spiral of the family that<br />

ensues petrifies and throws both the characters<br />

and the audience into a gripping panic.<br />

Shock factor aside, the turbulence of<br />

relationships, strong storyline and a clever<br />

twist at the end merge together, resulting in<br />

a surprisingly well-developed horror film.<br />

The relatively unknown cast is competent<br />

in delivering their roles in a believable<br />

fashion, adding authenticity to the ‘foundfootage’<br />

angle.<br />

Despite several loose ends in the overall<br />

plot, like how the spirits are connected<br />

to the cult symbols, the story’s delivery is<br />

nonetheless brilliant.<br />

By confining the set to three spaces in<br />

the house, Joost and Schulman let audiences<br />

familiarise themselves with the scenes and<br />

invite them to play an intense game of spotthe-difference<br />

within each setting.<br />

Subtle hauntings become more menacing<br />

as the movie progresses, ramping up the<br />

terror, which keeps audiences on the edge<br />

of their seats.<br />

Joost and Schulman let us scare ourselves<br />

with our anticipation and impatience,<br />

and this is the genius that makes Paranormal<br />

Activity 3 an exceptional horror film.<br />


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


ACTION<br />

Logan Lerman, Matthew Macfadyen<br />

110min<br />

<br />

AWAY from the T-virus pandemic of<br />

Resident Evil and gruesome extra-terrestrial<br />

beings in Alien Versus Predator, Paul W.S.<br />

Anderson ventures into the classic novel by<br />

Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers.<br />

Tous pour un, un pour tous—all for one,<br />

one for all—is the spirit that unites the three<br />

musketeers of 17th century France, Athos<br />

(Matthew Macfadyen), Aramis (Luke Evans)<br />

and Porthos (Ray Stevenson).<br />

They are soon joined by young<br />

D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman). Trying to<br />

achieve his dream of being a musketeer<br />

like his father, D’Artagnan travels to Paris<br />

and ends up picking fights with the Three<br />

Musketeers, but eventually forges a strong<br />

friendship with them instead.<br />

The evil Cardinal Richelieu (Christoph<br />

Waltz) attempts to sabotage the heroes<br />

by influencing their friend Milady (Milla<br />

Jovovich) to double-cross them.<br />

He sets into motion another plot to frame<br />

Queen Anne of France of having an affair<br />

with the Duke of Buckingham, with the ultimate<br />

goal of dethroning King Louis XIII. It<br />

is up to the Musketeers to untangle the web<br />

of deception and save the day.<br />

Anderson made minimal changes to the<br />

original novel’s plot, a brave choice as audiences<br />

would naturally expect something more<br />

from an adaptation.<br />

Bearing this in mind, Anderson included<br />

extensive swordplay scenes and dazzling<br />

special effects, reminiscent of action adventure<br />

movies like Pirates of the Caribbean.<br />

Some parts of the movie seemed a little<br />

rushed and unrealistic, especially the scene<br />

where D’Artagnan met and fought with all<br />

the Musketeers in a single day.<br />

But if you are looking for a fun action<br />

flick, The Three Musketeers is well worth<br />

the time.<br />


18<br />

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<br />

LIFESTYLE 19<br />

<br />

it’s a basic remix<br />

Credits.<br />

Photography: Bryan Ho<br />

Stylist: Farhana Ja’afar<br />

Makeup & Hair: Geraleine Yap<br />

Models: Rachel Lim, Sam Duckett<br />

Stockist.<br />

Fanny Fashion, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, #02-41 The Central<br />

DeSoul, 14 Scotts Road #03-25A Far East Plaza<br />

Zhoppetizer, 14 Scotts Road #03-134B Far East Plaza<br />

Spellbound, 14 Scotts Road #03-24 Far East Plaza<br />

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

20 SHOW<br />

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<strong>CHRONICLE</strong><br />

18<br />

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05<br />

On Sam (from left to right):<br />

white top, blue jeans, stylist's own.<br />

white top, green & white shorts $69.90,<br />

DeSoul. white top, straw hat, blue<br />

shorts, stylist’s own, blue coat $149.90,<br />

The Corner Shop.<br />

white top, dark blue shawl,<br />

grey trousers, stylist's own.<br />

white top, black layered jacket $169.00,<br />

and grey harem pants $119.00, DeSoul.<br />

On Rachel (from left to right):<br />

white top, blue jeans, stylist’s own.<br />

white top with floral leggings $10.00,<br />

Fanny Fashion,<br />

floral jacket, stylist’s own.<br />

white top with blue bodycon skirt<br />

$45.00, yellow mustard skirt $39.90,<br />

Spellbound.<br />

white top with black suspender, stylist’s<br />

own, grey criss-cross grey skirt $35.00,<br />

Spellbound.<br />

white top with black trench coat<br />

$109.90, The Corner Shop, black skirt<br />

with gold pattern $45.00, Spellbound.

22 SHOW<br />

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<strong>CHRONICLE</strong><br />

18<br />

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<strong>CHRONICLE</strong><br />

SHOW 23<br />

The finalists from Nail That Unique STYLE<br />

have come together for the grand challenge.<br />

Clearly, they have their own personal<br />

style, but do they have what it takes<br />

to transform a simple white tee shirt into<br />

something uniquely stylish and edgy?<br />

This style challenge had the five finalists<br />

creating two different looks — something<br />

edgy to wear on campus in the day, and<br />

something fabulous for a night out in<br />

town.<br />

Their outfits have been posted on Facebook<br />

(www.facebook.com/Ntusg) for voting.<br />

The total votes will contribute to 50<br />

per cent of the results, while the other half<br />

will be in the hands of a panel of judges.<br />

The winner will walk away with $500<br />

worth of vouchers for Sweddish apparel<br />

store H&M.<br />

ALICE NG. School of Art, Design and<br />

Media<br />

ONG SOON KUEY. School of Mechanical<br />

and Aerospace Engineering<br />

WILFRED LIM. School of Art, Design and<br />

Media<br />

GINGER CHIA. Wee Kim Wee School of<br />

Communication and Information<br />

LEONG CHONG YEN. School of Mechanical<br />

and Aerospace Engineering<br />

Come for a “hey-ppening” event on campus<br />

on November 1st, 12.15pm at Canopy<br />

K at LT 1A where the contestants debut<br />

their creations live.<br />

On top of that, NTU President Prof Bertil<br />

Andersson will launch HEY!, a new NTU<br />

magazine targeted at prospective and<br />

current students while NTU students show<br />

off their unique fashion sense in the final<br />

round of Nail That Unique Style.<br />

Walk away hey-py with exclusive goodies,<br />

MacDonald’s vouchers, and perhaps even<br />

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

22 SHOW<br />

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<strong>CHRONICLE</strong><br />

18<br />

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18 <br />

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<strong>CHRONICLE</strong><br />

SHOW 23<br />

The finalists from Nail That Unique STYLE<br />

have come together for the grand challenge.<br />

Clearly, they have their own personal<br />

style, but do they have what it takes<br />

to transform a simple white tee shirt into<br />

something uniquely stylish and edgy?<br />

This style challenge had the five finalists<br />

creating two different looks — something<br />

edgy to wear on campus in the day, and<br />

something fabulous for a night out in<br />

town.<br />

Their outfits have been posted on Facebook<br />

(www.facebook.com/Ntusg) for voting.<br />

The total votes will contribute to 50<br />

per cent of the results, while the other half<br />

will be in the hands of a panel of judges.<br />

The winner will walk away with $500<br />

worth of vouchers for Sweddish apparel<br />

store H&M.<br />

ALICE NG. School of Art, Design and<br />

Media<br />

ONG SOON KUEY. School of Mechanical<br />

and Aerospace Engineering<br />

WILFRED LIM. School of Art, Design and<br />

Media<br />

GINGER CHIA. Wee Kim Wee School of<br />

Communication and Information<br />

LEONG CHONG YEN. School of Mechanical<br />

and Aerospace Engineering<br />

Come for a “hey-ppening” event on campus<br />

on November 1st, 12.15pm at Canopy<br />

K at LT 1A where the contestants debut<br />

their creations live.<br />

On top of that, NTU President Prof Bertil<br />

Andersson will launch HEY!, a new NTU<br />

magazine targeted at prospective and<br />

current students while NTU students show<br />

off their unique fashion sense in the final<br />

round of Nail That Unique Style.<br />

Walk away hey-py with exclusive goodies,<br />

MacDonald’s vouchers, and perhaps even<br />

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

18<br />

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05<br />

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<strong>CHRONICLE</strong><br />


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Opinions<br />

<br />


The Occupy Wall Street<br />

movement has captured the<br />

imagination of people across<br />

the world in the last month.<br />

Protests over economic inequality—the<br />

dominance of the<br />

minority over the economy—<br />

have finally given a voice to<br />

the majority.<br />

The protest drew attention<br />

to fundamental structures<br />

that our society is built on,<br />

and the possible dangers and<br />

harms should we continue<br />

along these lines.<br />

It has shown anger at the<br />

fact that it is not the greater<br />

numbers who are always<br />

heard, but those with the resources<br />

to make sure they are.<br />

Many times, the topics<br />

that are trumpeted, are not<br />

the issues of actual concern<br />

to people.<br />

So do we, as ordinary<br />

people, have weight behind<br />

our words? Actually, being<br />

someone who can contribute<br />

a voice to important issues<br />

is not too far a stretch of<br />

imagination.<br />

Graduates from NTU have<br />

gone on to become important<br />

movers in society. Low<br />

Thia Khiang has provided,<br />

and continues to be, an important<br />

counterbalance in<br />

Singapore’s political scene.<br />


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And Stefanie Sun is a powerful<br />

influence as a top singer.<br />

If we can learn anything<br />

from the Occupy Wall Street<br />

protests, it is that ordinary<br />

people can make an important<br />

difference.<br />

This can be seen even<br />

among our university population.<br />

Graduate students from<br />

NTU organised the TEDxNTU<br />

seminar recently, to give innovative<br />

people a platform to<br />

inspire. Its theme was to show<br />

people how to translate their<br />

dreams into reality.<br />

More students from NTU<br />

have also been taking part in<br />

green initiatives to highlight<br />

the importance of environmental<br />

well-being.<br />

So it is not whether we<br />

have a voice—it is about how<br />

we use it.<br />

As a newspaper, we have<br />

the responsibility to make sure<br />

that the things that we write<br />

about, matter. And as citizens<br />

of the world, that the issues we<br />

lend a voice to are significant<br />

enough to deserve it.<br />

At this time of market turmoil,<br />

with unemployment and CHIEF EDITOR<br />


costs of living fast getting beyond<br />

the common man, there<br />

may be no time as important to<br />

through the<br />

consider what causes we lend<br />

reports on Steve Jobs’<br />

weight to. death, I came across<br />

Reading<br />

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Facebook: The <strong>Nanyang</strong><br />

Chronicle<br />

Website: www3.ntu.edu.<br />

sg/chronicle<br />

General Enquiries:<br />

chronicle@ntu.edu.sg<br />

<br />

<br />

Human factor affects<br />

articles that recorded<br />

the last piece of advice<br />

he gave Tim Cook, his successor.<br />

“Just do what is right,” he said,<br />

“not do what Steve Jobs would.”<br />

This reminded me of what<br />

someone else who filled similarly<br />

large shoes had said. Sister<br />

Nirmala who took over Mother<br />

Teresa as the head of the global<br />

Missionaries of Charity Order,<br />

said she was clear that she was to<br />

be herself, not the Nobel Prizeawarded<br />

nun.<br />

Jobs and Mother Teresa were<br />

visionaries who left lasting changes<br />

in terms of products, programmes<br />

and culture, they mentored<br />

the people they worked with.<br />

Their successors were to be<br />

unique individuals, not slavish<br />

followers of a cult of personality,<br />

nor of the characteristics that had<br />

worked for their mentors.<br />

Products and results—these<br />

things are important. But for<br />

me, the deepest meanings are<br />

created at the intersection of one<br />

life with another. For Jobs and<br />

Mother Teresa, the effect they had<br />

through personal relationships<br />

left legacies that outlived them<br />

through their successors.<br />

Great figures like Mother<br />

Teresa, Jobs and Princess Diana<br />

understood true achievement as<br />

their impact on fellow human<br />

beings and this was evident in<br />

their lives.<br />

Mother Teresa worked with the<br />

poorest of the poor and the abandoned<br />

in the slums of Calcutta for<br />

50 years, while Diana has been<br />

immortalised in images of her<br />

holding hands with HIV patients<br />

and lepers.<br />

Even Jobs, whose attention to<br />

detail meant at times a tyrannical<br />

working style, was driven by the<br />

needs of the consumers first—the<br />

human experience.<br />

Throughout my life, what<br />

stayed with me and impacted<br />

who I was as a person and where<br />

I was going, were the people and<br />

relationships.<br />

When I became president of<br />

the debate club, I set myself a<br />

long to-do list of new initiatives<br />

to complete or existing projects<br />

to improve. Through a year’s<br />

flurry of activity, I eventually got<br />

through the list.<br />

Looking back over that year, I<br />

should have felt a sense of accomplishment<br />

over all that had been<br />

achieved. Instead, the satisfaction<br />

of advising and coaching my juniors<br />

was what lingered on and still<br />

continues to be an important part<br />

of my life through the relationships<br />

formed.<br />

Likewise, as a news editor at<br />

The <strong>Nanyang</strong> Chronicle, I was<br />

glad to see news articles on timely<br />

issues produced by the paper. But<br />

the most memorable aspect was<br />


working with writers who were<br />

not too confident in their abilities,<br />

and through a bit of guidance on<br />

my part and a lot of passion and<br />

drive on theirs, seeing them turn<br />

in incredible work.<br />

That is also where the primary<br />

fascination with journalism lies<br />

for me—the chance to interact<br />

with diverse types of people, hear<br />

their stories and share in aspects<br />

of their lives.<br />

It is no surprise then that as<br />

the Chronicle closes for the semester,<br />

what I will take away will<br />

be the crazy overnighters during<br />

production of the paper, the<br />

laughter and frustration shared—<br />

the sense that despite the fatigue,<br />

you were with people who wanted<br />

the same goal as badly as you.<br />

With technology increasingly<br />

replacing human functions, it has<br />

become even easier to downplay<br />

the difference made when on life<br />

meets another.<br />

Recently, the movie ‘Up in the<br />

Air’ drove home for me how easy<br />

it is to lose sight of what matters<br />

due to the seductiveness of efficiency.<br />

In the drama, a system to<br />

fire people by videoconferencing<br />

is introduced by an ambitious<br />

fresh graduate.<br />

She is later devastated when<br />

her boyfriend breaks up with her<br />

over text message.<br />

Her hypocrisy highlights a<br />

greater truth about life—on the<br />

surface we may appear to be all<br />

business, but it is the relationships<br />

that keep us going.

34<br />


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<strong>CHRONICLE</strong><br />

Driving beyond the COE<br />


easier than weaving around car<br />

parks for at least 15 minutes. This<br />

an you imagine having time can be better spent blissfully<br />

to ferry younger siblings sipping a cappuccino at Starbucks.<br />

from one extra-curricular<br />

activity to another? from the edge of Singapore to the<br />

In fact, taking public transport<br />

COr being the designated central areas can be quicker than<br />

driver when your friends go clubbing?<br />

I would much rather be stuck such example—the newly-opened<br />

driving during peak hours. One<br />

in a crowded train.<br />

Circle Line, has greatly increased<br />

It is easy to understand why accessibility across the country.<br />

many would desire a vehicle of Regardless of traffic conditions,<br />

their own. A car offers better mobility,<br />

greater travelling comfort, place in Bishan now last 45 min-<br />

my trips from NTU to my aunt’s<br />

and shorter waiting time. However, utes, down from an hour previously.<br />

buying a car in Singapore is no<br />

simple undertaking and I am certainly<br />

glad I am not driving one. port seems like the better option, I<br />

However, even if public trans-<br />

Not only do we have to consider<br />

the price of the vehicle, but with the cost of public transporta-<br />

still face a dilemma as a commuter<br />

also the cost of the Certificate of tion going up as well.<br />

Entitlement (COE), Electronic Road A price hike in transport costs<br />

Pricing (ERP), road taxes, customs of one per cent has recently been<br />

duty and fuel prices.<br />

approved in August this year.<br />

To make matters worse for This came at a time when congestion,<br />

service disruptions, and<br />

prospective car owners—especially<br />

undergraduates like us—owning a erratic arrival times were matters<br />

car is almost guaranteed to become of much debate among citizens.<br />

costlier in the future.<br />

Before the purchase of a new<br />


vehicle, a potential buyer has to bid Taking public<br />

for a COE according to the vehicle’s<br />


town in your own car might take $1,100. Factoring in miscellaneous<br />

category. The COE allows the buyer transport from<br />

a while.<br />

expenses such as fuel and parking<br />

to use the vehicle for 10 years, after the edge of<br />

When the latest rates were announced,<br />

my friends and I were left tain a car hovers around $2,000<br />

charges, the total amount to main-<br />

which it has to be scrapped or have<br />

t’s 6pm and you just escaped<br />

its COE renewed. This is a major Singapore to the<br />

from an agonising meeting feeling frustrated.<br />

a month.<br />

cost component of a Singaporeregistered<br />

car. For instance, the<br />

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

with a demanding client. All things considered, one can-<br />

While it is a rather extravagant<br />

central areas can<br />

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<br />

least $50,000—almost the price of<br />

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

the car itself.<br />

driving during<br />

already packed train.<br />

but a Certificate of Entitlement—a would ease the burden.<br />

Besides cost of purchase, vehicle<br />

maintenance is also an is-<br />

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

peak hours.<br />

Contrast this with the feeling piece of paper that is unheard of Furthermore, if the purchase is<br />

sue. ERP was introduced in 1998<br />

being greeted by your favourite to own a car.<br />

having the ability to cope with the<br />

to control traffic in the Central<br />

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

expenditure is definitely<br />

Business District, along expressways<br />

and busy roads.<br />

This choice became even more pected? Definitely not. COE prices<br />

isn’t it?<br />

honest: was the rise in cost unex-<br />

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

and expansion of ERP area coverage<br />

have been a thorn in the delays and disruptions are becom-<br />

summer. I was more than willtedly<br />

exorbitant levels, this does carefully planned<br />

side for many local drivers. As of ing more frequent this year, deing<br />

to work overtime on several not mean that cars are a luxury<br />

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

I believe that with<br />

August 2011, ERP rates have been spite the increase in fares. On the<br />

occasions, just so I could avoid reserved only for the wealthy. and prioritised<br />

increased at two gantries and other hand, there has been marked<br />

the peak hour crowd and have a To me, the ability to afford a<br />

decreased at a third after a quarterly<br />

traffic review by the Land public transport infrastructure.<br />

progress in the expansion of the<br />

spending, coupled<br />

comfortable trip home.<br />

car is based on our ability to manage<br />

our finances. Tough as it may with regular<br />

I relished the rare occasions<br />

Transport Authority (LTA). With the introduction of the Circle<br />

when I was allowed to use the be, I believe that with carefully<br />

Despite layman complaints, Line, there is hope for better travelling<br />

experiences for commuters.<br />

family car instead of the dreaded planned and prioritised spending, healthy savings,<br />

there is good reason for constraining<br />

vehicle population in Singapore. If you compare monthly ex-<br />

being a car owner<br />

public commute. Despite the coupled with regular healthy savings,<br />

being a car owner is possible,<br />

heavy parking charges and massive<br />

jams, the comfort more than regardless of the price hike. is possible.<br />

When roads can no longer penditure on transportation between<br />

a car owner and a com-<br />

handle the increasing vehicle load,<br />

made up for it.<br />

the only option left is to expand muter, I anticipate that they would<br />

Let’s do the math: according<br />

Having your own wheels<br />

road networks. LTA is already cost me at least $1,000 and at<br />

to a survey conducted by the<br />

widening the Central Expressway most $200, respectively. With<br />

spells freedom, convenience and Ministry of Manpower, a fresh<br />

and has approved construction of Singapore’s good public transportation<br />

infrastructure, it is more ment you desire. Craving prata af-<br />

Arts (Hons) degree earns an aver-<br />

After all, inflation is something<br />

independence at almost any mo-<br />

graduate armed with a Bachelor of within reach.<br />

the North-South Expressway.<br />

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<br />

how much prices have risen for<br />

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

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

food, utilities and accommodation.<br />

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<br />

these new roads. To minimise these It does not take much imagination<br />

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<br />

midnight taxi surcharge. and factoring in the higher sal-<br />

something that we all dream of<br />

problems, it is important to control<br />

vehicle growth.<br />

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<br />

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

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

certainly did.<br />

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

money if it brings about sufficient Greece for a vacation.<br />

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

convenience. However car owners<br />

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<br />

Car ownership is clearly more heart’s content.<br />

$18,000 after two years.<br />

behind the wheel, I am still bor-<br />

commuters usually do not, such small and highly-urbanised country.<br />

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

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

as parking and traffic conditions.<br />

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<br />

space within busy shopping areas for many, especially with recent However with COE prices going<br />

at a whopping $50,000 mini-<br />

year bank loan, monthly installing<br />

one, and it shouldn’t stop<br />

Factoring in interest for a seven me from working towards buy-<br />

can be difficult on weekends. additions to the public transport<br />

Taking a train to City Hall is a lot network.<br />

mum, being able to zoom around ments would cost slightly under you either.<br />

<br />

18<br />

<br />


18<br />

<br />

05<br />

<br />

<strong>CHRONICLE</strong><br />

Smoking us out?<br />


I<br />

have been a smoker for as<br />

long as I remember. Over<br />

the years, I have become<br />

completely immune to<br />

judgemental stares, disdainful<br />

sniffs and the usual frantic<br />

fanning of the air because of<br />

my nicotine-laden breath.<br />

With fewer places to light up<br />

legally as the years go by, smokers<br />

like myself have no choice<br />

but to congregate at whatever<br />

space that is left—creating an<br />

even more undesirable environment<br />

for non-smokers. A true<br />

paradox indeed.<br />

Of the many reasons I can<br />

come up with, the most convenient<br />

would be to blame the extension<br />

of the smoking ban.<br />

Since 2009, smoking has<br />

been prohibited in many places,<br />

including playgrounds and exercise<br />

areas, shopping centres, and<br />

within five metres of entrances<br />

and exits.<br />

There are precious few smoker-friendly<br />

locations as it is.<br />

Smokers can choose between<br />

being packed like sardines in the<br />

tiny, designated smoking rooms in<br />

bars, standing around awkwardly<br />

puffing around a dustbin along<br />

with hundreds of their peers, or<br />

simply enduring the baleful glares<br />

of passers-by as they attempt to<br />

quickly finish a stick.<br />

Vera Lim, 23, a graduate<br />

student from the School of Humanities<br />

and Social Sciences<br />

said: “With so many restrictions,<br />

people break them because they<br />

have little or no other choice.”<br />

“While some smokers need<br />

to be more considerate, the rules<br />

and regulations that force smokers<br />

to stand in corners, or sneak<br />

a cigarette, creates more problems<br />

than it solves.”<br />

I do understand where all the<br />

unhappiness directed towards<br />

smokers is coming from.<br />

Even as a smoker, I would<br />

sometimes choke from the noxious<br />

amounts of smoke produced<br />

where smokers congregate.<br />

Its health detriments and<br />

problems are well-documented,<br />

and anti-smoking evangelists<br />

are more than effective at convincing<br />

non-smokers that they<br />

are the ones who are truly suffering.<br />

Despite the Ministry of Environment<br />

and Water Resources’<br />

plan to extend the smoking ban,<br />

to further restrict the areas where<br />

smokers can congregate, so to<br />

reduce the impact that secondhand<br />

smoke is having on nonsmokers,<br />

the current restrictions<br />

are already being openly flouted.<br />

Why go to such<br />

lengths to corner<br />

us smokers into<br />

being tempted to<br />

break the law, or<br />

look for loopholes<br />

to exploit?<br />


Just take a look at areas in<br />

town such as Orchard. At any given<br />

building, the number of smokers<br />

smoking illegally in places<br />

such as stairwells, carpark corners<br />

and lift lobbies is incredible.<br />

Thomas Lam, 28, an NTU<br />

alumni, sums it up perfectly: “With<br />

all the bans in place, it is a toss-up<br />

between walking a huge distance<br />

to take a smoke, or getting ready<br />

to run like the wind when the<br />

National Environmental Agency<br />

guys try to approach you.”<br />

A very basic carrot-and-stick<br />

argument is at stake here. Further<br />

governmental regulation<br />

could attempt to cordon off the<br />

smokers, or they could take the<br />

‘soft’ method by appealing to<br />

their public spirit to spare nonsmokers<br />

the agony of having to<br />

breathe the toxic smoke.<br />

A little consideration goes a<br />

very long way, instead of having<br />

the long, and often brutal, arm<br />

of the law intervene.<br />

For example, before an interview<br />

with a prospective employer,<br />

or a date with someone new,<br />

we try not to go in there reeking<br />

of cigarettes so as to not give a<br />

poor impression.<br />

Neither do we intentionally<br />

inflict on non-smokers the gruesome<br />

ills and diseases that are so<br />

freely displayed on our cigarette<br />

packs.<br />

Even as the crusade towards<br />

banning tobacco altogether in<br />

Singapore picks up steam, regulations<br />

that squeeze smokers into<br />

small corners continue to create<br />

a paradox.<br />

Maintaining levels of public<br />

health is necessary, but why<br />

go to such lengths to corner us<br />

smokers into a position where<br />

we would be tempted to break<br />

the law, or look for loopholes to<br />

exploit?<br />

Sean Lee, 23, a first-year<br />

student from the National Institute<br />

of Education concurs:<br />

“Smokers just have to be a little<br />

more considerate. No one likes<br />

having cigarette smoke blown<br />

in their faces. New parents, especially<br />

if they are non-smokers<br />

themselves, would be extra<br />

careful with regards to their<br />

children”.<br />

Get out of that tiny stairwell<br />

and take a walk to somewhere<br />

open to get your nicotine fix, or<br />

just resist the temptation for a<br />

little while.<br />

With all the negative aspects<br />

of smoking, exercising restraint<br />

would do us a world of good,<br />

and have the added benefit of reducing<br />

a problem before the authorities<br />

see fit to intervene and<br />

make yet another hurdle that we<br />

would have to jump over.<br />

I know I will be taking my<br />

own advice from now on.<br />

<br />

OPINIONS 35<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

I prefer to use my<br />

phone manually. It<br />

is very weird to be<br />

talking to my phone<br />

in public. There is no<br />

privacy.<br />

Sia Wan Rong, SBS, Yr 3, 22<br />

“<br />

While the iPhone<br />

technology is<br />

cutting-edge, I’m<br />

skeptical that<br />

Siri will recognise<br />

Singaporean<br />

accents. <br />

Nurazleena<br />

“<br />

Ramli, HSS, Yr 2, 20<br />

The iPhone 4S is<br />

counter-productive.<br />

If the phone can’t<br />

catch what I’m<br />

saying, it may carry<br />

out the wrong<br />

function for me.<br />

Shawn Tan, EEE, Yr 2, 21<br />

”<br />

After watching<br />

numerous videos of<br />

the Siri application<br />

being tested, I<br />

feel that it’s more<br />

entertaining than<br />

practical.<br />

Elton Lim, SBS,<br />

”<br />

Yr 3, 23<br />

I feel that a phone<br />

that can serve my<br />

basic needs is good<br />

enough. I don’t see<br />

the need to buy<br />

a phone like the<br />

iPhone 4S.<br />

”<br />

T. Deepa, NIE, Yr 4, 22<br />


36 OPINIONS<br />

<br />

<br />

<strong>CHRONICLE</strong><br />

<br />

18<br />

<br />

05<br />



18<br />

<br />

05 <strong>CHRONICLE</strong><br />

bpl talk<br />

Solidarity through adversity<br />


<br />

ALTHOUGH the recently concluded<br />

Manchester derby dominated the<br />

headlines, with Manchester City<br />

crushing their United rivals 6-1,<br />

one should not forget that City<br />

constitute only one of the two currently<br />

unbeaten clubs in the league.<br />

The other club holding this unblemished<br />

record is, surprisingly,<br />

Newcastle United.<br />

At the moment, Newcastle are<br />

sitting pretty at fourth, behind<br />

Manchester City, Manchester<br />

United and Chelsea.<br />

This comes as a surprise to<br />

many, since the club was embroiled<br />

in turmoil at the start of the season.<br />

Firstly, midfielder Joey Barton<br />

controversially demanded to be<br />

transferred out due to what he<br />

claimed was a lack of ambition<br />

within the club’s leadership.<br />

Moreover, the club lost two<br />

influential players, namely excaptain<br />

Kevin Nolan and defender<br />

José Enrique, to West Ham United<br />

and Liverpool respectively.<br />

They also searched in vain for a<br />

successor to the prolific Andy Carroll,<br />

who moved to Liverpool last season<br />

for £35 million (S$70 million).<br />

All this meant that Newcastle<br />

entered the season in a seemingly<br />

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

shambolic state.<br />

But they have so far confronted<br />

any doubts over their ability with<br />

an impressive run of results which<br />

saw them climb up the table.<br />

Of particular note is the team’s<br />

defensive solidity this season,<br />

which saw them conceding just six<br />

goals in nine matches so far.<br />

This stands in stark contrast<br />

to last season, when they leaked<br />

goals throughout the campaign,<br />

including heavy defeats to Bolton<br />

Wanderers and Stoke City.<br />

Newcastle have also been playing<br />

more like a unit this season.<br />

This could be credited to the dynamic<br />

central midfield pairing of<br />

Yohan Cabaye and Cheik Tioté.<br />

Cabaye, a French midfielder<br />

signed from French champions Lille,<br />

was a seamless fit into the team, and<br />

struck up an understanding with<br />

the more defensively minded Tioté.<br />

The results that have followed<br />

show a team that allies a solid<br />

backline with a healthy dose of<br />

finesse in attack.<br />

But as impressive as Newcastle’s<br />

form has been thus far, the strongest<br />

team they have faced is arguably,<br />

Arsenal.<br />

It remains to be seen if<br />

Newcastle have the pedigree to<br />

challenge the likes of Manchester<br />

United, City and Chelsea, whom<br />

they will face in three consecutive<br />

weeks at the end of this year.<br />

But if Newcastle remain galvanised,<br />

and continue to maintain<br />

a high level of performance in the<br />

league, the Toon Army could rise<br />

from obscurity, to possibly challenging<br />

the Europa League, or even<br />

a Champions League spot.<br />

SPORTS 37<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

Tennis player Serena WIlliams<br />

on the 2009 US Open<br />

semifinal incident where<br />

she threatened to choke a<br />

lineswoman with a tennis ball.<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

F1 driver Lewis Hamilton after<br />

finishing second in Korea.<br />

Medals to rule them all<br />


sports talk<br />

IT COMES as no surprise that<br />

in a results-driven society like<br />

Singapore, the viability of a sport<br />

is determined almost entirely on its<br />

medal-winning potential.<br />

This was shown when Singapore<br />

Table Tennis Association (STTA)<br />

Chief Lee Bee Wah was questioned<br />

for fielding two inexperienced<br />

youths—Isabelle Li and Zena Sim—<br />

for the 2011 SEA Games in November.<br />

Lee nominated the two in hope<br />

of developing the youngsters who<br />

were just entering their professional<br />

phase.<br />

The Singapore National Olympic<br />

Council (SNOC) subsequently rejected<br />

the nomination on grounds that<br />

the selection of world-class female<br />

players like Feng Tianwei, Wang<br />

Yuegu and Li Jiawei, world ranked<br />

fourth, ninth and 18th respectively,<br />

should take precedence.<br />

In the quest to use our best<br />

athletes for international competitions,<br />

we have overlooked the painful<br />

reality that this over-emphasis<br />

on sporting excellence has spread<br />

to multiple levels in Singapore.<br />

In our relentless pursuit of<br />

glory, we have neglected the larger<br />

benefits of sports for young people.<br />

Sporting competitions develop<br />

character, and through these ex-<br />

periences, participants learn intangible<br />

qualities like fair play and<br />

humility in the face of defeat.<br />

Unfortunately, these benefits<br />

are now only conferred only upon<br />

the privileged, medal-worthy few.<br />

At the amateur level, the pursuit<br />

of results is unrelenting.<br />

Schools pride themselves on<br />

their niche sports and actively<br />

recruit players through the Direct<br />

School Admission (DSA) scheme to<br />

enhance their teams.<br />

Schools like Anglo-Chinese<br />

School (Independent), Raffles<br />

Institution and Saint Andrew’s,<br />

for example, are constantly placed<br />

among the top three for rugby<br />


at the national level and attract<br />

hordes of DSA candidates.<br />

Through DSA, secondary<br />

schools can admit anywhere from<br />

five per cent of their annual intake,<br />

to a staggering 100 per cent.<br />

Unsurprisingly, the environment<br />

of results-motivated competition<br />

leaves out equally passionate, but<br />

relatively undeveloped, athletes.<br />

And like their professional<br />

counterparts, they are usually<br />

relegated to mere bench-warmers.<br />

Findings by the Straits Times in<br />

2006 showed that, on average, only<br />

15 per cent of students make the team.<br />

The result? Some defect to other<br />

sports or even worse, quit entirely.<br />

This problem is aggravated in schools<br />

with limited spots reserved for those<br />

who are deemed “good enough”.<br />

Similarly, budding athletes in<br />

the international arena need their<br />

fair share of competition experience.<br />

This will aid their overall development<br />

as professional athletes,<br />

helping them deal with the reality<br />

of competitive sports—the stress,<br />

the stakes, even the defeats—that<br />

they will inevitably face.<br />

The pursuit of sporting excellence<br />

inadvertently favours established<br />

rather than budding athletes.<br />

Ms Sum Chee Wah, director of<br />

Education Programmes Division at<br />

the Ministry of Education, told the<br />

Straits Times in 2008: “Students<br />

with potential will represent their<br />

school in competitions and be<br />

groomed by the National Sports<br />

Association (NSA).<br />

“Many of our national athletes<br />

were first exposed to sports via cocurricular<br />

activities and inter-school<br />

games competition.”<br />

Does this mean that the less<br />

talented will never get competition<br />

experience?<br />

It may seem obvious enough but<br />

we must realise that there is more<br />

to competition than just winning.<br />

Until the day we stop our obsession<br />

with results and start thinking<br />

about athletes, the chase for sporting<br />

excellence has gone too far.<br />


<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

Norwich City winger Anthony<br />

Pilkington on his pre-BPL<br />

football experiences.<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

Wigan Athletic chairman<br />

Dave Whelan on Liverpool’s<br />

idea of negotiating their own<br />

overseas television rights.

38<br />

SPORTS<br />

<br />

Handball newbie now a champ<br />

Handball in<br />

Singapore<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />


<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />


SHE mistook handball for an<br />

entirely different sport just two<br />

years ago.<br />

But this did not stop Rose<br />

Tan from eventually excelling<br />

in the sport and leading the<br />

NTU women’s handball team<br />

to victory at the Singapore<br />

<strong>University</strong> Games (SUniG) this<br />

year, where they triumphed over<br />

powerhouse NUS.<br />

The 22-year-old picked up<br />

handball inadvertently two<br />

years ago at a clinic organised<br />

by students from the School of<br />

Physical Education and Sport<br />

Science (PESS).<br />

She had confused the<br />

rules of handball with that of<br />

Tchoukball—another sport she<br />

was playing around the same<br />

time back then.<br />

“The coach and my seniors<br />

kept laughing at me because<br />

I kept forgetting I should not<br />

bounce the ball before scoring<br />

(as per Tchoukball rules) in my<br />

first handball match,” said the<br />

third-year Sport Science and<br />

Management student.<br />

“Sometimes key<br />

players can get a<br />

little arrogant and<br />

snobbish, but Rose<br />

is very down-toearth”<br />

NTU’s handball coach<br />

Wong Shin Yee<br />

Tan, who also played<br />

basketball competitively during<br />

her secondary school days, felt<br />

the variety of sports she played<br />

made it difficult for her to pick<br />

up a new game.<br />

She said: “It’s more difficult<br />

to learn a new sport when you’re<br />

older because your muscles have<br />

developed in a certain way for<br />

your current sport.<br />

“What’s more, handball was a<br />

sport I had never heard of while<br />

I was in primary and secondary<br />

school.”<br />

Despite being new to<br />

handball at the time, Tan went<br />

on to represent NTU in 2009.<br />

She also tried to make up for<br />

lost time by embracing training<br />

opportunities.<br />

As captain of the women’s<br />

handball team, Tan trained with<br />

the players that represented<br />

Singapore at the Youth Olympic<br />

Games (YOG) and received<br />

scoring tips from the team’s<br />

coaches.<br />

But the highlight of her<br />

experiences was at a training<br />

expedition to the National<br />

Taiwan <strong>University</strong> in Taipei,<br />

where she discovered a new side<br />

to handball.<br />

She said: “It was in Taiwan<br />

<br />

<strong>CHRONICLE</strong><br />

<br />

18<br />

<br />

05<br />

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<br />

where I realised that handball is<br />

such a beautiful game.”<br />

“Their players defend so fast<br />

and attack so gracefully that it<br />

was an inspiration to train with<br />

them.”<br />

Perhaps the reason for her<br />

success as team captain is her<br />

belief in the overall well-being<br />

of players.<br />

Tan’s coach Wong Shin Yee,<br />

25, who has coached at NTU for<br />

three years, said: “Rose builds<br />

the team in aspects that I cannot.<br />

She has a deep understanding<br />

of team dynamics and their<br />

challenges.”<br />

She added: “Sometimes key<br />

players can get a little arrogant<br />

and snobbish but Rose is very<br />

down-to-earth.<br />

“That’s how she gained the<br />

team’s respect.”<br />

Tan is so dedicated to her<br />

handball team that school work<br />

takes a back seat at times.<br />

“I practically push my<br />

projects aside during competition<br />

season,” Tan admitted.<br />

“So far, I’ve been lucky<br />

to have group members who<br />

understand that I will focus on<br />

projects after my games.”<br />

While Tan is considered<br />

a recent convert to handball,<br />

it was the thrill of learning<br />

something new that motivated<br />

her to excel in the sport.<br />

And this desire to learn still<br />

motivates Tan, who also added<br />

that she is still learning the<br />

ropes.<br />

She explained: “I am still<br />

trying to understand some grey<br />

areas in handball rules that are<br />

very complicated.<br />

“Sometimes when we shoot,<br />

defenders might block us in a<br />

way that would usually result<br />

in a foul but referees might see<br />

it as a good defence.”<br />

But in spite of a seemingly<br />

slow start, Wong feels Tan will<br />

make a valuable player in the<br />

local handball scene with time.<br />

Wong said: “She really has a<br />

lot of potential and is only just<br />

beginning to blossom.<br />

“I expect to see great things<br />

from her in the future.”

18<br />

<br />

<br />

05 <strong>CHRONICLE</strong><br />

SPORTS 39<br />

<br />



1<br />

2<br />

Twist your upper body to the right<br />

placing the ball on the floor.<br />

1<br />

Raise your arm<br />

to block your<br />

opponent’s<br />

shooting arm<br />

while keeping<br />

your weight on<br />

the back foot.<br />

Lie on the floor<br />

while holding a ball<br />

over your torso with<br />

both hands.<br />

3<br />

Repeat on the other side.<br />

Transfer your<br />

weight to the<br />

front foot and<br />

nudge your nonblocking<br />

arm<br />

against your<br />

opponent’s hip<br />

to block her.<br />

2<br />

<br />

Rain fails to dampen street spirit<br />

<br />

Wounded hand no obstacle for champ<br />

<br />


THE NTU Street Challenge 2011 organised<br />

by the NTU Sports Club took place at a first-year student at <strong>Nanyang</strong> Busi-<br />

Kwong, 21, the event’s chairperson and<br />

the Sports and Recreation Centre (S&RC) ness School.<br />

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

for cross-cultural friendships.<br />

sports: soccer, handball, frisbee, captain’s<br />

ball, floorball and handball.<br />

“It was an exciting experience because<br />

Despite delays caused by poor weather,<br />

the organisers had contingency plans Norway,” said Nur Hidayat, 21, a third-<br />

we got to play against footballers from<br />

in place.<br />

year student from the School of Physical<br />

“We were not caught off guard (by and Mathematical Sciences and a finalist<br />

the weather). Since most of the events in the football event.<br />

only took five to 10 minutes to set up, “The event had many participants<br />

the captain ball teams were agreeable<br />

to move indoors,” said Ling Siew new friends<br />

from different countries and I made some<br />

today.”<br />

AN INJURED hand was not<br />

enough to stop Robert Gorczakowski.<br />

The first-year American<br />

exchange student at<br />

<strong>Nanyang</strong> Business School<br />

(NBS), 20, stormed to victory<br />

at the men’s singles<br />

finals of the NTU Tennis<br />

Open Championships.<br />

He beat Romain Delon,<br />

22, a first-year exchange<br />

student at NBS, 6-1, 7-6 to<br />

clinch the title.<br />

“I had to tape up my<br />

finger halfway through the<br />

finals match, but I did not<br />

let it affect me at all,” said<br />

Gorczakowski.<br />

“In the end, I just stuck<br />

to my game and held out to<br />

the end. Barely.”<br />

Held from October 10th<br />

to 24th, this year’s NTU<br />

Tennis Open Championships<br />

featured the biggest<br />

run of the annual event<br />

ever.<br />

The event garnered a<br />

record total of 108 participants<br />

competing in four<br />

categories—the Men’s Singles<br />

and Doubles, as well<br />

as the Women’s Singles<br />

and Doubles.<br />


Sports<br />

Show<br />

of strength at tennis open – Page 39<br />

NTU overall 2nd in SUniG<br />

Overall Champion<br />

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



IT WAS almost an all NTU<br />

and NUS (National <strong>University</strong><br />

of Singapore) affair at the<br />

Singapore <strong>University</strong> Games<br />

(SUniG) this year, with the longtime<br />

rivals clashing in as many<br />

finals.<br />

But despite the good showing<br />

this year, NTU dropped to<br />

second place among the four<br />

universities at the games, which<br />

lasted from August 27th to<br />

October 8th, losing out to NUS<br />

by a single championship gold<br />

medal.<br />

NUS won the overall title<br />

with 13 championship gold<br />

medals, edging out NTU's 12.<br />

NTU were SUniG champions<br />

last year after trailing behind<br />

NUS for four years.<br />

Ms Sheryl Low, Deputy<br />

Director of the Sports and<br />

Recreation Centre, was pleased<br />

with the efforts of NTU’s athletes.<br />

She said: “There are always<br />

ups and downs and we cannot<br />

be champions in every sport we<br />

take part in.<br />

“SUniG was created to give<br />

opportunities for students<br />

from all the universities to get<br />

involved and come together, so<br />

winning fewer golds does not<br />

mean we are worse off.”<br />

Despite coming in second, Ms<br />

Low and NTU’s SUniG athletes<br />

pointed out commendable<br />

performances by several teams<br />

in the games.<br />

The NTU men’s football team<br />

was one such example that put<br />

in a noteworthy performance<br />

during the games.<br />

The team suffered a poor<br />

start in their first match, falling<br />

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

matches. PHOTO | LAM ZHAO YAO<br />

to Singapore Management<br />

<strong>University</strong> (SMU) 4-1.<br />

As the competition was<br />

played in a round robin format,<br />

this meant that NTU had to win<br />

their final match against NUS by<br />

a minimum four goal difference<br />

to retain the title.<br />

Salvation for the team arrived<br />

in the form of a goal during<br />

injury time in the match against<br />

NUS, when a strike from forward<br />

Hasbullah Johari allowed them<br />

to win the match 4-0.<br />

This enabled NTU to snatch<br />

the gold from SMU and retain<br />

the men’s football title.<br />

“We wanted to defend our title<br />

so badly that we psyched ourselves<br />

up and gave everything we had<br />

in that match (against NUS),” said<br />

captain Aidil Osman, 23.<br />

The second-year student<br />

from the <strong>Nanyang</strong> Business<br />

School added: “I was utterly<br />

speechless when that final goal<br />

came in at the last minute.<br />

“I couldn’t say anything<br />

while the whole team went crazy<br />

celebrating. It was unreal.”<br />

Others like the touch football<br />

women’s team contributed to<br />

the share of gold medals as<br />

well.<br />

The gold was especially<br />

sweet for the team who had<br />

played second fiddle to NUS<br />

and Singapore Institute of<br />

Management (SIM) for the past<br />

three years at SUniG.<br />

“Our philosophy at every<br />

competition is to go in with no<br />

fear and just do it,” said touch<br />

football captain, Jolene Tan,<br />

23, a final-year student from<br />

National Institute of Education.<br />

9 Ball Pool<br />

Aquathlon<br />

Badminton<br />

Basketball<br />

Bowling<br />

Cricket<br />

Cross Country<br />

Handball<br />

Netball<br />

Rugby 7s<br />

Soccer<br />

Squash<br />

Swimming<br />

Table Tennis<br />

Tennis<br />

Touch Football<br />

Ultimate Frisbee<br />

Volleyball<br />

Waterpolo<br />

Sports<br />

Overall ranking<br />

1st: NUS<br />

2nd: NTU<br />

3rd: SMU<br />

4th: SIM<br />

Mixed<br />

Men<br />

Women<br />

Mixed<br />

Men<br />

Women<br />

Men<br />

Women<br />

Men<br />

Men<br />

Women<br />

Men<br />

Women<br />

Women<br />

Men<br />

Women<br />

Men<br />

Women<br />

Men<br />

Women<br />

Men<br />

Women<br />

Men<br />

Women<br />

Men<br />

Women<br />

Women<br />

Mixed<br />

Men<br />

Women<br />

Men<br />

NUS<br />

NTU<br />

SIM<br />

NTU<br />

NTU<br />

NTU<br />

SIM<br />

SMU<br />

NUS<br />

NTU<br />

NUS<br />

NUS<br />

NTU<br />

NUS<br />

NUS<br />

SIM<br />

NTU<br />

NTU<br />

NTU<br />

NUS<br />

SMU<br />

NUS<br />

NUS<br />

NTU<br />

NUS<br />

NUS<br />

NTU<br />

SMU<br />

NTU<br />

NUS<br />

NUS<br />

<br />

13<br />

12<br />

3<br />

3<br />

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

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

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