ACTION, ISTANBUL A Singaporean Student’s Journey into the Heart of Turkey
10 07.04.14 ISSN NO. 0218-7310
LIFESTYLE | 6-7
New Hall Allocations
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Interview with National Shooter Shan Khoo
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The Brieﬁng Room:
Our editors’ pick of interesting news stories from around the world
Gotta catch ’em all
At least six dead in quake
IN THE spirit of April Fools’ Day, Google Maps announced in a YouTube video, uploaded on 31 Mar, that it was opening a new job position called Pokémon Master. Those vying for the job had to catch all 150 Pokémon by launching the Google Maps mobile application and clicking on little Pokémon figures hidden all over the globe. However, a disclaimer in the video states that “the role of Pokémon Master is not yet available”, and it recommends viewers to visit Google’s jobs page instead.
AN EARTHQUAKE of 8.2 magnitude struck off northern Chile on 2 Apr, killing at least six and triggering a tsunami alert. A state of emergency has been declared in affected areas, where tens of thousands of people were evacuated to higher ground. Power cuts, fires and landslides were reported, with waves of up to 2.1 metres hitting areas like the port city of Iquique. Experts attributed the low death toll to the area’s structurally-sound buildings and the preparedness of millions of Chileans.
Gifts for Jubilee newborns
Microsoft introduces Cortana for Windows Phones
Soldier goes on shooting rampage in army base
MICROSOFT unveiled Cortana, a virtual assistant for the Windows Phone handsets, at its annual Build Conference on 2 Apr. The voice-controlled app uses both the firm’s search engine Bing, and data already stored on the handsets to set up alarms, shift calendar appointments, recommend restaurants, and more. Steve Young, Professor of Information Engineering at the University of Cambridge, said that he expects Cortana to be able to understand more words than Apple’s Siri and Google Now. It will first be made available in the United States, followed by the United Kingdom and China, and finally other markets around the world as part of a wider operating system software update for Windows Phones. IN LINE with Singapore’s 50th birthday, each baby born next year will receive a celebratory Jubilee Baby Gift — something that is of symbolic significance and does not involve money. The public can offer suggestions about what the package should include at feedback booths across the island. The first booth was located at Jurong Point from 5 to 6 Apr, and the second booth will be at VivoCity from 12 to 13 Apr.
A US ARMY Specialist Ivan Lopez, 34, shot dead three colleagues and injured 16 others before killing himself on 3 Apr at a US army base in Fort Hood, Texas. Authorities have yet to determine what prompted the shooting spree, but revealed that the gunman had served in Iraq for four months. Lopez was also undergoing treatment for mental issues at the time of the incident. The same base saw a similar incident in 2009, when Major Nidal Hasan, 43, killed 13 soldiers and wounded 32 others. He was sentenced to death last year, but is still awaiting execution while his case is being reviewed by appellate courts.
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The Nanyang Chronicle ties up with Ace Travel Insurance Singapore to offer discounted plans for NTU students.
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With the exams around the corner, finding a good study spot is of the essence. News Writer Ashley Tay shows you five top study places on campus so that you can effectively prepare for that final battle.
University life is as much about studying as it is about meeting new people. Follow News Writer Ashley Tay as she uncovers the eight types of students commonly seen on campus. Find out how to spot them and determine which type you are. Find us at www.nanyangchronicle.ntu.edu.sg
Arsene Wenger marked his 1000th game as manager of Arsenal with a 6-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Sports Writer Joshua Tang picks out some of the highlights and disappointments of Le Professeur’s 17 seasons in charge. Reviews Writer Saranya Mahendran tells you how futuristic dystopian movie Divergent falls short of its novel of the same name, by quickly losing the momentum built up at the start of the film.
Tahpre is giving away one set of beauty products worth $187.60. The contest will run from 7 Apr to 18 Apr. Winners will be notified via Facebook on 21 Apr. ‘Like’ us on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ChronNTU) for more information.
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More assistance for students with disabilities — Page 5
A cleaner and greener NTU New buildings on campus will incorporate features designed to make the university more environmentally-friendly
Two new buildings to be ready by next semester
ome 2015, the soccer field will not be the only thing at the Sports and Recreation Centre (SRC) that is ‘green’. Two of NTU’s upcoming developments will be the first in Singapore to adopt new productive technologies — sustainable building methods that increase productivity and are labour-efficient. The construction of a new twostorey sports complex at SRC will use cross-laminated timber harvested from sustainably managed forests that actively remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. “The floors, the first storey, the spor ts hall on the second storey and the roof will be made of timber," said Mr James Koh, Project Director of the Off ice of Development and Facilities Management (ODFM). The timber, made of multiple layers of criss-crossing wood for strength and stability, is used in lieu of concrete and steel. Its renewable nature means that it can be reused even after demolition. Compared to traditional construction materials, cross-laminated timber is an eco-friendly option as it produces less carbon emissions than concrete and steel. The sports complex will house up to 13 badminton courts, three basketball courts, three volleyball courts and one netball court, while its sports hall will be equipped with retractable seating that can accommodate up to 980 spectators.
New Halls of Residence Another project on campus, three new Halls of Residence at North Hill, will be the first local development to use prefabricated prefinished volumetric construction (PPVC) technology. This involves manufacturing whole apartment-sized units off-site, complete with internal finishes, before they are transported on-site to be assembled and installed. Residents living near the construction site will experience less noise and dust pollution as most of the construction takes place off-campus. The two projects are examples of the universit y leading the way on the sustainability front,
LIVING ON CAMPUS: The upcoming Crescent House and Pioneer House will house 1,250 residents when completed.
SUSTAINABLE LEARNING: The cone-shaped South Spine Learning Hub, designed by Heatherwick Studio, boasts of green features like energy efficient lighting and a rooftop garden. PHOTO: TAN XIU QI
said NTU’s Chief Housing and Auxiliary Services (HAS) Officer Jimmy Lee. “NTU is at the forefront of implementing these new measures. In fact, we are the first to use these methods,” he said. The university is aiming at an eco-friendly future by ensuring that all new developments adhere to the Building and Construction Authority’s (BCA) Green Mark Scheme, said Mr Chan Keng Luck, Principal Director (Facilities and Administration) of ODFM. “As a rule, all our new buildings must achieve the BCA Green Mark Platinum rating,” he said. The BCA Green Mark Platinum rating is the highest certification awarded to green buildings in Singapore.
Besides benefitting the environment, these new green technologies also make the construction of buildings more efficient. In light of NTU’s rapidly growing student population and the consequent increase in demand for on-campus accommodation, HAS has required the speeding up of hostel construction. This prompted ODFM to adopt the prefabricated construction technique, also known as prefab. Mr Siew Hoong Kit, Divisional Director of ODFM, said: “A hostel typically takes a minimum of 20 to 24 months to build. With PPVC, we’re looking at a time reduction of three to four months." Another bonus is that the steel structures in the prefabs can be recycled over time.
However, Mr Siew acknowledged t hat t he “increment in building costs” is one of the downsides of using prefabs. But he pointed out that these productive technologies may still be a better option in the long run, as manpower costs continue to increase steadily. Mr Siew added that they are being vigilant over the project because NTU is the first in Singapore to use such technologies. “We have to be cautious because we will be the first, so there may be some teething problems." "But with enough testing, I don’t think there will be any issues,” he said. Besides green buildings, students can also look forward tomore green spaces on campus.
A NEW learning complex with 55 tutorial rooms and two Halls of Residence will be ready for students by the next semester. Designed by renowned Japanese architect Toyo Ito, the two new hostels — Crescent House and Pioneer House at Nanyang Crescent — feature the concept of living in a tree. The two hostels come with a series of rainwater-sustained ponds interspersed among its six residential blocks. In contrast to the existing hostels, the new hostels will consist of predominantly single-occupancy rooms; with 860 single-occupancy rooms and 195 double-occupancy rooms. 45 per cent of the rooms in Crescent House and 75 per cent of the rooms in Pioneer House will be airconditioned. The residential cluster will contain a gymnasium, a food court and retail outlets. As for the South Spine Learning Hub, 55 state-ofthe-art tutorial rooms will be stacked together to form the eight-storey building, which also contains a lecture theatre and a library. A cafe and seven student activity pods located on the ground floor will provide students with study areas. Recreational spaces can be found on the roof, which will house a garden, planter terraces and a small stage for performances. Following in the footsteps of SRC’s main field, a new multipurpose field at Nanyang Drive will be laid with astroturf — a synthetic surface designed to look like natural grass. The field will be ready in May and can accommodate sports such as hockey, baseball and rugby. “We will draw multiple lines on the field to allow for different configurations. You can play hockey, baseball and rugby on it,” Mr Siew said. Nanyang Lake will also undergo a makeover that includes an extensive cleanup process. Mr Koh said: “A lot of the embankment is already eroding, so we are strengthening it. Then we’ll line up the embankment to form a new footpath.”
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New centre for disabled students pairments will be able to draw up to $25,000 for the same purpose. In addition, students can use the funds during their respective internships. They will be able to keep their assistive technological devices after they graduate. Seah looks forward to having the DSO at NTU as he feels that facilities and services for students with disabilities are still relatively inadequate on campus. For example, Lee Wee Nam Library is inaccessible to people in wheelchairs due to its huge staircases. Seah also has trouble using the handicap toilets as the doors are too heavy for him to open by himself.
The Ministry of Education will implement measures to ease the problems faced by students with disabilities in school Nicole Loh
or third-year Nanyang Business School student Daniel Seah, 24, day-to-day activities like eating at canteens, going to classes and taking toilet breaks require careful planning. Seah was born with brittle bone disease, which leaves him vulnerable to injuries as his bones fracture easily. His father, Mr Seah Hong Tiang, a 67-year-old retired cab driver, accompanies him in school daily, and helps him with the physical tasks that come with attending classes. “Most of the lecture theatres are not handicap-friendly. My dad needs to carry me to the seats before lessons start,” he said. Seah may be able to depend less on his father when the new Disability Support Office (DSO) opens in the near future. The Ministry of Education (MOE) announced on 7 Mar that all Institutes of Higher Learning will have to implement the DSO within this year. Students with special education needs, including physical or sensory-related impairments and medical conditions such as dys-
DAILY STRUGGLES: Daniel Seah, 24, requires assistance while carrying out physical tasks in school.
"Most of the lecture theatres are not handicap-friendly. My dad needs to carry me to the seats before lessons start." Daniel Seah, 24 Third-year student Nanyang Business School
lexia, can reach out to the office for one-stop support. Presently, support for students with disabilities are provided across the campus through all schools and departments, such as the Student Wellbeing Centre, the NTU Medical Centre, the Office of Academic Services and external agencies and specialists appointed by NTU. Associate Professor Kwok Kian Woon, Assoc Provost (Student Life), said that more details
PHOTO: CLIFFORD LEE
about the NTU DSO’s services will be announced in due course.
Financial assistance MOE also set up a Special Education Needs fund to provide disabled students with assistive technological devices and support services. Institutions will receive $5,000 per student with physical impairment(s) to purchase assistive technological devices. Students with visual or hearing im-
He added that he had to seek help from the Society for the Physically Disabled after he struggled to find a company that was willing to engage him for his professional attachment. “The disabled can contribute as much as normal students, as I believe that if they are able to enter university, they will be able to withstand any problem in any environment,” Seah said. “I felt that the university was not performing satisfactorily in securing internships for disabled undergraduates,” he added. Seah hopes that the DSO would prove useful for disabled students in overcoming their constant difficulties. “We will have a channel to voice out our problems and seek assistance if needed,” he said.
Gearing towards Big Data Sharanya Pillai DATA generated from the millions of calls made daily may now be able to provide solutions in critical areas, ranging from traffic planning to public health. Such large data sets are known as Big Data — information gathered about people and their interactions from the Internet, telecommunications, multimedia and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The mining and accurate analysis of data can help private companies improve their productivity and also enhance the functioning of the public sector. “There is going to be more data about us than any prior generation in human history. And this is going to be the baseline for the future,” said Acting Chair of the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI), Professor Charles Salmon. He was speaking at the inaugural WKWSCI symposium on the rising importance of Big Data on 21 Mar.
In total, about 200 academics, industry players, government policymakers and NTU students attended the symposium, held at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. Among the invited speakers was Associate Professor Christopher Yang from the United State’s Drexel University, who demonstrated how interaction in patient support groups on Facebook could be studied by medical researchers to improve healthcare systems. By doing so, medical researchers would be able to gather information on the effectiveness of drugs and treatments, much quicker than through a traditional clinical study. At the symposium, industry leaders urged universities to take the lead in training students to handle Big Data. Dr Laura Wynter, Director of IBM Research Collaboratory Singapore, said: “Big Data needs to be managed and understood accurately. I think that there definitely needs to be training in statistics, which is a bit lacking in some course curricula.”
Keynote speaker Mr Steve Leonard, Executive Deputy Chairman of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), said that IDA is keen on collaborating with individuals who are interested in conducting research on Big Data. Acknowledging that engaging in Big Data research could result in a loss of user anonymity, he said: “If everybody wants to be anonymous and not disclose anything, then that’s okay. But we may fail to or take longer to solve important problems.” Mr Leonard cited the Personal Genome Project — which collects
"The more information you disclose, the more things you might be able to benefit from." Steve Leonard Executive Deputy Chairman Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Mr Steve Leonard of IDA explained that personal data can be used to make landmark discoveries. PHOTO: PHAM QUYNH ANH
genetic data from volunteers — as an example. This data could be useful in healthcare and medical research, he said. “The more information you disclose, the more things you might be able to benefit from,” Mr Leonard added. Kathy Wang, 21, an exchange student from WKWSCI, felt that the symposium helped her under-
stand the relevance of Big Data. “I got to hear from great minds about how closely Big Data relates to every single person, and how it is helping in our daily life, For example, one of the speakers described journalists who used social media to verify crucial details about last year’s Boston Marathon bombings,” said the third-yearstudent from Macau.
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IN THE THICK OF THINGS A school trip to Istanbul, Turkey gives Liao Xiangjun much more action than he bargains for.
wenty paces away, on a kerb outside the Hagia Sophia Museum in Istanbul, a man fights off two aggressors with one hand, and without warning, pulls a gun from his pocket. The muzzle flashes and tendrils of smoke erupt in the same microsecond as the crack of the gunshot. Light, sound and shock in one discrete package. We’re that close to this stranger with a pistol. Bystanders duck as they register the gunshot. Most crouch low, and some cover the backs of their heads with hands, as though bullets can be stopped by mere flesh and bone. A no-man zone opens up around the armed man, and he uses the opportunity to regain his balance. Three desperate shots fired into the air is all the warning needed for his assailants and the 200-odd bystanders to disperse. My friends are already huddling with our guide, Abdul. “Inside,” he jerks his thumb urgently at the ticketing gates of Hagia Sophia, and we file into hurriedlyformed queues to seek refuge behind the thick walls. “Welcome to Istanbul!” jests someone behind us, and his friends guffaw. The name ‘Istanbul’ loosely means ‘The City’ in Turkish, an indication of how influential it had been in its prime, and how its history was — and continues to be — written in blood and fire. I had seen the city live up to its namesake just moments ago. No building better to tell the tale than Hagia Sophia, the crowning glory of Constantinople, the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire’s capital. Hagia Sophia, located in the then predominantly Catholic capital, was razed twice to the ground by rioters. Each time, it was rebuilt into a sprawling cathedral complex on gargantuan
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marble pillars capped with mosaic-crusted domes. Hagia Sophia housed the central seat of Christianity in Europe for a millennium; a symbol of supremacy, an engineering marvel, and a shrine where Roman emperors were crowned. Inside, the resplendent Coronation Square was where successors knelt as men and rose as rulers of the Byzantine Empire.
Standing under the restored chandeliers, their gold arms and candle cups now retrofitted with electric bulbs, I feel insignificant. It is not the cavernous halls that dwarf me, but the enormity of the events within and beyond these walls. In 1453, Ottoman conqueror Sultan Mehmed II besieged and broke down down the city’s defenses, ending the Byzantine rule and placing the nomadic Turks firmly on the map of Europe. As his army wrought a path of destruction through the fallen city, civilians thronged to the cathedral, seeking refuge just as my friends and I had. Mehmed left the refugees to his troops but spared Hagia Sophia from the torch. It was instead converted
into the first imperial mosque of the newly-named Istanbul in 1453. With the strategically placed city as their base, the fortunes of the Ottoman Turks improved and their conquests were met with continual success. Nearly 500 years later, Turkey found itself on the losing side of World War I, with large swathes of the Ottoman Empire due to be annexed to the Allies after its defeat. A nationalist Turkish army, helmed by Mustafa Kemal Pasha, waged and won a four-year war that defined the borders of modern Turkey. In line with the country’s reform into a republic in 1923, Hagia Sophia was secularised and turned into the museum it is today. Standing under the restored chandeliers, their gold arms and candle cups now retrofitted with electric bulbs, I feel insignificant. It is not the cavernous halls that dwarf me, but the enormity of the events within and beyond these walls. By the time we emerge from the complex, only happy tourists and those servicing them are milling about. For some, Hagia Sophia might just be a pitstop on the way to a more coveted destination, and any demonstration in the streets a bump in the road to the tour. And yet, it is the closest one can be to witnessing the spirit of the Turks, with whom confrontation is an old friend. Over the next few days, I pay particular attention to the political activism on Turkey’s streets. Young campaigners and old alike, each advocating their candidate. They are as polite as they are purposeful when approaching passersby. The fire in their eyes, their voices and their hearts seem to heat the streets even in the cold spring rain. Someone asked me how I felt about the demonstrations, the marches, and the seeming lawlessness — the
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brazen attitude of the protestors proud enough to defend something they believe in. Initially, I thought that I wouldn’t mind living here. Why not? A young, spry man in exciting times. Then I think harder, and realise I will never want my family close to such danger. Istanbul, then, will be my last escapade with defiance. In Singapore, we are arguably more apathetic and apolitical. Coupled with the stringent laws in Singapore when it comes to organising protests, I feel that we should count our blessings that we are able to live in a relatively stable social climate. There is a peace of mind in Singapore that I felt I could never get in Turkey. On the night of departure, I set out to do some last-minute shopping. Barely 10 minutes into Istiklal Avenue, Istanbul’s famous shopping street, the beat of drums gives me pause. I notice the side alleys are lined with patrols of six to 10 riot policemen, armed with submachine guns and canister launchers. I make my way towards the drumming and yet again, I find myself facing another group of protests. Before long I’m alongside the main group — it is International Women’s Day and a thousand Turks — majority of them female, are fighting to eliminate discrimination against women in Turkey as they march down Istiklal. Yelling, whistles and finally, a barricade of riot police with shields ready, bar the entrance to Taksim Square. My end of the street is filled as protesters swell the ranks. Taking the hint when the officers in the side alleys don their gas masks, I make a quick escape. Still pragmatic, still alive. Coughing slightly, I trek back to the hotel, the memory of what physical chaos truly is, as my final souvenir.
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1. HISTORIC BEAUTY: The Hagia Sophia has beautiful architecture and boasts a noteworthy history. 2. DIGGING IN: The first line of riot police, equipped with shields and gas masks, bar passage to Taksim Square from Istiklal Street, on which over a thousand Turks are marching down. 3. STATUS SYMBOL: The number of minarets, or spire structures, that adorn a mosque is indicative of how powerful its sponsors were. 4. FACE VALUE: Much of the Byzantine Roman architectural features are preserved in the facade of Istanbul’s buildings. 5. IMMORTALISED, TWICE: The Republic Monument sits in the middle of Taksim Square. Bronze statues, set in marble, depict founder of modern Turkey Mustafa PHOTOS: YEO KAI WEN Kemal Pasha and his aides in military garb on this face, and in formal civilian dress on another.
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MAKE THAT SWEET AND SALTY Singaporeans are known for playing it safe, but one thing we always seem to be up for is trying unconventional food concoctions. Riding on the craze of the classic sweet-and-salty combination found in favourites such as salted caramel, Rachel Gong checks out a few restaurants that are taking this fusion of flavours to the next level. PHOTOS: LOH JUN WEI
BURGERS VS WINGS + BAR (BWB) 181 Orchard Road Orchard Central #11-03/04 S238896 Opening hours: Daily: 11.30am - 3pm, 5.30pm - 10pm Tel: 6634 0423 BURGERS are famous for their savoury goodness, combining ingredients such as streaky bacon, cheddar cheese and beef patties. But for those looking for a deviation from the norm, the Tyson Peanut Butter Burger ($21.90) is a possible alternative to try. The Tyson Peanut Butter Burger, BWB’s best-seller, was inspired by the peanut butter waffles sold at neighbourhood confectionery stores. The stellar introduction of the peanut butter was let down by other ingredients in the burger itself. The sunny side-up egg was overcooked and parts of the beef patty were dry. However, the brioche bun was light and fluffy, and the slightly bitter taste of Arugula leaves complemented heavier ingredients like the Angus beef and bacon. The peanut butter also added a subtle but noticeable sweet touch to the burger’s different layers. According to Executive Sous Chef Desmond Goh, who helms the kitchen at BWB, it took him about 10 attempts before achieving the right taste for the burger. He trialed his creation among fellow chefs and staff members. With such extensive preparation to ensure that customers have an enjoyable dining experience, one can only anticipate new and innovative food concepts from this three-month-old restaurant. BWB, which opened in January, looks like the ideal place for people to let loose, with spacious seating arrangements, television screens on the wall and a fun boxing-themed restaurant interior. The signs: “Food Fight!” and “Burger vs. Wings!” on the red-brick walls present a cheeky scenario as if the all-time favourite Western dishes are at battle, vying for the title of best-seller. There are even boxing shorts and gloves plastered on the walls. The names of some of the individual dishes also reflect this theme, with the Tyson Peanut Butter Burger alluding to Mike Tyson, a former heavyweight boxing champion. The menu uses boxing terminology to group their dishes. There are “pre-fight pastas”, “counterpunch drinks”, “fight card fries”, and even a “menu for lightweights”. If you are a heavyweight, you can try The Champion’s Belt, which is a combination of two burgers, trio wings and all-in-one combo fries. It is rare to see such themed restaurants in Singapore and BWB is definitely worth checking out, especially for those who have a passion for sports and those game enough to try out unique flavours.
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FIVE & DIME 297 River Valley Road S238338 Opening hours: Mon-Thurs: 12pm - 10pm Fri: 12pm - 12am Sat: 10am - 12am Sun: 10am - 10pm Tel: 9236 5002 IT IS often difficult to find palatable desserts for those who do not have a sweet tooth. But the newly-introduced dessert at Five & Dime — Golden Custard Lava Cake — might just fit the bill. The Golden Custard Lava Cake ($12) does not spill molten chocolate when cut through. Instead, it oozes yellow salted egg yolk custard, creating a brilliant golden contrast against the dark chocolate. The baking of this chocolate cake was executed perfectly — the outermost layer was smooth and firm while the cake inside was warm and moist. On its own, the salted egg yolk custard tasted exactly like the filling in a good liu sha bao (Chinese salted egg custard bun) — rich and savoury but not oily. With salted egg yolk custard replacing the lava cake’s chocolate filling, it sounds like the perfect blend of salty and sweet. Unfortunately, this dish failed to bring out the taste of the custard, as the sweet chocolate cake and its small amount of accompanying molten chocolate were overwhelming on the palate. Still, this dish is a good alternative for those who find the usual chocolate lava cake too sweet. Head chef Andy Ang, 47, who created this dish, said that he gets his inspiration from almost anything. “Sometimes, it is the rain that inspires me and sometimes, it’s the people from other countries like Hong Kong and Korea. I will take their dishes and adapt them to fit local Singaporean tastes.” It takes Mr Ang about two weeks to introduce something new to the menu. He mulls over new dishes at the start, and only gets around to experimenting in the kitchen a few days later. To keep things interesting, he tries to introduce a new dish once every one or two months. Mr Ang says that he is his harshest critic, and believes that what is good enough for him is often good enough to be served. Hence, brand new concoctions go straight to his customers for feedback. The Golden Custard Lava Cake is a special in the store that is not listed on the menu. Five & Dime only serves a limited number of them — nine on a weekday, and 18 on a weekend — as it can take up to five hours to make a batch of nine cakes. It often sells out before teatime rolls around so remember to call and reserve a Golden Custard Lava Cake in advance.
THE MISSING PAN 619D Bukit Timah Road #01/02-01 S269724 Opening hours: Tues-Sun: 10am - 10pm Closed on Mon Tel: 6466 4377 FOR adventurous eaters who like an unorthodox mix of flavours, The Missing Pan’s signature dish, French Toast Salpicon ($19), is the ideal choice. Salpicon, which means ‘diced’ in French, is a term used to describe a stuffing that is made of one or more diced ingredients in a sauce. At first glance, the French Toast Salpicon looks just like another regular french toast — a thick, golden crusted slice of bread topped with sliced strawberries, kiwis, mangoes, grapes, dragonfruit, and fried banana nuggets, drizzled with a serving of The Missing Pan’s homemade strawberry smoked maple syrup. But there is a catch. Sliced open, the toast reveals a surprise stuffing of spinach, chicken and mushroom with a lightly salted gravy. “I love french toast but I wanted to do it with a twist. So I doubled the portion and introduced a stuffing in it,” said Mr Derrick Ow, 34, chef and co-founder of The Missing Pan who created this original dish. While one would expect this dish to have taken months to perfect, the process of fine-tuning the dish took only about a week. The French Toast Salpicon, a vivid mix of colours, is perfect for Instagram-worthy photos. It was cooked to fluffy perfection, firm on the outside, and oozing with chicken and mushroom goodness on the inside. The choice of smoked maple syrup, more mild in flavour and less sticky in texture than regular maple syrup, ensured that the sweetness of the dish did not overpower its savoury content. Each fruit also added its own distinct flavour to the dish, with the strawberries and kiwi in particular adding a citrus zest to the dish. The soft and sweet insides of the fried banana nuggets — bananas coated in golden batter — acted as a scrumptious dish on its own, complemented their crispy outer layers perfectly. The savoury chicken, spinach and mushroom stuffing, when eaten with the syrup-infused french toast, was spongy and savoury inside, yet sweet and tangy outside. The stark contrast between both flavours was further enhanced by the difference in temperature between the cooked filling and fruits, making it hot and cool in one bite. In essence, each spoonful taken was an adventure.
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From pig's ears to ox tongues, Lifestyle Writer Marcus Lim delivers the lowdown on WOLF – Singapore's first restaurant to offer the concept of nose-to-tail dining.
TONGUE-IN-CHEEK: No tomfoolery here as the Grilled Ox Tongue is able to hold its own against the finest cuts of beef.
The kitchen at WOLF is helmed by Chef Alysia Chan, who spent two weeks at St. John’s late last year to learn the intricacies of cooking offal. Offal is not a novel concept in Singapore — the local favourite kway chap immediately springs to mind. However, unlike local dishes, which tend to mask the flavour of offal with Chinese herbs and spices, WOLF puts a French and British-influenced spin on its dishes to “glorify the flavour of the offal”, said Mr Yuan. The Crispy Pig’s Ears ($18) are deepfried strips reminiscent of sio bak (roast pork). Crispy around the edges, and chewy towards the middle, it is nothing short of sinful. The ears come served on a fresh bed of greens and pomegranate seeds, which help to cut through the grease. The Grilled Ox Tongue ($34) comprises two halves of tongue artfully arranged on a generous portion of lentils. Although it may look charred and unimpressive, it is an absolute standout when it comes to taste. Seared crispy on the outside, the slightly marbled insides are melt-in-your-mouth tender. With a taste and texture similar to more conventional cuts, even skeptics will not easily differentiate between tongue and a well-marbled beef steak. The accompanying salsa verde , a thin, minty sauce, complemented the tongue’s juices perfectly. For those wary of eating these exotic parts, WOLF offers an array of more conventional meats along with a delectable spread of desserts. The Banoffee Tart ($14), a crust of cookie enclosing a banana-toffee heart, came served with a generous topping of cream. The sweetened bananas and toffee struck a good balance with the salty cookie. The slight disappointment of the night was discovering that the menu did not feature all kinds of animal parts like testes and bone marrow. However, our server assured me that
GETTING A EARFUL: The Crispy Pig’s Ears is a sinful treat that should ideally be shared between two or more people.
ANTHROPOMORPHISM: The wall art provides a surreal backdrop to your dining experience. PHOTOS: CHUA SI HUI
pened last November, WOLF, the latest offering from The Privé Group — the people behind local dining establishment Roadhouse — has set tongues wagging with its offal-centric concept. Little wonder, when the pièce de résistance of a brow-raising menu is a whole pig’s head (ears, eyes, snout, and all) as part of its dining experience. If that isn’t enough to get you swooning, its five-course nose-to-tail degustation menu allows diners to slowly chew their way through an entire animal, course by course. Coined by British chef Fergus Anderson
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of popular London-based restaurant St. John, the term “nose-to-tail eating” entails food preparation using the entire animal from its nose to tail. No part of beast or fowl is spared by the restaurant in the name of reducing food wastage. Similarly, Chairman of The Privé Group Yuan Oeij believes that the entirety of an animal should be eaten in order to promote sustainable consumption. “I have always been a proponent of respecting the whole animal and letting nothing go to waste, so the nose-to-tail dining concept was something which strongly reflected my beliefs,” he said.
WOLF was constantly expanding their menu, and might include such items in the future. “As we become more cosmopolitan, our palates mature as they are exposed to a wider variety of cuisines and cooking techniques. Nose-to-tail dining will only gain momentum and popularity,” added Mr Yuan. But while some NTU students were open to nose-to-tail dining, not everyone was as enthusiastic. Tabitha Rajaratnam, 21, a third-year student from the National Institute of Education, believes t hat offa l-hater s should not force themselves to choose nose-to-tail dining just because it promotes sustainability. “I don’t like offal. Just because it is edible doesn’t mean we have to eat it. There are other ways to support a good cause,” she said. Others, like Koh Chee Siang, 22, a third-year student from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, say they are game for offal, but only under certain conditions. “I would probably try it if it were recommended by somebody I trust, but if it looks weird I might have second thoughts,” he said. Whether the novelty of nose-to-tail dining in Singapore takes flight remains to be seen. But right now, for anyone who has the guts to try something new, WOLF is for you.
WOLF 18 Gemmill Lane S559022 Opening hours: Mon: 11.30am - 3pm, 6pm - 11pm Fri: 11.30am - 3pm Sat: 6pm - 11pm Tel: 6737 3760
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A HEART FOR THE ARTS Creative expression can exist with no restrictions. Tarandip Kaur speaks to the brainchild behind online arts platform The HeartThrob Project and finds out how it has been winning hearts in the local arts scene.
e was a 20-year-old enrolled in a class full of primary and secondary school students, without knowing the class was catered to their age group. Little did he expect that his younger counterparts would inspire him. Jeremy Tan, 22, a first-year student from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and founder of online arts platform The HeartThrob Project, fondly recounts how the project was sparked off. It began when Jeremy signed up for a short stint at a creative writing workshop two years ago, which was organised by Monsters Under The Bed, a local creative writing class for children. “Initially, I was shocked at being the oldest but I always tell myself to gain something from every situation. There, the younger kids gave me the idea for my platform,” said Jeremy. A few months after the class, The HeartThrob Project was conceptualised as an online platform for members to express themselves in any creative medium — poems, photography, songs or illustrations. Its guiding principle is to encourage active self-expression without restriction. Anyone can become a member by simply signing up on the website for free. From the workshop, Jeremy found that the children had aspirations to become published writers, but were hesitant to venture forth due to the perceived difficulties in the publishing industry — views likely to have been influenced by their parents. Jeremy said: “I thought, why not allow people to fully express themselves on a platform? I always believe that art in its purest form is a mode of self-expression. And, who are we to say that an art piece is good or bad?” Thus, the name for the platform was born out of a simple desire to rekindle “hearts to the arts" and stressing that the arts need not be an unattainable dream for locals, young and old. Artists on the platform have already seen their work realised into merchandise, such as illustrated iPhone covers under the The HeartThrob Project’s online shop section. The artists receive 20 per cent of the proceeds. While the thought is refreshing and a nod towards foster-
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TO BELIEVE OR NOT: Superstitions were printed on postcards to promote Petua, The HeartThrob Project's first collection of short stories, poems, and illustrations.
ing creativity, kick-starting The HeartThrob Project was not without setbacks. For one, Jeremy’s parents were not fully on board with his decision to start the platform. “My mom was skeptical about the platform’s ability to thrive and did not want me to waste time on it,” said Jeremy. Despite this, Jeremy pushed on with his plans and eventually launched the Wordpress platform on his own in 2012. However, response was low at first, which dampened his spirits. “I wanted to stop because it seemed to be going downhill,” said Jeremy. Nonetheless, through wordof-mouth, popularity grew. Currently, The HeartThrob Project has close to 50 active members submitting their creative works in different forms such as poetry, prose and drawing. The platform landed its first collaborative project with local design company Visual Inconsideration in 2012. Together, they worked on a book of local superstitions and old wives’ tales titled Petua, the Malay word for superstitions. Petua contains a collection of short stories, poems, and illustra-
tions by the platform’s members. The theme was chosen to encourage writers to communicate with their older relatives. As writers connected across the generation gap, they enabled their family members to gain a greater understanding of their works of art. Writers were selected via an open call that was broadcast on The HeartThrob Project’s Facebook page.
The guiding principle of The HeartThrob Project is to encourage active self-expression without restriction. Publication of the book was no walk in the park though. With only a month to finalise production, a lack of submissions in the initial period called for a re-evaluation of their publishing plans. It was only when entries started rolling in on the last few days of submission, did the team
YOUNG AND CREATIVE: The HeartThrob Project's founder, Jeremy, has learnt not to be overambitious with his ideas. PHOTOS: VIMALA VELU AND COURTESY OF JEREMY TAN
realise that they had a tangible product in the works. Then came the costs. Funds from the creation of the book to the book launch amounted to more than $2,000, and this came from both Visual Inconsideration and Jeremy’s current team of two. “We were afraid that we wouldn’t be able to sell the books, but on the day of the book launch we sold close to 300 of them,” said Jeremy. Held last year at the Roof Terrace Cafe, the five-hour long book launch was filled with creative talent, from poetry slams to acoustic performances by local bands who came from the The HeartThrob Project’s community of members. From this, it is clear that a bevy of creative talents was unearthed from his platform. Jeremy describes the creative job as one that fuels passion for the individual. Pay is not a concern as long as the occupation is fulfilling. “They say the grass is greener on the other side but I believe the
grass is green where you water it. So as long as you’re doing something that is fulfilling, then it doesn’t matter which corner of the world you’re in,” said Jeremy. Moving forward, he aims to start another publication that will collaborate with Singaporean-based photoblog Knowbody, a spinoff from its popular American counterpart, Humans of New York (HONY). Both Knowbody and HONY feature an online photographic collection of people on the streets, coupled with a small quip by them. The proposed publication will be geared towards foreigners’ perspectives of Singapore — both blue- and white-collar foreign workers. Similar to Petua, an open call for writers will be carried out and they will then submit works based on personal interviews with foreign workers. Singapore has frequently been perceived to be lacking in creative talent, but it seems like Jeremy, with this pet project, is bucking that trend, and is on his way to becoming the young heartthrob of the local arts scene.
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reviews CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER
Action (PG) Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson 136 min
aptain America: The Winter Soldier is the latest addition to the Marvel universe, which includes recent sensational set pieces Ironman 3 and Thor: The Dark World. However, the movie carries its own weight by focusing on its titular hero instead of trying to fit into the bigger narrative. Now showing in cinemas, the sequel to 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger provides a powerful insight into America’s shining beacon of hope. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) continues to be the perfect soldier he was engineered to be — standing up for what he believes in and engaging only in righteous warfare, all while remaining seemingly unassailable. Rogers struggles to adapt to living in modern Washington, DC — his massive frame fits awkwardly into cars and we find out through a jibe from fellow agent Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) that he has yet to experience his first kiss since being revived decades ago. Working under prime law-enforcement agency S.H.I.E.L.D, Rogers and Romanoff are summoned out to sea to recover a vessel from pirates. However, Rogers catches Romanoff sidetracking on the mission and tampering with the ship’s computer data instead. He starts to doubt the motives of S.H.I.E.L.D. leader, Nick Fury. The plot unfolds to reveal a despicable terrorist organisation named HYDRA, which aims for mass destruction. Together with the help of former paratrooper Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), Rogers and Romanoff smash, somersault and swoop their way past
SUITED-UP SUPERSTARS: Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson, who play Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff respectively, complement each other’s opposing personalities. PHOTO: DISNEY/MARVEL
these HYDRA adversaries with ease. There is, however, an intriguing antagonist, the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), another super-soldier secretly created by HYDRA to counter Captain America. Possessing a terrifying metal arm, a steely gaze and a mysterious past, he is a villain who successfully instills fear in the audience. The action sequences are a cinematic marvel, incorporating old school hand-tohand combat, gunfire and the innovative use of the Captain’s shield to gripping effect. Wilson’s well-choreographed flights inject grace into these scenes as well, making the 3D effects come alive with his fascinating manoeuvres. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo take
over the helm from The First Avenger’s director, Joe Johnston, and do a great job of adding in political parallels. The Captain finds himself not only wrestling with bad guys, but also thinking about deeper issues related to national security and military intelligence. Still, you may ask, what fun is it to watch an invincible soldier punch his way through the movie’s 136-minute runtime? Captain America: The Winter Soldier manages to pack in a compellingly human story as well. It offers a further study of the Captain, whose character arc was built up from the first movie. We see glimpses of the scrawny military enlistee before his super-soldier treatment and are reminded that he is after
27 Mar – 12 Apr 2014 DBS Arts Centre approx. 90 min
,,,,, EVERY cloud has a silver lining, and this is indeed so in Rising Son, a play directed by homegrown singer-songwriter and playwright Dick Lee. Set in early Singapore during the Japanese occupation from1942 to 1945, an unlikely friendship blossoms between a Singaporean boy and his Japanese neighbour, who is also an army lawyer, amid the harrowing gunfire and relentless bombing. Hiroyuki Sato (Caleb Goh) also known as Colonel Sato, and Sunny Lee (Tan Shou Chen) become acquaintances when the Colonel takes pity on the Lee family and brings them food as a kind gesture. The initial power-relationship of Sato and Sunny is tumultuous. Despite Sato’s genuine intentions, Sunny is constantly on his toes when around the former. After all, Sato is Japanese, part of those oppressing Sunny’s land and its people. In the roller coaster ride of their tentative friendship, there are precious moments, such as when the two men share insightful conversations on poetry and music, as well
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SYNCHRONY IN TIMES OF DISARRAY: A beautiful relationship between two Singaporeans siblings and a Japanese lawyer emerges in Rising Son. PHOTO: SINGAPORE REPERTORY THEATRE
as bitter ones, such as when Sunny gripes about the Japanese’s treatment towards the Chinese. As Sato remarks in one of his later meetings with Sunny: “We cannot control fate, but we are in control of what we make of our situation.” The war may have forced Singaporeans to
resent the Japanese, but it does not stop Sato from respecting his Singaporean neighbours. Despite the differences that war has set upon them, they manage to treat each other with empathy and compassion, seeing each other as humans rather than enemies. A spanner is thrown into the works when Sunny’s younger sister, Ruby (Seong Hui
all, human. His dated sense of right and wrong, together with his steadfast judgements, exudes an off-beat charm. Johansson’s wild and sultry mannerisms burn in bright contrast to Evans’ straight-asan-arrow personality. When the two welloiled fighting machines join forces, even respites from the crunching action sequences are packed with amusing verbal sparrings that help to keep audiences riveted. In a world where helicarriers with huge guns are loaded and ready to destroy millions of ‘potential’ terrorists at a single command, the Captain’s respect for each and every human life shines through ever more brilliantly.
Xuan), is added to the picture. The overprotective brother is fearful and hesitant about Ruby getting too comfortable with a Japanese man, getting recklessly physical when he finds her drinking with Sato. This culminates in an emotional confrontation that forms the centerpiece of the two men’s relationship. Their friendship also serves as a metaphor for the irreconcilable differences between the Japanese and Singaporeans during the war. In spite of all attempts to sustain their relationship, it eventually falters due to the social pressures imposed on Sato and Sunny. Rising Son, which is also Lee’s first foray into writing screenplays, marks another feather in his illustrious cap and is testament that Lee is indeed a jack of all trades. Drawing from his father’s experiences of the Japanese occupation, Lee manages to spin a beautiful tale of friendship and humanity set against the backdrop of the tragic Japanese occupation. Rising Son questions the human condition in times of war. By shining the spotlight on a pure relationship shared between two men from opposing camps of life, Lee unashamedly tugs at the heartstrings of both young and old alike. Rising Son is the first part in Lee’s planned Family Trilogy. The second, Dancing Girl, is centered on his mother’s early life and the third, Wonder Boy, is focused on his foray into songwriting.
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CELEBRATING MIYAZAKI As film legend Hayao Miyazaki announces his retirement from full-length feature films, Reviews Writer Constance Yeo takes a trip down memory lane and looks at the grand legacy the renowned animator has created.
fter making more than 20 animated movies to date, Hayao Miyazaki announced in September last year that he would be retiring from making feature-length fi lms. Known as the Walt Disney of Japan, the fi lm director’s swan song, The Wind Rises (in cinemas now), serves as a poignant reminder of what the animation industry will miss. Miyazaki had announced several halfhearted attempts at retirement over the past few years, but this time he seems determined to stay retired. He insists that The Wind Rises — which took five laborious years to produce — will be the last full-length movie he will make. He cites exhaustion as the main motive behind his retirement, as he feels that it could take him six to seven years to make another full-length movie, a period too long for a man his age. On the upside, he maintains that he will still be producing short fi lms and drawing manga comics.
ILLUSTRATION: LYDIA TAN
The lengthy production time for each of Miyazaki’s movies stems from his excellent work ethics. In an era where computergenerated imagery (CGI) is aplenty, Miyazaki still personally draws thousands of frames by hand, only allowing a maximum of 10 per cent CGI in his movies. So particular is Miyazaki about the quality of his work that he even takes to micro-managing his team; he oversees the production of literally every frame of his movies’ key animation scenes, redrawing any he disapproves of. Although hand drawn animation is a lot more labour-intensive than CGI, Miyazaki maintains that “without creating these rigid standards, animation will be caught in a whirlpool of computerisation”. Hence, his trademark traditional aesthetics harkens his older audience back to their childhood and to a time long before CGI animation was invented. The Wind Rises carries Miyazaki’s iconic nostalgia-tinted animation, and is also one of
the 73-year-old film director’s most personal works. He opts for a story set entirely in the real world, with none of his iconic magical elements. No ugly witches, talking animals, or flying houses. Instead, he touches on more adult subject matters, exploring politically sensitive issues such as Japanese military aggression and surveying the beauty of aeronautical engineering. Set in 1918, the movie is based largely on the fictionalised biography of Jiro Horikoshi, designer of the revolutionary Zero fighter jet used in World War II. The common denominator present in Miyazaki’s movies is his ability to fuse reality with fantasy. Some of his best works, such as Spirited Away and My Neighbour Totoro, achieve this and he is able to carry his audience off to a place of pure imagination but still keep them on the fringe of reality. Spirited Away combines the literal with elements of fantasy; immature children seeking freedom and resenting their parents,
NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND (1984)
KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE (1989)
Based on Miyazaki’s manga series of the same name, the movie is set in a post-apocalyptic world fi lled with toxic gas and giant carnivorous bugs. Nausicaa is a young princess who lives in a land protected by a natural wind barrier and is able to quell the angry insects. The themes explored in Nausicaa include pacifi sm and recurring motifs of flight and escape. These illuminates Miyazaki’s rail against mankind’s role in environmental degradation. Miyazaki’s refusal to simplify the confl icts in Nausicaa portrays a more wholesome reality, instead of dumbing down plots to cater to children. Even with a colour palette that is considerably duller, Nausicaa remains a quietly excellent addition to the Miyazaki collection.
Kiki, a 13-year-old witch-in-training, has to spend a year living on her own before she can resume training. She leaves home with her talking kitten Jiji and sets up a shop providing delivery services on her flying broom. She subsequently falls in love, loses her magical abilities and ultimately has to find her self-worth. Kiki’s Delivery Service is easily one of Miyazaki’s most underrated movies: girl leaves home and grows up, with no major conflict except a broken heart. However, it is ironically the lack of a life-or-death conf lict that makes this movie unique — instead, the subtle charm of a European backdrop, the young couple’s sweet-natured infatuation, and the internal turmoil of a scared little girl on the verge of adulthood makes up for the movie’s slow pacing.
and Miyazaki’s spins a yarn out of this, turning main character Chihiro’s parents into pigs. This results in a touching coming-ofage tale in a backdrop where anything and everything that can be imagined comes to life, albeit with inconsequential conclusions. Through fascinating magical creatures such as the bouncy catbus in My Neighbour Totoro, Miyazaki is able to weave fantasy and hope together under drab situations. The movie is also representative of how enduring Miyazaki’s creatures can be — the friendly wood-spirit Totoro has since become synonymous with pop culture and is loved by children and adults worldwide. Even after more than 30 years in the industry, it is precisely Miyazaki’s ability to bring hope to his audience while captivating them with animated compositions, that makes his movies truly magical. Below, we take a look at some of his lesser known works that we think deserve just as much recognition as his most famous ones.
Ponyo is an amusing take on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. The heart of Ponyo lies in the intricate setting in which the movie takes place: from the spellbinding sequence in the jellyfish-fi lled sea to the winsome architecture of the seaside town, In this adaptation, 5-year-old Sosuke chances upon a goldfish trapped in a jar on the beach. The goldish turns out to be Ponyo — a young fish-girl hybrid from the seas who wants to be a full-fledged human. Sosuke frees Ponyo and she helps heal a cut he has on his finger. However, by helping a human and hence crossing the divide between land and sea, Ponyo has triggered a chain of ecological events, unleashing a tsunami that threatens Sosuke’s village. The nuanced storytelling hits home as it adopts a more complex and intense take on friendship, while exploring the larger theme of man versus nature.
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THE CASE OF THE FAN-FUNDED FILM DEDICATED AND CHARITABLE: The movie Veronica Mars was made possible through its fans’ pledging of funds. As seen from the bar on the right, they would receive attractive perks in return for their monetary support. PHOTOS: COUSART/ JFXIMAGES/ WENN/ KICKSTARTER
Veronica Mars’s overwhelming success on Kickstarter — a crowdfunding site that attracts funds from members of the public — begs these questions: is crowdfunding the new way to finance movies, and are there any complications that may arise from it? Reviews Writer Constance Yeo examines these questions.
ob T homa s, screenw r iter of t he American television series Veronica Mars, was once a high-school teacher who could overhear thousands of students’ whispered conversations. Recently, he’s done the same with fans of his hit series, amassing thousands of them in creating a movie to neatly wrap up the series. The cult series, which premiered in 2004, focused on the titular character’s (Kristen Bell) struggles as part high school student, part detective after she falls from the ranks of popularity at the affluent Neptune High School. The main arch of the series focuses on Veronica’s attempts to solve the murder of
her best friend, with interconnected mystery cases woven into the main arch. Bell’s performance as the witty and snarky Veronica Mars was the most captivating part of the series. Her memorable delivery of her character’s dialogue enchanted audiences worldwide and helped pave the way for the series’ cult status. However, after less-than-stellar ratings and progressively weaker plot lines since its premiere, the show was pulled from The CW Television Network’s lineup in 2007 after its third season and put on hiatus indefinitely. Its abrupt cancellation was met with tremendous backlash from its loyal fans — also known as Marshmallows — given that
the series ended on a cliffhanger. Fortunately, the franchise has been revived with a movie after creator Rob Thomas appealed to fans for funds via the online crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter. Drawing from a huge pool of backers via a large, far-reaching platform, crowdfunding has become a popular means for small projects to come to fruition through word of mouth. In a mere thirty days, ending on 13 Apr last year, the total haul for the Veronica Mars budget hit a record-breaking US$5.7 million (S$7.2 million) with over 90,000 backers — enough to convince Warner Bros to distribute the film upon its release. One of the factors that contributed to the series’ crowdfunding success included Thomas’ enticing rewards for his movie’s donors. These included a chance to appear in a short scene alongside Bell. Although Veronica has transitioned from her teen firecracker self to a smart and confident woman, the essence of her
PHOTO: VIVIAN MAIER/MALOOF COLLECTION
FINDING VIVIAN MAIER (2013) FUNDED: US$105,000 A SINGLE photograph can communicate a thousand words, but who knew that the showcasing of 100,000 photographs of a woman’s work, which went viral online, would revolutionise street photography? Director John Maloof pays tribute to Vivian Maier’s street photography in his latest documenary, Finding Vivian Maier. Maier was an uptight, run-of-the-mill American nanny who would promptly
punish children whenever they misbehaved in front of her. She also moonlighted as a freelance photographer, who studied the composition of photography subjects and incorporated her knowledge in her photos. This project, which successfully raised a total of $105,000 via a kickstarter campaign, would have never taken off if Maloof had not placed a bid and uncovered the box of cluttered photographed negative in 2007. The movie’s earnest delivery deserves praise and attention, as it highlights photography as a channel for the exposure of our different psychological states.
character remains unchanged — the heroine is still willing to go the extra mile for her loved ones. This long-awaited movie resembles a love letter from Thomas to his beloved Marshmallows — it is peppered with cameos by minor characters, sort of like a reunion episode when the movie checks in with the show’s adorable sidekicks. Although Veronica Mars is inarguably one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns to date, other less prominent but equally stellar movies have been made possible through this business model. The Nanyang Chronicle shares two other noteworthy movies that were born out of these initiatives below.
Veronica Mars has no Singapore release date at press time. You can, however, purchase the movie online via iTunes for US$19.99.
WISH I WAS HERE (2014) FUNDED: US$3.1MILLION HAVING amassed a solid fan base following his previous cult classic, Garden State (2004), Zach Braff returns with the low-key and humorous Wish I Was Here. Directed by the Scrubs alumnus and written by the Braff brothers (Zach and Adam), the long-awaited movie premiered at Sundance last year to positive reviews from critics. Wish I Was Here banks on the revelations that comes from having an existential crisis.
Set in Los Angeles, the movie centres on Aiden Bloom’s (Zach Braff) struggles as a 30-something-year-old actor. Braff’s unorthodox decision to crowdfund the movie resulted in tremendous backlash. Creatives were unhappy that the millionaire actor needed to resort to Kickstarter — a platform mostly for indie projects — for his movie to come to fruition. However, Braff’s decision proved to be a wise one. The freedom that came with the lack of a financial backer allowed Braff to cast actors he thought most suitable for his movie, and this worked in his favour.
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Black Rectangular Necklace and Earrings, Joise Chen, $130; Brooch, stylist’s own; Sheath dress, You You, $129; Mono Twin Coloured Jacket, max. tan, $399
Beneath her calm collected exterior lies a deep dark se Just like how every rose ha its thorns, what you see is always what you get.
Photograph Styling: Ka Hair & Make-up: MAKE UP FOR EV Model: K Assistance All clothing pieces: Thread
Faux Fur Throwover, Gold and jewelled necklace, stylist’s own; Asymmetrical Peplum Dress, ARC, $358; Orange laptop bag, Perfect Combination, $108
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CHRONICLE 10 Split Back Shirt, Depression, $95; Bipolar Pants, max.tan, $259; Orange Laptop Bag, Perfect Combination, $108; Black widerimmed hat, stylist’s own
Split Back Shirt, Depression, $95; Bipolar Pants, max.tan, $259; Orange Laptop Bag, Perfect Combination, $108;
collected p dark secret. y rose has u see is not et.
Photography: Leslie Wong Styling: Kames Narayanan & Make-up: Ryan Tan using KE UP FOR EVER & Label. M Model: Kathrin H (Basic) Assistance: Cornelyus Tan ieces: Threadbare & Squirrel
Pebble Ruffled Jacket, Dude & The Dutchess X Jonathan Liang, $310; Reptilis Crop Top, Dude & The Dutchess X Jonathan Liang, $170; Bejewelled Necklace, stylist’s own
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HIDDEN SANCTUARIES With the ongoing construction and teeming crowds of students cramming for exams, it can be hard to catch a breather in school these days. Photojournalists Loh Jun Wei, Nadiger Chinmayi and Ngo Chu Ting explore four off-beat places on campus where students can escape from the hustle and bustle.
t might just be like any other cafe — the sound of gushing hot steam as the barista pulls each shot of espresso, drowned out by the chatter of students — except that this cafe is situated in the National Institute of Education (NIE) Library. Clement Ow, 23, is a regular patron who calls Cafe Hotshot his favourite hangout in school. The third-year student from the School of Computer Engineering said that he particularly likes this cafe because he is able to enjoy a pleasant view by the window
seats, where he can read and complete his school work. “We can converse at a normal voice level that’s not too loud because the cafe is situated in a library,” said Ow. While Cafe Hotshot is a fine place for working on school work or reading a book, the Art Gallery at NIE is the place to visit for a moment of solace and inspiration. The Art Gallery, mostly frequented by NIE students, exhibits works by NTU and NIE undergraduates, as well as emerging local and international artists.
Lim Pei Hua, 26, a third-year student from NIE, is one of the artists displaying her artwork titled I’m fine, don’t worry as part of the final project for one of her modules. “As a student, it’s the perfect space for me to present my work as I can see the final outcome of how my art piece works together with the ambient lighting and spacious setting. The atmosphere is also just right,” said the thirdyear Arts and Drama major. While the art gallery focuses on moder n ar t works, the
(CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT)
Historical Monument: The founding history of Nantah (the former Nanyang University) is curated at the Chinese Heritage Centre (CHC). Work of Art: Lim Pei Hua, 26, with her installation piece in the Art Gallery at NIE. She is currently taking a Visual Representation and Expression module, which requires her to create an artwork that has to be put up for exhibition. Her work will be on display until 9 Apr. Embracing Our Heritage: Professor Zhou Min, 57, Director of CHC, says that the research and cultural centre aims to enrich students’ campus lives by promoting cultural heritage. Booked In: Clement Ow, 23, enjoying an iced coffee with his favourite book at Hotshot Cafe in the National Institute of Education (NIE) library. Covered in Shade: Diners at Pitchstop’s outdoor seating catching a breath of fresh air at the Innovation Centre.
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Chinese Heritage Centre (CHC), located right beside the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), showcases the artifacts and histories of immigrant Chinese in early Singapore. A lt hough many may have passed by the CHC, few enter the building due to its unassuming appearance. Built in 1955 and gazetted as a national monument in 1998, the CHC was the main academic building of the old Nanyang University, which was closed in 1980. Today, the iconic building is preserved as a museum that celebrates NTU’s history. It also houses an extensive library and a permanent exhibit on the Chinese diaspora in Asia. “When I first visited CHC in 2002, I learnt about the heritage of the building and was moved by the school spirit. It’s not only the students, but their parents who were involved in building the school,” said Professor Zhou Min, 57, who became Director of CHC last year.
“Having joined NTU less than a year ago, I nevertheless felt an immediate connection to CHC; I guess it is because I’m an overseas Chinese myself,” said Prof Zhou, who is also head of the HSS Division of Sociology. A short walk across the road from the CHC is the Innovation Centre, which houses about 80 incubation units — rooms for startups under the business mentorship programme, NTU Ventures. The student-run Pitchstop Cafe can also be found here. Few who come to the area know about the shady and beautifully-landscaped spots around the building where people can sit and relax. The quaint setting of the rustic atmosphere has won fans like Tan Yong Zen, 25. The final-year student from t he School of C hem ica l a nd Biomedical Engineering visits regularly with his friends. “I really like that this place is quiet and separated from the school. Being here also makes me feel a bit closer to nature,” said Tan.
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适合温书的咖啡厅 —— 刊21页
资优生享有优先权申请新宿舍 新宿舍租金高于其它宿舍 南大住宿与后勤服务处 （HAS）目前尚未透露新宿舍 是否会增设新设备，但从宿舍 申请系统上可以见得新宿舍的 租金高于其它的宿舍租金。 例如设有空调的双人宿舍， 每人的月租费为280元，相较其 它的宿舍高出20至30元。 没有空调的双人宿舍每人的 月租费是250元，比其它的宿舍 高出10至25元。而其它旧宿舍 的租金也做出调整，将于新学 年开始，月租费调高25元。
新宿舍大楼建设即将完工，一共为南洋理工大学学生宿舍增添了 1250个住宿名额。 摄影: 李志湧
于南洋理工大学连瀛洲 通道（Lien Ying Chow Drive）的学生宿舍将在今年7月 建成，并于下学期投入使用。 新宿舍大楼一共为校园增添
“虽然两套新宿舍会 提供超过一千个位 置，但是很多位置都 已经预留给了奖学金 得主。”
金逐年调高，但是他们将继续 申请学校宿舍，也不排斥申请 新宿舍，因为新宿舍的租金相 对于校外的住宿而言还是较便 宜，而且能省下交通费与乘车 时间。
资优生可享有优先权 不过，来自宇航工程系的大 二生吴健维（23岁）认为拥有 申请新宿舍优先权的学生人数 将影响其他学生申请新宿舍的 成功率。他说：“虽然两套新 宿舍会提供超过一千个位置， 但是很多位置都已经预留给了 奖学金得主。” 根据HOLA（Hall OnLine Application）网站资料 显示，Crescent House 的 17A、17B和17D号楼将预 留给杨振宁奖学金（CN Yang Scholarship）、南大 奖学金（University Scholars Programme）得主以及李光 前医学院（Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine）的学生入 住。南大宿舍与后勤服务处未 对该安排的理由作出回应。
其中来自李光前医学院的大 一生Eugene Leong受访时坦承 如果所有医学院的学生都被集 中到一个宿舍居住，很大程度 上会局限他们和其他系院学生 的交流。 他说：“宿舍生活的很大 一部分就是关于同学之间的交 流。正因为我目前的室友和我 不是来自同一学院的，所以 我能够通过他认识更多的朋 友。”
新宿舍系统的规划 对于新宿舍是否会举办迎新 营或安排数位学生自制宿舍管 理委员会（JCRC）经验丰富的 学长与学姐入住新宿舍带领其 他学生，南大住宿与后勤服务 处表示目前仍然在讨论中。 发言人表示宿舍生活是学生 校园生活重要的一部分，因此 会谨慎规划，确保新宿舍能为 学生提供优良的环境、生活品 质良好的校园生活。 新学年的宿舍申请截止日期 为4月14日。宿舍分配结果预计 将于今年6月18日之后公布。
了1250个住宿名额，包括860间 的单人宿舍和195间双人宿舍， 空调和无空调的宿舍数量各占 一半。 南大先驱入口处附近的这 组新宿舍将分为两个区块，命 名为Crescent House 和Pioneer House。
南大学费全面上调 入学新生受影响 董梅蓉●报道
“商学院现在采用小 型研讨会的教学方 式，需要更多的教职 员工，因此提高了人 力资源部的开销。”
2009年起，新加坡大学 学费每年都被调整，至 今已是连续第四年调高学费。 和去年相比，南洋理工大学 的公民新生学费增幅介于1%至 8%，永久居民和外籍新生学费 涨幅介于7%至17%。 南大副教务长（本科生教 育）甘灿兴教授受访时表示， 学费的调高除了有助于校方抵 消通货膨胀的压力，也助于确 保学生能在南大接受高品质的 教育，从而发展自己最大的潜 能，在未来贡献于社会。 此外，他也表示学费虽然上 调，但比起其它国家如英国及 美国，本地大学的学费相对来 说较低。其中南大商学院和李 光前医学院的学费上涨幅度最 高。入学李光前医学院的新生
以新加坡公民为例，南大商 学院的学费和和去年相比，调 高180元，达8600元，而普通学 位的新学费则是7650元。 对此，甘教授表示南大商学 院的教职人员素质高，而且南 大的商科在国际排名也名列前 茅，无疑需要更多的经费支付 开销。
不停调高的学费无疑增加了低收入和中等收入家庭的经济负担。 摄影: Vimala Velu 他也说：“商学院现在采用 小型研讨会的教学方式，需要 更多的教职员工，因此提高了 人力资源部的开销。”
据了解，校方决定使用这种 教学模式是因为小型研讨会的 授课方式助于促进师生之间的 交流，提高学生的学习素质，
早些适应未来工作的环境。 对于近年来大学学费不断 上涨所带来的经济负担，部分 准南大生在提出担忧的同时也 表示无奈。实龙岗初级学院毕 业生严晗（20岁）说：“如果 涨学费，就打更多工来还。但 是，书还是要念下去的。我也 没办法。” 为了支援面对经济困难的学 生，甘教授表示南大也将于新 学年提供高达7000万元的经济 援助。 甘教授受访时也强调新加 坡一直以来都实行固定学费制 度，因此在籍学生的学费不会 受到影响。 虽然新加坡公民、永久公民 和外籍学生的学费都被调高， 但今年所公布的财政预算案也 确定会增加教育辅助金和奖学 金，从而减轻学生们在教育上 的负担。
4/4/14 11:47 PM
CHRONICLE 10 言论
太阳花学运的启示 吴琦琦 中文总编审
湾历史里所发生的 种种社会运动都不 乏学生参与。 就如2008年的“野草 莓运动”，他们为抗议第 二次江陈会谈维安工作而 导致的人权问题，在行政 院前等重要场所静坐约两 个月。 四年后，他们也参与 了“反媒体垄断运动”， 上街游行，抗议财团进行 跨媒体併购、企图操控和 垄断新闻内容。 今年3月18日前夕，执 政党国民党在尚未逐条审 查《两岸服务贸易协定》 就急迫通过该草案，引起 学生们的不满，便于隔天 发起“太阳花学运”，罢 课静坐以示抗议。 静坐抗议活动进入第 三周，社交媒体上依然充 斥着学生们宣泄对服贸和 政府的不满。
他们身体力行，在会 场担任义工，分发物资与 维持场地秩序。即使知道 家人可能会反对，他们还 是希望通过自己微小的力 量来改变台湾。 校园内，师生聚集一 堂探讨服贸协议的内容和 自身的立场。 对于学生罢课到立法 院静坐，一些大学老师上 课时也表态鼓励学生为自 己的信念挺身而出，因为 他们相信这样的社会才能 进步。 服贸事件引起了各国 人民关注，多数读者通过 不同的媒介方式得知相关 新闻，而具偏见与不公平 性的新闻处处可见，尤其 是社交媒体平台上流量广 大的资讯。笔者认为读者 必须慎选资料来源，以事 实为根基。 其实服贸协议对两岸 造成的影响并非局外人所 能轻易了解，更由不得局 外人批评或断定是非对 错。但笔者认为此次运动
提醒了新加坡学生与时事 并进的重要性，作为学生 也应当对自己的社会有所 关心和负责任。 台湾学生这种关心社 会、担忧国家未来的态度 值得年轻人学习。 反观新加坡，内政部 长兼外交部高级政务部长 马善高在2012年接受媒体 采访时就表示新加坡年轻 人已告别对国事麻木不仁 的时代。
台湾学生反服贸 静坐的场景或许不 会在新加坡上演， 但他们的毅力和坚 持值得大家深思。 去年的新加坡全国对 话会见证了学生们参与讨 论国防、医疗和教育等 课题，网上言论也日益增 加，但毕竟站出来说话的 人还是少数，其他青年更
笔者在台湾当交换生，目睹参与“太阳花学运”的学生每人手握一束太阳花，集 体静坐于台湾立法院周围。 摄影：吴琦琦 需要加强自身对社会议题 的观点和想法。 拥有世界级政府是不 够的，人们要用批判性思 维来看待政策，这样才能 够让整个社会一同迈进。
台湾和新加坡毕竟不 一样，前者的总人口是后 者的四倍，一个理想或信 念传播出去所带来的影响 一定不同。 每个国家的历史会造
就人民对于事态的不同理 念以及处理方式。台湾学 生反服贸静坐的场景或许 不会在新加坡上演，但他 们的毅力和坚持值得大家 深思。
媒体渲染力强 网民恐成傀儡 李婉怡
新加坡一年的英国 广播公司（BBC） 前记者莎洛特（Charlotte Ashton）在不久前为她怀 孕时期搭地铁的不愉快经 历撰文。 文中透露出她在乘搭 地铁时因害喜而感到不 适，却无人让位亦或是关 心她，指出新加坡人严重 缺乏同情心。 这件事引起多方讨 论，总理李显龙针对此事 件在面簿上发表了相关的 留言说：“我们经常从报 章读者来函中，读到各种 对陌生人的善举。不过， 我们还能做得更好。” 今天，倘若我们在繁 忙时段乘搭地铁，其实不 难看见坐在预留座上的 人，就算看见站着的高龄 人士或孕妇，他们也不愿 意让座。 有些人甚至以双目紧 盯手机屏幕或是索性闭上 眼睛的方法来逃避让出自 己的座位。其他乘客或许 会为此情景感到愤怒，但
却因为害怕惹出事端而选 择闷不吭声。 其实这种现象在新加 坡已不是新鲜事，笔者也 相信不止新加坡正在面临 这样的状况。此事会引起 大众议论的原因或许可归 于媒体的影响力。 知名度甚高的BBC， 收听与收看BBC新闻的人 不胜枚举，也散布在全球 各地。可想而知，任何一 篇新闻所影响的范围是何 其的广与深远。
因此无论是公 众人物或者媒体人 员，任何人在透过 各个媒介发表看法 时，都应该秉持着 公平与客观的态度 看待事情。 莎洛特除了透露自身 不愉快的经历，在文章后 段也举出了其它证明新加 坡不友善的例子。因此当 她将这件事情刊登在报章 时，无疑加深了事件的严
插图:杨培汛 重程度；加上莎洛特作为 事件的当事人，不免有将 错误放大的心理。 在当今社交媒体蓬勃
的世界，诸如此类的文章 往往都成为民众茶余饭后 的热门话题。 随着社交媒体发展的
多元性以及广大性，读者 再也不单方面地接收正统 媒体的咨询。许多网络上 的评论往往也会跟着蔓延 开来。 尤其是转发或分享新 闻的发帖者难免会加入个 人情感，影响了其他人对 该事件的看法，也影响了 事件的客观性和可信度。 不单是新加坡不友善 的事件，近来马航客机 MH370失联事件的发生也 让人看见了媒体强大的传 播能力。 从客机失联发生到最 终确认客机终结在南印度 洋海域消息，许多真真假 假的消息通过各种媒体管 道散播开来，引起了国际 关注。 然而，最让人痛心疾 首的是，人们在为失踪者 哀悼的同时，不少中国知 名艺人如孟非、章子怡、 陈坤等人对此事件严讽厉 言，通过网络发表自己的 评论，斥责马航甚至是马 国政府。 这些公众人物对这件 事情所发表的偏激评论， 让不少人认为他们想借由
此事件炒作。而对于马航 事件，深信谁也不希望有 这样的事情发生。 中国的那些艺人以自 己的立场来看待这件事 情，一味的指责马来西 亚，甚至还表明抵制所有 有关该国的事件。 中国名主持人孟非发 微博称：“我没有去过马 来西亚，以后也不打算去 了，如果您也是，请转发 一下，我想看看有多少 人？谢谢！ ” 而这篇言论在短短四 小时内转发量已近15万。 从这件事看来，他们的追 从者会因为这些言论而选 择跟着抵制马来西亚。 随着科技的发达, 如今 每一名公众都能够利用各 个媒介成为公民记者。 因此无论是公众人物 或者媒体人员, 任何人在 透过各个媒介发表看法 时，都应该秉持着公平与 客观的态度看待事情。 他们应该意识到自身 的身份与影响力，培养 “媒体素养”，在运用任 何媒体时更有责任感，才 能避免成为媒体的傀儡。
5/4/14 12:00 AM
尝美食 ・ 品咖啡 ・ 闻书香 咖啡厅不再是单纯喝咖啡享用下午茶的地方，悠闲环境加上无线网路的供应已吸引不少学生转移阵地到此温书。期末考将至，记 者李婉怡推荐了三家适合学生温书的本地咖啡厅。
d’ Good Café
推荐指数：✌ ✌ ✌ ✌
推荐指数：✌ ✌ ✌ ✌ ✌
地址： 20 Martin Road #01-02, Seng Kee Building Singapore 239070 电话: 6887 5430
地址： 273 Holland Avenue #02-01/02 Singapore 278992 电话: 6219 9807
地址： 37 Kampong Bahru Rd Singapore 169356
营业时间： 星期日至星期四：上午8时30分至下午10时 星期五与星期六：上午8时30分至凌晨12时30分
营业时间： 星期日至星期四：上午10时至下午10时 星期五与星期六：上午10时至下午11时
营业时间： 星期日至星期四: 上午9时至下午10时 星期五与星期六: 上午9时至凌晨12时
The Book Café 推荐指数：✌ ✌ ✌
电话: 6222 4869
中峇鲁地铁站搭123号巴士到Riverview Hotel 后 走一小段路便能抵达位于市中心的The Book Café。这家咖啡厅以书命名，里头的书架上摆放着各 式各样的书籍，从杂志到各种类的书本都有。 咖啡厅被划为三区，户外虽然没有空调，但是周围 的树荫发挥了遮蔽的功效。咖啡厅内则有沙发区以及 餐桌区。厅内播放着优雅的英文歌曲，沙发区安静舒 适，除了营造出家中客厅的感觉外，亮度适中的灯光 也非常适合温习阅读或使用电脑。 The Book Café提供免费无线网路和插座让顾客使 用，也提供各时段的餐点，食物选择多样化。咖啡厅 于12时至2时提供套餐，该套餐涵括了一份主食、饮料 以及前菜或甜点，价格为$19.90。 此外，该咖啡厅供应全天候早餐，口味特别，选择 多样化。在没有最低消费与限制逗留时间的情况下， 顾客能尽情的在咖啡厅内消磨时光。
距 离5 摄影: Chinmayi Nadiger 照片: 网络下载 毫 荷兰村地铁站出口前的那排店屋的右侧，匿藏米 trangers’ Reunion 是一家以咖啡和松饼为主打的 着一间名为d’Good Café 的咖啡厅。许多明星 咖啡厅。它位于欧南园地铁转换站附近，步行约十 艺人曾经到访过，知名度甚高。 分钟便可抵达。 一上楼梯，左侧是用餐区而右侧则是点餐区，装潢 这家咖啡厅有三间店面，里头被划分为几个区块， 极具特色，玻璃落地窗前还有两个秋千座位。再往上 其中沙发区比较少人来往，因此较为宁静，比起其它 一楼走，是个阁楼似的用餐空间以及户外用餐区，格 餐桌区更加适合阅读或温习。唯一不足之处是咖啡厅 局规划恰到好处。 没有提供无线网路的服务。 d’Good Café 没有最低消费和限制顾客的逗留时 Strangers’Reunion的装潢简单高雅，环境整洁 间。这家咖啡厅的食物不仅味道好、分量足，而且价 干净。饮料的价格从$3.50至$10不等；松饼价格则从 格公道。凡是有点餐点的顾客，只需多付$3就能购得 $11.90至$14.90不等。此外，咖啡厅也提供三文治、汉 特定饮料，十分划算。 堡以及一些主食。 其食物选择多样，有各种口味的意大利面以及西式 咖啡厅也提供不少口味的蛋糕与派饼，适合在此享 早餐，价格从$4.50至$17.50不等。其中火腿蛋松饼价 用下午茶。其草莓派的上层是新鲜的草莓，下层饼皮 格为$13.50。 扎实，甜而不腻。 来这里的学生可以选择到较宁静的三楼边温习功课 然而这家咖啡厅生意极佳，想到这家咖啡厅温书的 边享用美食，还能使用其提供的免费网络。 学生，建议别在繁忙时间光顾。
咖啡厅提供的套餐涵括了一份主食、饮料以及前菜或 甜点。 摄影：李婉怡
摄影: Chinmayi Nadiger
5/4/14 12:01 AM
CHRONICLE 10 娱乐
乐评 音乐Jukebox 专辑：《天堂/悬崖》 歌手：李佳薇 推荐歌曲：《像天堂的悬崖》、《纹 身》、《强求》
肺女王李佳薇经过两年的酝酿， 终于推出第二张专辑《天堂/悬 崖》。此专辑的制作阵容众星拱月，邀
请了许多著名词曲创作人，倾心打造一 系列伤感情歌。 以高亢嗓音打响知名度的她阔别招牌 歌曲《煎熬》里大秀16度高音的场面， 转以细腻丰富的情感诠释同样撕心裂肺 的主打情歌《像天堂的悬崖》。 李佳薇富有穿透力的声线，其真假音 的转换收放自如，歌曲尾声中几近窒息 与哽咽的演绎处理，配上纯钢琴的配乐 贯穿始终，整支曲子萦绕着浓厚的感伤 基调，让听众感受爱情里最深处的痛。 作词人徐世珍继《煎熬》后，再度为
该专辑第二主打《强求》填词。节奏感 强烈的副歌，结合歌词营造出一种迷离 悬疑的氛围，让人一听就记住了旋律。 《纹身》可说是李佳薇在曲风上的突 破，传达一种失去恋情之后的坦然和释 放，学习放下后，要更加疼爱自己，表 现出一种热情乐观的正能量。 此张专辑里的慢歌大多异曲同工，一 张专辑听完，能让人记住的歌曲不多， 少了上一张专辑里《煎熬》与《大火》 所带来的震撼力，让这次的专辑相较之 下略显逊色。 （文／许颖）
专辑：《奇迹》 歌手：许茹芸 推荐歌曲：《最难的是相遇》 、《奇 迹》、《健忘》
论是微醺妖媚的《难得好天气》 ，呢喃自语的《独角戏》，还是 冷静自省的《此时快乐的代价》，“芸 式唱腔”都一如既往的文艺清淡，单薄 中透着哀伤。 蛰伏了五年的许茹芸不怕尝试，力邀 吴青峰、小寒和蔡健雅填词作曲，以不 同的曲风和视角，与歌迷分享自己近年 来对恋爱与生活的感想，希望通过最新 专辑《奇迹》带给大家一个奇幻的音乐 之旅。 《健忘》是电影《被偷走的那五年》 的插曲。波澜不惊的词曲，却速描女孩 经历感情曲折后，大胆宣告爱情别太牵 强。女孩更见成熟，没有分手后的缠绵 絮叨。 专辑主打歌曲《奇迹》灵动的声线 中暗含力道，等待一个奇迹，期待中却 倍感焦虑。歌曲前半段通过短促且重复 的词句，以一个正在咖啡馆的女子的视 角，描述了神秘的空荡荡的街道。后半 段曲调高亢，把歌曲推向高潮，奇迹步 步逼近却又止步没来，像是要听众与许 茹芸继续盼望奇迹发生。 《最难的是相遇》中，许茹芸用“因 为更难得更不可遇是你，可是相信我， 最难的最难的是相遇”道出了她最近恋 爱结婚的内心感受，温柔的唱腔中充满 感激，饱含对这份感情的珍惜。 这张专辑可以说沿袭了许茹芸惯有的 风格。可惜，许茹芸清雅的声线没能压 住编曲厚重、电子化的喧哗。整张专辑 听下来在小角落处能打动人心，找到共 鸣，但也掩不住专辑整体张力的缺失。 （文／张佳盛）
4/4/14 10:03 PM
Opinions EDITORIAL Top Problem-Solvers, But at What Cost? THE jury has spoken — Singaporean students are not the spoon-fed lot that many think they are. In the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Singapore trumped its counterparts to top the worldwide ranking on problem-solving. The results, released last week, was hailed by officials from the Ministry of Education as an affi rmation of what they have been doing. PISA officials added that the results debunked the myth that Singaporean students are rote learners. But it also begs the question on whether this is a true representation of the Singapore student population. In the assessment, administered by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), students had to “explore relevant information, plan, monitor and execute solutions to a problem”. PISA has said its assessment tested “skills that matter for the success of people in life and at work”. But in a test setting, how effective is this problem-solving mindset, in particular, of a group of 15-year-olds? The true test of problemsolving comes when one is confronted with real issues, not a fictitious laundry list of questions, tested in a one-off test-based sitting.
One must also remember that problem-solving is never a one-man show. Managing relationships between parties often forms the crux of problem solving. And often, there are confounding factors that come into play. Take this question for example: “Using a fictitious subway map, how do you get from ‘Diamond’ to ‘Einstein’ (two fictional train stations) in the fastest way?” On paper, the problem can be solved instantaneously. But what if, in real life, the train breaks down? Or if one is unable to get a ticket? There are many possible ways Murphy’s Law can strike in real life, and such assessment criteria does not account for it. And in placing arbitrary scores on how well one solves problems, therein lies a paradox. It is sad when one’s more creative method of solving an issue might be deemed “less correct” than someone else’s more conventional method. Granted, the news is a move in the right direction for the nation, but there is more to be done to get students here up to scratch. Forget the classroom theories. After all, life isn’t about printed problem sums on a piece of paper. It is an anthology of multifaceted experiences that one can only live through.
CHRONICLE CHIEF EDITOR Alfred Chua
OPINIONS EDITOR Huang Caiwei
MANAGING EDITOR Liu Ting Ting
CHINESE EDITORS Camelia Ting Teo Sijia
SUB-EDITORS Kerri Heng Tiffany Goh Audrey Tan Eunice Toh Sandy Lai Ng Jian Yang Isadora Ong Koh Yong Sheng DIGITAL EDITOR Jay Yeo COMMUNITY EDITOR Jonathan Lee NEWS EDITORS Aqil Haziq Louisa Tang LIFESTYLE EDITORS Justin Kor Serena Yeh REVIEWS EDITOR Zachary Tang DAPPER EDITORS Kames Narayanan Leslie Wong
PHOTO EDITORS Clifford Lee Tan Xiu Qi SPORTS EDITORS Lisa Oon Saeful Hakim GRAPHICS EDITOR Pamela Ng VIDEO PRODUCERS Michael Chen Kelly Phua Wu Bingyu BUSINESS MANAGERS Ho Xiu Xian Lionel Lim Melanie Heng Sheena Wong PRODUCTION SUPPORT Ng Heng Ghee TEACHER ADVISORS Debbie Goh Lau Joon-Nie Zakaria Zainal
A students’ newspaper published by the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI) Nanyang Technological University 31 Nanyang Link, Singapore 637718 Tel: 6790 6446 Unsigned editorials represent the majority view of the editorial board of The Chronicle and do not necessarily reﬂect the policies or views of Nanyang Technological University, its employees, the students or the Council of the University. Signed opinion columns, letters and editorial cartoons represent the opinion of the writer or artist and are not necessarily those of The Chronicle. Printed by KHL Printing Co. Pte Ltd, 57 Loyang Drive, Singapore 508968
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A column by Chronicle Editors on issues close to their hearts
#selfiesaga ILLUSTRATION: WONG WEI LOONG
ALFRED CHUA CHIEF EDITOR
ust the other day, a friend excitedly shared with me a Time Magazine article on my Facebook page. Its title was chilling — “Teenager Reportedly Tried to Kill Himself Because He Wasn’t Satisfied With the Quality of His Selfies”. T he teenager in question, 19 -y e a r- o l d B r i t i s h D a n n y Bowman, is hopelessly addicted to what he calls the “perfect selfie”. He attempted suicide one day by overdosing on pills, in frustration of finding that elusive, perfect selfie. Thankfully, his mother intervened, and Mr Bowman is now undergoing therapy. The story set me thinking — what if this was me? You see, yours truly is quite the — how shall I put it — selfie connoisseur. A nyone fol low i ng me on Instagram will vouch that my selfies litter my account. A new T-shirt? Selfie time! First to reach the gym? Selfie time! Oh look, I am hanging out with my best friends! Time for a selfie! If it wasn’t already apparent, I take my selfies as seriously as Miley takes her twerking. The selfie — the venerable Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year for 2013 — finds its growing appeal in how easy it is for the photographer to portray an image for his or her ‘audience’, authentic or otherwise. And I concur. Indulging in selfies has allowed me to showcase my other more fun side, and the ease of sharing these selfies also means more people get a glimpse of what makes me tick — a fi rst
impression of sorts if you may. Perhaps it was mere coincidence then, that a few days before, a different friend brought to my attention the Selfie Song by American DJ duo, The Chainsmokers. T he song — with its (now overused) catchphrase — “But first, let me take a selfie” — is a parody of the culture of curating that perfect shot of oneself. “This song is so you,” my friend had said. Little wonder that the Time article felt like a stern cautionary tale — what if I had ended up like Mr Bowman? In particular, one quote stood out to me. “I was constantly in search of taking the perfect selfie and when I realised I couldn’t I wanted to die,” Mr Bowman had told British tabloid the Daily Mirror. Mr Bowman was also quoted saying: “I lost my friends, my education, my health and almost my life all because of the perfect selfie.” Indeed, selfie obsession also highlights its pervasiveness as the millennial’s mirror. Is the quest for the perfect picture this generation’s body image issue? I also found it strange — the double standard presented when judging selfies. Everyone loves a selfie from someone easy on the eye; yet they are quick to baulk at a less than good-looking self-portrait. Naysayers have been quick to criticise the shallow aspect of selfie culture, where the most important quality is one’s physical attractiveness or popularity. Part of the selfie obsession is also wanting to latch on to some form of approval, even if it came from total strangers. I used to be bothered by the number of likes my selfies garnered. “Nothing below 20 likes,” I had told myself before. Anything
less, and my mind would go into overtime wondering what cardinal sin of selfie-capturing I had committed. No wonder Mr Bowman faced much anguish in finding “the perfect selfie”. Granted, I didn’t spend 10 hours a day trying to find the perfect selfie, but I might reach that standard, if left unchecked. It i s one t h i ng to e njoy capturing the moment but it is another to go overboard. I shudder to imagine the friends I might alienate by insisting they wait for me while I capture a selfie after every single toilet visit, just for example. And then there is the case of the ‘posed casual selfie’, where people spend what seems like ages to perfect that casual nonchalant look for their selfies. Talk about irony. The selfie culture is not new. I recall coming across former American Secretary of State Colin Powell’s teenage selfie recently. It was dated almost 60 years ago. But the obsession over it is relatively recent. Ever chanced upon an Instagram profi le where every single photo is a selfie? Or worse, selfies with philosophical captions about life’s quirks from a dead famous person. Colour me confused there. Time Magazine also recently reported that the #aftersex selfie is all the rage now — couples posting post-coital selfies of themselves. Thankfully, I do not pander to these varying tastes. And as I capture my next moment, I remember that as with most passions, ever y thing in moderation. But fi rst, let me take a selfie. See Alfred’s selfies on Instagram @thesiaoone.
5/4/14 2:09 AM
WE ARE Y UNG The Syrian Crisis has entered its third year of violence, protests and casualties. It may be seen as a youth revolution — not only was it sparked by teenagers, Syrian youths actively participated in the subsequent protests. In this article, Syrian youth activist, Zahed (not his real name), shares his personal story of youth activism, and Swedish exchange student in NTU, Rasmus Rodineliussen, recounts how the crisis in Syria connected their separate lives.
THE STORY OF ZAHED
y name is Zahed and I am doing my second master’s degree in a highlyranked university in Sweden. I regard this as quite an achievement, especially if you consider where I come from. I’m from Syria, a country that has experienced a lot of violence. A few years ago, I fled my country without anything, not even my family. I left for my personal safety. It was no longer possible for me to stay in Syria if I wanted to be alive and free. In Sweden, my peers and I are able to enjoy a peaceful environment that gives us opportunities to indulge in our desire to study — something that I wish for my friends back home. Though I am in Sweden, far away from Syria, I am still concerned with their struggle against the regime. My story unwinds in war-wrecked Syria, which has been under the control of the Assad regime since the 1970s. There had been no opposition until the revolution burst out in March 2011, because the regime came down on those who dared to question it. On a fateful day three years ago, a group of 13 and 14-year-old children wrote on the wall in their school in the southern city of Daraa, Syria: “People want to topple the regime”. As a result, the children and their families were arrested by the regime forces and brutally tortured. When the Syrians heard about this, it led to demonstrations against the regime. They continued their protests even though the regime tried to stop them by killing demonstrators every day. The death toll as of 1 Apr has surpassed 150,000, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a human rights group based in the United Kingdom. They estimate that half the casualties are civilians and almost 8,000 are children. But the more people were killed by the regime, the more people took to the streets. Back then, I was a university student and had joined the protesters. For many outside Syria, it is difficult to understand that participating is not about fear. The fear was something that we left behind at home
before participating our the first demonstration. Our hopes for freedom were stronger than our fears. We knew that the regime would not listen to our voices. We knew that there was a high possibility of being killed or arrested. We did not demonstrate to get killed. These demonstrations were for the sake of our brothers and families. We wanted the freedom that we had dreamed about for a long time. Finally, we overtly opposed the regime and did what we could to change the future of our country. The protests were also directed towards the rest of the world, who, while claiming to promote democracy and human rights, did not challenge the regime. When you see your friends injured and dying between your arms, or when your friends are arrested and then thrown dead or barely alive in front of you the next day, you will not feel fear, you will feel anger. Not only did I have the desire to continue participating in the revolution against the regime, I was also motivated by the need to avenge my friends’ deaths. I come from the town of Aleppo in northern Syria, where the regime has been very effective in silencing the opposition, as they have arrested most of the protesters there. But we, as university students, could use technology and science to spread the revolution. When we planned a demonstration, we did it in detail in order to minimise the number of martyrs and arrests. We kept in contact with one another in many different ways, mainly using social media. We used Facebook and Skype with fake accounts to organise our actions and to prevent being tracked by the regime. I myself had accounts with different names. As the violence from the regime escalated, we became their targets. Learning how to construct missiles, bombs, automatic snipers and even tanks became our only way of survival. We covered all grounds — there were even groups in charge of evacuating the injured, setting up secret field hospitals and arranging escapes for those who got arrested. The social media group was the most important — it would fi lm the demonstra-
ILLUSTRATION: JONAS YEO
tions and distribute the films to international media agencies to provide the world with information about how the regime treats its citizens. For us, this revolution meant everything. We put all we had into it. It was either victory or more repression and torture in the future for us and our families. We were willing to sacrifice everything, including our lives, to change our future. Sadly, I have now left Syria as the regime had become too strong and we could no longer fight. By the time I left, there was no liberated area of Aleppo and a lot of activists had to hide or move out to avoid being arrested. Nevertheless, I am still connected with
the struggle via social media. I believe there is a long way to go before Syria becomes the home that a large part of the Syrian population and I are fighting for. I had to choose between imprisonment or leaving the country. It was not an easy decision. But I believed that I could still help my friends from abroad. Thus, I left my homeland and came to Sweden. And that is where I got to know Rasmus.
THE STORY OF RASMUS My name is Rasmus Rodineliussen and I come from Sweden. It is a welfare state in Northern Europe that has given me many
1. GRAFFITI ON WALL: This wall in Syria separates student dormitories from a university campus. The Syrian government built the wall to prevent students from escaping to
their dormitories after the demonstrations. We call it The Nazi Wall.
2. STUDENT PROTEST: This was a silent protest that took place on a Syrian university campus. The picture shows students holding placards depicting the Syrian flag. Some of
the protesters are wearing shirts with a picture of the latest martyr who was killed in an earlier demonstration.
5/4/14 2:26 AM
CHRONICLE 10 opportunities in life. I am currently an exchange student in NTU, taking undergraduate courses in sociology and politics. I came to Singapore to gain different cultural experiences and a world-class education. With me is my wife, who is also an exchange student at NTU, and our two-yearold daughter. As a father and husband, I am very grateful for these opportunities — to be able to see my family thrive in a peaceful environment, and to be able to travel and see the world. I met Zahed through some mutual university friends in Sweden and during my encounter with him, the thought of how lucky my life is grew even stronger. This is after I learnt, fi rsthand, what reality could have been for my family and me, were I to be born in a country ruled by an authoritarian regime and wrought by violent demonstrations. Zahed was a university student and a protester in Syria, one of the world’s most violent countries. This must have been a very hard reality to live in. To me it’s almost impossible to imagine that, as it is very safe and calm in Sweden.
my academic skills in order to find the reasons for some of the world’s hardships, and by doing so, highlight them and propose ways to improve the situations in which those individuals live. One example close to mind is Batam, an Indonesian island located only 20 kilometres of the shores of Singapore. One of my professors in Sweden, Johan Lindquist, researched on how the lure of economic growth and fast cash made thousands of low-income workers go to Batam only to end up stuck with big loans, no work and no chance of returning home without shame. They were, as the locals called it, malu (ashamed) to go home. The situation in Batam has not improved as a result of this research, but the fact that their fates are examined and cast into the spotlight might, in the long run,
prevent others countries from slipping into a similiar fate. And it is in this way that I believe my studies in sociology and comparative politics in Asia can help to create a better world. Next January, I am planning to conduct fieldwork in the region. It is by taking the object of study’s point of view that we can understand why and how they got into the situation that they are in. And the best way to get this knowledge is by participant observation; through one of the methods of social anthropology. My time here at NTU has given me the opportunity to better understand Southeast Asian society. It is important to me that I have a wide understanding of different parts of the world, to maximise what I can learn in my subject and to expand my goals for
future research back in Sweden. Thousands of Syrians have gone to Sweden since the civil war in Syria started, because Sweden has granted all Syrian refugees permanent residency as of October 2013. Many of them are students like Zahed. This is where my quest for a better understanding of other cultures becomes particularly important — the role of local Swedish students might be to help Syrian refugees adjust to the intricate ways of Swedish life and to help them accommodate to the foreign landscape; much like providing them with a safety net. Thus, Zahed and I believe that any participation to change the world for the better is important. The important thing to remember is: What am I doing, why am I doing it, and whom I am doing it for?
When you see your friends injured and dying between your arms, or when your friends are arrested and then thrown dead or barely alive in front of you the next day, you will not feel fear, you will feel anger. Zahed is a quiet and polite person, but behind this facade is a man of steel. This is something you realise only after getting to know him, and after talking to him about his home and his experiences. When you hear his story you come to value the mundane experiences in everyday life that we tend to take for granted. For instance, Zahed and I have different purposes in using social media. To me, Facebook is a place to share pictures and moments of my life with family and friends. But for Zahed and the other students of Aleppo, Facebook had a totally different meaning. It was one of their most important tools against the regime. While it is just a platform for me to connect with my friends and family, for Zahed and his friends, social media was a weapon. My encounter with Zahed also opened my eyes to see another way in which students can participate in university. Even though Zahed and I had such different life experiences, we were able to establish a friendship where we are able to learn from each other about what it means to be a student in different parts of the world. Before, I only thought of student participation in the form of campus organisations that competed over particular views and issues, and I found it rather silly. But when I heard Zahed’s story, I realised that student organisations are so much more, as they are also a way of keeping the intellectual youth active together. Zahed’s story has led me to question the world that we live in. How is it that some individuals live in such hard and dangerous circumstances while me and the rest of the Swedish population do not need to worry about anything other than fulfi lling our materialistic dreams? It is here that my interest in social anthropology, the qualitative study of human culture and society, comes in. I want to use
5/4/14 2:26 AM
canteen talk According to the 2013 World Giving Index, published by Charities Aid Foundation of America, Singapore came in second last in terms of willingness to help a stranger. We ask students whether Singaporeans are compassionate enough.
We are compassionate, but not necessarily enough. At times, we can be reserved and thus shy away from stepping forward. Hong Wei Long, 25, ADM, Year 2
How do you gauge and quantify compassion? One can never be compassionate enough. At times we don’t see the many needs of society. Goh Chiew Tong, 20, WKWSCI, Year 2
It depends on the situation. When we see people in need, we do go up and offer our help. Shazana Zaihan, 20, NBS, Year 2
We are compassionate in giving money but not time. Society is changing and so are our values. Gan Tian Rui, 25, EEE, Year 4
Not really. But I can understand that, in Singapore, people’s lives can be hectic and they don’t have time to lend a helping hand. Maggie Li, 22, NBS, Year 2
TEXT: HUANG CAIWEI PHOTOS: VINSON PHUA
The “G” Word Anthia Chng
BC writer Charlotte Ashton’s labelling of Singapore as a ‘misery city’ in her article last month got many Singaporeans talking. While some agreed with her argument, others cried foul over her sweeping generalisations. Although many debates on our levels of graciousness were raised, the focus should not be on who is gracious and who is not. Instead, what matters more are the bigger issues that have contributed to the less-than-ideal perceptions of our graciousness levels. According to the 2013 World Giving Index, a publication by the Char ities A id Foundation of America on the nature and scope of giving around the world, Singaporeans were ranked 134th out of 135 countries and territories, in terms of willingness to help a stranger. Yet, despite the currency of this revelation, the topic of graciousness is hardly a new one. We have endlessly pored over and dissected the problem to miniscule bits. But after years of graciousness campaigns and the public resignation of a forlorn lion last year, improvements have been scant. Recently, the Graciousness Index, a study conducted by the Singapore Kindness Movement, revealed that more Singaporeans gave up their seats for others in the last year. Although there is an increase from 5.6 to 6.0 points (out of 10), this improvement is not overwhelming. Definitely, we could do with more proactive inclusion of graciousness in our daily lives. The cynic in me thinks that this minimal increase came about not because people became more gracious, but because they are afraid of being ‘stomped’ (on citizen journalism website Stomp). The risk of receiving such humiliation on the Internet is enough to get people to be gracious. Don’t want your photograph to appear on Stomp? Give up your seat then. Or better yet, don’t sit down at all. Sometimes, I wonder if some of us are counting on our fear of being shamed online as a reminder to be gracious. With the prevalent use of smartphones, we have easy access to the online world at our fingertips. But perhaps this all-purpose device has been used far too often as a punitive deterrent that prevents people from being ungracious. For example, there has recently been an exaggerating number of Stomp articles where users use their mobile phones to spy on and publicly shame those who do not give up their seats. “We should not aim to shame”, said Associate Professor Lee Chun Wah of the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, when asked about the effectiveness of deterrents such as the risk of getting ‘stomped’. Assoc Prof Lee is the supervising professor of final year project — The Ride Etiquette — a campaign
ILLUSTRATION: MARILYN THAM
aimed at promoting commuter etiquette among Singapore residents on public transport. Instead of focusing on punitive deterrents, perhaps it would be more effective to establish, through education, the need for graciousness. One under rated method of entrenching graciousness in our society is to cultivate in our younger citizens a conscious decision to be considerate to others. Schools should continue to educate its students on the importance of being gracious and also impart such values through programmes that reward gracious deeds. “It is more fruitful to show, inform and educate,” Assoc Prof Lee added. Campaigns are also another primary form of initiating graciousness in Singaporeans. Ms Marilyn Peh, Assistant General Secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movement, feels that we need visual reminders like posters and banners as “people will get in contact with them no matter what”.
Arguably, we are progressing towards a state where we have to rely on posters and messages to be kind and compassionate to others. Signs to remind Singaporeans of train etiquette have definitely become more commonplace. With local campaigns ranging from the famous National Courtesy Campaign to the Project Keep Left On Escalator, reminders to be gracious have never been a foreign sight. Even though such prompts appear to serve the function of
raising awareness, it often seems like we are over-re lying on them to help us reach the level of graciousness the campaign makers wish to achieve. While there are valid reasons to why such campaigns are necessary, I feel that the repeated promotion of the idea of graciousness is absurd at the same time. It is absurd because I’ve always thought of kindness as an innate value, and this view is echoed by Ms Peh, who believes that kindness is in everyone. So, should it not be a given for us, as humans, to want to do good for others as well? Arguably, we are progressing towards a state where we have to rely on posters and messages to be kind and compassionate to others. Perhaps it is our Asian culture of keeping to ourselves that makes Singaporeans hesitant about performing kind acts, said Ms Peh. “The smartphone culture could also distract some from seeing who needs help,” she added, explaining that people might be preoccupied with the content on their mobile phones, and thus miss out on those in need of train or bus seats. Alternately, our seemingly low graciousness levels could be caused by desensitisation towards the numerous reminders on kindness and courtesy that are stamped on the walls of our trains and buses. Also, one cannot simply conclude that one’s experiences of taking public transport is representative of the behaviour of all other commuters. What really matters is why we should be gracious, instead of who we should be gracious to. We should want to be kind towards others not simply because there is a poster reminding us to be gracious, but because we have the potential to brighten someone else’s day. Consideration comes from knowing that there are others having it harder than you are. It might be easy to feel sorry for ourselves when we think about packed trains and our stressful lives. But we should be gracious, at least for the most basic reason: we feel good knowing we have made living slightly more pleasant for another person. “The issue of graciousness has been with us for a long time,” said Assoc Prof Lee. I fully agree. After five years of graciousness campaigns, it is high time for us to look beyond our daily problems and instead, focus on what we can do to make lives better for ourselves and others. Awareness of one’s surroundings could prompt us to notice and help those in need, said Ms Peh. By looking up from your mobile device to see if anyone needs help, this first step to being gracious requires nothing but a few seconds of your time. A simple gesture of graciousness is hardly any sacrifice. In the late Holocaust diarist Anne Frank’s own words: “No one has ever become poor by giving”.
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Louder than words: When exams draw near
ILLUSTRATION: PAMELA NG
Louder than words:
ILLUSTRATION: TAN LIXING
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Countless Possibilities In the Nanyang Chronicle’s previous issue, we caught up with two graduates from the pioneer batch of NTU’s Sport Science and Management (SSM) programme, who went on to pursue careers in the teaching and food and beverage industries. In this issue, Sports Writer Tessa Cho speaks to another graduate who has gone on to pursue a postgraduate degree, as well as a final-year undergraduate who owns a business with a schoolmate.
Gina Tan, 23 Co-owner The Sports Shack Final-year SSM student Tell us more about the Sports Shack. The Sports Shack is a company that strives to source for unique sports products from overseas and bring them into the local market. An example would be Kilch, a clip which allows shoes to be clipped to a bag, eradicating the need for a shoe bag. We handle everything from sourcing of products to purchasing, marketing, customer service and delivery. My partner, Bernice, and I try to find products that are affordable and practical to the sporting scene in Singapore. Occasionally, we conduct booth setups in public areas or in schools as well. We are also looking into having a permanent retail space in the near future. With the exception of the occasional pop up store, we are currently very much an online business. How did you come up with this idea? We realised that that there were few online sporting goods stores in Singapore and decided to venture into this area. Also, we found that there were a lot of unique products available overseas, which were unavailable locally.
How has the experience of starting up your own business been so far? It's been an interesting and challenging experience. You get really busy thinking about promotions, sales, marketing and customer service. The learning curve is steep and it is tiring to juggle our work commitments with our Final Year Project (FYP) and other school work. Despite this, it is definitely rewarding when we receive positive feedback from our customers about our products and services. The most fulfilling part is the fact that we are doing this together as good friends and thus are always encouraging each other. Where did you do your internship? Both of us interned at HiVelocity Events, a sports events company. We were attached to the Branding and Programming as well as Operations department. The company has planned several sports events in Singapore, including the Sundown marathon, Great Eastern Women's Run, Men's Health Urbanathlon, and the SGX Bull's Charge. Is running a business what you have always wanted to do? I would think that it’s something one should try at least once. We are still in the initial stages of our business venture, and the future of this business would largely depend on its success.
ENTERPRISING YOUTH: Business partners Gina Tan (right) and Bernice Low (left) started The Sports Shack with the aim of making unique sports goods available to the local market. PHOTO: NADIGER CHINMAYI
Describe how you feel about your job. It is hard work but I really enjoy the whole process of planning and subsequently executing the entire business. In fact, I’m even beginning to think of starting something new again, maybe in a few years. How is it related to your course/what you studied in SSM? We st udied spor ts marketing, events management as well as sport science. This
allows us to better address the needs of the customers. How easy or difficult do you think it is to find a job in Singapore in this field of study? As of now, it’s still quite a challenge because the sporting scene in Singapore is still relatively small. However, the government’s emphasis on encouraging a healthy lifestyle through sports, as well as the upcoming opening of the Singapore Sports Hub, are causes for optimism.
Cheryl Tay, 24 Full-time PhD student National Institute of Education What is your PhD dissertation on, and why did you choose this topic? My thesis is on optimising team boat performance in sprint kayaking. This is relevant to the modules I did back when I was an undergraduate, which were mostly related to satistics. I have always been fascinated by sport science since my Junior College days as a competitive sprint kayaker, and I am eager to explore the ways in which sport science can be used to maximise athletes’ potential to perform. Being based in Singapore means that my research allows me to contribute to the local sporting scene, by improving the performance levels of our national athletes in particular. It allows me to continue my training with the national canoe-kayak and dragon boat teams as well. What piqued your interest in sport science research? My interest for research was sparked by the first URECA (Undergraduate Research Experience on Campus) project I undertook. It was a project on the effectiveness of deceptive cues in football goalkeeping. The other main thing that got me excited about sport science research as a potential career was the individual project I did for my
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TURNING PASSION INTO ACTION: Cheryl Tay's passion for kayaking and dragonboating were the main motivations behind her decision to write a PhD thesis on team boat performance in sprint kayaking. PHOTO: TAN XIU QI
first Biomechanics module, which required students to do a video analysis of a selfselected sport skill or movement. I chose to analyse the pull-up. I found out that actually, joint movement patterns in the pull-up exercise does not change with fatigue, and the movement just slows down, which was really interesting. Where did you do your internship, and how was the experience? I interned at the Defence Science Organisation (DSO) National Laboratories, under the
depar tment of Combat Protection and Performance Laboratory of the Defence Medical and Environmental Institute. I followed the DSO team for some field studies and was attached to one of their projects as part of my FYP. I looked at the effects of prolonged load carriage on soldiers’ movements, to address the issue of injuries sustained by military personnel as a result of prolonged periods walking with heavy loads. I also did a study on the changing running patterns of individuals towards the end of a marathon, where injuries are most likely to occur.
Any future plans? My future plans will definitely involve contributing to the sports scene in Singapore, especially to optimise performance in canoekayak and dragon boat. In your opinion, how difficult is it to find a job in Singapore in this field of study? Specialist positions in sport science are limited, but only because this field is highly specialised. I believe that if you are capable, there will be no shortage of jobs for you.
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What’s in a Name? Saeful Hakim Sports Editor
n December la st yea r, t he Singapore government decided to sell the naming rights of several facilities within the upcoming Singapore Sports Hub, slated for a soft opening later this month, to Overseas Chinese Bank ing Corporation (OCBC). The announcement of OCBC’s sponsorship of facilities within the venue, which excludes the naming rights to the National Stadium and Indoor Stadium, was met with divided sentiments among members of the public. Some welcomed the sponsorship deal, which is understood to be worth more than $50 million, according to the Straits Times. They felt that OCBC’s sponsorship of the venue would provide funds to host world-class sporting events and elevate Singapore’s status as a global sports hub. Purists, however, criticised the government’s decision, arguing that these venues are ultimately public infrastructure built with public funds. They felt that naming these venues after a private corporation would compromise its
integrity as a national icon. I belong to the former group. In today’s market-oriented society, corporate sponsorships are the way to go when it comes to sports. Such sponsorship deals are crucial to ensure that the nation reaps the most benefits out of the sports hub, which is, after all, built using public funds. A large scale sponsorship deal would bring in more world-class sporting events and help to ensure the sustainability of the venue. In fact, I would go as far as to suggest that the naming rights of the venue’s centrepiece, the National Stadium, should be sold as well, should the opportunity arise. The f unding that sponsors would inject into the venue over the tenure of their sponsorship would ease the burden on public funds that finance the venue’s maintenance. These funds could then be utilised for the development of local sports through other means, such as youth development. The 55,000-seater National Stadium boasts state of the art features, such as individually cooled seats and a retractable roof. The stadium’s features, however, play a secondary role in shaping the prestige of the place. Ultimately, the venue will only be remembered for the events it has
they said that? “I say it was ridiculous. The third goal is a joke. Not a goal, a joke.” Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho on his club’s 3-1 loss to Paris St-Germain in the Champions League.
LONG AWAITED: After more than three years of construction, the Singapore Sports Hub is slated for a soft opening later this month. PHOTO: INTERNET
hosted. The prestige and quality of the events hosted would determine the value of its fans’ experiences. The acquisition of naming rights by corporations would easily raise the funds required to host world-class sporting events. A multitude of world-class sporting events in the local sporting calendar each year would ensure a consistently high level of interest in sports and prevent the multi-billion dollar investment from suffering the fate of a white elephant. After all, more often than not, a full designation of a venue is only being referenced for official purposes, such as in media reports and official documents.
In the heartlands, the venue will still be known as ‘The National Stadium’ in colloquial discourse for convenience, as has been the case with the old stadium. Take, for instance, the annual Formula One Singtel Singapore Grand Prix. Despite Singtel acquiring title sponsorship of the event, it is nevertheless referred to among local Formula One fans as the ‘Singapore Grand Prix’. The Singapore Sports Hub has a great role to play in elevating the status of sports in Singapore. Ultimately, a corporate sponsorship would go a long way in ensuring that the country receives the best return for its investment.
“I think for the fans it is not good. I think F1 has to be spectacular – and the sound is one of the most important things.” Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel (below) expresses displeasure regarding the quieter sound of the cars’ new V6 engines.
Be nice to Moyes Victor Heng A LARGE number of Manchester United fans have called for the resignation of manager David Moyes, in light of the club’s poor spell in this season’s BPL. However, the 4-1 home win over Villa late last month helped Moyes send a message that with time, he could prove his credentials as a manager to the United fans. And it makes sense. The departure of legendar y manager Sir Alex Ferguson left Moyes with notoriously large shoes to fill. To expect him to replicate the same success Ferguson built in 27 years at the helm in less than a year, would be expecting too much. Especially when the side Moyes inherited essentially has only two game-changing players in forwards Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie. The rest of the team seem to be jaded and reeling from the departure of Ferguson and have, thus far, been playing without the confidence that was characteristic of United performances last season. When a new manager takes over, he would undoubtedly have
LIVING IN THE SHADOW: David Moyes (right) has been unable to replicate the successes of his predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson (left). PHOTO: INTERNET
his own tactics and training styles that players might have to adapt to. Moyes’ training method of structuring sessions around team organisation and shape is unlike Ferguson’s ball-focused sessions. Ultimately, fans have to understand that it is too much to ask for the results to stay the same in the transitional period following the ‘end of an era’. Understanding must also be built within the squad — between players and the manager, as well as among players.
Moreover, Ferguson had his reasons for choosing Moyes as his successor. For all his successes with United, Ferguson would have been careful about picking his successor. After all, in his farewell speech at the end of the last season, Ferguson said: “When I had bad times here, the club stood by me, all my staff stood by me, the players stood by me — your job now is to stand by our new manager.” T h e 2 013 / 2 014 B a r c l a y s Premier League season has been
quite dreadful for the defending champions. However, it is significant to note that in his first 31 games of being in charge, Moyes’ team has managed to garner 51 points, six more than the 45 points accumulated by Ferguson’s team in the same time period. It was not until four years later that Ferguson, hired in November 1986, actually won any silverware (the FA Cup in 1990), and another three years before he won his first league title (1992/1993 season). These interesting statistics are reminders that all good things take time. United has the financial resources and a reputation, as one of the world’s top clubs, to attract top players and build up a great squad. No one can simply step into the dressing room of a club like Manchester United and hope to gain the respect, cooperation and admiration of its players instantly. I believe that this season represents a transitional phase for the club, and next season, Manchester United will once again be the great club that fans know it to be. A s t he say ing goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
“I was tied with the idol? That’s crazy... It’s always an honor to myself to be mentioned with that calibre of a player.” David Ortiz, a designated hitter for the Boston Red Sox, on having been tied with Baltimore Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr. for 45th place on the all-time Major League Baseball career home run list.
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Patience is key — Page 31
She's a sharp shooter Tan Chin Hong
he got caught in the middle of a sandstorm, saw camels up close, and even stayed in a five-star hotel for free. These were part of national shooter Shan Khoo’s experience in Kuwait last month, where she represented Singapore at the 7th Asian Air Gun Championships. Khoo, 20, a first-year student from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, picked up the sport in secondary school “One of the two reasons why I joined shooting was because shooting as a CCA was novel and I thought it was cool. I also felt that I had a natural ability in the sport from the start,” she explained. Shooting is a technical spor t that requires the athlete to shoot air weapons from a distance. They f ire at targets ranging from 10 to 50 metres away.
Up and coming sport The local shooting scene has garnered much success in recent years, with athletes consistently performing well in regional competitions such as the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, coming in third overall in the latter competition. Khoo is ranked among some of the best females in Asia. In 2011, she finished second in the individual Air Pistol Event at the Arafura Games in Darwin, Australia. “The first time I ever competed as part of the national team was in Darwin, Australia. I was slightly taken aback because I had to live in a tiny container the size of a one-room apartment. It was quite comfortable though,” she remarked. When asked about what motivates her when she competes with other athletes, she said: “It is an amazing feeling to be able to represent Singapore on the international stage. It motivates me to continue working hard and to set higher sights.”
COOL, CALM, COLLECTED: Shooting requires plenty of patience and composure.
PHOTOS: NGO CHU TING
“If I can achieve results at the regional level, I want to be able to represent Singapore at the Olympics one day.” Shan Khoo National shooter and NTU student
Nerves of steel She descr ibes ner vousness as t he biggest challenge during competitions. “Nervousness can make my gun shake and my fingers freeze, making it difficult for me to pull the trigger with control. I overcome this by taking steps to calm myself down. There is no specific time limit in shooting so I can step away from the firing line and speak with my coach. A lter nately, I ta ke deep breat hs and visualise what I do during training.” After the preliminary rounds, the top eight shooters will enter the finals. Finals in shooting is especially tense due to its structure of elimination. During the finals, each shooter fires six times. Their scores are added up and the shooter with the lowest compiled score is eliminated. The remaining shooters get to fire two more shots each round. This adds to the tension, especially when there are only two shooters left. Khoo trains three to five times a week
at SAFRA Yishun. Each session lasts at least three hours. “Shoot i ng i s about repl icat i ng movement to hit the bullseye. We train to mimic the correct movement exactly each time. It sounds easy, but trying to hold your arm still is extremely difficult,” she explained.
Balancing act In order to keep up with her school work and intense training schedule, she has to sacrifice the time she spends with her friends. However, she has a strong support network that she can rely on. She said: “I look to my fellow shooters and coaches for support. Shooting is such a niche sport, that only people who go through the same situation can understand the difficulties and pressures that I face.” When she gets overwhelmed with her academic commitments, she shifts her
HARDWORK AND SACRIFICE: Shan Khoo spends up to 15 hours a week training, sacrificing quality time with family and friends in the process.
focus away from shooting. She said: “During exams, midterms and group projects, I cut down on trainings or take a break. The managers and coaches at the shooting association are understanding when it comes to education.”
She said: “Currently, my aim is to be able to do well for the Asian Games or the Commonwealth Games. If I can achieve results at the regional level, I want to be able to represent Singapore at the Olympics one day."
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