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Saturday, December 31, 2005
Welcome 2006

My New Year resolution for 2006 is to find the winning ticket to a billion-dollar lottery that someone accidentally dropped, buy my way out of National Service and live on the interest for the rest of my life. And perhaps fund any projects that can potentially destroy Microsoft if I have the spare cash. What? You don't think I'll succeed? Well, isn't that the whole point of New Year resolutions, making claims which usually end up unfulfilled and reused a year later. How many people you know actually manage to quit smoking or lose weight (and I don't mean a hundred grams lighter)?

New Year resolutions are stupid. If you want to do something, do it now, why wait till New Year? And why must one make a statement before getting down to doing whatever one resolves to do? What the heck does the Earth passing through the same point in its revolution around the Sun have anything to do with smoking or getting better grades at school? It's a sad fact of life but if you ain't got the discipline to fix your life the year before, you sure ain't gonna fix your life by making a proclamation on the 1st of January.

But having said that, it sure feels good to indulge in self-delusion (otherwise, why would so many people be doing it?). So dream on everyone. Maybe you will really get a better job. Maybe you actually succeed in sticking to a budget. And maybe, you might even see a hot chick driving me to Orchard Road in a Ferrari some time in 2006.

Happy New Year.


-- permalink --
Yiheng made
3:44 PM

4 Comments:

I stumbled upon your entry commenting about quiz shows and the lack of any good ones in Singapore. I have to agree with you that there doesn't seem a great deal of appeal for quiz shows locally. It's nice to meet another Singaporean that loves general knowledge and quizzes. I appeared on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Singapore when serving NS, and I also did Singapore's Brainiest Scholar. If you get the chance you should try out for some of these gameshows as well.
By Blogger Caleb, at 11:21 AM  

That's cool man. Too bad I didn't get to watch Singapore's Brainiest Scholar. I must be on one of those overseas army exercises. Don't think I'll ever join a gameshow though, my knowledge is too unevenly distributed that I'll probably get kicked out in the first round for failing to answer a question about popular actors or the latest TV show.
By Anonymous Yiheng, at 11:51 AM  

I am sure its not so bad. Being an arts student I am pretty clueless in general about science, but it is definitely possible to get by. Studying in the UK now it a lot more fun as quizzing is very popular here. There are pub quizzes everywhere. I have also taken part in a couple of prestigous UK gameshows which is good fun.
By Blogger Caleb, at 7:03 AM  

hey yiheng nice saying... why wait till new year then have resoultion? u can plan it anytime!
By Blogger kailoon, at 2:42 PM  

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Saturday, December 17, 2005
The less boring part of being outfield

I spent the past two weeks in the forested areas of Singapore training for the upcoming overseas military exercise. I usually make use of these opportunities to look at the wildlife of Singapore. I must say I saw quite a number of interesting insects, arachnids and miscellaneous crawlies like tiny slugs (they sure look gross). There was this spot where I was doing stand-to (i.e. hide in the bushes with the ants and mosquitoes and prepare to shoot any non-existent enemies) that had at least 10 different types of spiders (what I counted at a glance)!

But there aren't that many birds this time, which is a pity since I like birds more than bugs. Fortunately, near the end of the exercise, during another ocassion when I was doing stand-to, I spotted a Racket-Tailed Drongo on a tree right in front of me. I haven't seen those for some time now so this was a really pleasant surprise.

This bird isn't very colourful but I like the two long tail feathers, especially when the bird spreads its tail during flight. I'm not sure whether the bird I saw was a Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo or a Lesser Racket-Tailed Drongo but it looked pretty much like the one in the picture by nature photographer E. J. Peiker. This guy has some nice photographs on his site. Go and check it out if you can spare the time.


-- permalink --
Yiheng made
11:12 AM

2 Comments:

Wow. I dint know the army now has the camera as part of the SOP. Or is your vocation a combat photographer? haha
By Anonymous Anthony, at 11:18 AM  

no lah, i didn't take that picture, got it from the Peiker guy's site. But my unit does have a guy who's the combat photographer lor
By Anonymous yiheng, at 8:26 PM  

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Sunday, December 04, 2005
UNESCO World Heritage Sites

For those of you who have never heard of the UNESCO World Heritage List, here's an introduction from their site:
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 1972...

...The World Heritage List includes 812 properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value.

These include 628 cultural, 160 natural and 24 mixed properties in 137 States Parties.


Once in a while, when I travel, I come across places that are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Until recently, I didn't know there were so many sites in the list and surprisingly, I have visited quite a number of these places without knowing that they are World Heritage Sites. Here's a list of World Heritage Sites I have been to (and I intend to add a few more next year). Sadly, for some of these places, I have only seen the building from the outside.

Australia
Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens
Melbourne, Victoria
S37 48 22.0 E144 58 13.0

Greater Blue Mountains Area
S33 42 E150 0
There are some pretty nice trails near Katoomba in this area.


Austria
Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg
Salzburg
N47 48 02 E13 02 36
One of my favourite European cities.


Historic Centre of Vienna
Vienna
N48 13 0 E16 23 0
My other favourite European city.


Canada
Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks
Provinces of British Columbia and Alberta
N51 25 29 W116 28 47
This is my absolute favourite. Must go again before I die. Die here also can. But I want my remains to be brought back to Singapore.


Historic District of Québec
Province of Quebec, City of Quebec
N46 48 34 W71 12 38
North American city with cool European feel.


Czech Republic
Historic Centre of Prague
Prague (Hlavní mesto Praha)
N50 05 23 E14 25 10

France
Palace and Park of Versailles
Département of Yvelines, Ile-de-France
N48 48 18 E2 7 10

Italy
Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura
Holy See
Province of Roma, Lazio region (IT) / Vatican City State (VA)
N41 53 24.8 E12 29 32.3

Venice and its Lagoon
Province of Venezia, Veneto Region
N45 26 03.5 E12 20 20.2
Not as romantic as seen on TV.


Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata
Province of Naples, Campania
N40 45 E14 29

Holy See
Vatican City
Vatican City State
N41 54 07.8 E12 27 26.5

Japan
Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara
Nara Prefecture
N34 40 32 E135 50 22
I've only been to the enormous Todaiji Temple. Deer walk around freely in the park.


Republic of Korea
Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple
North Kyongsang Province
N35 47 E129 21

Gyeongju Historic Areas
Kyongju City, Kyongsangbuk-do Province
N35 47 20 E129 13 36

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites
Wiltshire, England
N51 10 44 W1 49 31
Gigantic rocks on a plain of green grass somehow appeals to me. Unfortunately, they had to build a highway nearby.


City of Bath
Avon, England
N51 22 53 W2 21 31
I quite like this place with its old and quiet charm.


Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret's Church
City of Westminster, London, England
N51 29 59 W0 7 43

Tower of London
London Borough of Tower Hamlets, England
N51 30 29 W0 4 34

Old and New Towns of Edinburgh
Lothian Region, Scotland
N55 57 W3 13

United States of America
Statue of Liberty
New York, New York
N40 41 22 W74 02 41


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Yiheng made
12:40 PM

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