03 23.09.13 ISSN NO. 0218-7310
NEWS | 3
MID-TERM MADNESS Students’ stress levels peak as assignments and expectations run high, our study finds
LEAPS & BOUNCE
NTU mascot’s first appearance
LYON 初次登场 CHINESE | 18
SPORTS | 27
The Briefing Room:
Our editors’ pick of interesting news stories from around the world.
What goes up, must come down
Bullies can’t hurt Miss America
AN IT project manager’s lifelong dream of crossing the Atlantic suspended from 370 helium-filled balloons was deflated in Canada after just 12 hours of flying. Mr Jonathan Trappe’s journey was halted due to a technical issue. The 39-year-old had launched his journey from Caribou, Maine, on 12 Sep. Unfortunately, the voyage came crashing down in less than a day – at the ironically named Blow Me Down Provincial Park in Newfoundland. This is his second balloon flight – his first was across the English Channel in 2010.
WHEN Ms Nina Davuluri was crowned Miss America last Sunday, it sparked a wave of racist Twitter messages such as “#MsAmerica should be American”. Ms Davuluri is however not new to racism, having faced similar attacks when she won the title of Miss New York on 13 Jul. Her response to naysayers? “I wanted to win to let younger girls know that regardless of race, their socioeconomic status or their religion that anyone can become not only Miss America, but anything.”
No more Potter for Radcliffe
Daniel Radcliffe will not be reprising his role as Harry Potter in J. K. Rowling’s upcoming film Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. The movie is a spinoff from the Harry Potter series and it borrows its title from a textbook Potter used while at Hogwarts. In an interview with the Guardian, Radcliffe added that fellow Harry Potter alumni Rupert Grint and Emma Watson would not be returning to Hogwarts either.
FOR the second time in his life, Mr Kohei Jinno, 79, would have his home cleared to make way for a new Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. In 1964, Mr Jinno was forced to move from his home – currently a parking lot – to make way for the existing stadium. He said more than 200 families who live in the same public housing complex where he currently resides will also be affected by the move and that they are unsure where to go next. “I can bear getting evicted if it’s just once in a lifetime. But twice? It’s ridiculous,” he said.
JEM’s ceiling collapse due to leaking pipe
SITE inspections by the Building and Construction Authority found that a leaking pipe was the likely cause of the collapsed ceiling at JEM on 19 Sep. The weight of the water caused a 50m by 4m portion of the ceiling to break off. Three women were injured in the incident, which resulted in the mall’s indefinite closure. This is JEM’s third and most serious incident since its delayed opening, after two fire outbreaks last month.
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DJ Hardwell Ticket Contest
Review: The Bureau: XCOM Declassified
Lucky winners Shahrin Izhar and Yong Chee Wei walked away with a pair of tickets each to DJ Hardwell’s concert on 20 Sep. Eighty others also won a pair of Zouk passes each.
Video: Hostel Black Market
RUSH Movie Preview Contest
After three years in development hell, the latest instalment in the alien video game series XCOM is finally a finished product. Its predecessor Enemy Unknown was a stellar game, earning multiple Game of the Year awards — does Declassified match up to it? Would you pay $400 to stay in a double room in hall? In this episode of #hthtNTU, we head down to Canteen A to find out if NTU students are aware of this illegal money-making opportunity and what they feel about it.
Video: Chowdown Showdown
Three food challenges, one very hungry contestant. Find out how our writer Justin fared against three bowls of ramen, a 1kg beef burger, and 109 satay sticks in a Chronicle video of epic proportions. Find us at www.nanyangchronicle.ntu.edu.sg
Congratulations to Dorothy Lu, Wilson Peh, Alex Yap, Kenn Yap, and Pang Kang Wei on winning a pair of tickets each to the movie preview of RUSH.
F1 Tickets Giveaway
The Chronicle gave away a pair of F1 Bay Grandstand tickets to one lucky winner on 21 Sep. Congratulations to Tedrid Teo on winning our giveaway contest.
Photo: cheryl teo li min
Door troubles SPMS A glass door at the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences shattered after a student attempted to close it at around 10.45am on 16 Sep. No one was hurt in the incident. The shattered glass was cleared up by noon.
Car accident outside NTU A Jaguar and an SUV collided outside NTU’s Pioneer Road North exit at about 10.30pm on 19 Sep. The driver of the Jaguar, who is the parent of an NTU student, suffered from chest pains after the accident and has been sent to the National University Hospital. No other casualties were reported. Spot something interesting? Send us a photo at www.facebook.com/ChronNTU and it could be featured.
De-stress or Distress As the academic semester approaches its halfway mark, students are increasingly overwhelmed by schoolwork. The Nanyang Chronicle finds out why. Elissa Teo Kerri Heng
he middle of the school term is a stressful time for NTU students, as project deadlines draw near and tests are due. In a poll by the Nanyang Chronicle, as many as 88 per cent of students cited schoolwork as their top reason for stress. Tit Jie En, 22, a third-year student from the School of Material Science & Engineering, is one of them. He said: “I am especially worried after seeing that some of my friends have completed projects, while I haven’t.” He is among the 300 students who participated in an online survey conducted from 9 to 20 Sep about stress levels in the fifth week of school. Stress was defined in the poll as feelings of worry and anxiety due to one’s environment. Students ranked schoolwork as the most stressful, followed by extra-curricular activities and hall commitments, relationships, family, and work issues. Engineering students seem to have it the worst. 26 out of the 49 students who reported “very high” levels of stress were from the engineering schools. Ken Chin, 22, a third-year student from the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering (EEE), said: “Even though there are about
STRESS FACTOR: 88 per cent of NTU students feel stressed because of schoolwork.
three quizzes and assignments in total throughout the term, the final exam still counts for a whopping 80 per cent.” Another reason for stress is peer pressure. Lim Jie Sheng, a second-year student from the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, feels pressured to study harder after seeing his friends studying in the libraries even when it wasn’t examination period. “I feel like I have to study as well because I do not want my GPA to suffer,” the 23-year-old said.
For freshmen, the new study environment makes it harder to cope and six out of 10 freshmen said this caused them the most stress. Heng Siang Wei, 21, a first-year student from the Nanyang Business School, said: “I am still trying to catch up with the assignments and lectures. It's quite difficult to do so especially after two years of National Service.” The findings from the Chronicle poll mirror national trends of increased stress levels in students. According to the recently published Singapore Social Health
PHOTO Illustration: LIM MU YAO
Project report, Singapore’s education system, which emphasises performing well for tests, caused high stress levels and lowered creativity among students. The report was done by the National Volunteer and Philantrophy Centre. Theo Thong Thai, 22, a secondyear student from EEE, said that academic results are emphasised greatly in today's society. That's why his stress increases when tests and exams approach, he said. More than half of the students
polled, however, welcomed some pressure. “Some stress is good because it helps me to get things done and complete assignments ahead of deadlines,” said Jaime Goh, 20, a second-year student at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. Professor Kwok Kian Woon, Associate Provost (Student Life), said stress is not all that bad if “it spurs you on and keeps you on your toes". “But bad stress is when a student tries to solve all his problems on his own and does not know of available support groups like the Student Wellbeing Centre,” he added. The Student Wellbeing Centre, started the Peer Helping Programme (PHP) in 2009 in collaboration with the NTU Psychology Society. The programme is made up of “confidants" — students who offer support and encouragement to peers showing signs of psychological distress. Con f id a nt Head Jon at h a n Ramsay, 30, said: “Our intake of new helpers this year was our largest ever, and we're hoping that our capacity to help, both formally and informally, will continue to increase." He added: “We know our service can only be effective if people know about PHP, which is why we're organising regular events like Stressbusters, which we run in tandem with the Student Union's welfare package distribution." Yim Chia Lek, a third-year student from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences believed one's stress level boils down to the person's mindset about stress. She said: “It's the idea that we must get good grades." The 21-year-old said she spreads out her work and assignments to avoid stress from last-minute work.
Infographic: Jonathan Chan
Late-night thefts hit Hall 4 Liu Ting Ting Chinese Editor
series of late-night break-ins at Hall of Residence 4 has cost residents their laptops, phones and cash. In the first theft on 27 Aug, an iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 were stolen. The second theft, on 14 Sep, saw two laptops, a Nokia phone and $100 cash going missing. Both incidents took place on the fifth floor of Block 27. The victims had, in both cases, left their doors unlocked. They were also fast asleep and only found out the next morning that their belongings were missing. In the more recent case, one of the victims, a first-year student from the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, who declined to be named said: “My roommate and I were too tired and we forgot to lock the door that night.” She said both their laptops were charging the night before and had other devices connected to it. However, only the laptops were taken. The thief also took money from her wallet, but left her identity and bank cards alone, she added. All four victims and their neighbours said that they did not hear any noise nor see any suspicious-looking person on those nights. The case is under police investigation and no suspects have been identified yet.
Unlocked: Four victims fell prey to theft after forgetting to lock their doors.
Victim of the first theft, Pearlyn Chew, 19, said: “I remember unplugging my iPhone from its charger and putting it next to my pillow at around 4am.” When she and her roommate woke up four hours later, they found their phones missing. They then frantically searched their room
PHOTO Illustration : TIFFANY GOH
and the whole storey. Chew, a first-year Nanyang Business School student said: “It's possible that we wiped away any potential thumbprints that might have been on the door handle." She said she had left the door unlocked for her roommate, who was out. After her
roommate returned, Chew went to sleep without locking the door. Hall 4 residents raised concerns about the lack of sufficient security measures in their halls to deter burglars. Chew said the installation of security gates, such as those at other halls, might have prevented the thefts. Her neighbour, Camelia Ting, a thirdyear student from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, said there were no security cameras installed in Hall 4. She added: “There’s a problem with Hall 4’s architectural design. There are just too many pillars and blind spots. It is hard to tell who is lurking around the corner.” An Office of Housing & Auxiliary Services (HAS) spokesperson explained that “electronic locks were installed on all room doors at Hall 4, like many other NTU halls” to deter theft. HAS added that they emailed information about personal safety to residents at the start of this semester. They also regularly send reminders. Campus security also conducts regular patrols throughout the night, HAS said. “As NTU is an open campus, hall residents are strongly advised to take personal responsibility to keep their valuables safe and not to leave them unattended. Students should also lock their doors at all times,” said the HAS spokesperson. Students are advised to call the Campus Security hotline at 6790-4777 if they see any suspicious persons.
Squawking clean initiative Sheena Tan KOUFU @ the South Spine just got livelier. Since its reopening in August, the canteen has become home to random bird squawks that blend in with the usual buzz of student chatter. The caws and cackles come from four little green speakers mounted overhead on pillars, and are spread out across the outdoor sitting area. Along with these squawks comes a noticeably cleaner canteen. Nanyang Business School student Fung Yi Biao, 23, who noticed the speakers last month, said it has been an effective measure against birds. “For one, you don’t see as many birds around anymore. Also, tables at the edge of the canteen are not as dirty,” said the second-year student. Chia Yong Hui, 23, who frequents Canteen B for lunch, appreciated the cleaner canteen. “In the past, there were a lot of bird droppings on the tables and chairs. It affected how I dined as I felt annoyed seeing them on the table,” said the third-year student from the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. He added that the inconvenience of finding seats due to bird droppings was especially problematic during peak hours in the past. “There are no more bird droppings on the tables and chairs, and the overall cleanliness of the canteen has improved,” Chia said. The Bird-X Broadband PRO, a bird-scaring speaker system, is a new implementation
by the Office of Development & Facilities Management (ODFM). The system is meant to help reduce the number of birds in the vicinity and keep chairs clean of bird droppings. At random intervals, it emits a combination of distressed bird cries, harassing sounds, and ultrasonic high frequency sounds waves inaudible to humans but irritating to birds. Mr Ong Lai Seng, Assistant Director of ODFM, said: “It confuses, disorients and intimidates pest birds, hence keeping them away.” He added that the system would not cause harm to the birds. This initiative cost $1,600 and was introduced after receiving student feedback that birds were pecking at leftover food on tables and defecating on chairs and tables, said Mr Ong. ODFM had previously added anti-bird spikes and installed cables on the ledge of tray return points in Canteen B to deter the birds. These initiatives failed to be completely effective, so the speakers were added to supplement them. The new device has also benefitted Koufu. Food court manager, Mr Paul Hoh, 50, said that the speakers have been effective in chasing birds away and making the jobs of cleaners easier as well. But the effectiveness of the device in the long run remains to be seen. Mr Ong warns that there is “a possibility that the birds may get used to the sounds and this form of control may become ineffective”.
SCARY SquaWK: Bird speakers installed in Koufu have managed to chase bird blues away.
He added that students have a part to play and urged them to return all crockery to tray return points after meals. Leftover food, when not removed, will
PHOTO: LIM MU YAO
inevitably attract the birds back, he said. If this device is deemed successful by ODFM, it may also be introduced to other open-air canteens around campus.
Have you wondered what goes behind formulating a government policy? Are you looking to fill your holiday with meaningful experiences? Look no further with the Internships@Gov programme. Tan Xiu Qi spoke to four NTU students — fresh from completing their stint in the public sector.
Chua Jia Ni
Biological Sciences, Year 3 Health Promotion Board, Communicable Diseases Education Department I was attracted to the Internships@Gov programme because… I wanted to experience something different during the holidays, and working in the Health Promotion Board (HPB) had allowed me to experience first-hand how working in one of the statutory boards in Singapore is like.
Biological Sciences, Year 3 Ministry of Education, Curriculum Planning and Development Division (Sciences Branch)
sectors. My involvement in the review of the H1 Biology curriculum had pushed me to think about issues more critically. The numerous meetings and group discussions had also allowed me to hone my communication and organisation skills.
My internship will aid me in my job prospects inside and outside the public sector because… The skills that I’d honed are transferable and valued across the
Learning was not restricted to working in the MOE’s office. I also took part in... Undergoing reviews of primary, secondary and junior college curricula. Entering the ministry during such a major upheaval granted me chances to attend many training workshops
John Joel Seow
Linguistics and Multilingual Studies, Year 3 National Population and Talent Division, Overseas Singaporean Unit
This internship was meaningful to me because… The population issue in Singapore
Nurul Dina Amalina
Sociology Major, Year 3 Health Promotion Board, Corporate Marketing & Communications Department I have prior experience in... I have prior experience in public relations writing press releases for a hotel chain. That helped me in my internship because I also had to edit
press releases in HPB. It pays off to know what works and what doesn't for different audiences and I guess the journalism skills I had were relevant to both workplaces. Taking on this internship means I have free time to… Visit places of interest I would otherwise not be able to visit. I went on a learning journey to Pulau Semakau, which showed me how far we’ve come in waste disposal technology. This reminded me to take responsibility for my consumption
Internships@Gov is a premium programme administered by the Public Service Division. Intended for Singaporeans/PR undergraduates from local and overseas universities, the programme lets you: • Gain first-hand experience in the Public Service • Learn from senior leaders through dialogue & networking sessions • Gain insights into the operation of public agencies For more details, please visit www.internships.gov.sg
Learning was not restricted to working in HPB’s office. I also… Took part in meetings with other members of the community and visited some of the on-ground sites of HPB’s projects. These out-ofoffice experiences really enhanced my opportunity to learn from different people, as well as to be exposed to operations on-ground. I did not have any prior experience but it doesn’t matter because… No two jobs are the same. Our supervisors are knowledgeable in the work that they do and they are always willing to teach and guide us along during our internship. Thus, I was able to learn on the job.
and focus group discussions with stakeholders — principals, heads of departments, teachers and students alike. They allowed me to understand the current issues that challenge our education sector. I also gained a greater sensitivity to the formulation of public policies. My advice to future applicants: Take initiative during an internship and be responsible for your own learning. It will be more rewarding than you think.
is something I feel very strongly about, and I am thrilled to be able to contribute. I also made friends with the other interns and temp staff in the office. Overall, it was a very rewarding experience, despite it lasting only two months. My coursework in NTU helped to ease my learning curve as… Linguistics is a very broad academic discipline. My interests in the fields of sociolinguistics and language policy have allowed me to study certain population issues with a
relatively unconventional perspective I did not have any prior experience but it wasn’t an issue because… The open door culture in the office allowed me to seek help easily if I encounter any obstacles in my research. I also picked up many other skills along the way, such as copywriting. Rather than simply being thrown off the deep end, I was given the space to figure out most things on my own. I did not feel like I was being pressured to deliver beyond my means.
patterns today to protect our future tomorrow. The working culture in the office made me feel… Valued as a person. My bosses never kept me back late and I was never made to sacrifice family life for work. On top of that, my colleagues were friendly — the social hierarchy was really flat in the office. That, for me, was the best part about working for the HPB Corporate Communications department.
Internship Duration Our structured internship programme spans 8 weeks from May to August. It comprises two runs: May Run: 21 May — 15 July 2014 June Run: 25 June — 19 August 2014 You may choose to take part in either run and extend the duration if you wish. How to Join? The universities nominate their students to participate in this programme. Contact your careers office to find out more.
STICKING TO HER GUNS
More than a year since her run-in with the law for her cheeky stickers on traffic-light buttons, ‘Sticker Lady’ Samantha Lo remains unfazed in the pursuit of her artistic ambitions. Nur Atiqah Bte Suhaimi caught up with the edgy street artist when she was on campus for the NTU Arts Immersion Series on 4 Sep.
hen it comes to fight or flight, the latter will never be an option for Ms Samantha Lo — also known as SKL0. “It’s about dedication; I either fight for it or just go out there and do it anyway,” she said. Narrowly escaping a jail term after a high-profile vandalism saga, the 26-yearold is letting none of it get her down. In fact, she is more than ready to shake off the ‘Sticker Lady’ label, which has stuck since the vandalism fiasco, and move forward in her career as a street artist. The newest addition to her LIMPEH series is a collection of works she describes as reflections on Singapore’s socio-political climate and citizen sentiment. Limpeh is Hokkien for “your father”. Her latest artwork in the series is a portrait of former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, spray-painted across a 120cm by 80cm mirror. “It’s meant to show that Lee Kuan Yew has touched us all in one way or another, whether we like it or not. Spray paint is a medium of vandalism, but aren’t we all being ‘vandalised’ as well,” she explained. “We live in a nanny state, that’s why I call him limpeh — in a way he’s your father, my father, and our father,” she added. Samantha’s eyes light up and her voice rises when she speaks about her passion for art. Everywhere she goes, she looks for opportunities to practise her art. Even a simple walk with her around
NTU can make anyone see the campus in a different light. She pointed out an ordinary pipe. “I could paint this whole thing into a creature… make this into some sort of a tail,” she said. And her creativity isn’t limited to physical subjects; any available space can be used to create a meaningful message. “I can also work with shadows, perhaps by setting up an installation that actually interacts with shadows that are formed at different times,” she said. The dedicated artist believes that art doesn’t stop at creativity; it should also have a sense of purpose and make a valid statement. For Samantha, art without meaning is blasphemy. “I do things that I feel are meaningful for the environment, the society, and everybody involved in the ecosystem that I am going to place the work in,” she said. And that mantra is not restricted to her art; she applies it to everything else in life, adding a dash of her tough-girl personality along the way. “You can call me an a**hole, but I want you to tell me why you think I am one,” she said nonchalantly. The local artist took on a more sombre tone as she reflected on the current art scene in Singapore, which she thinks limits the potential of aspiring artists. “The sad truth is that not a lot of people are able to enjoy the freedom and privilege of making a living out of doing what they love,” she said.
She also talked wistfully about the worrying loss of familiarity in rapidly modernising Singapore. “My favourite food stalls are gone, the playgrounds are no longer the same. There is this sense of displacement,” she said. But instead of being a typical Singaporean that “complains about everything”, Samantha is striving to make things better in her own way. Fiercely dedicated to her goal of exacting meaningful change, the feisty individual refuses to sit around and wait for others to resolve societal issues. The fate of Singapore may not be within her control, but the least she can do is to protest against such changes through her bold artwork, she said. Samantha’s inspiration comes from many sources, ranging from books to casual observations. Describing her working style, she said: “I’m more of a conceptual person, not so much of a formulist. I write everything down and figure out why things work this way." And once she gets inspired, she seizes the idea before it leaves her. “If an idea comes to me in the middle of the night, I drop everything and work on it,” she said with a laugh. Spoken like a true artist.
PHOTOs: IVAN LIM & COURTESY OF SKL0
A WILD RIDE
MONSTrous thrill ridE: Screams coming from riders in the clutches of The Claw can be heard throughout Dreamworld in Gold Coast, Australia.
Sudden drops, 360-degree turns, and wild pendulum swings — Lifestyle Editor Bernice Koh takes you on some of the scariest rides in the theme parks of Gold Coast, Australia.
t was pitch-dark in the train tunnel and murmurs rippled through the excited crowd. We were “escaping" from a collapsing train station after an earthquake tremor. Suddenly, a voice echoed from the overhead speakers: “I’ll get you out of here. Fast. Superman Fast.” Before I could comprehend what that meant, I was launched skywards on the roller coaster, accelerating from rest to 100km/h in just two seconds. I clutched the handles tightly as the momentum of the Superman Escape threatened to fling me out of my seat. Joining in the chorus of screams around me, I threw my hands up and let loose my loudest shriek. So this is how Lois Lane must have felt when she was rescued by Superman, I thought. After a series of sharp turns, steep slopes, and never-ending screaming, the roller coaster finally came to a halt. I had survived my first theme park ride in Gold Coast, Australia. Superman Escape, the star attraction at the Warner Bros. Movie World theme park, was on my checklist of amusement rides to conquer during my five-day visit in the city.
The list included the scariest thrill rides in Movie World and Dreamworld Theme Park as voted by Australians. I never had a penchant for roller coaster rides, until I rode the Battlestar Galactica in Universal Studios Singapore. The roller coaster ride itself, however, was not the exhilarating part. It was in fact the long wait, standing in line with fellow thrill-seekers, that got my hands cold and clammy and my mind dizzy with excitement. As it was during the Christmas break when I was in Gold Coast, the waiting time for the rides at Dreamland stretched up to two hours, especially for the Tower of Terror II.
we were right beside a launching rocket as the roaring from the engines intensified, signalling our impending ascent. Without warning, the “escape pod” shot up and out of the tunnel like a bullet, reaching the speed of a pitched baseball in seven seconds. Everyone was screaming during the 100m vertical incline. Weightlessness hit us next as the “escape pod” slowed down, reaching the peak. I held my breath, bracing myself for the descent.
Screams grew louder and higher-pitched as The Claw mercilessly swung us back and forth, reaching nine storeys at its highest. Dubbed Australia’s scariest ride, it features an L-shaped track that sends riders up 100 metres into the air — backwards. My thoughts ran wild as I imagined the “escape pod" ripping through the barrier, sending us flying into the air before crashing to the ground. But before I could change my mind about going on the ride, I was strapped in my seat and ready for the launch. Sitting in the poorly-lit tunnel dotted with rows of red neon lights, it felt as if
UP AND AWAY: Superman takes riders on a skyward journey, as he saves them from a collapsing train station.
PHOTOs: BERNICE KOH
Before I knew it, we rapidly freefalled back into the dark tunnel, our bodies vibrating from the rattling of the rollercoaster tracks. The Tower of Terror II had definitely lived up to its reputation. It left my heart palpitating and my spine tingling even after the ride ended. There was just one more ride to go at Dreamland — the most powerful pendulum in the world: The Claw. The swinging ride spins 360 degrees as riders sit facing outwards in a circular formation. Seat belt fastened and prayers muttered, I waited nervously for the ride to start as the floor beneath us folded down, leaving our feet dangling in the air. Gently rotating at first, it gradually picked up speed. Screams grew louder and higher-pitched as The Claw mercilessly swung us back and forth, reaching nine storeys at its highest. Amid the screaming and spinning, and my nausea, I was amused by how a 10-yearold boy beside me was sputtering vulgarities in his fear. Thankfully, the ride ended before anything worse could happen. Disembarking from The Claw, I felt as though my organs were all jumbled up. Nonetheless, a grin spread across my face — I had just conquered three of the most terrifying rides in Australia. Striking “Australia’s scariest roller coasters” off my list, the adrenaline rush made me crave for more. Up next on my bucket list: the Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, USA — home to the tallest drop ride and the tallest roller coaster in the world.
10-11 LIFESTYLE foodsnoop
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YOSHIMARU RAMEN CHALLENGE CHALLENGE #1 Finish a bowl of ramen equivalent to three individual portions in 15 minutes, and itâ€™s on the house. Fail to do so, and itâ€™s $35. <RVKLPDUX5DPHQ%DU /RURQJ/LSXW +ROODQG9LOODJH 6 2SHQLQJKRXUV 0RQ)ULDPSPSPSP 6DW6XQ SXEOLFKROLGD\VDPSP 7HO
PHOTOS: VALERIE LIM, MATTHIAS HO & JOANNE TAN
DifďŹ culty level: 3.5/5 The noodles and meat, though colossal in quantity, were relatively manageable â€” once I got the hang of it. The soup, however, was a different story altogether â€” it was so rich that I had difďŹ culty keeping it down and had to take it in small doses. Tip: Pace yourself well â€” you might throw up if you donâ€™t allow your stomach to settle down.
sing my ďŹ ngers to scrape clean every morsel left in the bowl â€” from the bits of spring onion to the strands of noodles â€” I swallowed everything and opened my mouth for the restaurant staffâ€™s inspection. She gave the thumbs-up after checking whether my mouth was completely clear of food. I barely passed the Yoshimaru Ramen Challenge, with just 34 seconds to spare â€” but I did it. The food challenge had drawn close to 600 people in a mere two months, with a 50 per cent completion rate. The traditional Hakata Ramen is Yoshimaruâ€™s signature dish. Hearing about it was one thing, but seeing it was another â€” a bowl as large as a bathroom sink, ďŹ lled close to the brim with ramen amounting to at least ďŹ ve packets of instant noodles, and topped off with three eggs, nine slices of pork and a small portion of black-eared fungi. A hearty broth completed what looked like an appetising meal, if not for the fact that I was about to eat my breakfast, lunch and dinner all rolled into one. The staff reminded me of the three rules: not a single drop of soup was to be spilled, the bowl had to be completely emptied, and all this had to be done in 15 minutes. The horn sounded and I proceeded to devour the gargantuan meal. My plan was to ďŹ rst ďŹ nish the main obstacle â€” the noodles â€” then the soup, and start on the other ingredients last. It sounded straightforward, until I stuffed three mouthfuls of steaming noodles into my mouth. Big mistake. I forgot the ramen had just been cooked not long ago. My mouth was on ďŹ re, worsened by the fact that I could not open it to let the cool air provide some relief. Time was indeed the enemy in this hectic battle. Five minutes in and I had barely made a dent in my colossal bowl. The noodles, although springy and a joy to eat, seemed endless. Ten minutes past â€” sweat poured down my forehead as I ďŹ nally ďŹ nished the noodles. I moved on to the soup and toppings, hands clammy and one eye on the clock. I shoved everything down. By now, my stomach was verging on exploding, but no way was I giving up. I had two more minutes to chug down the mammoth portion of soup. This should be easy. But the steaming, milky soup nearly proved to be my undoing â€” it was overwhelmingly rich and ďŹ‚avourful. But defeat is for the weak, so ďŹ nish it I did â€” in 14min 26sec. It was a good 10 minutes before I felt comfortable enough to stand up. I earned a certiďŹ cate of completion and posed for the customary polaroid shot taken upon victory, etching my name onto the Yoshimaru wall of fame.
DifďŹ culty level: 4.5/5 The most challenging part was forcing each patty down as it got drier over time. I couldnâ€™t swallow without drinking water to soften the meat. Tip: Donâ€™t waste time using a fork and knife â€” get down and dirty if you really want to win. Table manners are irrelevant here.
CHRONICLE 03 POWER SATAY CHALLENGE
ROADHOUSE TERMINATOR BURGER CHALLENGE
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CHALLENGE #2 Finish a six-patty burger with sides of fries and coleslaw in 20 minutes, and itâ€™s on the house. Fail to do so, and itâ€™s $58.
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FOUR years ago, Roadhouse set up the Terminator Burger Challenge to draw in big eaters to take on the Terminator. The behemoth of a burger has six wagyu beef patties (200 grams each) sandwiched between two lightly toasted buns, topped off with caramelised onions, jalapenos and melted cheddar cheese dripping down the sides. Rounded off with sides of thick-cut fries and coleslaw, the 4,000-calorie feast is daunting enough to make grown men cry (an average person needs only 2,500 calories a day). The reason for setting up the challenge, explained manager Tony Tay, 31, was to bring the culture of traditional American diners â€” where good food and competitive fun coexist â€” to Singapore. Facing the monstrosity of the burger was a new experience as I propped it up with my hand to prevent it from toppling over due to its sheer height and mass. To make things worse, Tony said only 15 per cent of those who attempted the challenge had completed it. Would I make it to this elusive list of champions?
â€œI was terriďŹ ed that I was going to give the restaurant walls a new paint job with the semi-digested contents of my stomach.â€? Fork gripped tightly, I was off like a rocket when the stopwatch started. Deconstructing the burger, I headed straight for the patty. The ďŹ rst mouthful was heavenly. The beef patties had been chargrilled to near-perfection â€” a smoky aroma could be detected upon the ďŹ rst bite and it was dotted with burnt bits that gave it additional texture. The centre of the patty was rosy pink, characteristic of medium-cooked beef, and oozing with juice. The sweet caramelised onions gave a hint of sweetness, which was an added dimension to the savoury meal. My aim was to complete the burger in 10 minutes, and then get started on the fries and coleslaw. The strategy was to mash up the food on the plate as I chewed, saving time and providing my jaw some relief from all that chewing. I ďŹ nished my ďŹ rst three patties in seven minutes and was pacing well, but it became increasingly difďŹ cult to swallow the chunks of meat that had dried up as they cooled down. Each time I swallowed, I felt like my throat was being rubbed with sandpaper. I tried to combat the beefâ€™s dry, rough texture with water, but my plan failed miserably as I wasted more time. Two minutes left. I was terriďŹ ed that I was going to give the restaurant walls a new paint job with the semi-digested contents of my stomach. My face was ďŹ‚ushed and sweat poured. Six patties and the coleslaw were in my belly â€” I had only two minutes to ďŹ nish up the fries and buns. But it was too late. I chewed my fries in dismay as the stopwatch went past the 20-minute mark, and I reluctantly threw in the towel. Still left on the plate were morsels of bread and a large pile of fries. Like the ramen challenge, 15 minutes passed before I was able to stand up without waves of nausea hitting me. Hanging my head in defeat, I walked out the door with a lighter wallet and the buttons on my shorts threatening to pop. Today, food had won.
DifďŹ culty level: 4/5 The bite-sized meat meant they were easy to chew and swallow initially. However, as time passed, the meat and greasiness got overwhelming â€” one can only eat so much meat before they start to feel sick. Tip: Never stop chewing. Be prepared to work those jaw muscles you never knew existed.
TRULY living up to their namesake, the satays at Power Satay pack a punch with their delectable barbequed ďŹ‚avour That sounds great if itâ€™s just a couple of sticks at supper, until you try wolďŹ ng down 109 sticks at breakneck speed. There I was, sitting with stall owner Mdm Shariza Bte Jupri, 37, shovelling stick after stick of satay down my poor gullet. I was still reeling from having completed two challenges in the past ďŹ ve days. So far it was one to me, and one to food. Standing in my way to victory were the 109 sticks of satays. Game on, I told myself. To break the 2011 record of 108 sticks in 20 minutes, I had to devour 109 sticks in the same amount of time. The tray of the chicken satays was served up â€” barbequed to a golden brown with bits of fat oozing at all the right places. But the portion looked enough for a class of 40. I steadied my nerves and visualised my victory. I was ready to roll. The stopwatch on Sharizaâ€™s phone started and I proceeded without mercy. My only thought was: chew and swallow, fast. I ripped the satay meat off the sticks with my teeth. It tasted as delicious as it looked â€” the chicken was juicy and tender, making it easy to swallow. No time for slow savouring, though â€” I had a record to break. In three minutes, I had polished off about 20 sticks. I felt downright barbaric stufďŹ ng two sticks of satay each time into my mouth, but I didnâ€™t care. The satay was so good and I wanted to win, at any cost. 10 minutes in and I had ďŹ nished about 60 sticks. My hands were greasy and I reeked of barbequed chicken. It was then that reality hit me (and my stomach) hard. I felt sick at the thought of having swallowed copious amounts of greasy meat, and wanted nothing more than to give up. But I powered on. The satay on the tray dwindled in numbers. 17 minutes in and I had 10 sticks left. I had a ďŹ ghting chance. With one minute to go, I had cleared everything on the tray. All that stood between the record and me was one stick and the huge mass of meat I was still chewing. I took the ďŹ nal stick and stuffed it into my mouth. My jaw went into overdrive â€” it was now or never. 30 seconds to go. My jaw ached so badly it was cramping up. I took a sip of water to make it easier to swallow. I managed to force a fraction of my food down my gullet, but my mouth was still crammed. I had to ace this challenge. With just ďŹ ve seconds to go, I chewed as though my life depended on it. My jaw never hurt this much before. Fourâ€Ś threeâ€Ś twoâ€Ś oneâ€Ś the stopwatch alarm beeped. The last bits of meat were still in my mouth â€” I had lost the challenge. I felt genuinely disappointed. I was so close to immortalising my name as a record breaker. Shariza said I was the closest anyone had ever been to toppling the record. Cold comfort, as a loss was still a loss. Soon, the all-too-familiar nausea swept over me. The aftereffect of this challenge was the worst of the lot. Looks like satay wonâ€™t be on my plate anytime soon.
WATCH Justin take on these food challenges at www.youtube.com/ChronNTU
12- 13 LIFESTYLE spotlight
A different take:
YouTube artists who merely replicate songs in their covers are a dime in a dozen. Reviews Editor Charmaine Ng and Seraphina Tan pick out four covers that reinvent pop songs for your listening pleasure.
BLURRED LINES by Robin Thicke ft. T.I., Pharrell Rebecca Shearing (bexboop878) Pop
, Most Saccharine
ebecca Shearing is indeed blurring the lines between sweet and sexy with her cover of Robin Thicke’s chart-topper Blurred Lines. Shearing does away with the electro-funk embellishments that are a trademark of the original, and serenades the listener with her demure charm instead. W hen accompanied by her guitar, Shearing’s saccharine voice is an alluring blend of innocence and sultriness, and exudes an endearing vulnerability. At other moments, Shearing extends the last word of every line in the chorus to playfully charm with these lyrics: “You’re a good girl, I know you want it”. The light and controlled guitar strum-
ming, while slightly repetitive, complements her gentle tone of voice. While she deviates from the original melody, she is well-supported by chord changes on the guitar — allowing for greater creativity in delivery. Shearing also works her vocal inflections with much finesse — making for a refreshing twist on Thicke’s hit. Despite being just 21, the Scottish singer shows clear artistic direction in her covers of pop songs, like Justin Timberlake’s Mirrors. Shearing’s covers might be laidback, but she still manages to capture the relevant emotion in every one. Mark our words — this girl has the lines of success drawn clearly for her.
YOUTUBE SWEETHEART: Rebecca Shearing has been uploading covers on YouTube since 2007, and her channel has garnered more than 23 million views.
WE CAN’T STOP by Miley Cyrus
Postmodern Jukebox (ScottBradleeLovesYa) Jazz
, Most Fun TAKE the twerking out of We Can’t Stop and give it a doo-wop twist, and the infamous pop hit is instantly more likeable. Transforming a mid-tempo, R&B song into a catchy 50s ditty might seem an impossible feat, but Postmodern Jukebox may have just struck musical gold with its cover of Miley Cyrus’s hit. The band uses doo-wop — a 50s style of R&B based on vocal harmonies — to amplify the song’s merit. Featuring a cappella group The TeeTones on backup vocals, lead singer Robyn Anderson modifies and extends the bridge (“So la da dee da dee/ We like to party/ Dancing with Miley/ Doing whatever we want”) with a ballad-type vocal arrangement. In her vintage half-do and pink sundress, Anderson’s look and sultry attitude affirms the cover’s retro quality in both audio and visual form. While the band’s other vintage arrangements might sound out-of-place alongside modern pop riffs, this cover of We Can’t Stop works well. MUSICAL TIME TRAVEL: Started by jazz pianist Scott Bradlee, Postmodern Jukebox takes modern pop songs and revamps them into vintage-sounding tunes. Bradlee wants viewers to realise that songs can be altered without losing their identity. PHOTOS: INTERNET
CHRONICLE 03 youtubers of ntu
Danial Razak (dannyandhisguitar) with his on-target vocal runs and smooth R&B pipes, Danial Razak’s covers are easy on the ears. The second-year Wee Kim Wee student’s cover of The Script’s Hall of Fame was so good, it was even shared on the band’s FaceBook page.
The Huckleberry Friends (huckleberrysongs) EYECANDY OR EARCANDY?: Although Jonathan Selle has been a trained cellist since he was 7, the German singer‘s love for music only developed when he picked up the guitar.
YOU AND ME
by Will.I.Am ft. Justin Bieber Jona Selle (jonamusix) Pop
, Most Creative ARMED with his trusty cello and charming good looks, Jonathan “Jona” Selle looks set to win the hearts of many girls with his rendition of You And Me. Selle cleverly strips the original beatladen hip hop track down to a soothing ballad interpretation. He peels away layers of synthetic beats
by Taylor Swift Gabe Bondoc (gabebondoc) Pop
, Most Heartwarming LOOK out, Taylor Swift — here’s a man who could bring you down in a songwriting battle. Performing a rewrite/response to Swift’s single Sparks Fly, Bondoc is one singer who knows how to cover songs and make them his own. At first listen, it’s Bondoc’s skilful guitar playing that drives the song. The California-based YouTuber uses a mix of strumming and plucking to keep the cover interesting, which is critical as the song can get repetitive after the first chorus. Those acquainted with Swift’s rendition might find Bondoc’s version less intense compared to the original’s full-band arrangement.
and sounds in Will.I.Am’s track and uses only three elements — acoustic guitar, cello and his voice. Instead of rapping, Selle puts his raspy vocals to good use — oozing charm while crooning: “You and me / Together, forever”. The otherwise superficial pop lyrics are delivered earnestly, which bring across their meaning more profoundly than Will.I.Am’s autotune. To further diverge from the Will.I.Am’s hip hop style, Selle also infuses the cello — his trademark — to open the song with some dramatic flair, and close it with a melancholic tone. Being trained classically on the cello since age 7, Selle combines both the guitar and cello to match his musical style and
interpretation. On the acoustic guitar, the 22-year-old retains the original’s catchy rhythm to keep the song upbeat without any percussion. The plain and simple style he adopts is slightly reminiscent of American Idol Kris Allen’s bold interpretation of Kanye West’s Heartless in 2008, and is an ideal alternative to the over-synthesized beats of modern pop. Admittedly, Selle has yet to reach a similar level of recognition as popular YouTubers like Sam Tsui or Tyler Ward. But this German heartthrob is likely to attract more media attention in the near future. Looks like Will.I.Am might need more than just Bieber to get the girls’ hearts.
But listen closely and one will also ours Swift’s songwriting by extracting the notice the warmth in his version — a noted best elements from the song and injecting quality in both his covers and originals. his own creative perspective. This creates a new interpretation of Sparks Fly — that of a lover’s serenade, as opposed to a confession in Swift’s version. I ndeed, t h is new perspective is helped by a “fun little rewrite” (as stated in the video description), where Bondoc performs Sparks Fly from t he p e r s p e c t i v e of Rainstorm, the protagonist in the original lyrics, and adapts the original melody to fit the lyrical revision. Despite t he changes, Bondoc’s SMOOTH OPERATOR: Filipino singer-songwriter Gabe Bondoc records his cover performance honvideos in one take. PHOTOS: INTERNET
CONSISTING of Tok Xue Yi and Jonathan Chan from the School of Art, Design and Media and Marcus Tan f rom School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the band covers songs from John Mayer and Jason Mraz. Although the band’s one-year-old channel has only seven videos of their covers and originals, the pleasing harmonies and warm acoustic guitar sounds are testament to the band’s potential.
Cynthia Chua (cynthcxy) CYNTHIA Chua, a second-year st udent f rom t he School of Humanities and Social Sciences, is hardly alone in her music covers — instead, she thrives on collaborating with others.
Eunice Goh (xtheeuniverse) apart f rom being able to hold a t u ne, t he t h i rd-yea r Communication Studies student also plays the guitar and ukulele. She also comes with green hair. Batteries not included.
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OF CUPS AND NEEDLES
ELECTROACUPUNCTURE: Physician Tjioe Yan Yin, 27, administers electroacupuncture therapy to relieve a patient’s muscle tension. She said the technique is an example of how TCM is embracing technology for more efﬁcient treatment.
our skin tingles at the coolness of the alcohol disinfectant. Needles of up to 13 centimetres are then inserted into your ﬂesh, with a calibrated electricity current passed through each one. That is what Julian Loke, 21, e x per iences du r i ng h i s acupuncture sessions at NTU’s Chinese Medicine Clinic. “I think it’s effective because it cures the root of the problem,” said the ﬁrst-year student from the School of Biological Sciences (SBS), who visits the clinic every two months for his back pain. “More people are turning to Chinese medicine to ﬁnd relief,” said Mrs Tracy Tsen, 50, deputy director of the clinic. “Pain management is one of the areas that Western medicine does not have an answer for,” she added. TCM is commonly perceived as unscientiﬁc and old-fashioned,
but t he clinic aims to shed that image by incor porating technology into their methods. Its medicinal concoctions now come in ready-mix powders, as opposed to the raw herbs that take hours to brew. “Our TCM students are trained in biomedical science and can ex plain TC M using moder n scientiﬁc terms,” said Mrs Tsen. Yet, treatments vary for each practitioner. TCM is steeped in thousand-year-old tradition, a nd ph y s ic i a n s ba s e t he i r practices on their understanding and interpretation of Chinese medicinal culture. “TCM is really about making sen se of a ncient med ici na l philosophies from your own position. It’s quite philosophical and is a combination of ar t and science,” said Ms Tjioe Yan Yin, 27, a physician from the pioneer cohort of TCM graduates from SBS.
HOT CUPPING: Also known as ba guan, this treatment involves heating glass cups till vacuums are formed between the skin and the cups. The suction mobilises blood ﬂow to promote healing, and can be used to treat musculoskeletal and respiratory conditions, such as bronchitis and the common cold.
“Our students are trained... [to] explain TCM using modern scientiﬁc terms.” Tracy Tsen Deputy Director NTU Chinese Medicine Clinic
(CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT) KNOWLEDGE TRANSFUSION: Clinical mentor Dr Yuan Jinhong, 41, identiﬁes acupressure points to student interns from SBS. The NTU Chinese Medicine Clinic is one of three approved teaching clinics in Singapore that provide students with handson experience in TCM. DELICATELY BALANCED: Herbalist Chan Yuet Lin, 55, uses a traditional Chinese weighing scale to prescribe raw herbs for a patient. Chinese medicine is based on the principle of re-balancing qi (energy ﬂow) in one’s body to cure ailments. PRECISELY PRESCRIBED: Physician Sean Lee, 27, ﬁlls in a prescription at the clinic’s dispensary. “Chinese medicine requires a combination of herbs to cure ailments. It targets the entire illness, not the individual symptoms,” he said.
《听见下雨的声音》电影讲座 —— 刊20页
召集即将报告的小组们进行讲 解和讨论，让大家整理出一条 更清晰的思路。
只是明星才会被提名获 奖，如今学生也可以在 社交媒体网络上提名自己喜爱 的老师，让其有机会获得人 气教师的殊荣。在omy.sg举办 的校园人气教师投选活动中， 南洋理工大学共有六名老师上 榜，他们分别来自中文系、化 学与生物化学系和国家教育学 院。记者采访了三位被提名的 中文系教师与他们的学生，了 解这些教师的魅力何在。
与自己观念截然不同的灵感和 意见。” 魏月萍的细心也让同学们感 觉十分贴心。中文系大三学生 赖怡彣透露，魏月萍会在上课 前将知识点做整理发给大家提 前预习，课上同学提出问题， 她会在下课后整理出答案进行 补充。 由于辅导课要做小组报告， 魏月萍会抽出时间提前一星期
能够引发学生独立思考也是 人气教师的特色之一。在中文 系助理教授游俊豪看来，为每 个学生“量身定制”解决问题 的方法是必要的。 游俊豪说：“我很少直接 为同学提供问题的答案，更多 的是为他们指出解决问题的方 向，并鼓励他们探索最适合自 己的答案。在这个过程中，他 们或许会跌倒，受到挫折，但 只有这样，最后才会成长，” 当然，也有同学认为这个选 举活动并不一定能够全面反映 老师们在学校里的人气。 中文系三年级的陈品秀说。 “我并不认为这个活动为学生 对老师表达感激之情提供了好 的渠道。有些学生根本就不知 道有这项投票活动，或是有些 同学比较害羞所以没有提名自 己心目中的人气老师，” 对于同学们上网提名自己为 人气教师，老师们都深表欣慰 和感谢。老师们表示，能够参 与同学们人生中的大学阶段， 看见他们成长、改变对生活的 态度，就是最满足的事。
旁的两位助手及时提醒，扮演 Lyon的他可以说是举步维艰。 在炎热的新加坡穿着厚重的 人偶服让扮演者感到闷热，宁 伟祥当天在室外走了接近五十 分钟后，回到空调室内短暂休 息降温时，他除了汗流浃背， 所佩戴的手套也已经被汗水浸 得透湿。 吉祥物Lyon随着激昂的打击 乐和观众们的欢呼声，在八月 的吉祥物发布会后首次公开亮 相。Lyon狮子于9月13日出现在 新加坡大学生运动会上，为南 大排球队、手球队和足球队等 南大体育代表队加油打气。 首次亮相的Lyon更是吸引 了南大校长安迪博教授上前与 它共舞。在足球赛开始前，身 着红色T恤的安迪博教授走到 Lyon的旁边，在欢乐的鼓声的 伴奏下，与吉祥物一同随着音
乐摇摆，体现大学校长幽默风 趣的一面，逗乐了现场观众。 校长安迪博教授接受采访时 开玩笑地说：“就在我们拥有 了这个官方吉祥物后，南大在 国际上的排名都上升了呢！” 电机与电子工程学院的瑞典 交换生Albin Thureson都对Lyon 展现出了极大的兴趣，“它那 硕大的脑袋很是吸引我。特别 是当它随着音乐摇摆时，形象 非常惹人喜爱。” 作为当天唯一来到现场的大 学吉祥物，Lyon一出现便吸引 了在场所有观众的目光。不论 是在场支持的学生，参加比赛 的体育运动员，还是在附近运 动的老师和家属，都纷纷上前 争着和Lyon合影。 Lyon是今年南大迎新周时推 出的官方吉祥物，象征南大的 力量、勇气和无畏的价值观。
课堂的演唱家 中文系助理教授曲景毅在上 课时对自己的领域怀抱满腔热 情，他喜欢通过唱歌来调节课 堂气氛，鼓励学生积极参与。 因为教授古典文学，曲景 毅提出古典诗词一开始（《诗 经》）就是诗、乐、舞三合一 的文体。很多古诗本是歌词， 只不过现在许多乐谱已失传。 他说：“有时候很即兴的演 唱一两句会给学生更好的感性 上的认识。我采用这种方式主 要是为了告诉同学们古典文学 并不是那么枯燥的。” 如此别具一格的上课方式 让曲景毅深受学生欢迎。中文
三名来自中文系的老师以其新挺独特的授课方式，轻松幽默的课堂气氛以及细心贴心的帮助辅导， 在学生中获得颇高人气。 照片:陆雅雯摄影和受访者提供 系大三的洪美荣就说：“他常 演唱与古典文学作品相关的歌 曲，打破课堂沉闷的气氛。相 较于直接背诵古诗词，听歌记 歌词会更快更牢固。” 曲景毅的教学拉近了学生与 古典文学的距离。他说：“关 键就在于如何能够让古典文学 现代化，让学生意识到所学的 古代文学是能够融入我们现代 日常生活的。”
细心的交流者 同系所助理教授魏月萍认 为，如今老师们已经不如从 前，处在一个高高在上的位 置。现在的教师，应该放下身 段，融入学生群中，就能多了 解新一代人的思想。 她说：“在我的课堂里，常 常会碰到宗教信仰不一样的同 学一起上课，与这些学生交流 得当儿，也会从他们那里获得
Lyon的扮演者宁伟祥需穿上厚重的服装，戴上近一米高的狮子头 套，经过半小时的准备才着装完毕。 摄影:陈修齐
上比自己脚大两倍的巨 大“脚掌”，穿上一件 厚度等同于五六层冬天厚外套 的扮演服，再戴上高度近一米 的“狮子头套”，经过约半个 小时的准备，南大官方吉祥物 Lyon的扮演者才着装完毕。 但这只是个开始。来自电 子工程系大二年级的宁伟祥第 一次扮演吉祥物就遇上重重困 难：笨重的头套让颈项感到吃 力，视线也被头套的外部设计 严重局限，只能透过Lyon微 微张开的嘴巴看见眼前极为狭 小的一段道路。若没有紧随身
加坡各中小学于9月6日 欢庆教师节，气氛温馨 感人。然而大学方面却无此习 惯。一直以来，世界各地大学 有庆祝教师节的传统可说是极 其少数。但有句古文说“一日 为师，终身为父”。笔者认为 身为大学生，无论学历多高， 都不该忘了对导师表达谢意。 于是笔者提出此言论，提倡大 学有庆祝教师节的必要。笔者 访问了部分师生，对此言论提 出看法。
大学气氛冷淡 由于大学没有庆祝教师节 的传统，部分学生已遗忘该节 日。换句话说，他们记忆中的 节日似乎不再存有教师节。即 使有少数的学生记得，但不知 道确切的日期，也无心关注。 另一个因素来自于师生关 系。大部分学生只上了某个导 师一学期的课程，每星期除了 在课堂相处数小时以外，平时 极少或不曾与导师联系，缺乏 交流，导致关系生疏。如此一 来，学生对于教师节并无特别 感受。
教学的动力 大部分受访者赞同有庆祝教 师节的必要，其中来自国立教 育学院（NIE）中文系大三生 陈诗颖说无论是中小学或高等 学府，校方都应该举行教师节 庆祝活动，因为“这样一来，
每天辛苦工作的教育者在这一 天就会感受到学校对自己的重 视，培养成就感，进而才会更 加钦心于这一份教育工作”。 对此，各教授的想法与学生 一致。 中文系助理教授曲景毅 说：“教师节，是对老师们工 作的肯定，付出的回报，人格 的尊重，应该予以提倡。” 他也透露今年的教师节收 到了数位学生的电邮、短信祝 福，以及同学们联名赠言的感 谢卡，对此非常感谢。 可见教师节不单是一个纪念 的节日，该节日对教师而言意 义甚重，不但给予教师肯定， 也让他们更加有信心地继续教 育下一代，开发学生在各领域 的不同潜能。
让学子轻松道谢 虽然赞成庆祝教师节的想 法，但中文系大三生曾玮坦 承由于大家课表不一致，要 全校同庆节日并不容易。况且 大学人数多，办全校性节庆规 模大，耗时耗力也不方便。此 外，部分学生因为性格内向， 不习惯向师长表达谢意，觉得 向导师献上祝福有些别扭，而 打消念头。 因此笔者建议系学院不妨 办个小型的庆祝会，让学生一 同参与，借此对各教师表达谢 意，也能因此增进感情。 除了办庆祝会，简单的短信 或邮件祝福也是感谢教师的方 法之一，学生也可以联合写张
感谢卡送给教师。系学院可作 为学生代表，向教师送上文字 祝福或者礼物，代所有学生向 教师表达感谢。 除了以上较传统的感谢方 式，学生不妨发挥想象以及创 意，例如制作短片献给教师 等。就如曲景毅老师所言，无 论哪种表达方式都会让教师感 到欣慰以及欢喜。 曾玮同学也强调学生平时的 表现以及对待教师的态度比一 天的节庆更加重要。笔者建议
学生不妨延续中小学时期的习 惯，遇见教师可以打声招呼， 别让师生关系仅限于功课上的 交谈。
感谢教师 饮水思源 笔者认为，无论是全职教师 教授还是助教，他们都是教育 工作者。他们教导学生知识与 经验并非理所当然。 导师无私地付出了时间与精 神，只为装备好学生去面对未 来充满挑战的社会，让学生各
自的才能发挥得淋漓尽致。所 以无论我们知识多渊博，一定 得饮水思源。 当然，向导师表达感谢的方 式可以多种多样。 曲景毅老师表示，他不建 议赠送礼物，而且也不勉强学 生，就如老师也同样尊重学生 们表达自我的权利。不管全校 性庆祝教师节成功与否，学生 都应当自动自发向导师献上祝 福与感谢。 教师节感恩，心意最重要。
京荣获2020年夏季 奥运主办权，但因 日本过去20年遭受经济泡 沫化、强烈地震海啸、福 岛核泄漏以及政治问题， 而且至今仍未解决，让许 多人仍不看好东京能够成 功举办奥运会。 但笔者觉得日本人有 能力保持着坚韧不拔的态 度认真筹备国际赛事，因 此对于七年之后的运动会 保持乐观态度，甚至期待 东京将会给世界带来什么 样的惊喜。
为经济注入强心针 与1964年相比，当时 首获奥运会举办权的日 本，经济正处于巅峰时 期。那一届奥运会向世界
展现了日本雄厚的经济实 力，而现在的日本经济与 五十年前相比，势头则大 不如前。 笔者认为日本成功获 得第32届奥运会举办权将 为国家低迷的经济注入了 一剂最有力的强心针。 新上任的日本首相安 倍晋三在竞选时就已经表 示，日本将投资至少45亿 美元在奥运会的各项筹备 工作上接下来的7年筹备 过程预计会给日本带来15 万个就业机会，服务、建 筑、金融保险和旅游等行 业都将从中获益。 这项发展有望能提高 日本民众对安倍政府的支 持，有助于现任政府推动 他们的经济政策，并且缓 解日本国内民众对政府的 不满。
这一设计把日本重建 灾区的信心展现在全世界 面前，为日本政府的正面 形象加分，与此同时，也 会振奋在地震海啸灾民重 建家园的决心。
国际社会也更有可能 重拾对日本经济的信心， 提供日本一个推动经济的 绝佳时机。 夏季奥运会可说是国 际上最受瞩目的体坛盛 事，东京能够在经历311 地震和海啸的创伤之后二 度申办奥运足以显示国际
社会对主办方能力的信任 和肯定。日本官员在这次 的竞标过程中就将其形容 为“还在持续从海啸和地 震中恢复的日本的一个新 篇章”。 主办方表示他们计划 把海啸灾害地区纳入境内 奥运会火炬的传递路线。
日本人有能力保持 着坚韧不拔的态度 认真筹备国际赛 事，笔者期待东京 将会给世界带来什 么样的惊喜。 需重视核泄露问题 然而，福岛核泄漏问 题还是日本政府的一颗烫 手山芋。如果他们期望通 过筹办这届奥运会来提高 日本在国际社会中的口碑
和地位，当务之急就是要 把辐射影响降到最低。 日本东京电力公司多 日前被发现把受核辐射污 染的污水排入大海里，因 而受到国际社会舆论的严 重谴责。 因此日本政府与东电 应该更加透明化，据实以 报辐射污染的严重程度， 好让专家学者们更能掌握 数据，并给予协助，而不 是一味的掩盖事实。 日本这个国家向来被 全世界看做是一个非常坚 韧和敢于创新的民族。 能够成为亚洲首个举 办两届奥运会的城市，相 信其政府能准确而恰当地 把握住这次机遇，在重重 压力下，让国民对其重拾 信心，并让国际社会对其 刮目相看。
CHRONICLE 03 娱乐 乐评 音乐Jukebox
专辑：《COUP D’ETAT》（韩） 歌手：G-Dragon 推荐：《I Love It》《Window》 《Crooked》
别狮城舞台四年之久的台湾乐团 旺福，带着新专辑《旺得福》强 势归来，誓将快乐延续到底。他们于9 月11日在SWITCH音乐餐厅举行新加坡 站唯一一场的巡回音乐会，现场惊喜不 断，气氛高昂。
难忘的狮城趣事 这是旺福第二次来狮城开唱，谈起 上次的经历，女主唱兼吉他手玛靡兴奋 地跟大家分享当时三人捉弄鼓手肚皮的 经过：“由于人有三急，肚皮在中场时 大喊要去洗手间，而其他成员都（故 意）躲了起来。当他发现台上一个人也 没有的时候，表情甚是尴尬。”引发全
场大笑。 谈起在新加坡最难忘的食物时，他们 不约而同地说是小印度的酪浆。主唱小 民生动地形容那次经历就像看到阎王， 基于礼貌被迫大口喝下酪浆，味道实在 难以形容，难以下咽，却又不舍得把它 丢掉。最后，他便带回去和其他工作人 员“分享”，所以每当他们想起新加坡 时，就会想起那一杯让他们苦不堪言的 酪浆。
大家一起跳“鹅”舞 虽然四人身处舞台的一角，却但不忘 与粉丝们互动。一开场，小民一句“大 家将羞耻之心抛开，一起大声唱歌 ”让 现场气氛沸腾。 在演唱《很多鹅》的时候，三位成员 邀请肚皮为大家献舞。腼腆的肚皮在小
民的怂恿下，邀请全场观众一起跳舞。 全场的观众随着音乐，以生硬的姿势模 仿台上四人的动作—扭扭腰、摆摆手、 学鹅走。一曲结束后，旺福成员们大 喊“好满足”。
浓情蜜意道幸福 当他们将演唱《爱你一兆年》之际， 玛靡调侃起小民和Twiggy，道出这对情 侣私下的温馨甜蜜，而场下的观众也立 即起哄，直喊“亲一个”。虽然两人没 有顺应大众的要求，但最后小民轻轻 地拦了一下Twiggy的腰。作为《爱你一 兆年》演唱者的两人在歌唱期间深情对 望，幸福之情表露无遗。 音乐会步入尾声之前，小民还不忘展 现他高超的吉他技术，即兴地弹奏一小 段，为整场音乐会划上了完美的句点。
时身兼歌手、词曲创作者 以及制作人的音乐全才 G-Dragon（GD）发行最新迷你专 辑《COUP D’ETAT》，想要透过 这张专辑给大家带来了新的听觉体 验，无奈这张专辑却与过去的作品 相似，并没有让人感觉到他在音色 上有任何突破。 依然秉持鲜明个人风格的GD， 这次找来众多国外知名音乐人合 作，其中与Zion.T和Boys Noize合唱 的《I Love It》混合R&B、电子乐和 disco曲风。虽然融合了多种元素， 但曲风节奏轻快、异常和谐，足见 GD愿意尝试不同创作的野心。 GD过去在韩国团体Big Bang里总 是以复杂的饶舌技巧引人注目，不 过在《Window》中，他用了歌唱技 巧呈现出了歌曲中空洞的音效。以 这种方式诠释曲调复古的歌曲，仿 佛让听众窥探他内心中的忧郁。 这张专辑展示了G-Dragon努力创 作的成果，他依然可以游刃有余地 驾驭多种曲风，然而无奈跟他过去 发行作品的风格类似，可称为一张 很安全、缺乏惊喜的专辑。 （文／洪媛）
frankly, my dear
A MAN OF SECOND CHANCES SIX weeks into term time — from now on, the stress will only climb incrementally. In no time, you will be moving from term papers and assignments into examination halls. This issue, the Chronicle’s News desk sought out student sentiment towards stress. And as a follow-up to that ar ticle, our Opinions desk brought your concerns of tight dead lines and suffocating competition (just think of the bell curve) to NTU President Bertil Andersson for a chat. Over tea, we discussed his aspirations for the school and what the recent 2 01 3 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World Un iver sit y ran k ing entailed for us. The chat revealed some interesting details. We hope you are as relieved as we are to hear that he is consider ing giv ing second chances to students. But let’s not take it too far — Professor Andersson was quick to add: “Maybe not a third or fourth chance.” We find second chances ever relevant since we always hear of horror stories of how some core or compulsory modules are perennial “GPA killers”. To u s , second c ha nces can be interpreted as making all General-Electives passfail subjects (unfun fact: art
students have to complete at least three science electives, and v ice ver sa) or giv ing students better S/U options. N US’s s y s te m , on t he other hand, allows students to know their final grades before making their S/U choices. This at least allows students to pick the subjects whose grades they already know, rather than make a blind pick in the dark. Since it is unclear how “second chances” can be meted out at this point, this is your chance to help the President make the university system more forgiving for you and your friends. In fact, your suggestion may even give Prof Andersson’s additional leverage to raise the university rankings by a few notches. Ye s , a p p a r e n t l y P r o f Andersson’s appetite is in no way satisfied just yet, even as NTU takes 41st place among all international universities after rapidly rising up the ranks, in the three years he held office. If you have an idea on how second chances can be i n st it ut iona l i sed i n N T U, send in your suggestions to email@example.com or drop us a message on our Facebook page. You m ig ht e ve n get a chance to be featured on our “Letters to the Editor” column.
CHRONICLE chief editor Wong Pei Ting
opinionS editor Andrew Toh
Managing editor Wan Zhong Hao
Chinese editors Hong Yuan Liu Ting Ting
sub-editors Alfred Chua Eunice Toh Fiona Lam Han Hui Jing Lim Yufan Steffi Koh Tiffany Goh DIGITAL EDITOR Benjamin Lim COMMUNITY EDITOR Matthew Ng News editors Cynthia Choo Isaac Tan
sports editors David Lam Nazri Eddy Razali photo editors Lim Mu Yao Yeo Kai Wen VIDEO PRODUCERS Miranda Yeo Sim Yu Ling INFOGRAPHIC EDITOR Jonathan Chan
The evolution of musical soul Charmaine Ng
he next time your favourite singer changes their music style, don’t reject the idea just yet. Who knows, you might be pleasantly surprised — at least I was. Many remember Norah Jones for her breakthrough single Don’t Know Why, and understandably, most expect the 34-year-old singer to perform the song at concerts. More than 10 years later, Jones performed her signature tune at The Star Theatre earlier this year. It was nice knowing that the Norah Jones I fell in love with, and her jazz vocals and piano accompaniments, still existed somewhere, even if it wasn’t apparent in her recent music. Perhaps it’s commercial pressure, or a genuine desire to shake up her style, but Jones is no longer the jazzy songstress. Instead, her latest album Little Broken Hearts reflects indie-pop and alternative music influences, which is a bold step away from her debut jazz album Come Away With Me. Then there’s John Mayer, who switches up his musical style every two albums. It started out with pop to blues, and then blues to Americana. (If my theory is true,
I wonder what’s coming for his next album.) Artists are constantly evolving and trying out new genres of music, and although some attempts might fall flat or come across as pretentious, some risky experimentations might be well worth it.
Although some attempts might fall flat or come across as pretentious, some risky experimentations might be well worth it. In fact, international artists like Katy Perry, Lana del Rey and Lady Gaga hit the jackpot only after making significant genre crossovers. Granted, they had nothing to lose when they had yet to become famous, but it was the willingness to tread new ground that helped them attain mass appeal.
I’ll admit — when Mayer’s first country-inspired album Born And Raised was released last year, it took me some time to get used to his new sound. It was only after a few listens that I realised the songwriter in Mayer had not vanished into oblivion. It just wasn’t about the heavily distorted guitar solos anymore (see Slow Dancing In A Burning Room), but the element of sincerity from uncomplicated melodies and lyrics. Similarly, I could still find merit in Jones’s Little Broken Hearts. The jazz pianist’s subtle pitch inf lections were still inherent among the gritty drum beats, and the album’s distorted guitar sounds were a refreshing backdrop for her vocals — a nice change from familiar sounds of the acoustic piano. But the biggest irony was how my favourite singers — people I had decided to follow based on my personal preference — were influencing my taste in music. I’ve never been a fan of country-folk or alternative music, but genre crossovers by Mayer and Jones introduced me to new genres I probably wouldn’t have explored on my own.
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22-23 OPINIONS conversations with... The Nanyang Chronicle kickstarts our new column “Conversations with...” where we feature prominent members of NTU and get them to share the very worldviews that make them brilliant. In our debut column, Opinions Editor Andrew Toh sits down with NTU President Bertil Andersson right after NTU’s rise to 7th place in Asia in the latest university rankings.
row i ng up on a fa r m in his small hometown of Fi n spa ng, 20 0k m south of Stock holm, Professor A ndersson has cer tainly come a long way f rom h is hu mble beginnings. While studying at Lu nd Un iver sit y a nd Umea Universit y, the self-professed ‘black sheep’ of the family was often chided by his parents and relatives for being the only one in t he fam i ly t hat went into academia. W her ea s e ver yone went straight into the workforce to f ind a stable job af ter graduating, he stayed in school to f ur ther his studies and go into research. B u t P r of A nd e r s s on s u rprised ever yone when he star ted ga i n i ng i nter nat iona l acc la i m for h i s work on pla nt biochemistr y. “ T h at w a s t he f i r s t t i me my father realised that maybe I’ve done somet h ing for myself – when I star ted appearing on CN N, BBC and Swedish te le v i sion , a nd whe n I gave the speech for the Nobel Prize winners,” he said. “O t h e r w i s e h e t h ou g h t I should have come and work on the family far m with him,” he added. Dur ing his ter m in off ice at NT U, the Swede, who continues to hold academic appointments as Professor of Biochemistr y at L i n kopi ng Un iver sit y a nd A d j u n c t P r of e s s o r a t U m e a University, presides over NTU’s new medical school as well as an upcoming learning hub that will be completed in 2014. T he 6 4 -yea r- old ha s a l so overseen the rise of NTU as one of the fastest-growing universities in the world. Under his watch, the universit y rose from 58th when he took off ice in 2011, to 41st in the 2013 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World Universit y ranking released earlier this month. N T U has also seen sterling results on the rankings for the fa s te s t-g r ow i ng u n i ve r sit ie s in the world under 50-yearsold. The universit y’s meteoric r ise in the under-50 rankings ha s on ly be e n s u r pa s se d by
the Hong Kong Universit y of Science and Technolog y. He predicts that within the next t wo years, N T U will take the lead in the rankings for the top universities in t he world under 50. He li kens t he ran k ings to c l i mbi ng a s t a i r ca s e , whe r e “ t h e h i g h e r u p you go , t h e bigger t he stair s are”, where bigger stairs refer to the larger competition N T U will face as it continues rising up the char ts.
“I’m going to make NTU old. Because if you look at the universities that are in the top 20, they are over a hundred years old.”
Age, Prof A ndersson said, will be a major factor in drivi n g N T U ’s r a n k i n g u p t h e char ts. He pointed out that all universities in the top 20 are over a hundred years old, and estimated that N T U will likely see it se lf r i se to t he top 30 within the next few years. P r of A nde r s s on s t i l l h a s other plans in store for N T U. Environmental sustainabilit y is a big item on his plate. Prof Andersson hinted at plans to star t a new school in this f ield of study, though the details are still being drawn up. The focus of this project, he said, will be on creating sustainable cities that can house the projected 70 per cent of the world’s population who will be dwelling in urban areas come 2050. This is an area where people f r om a l l i ndu s t r ie s s uc h a s engineers, scientists, doctors and social scientists can play a par t in, he said. Prof A ndersson also spoke of t he 32 ,5 0 0 N T U st ude nt s under his charge. He e ncou r age s st ude nt s to s p e a k u p m or e i n c l a s s , and have the courage to give
“One must also give some credit to the Singapore government which has put a lot of money into academia.” constr uctive criticism to their professors, though he draws the line at personal attacks and remarks not relevant to the class. Si ngapor ea n st ude nt s , he said, tend to be “home-blind”, where students fail to appreciate the good things they have and instead only focus on the bad.
He raised the examples of Europe and the United States, where universit y education has been r iddled with issues such as rising tuition fees and poor employment rate af ter graduation. “Many things are ver y good here in Singapore. I don’t say it’s perfect, but a lot of things a r e good compa r e d to ot he r places,” he said. NTU is now ranked 41 st in the 2013 QS World University Rankings. How can we im prove our rankings over the next few years? I t h in k we have a lready improved a lot. Of all the universities in the world, in the top 100, we have moved the fastest. I ’m goi ng to ma ke N T U old. Because if you look at the
universities that are in the top 20, t hey a re over a hu nd red years old. N US i s ov e r a 10 0 yea r s old. N T U is 22 years old. There are 20,000 universities in the wor ld . S o we a r e 41 ou t of 20,000. That’s not too bad. But I think simply by continuing what we’re doing now, and with the speed at which we are progressing, we will make the top 40 in the coming years. We just have to continue to be ver y focused on what we are doing now, and keep at it. How do you think NTU has managed to move up the rankings so fast? We have just introduced some of the best international practices at N T U – when it comes to promotion, tenure, education
king U old
practices. It was basically a big univer sit y main ly educat ing engineers. We have a lso, in t he last three to four years, developed a ver y winning model where we both reform education and improve our research. In many areas we have more grants than N US today although we are a newcomer. A nd we a re a lso ver y st r ic t in the promotions and tenure. One must also give some credit to the Singapore government which has put a lot of money into academia. We’re facing stif f competi tion from NUS and SMU. How can we distinguish ourselves from them? We’r e a r apid l y de v e lopi n g u n i v e r s i t y. N U S i s r a n k e d higher than us but they’re not moving. They are more of defending their title. But we are a fast moving universit y. We are the challenger that bites. We are also ver y strong in tech nolog y, but I wou ld say te c h nolog y i nte r f ac e d w it h ot he r d i sc ipl i ne s — t he sc iences, ar ts and t he humanities. And now we also have the interface bet ween technolog y and medicine. So I would also call NT U an i nterd iscipli na r y u n iver sit y, where we cross d iscipli na r y borders. We t r y to avoid be i ng a si lent univer sit y. I want t he c om mu n ic at ion s t ude nt s to interact with medical students and engineering students, and have intellectual debate across the disciplines. How do you create that space for them to interact?
GRAPHIC: CELESTE TAN
“I want the communication students to interact with medical students and engineering students, and have intellectual debate across the disciplines.” a nd r e s ea r c h , col labor at ion w i t h s o c ie t y, c ol l a b or at ion with industr y and student life. If you look at the histor y of N T U, it d id not work according to best international
We’ ve be e n t r y i ng to bu i ld mor e cof fe e plac e s , t he i nter nat iona l lou nge a nd a l so the learning hub. I think the professors also have to take a lead and stimulate interaction. M a n y t i me s , pr ofe s s or s a r e also a little silent. That’s ver y impor tant too. Because I don’t think the world of tomor row will be for silent people.
it’s a lso hav ing a par ticu lar state of mind. A nd s t ude nt s shou ld s e e t hem selves a s bei ng able to do something, and not being passive.
“In life, you should have a second chance. And in studies, you should also have a second chance.”
We recently star ted of f er ing free online courses. How do you think online courses compare to classroom-based courses? I believe online courses have big potent ia l becau se you can get the basic facts online yourself, and then you can use the t utor ials to discuss with your fellow students and the teacher. So t hen you a re at t he f ront l i ne of t he i nte l lec t ua l interaction for that. You don’t waste time sitting in the lecture hall being a consumer. So it’s going to be more active, problem-based learning. As universit y students, you also want to be here in t his universit y environment interacting with all your fr iends. That is what it means to be a tr ue universit y. You grew up on a farm while in your childhood. How has this affected the way you run the school? If you grew up on a farm, you are connected to realit y. I connected to realit y by working in the forest among the trees, and in the f ields with the animals; we ate the f ish that my father caught for d inner. T he fa r m was a ver y good school for me, apar t from the Swedish school I went to.
Are there any changes that you would like to see in our school?
Would you say education now is more stressful compared to your time?
I t h i n k we need to ta ke research and education hand in hand. The frontline of teachi ng i s not big lec t u res w it h someone standing in front and the students being consumers of lect u res. T he f ront line of teaching, of learning, is more active than that. There are always going to be some signature lectures, in wh ic h ve r y good profe s sor s out l i ne t he broader pic t u r e. But you also need to have the lec t u r es ava i lable on l i ne so you ca n st udy t hat on you r computer when you feel like it. And then you have tutorials where you discuss. I a lso wou ld li ke to have more entrepreneurial students. Being entrepreneur ial doesn’t on ly mea n hav i ng a cou r se i n e nt r e pr e ne u r sh ip,
It was quite stressf ul at that time as well, par ticularly for me as I didn’t come from an acade m ic e nv i r on me nt . I ’ve had to study ver y hard. W hat I think is the difference bet ween Singapore and Sweden is that in Sweden, it’s a mor e forg iv i ng s ystem: i f you fail, you can repeat your exams several times. This is something I’m discussing with the management now, and with the board, that we should introduce in N T U, wher e e ver yone shou ld at least have a second chance. In life, you should have a second chance. A nd in st ud ies, you s h o u l d a l s o h a v e a s e c on d chance. A nd maybe if we give second chances, we will increase our ranking to the top 10.
canteen talk Do you think Singaporeans are ready for a Caucasian Miss Singapore, following the crowning of the first Indian Miss America?
Why do naturalborn Singaporeans always get the title? It’s time to let the other races try as well. Xu Baochang, 27, SPMS, Ph.D
There’s a lot of backlash against foreigners nowadays. So there will be a small subset who will be unhappy about it. Daniel Keng, 22, WKWSCI, Yr 2
It shouldn’t be a problem because people don’t really care as long as you’re Singaporean. Irna Nasrina, 20, NBS, Yr 2
When you think of Singapore, you normally think of Chinese, Indians or Malays. So I don’t think people will agree to it. Sumit Bhowmick, 20, EEE, Yr 2
If she’s Caucasian, people will still complain even if she’s a thirdgeneration Singaporean. Kimberly Francisco, 22, HSS, Yr 2
PHOTOS: ERVIN SEAH
The case for lab-grown patties Lavisha S. Punjabi
H E world’s f irst lab-cultured beef patt y, undeniably the most exorbitant, passed its f irst live taste test last month. From the outset, the patt y, costing $427,000 to produce, r u n s t h e r i s k of a p p e a r i n g f r ivolou s f rom t he lay ma n’s perspective. Some might choose to associate this project with previous research studies like the 2011 study to deter mine what goes into making the perfect piece of toast. But t h i s proje c t doe s not belong in the categor y of silly scientif ic pursuits for t wo reasons. First, it has the potential to revolutionise meat production, aga i n st t he bac kd rop of t he wor ld’s g r ow i n g u n s u s t a i nabilit y in food consumption. It goes beyond being a mere addition to our food choices. Cultured meat may just be t he pa nacea for g loba l food secur it y problems when meat produc t ion le ve l s i ne v itably
become unsustainable due to soaring population numbers. T he research team behind the beef patt y claimed that a single cow can yield 175 mill ion lab-g row n beef pat t ie s , wh i le a whoppi ng 4 4 0,0 0 0 cows are needed for the same number of conventional beef patties. Meat production is becoming unsustainable due to an escalating demand outstripping modest increases in production eff iciency. And with the global demand for meat expected to double by 2050, the supply-demand balance will be f ur ther skewed. Moreover, vast amounts of grain and water are needed to feed livestock that also require large areas of land to rear. L ivestoc k a lso produces met ha ne, a powe r f u l g r e e nhou se gas, accou nt i ng for 28 per cent of g loba l met ha ne e m i s s ion s , s a id t h e US Env i ron menta l Protec t ion Agency. To say that the Earth’s natu-
GRAPHIC: MUHAMMAD SABRI
ral resources are over whelmed would be an understatement. S e c ond , it i s i r on ic t h at some people a re not able to digest new ideas such as consuming lab-cu lt ured food easily. While many may be thrilled about research on using stem ce l ls for i n-v it ro c u lt u r e of orga ns for t ra nspla nt s, t hey may be repulsed by t he idea of e at i n g b e e f g r ow n f r om stem cells. But lab-grown meat may in fact be t he hea lt h ier option. Because it is engineered, its constituents can be controlled and manipulated for our benef it.
For e xa mple, sat u rated fatt y acids in normal meat can be replaced with omega-3-fatty acids that reduce inf lammation and the r isk of cardiovascular disease. But befor e c u lt u r ed meat can gain societ y’s acceptance, it has to f irst be popular ised. Patties that require close to half a million dollars and three months to produce are but an indulgence for the f ilthy r ich. Investment and f ur ther research are needed to improve t h i s process so a s to d r amatically reduce the costs and boost its eff iciency with more a d v a n c e d t e c h n o lo g y. T h i s was the case for f ull genome
sequencing. A r e por t by t he Nat iona l I n st it ute of Hea lt h’s genome research lab showed t hat t he cost of genome sequencing has plunged by as much as 90 per cent within several years of the technolog y’s inception. Full genome mapping cost a r ou nd $1 m i l whe n it f i r s t came out in 2007. Right now, a t y pical sequencing procedure wou ld b e a r ou n d $1, 0 0 0 to $4,000. S om e s c i e n t i s t s a r e pr e dicting that costs could drop f u r t her to t he low hund reds, allowing ever yone interested to know more about their genetic code access to the technolog y. T his trend look s set to be r e p e at e d i n t h e r e s e a r c h of cultured meat as well. Ty p i c a l l y, t h e i m p a c t of a mbit iou s scient if ic pu r su it s tends to be better appreciated over lifet imes, w it h f ut u re work enr iching the meaning of that f inding. W ho knows, this beef patt y br ea k t h roug h m ig ht ju st r eceive worldwide acceptance in the f uture. The lead scientist behind the project, Professor Mark Post, has already expressed his belief that the patt y is the beginning of a food revolution which will see cultured meat being available in supermarkets one to two decades from now. A nd perhaps on our dinner menus shor tly af ter that.
louder than words: warped beauty Celeste Tan Art Editor
26 SPORTS they said that?
Making a roaring debut G
“It’s something I’m probably going to be known for, even though they’ve got no evidence to back any of it up.”
uided by cheerleaders from the NTU Aces, and dancing to the beat of a percussion band, Lyon the Lion finally made his home debut on 13 Sep when NTU hosted the Singapore University Games (SUniG). The school mascot, unveiled last month, made his rounds clad in just an NTU T-shirt while waving to supporters and even posing for photos with NTU athletes. Lyon, whose mane features the university’s colours of red and blue, was designed by final-year student Chia Yan An from the School of Computer Engineering. Chia’s design trumped more than 80 entries during the NTU mascot design competition that was held last semester. Lyon’s debut was slated for 13 Sep, when NTU hosted the most number of SUniG games, said Mr Chia Chin Yeh, assistant manager of the Sports and Recreation Centre. NT U hosted volleyball and handball for men and women, men’s football, touch football and tennis that day. Having a mascot may help to attract the interest of NTU students for SUniG and other future sporting
events the university participates in, said Mr Chia. NTU President Bertil Andersson was also in attendance to watch the men’s football match against NUS. “Since Lyon’s unveiling, our ranking has gone up to 41st in the world. So you see what a mascot can do,” Professor Andersson said jokingly.
“...NTU’s performance in SUniG will get better with the mascot, and it will lift school spirit.” Cheng Kai Ting Volleyball player Nanyang Technological University
While it remains to be seen whether Lyon can strike fear in the hearts of NTU’s sports rivals, he has already made strides to endear himself to NTU athletes. “His head is very big, he looks very adorable and he even comes with his own band,” said Cheng Kai Ting, 21, a second-year student from the School of Humanities and
Crowd Favourite: NTU supporters gather around Lyon, the NTU mascot that made its debut on 13 Sep. PHOTO: TAN XIU QI
Social Sciences. “I think NTU’s performance in SUniG will get better with the mascot, and it will lift school spirit,” added Cheng, who plays volleyball for NTU. Meanwhile, other students such as volleyball player Benny Lau, 24, thought having the mascot at outdoor games would boost the morale of the players, but it might not be good for indoor matches. “The drums are distracting
for indoor games like volleyball, as the the sport requires lots of communication,” said the thirdyear student from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. While Lyon will be appearing only at home games for now, it remains to be seen if his presence would have a positive impact this SUniG season as NTU attempts to break NUS’s stranglehold on the title of SUniG overall champion.
Australian rugby league player Anthony Watts, after being handed an eight-match ban for allegedly biting an opponent’s penis during a game.
From flops to tops
“I like to race. That’s the only reason why I’m here, it doesn’t matter which team it is.”
Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen, when asked why he did not leave Lotus earlier despite claiming he was not getting paid. He has since left Lotus for Ferrari, citing disputes over money.
“I don’t think Miami will get out of the East this year.” Five-time NBA champion and NBA analyst Steve Kerr, on back-to-back reigning NBA champions Miami Heat.
I-NIL. 1-nil. 1-nil. Three goals by Daniel Sturridge make it three wins for Liverpool. With another goal in Liverpool’s 2-2 draw against Swansea, the striker was crucial to Liverpool’s unbeaten r un in t he Premier League, placing them at the top of the league table four games in. But it was a different story for the Premier League’s Player of the Month for August two years ago. Labelled by many Blues supporters as a “Chelsea reject”, the 24-yearold was never able to cement a starting position at Chelsea. Were Chelsea wrong to sell Sturridge? Perhaps. They have yet to get the best out of their current stable of strikers. If Sturridge had stayed, could he have been the answer to Chelsea’s problems? Again, perhaps. Indeed, there will always be ‘what ifs’ in every transfer. Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino lamented the sale of Sturridge, given the latter’s recent form. Cascarino thought that Chelsea should have played Sturridge more often in his favourite position, — the central role — rather than wasting his talent on the wing. Similarly, Glen Johnson was
deemed not good enough for Chelsea six years ago. He made his way to Portsmouth before leaving for Anfield in 2009. The 29-year-old now has a regular spot as right back for both Liverpool and England.
Hit or miss
But Liverpool was not always lucky with their transfers. The sale of Tom Ince to Blackpool still causes grief among the fans. When he left the club, his transfer did not even make headlines. Today, the Football League You ng Player of t he Yea r i s constantly linked to the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham, Everton and even Liverpool as a potential bigmoney signing. Yet, there have also been many others that graced the Premier League but failed to make an impact. Only few have proven doubters wrong and made a name for themselves elsewhere. T h e r e i g n i n g c h a m pion s Manchester United have lost their fair share of talent, with the latest being Paul Pogba who left for Juventus. Pogba said it was due to United manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s distrust in him that made him leave for first-team football after collecting only three league starts with United.
In Juvent us, he played 28 games in the 2012/2013 Serie A, and was instrumental in the club’s league title win that season. For mer Manchester United forward Diego Forlan also didn’t make the cut and was asked to leave the club. Unfortunately for the Devils, Forlan’s goal glut only started once he left them and he scored more than once every two games for Villareal in his first season. Likewise, Gerard Pique went on to be one of the best central defenders in the world, winning
the treble in his first season with Barcelona after being allowed to leave for a mere S$10 million. This included a Champions League final victory against his former club. Players like these may not have been given a chance to showcase their true capabilities on the field. It is thus usually only a matter of time before another club spots their talent. The challenge is then for clubs to appreciate and utilise the talent that they have at their disposal before it’s too late.
ROLLING GOOD TIMES: Daniel Sturridge is experiencing a rich vein of form at Liverpool after failing to make his mark at Chelsea. PHOTO: INTERNET
Bounce and smack Unconventional sports like trampolining and Bossaball are adding some bounce to Singaporeans' otherwise mundane exercise rountines. Chen Shusi finds out more about these activities that are gaining popularity.
Amped Trampoline Park 369 Tanjong Katong Road Level 2 S437126 www.ampedsingapore.com Prior booking required Tel: 8669 4894
ith more than 50 trampolines, walls lined with blue padded mats, parkour walls, and a foam pit, Amped Trampoline Park allows anyone to reach new heights, literally — all you have to do is jump. Trampolining has its appeal as a beginner-friendly activity that does not require prior experience or rigorous training. Founded by Canadian Shad Johns, 41, and Singaporean Jason Ong, 37, the trampoline park, opened in August, is the first of its
BOSSABALL www.bossaball.com.sg Tel: 6100 6292 COMBINE volleyball, gymnastics and sepak takraw on an inflatable court — and you get Bossaball. Derived from bossa nova, a Brazilian style of music, Bossaball encapsulates the Brazilian beach culture, where volleyball, soccer and capoeira (a Brazilian martial art that combines dance, acrobatics, and music) are commonly played to streams of music at the beach. Bossaball, invented in 2004, is played on an inflatable court resembling a volleyball court. The court is fitted with trampolines which help players spike the ball fast by gaining height. The ball used is lighter and slightly bigger than a volleyball. Invented in Spain by Filip Eyckmans, the five-a-side sport was brought to Singapore in 2007 by sports manager Mohamad
kind in Singapore. Priced from $9 to $15 per hour, depending on age and time slots, trampolining at Amped gets you sweating. According to a study conducted by NASA, a 10-minute session on the trampoline has health benefits equivalent to that of 30-minute runs. “Trampolining is a cardiovascular exercise that effectively strengthens the back, leg and core muscles,” said Mr Ong. Trampolining, unlike sports such as jogging or badminton, reduces strain on the knees while still working the muscles. Moreover, it can improve motor and balancing skills. But be careful — landing in an awkward position may result in a sprained arm or ankle. “It may be instinctive to stretch out your arms to break a fall, but that is the cause for most injuries. Keeping your hands to yourself and curling up your body when falling will minimise injuries,” said Mr Alan Zhang, 27, a gymnastics
Saifudin, 47. Thanks to Bossaball clinics by Mr Saifudin, the sport has gained popularity among Singaporeans. “The unstable platform makes the sport more challenging and
HOLY COW: The patty used in The Singapore Melts is made from grade 5 wagyu beef (which has the highest marbling), making the meat tender and juicy. PHOTOs: VALERIE LIM
NO child's play: The chance to bounce high and perform flips has made trampolining a fun way to burn calories.
PHOTO: FELIX CHEW
instructor and frequent user of the trampoline park. Mr Ong said many customers wake up with shoulder and back aches the day after their workout. “It can be an intense workout, depending on the individual,” he said. A first-timer at Amped, Ian Kwa, 17, felt trampolining was “a fun way of burning calories”. The Ngee Ann Polytechnic student said: “Jumping for an hour on the trampoline can be as intense as other sports like basketball.” Others, like 16-year-old Jeremy Er, found trampolining to be suit-
able for those who exercise alone. “Unlike most sports, trampolining doesn’t require a partner, so I can come here on my own,” said the Greendale Secondary School student. Apart from amateurs, Amped also sees its fair share of sports enthusiasts — gymnasts, cheerleaders and wakeboarders — practising their stunts. “It allows them to practise the control of their bodies in the air under a safe learning environment, rather than landing on the hard floor,” said Mr Ong. Mr Zhang, who owns gym-
nastics school Airstraordinary, is working on a trampoline exercise programme at the Amped. He frequently visits the park to teach his customers simple jumping moves, such as the “seat drop”, in which one transits from jumping on the feet to landing in a seating position on the trampoline. “It takes a lot of practice to gain muscle memory to do flips on the trampoline,” he said. But regardless of whether you are an amateur or a professional, Amped Trampoline Park welcomes all those looking to have a bouncing good time.
entails a greater control of body movements,” said Mr Saifudin. “Playing Bossaball is essentially a full-body exercise, as it requires the use of multiple body parts to hit the ball.”
In this sport, the player is only allowed to come into contact with the ball once with their hands or twice with the other parts of their body.
use when playing Bossaball,” said Muhammad Sholehin, 18, a student at ITE College Central. Despite contributing to the challenging gameplay, the bouncy platform allows players to fall without sustaining serious injuries they otherwise would on a regular hardcourt. While there are no permanent Bossaball courts in Singapore, public sessions are often held at schools such as Yuying Secondary School. In addition, Mr Saifudin holds yearly Bossaball clinics in schools to expose secondary and tertiary students to the sport. Ms Cheryl Koh, 26, a market data analyser and a first-timer at the sport, said: “Although we may not be able to play it well yet, Bossaball is a perfect excuse for one to hop on an inflatable court without getting judged.” The next public Bossaball session will be held on 28 Sep at Yuying Secondary School. An appointment is required. A one-hour session costs $18 for one person and $75 for a team of five.
"Playing Bossaball is essentially a full body exercise, as it requires the use of multiple body parts to hit the ball." Mohamad Saifudin Sports manager Bossaball enthusiast
GAIning elevation: A Bossaball player leaping higher with the aid of a trampoline to return the ball to his opponent. PHOTO: LIM MUYAO
Therefore, having prior experience in volleyball, football or sepak takraw would give players an advantage at the sport as they are better able to control the ball. “I used to play sepak takraw, but I‘ve recently switched to Bossaball as I find it more intense and exciting. Moreover, I can put the skills learnt in sepak takraw to
On a trampoline high — Page 27
getting physical with...
Not just for kicks Keeping up with a foreign language and sparring with an experienced opponent taught Jacqueline Lim that there's more to Shinkyokushin Karate than just kicks, blocks, and punches.
eacher and student alike greeted each other with a loud “Osu”, accompanied by a quick bow and the crossing of arms at the chest. Their politeness — including calling all seniors senpai — belied the ferocity of Shinkyokushin Karate — a full contact martial art originating from Japan. Senpai Arisu Nakamura, 39, explained the Japanese greeting as she helped me don my dogi — the two-piece karate training uniform — for my first experience with the sport.
More than a word
“O s u ” i s a J a p a n e s e w o r d t hat con notes endu r a nce, appreciation and respect — the t hree f undamental values in Shinkyokushin Karate. “Osu” is also a greeting, and a response to instructions in class. Sh i n k yok u sh i n K a r ate , a for m of h a nd-to -h a nd s e l fdefence, emphasises lower body conditioning and the honing of both mind and body. After donning the full set of dogi, I stepped onto the openair top storey of Kolam Ayer Community Centre, where mats were laid out neatly. The karateka — Japanese for practitioners of karate — were all punctual for the training. T he t r a i n i n g s t a r te d of f w it h t he recita l of t he Dojo Kun — training hall rules about discipline and focus. This was followed by warmup s a nd d r i l l s le d by c h ie f
instructor Patrick Teo, 49. Prior to the training, I had the impression that Shinkyokushin K a r ate wa s a l l ab out br ute strength and power. I could not have been more wrong. A s I pa r t ic ipate d i n t he warm-ups and drills, I realised that the movements required not on ly s t r e ng t h , but a l so flexibility, stability and most of all, discipline.
"My half-hearted strikes only drew mirth from the spectators, much to my embarrassment"
I n st r uc t ion du r i ng t he t r a i n i ng was i n Japa nese, making it a language that one will invariably pick up while learning the sport. Most of the karateka were Singaporean, but t hey cou ld speak basic Japanese. I was nervous about making mistakes that would make me stand out from the other karateka as I couldn’t understand t he Japa nese i n st r uc t ion s — my knowledge of the language was limited to the names of food. F o r t u n a t e l y, I m a n a g e d to avoid e m ba r r a s sme nt by
fistful of experience: Not just about brute force, Jacqueline also learns that the sport conditions both the mind and body.
Trading blows: Even though senpai Arisu (left) went easy with her during the sparring session, Jacqueline struggled with the idea of inflicting pain on somebody else. PHOTOs: NICOLE LIM
imitating the movements of the karateka around me. After the warm-ups, the next half of the training focused on kihon — the fundamentals of the martial art, which include an assortment of kicks, blocks, and punches. T he karateka lined up according to rank to perform their moves for the sensei — the title of address for instructors — by throwing kicks and punches at the target pads that the sensei wore on their arms. Then, the pads came off. I joined the karateka as they sat in a circle and were called out in pairs to the centre of the circle. I learnt from the senpai that we were going to engage in kimite — Japanese for sparring — in preparation for their inaugural inter-organisational tournament in November. As Shinkyokushin Karate is a
full-contact sport, fighters do not wear body protection. But strikes to the groin, hand contact with the face, grabbing of the dogi, and attacking from the back are prohibited. Nonetheless, the minute-long kimite looked intense to say the least — the face and head were still legitimate targets for kicks and knee strikes.
Stepping into the fire
When it was finally my turn to engage in a kimite against senpai Arisu, she went easy on me — in fact, she encouraged me to try punching and kicking her, much to my horror. I c o u l d n’ t g e t o v e r m y reser vations about inf licting pain on someone. My half-hearted strikes only drew mirth from the spectators, much to my embarrassment. To e nd t he t r a i n i ng , t he
se npai spec ia l ly a r r a nged a demonstration for my viewing. It began wit h M r Kang yo Nod a , 36 , a Budd h i s t mon k from Japan on a mission trip to Singapore, demonstrating the breaking of four 2-inch thick granite tiles with his bare arms. Before I could get over my shock at the feat, another eyeopener followed — the breaking of a baseball bat. S e n p a i F r a nc i s Ta n , 4 0 , effortlessly performed a midwaist kick, and the baseball bat split into two parts with a crack. Did I mention he had only been training for five years? Senpai Arisu told me that their strength was due not to any otherworldly training or skill, but to constant body conditioning and endurance that is inculcated during every training session. After all, they didn't get into the sport just for kicks.