CHRONICLE 轻盈风筝 承载自由 PAGE 28
A U G U S T 3 0 , 2 0 1 0 | V o l 1 7 no 1 | issn no 0 2 1 8 - 7 3 1 0 | W W w . ntu . edu . sg / c h r oni c l e
INSIDE California Living Join Jennifer Dhanaraj as she discovers the wonders of San Francisco. PAGE 7
Sailor turns entrepreneur Sailor Teo Wee Chin sets up Decalics, an online business selling customised wall decals. PAGE 31
Seeing STARS “Any slight delay means you are out of the game.”
When the party’s over...
Read on to find out the five tips for success when fighting for your modules. PAGE 28
The fashion pirouette PAGE 15
Laptop woes? A simple laptop guide to help you understand complicated laptop specifications. PAGE 14
Winding down Cleaning up Keeping in touch Turn to pages 2, 16 & 17 for the full story
PHOTOS | IVAN TAN AND NG JUN SEN
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Communicating with the world ICA conference allows communications academics to share insights and create new projects Wang Simin the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information hosted the International Communication Association (ICA) on June 22nd to 26th which could open new doors for students to study overseas. According to chairman of the ICA Conference Organising Committee, Dr Ang Peng Hwa, being the host of such a conference is “another feather in the cap and another boost to the University’s reputation.” With increased reputation due to organising the conference, this will allow the school to secure student exchanges with top universities in the world more easily. Dr Ang said: “I have been to top universities and the international relations manager told me that they use the global university ranking to decide whether to work with us. And because we were not as high as they wanted, the student exchange could not proceed.” At this annual communication conference, held this year in Suntec Singapore International Exhibition Convention and Centre, more than 1,500 media and communication academics shared their research and insights on the theme “Matters of Communication: Political, Cultural and Technological Challenge”. It was the first time the ICA
conference has been held in Southeast Asia, and the second time in Asia. According to chairman of the ICA Conference Organising Committee, Dr Ang Peng Hwa, being the host of such a conference is “another feather in the cap and another boost to the University’s reputation.” Having a higher university ranking allow schools to secure student exchanges with top universities in the world more easily. Dr Ang said: “I have been to top
universities and the international relations manager told me that they use the global university ranking to decide whether to work with us. And because we were not as high as they wanted, the student exchange could not proceed.” During the five-day conference, key leaders and experts in communication fields presented 400 papers, including contemporary issues such as health, organisational and political communication. Conferences such as the ICA are often the birthplace of new
ideas and projects, as they give academics a chance to meet their fellows and discuss their thoughts about their ideas and projects. Joanne Lee, 23, a master’s student at the WKWSCI, presented her research paper on corporate social responsibility at the conference. “I find the conference quite exciting. We get to meet the top minds in the communication field so that we can learn from them,” she said. Next year’s ICA conference will be held in Boston, Massachusetts.
Wang Simin COMING fourth in the 200 metres was a disappointment for Côte d'Ivoire athlete Isaac Gbadegesin. But his spirits were lifted by the generous actions of three Singaporeans whom he met, became friends with, and who took him shopping at Jurong Point — to buy him a new pair of track shoes. Stories like these abounded in the last days of the YOG. Like auxiliary police officer Peter Santahu, 28, who struck up a friendship with Portuguese coach Zefrino Antonyio, who gave Mr Santahu a a 20-cent coin from his country. It was a small sum that meant a lot. “Zefrino gave me the coin because he wanted me to visit him one day, and also because the coin had a special meaning.
TOYOTA RECALLS 1.1MILLION C o r o ll a S e d a n s a n d M at r i x Hatchbacks in North America because their engines may stall. This follows a string of qualityrelated problems in the Japanese automaker, who has recalled over 10 million vehicles over the past year due to a variety of problems. Miners trapped in a mine in Chile sent video messages to their loved ones through a narrow tube to the surface, 2,300 feet above them. The 33 men have been trapped in the mine for more than three weeks. f ormer sin g er na d j a B e n a i s s a w a s f o u n d g u il t y of c ausing bodily harm and attempted bodily harm as she did not inform her sexual partners that she was infected with HIV. Although the German pop star admitted to not telling her sexual partners about her condition, she denied intending to infect anyone. A tiger cub was found hidden among stuffed toy tigers in a woman's luggage in Bangkok's airport. The tranquilised twomonth old cub was discovered by airport staff after X-ray images seem to show up a real animal. Play b oy e d itor o f t h e Indonesian version is likely to be jailed two years on charges of public indecency. Mr Erwin Arnada was acquitted after the trial in 2007, but an appeal lodged with the Supreme Court found him guilty in 2009. The verdict has yet to be upheld, but a hardline Muslim group is pushing for the sentence to be carried out.
KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE: Associate Professor Jochen Peter from the Amsterdam School of Communications Research, explaining his paper intently. PHOTO | EUNICE CHAN
Memories and mementos YOG participants take away with them memories of a lifetime
“The ship on the coin signifies food, wealth and a survivor, who brings food, things and wealth for the country back from the sea,” said Mr Santahu. Now, Mr Santahu hopes that he can visit Mr Antonyio in Portugal next time, but in the meantime, he will stay in touch with him. Most athletes and YOG workers from all around the world have started returning home after the Games ended on August 26th. They have been in Singapore for at least three weeks since the start of YOG on August 14th. Nevertheless, their goodbyes did not stop there. Many of the YOG participants have plans to further their friendships with their newfound friends through different means, especially Facebook and email. Besides making friends, some athletes learn more about the parts of the world unknown to them. Jonathan Nmaju, 18, from Nigeria, stepped foot on Singapore for the very first time. He enjoyed his time most at
the World Culture Village booths, where he learnt about this country he had never heard of – Saint Kitts & Nevis. “I learnt that this island is small, like Singapore,” Jonathan said. For another island discovery, he went to Pulau Ubin and had his first time swimming in the sea, too. “In my country, I swim in pools,” he said. “Swimming in the real sea is very exciting.” Jonathan is sad that he is leaving, but he misses home. “I miss mom and bro. It has been three weeks,” he said with red, teary eyes, but he said he would miss Singapore, too. Some Singaporeans have more than memories, too. Eunice Low, 20, is a marshall at the YOG. “A Canadian wrestling coach gave me a limited edition pin, with his signature,” she said. Another Taiwanese badminton player even gave her his competition jersey as well. Low said she would keep in touch with her friends through MSN and email, and she hopes to visit Taipei one day.
PHOTO | NTU CORP COMMS OFFICE
Lim Yi Han BESIDES the memories, the games has also left a new percussion group on campus. The Sports Orchestra (above), a unique group which creates rhythm and beats with sports equipment such as baseball bats, basketballs and batons will continue to function after the Games. The group was inspired by Stomp, a renowned percussion group. The group’s chair Choi Wen Ting, a final-year student from the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, said that the aim is to show the creativity of Singaporeans.
9 , 0 7 2 k ilo g rams o f counterfeit medicine was seized by Interpol in East Africa last week. Eighty people suspected of illegal trafficking were also arre s t e d in t h e t wo m o nt h operation that spanned six nations. 72 bodies were found near a ranch in northeast Mexico, resumed to be migrants. Mexican investigators have enlisted the help of diplomat s from El Salvador, Honduras, Ecuador and Brazil to identify them. They are suspected to have been killed after refusing to work with a drug cartel, according to a survivor. Salmonella bacteria has been found in chicken feed in farms at the center of a nationwide outbreak of salmonella in eggs in the US. The sharp increase in Salmonella enteriditis cases in the US has been partly attributed t o t h e c o nt a m in at e d e g g s . American Airlines has been slapped with the largest fine in history by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The $24.2 million fine was proposed after FAA charged that American Airlines has made thousands of unsafe flights due to failure to inspect their planes properly. The airline, which has 30 days to respond, has plans to challenge the propose penalty.
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Buses move to new home After one semester, buses into NTU finally relocate to the new Boon Lay Bus Interchange Ng Yee Theng Students and staff of NTU and NIE can now enjoy waiting for bus services 179, 179A and 199 at the new air-conditioned Boon Lay interchange. The bus services were relocated there on May 8th, five months after the new interchange became fully operational. Awareness of the relocation to the new interchange has been well built-up during the period before the shift. “In order to have fewer interruptions and minimise impact on the student population, the implementation was made at the start of last semester break,” said SBS Transit route manager Lim Sok Kiang. This decision came after
discussions between NTU Student Affairs Office, NTU Students’ Union, SBS Transit and the Land Transport Authority. When asked why the relocation date chosen was a Saturday, Mr Lim said: “We want to make observations and assess if there are any problems faced due to the shift on a less crowded weekend.”
“It is more convenient for us because all buses are now located under one roof.” Sharon Toh Final-year student School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
The buses, which serve the NTU and NIE community, have heavy passenger volumes. Delaying the relocation provided
a chance for SBS authorities to monitor the crowd at the new interchange and provide enough buffers to manage NTU and NIE commuters. “It is a matter of time before the buses shift to the new interchange. What is most important is for us to get used to this whole shift,” said Clarice Sim, 21, a third-year student from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Many commuters welcome the move to the air-conditioned interchange. Sharon Toh, 22, a finalyear student from the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences said: “It is more convenient for us because all buses are now located under one roof.” In addition, all three buses have been converted to wheelchair-accessible buses (WAB), which are all singledeckers, during the vacation due to the Youth Olympic Games. However, these three buses will be converted back to the previously used buses when school reopens.
No standing allowed on bus Samantha Boh The sight of students standing on the NTU-Pioneer Road shuttle bus will no longer be seen, as a 'no standee' rule has recently been imposed by the Land Transport Authority (LTA). The LTA found that these buses were not licensed to carry more passengers than their seating capacity. “We have worked closely with the transport provider to ensure that they discontinue with the practice,” said Ms Pearlene Lim, LTA's Bus Licensing Executive. This reduction in capacity of each bus will inconvenience the large volume of NTU students who use the shuttle service. It was previously common for the buses to be so packed that commuters would be standing on the steps next to the door. Some students are feeling apprehensive about the possible longer waiting time. “T he waiting time wi ll definitely be longer due to the high possibility of not being able to
board the bus, so I hope the school will be stepping up the frequency of the shuttle buses,” said Sheree Lieu, a second-year undergraduate at Nanyang Business School. “I understand that it is for our safety but we cannot overlook the impact it will have on the users of the shuttle service,” she added. President of NTU Students’ Union, Dimas Harr y Priawan, 23, shared similar sentiments towards the longer waiting time, especially during peak periods, but understands that safety is the main concern. T he St ude nt s’ Un ion had received several complaints during the school term about the apparent ‘congestion’ within the buses. The Student Affairs Office and the Students’ Union are in talks with the bus vendor to find a compromise between safety and efficiency of the shuttle service. “We can’t change the rule as it came directly from the LTA,” said Priawan, “but we are currently drafting a new contract which we hope will help increase the frequency and operational hours of the shuttle service.”
Students turn YOG reporters in practicum Special practicum for students to produce an inaugural newspaper for the Games Amelia Tan Students became reporters in NTU’s newspaper for the Youth Olympic Games – Young Olympian Daily – under a special news practicum during the holidays. T hese 60 st udents, whose newsroom is at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI), featured athletes living on campus, as well as the competitions they participated in during the Games. T he tea m of r e por te r s , photographers, layout and graphic artists came from the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Starting in July, they returned to school to learn about news reporting, photography and layout design, to prepare for the 13 issues of Young Olympian Daily (YOD), which was first published on August 14th. According to Ms Juleen Shaw, teacher-advisor of the paper, YOD aimed to offer a fresh perspective of the Games to the 3,600 athletes in the Village. “It is a historic newspaper born out of a historic event,” said Ms Shaw. “Consequently, the content as well as the look and feel of YOD
are designed to appeal to worldclass athletes who also happen to be teenagers.” As the reporters are also youths themselves, they were better able to identify with the sentiments of the young athletes and can write with a more age-appropriate style. “The writing style is more of a cross between a newspaper and a magazine,” said Elizabeth Law, 21, chief editor of YOD. “Other news outlets, like The Straits Times, report more hard news and results, whereas we try to be more intimate since we are meant to be a community newspaper,” the third-year student from WKWSCI added. With the news team based near the Youth Olympic Village at the National Institute of Education, the students had the added advantage of proximity to the athletes, gaining timeliness that is vital to news reporting. However, they did come across a unique set of challenges. “Our team was very new, with hardly any reporting experience,” said Law. For YOD reporter Clara Chan, 21, it was her first time writing for a publication. “One of t he cha llenging experiences was being a reporter in the mixed zone, an area where athletes go to immediately after completing an event. “It was intense because you really had to put yourself out there to get the interviews done,” she added. Law added: “Media access
AFTER A DAY OF HARD WORK: A few members of the Young Olympian Daily team flashes the first issue of their publication. PHOTO | NG JUN SEN
was difficult since we are student reporters, and organisers tend to give more priority to international media.” Eventually, the students did end up equipped with the skills to run a quality newspaper. At the same time, they gained enriching
insight into the lives of the athletes, and experienced first-hand the lively atmosphere surrounding the Games. Anjali Raguraman, 21, a copy editor for YOD, as well as a secondyear student from WKWSCI, said: “I had a media pass for the Opening
Ceremony, and therefore the chance to enter the performance area and talk to the people behind the show.” Perhaps the valuable experience of working on YOD is best summedup by Law, who believes that it is “more than just being a part of a publication, but a part of history”.
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Green light for GreenLite New hydrogen-electric bus debuts as transport around the Youth Olympic Village and NTU Tong Sian Choo Try putting your hand on the tailpipe of the GreenLite bus. You might be surprised to find only pure water there. Singapore’s first hydrogenelectric bus, GreenLite, does not produce carbon emissions and is quieter than conventional buses. During the Youth Olympic Games (YOG), these buses transported athletes and officials around the Youth Olympic Village in NTU. It is powered by both hydrogen and lithium ion batteries. Combined with fuel cell stack, a form of battery, hydrogen is converted into electrical energy and forms water instead of carbon emissions as by-product, making the bus quieter and environmentally-friendly. The GreenLite bus is the result of a joint research project between NTU and Beijing’s Tsinghua University over seven months. Only one prototype was made. Professor and Associate Dean from the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Soh Yeng Chai, 53, explained that their design differs from Tsinghua University’s design that was created for the Beijing Olympic Games 2008. He said: “Their fuel cell stack power is very large; 80 to 120kW (kilowatt), whereas ours is only 40kW.” The smaller fuel cell stack powers the bus under normal conditions, but on peak-load condition, the cheaper lithium ion batteries will also power the bus. Professor Soh and the researchers hope to promote green technology through the YOG
RUNNING ON HYDROGEN: A technician filling the bus with carbon-emission free fuel.
platform as NTU has just identified “sustainable Earth" as one of the main pillars of research. “Being one of the best universities in the world, we should demonstrate to the world that we are able to develop relevant technology to help alleviate some of the problems that we have created through past invention," he said. However, such eco-friendly technologies do not come cheap,
PHOTO | NTU
due to the high cost of fuel. Hydrogen costs approximately six times more than diesel. Despite the cost issue, Professor Soh remains optimistic. He said: “The only determining factor would be our ability to drive down the hydrogen and fuel cell stack cost. If we are able to do so, it is a very viable option.” GreenLite will be used for SBS Transit bus services 179, 179A or 199 after the Games end.
Eight new halls by 2015
New halls of residence to cease high demand of stay on the campus Leonard How
COME 2015, up to two-thirds of undergraduates will get to live on campus—the result of eight new halls of residence to be completed by then. The halls, part of the Campus Master Plan which includes a plan to strengthen the residential culture on campus, will bring the number of hostel places for students to 14,200, up from 9,200 today. A second graduate hall will also be completed in 2013. This is intended to accommodate some 1,170 graduate students in NTU and NIE.
The new undergraduate hostels will add an additional 5,000 places,” said NTU Senior Associate Provost Professor Er Meng Hwa. At present, only 40 per cent of undergraduate students and 20 per cent of graduate students are able to live on campus. All full-time undergraduate students are guaranteed a place in hostels during their first year of study. Application back to the halls in subsequent years, however, is dependent on a student’s level of involvement in campus activities, and the distance of his home from campus. With the hall cut-off points peaking at a high of 17 out of the maximum 19 this academic year, many students have been locked out of a room in the halls.
“The thing with the current system is that it’s too hard for returning seniors to get a place unless you both serve in high positions [in school activities] and live far away,” said second-year business student Ivan Lee, 22. “Hopefully this will balance the system out in future,” he added. Second-year st udent f rom the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Frank Chin, 22, would have graduated by the time the halls are completed. But he welcomed the news of the new hostels. “It’ll be too long, too late for me, but I’m glad NTU is tackling the problem.” The Student Affairs Office was unable to share more details on the halls, such as where they would be built.
PHOTO | NG JUN SEN
4D numbers on trees?
YOU may have noticed that all the trees on campus — from the broadtrunked angsana all the way down to clusters of slender sealing-wax palms — are sporting white numbered labels. So why the need to number the trees? Is it in case one suddenly goes missing? No, in fact it is all part of the ongoing Campus Master Plan, which is designed to meet the present facility needs of the campus and its surroundings, and to respond to changes and challenges, according to the Office of Facilities Planning and Management. So the trees will be monitored and the girth of their trunks measured, to check for age, growth and health. The trees were first numbered in April, and the tags will remain on the trees for the time being.
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NTU mailbox migrates to Windows Live Enhanced features may instead inconvenience users Lei Jiahui The new NTU webmail interface boosts numerous functions and a larger storage space for all undergraduates and alumni. In March this year, NTU began upgrading the mailboxes to the Windows Live system. With the upgrade, users are promised a slew of new features. Users now enjoy 40GB of online storage space-10GB mailbox, 25GB worth of online storage accessible through Windows SkyDrive, and 5GB of storage under Microsoft Office Live Workspace.
“With the larger storage space, I don’t have to delete the old mails to let the new mails come in anymore.” Grace Ang, 21 Third-year student School of Biological Sciences
Windows SkyDrive is a file storage and sharing service that allows users to upload documents online and control access to their files. With Office Live Workspace, users can create, edit, upload and share Microsoft Office documents directly using the Office Web Apps. Also, unlike the generic
Windows Live service, the new mail system prevents users from being shown third-party advertisements in the email interface. According to the Centre for IT Services, this upgrade aims to “provide students with more resources than what NTU can afford without increasing IT charges.” Students lauded the new mail system for the much larger space capacity. Third-year biological sciences student Grace Ang, 21, said: “With the larger storage space, I don’t have to delete the old mails to let the new mails come in anymore.” Third-year student Nicholas Ang also agreed, stating that the new interface is far better than the previous one. “It has more functions yet is still user-friendly. For instance, it has a good layout and easy-to-read fonts,” the mechanical engineering student said. One of the only grouses, however, is that the Linked ID feature, which facilitates quick switches between different Windows Live ID accounts, does not work for those with basic accounts as the NTU mail uses the Outlook Web Application. Final-year business student, Lee Wenkai, 23, said that this poses an unnecessary inconvenience to students with personal Windows Live accounts. Grace Ang agreed and said that this is her only grouse with regards to this new system. “Having to sign out and then in again is very troublesome,” she added. Students can log onto http://www.ntu.edu.sg/cits/emailandmessaging/live/Pages/ default.aspx to find out more about the new NTU Webmail.
Cans transformed into art BIGGER BUT NOT BETTER: Although users now enjoy more storage space, Hotmail users find it troublesome to log in and out of their own accounts just to check their mails. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION | EUNICE CHAN
PHOTO | NG JUN SEN
EXHIBITS were made out of Red Bull cans at the Red Bull Art of Can Exhibition 2010, which was held at *scape. Out of more than 50 pieces of artwork, NTU Biological Sciences student Sheena Ng, 23, won third prize for her entry 'Mosaic Culture', which was a collection of eight doll-size dresses.
Lifestyle Green is the new black - Page 9
End-of-semester holidays are no longer just about internships and temporary jobs. Kenneth Goh and Pearl Lee talk to three students who pursued their showbiz dreams in the hopes of becoming rising entertainment stars Halimah Yahaya Humanities and Social Science, Year 3 W H I L E mo s t of he r f r ie nd s s oug ht out i nte r n s h ip s a nd ov e r s e a s wor k at tachments, Halimah Yahaya, 22, a linguistics undergraduate, embarked on an exchange trip into the world of showbiz. She competed in Anugerah Skrin, an acting competition organised by Suria, t he Ma lay language channel r un by Singapore’s MediaCorp Television. She was one of the top six contestants who made it to the finals in July this year. There were 24 contestants. Not bad for somebody who had zero experience in acting. “I just wanted to break free from the usual routine [of what most people do during holidays] and see this as a platform to express myself artistically,” said Halimah. “I cou ld ea si ly do a n i nte r n sh ip or f ind temporar y work during other semester breaks, but the opportunity to be do something out of the ordinary was too good to miss,” she added. She v i site d Ca mbod ia a nd I nd ia for school exchange trips during her previous semester breaks. The competition went full steam in early May, after she passed two rounds of auditions. That meant that two-thirds of the three-month holiday was devoted to the competition. For Ha lima h, a t y pica l week was c r a m me d w it h r e hea r s a l s , cos t u me fittings and photo shoots. The show had two episodes per week. On Tuesdays, the show’s judges would analyse and critique the contestants’ pre-recorded acting segments. The results were revealed live on Fridays.
“I could easily do an internship or find temporary work during other semester breaks.” Ever y week, the male and female contestants with the lowest scores were eliminated. The scores were determined by the judges and the public vote by SMSes. Being on the show opened her eyes to the world of acting. “I learnt about camera angles and switching between various character modes,” she said. “I also gained insights by talking to my mentors and observing the contestants.” Howe ve r, when it ca me to t he
WATCH THESE FACES: Halimah and Vikneshvaran want a shot at fame.
pronunciation of words, she had the upper hand. With her knowledge in linguistics, she was more aware of adapting her pronunciation to suit different contexts. “It was interesting to observe how contestants pronounced some words due to their social backgrounds,” she said. To test the contestants’ versatility, the show featured a different acting genre every week. The themes ranged from drama to action. For the theme of action, she played her most memorable role—a robber y accomplice who was on the run from a killer. “It was tiring as I really had to run in my first outdoor shoot and I had to fake a fall, but ended up actually falling.” T he s pu n k y g i rl a l so wa nt s to dabble in playing a crazy person or a handicapped person. Although she can shed tears easily, it was emotionally exhausting for her to re-take the tearjerker scenes, which can require up to five takes per line. “I just have to re-wipe those tears and start from acting normal all over again,” she said. “I cried till my tears dried up.” Halimah is next acting in a fourepisode Malay drama, in which she breaks up a happy couple. T h i s mea n s jugg l i ng work a nd studies. However, she is not fazed. “This is something I enjoy doing and I will find a way to manage my time,” she said.
PHOTOS | GOH CHAY TENG & GILLIAN GOH
Vikneshvaran Nanyang Business School, Year 2 IT ALL started out as a prank from his brother. V i k n e s h v a r a n , 22 , a bu s i n e s s undergraduate, was confused when he received an email request to audition for a slot in ‘Mr Vasantham’ early this year. Organised by Mediacor p’s Tamil language channel, Vasantham, ‘Mr Va sa nt ha m’ i s t he c ha n ne l’s f i r st manhunt competition. Little did he know that his brother had signed him up for the competition online. After some consideration, he decided to take baby steps into the world of showbiz. “ I t houg ht t h at it wa s a goo d opportunity for guys to showcase that t hey have t he f u ll package—look s, brains and physique— especially in the Indian community,” said Vikneshvaran. His go-getter attitude sparked a decision to join the competition, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. He was crowned ‘Mr Vasantham’ in June this year. The contest saw 10 contestants pit their looks, physique, and skills such as acting and hosting, against each other. While the accountancy major had always envisioned a corporate career for h i m s e l f, he ad m it te d t h at he secretly harboured dreams of having the spotlight cast on him whenever he watched Tamil movies.
The live television show aired every Saturday from mid April until mid June and exhausted half of his three-month holiday. Mos t s t ude nt s wou ld u nw i nd by watching more telev ision dur ing the h ol i d a y s , bu t V i k n e s h v a r a n f ou nd himself dancing and parading in nothing but surfer shorts on live television. A typical week during the holidays consisted of up to four days of rehearsals, before the show went live on air. This cycle repeated for nine weeks. E ac h r e he a r s a l c ou ld la s t up to si x hour s, dur ing wh ich contestants practiced the catwalk, dance moves and the occasional acting. Mornings were reserved for hitting the gym four times a week to keep in shape. He also ran over 20km twice a week. Then, there were the practice sessions for the skill segment of the competition. For one, Vikneshvaran was supposed to come up with a parody of a popular Indian movie. “The challenging part was watching up to seven hours of Tamil movies to pick a scene to script an acting sequence,” he said. Each show had a theme and tested the contestants with different skills, like hosting and acting. Hosting in Tamil was a challenge for Vikneshvaran, as he needed to come up with the right words while coping with sticky situations, like facing a prank call while hosting a game show segment. A s t he competition began in mid April, he had to juggle rehearsals and a hectic school schedule. “Dur ing the rehearsal breaks, the other contestants would be chatting, and there I was f lipping the textbooks and studying,” he recalled. According to him, it depended on which one screamed for more attention. During the exam period, studies would take first priority. “In between my study breaks, I would practise my dance routine, come back all sweat y, and ready to hit the next chapter,” he said. While his peers may have gained a head start in their career or academics, with holiday attachments and internships, he relished the “rare opportunity to do something crazy and out-of-the-box”. He explained t hat t he exper ience doused him in the testy waters of the real working world. “I k now how to ha nd le cr it ici sm properly and see things in a positive light, as you will feel criticism much faster in the media, where the judges and the audience have something negative to say,” he said. Vikneshvaran is slated to appear in an upcoming drama on Vasantham channel.
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Paddy Jonathan Ong, 22 Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Year 1 MOST students would prefer to take things slow before the start of school. Not 22-year-old Paddy Jonathan Ong, who has been hitting the right notes with his rock band, Run Neon Tiger. T he communication st udies undergraduate is the lead singer and guitarist of the four-man outfit. They were among the eight bands chosen to perform at Singapore’s Baybeats festival two weeks ago. Baybeats is an annual alternative music festival organised by The Esplanade. The band considers their Baybeats gig their biggest performance yet. They had a 30-minute set, in which they performed six of their original songs. “We have been attending this festival for the past six years to check out the local music scene and it was great to share the same stage,” Ong said. The journey to performing at Baybeats started in December last year, when the band recorded a few original songs. He said that recording the band’s compositions was a natural progression and allowed them to share their music online. Auditions took another three months, in which they had to perform in front of a panel of judges. “We were over the moon when we made it to the final round of selection,” he said. “Only eight bands made it through.” He added that the quality of the other local bands were good, in terms of vocals and skills. Although they felt nervous about the competition, it also made them appreciate the high standards of local music. At the end of the performance, the band announced their email address, so the members of the audience could contact them and get their songs for free. “The audience response was good, and we received more than 60 emails requesting for our songs on that night,” Ong said. “Some people even left such requests on our Facebook page." Like a ravenous tiger, Run Neon Tiger is prowling for more gigs and corporate events to play their music. They frequent music forums, like SOFT, to look for such opportunities. With school work on the cards, Ong hopes to maintain the routine of jamming with the band once a week. Weekdays are meant for school work, while weekends are devoted to spending time with the band. A typical jamming session would usually last for two hours and takes place in a small studio tucked away in a little shop house at Upper Thomson Road. His band prefers performing originals as opposed to covers. “There’s really no formula to writing songs. Usually someone comes up with something, like maybe a bass line, and the rest of us just throw in our ideas," he said. “It gives me great satisfaction to know that people can connect with our songs.”
HEAR HIM STRUM: Paddy Jonathan Ong's band, Run Neon Tiger, performed at this year's Baybeats Festival.
SUMMER IN THE CITY Delve deep into the heart of San Francisco as Lifestyle Editor Jennifer Dhanaraj navigates her way through the city
MISSION STREET: Houses giving off the hippie vibe. GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE: Beautifully dominates but does not overpower its natural setting.
AS I made my way to the University of California (Berkeley) one morning, where I was for a si x-week long s u m me r e xc h a n ge , a n A f r ic a nAmerican man approached me to tell me how beautiful I was. Hav ing only heard such compl i me nt s f rom my mot he r, I blushed almost immediately. But that bubble soon burst as soon as he asked me for some spare change. As insulted as I should have felt about his compliment-for-a-dollar scheme, it only made me love the San Francisco Bay Area more. After all, the man did make me smile at 9am on a weekday morning, something that has never happened to me in Singapore. The city has a rich history and beaut if u l landmark s such as t he Golden Gate Bridge. But it was the people-watching a nd t he i nter ac t ion w it h t hem— whet her i ntent iona l or not—t hat made the San Francisco Bay Area one of t he mor e e xc it i ng a nd charming cities I have been to. Biking eight miles to the Golden Gate Bridge from the Fisherman’s Wharf sounded like an enchanting, romantic idea. Who would not look good in a bright and cheery outfit with wind-swept hair? The answer to that question was non-exercising people like me. My friends and I rented our bikes from Blazing Saddles for US$32 per day at Fisherman’s Wharf and then wobbled unsteadily onto the streets where our journey to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge began proper. The initial part of the journey was frighteningly chaotic as we were not protected from heavy traffic and neither was the human traffic protected from us. But after conquering Fisherman’s W har f, t he v iews at t he Mar ina, Ocean Park and Golden Gate Park were especially rewarding. As we rode past the Golden Gate Park , t he unmista kable glimpses of red of t he br idge ser ved as a motivation to continue despite aching thighs and buttocks. Countless steep hills later, at the foot
of the Golden Gate Bridge, I realised that it was all worth it. The bridge was magnificent. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with cars whizzing past and the right amount of fog to retain its ethereal presence, it is no wonder that the bridge is hailed as an architectural wonder. But in somewhat of an ironic, dark twist, the Golden Gate Bridge is also the most popular place in the world to commit suicide. On a more cheerful note, San Francisco's rich culture that is deeply rooted in music. Many rising indie bands often choose the city for a tour stop. The intimate setting of these gigs held at little clubs and bars was refreshing and it was common to have a chat with the performers after the gig. Huge record stores especially Amoeba Music and Rasputin Music are a must-visit for music lovers. Amoeba Music prides itself on being the largest independent record store in the world. The huge warehouse of music was certainly alluring as they carried every possible genre and format of music from vinyl to blu-ray. The freedom to peruse and get lost in the world of (reasonably priced) music was a lovely feeling. Late night bus rides across the bay to our Berkeley apartment were always entertaining. Homeless people lugging makeshift rucksacks taking up at least four seats
in buses to use as a bed was certainly an interesting sight. Deeper into the city are little, quaint districts that accurately portray the hippie, fun-loving lifestyles of the people in San Francisco. One such district is Haight-Ashbury. With a comfor table mix of high-end boutiques, thrift stores and idiosyncratic, outlandishly decorated rows of houses, it does not take long to get attached to this place. Hipsters and hippies alike are a perfect fit for such a place. One cannot doubt the creativity that stems f rom here as indiv iduals wit h long dreadlocks and colourf ul tattoos s t a n d a lon g t h e s i d e w a l k r e c i t i n g poetr y or str umming along to a folk song. San Francisco is well known to be the centre of liberal activism in the United States. In the last week of my stay here, I was lucky enough to witness the celebration on the streets of Castro Valley as the judge ruled that Prop 8, a mandate that prevents same-sex couples f rom mar r y ing, as unconstitutional. A l mos t i m me d iate ly, r oad s we r e s hut dow n a nd r a i n b ow f la g s t h at signif ied gay pr ide were f lown high as people from all walks of life took to the streets to celebrate the news. T hou g h I h av e s e e n m a n y s ide s to this cit y, it is apparent that three months is simply not enough to get to f ully know this wonderf ul cit y.
CABLE CARS: The bus ride to the Fisherman's Wharf was full of beautiful views.
PHOTOS | GILLIAN GOH
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hot spots for hot pots It might be bad for communal bonding, but individual hot pots allow diners to personalise their steamboat experience. Lifestyle Editor Kenneth Goh gets covered in steam
Kichi Kichi Express Rotary Hotpot
Ah Yat Shabu Shabu Hotpot
180 Kitchener Road City Square Mall #02-23/24
260 Orchard Road The Heeren #B1-10
Opening hours: Mon–Sun: 11am–10pm
Opening Hours: Mon–Sun: 11am-5pm (lunch) 5pm–10.30pm (dinner)
CONVEYOR belts in eateries are no longer exclusive to serving sushi–diners can also find them in this hotpot bar. While the idea of steamboat usually evokes images of people huddled around a steamboat pot and jostling to fish out their ingredients, this is steamboat dining for the ‘iPot’ generation Each diner gets an individual hot pot , wh ich a l lows for customisation—from the f lavour of the stock right down to the ingredients swimming in the hotpot($23.90). Hou r s of scou r i ng for ingredients that mysteriously disappear in the stock should end up in steam too. The 80-seater eater y has a conveyor belt that spans from t he open-concept k itchen to the bar. Stationed along the belt are counter seats with individually controlled stoves for each hot pot. If you have company, opt for the four or six-seater booth. T hese boot hs have larger yin-yang partitioned pots which can hold two f lavours of stock simultaneously. To b e g i n t h e h o t p o t ex per ience, choose f rom si x soul-warming soups. T he sig nat u r e mu sh room soup, which bears the essence of different mushrooms, is light and palate-cleansing. It i s a go o d m atc h w it h vegetables. T he tong ue -t i ng l i ng tom yum soup, which is perfumed with lemongrass, is an especially harmonious pair with red meat especially. The usual prawn, chicken and herbal f lavours round up the selection of soups. Refills are free, but there is a $2 charge to change the soup. M a k i n g t h e i r r ou n d s i n different coloured plates are the steamboat ingredients. The all-you-can-eat menu con si st s of ove r 6 0 food items, like cuttlef ish, g yoza, vegetables, noodles and yong tau foo. They are grouped according to categor ie s a nd se r ved i n plates of respective colours. The paper-thin sliced beef is slightly chewy. Its gameness is offset by the Kichi Kichi Chilli sauce, which is reminiscent of tangy sweetand-sour Thai Chili.
ON A ROLL: Ingredients cruise around the belt. PHOTOS | KENNETH GOH & KICHI KICHI
This sauce pairs well with ingredients, perfumed by the tom yum stock. Also making its rounds are seven other sauces, like hoisin a nd sesa me sauce for added crunch to the meat. For an additional element of fun, look out for “secret recipes” cruising around the conveyor belt. T he y a re colou r-coded r e c ip e s on how to pa i r t he ingredients and sauces, based on the plates’ colour. Thanks to the powerful air ventilation system, the place does not leave diners smelling of the steamboat stock. W it hout h av i ng to leave their seats, diners can also help themselves to desser ts which arrive on the conveyor belt. Go for the chocolate hotpot ($5), which is not in a pot, but a shallow platter.
BY THE BAR: Sit and pick your ingredient.
It come s w it h a plate of s t r aw b e r r ie s , g r e e n apple s , watermelons and dried mangoes. Dip t hem i n t he si n f u l ly indulgent mixture of dark and milk chocolate. It is best to reser ve some stomach space for this sweet ending to a breezy, smell-andsweat-free steamboat session.
win a chocolate hotpot Email your full name, mobile number and date of birth to marketing_sin@ expressrotaryhotpot.com by September 20 to be one of the 20 lucky winners to receive a Kichi Kichi A4 notebook (worth $10) and a chocolate hotpot voucher (worth $5++) *By sending your details to the stated email address, you allow Kichi Kichi's management to contact you for future promotions and updates of Kichi Kichi™.
ABALONE is a steamboat staple at Ah Yat Shabu Shabu’s abalone and seafood steamboat buffet. ($16.80 for lunch, $19.80 for dinner) More than offering just the usual fish balls and crabsticks, t h i s c a s u a l s pi n- of f of t he prominent abalone restaurant, Ah Yat, adds more bang to the diners’ buck. They get this prized seafood item swimming in the broth. Besides three fresh abalones, each diner gets three prawns, fish slices and straw mushrooms on their platter. There is also a plate of meat to choose from the menu. These come on top of the “all-you-can-eat” buffet, which consists of over 20 varieties of steamboat ingredients. Diners can choose an individual hot pot. For those who insist on fostering community spi r it, t he eater y has la rger steamboat pots. Still, a chummy group of four can share easy conversation over individual hotpots. This casual steamboat eatery is mostly made up of counter seats. However, t he high chair s can get uncomfortable for the bum especially after prolonged seating and if diners choose to enjoy their steamboat meal at a leisurely pace. While the personal hot pots allow patrons to customise their ingredients, there is a grousing point—the pot proved to be too shallow for convenience. Thus, the considerably small amount of stock ran out fast. T his means constant i nter r upt ion s to a ler t t he waiters to refill the pot. Refills of stock are available free of charge. However, if you choose to change the soup base, there is an additional charge of $2. T he abalones, which take t wo m i nute s to cook , y ie ld chewy bites. For meat, pick from a range of sliced pig’s belly, lamb and beef. In shabu shabu style, the meat is sliced paper-thin. After emptying the platter, there is the f ive-shelf buffet counter, which is well stocked w i t h a p r e d i c t a b l e m i x of steamboat ingredients. They are usual sights around the steamboat pot: meat balls,
iPOT: Personalise your hot pot with a diverse range of meats and vegetables.
sausages, cuttlefish ball, gluten ( tof u sk i n ) , s we e t cor n a nd beancurd. O ne s t a ndout bite i s t he cheese tofu. The cheese, which is injected into the tofu slab, adds a melt-in-your-mouth texture to the silk tofu. There is also the fish roe ball for a sweet and chewy addition. The watercress leaves and tung oh add sweetness to the broths. T he t r ick to hav i ng a n enjoyable stea mboat is i n choosing the stock. Diners have a choice of clear ch ic ken soup, f ier y Sichua n spicy soup and the piquant tom yum soup. The soup needs to be f lavourf ul, but not overwhelming to knock out the taste of the ingredients. Yet they should enrich the stock for a mouthwatering endproduct. T he beef sheet s , ma rbled w it h f at , we r e pa r t ic u l a r l y enjoyable with the rich spices of the invigorating tom yum stock. It leaves a ta r t sensat ion lingering in the tongue and the potent aroma of lemongrass gels well with the beef. To a d d p i z z a z z t o t h e stea mboat i ng r e d ie nt s , he lp yourself to the nine sauces. T he peanut sauce is good for adding creaminess to meat, w h i le t h e T h a i c h i l i s a u c e injects tartness to the simmered ingredients. O t he r sauce s i nc lude t he fiery Sichuan chili, sweet and sour chili and soy sauce. Cool down from all the steam with a simple variety of desserts —agar agar, in green tea, sweet potato and chocolate f lavours and sliced watermelons. It is a clean and fuss-free way of having a steamboat. But it could have been better if there were fewer interruptions from calling for stock refills, and the worry that the pot may dry up.
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quiet is the new loud
Walk in the park
Lifestyle Editor Jennifer Dhanaraj shows the best parks to go to for a break from busy schedules during the week DaiRY FARM NATURE PARK 100 Dairy Farm Road
INTELLECTUAL EXERCISE: Take a break from the heat by learning. PHOTO | INTERNET
THE flat trails at Dairy Farm Nature Park make it easier to appreciate the rare flora and fauna without having to worry about escalating heart rates. This is good news especially for nature lovers and newer hikers. Managed by the National Parks Boa rd , t h i s pa rk of fer s a scen ic env ironment with trails for both hiking and mountain biking. Un l i ke t he h i k i ng t r a i l s , t he mountain biking trails feature steep descents that would be more of an adventure for intermediate bikers. Upon arrival, visitors will find that there are two trails to choose from. One ta kes you to t he Wallace Education Centre that is just ahead and the other leads you to the Singapore Quarry at the other end of the park. The treks to both destinations are simply breathtaking because there are brightly coloured f lowers as well as many species of butterf lies on both sides of the path. However, it is a wiser choice to
WEST COAST PARK Parallel to West Coast Highway
ADVENTURE PLAY AREA: Fun for all.
head to the park in the early morning to avoid the scorching heat. T he Wallace Education Centre, formerly a cowshed, houses exhibits on the changing landscapes of Dairy Farm and the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. The centre, named after naturalist A l f r ed Ru s se l Wa l lace, a l so ha s interactive multimedia kiosks that display information about the park's biodiversity. At the opposite end of the park is the Singapore Quarry. The quarry's transformation into the tranquil wetland it is today has attracted much fauna, one of which is the critically endangered bird known as the Little Gerbe. Kingfishers, beetles and dragonflies make an appearance. There is a simple viewing deck at the forefront of the quarr y that enables nature lovers to appreciate parts of nature ranging from the aquatic creatures to the songs and sounds of the insects, birds and the occasional monkey. Despite the scorching weather, the Singapore Quarry is popular especially among photography enthusiasts who were spotted whipping out their DSLRs to capture the sights. “It’s nice to come here to take pictures of the beautiful scenery while taking a walk with my girlfriend,” said amateur photographer, Darius Tan, 32. He added that he used to take pictures at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve but stumbled upon the less crowded Dairy Farm. T he v ibrant colou r s of t he different animals and plants here made it a better setting for photo taking. Dairy Farm Nature Park seems like a place to bring anyone from a date to your grandparents. The fuss-free hike to enjoy magnificent views throughout the park appeals to everyone.
WEST Coast Park is definitely not one of the first places you would go to catch a sunset in Singapore. But at the park, a glimpse of the fiery sunset against blackened silhouettes of ships and cranes. It is certainly a refreshing change, to get a view of a sunset that is not obscured by skyscrapers. West Coast Park is often overlooked in favour of the bigger and more popular East Coast Park But the West has just as much to offer. The park is known as a favourite kite f lying spot because sea breeze. There are many types of kites of all shapes and colours f lying ever y day, especially during the weekend. Some are f lown by k ids who can
HORT PARK: The first one-stop gardening lifestyle hub in Asia.
PHOTOS | NATIONAL PARKS BOARD
I N T H E day, wa l k ing across t he Henderson Waves provides a good vantage point for viewing different species of migratory birds. At night, the distinctive, undulated wave-like structure transforms as it lights up, with the Singapore skyline serving as a romantic backdrop. T he Hender son Waves i s ju st one of many highlights along the Southern Ridges, a nine kilometer chain of green, open spaces spanning the hills of Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Park, Hort Park and Kent Ridge Park- all connected by nature pathways and bridges. There is something for everyone at Southern Ridges. The Marang Trail will appeal to the joggers and walking enthusiasts. T he t rai l cover s an elevat ion equivalent to a 24-storey building and it is certainly a good idea not to overestimate your fitness level, like I did. But at night, the trail is deliberately unlit to minimise disturbance to the nocturnal life in the forest. It is crucial to bring torchlights on night hikes because the lights from cellphones will definitely be inadequate.
There are also easier, more scenic t r a i l s l i ke t he For e s t Wa l k , a n elevated walkway cutting through the secondary forest of Telok Blangah. Joggers often use the walkway at night when it is illuminated, with much cooler weather. The elevated walkway is also a good lookout point to spot a high biodiversity of flora and fauna. The bright flowers of the Dillenia tree (also known as the ‘Rojak’ tree) screams out for attention, appealing to many tr igger-happy photographers There are also many species of butterflies, dragonflies and birds such as the Pink-necked Green Pigeon to look out for. However, as the metal walkways are see-through below your feet, those with a fear of heights might feel a little queasy. The Canopy Walk in the Southern Ridges is a treat for anyone who is keen to learn a little Singapore history. The walk, which leads through the dense secondary forest, links the Kent Ridge Park to Reflections at Bukit Chandhu, the site of one of Singapore’s last battles in the Second World War. The walk also rewards photographers with beautiful panoramic shots of the city skyline. Southern Ridges is a beautifully developed place that would require at least three hours of exploring f to fully appreciate the forests, the biodiversity, and the magnificent views.
barely manage to keep their kites in the air or from getting tangled with another kite. There are also the more professional kite f lyers expertly handle their kites which glide along the sky with perfect ease. W it h t he pa s t i me's i nc r e a s i n g popularity, kite f lying enthusiasts will appreciate tthe vast space at West Coast Park. A t t he he a r t of t h e p a r k i s t h e Adventure Play Area, which appeals to kids as well as young adults looking for fun. The perennial favourites are f lying fox and the climbing equipment. A recommended activity at the park would be overnight camping.
With the cool night temperature and f lat ground the park offers many comfortable camping spots. It he lps t hat t her e a r e ma ny barbeque pits, although they have to be booked at least seven days in advance. W h i le it doe s not of fe r lu sh greenery or fast food eateries other than McDonald's, West Coast Park is a quaint, tranquil place to spend your weekends. West Coast Park may be older than the rest of the parks featured here. But the simple layout of the park is certainly a welcomed escape from the hectic and demandic schedules during the week.
Spans Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill, HortPark and Kent Ridge Park.
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T h e na n ya ng c h ron ic l e
BOOKS Call Me Elizabeth Dawn Annandale (Non-Fiction) $17.12 available at Borders Published by Little, Brown Book Group
It is not often that reality is stranger than fiction but Call Me Elizabeth is definitely one for the record. The book is based on the life of Dawn Annandale, a mother of six driven by her children’s needs and a decisively useless husband into the morally nebulous world of prostitution. A simple magazine advert and £30,000 worth of debt was all it took to turn Dawn, the mother, into Elizabeth, the escort. T he plot t he n ploug h s through her experiences with pimps, clients and the social stigma of prostitution. At the crux of Annandale’s tale is the profound question of how far one would go to provide for her children. For her, walking the streets is no cavalier decision. The lurid details of each booking with a client are paired with earnest self-exploration and the justification that this is only for the money; a point constantly hammered home. While Annandale operates like a typical mother by day, packing lunch boxes for her kids and ironing their private school uniforms, Elizabeth operates like a carnal saint by night, offering pleasure and a listening ear to her love-starved clients. At times, the book is unapologeticaly gritty. Annandale describes the hellishness of her situation in graphic detail, delving into social taboos like rape, abortion and the sexual diseases she contracted. Overall, the only criticism that can be made of the book is Annandale’s unwavering self-belief and unrealistic values, which become a tad cloying upon regular repetition. Throughout the book, she overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds again and again, proving herself more triumphant heroine than damsel in distress. Yet, it is also this never-say-die attitude that readers undoubtedly can relate strongly to. It is this inherently human trait that touches the heart of the reader. Furthermore, the fact that this is the author’s life story adds a tinge of sobriety to the book. Call Me Elizabeth is more emotionally stirring and thought provoking than one might have expected. Whether readers will root for Annandale or judge her decisions, this is one tale that manages to be honest, biting and heart-warming, all at the same time.
“I can't just be the girl who sang I Kissed a Girl. I have to leave a legacy.” Katy Perry, in an interview with Cosmopolitan, on her musical ambitions
MUSIC The Suburbs Arcade Fire (Alternative Rock)
The whereabouts of the suburban house on the album cover is a closely guarded group secret.
WITH their latest release The Suburbs, Arcade Fire demonstrates their progress from the nihilism that characterised debut album Funeral and themes of isolation and paranoia in Neon Bible. Win Butler, lead singer and songwriter of the band, has stated that The Suburbs is about both his conservative suburban Texas upbringing, and the dire state of hollow decay in North American cities. While an album conceived on such an inspiration might threaten to be an agglomeration of bleak, cheerless tunes, The Suburbs quickly disproves any initial skepticism. A standout track is the effervescent Rococo. The song is a reference to an 18th century artistic movement, which was light and airy, but was also criticised for lacking substance and true meaning. The song alludes to the pretentiousness of modern kids who use great big words that they don’t understand. But the track takes the edge off its social critique with its refrain, a soft lilting repetition of the track’s name that lends an atmospheric quality to the song. The 16-track album is a little on the long side, but listeners would do well to listen to the The Suburbs in its uninterrupted entirety, with all the tracks in order. A few tracks are presented in pairs–Sprawl/Sprawl 2 and Half Light/Half Light 2, an unconventional but well-made decision. The former is a particular standout, and features the couple reminiscing about days gone by, and simple pleasures like sitting under the swings and kissing in the dark. Butler's crooning vocals are melancholic in Sprawl, while in Sprawl 2, wife Regine Chassagne's uplifting timbre complements the zingy, trippy disco beats as the pair of tracks wind the listener to the album’s close.
Teenage Dream K aty Perry (Pop)
,,,,, In a display of songwriting prowess, Perry had a hand in writing all 12 tracks in Teenage Dream.
Katy Perry, the singer who told you she kissed a girl and liked it, returns with her sophomore album that promises as much sass as her 2008 offering, One of the Boys. Her title track sets the tone of the album, celebrating the notion of youth and insouciance. It pairs head-bopping beats with Perry’s powerful vocals and risque lyrics, urging the listener to “go all the way tonight” and “put your hands on me in my skintight jeans”. The rest of Teenage Dream basically contains the same formula that shot Perry to fame, with catchy beats that build up on tempo and climax in the chorus a la Perry style. Perry’s songwriting ability is hit-and-miss. Peacock, for instance, features double entendres that barely qualify as innuendo. I wanna see your peacock, cock, cock/don’t be a chicken boy/stop acting like a bee-yatch demonstrate Perry’s attempt to be a tease, which unfortunately veers into the wrong side of good taste. Yet a few surprises include Who Am I Living For, in which Perry seeks to be thought provoking with lyrics such as heavy is the head that wears the crown/don’t let the greatness wear you down, and serves as a reminder of her days where she was still Katy Hudson. Perhaps what appeals Perry to the masses would be her ability to bring a high sugar rush to the audience after listening to her music, and it also doesn’t hurt that she wears her stardom comfortably like a second skin. For a singer who uses the words "epic fail" in her songs, Perry seems to have gotten the right formula for staying in this industry with Teenage Dream, coming far for the girl who used to release gospel albums while in high school.
AN EXCERPT FROM Call Me Elizabeth
Eric proved to be just the first on my list of regulars. Now I quickly began to acquire several more. One afternoon, not long after my first meeting with Eric, Holly rang me to say she had a client who wanted a longer than standard booking, from about 6p.m to 1a.m. She told me the gentleman wanted a girl he could take to the theatre and out for supper before adjourning to his hotel. She’d thought of me, she said, because the reports came back that as well as being good at my job, I was also presentable and interesting to talk to. I laughed at this, and supposed that if the competition was anything like the girl I’d met at Jimmy’s – stunning, but with only three words of English – this didn’t necessarily say anything particularly wonderful about me. However, the thought of being spared the sexual needs of four or five individuals in one night meant I took the job willingly.
PHOTOS | INTERNET
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Uncovering slash With his heavily tattooed arms, trademark aviator shades and black top hat, Slash looks like the epitome of the devil-may-care rocker who typically leaves a trail of destruction in his wake. If his reputation is anything to go by, that stereotype hardly deviates from the truth. But at a press conference in Singapore last month, the erstwhile guitarist of legendary rock band Guns and Roses dispensed useful advice to aspiring guitarists and shared his thoughts on the music industry—hardly the stuff bad boys of rock are made of. “The most important thing is why you want to pursue the instrument—your love with it and your passion for it. You have to be disciplined, you have to make commitment, and in order to make a career out of it you have to make sacrifices,” said Slash, who was born Saul Hudson. Added the 45-year-old: “It’s really hard to get in the industry in the first place, but once you have your foot in the door, you can go places.” Slash was in town to promote his self-titled solo album, which features a star-studded lineup of vocalists including Maroon Five’s Adam Levine and fellow rocker Ozzy Osbourne. While on tour though, Slash travels with Alter Bridge frontman
Former lovers Una (Emma Yong) and Ray (Daniel Jenkins) meet face-toface for the first time in 15 years. A chance picture in a magazine has led her back to him. But is it for answers, reconciliation or revenge? Scottish playwright David Harrower has written a riveting play about a sexual relationship that transforms, paralyses and destroys the lives of both the parties involved. Catch Blackbird playing at the DBS Arts centre from 15 September–2 October. Tickets available from Sistic from $35-$52 each. Student tickets are available at a 25% discount.
Stand a chance to win tickets to Blackbird! The Nanyang Chronicle has two pairs of tickets to be given away. Simply answer this question: Emma Yong stars as Una in Blackbird. True or False? Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org before Friday, September 10th, 2359H. Include your name, matriculation number and contact number. Prizes are courtesy of Singapore Repertory Theatre.
Myles Kennedy on vocals. On his collaboration with Kennedy, Slash said: “I didn’t see him coming at all—by chance, I thought of him. When we worked on the track Back from Cali, I knew he was the right person because his range is amazing.” For all his stage presence
PHOTO | EUNICE CHAN
and panache, one t hing t hat bugged Slash was the sweltering Singaporean heat. “If I lived here, I’d have to cut all my hair off!” he said candidly. But Slash without his trademark mane of hair would be unimaginable. -Anjali
Grown Ups Comedy
Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James 102 min
F u n n y ma n Ad a m Sa nd le r brings together a slew of comedic heav y weights for a hilar ious getaway as family backgrounds clash and couples’ relationships are put to the test. Five friends who were basketball teammates back in high school are reunited once again when their beloved coach passes away. This sets the premise for an unforget table Four th of July weekend reunion, as the f ive ‘grown ups’ relive their childhood playfulness while learning to take on the responsibilities of an adult. Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler) is a high-flying Hollywood agent, who is flanked by a high maintenance wife Roxanne Chase-Feder (Salma Hayek), three spoilt kids, and a nanny in tow. Kurt McKenzie (Chris Rock) is a scrawny, hen-pecked househusband. Meanwhile Eric Lamonsoff (Kevin James) is a pudgy co-owner of a furniture store whose wife still breast-feeds their four-year-old son.
,,,,, Rounding up the dysfunctional characters are Rob Hilliard (Rob Schneider), a spiritual massage therapist whose wife is twice his age, and Marcus Higgins (David Spade), the middle-aged bachelor who is seemingly eyeing Hilliard’s two teenage daughters. The outrageous situations here are the highlights of the film. Be it a tree-swinging misadventure or a crazy outing at a water theme park, Sandler and gang–although visibly getting on in years–are still game on tackling the physical gags head-on. The characters’ foolish delight in indulging in silly childhood pastimes will go down well with guys who like to constantly repeat the same old jokes but never get sick of them. T he deliberately deadpa n dialogue also crackles to life under the gifted cast’s delivery, although the same cannot be said about the choppy direction. Director Dennis Dugan, who has helmed similar slapstick comedies
like You Don’t Mess With The Zohan and I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, mixes scenes together with little coherence to the plot. Mini scenarios play out onscreen almost independent of each other, while a subplot about a
basketball re-match involving their childhood enemies chugs the movie along to a rather unsatisfying conclusion. But for a comedy, it succeeds in tickling the audience with the frat pack’s never-ending antics.
PHOTO | INTERNET
U lt i mately, it s t hemes of friendship, family and magnanimity will still be well received even after the chuckles die down. This is one to catch with the bros. -Wilson Ng
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Guide to choosing laptops Kevin Lim tech editor
Bu y ing a laptop for school can be a daunting task. With a price tag of a few thousand dollars, it has to be the perfect machine that will last for years. In the process of looking for a model and brand, technical terms and various numbers appear in every brochure. Understanding how to add up the numbers is essential in making a wise choice. For the best laptop, form and functionality have to be mixed in balanced proportions. With a diverse range of laptops, choosing a laptop can be as personal as choosing clothes. There are universal factors that should be considered across all laptops. Buyers are mostly concerned about the weight of the laptops. It is a currency that users sacrifice for better performance, larger screens and longer battery life. Fully aluminium laptops are heavier but they do act as a gigantic heat sink that helps to dissipate heat well. Good ventilation is required for the laptop to reach its fullest potential. When the laptop gets too hot, the processor will automatically slow itself down so as to prevent overheating.
PHOTO | INTERNET
A l a r ge v e n t pr om i s e s a c o ole r environment so that the laptop will run at full speed. Do not worry if the air coming out is hot. It is a good sign that heat is being expelled rather than built up in the laptop. There is little the manufacturers can do about run-times unless they are willing to sacrifice lower performance or increased weight. Bat te r y volu me a nd we ig ht w i l l determine how long the laptop lasts. Most laptops should carry enough juice for the course of a day in school. Most, if not all laptops use lithium based batteries and have very different characteristics than the older nickel based technology. Lithium based batteries do not need the poorly advised eight-hour first charge. Furthermore, the laptop will stop the charging process once it reaches full capacity. For a longer batter y lifespan, keep the lithium batteries charged as much as possible. Letting the power drop below about 10 per cent will significantly injure the battery’s lifespan and capacity.
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T6600 2MB cache / 2.2GHz
What it means Processor - The brain power of the laptop, a priority for video/photo editing and graphic design. Measured in Giga Hertz (GHz). Cache - The processor’s personal memory space and has multiple levels, but level 1 (L1) is usually advertised. Measured in Megabytes (Mb).
4GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1067MHz
Memory - Fondly known as RAM (Random Access Memory), it is how much space the computer can work on. Priority for multitasking. Measured in Giga Bytes (GB)
Front Side Bus (FSB) - The computer’s nervous system, it is how fast the computer can communicate with all its components. FSB is measured in Mega Hertz (MHz).
Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit,
Operating System (OS) - Linux, Mac OS and Windows are the main types of OS to choose from and are usually pre-installed into the laptop.
250GB5 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive
Hard Drive (HDD) - Storage space, measured in Giga or Tera Bytes (GB, TB). This hardware can be easily upgraded at home.
Gaming on the go Kevin Lim
In this age, mobility is important. However, increasing performance without adding on size or weight is difficult. Razer’s mobility range seems to give users the best of both worlds.
Wireless gaming Mouse The Orochi has not lost its sleek black Razer cool. Using edges and contours, it combines the looks of the high tech cool with ergonomics that lets the hand rests comfortably. Bluetooth connectivity means no hassle of disconnecting cables when on the move. A braided USB cable with gold plated connectors is provided for the added assurance of constant connectivity and better performance. It runs on two AA sized batteries and can be changed easily by lifting up the top shell, which is held down firmly by magnets. The Orochi has an ambidextrous design with two additional buttons on each side. The buttons can be configured individually to activate short cuts in the game.
Portable Gaming Mouse Pad The Kabuto is a durable cloth mouse-pad a stripped down, no nonsense surface that can be laid anywhere. The rubberised surface is prepared to grip any given surface and it feels like it will not shift around on the slipperiest surfaces. It has a microfiber top which is smooth to the touch, but it has a drawback of trapping dust easily. The microfiber cloth can also be used to clean the display screen.
Gaming audio The Moray+ is a nifty little earphone with a microphone positioned unobtrusively for communicating with fellow gamers. Having a microphone means that it can be used on a mobile phone via a 3.5mm jack or specific adapters. The adapters include Sony PSP, Nintendo DS and for personal computers. The downside of the Moray+ is it entangles occasionally. Moray+ is an in-ear earphone which features passive noise isolation and also extended bass for the extra gaming kick.
PHOTO | RAZER
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dapper: your essential style guide Cream woollen throwover, $42.90, Myth; black mesh overlay skirt, $42.90, Champagne A'dore; Rhinestone and feather necklace, Ohsofickle, $45; ballet tights and pointe shoes, model's own
POISE PHOTOGRAPHY Tan Jingliang STYLING Audrey Lim & Tan Jingliang PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANCE Chee Kang Xiong MODEL Mirabel Chan HAIR Mark Cheng
Netted throwover and maxi tank dress set, $69.90, Champagne A'dore; Layered chain necklace, $150, THESCARLETROOM
Peterpan collared top, $32.90, six:love; Candy striped harem pants, $25; Bright blue heels, $89.90; Wood and resin bangle, $29.90, all from Victoria Jomo; Floral hat, $38, Friends.
Grey lace and tulle dress, $55, Spellbound
Mesh panel bodysuit, $26.50, THESCARLETROOM; Silk bow clip with chiffon tassels, $49, the little flower at the end of the rainbow
Castle-top ring, $59.90; Pink umbrella ring, $69.90, Pastel polka dot bow, $18, all from Victoria Jomo.
Stockists Champagne A'dore Far East Plaza #04-113 Myth Far East Plaza #03-48A Ohsofickle Far East Plaza #04-133 Spellbound Far East Plaza #03-24 the little flower at the end of Purple jewelled flats, $69, Pedro. the rainbow Far East Plaza #04-52B THESCARLETROOM http://www.thescarletroom.com
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Campus fires up As the torch of the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games passed through NTU, so did the spirit of the 5,000 athletes and officials who came to live in the first Youth Olympic Village. Photo editor Eunice Chan captures some of the most vibrant moments from the Village Square at the National Institute for Education.
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: A performer spits a ball of fire as he roams the Village Square, entertaining anyone who happens to watch. During the farewell celebrations, a stage performer gives a fiery display at the head of the World Culture Village. Harvinder Kaur, one of 2,400 torchbearers in the torch relay, runs through NTU while a convoy of supporters chases after her. Jamaican athlete Odane Skeen (grey hoodie), the worldâ€™s fastest boy under 19, poses spontaneously for a photo with teammate Stefan Fennell (green jersey) and Canadian athletes Isatu Fofanah (black top) and Shai-Anne Davis(purple top). As a multi-national exhibition of cultures, the World Culture Village hosted athletes, officials and volunteers from 204 countries and territories.
张芸京本质不变，依然朴实 —— 刊22页
融合多方文化 开阔视野 杨康琳●报道
表上，26岁的爱莎和其 他马来女生没什么差 别，但她开口竟能说出一口流 利的标准华语。 这名上月毕业自中文系的学 生，父母亲是马来人，而外婆 是华巫混血的娘惹。 由于外婆认为新加坡是个华 人居多的社会，学习华文有助 孩子的前途，因此要求爱莎父 母让外孙女修读华文。 她的父母全力支持，并在她 上幼儿园时，请了一名补习老 师教导。渐渐的，爱莎对中文 产生了兴趣，在中小学时也自 然地选择华语为母语。 此外，爱莎亲戚中多嫁娶华 人，对异族文化的态度十分开 放。每当亲朋戚友聚会时，他 们还常常鼓励爱莎成为一名中 文教师。 爱莎曾因A水准成绩不理 想，而往理工学院修读生物科 技学。 然而，在假期尝试翻译工作
后，觉得有挑战性，便萌生当 翻译员的念头。这也因此让她 决定在大学继续朝兴趣专研， 修读中文系。 自小接触华文，让爱莎能从 容应付课程，在四年的大学教 育中，她接触到平常不会接触 的中华文化和历史。 在华巫文化融合的环境下长 大的她，对新马两地这个多民 族融合社会的历史文化研究情 有独钟。
“我不是华人，也 可以把华文学好， 这证明华文并不那 么难。所以，你也 一定能学好！” 爱莎 中文系毕业生
在华巫环境成长的爱莎，培养了对华文的热忱，而她也希望以自己为例子，激励学生不轻言放弃，应 照片|每日新闻提供 该好好学习华语。 爱莎的毕业论文也以《华巫 通婚初探》为题，探讨华巫文 化的相互影响与融合。此外， 她也副修翻译学，为将来成为
翻译员铺路。 目前还在寻找工作的爱莎， 希望通过自己的故事激励学生
学好华语。 五年前开始当兼职华文补习 老师的她常对学生说：“我不
是华人，也可以把华文学好， 这证明华文并不那么难。所 以，你也一定能学好！”
注入新元素 扬中华文化 与精密工程系二年级学生说， 幼时看的文学作品让他对华文 产生极大兴趣，他为文学所能 表达的深远意境所吸引。 才艺表演着重创意
南洋理工学院生吴俊达，凭着唯美的诗句赢得新加坡赛区一等 奖。 摄影|黄俊森
果说诗歌朗诵这种艺术 表演形式人们已是司空 见惯，那么在朗诵中掺入流行 音乐、话剧表演等多种现代元
素定会让人耳目一新。 而吴俊达（19岁）凭借其 形式独特的诗歌朗诵《爱情诗 三首》，于两个月前荣获第九 届“汉语桥”世界大学生中文 比赛新加坡赛区一等奖。 这名来自南洋理工学院数码
新加坡写作人协会副会长郑 景祥作为评委之一指出，在个 人才艺表演部分他更看重表演 创意性。他强调要把表演“包 装，综合不同的表演艺术”。 与吴俊达并列一等奖，并获 得全场最高得分是来自国大商 学院二年级生林勤槿（21岁） 。她凭借中国特色突出的陕西 快板给观众留下深刻印象。 她说：“陕西地方语言都是 模仿视频学的，而学了将近两 个月。” “汉语桥”是由中国国家 汉办主办的国际汉语比赛。自
2002年，比赛共举行了九届， 参赛的大学生共达4万多人。今 年参加本地决赛有九人。 两名一等奖得主是来自于马 国的国际学生。他们于上月到 中国湖南与世界各地62个国家 的107名选手同台竞技，但未能 在激烈的竞争中晋级决赛。 我校仅一名代表参加决赛 我校原有两名选手进入汉 语桥新加坡区的决赛，然而其 中一名因故未能参加。作为唯 一代表南大的参赛选手王嘉阳 （20岁）在比赛的另一部分分 组讨论中表现出色。 这名中文系一年级生积极回 答主持人的提问，在“新加坡 华文政策之我见”讨论中，更 是提出学生可以通过华语电视 剧来制造华语语境，帮助学好
华语的建议。然而他在才艺表 演因有失特色只拿到比赛的三 等奖。 本次比赛将历届个人演讲改 为分组讨论，考验了参赛者的 临场辩答能力，并紧密结合时 事话题，更具挑战性。 去年本地赛区冠军得主，也 是在中国总决赛中获得三等奖 的林诗婷（23岁）作为特邀嘉 宾来到现场。 这名来自国立教育学院的 四年级生认为，“汉语桥”让 她有机会了解到更多的中国文 化，并且认识了来自世界各地 的朋友。 她补充：“过去我们通过文 学、影视在心中一点一点地描 述这个世界的版图，通过跟选 手的交流，把这一点一点连起 来，世界的版图因此变得更真 实了。”
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个多月前，社会发展、青年及体 育部通过电视和网络，推出一部 长三分钟短片，不知大家可否有印象？ 内容讲述一名刚丧夫的老妇，儿子 将她接回家一起住，时不时为难儿子和 媳妇，就连孙子也无法忍受她。 老妇后来病倒，儿子仍细心照顾着 她，让孙子一旁看了感到不解，问父亲 婆婆如此刻薄对待，为何还为她难过。 片中随之重现老妇在儿子还小时， 着急地在大雨中抱着生病的儿子，沿街 拦车送他去医院。 到了医院等待医生看诊时，全身湿 淋淋的老妇紧抱儿子，唱着闽南语童谣 《天黑黑》安慰他。 儿子回想往事后，在病房抚摸已失 去意识的老妇，还唱着同首童谣给她 听，弥留中的老妇还流下眼泪。 结尾出现“上一代的榜样，下一代 的模范。家。”的字眼 。
看到这里，我的眼泪已不自觉地流 下来，之后不管看了几次，短片的震撼 从未减少。
这部宣扬孝道的短片，广受各界好 评，不过也引起一些辩论，有人认为 “就算父母做错，子女仍要孝敬他们”
这讯息不正确。 但这部短片对笔者来说不单是要尽 孝道，而是提醒我们要多留点时间给家 人，哪怕只是几分钟。 前一个月，最疼爱我的外婆过世 了，而遗憾的是我没能好好陪伴她。 当前一天刚好有家庭聚会，我因工 作没能去成，妈妈就说外婆又问起我。 我随口回答，下次有空会去探访她。 没想到，就只一晚时间，我再见到 的，只是冰冷的躯体。 笔者也常听已经开始工作的朋友诉 苦，每天工作到11、12点，回家直接倒 头就睡，和家人坐下聊天的时间或许都 没有。 另外，全国家庭理事会去年针对300 人的问卷调查也发现，有57.7%受访者 认为自己没花足够时间陪伴家人。 我们常常会为了学业、朋友、工作 等责任，习惯性地将家人放在一旁，认 为以后多的是时间，其实不然。 这就像甄子丹在《叶问2》的一句发 人深省的对白：“分胜负重要，还是陪 家人吃饭重要？”
近大家开始吃得健康，“水果口 味”特别重。 从去年的“香蕉事件”到今年的新 光环“草莓”，大学新生迎新营一直都 是具争议性的话题。 一名厨师烹出美味佳肴，是为让食 客垂涎三尺；一个筹委会策划出理想的 迎新营，是为让新生能参与好玩、却不 会让人难堪的游戏活动，而过程令人回 味无穷、恨不得时光倒流。 每一个迎新营各有特色，而新生的 “受难”程度由身为学长的主办者决 定，但是他们的心目中都需要有一个平 衡点。 老掉牙的恶作剧、新生被欺负或被 指令做某些令人难堪羞耻的动作，以及 有性爱意味的游戏不应该在理想的迎新 营内。 这是因为新生是为了享乐与结识朋 友而付钱，以及选择离开温暖被窝到外 住宿几天，而并非为了自我折磨或被人 耻笑。 “香蕉事件”的种种舆论足以证明 恶作剧是不必要的，而迫新生从泥沼的 山坡滚下来更是要不得。 或许有些人认为这能“锻炼”新生 的意志从而增强凝聚力，但这也不是唯 一的方法。此活动做过火，难免会弄巧 成拙。 但某些朋友可能渴望更刺激精彩的 活动，例如体育迎新营各种活动中的体 育锻炼，以及能尝试不同类型的运动、
又或者是户外活动俱乐部迎新营的各种 体能锻炼。但大家都各有所好。 理想迎新营的主办者也不应以貌取 人，就有如去年某个迎新营筹委会遭质 疑，是否因为新生外表不胜而把他们拒 于门外。 所以，主办者须为人数做好准备， 不能因申请人数比原本预计超出而拒绝 新生。
新生是为了享乐与结识 朋友而付钱，以及选择 离开温暖被窝到外住宿 几天，而并非为了自我 折磨或被人耻笑。 说到底，能帮助新生结交新朋友、 结识学长学姐，对课程或辅助活动有更 深一层了解，并增强他们之间的凝聚力 的迎新营便是理想。 就有如摄影与录影社的迎新营—— 短短两天的游戏、环岛摄影活动以及照 片展览。这一系列的节目为的就是让新 生多了解这辅助活动，与此同时结交朋 友、赢取奖品。 因为迎新营的目的，就是如此。 新生如果能在散营过后，与朋友、 学长继续保持联系、时常聚会，并且 “迎”情未了，仍想在明年的迎新营帮 忙，是理想迎新营中最理想的，而这才 是迎新营的精神。
果你在7至8月中旬，常常看到一 群穿着同款衬衫或至少同样颜色 衣服的青年在市区内乱窜，应该不难猜 到又是一年一度大学学府举办迎新营的 时候。 虽然笔者已升上大二，但依旧参加 迎新营，而这是自己新生时做的决定。 身为学长，只是想把去年所体会到 的一切欢乐让学弟妹们感受一遍。 每年，各大科系与宿舍执委都会依 照惯例筹办迎新营。在学期还没开始 前，先让新生认识他们的新同学或室 友，当正式开学时就不会对周遭的人和 环境感到陌生。 迎新营更是各科系的年度盛事，而 自己学院早在去年12月就开始筹备。从 游戏策划到筹募资金，全都是为献给学 弟妹我们心中最理想的迎新会，也是为 不让我们的学长失望。 日前，有名参加迎新营的新生在报 章上发表言论，说活动不够刺激。 学长甚至请他们喝泡泡茶和吃麦当 劳，似乎让该新生觉得太舒服，不像一 个学生营。 她认为学长不应该把新生当作温室 里的草莓呵护着。 这篇文章刚好和去年同期的“香蕉 事件”形成强烈对比，后者是因为游戏 太过火而遭各界舆论抨击。 但外界不晓得的是，不同学院、宿 舍，以及辅助活动等举行的迎新营，都 有自己历来的作风，有历届流传下来的
活动。因此要说去年活动过火，而今年 舒适，其实是错误的观念。 各筹委会相信还是依着上届学长举 办方式筹备这届的迎新营。所以，有男 女之间亲密的活动的迎新营依旧一样， 而只有舒服的游戏的迎新营还是如此。
但外界不晓得的是，不 同的迎新营，都有自 己历来的作风，有历 届流传下来的活动。 因此要说去年活动过 火，而今年舒适，其 实是错误的观念。 但是，各大学府举办迎新营的目的 是一致的，最后参与者觉得好不好玩或 收获大不大，完全见仁见智。 无论是参与或筹办，大家都有梦想 中的迎新营。在我心里，一个好的迎新 营靠的不是游戏的品质来定义。 当然，游戏好玩与否扮演着重要角 色，但绝对不会成为建立友谊的绊脚 石。迎新营游戏应该着重与激发团队精 神和把主办团体的文化传给新成员。 况且，筹委会能做的有限，剩下还 是得靠大家积极参与才能使迎新营更为 出色。学长们虽是伟大幕后工程，但怎 么说主角还是新生们。
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轻盈风筝 承载自由 说风筝是玩具，其实现在更像是一项运动，在本地掀起一股新热潮。除了一 般的传统风筝，还出现室内风筝、冲浪风筝和巴吉电力风筝等。这一期跟随 徐益芳制作风筝，以及了解放风筝的乐趣。
于六、七岁时没钱买玩 具，来自马来西亚的刘 炳首就和朋友动手一起制作做 风筝。 第一次看见风筝飞上天时， 他雀跃万分。即使是现在，当 风筝飞得比别人高的时候，这 名45岁的风筝专家还是会非常 开心。 成年后事业稳定，他又重拾 这个童年玩具。由于以前没有 网络，他就托出国的朋友到美 国、德国等国家购买风筝，可 是中档的风筝至少都要价美金 150元。
“我当风筝专 家，是因为我想 要自由，像风筝 一样，可以飞得 高高的。” 刘炳首 风筝专家
五年前辞去工作的刘炳首，就希望能够像风筝一样自由飞腾，而将 兴趣当成饭碗，转当风筝专家。 摄影|吴静婷
而曾担任电视摄影师的他， 出国机会也相对增加。因此每 次出国前都会做调查，看哪里 可以买风筝，如今收集了差不 多100只大大小小的风筝。 五年前，刘炳首便决
除了经营自己的风筝店，刘炳首也协助顾客，教导他们如何制作， 以及放风筝。 定放弃电视台工作，转当 全职风筝专家。他解释： “我当风筝专家，是因为我想 要自由，像风筝一样，可以飞 得高高的。” 学习放风筝需要很多耐心 他给予劝告说，放风筝需要 很大的耐心，而初学者常会面 对风筝飞不起来的状况。 刘炳首因此建议购买三角形 或菱形的风筝，而料子以碳纸 为佳，因为比较轻盈，又不容 易坏。此外，越大的风筝也更 容易飞。
他补充，新加坡的平地比 马来西亚多，如淡宾尼、实龙 岗、西海岸等，因此更容易放 风筝。 但是他认为，一家人一起放 风筝还是最好的，因为除了玩 乐，大家还能促进彼此之间的 感情。 现在刘炳首已开两家风筝 店。经营店面之余，他还会协 助顾客，教导他们如何正确地 放风筝。 对于自己的杰作，他自豪 地说着：“我的风筝有80%是 可以飞的，另外的20%要看风 了！哈！”
你知道吗？ 风筝历史 每个国家有属于自己的 风筝历史，如马来西亚、日 本、韩国、印度等。韩国就 曾在战争时，利用风筝秘密 传送军情。 而在16、17世纪的日 本，政府甚至禁止人们放风 筝，因为许多上班族特地申 请病假去放风筝，由此可见 风筝的魅力。
风筝展 Kite Festival Singapore Road Show and Exhibition
风筝款式 传统的风筝是用一条线 绑着的，现在则有两条和四 条的。 同以前相比，风筝不论 在设计还是品质都有所变 化，例如过去是用容易破损 的纸做成，现在则用更具韧 性的碳纸或尼龙纸。 日期：8月31日至9月5日 地点：Tampines Mall，4楼 时间：早上10时至晚上9时
日期：9月7日至10日 地点：IMM，2楼 时间：早上10时至晚上9时
放风筝日Kite Flying Days
主办单位将会展出最耀眼夺目的几款风 筝，还有音乐与舞蹈表演。国际著名的风 筝大师也会献上精彩表演，并教导公众如 何制作风筝。 日期：9月18日和19日 地点：The Promontory @ Marina Bay 时间：下午4时至晚上8时
职总英康保险合作社风筝 节由ACT 3 International 公司主办，公众可以在现 场制作迷你风筝，还有“ 风墙”让你现场放风筝！ 另外还可观赏风筝专家的 风筝表演，也可了解不同 的风筝。
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专辑：《 Myself2010概念专辑 》 歌手：Jolin 蔡依林 推荐：《无言以对》、《即时生效》 , , , , , 依林发行概念专辑？基于唱跳歌手给人们 的既定印象，多数人或许都认为舞曲就是 这样罢了。 但Jolin这张《Myself2010概念专辑》着实挑战 了听众对她的印象。 专辑循着Party概念，通过八首快歌、两首抒 情歌和五首串场歌（interlude）发挥主题。 以快歌为主轴是主流歌手从未尝试的方向，但 事实上串场歌曲才是撑起这张概念专辑的主要推 手。 简单的旁白、音效和节奏，串场歌将歌曲接连 成完整的音乐体验，让听者了解接下来的歌曲想 照片｜网络下载 传达的是什么。 专辑中最大的惊喜是《无言以对》、串场的“L’amour est parti”（译为《逝 去的爱》）和《小伤口》，带出单身人士狂欢后的落寞。 只可惜专辑的尾段歌曲选择耐人寻味，失去了专辑的整体感。如果真的要挑毛 病，只能说Jolin薄弱的声线是她长久以来的弱点。 与同是金曲歌后的张惠妹相比，Jolin的确是少了爆发力，这次的自我突破也不 及阿密特。 可是，她的尝试打破了唱跳歌手只有在现场表演才能有所作为的观念，也为自 己的领域，甚至是华语乐坛，创立一个新的高峰。 （文／陈韦元）
制作迷你风筝 蔡 你是否已经心痒痒，想 尝试放风筝？不妨跟着 专家学学两手，制作属 于自己独一无二的迷你 风筝。
●尼龙格子布 （Nylon Ripstop）1块 ●绳子 ●竹条2根 ●剪刀 ●胶带
步骤1 将尼龙格子布 剪成菱形。
专辑：《十八般武艺》 歌手：王力宏 推荐：《柴米油盐酱醋茶》、《需要人陪》 , , , , , 期把重心放在电影事业的王力宏，除了 参与《大兵小将》的演出，也首次晋升 导演行列，自导自演《恋爱通告》。但是他并 没有忽略歌唱，这次发行新专辑就是张漂亮的 成绩单。 专辑里的曲目都颇具音乐性和可听度。其 中，主打歌《柴米油盐酱醋茶》最为突出，编 曲舍弃华丽的配乐，反而选用吉他和二胡，搭 配朴实的歌词。也正是如此小品，才能让听众 感受到最真实的感动。 《你不知道的事》和《需要人陪》则是流行专辑中不能缺少的抒情歌曲，扣人 旋律加上深情的演绎，势必成为乐迷上KTV必点的K歌。 Chinked-out曲风的歌曲是专辑的一大亮点，也是王力宏的一大特色。传统乐器 与嘻哈音乐的结合作得精致，同名歌《十八般武艺》就是其中的代表作。 总之，《十》是张个人风格强烈，音乐概念贯彻始终的专辑。 （文／余思远）
步骤2 摊开再左右对 折 ， 上 角 折 下，在折角剪 一个小口后摊 开。
步骤3 将竹条摆成十 字架，并且使 用胶纸固定两 端，交叉点要 对准尼龙布中 间的小口。
专辑：D.C.W 东城卫同名迷你专辑 歌手：东城卫 推荐：《在你离开那一天》、《以战止战》 , , , , , 东城的离队，让东城卫一直无法正式成 军发片，因此这五年来，都是靠着《终 极》系列打响名气，等待发片机会。 打着摇滚乐团的招牌，从《终极》系列原 声带中听到不少团长 的创作，不难知道他们 是有潜质的。 但一开始，东城卫的问题就出在主唱，团 员戒的初啼之声，不是不好，只是不够好。 成名曲《够爱》一用再用，主唱从A Chord 到曾沛慈到戒，三种版本呈现出不同感觉，尤其专辑版想要体现出“东城卫”摇 滚特色的企图心明显，但或许是之前的版本太成功，显得这次改编有些多余。 《浮世乐》和《分裂》编曲大胆玩Hard Rock，曲目虽容易让听者high起来，但 主唱的力度不足，无法负荷歌曲所要求的能量，整体听起来非常弱。 《天使的距离》和《在你离开那一天》不论编曲或歌词，则显露典型 式情歌 的影子。间中少不了 的吉他solo，似乎是想通过音乐宣泄自己的愤怒，以及对爱 情的思念。 唯一让我小有惊喜的是《以战之战》，之前的版本主唱 完全无法负荷歌曲的 力度，令歌曲暗淡下来。但戒的重新演绎为整首歌赋予多一些层次，力度也明显 有改变，感觉突然亮了起来。 在音乐上，他们已找到自己的特色，但必须尽快解决主唱的问题，才能完整表 现他们音符里的每个故事。 （文／洪芷 ）
步骤4 将 风 筝 反 过 来，绳子穿过 小口并绑紧。 如有多余的布 料，可剪成长 条状当作风筝 的尾巴。
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流露小女人一面 苏文琪●报道 中文编辑
气外表下，台湾歌手张 芸京有着小女人的傻气 和感性，不仅自嘲是个生活白 痴，在小型音乐会上也一度哽 咽落泪。 顶着《超级偶像》冠军头衔 出道的张芸京坦言，自三年前 进入演艺圈后，和朋友相处的 时间变少了，朋友还担心她会 变得虚华。 不过她说：“人会变，但本 质不变，所以不用担心，我还 是很朴实的！” 的确，张芸京随后自爆： “好朋友笑我站在舞台上酷酷 的，一下了台就笨笨的。” 自认是生活白痴的她，常常 会打翻水杯，还说自己“有点 扁平足，超喜欢跌倒的”。 她举例说，这次尝试穿20公 分高的高跟鞋拍照时，摄影师 一拍完便感觉站不稳了。 她透露，去年出席《新加坡 金曲奖》时，也差一点在台上 踩空跌倒。 张芸京笑说：“如果真跌倒 就真的红了，所以，我还是穿 球鞋算了吧。” 这次在新加坡逗留的时间比 较长，总算有机会品尝到本地 的美食。
张芸京自称不吃辣，但抵抗 不了辣椒螃蟹的诱惑，而且不 改“灾星”本色，在剥壳时不 小心弄脏工作人员的衣服。
“我发现创作很 辛苦，挫折感很 重，几乎每天以泪 洗脸。写了100多 首，朋友听了说不 流行、不好记，感 觉很痛苦。” 张芸京 台湾歌手
谈起自己喜爱的音乐，张芸 京脸上流露出沉着与认真，表 示力求自己在每张专辑里有新 突破。 她表示，新专辑比上一张更 贴近真实的自己，尝试透过歌 曲展现性格上的反差和矛盾 ， 就像专辑封面上金发和黑发的 自己。 尽管不少人劝她不要自讨 没趣，张芸京偏要挑战创作道 路，曾写100多首歌，但是都被 退回。 她说：“我发现创作很辛 苦，挫折感很重，几乎每天以
泪洗脸。写了100多首，朋友听 了说不流行、不好记，感觉很 痛苦。” 后来，张芸京发现不应该为 出专辑而写，要忠于自己进行 创作，结果有一次在凌晨3、4 时就跳起来在床边弹吉他，写 了《相反的我》这首同名主打 歌曲。 创作辛苦却找到更多自信 虽然创作过程很辛苦，但她 从中找到更多自信，要朝创作 音乐人目标前进，还表示希望 有天能和一组乐团同台表演。 自去年《新加坡金曲奖》 后，二度来新的张芸京，在国 庆日当天抵达，得到粉丝的热 烈支持。 她兴奋说：“我一下飞机， 就看见粉丝像国庆那样列队欢 迎我，真的让我很开心。” 记者会当天晚上，张芸京 也在Dragonfly举行了小型音 乐会，演唱了新专辑中的《坏 了》、《相反的我》和《爱 情选项》，也唱了首张专辑的 《黑裙子》和《破天荒》。 唱到《黑》时，感性的她想 到粉丝无私的支持，更是感触 落泪。粉丝还送上白色蛋糕和 一对黑白Ukelele迷你吉他，为 9月6日出生的张芸京提早庆祝 生日。
前来宣传专辑《相反的我》的张芸京，也在小型音乐会露出感性的 一面，对粉丝不懈的支持而感触落泪。 摄影|梁永恩
韩风狂烧 能否持续御寒 如果说90年代是香港天王天后当道，2000年是台湾偶像、日本歌唱团体引领 潮流，那2010年一定是韩国团体的年代。要突破语言障碍，攻占市场，魅力 可想而知。但是，这股韩风吹的是什么，又能够持续多久？让萧佳慧为你整 理分析。 韩风吹，吹什么？ 1. 舞步超经典 在2009年，韩国男子团体 Super Junior以一首“搓掌舞” 歌曲 “Sorry，Sorry” 席卷亚 洲华人地区。 女子团体Wonder Girls则以 一首“Nobody”和一支“摇 手舞”在亚洲和美国掀起模仿 热潮。他们的共同之处呼之欲 出——不想记得也难的经典舞 步和歌词。之后在这区域窜起 的少女时代、B2ST、SHINee 等团体也延续了这个趋势。 2. 输人不输阵 韩国歌手团体本就人多势
众，但一些团体还真是热闹。 最当红的Super Junior和少女时 代就分别有12名和九名成员。 韩国团体会在华人地区走红， 绝对不是因为歌艺。 但是，他们输人不输阵，各 位团员的粉丝累积下来自然很 有分量。相比之下，单枪匹马 的歌手气势可就有点弱了。 3. 男女皆刚柔 韩国团体不像多年前的台湾 团体，男生都是美男子，女生 都是甜美可爱。 韩国男生团体有阳刚的 B2ST，也有阴柔的U-Kiss；女 生团体有可爱的少女时代，也 有帅气的2NE1。不管你是男生
或是女生，爱男生还是女生， 都难逃他们的手掌心。 只有两个字可形容：通杀。
寒风吹，为何吹？ 1. 感官刺激有限 韩国音乐能刺激到的感官， 主要是视觉和听觉。但多数国 人毕竟还是听不懂韩语，歌曲 又怎么唱入我们心中呢？ 搓掌舞、摇手舞、小跑步 舞、摆臀舞、转脖舞、转臀 舞——身体部位就这么多，迟 早也会耗尽。 2. 好景不长在 就如开头所说，香港天王天
韩国偶像团体SHINee日前来到本地造势宣传。 后的时代已过，日本台湾偶像 也不如当年，韩星什么时候会 被另一组新人马挤出榜外，谁 能说得准？ 再加上大家有听没有了解， 韩国音乐真的能够站得住脚， 维持领先优势吗？
但是，偶像不过就是一时之 选，只在乎曾经红过，不在乎 天长地久。
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人甜蜜恋爱，谱出浪漫 之曲。也有人因为失 恋，写出心酸的心情。 第二届非常SUPERBAND总 冠军兔子却从卡通电影取得灵 感，写出首播主打《忘记了》。 原 来 队 员 在 欣 赏 动 画“Finding Nemo”时，从患 有短暂失忆症的角色Dory得到 灵感，写出了这首歌。 贝斯手兼队长符彩莉说，记 忆是一个虚幻模糊的东西，而 影片中的Dory总是困在记得与 忘记之间，和她们的心情十分 相似。 她解释：“当我们活在节奏 快的社会时，自己常常被情绪 淹没。这样会造成自己的负担 更重，所以会经常忘记事情。 《忘记了》就是想表达那一种 氛围。” 新专辑《HEY！》共收录了 九首新歌，而词曲都是由兔子 一手包办的。乐团也包括了鼓 手陈静芳，和吉他手兼主唱蓝 佳慧。 三名刚从南大毕业的女生狠 贝斯手兼队长符彩莉（左起）、吉他手兼主唱蓝佳慧和鼓手陈静芳， 心砸下1万5000元录制全新创作 为追求梦想不惜花光积蓄。 照片|兔子提供
专辑。起初她们花费2000元录 制专辑后，才发现感觉很不搭 自己的想法。 最后因为追求完美，兔子决 定把其余的储蓄掏出来，重新 录制专辑，分享她们对音乐的 热忱。
“不管你是小孩或 大人，我们相信 每个人生命里都有 自己值得等待的东 西。” 符彩莉 兔子贝斯手兼队长
符彩莉解释，她们比赛过 后，就一直想毕业后到底要做 什么，也曾考虑放弃音乐，而 那种等待未知数的心情就出现 在专辑里。 她说：“我们也没有设下什
‘名师出高徒’（演唱会的名 字）。” 他解释，高凌风自从“三大 难高音”后，场子就变得更多 了，几乎什么都接，结果分身 乏术。
湾主持界名嘴吴宗宪竟 是一个变幻莫测之人， 因为他常常说会彩排，结果却 没有出现。原因很简单：他太 忙了。 小钟说：“宪哥主持节目都 不开会不彩排，他习惯即兴的 东西，但为了这个演唱会他会 稍有彩排。” 康康爆料，之前在上海的 演唱会，他要宪哥下台才能上 台唱歌，但宪哥就是不下台， 还刻意挑衅康康使他气急而说 自己比他高两公分，待观众爆 笑，宪哥才肯下台。 他无奈地说：“本来讲好 这样表演，他会突然跟你不一 样，让你不知道怎么办好。” 吴宗宪、康康和小钟将在来 临的9月抵新开唱。对于宪哥不 彩排的习惯，观众大可放心。 小钟说：“宪哥是随时都可 以接哏的人，即兴比彩排来得 更有趣。” 重组成员 凸显演唱会名字 之前，由吴宗宪、高凌风和
么观众群。兔子就是想表达自 己的心情，得到共鸣。不管你 是小孩或大人，我们相信每个 人生命里都有自己值得等待的 东西。” 符彩莉坦承，如果当时没有 参加比赛的话，鼓手陈静芳是 最没有可能选择踏上音乐这条 路的。 但是在比赛过后，兔子积极 创作歌曲的热忱，也感染了陈 静芳。 为了创作出更好听的歌曲， 较“洋派”的兔子在比赛后开 始听中文歌。 她们表示很欣赏苏打绿和这 位太太，也曾参加他们在新加 坡的演出。 根据《海峡时报》报道， 兔子的华文程度虽然还不是很 好，但是她们还是以华人的身 份坚持唱华文歌。 “我们要让大家知道，即使 不是天天说华语，我们还是能 唱华文歌！”
两人对演唱会嘉宾暂时卖关 子，据说这次的特别来宾大有 来头，也花了不少钱邀请。 小钟形容: “很会唱歌，歌 声比我们三个都好，姓张，新 加坡几乎没有人不认识他。” 演唱会将走搞笑和感性的路 线，小钟说：“笑中带泪，会 有模仿秀，当然也会唱自己的 歌。猪哥亮之前不是有来新加 坡作秀嘛，我们的笑点绝对不 输他。” 小钟一向以走音著名，这次 要让大家看到全新的自己，还 会自弹自唱。 他说：“这次绝对不会破 音，大家可以仔细来听。”
尽管吴宗宪缺席记者会，但小钟（左一）和康康的鬼马表现让现场笑声不断。 康康组成的“三大难高音”在 上海的演唱会非常成功，有1万 多人捧场。 不过新加坡的演出名单上 有更动，高凌风换成小钟。对
此，小钟幽默地解释道：“因 为我比高大哥便宜很多！” 但有传言说三人不和，康康 一脸怀疑，反问记者：“我把 他（高凌风）换掉是吗？”
小钟在旁搭腔：“要换也是 他（康康）被换掉！” 康康说：“高大哥档期无 法配合，那就请小钟，因为我 们都是宪哥的徒弟嘛，所以就
“三大难高音之名师出高徒” 新加坡搞笑秀 日期：2010年9月5日 时间：傍晚7时30分 地点：新加坡博览中心 The Max Pavilion 票价： $68，$98， $128，$148
Opinions “Have an opinion on how STARS can work better?” Turn to page 28 to find out
frankly, my dear
A column by The Chronicle editors on issues close to their hearts
Complain majors As the sun sets in the Youth Olympic Village, students in NTU are left to deal with the aftermath of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) – both the good and the bad. Various forms of social media have been flooded with students airing their views on how the YOG has inconvenienced them. T h is ‘compla i n’ phenomenon is not surprising. Over the years, N T U students have established themselves at never being happy with what has been presented to us. We h a v e l a m e n t e d about always being second best to the other two local universities. But now that we have been given the opportunity to make a name for ourselves (albeit not academically), NTU students are still not supportive. Similarly, when SBS Tr a n sit i nt roduced t he 179A bus services, students complained of its frequency
and the fact that it was a lways packed w it hout appreciating the gesture. While complaints are valid from time to time, it gets tiring listening to a broken record. Little appreciation has been given to those who have been involved in the YOG. T his includes the students who have sacrificed their holidays to b e YO G v olu nt e e r s and reporters, the school administration, or even the countless number of people whose work and social lives have been disr upted as they help put together the world’s first Youth Olympic Games. Perhaps it’s time we stopped har ping on the negat ive s a nd i n stead , enjoyed the extra month of holidays that we had. W h i le we may not always get everything we want in life, sometimes, it may just be alright to stop and smell the roses.
CH R O N I C L E THE NANYANG
chief editor Shereen Naaz Charles MANAGING editor Law Shi Ming Elizabeth sub-editors Kwan Hui Xian Lau Liang Tong Lin Jieming Melissa Neo Wen Tong Shahida Bte Hassim News editors Aw Yeong Jia Jia Maxie Wang Simin Lifestyle editors Goh Shang Zhe Kenneth Jennifer Dhanaraj Reviews editor Lock Mei Jin Clara TECH editor Lim Song En Kevin dapper editors Lim Hui Ching Audrey Tan Jingliang Chinese editors Su Wenqi Wong Kang Wei
opinionS editors Chan Xiu Fen Rosemary Goh Jiamin sports editors Eve Yeo Yu Ping Loh Jiaju Ronald layout editors Loh Jun Qi Mak Jinfa Joseph photo editors Chan Wan Wai Eunice Ng Jun Sen graphics editor Choong Jia Tang Alan ONLINE editorS Tan Jun Long Jeremy business managers Lim Pei Yi Vivian production support Ng Heng Ghee Teacher advisors Andrew Duffy Debbie Goh Xu Xiaoge
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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Audrey Lim dapper editor
nce, an acquaintance pointed at my new pair of ha r em pa nt s a nd asked if it I had bought it off a highly popular online shop. I found myself mildly offended, as I had paid $70 for it at a fast fashion label. As it turns out, the pair of pants that could be bought online looks very similar to the one I own. Yet, it only costs $40 – nearly fifty percent cheaper.
In the end, what we end up with is a nation of girls looking like clones.
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU News Hotline: 6790 6446 Letters: email@example.com Opinions: chronicle.opinions@ ntu.edu.sg Please include your full name, contact number, faculty and year of study.
I believe that my experience is not unique to myself. Many friends have recounted similar incidents. Online shops, also k nown a s blog shops, have become increasingly popular amongst young female shoppers.
These ‘shops’ first started out selling run of the mill clothes that were affordable and made shopping a lot more convenient. Over time, the more successful online shops started producing cheaper versions of clothes by fast fashion retailers such as Zara and Topshop which pride themselves on bringing the latest trends at a low price. These prices, however, more often than not still exceed the budget of the average student. As a result, students often turn to blog-shops for their wardrobe needs. It is not fair to say that online shops hold equal status to fast fashion labels. But t he af fordabi lit y and variety that these online shops of fe r have gat he r ed a la r ge following with the more popular blog-shops selling out within minutes. This is reflective of a culture of “Must Haves” where we scramble to buy the latest piece of clothing that everyone else owns. In the end, what we end up with is a nation of people looking like clones. Many friends of mine are into the culture of “Must Haves” so much so that they shop at least once a week.
Walking around campus, my friends and I often see people clad clothes that look similar. I find it difficult to differentiate between clothes from fast fashion retailers and those bought online. The point is, I realized, it does not matter where you shop at or how much you have paid for a piece of clothing.
I find it difficult to differentiate between clothes from fast fashion retailers and those from online shops. How many times have you found yourself impulsively buying a piece of clothing sold online because a few others looked good in something similar and then regretted it soon after? I have learnt to find what suits me best instead of blindly shopping. It took me time to figure out but I am now more unfazed by the multitude of changes in the fashion world.
AU G US T 30, 2010
T h e na n ya ng c h ron ic l e
he says she says
The Youth Olympic Games Village was in NTU over two weeks in August. We asked some students and atheletes what they think of the Games and how it has affected them.
Rosemary Chan opinions editor
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t some juncture in our lives, most of us yearn for freedom and independence. This yearning for residential independence is the start of a beneficial growth process. Having spent three months on an internship in Hong Kong, I gained a whole new perspective towards the concept of residential independence. Some of us have grown up with the idea that living independently merely includes doing our own housework and paying monthly bills. A student from NBS admitted that before going to Mexico on a student exchange programme, she deemed being independent as mainly settling her own meals, paying her own bills, and keeping the house clean.
Moving out and learning to live on our own goes beyond physical chores. While such acts do help to cultivate self-discipline and encompass a major part of living on our own, being independent calls for much more. Actions like finding a suitable apartment to stay in, purchasing furniture according to relevant constraints and cleaning the house, equip the individual with valuable life skills such as money management, communication, and negotiation.
Moving out can teach one the meaning of self-sufficiency and what being in full control of one’s life entails. When I was in Hong Kong, I did not call back home often. When I was required to make a business trip to China during my internship, my parents were only informed the day before. This was a stark contrast to my life in Singapore where I found myself constantly updating them of my whereabouts. I learnt to be fully responsible for my own well-being without the possibility of falling back on the help of my parents. It may appear idealistic to expect Asian parents to be supportive of their child’s moving away. However, if the child proves him or herself to be capable of living self-sufficiently for however short a period of time, it prepares parents mentally and emotionally. The idea of moving out seems inviting but one cannot ignore the rules of the game. The first rule being financial capability. Until we can play by this rule many of us may not be able to live with the independence we desire. It is also important to strike a balance between our independence and the filial piety that is expected of us. In this way, our parents do not feel forsaken because of our newfound freedom. Moving out and learning to live on our own goes beyond physical chores. It changes our way of doing things and challenges us to move out of our safety zones. More importantly, it allows us the understanding that we are capable of relying on ourselves for anything and everything.
oving out of our parents’ houses within Singapore would hardly give the benefit of picking up life skills and independence. Many university students are about to become working adults but are nowhere near moving out of our parents’ houses. The closest we will probably ever get to having our own exclusive little unit – with no parental suspensions – is to live in university hostels. Even wanting to move out upon graduation to obtain independence is met with several constraints. Firstly, Singapore’s size coupled with a reliable public transport system makes it easy to head home any time. Having the assurance that help from our parents is readily available to us hardly allows for the fostering of independence. Undergraduates in regions such as Europe and America, on the other hand, often find themselves at universities far from home. This forces them to deal with the setbacks or difficulties that may occur, on their own. Learning to deal with such situations contributes to the development of independence in an individual. Having been brought up in a society largely governed by Asian values dictates that it would be difficult for us to escape the fuss parents often make over their children. Asian parents are concerned about the sudden freedom that moving out entails, and prefer to shelter their children until they have ‘grown up’ – have their own family to be responsible for. Does moving out then, offer the environment necessary for the development of independence?
Learning to deal with such situations contribute to the development of independence in an individual. Because is difficult to be “away” or “far enough” from our parents moving out is definitely not the most viable plan for acquiring the necessary skills required to be independent. Perhaps then, independence is not so much a matter of distance. Instead, it is learning to be responsible for ourselves even though the tempting option of parental support is readily available.
I support NTU hosting the Youth Olympic Games. As it is an international event, NTU is given publicity.
Agus Herryanto, MAE, Yr 4, 22
I got to interact with foreigners and it was interesting to learn about their experiences in Singapore. Adeline Peng, HSS, Yr 3, 21
The games were really good and well organised. The Village was clean and had a lot of fun activities to do.
Oliver Golding, Athlete from GB, 16
Many of us have had to move in and out of different places because we do not get hall during the Games. Song Yuan Gan, SPMS & HSS, Yr 3, 22
I do not know much about the Games but they have certainly made NTU a more multicultural and interesting place.
Mai Nguyen, HSS, Yr 4, 23 TEXT | ROSEMARY CHAN ; PHOTOS | NG JUN SEN
AU G US T 30, 2010
T h e na n ya ng c h ron ic l e
Unlearning the paperchase Chan Xiao Yi
y 2013, the Ministry of Education (MOE) expects all primary schools to embark on holistic assessment by scraping primary one examinations. This new assessment model, emphasising on consistent feedback of the students’ progress is a move I believe to be long overdue. This initiative relies on assessment through tools such as show-and-tell sessions and skits, among other activities which will replace the examinations. 16 schools have already embarked on this pilot scheme towards greater holistic learning. MOE’s new direction indicates a shift away from traditional methods of assessment, one that would hopefully benefit students in the long run.
MOE’s move has received a variety of responses from the public. Letters to the Forum Section in The Straits Times indicates two main factions of concern. Some feel that this allows students to better appreciate the learning process. Others, on the other hand, worry that their child would be unable to cope with the stress of preparing for national examinations in the future. Resistance stems mainly from the fact that examinations have always been the corner stone of Singapore’s schools. A final-year Psychology undergraduate feels that “children have to start somewhere in their adaptation to the stress of everyday life in today’s society, and for an education that has served us this well thus far, it should not be changed.”
An article published by the The New Paper on July 27 reiterates the attitude of parents towards examinations. Some parents place so much faith in examinations that they are buying Primary 1 exam papers from external vendors before they are ‘extinct’. Vendors have taken to compiling stack upon stack of exam papers and are doing a roaring trade selling them. According to the same article, centres that hold frequent mock examinations are also profiting from this as parents fervently seek them. These actions are taken in a bid to simulate exam conditions and get the child used to the stress and pressure one undergoes during an exam. This is done in the hope of improving his or her competence. However, there is simply
no need for exam papers to be worshipped to this extent. Such reactions from parents are reflective of the kind of culture we have cultivated, and are still perpetuating. It is unsettling to know that the environment children are growing up in is stemmed, not in the joy of experiential education, but in the monotony of practical knowledge.
However, it is also important to cultivate interest and good learning habits. This cannot be all there is to our nationhood, or one’s childhood for that matter. Understandably, the stress and experience of preparing for an exam is part and parcel of school life. However, it is also important to cultivate interest and good learning habits. By removing examinations, teachers are allowed to focus more on the development of students in interpersonal and presentations skills. A third-year English Literature undergrad believes having graded assessments throughout the year would “allow more time for teaching rather than preparing
them for an ‘exam’ which would benefit a primary 1 student more.” It would also help teachers identify students who are having difficulties with the syllabus earlier and take necessary actions. For a seven-year-old, receiving a bad grade in their first year of official education might result in a loss of self-confidence. Moreover, can one really say for sure that a child who does well academically when he is seven years old would undoubtedly succeed in life? Subjecting a child to the unnecessary stress of examinations before the rest of his or her peers might prove to be counter-productive. It could even kill any interest the child has in the pursuit of knowledge. The removal of examinations for primary ones may delay their realisation of harsh academic competition. This step, however, is one that works towards changing the predominant culture of extreme focus on examinations which can result in a more positive learning environment. There are too many factors in life that determine success but character development and the formation of good habits should begin at a young age. As with many new policies and initiatives, resistance is to be expected at some point. It is however, necessary for us to be receptive to change in order for progress to occur.
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AU G US T 30, 2010
T h e na n ya ng c h ron ic l e
Five STARS for success Aw Ching Yi
o know the value of a single second, ask any NTU student who has experience with the Student Automated Registration System (STARS). The battle is either won or lost in the first ten minutes, and the fate of one semester is decided in a heartbeat. “Any slight delay means you are out of the game, unfortunately,” said a final-year Chinese student. I do admit that STARS — a website that allows us to plan three timetables and be alerted to clashes in class times and examination dates all at once — is rather user-friendly. However, even with the addition of features such as the e-swopping option and the online appeal system in 2007, NTU students are still seeing stars. Here are a handful of reasons why, and how things might be improved.
Automated log out
While STARS does not do major trip-ups, it does do the occasionally log students out automatically — every NTU student’s nightmare. Administrators could set a specific duration before the system executes the logout. Better yet, throw in a warning message five minutes ahead of auto logout, as well as a ‘renew session’ option to let us decide if we still want to stay on the page.
”NTU should allow students who have declared their intention to read two minors to be allocated one UE for each minor.”
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a considerable portion of their academic load. They contribute almost 40 Academic Units (AUs) in some courses. As such, it is often necessary for students to be allocated more than one UE per semester.
Confirming year of study
Unrestricted (UEs) allocation
It seems that regardless of whether we are taking one, two or no minors or are simply clearing UEs, we find ourselves allocated one UE module, if any at all. This poses problems for a 4thyear English major with double minors in Creative Writing and Drama and Performance. Being allocated only one UE per semester puts him at the risk of not meeting his minor UE requirements. This could result in his being unable to file for his minor in time for graduation. He suggests, “NTU should allow students who have declared their intention to read two minors to be allocated one UE for each minor”. Even for students not pursuing minors, UEs make up
If you thought you knew what year you are in, double-checking with STARS might be a good idea. It does not always follow that STARS considers you a Year 3 student just because you are in your third academic year. A second-year student, having cleared a certain number of AUs may similarly be considered a Year 3 by the system. In view of this discrepancy, it would be helpful for emails to be sent out prior to subject registration, to confirm what year of study students are considered to be in.
Inflexibility of system
Students have also expressed worry over the inflexibility and impracticality of the system, with regards to module-swops and add-drops. Swopping of index is limited between students registered
for a common module, and coordination between students who want to do a swop is hardly easy.
That way, they stand a higher chance of getting modules they need.
A fortunate fraction manages to pick up modules over add/ drop, but most will have to make do with what they already have.
Many would agree that something could be done about the way we register for our major modules. Fastest-fingers-first may be relatively fuss-free, but not problem-free. Here are two common problems that result. Some students click in a second or two too slow, and we know the rest of the story. A fortunate fraction manages to pick up modules over add/drop, but most will have to make do with what they already have. Also, students end up taking modules they are barely interested in, or which stick out like sore thumbs on their timetables. This may be because of undecided course-mates who hold on to courses they do not necessarily need or want. As such, some students have argued in favor of a bidding system with regards to module allocations. With a limited number of bid points allotted to each student, the bidding system solves a problem like this, and is therefore fairer
It is also a tall order for students to be staked out at the computer 24/7 over two weeks of add/drop. Even with that amount of effort, success is not guaranteed. A final-year Chinese student suggests tweaking the add/ drop system such that students on the waitlist are registered automatically by the system in the event that a place is freed up. To take that idea a step further, perhaps students in greatest need of the module can be put on an auto-registration priority list.
Fastest fingers first
and better. Or is it? “(The bidding system) makes a simple process too complicated,” says NUS Engineering student John Leung, 24. Indeed, the NUS subject registration process is tedious. It involves rounds upon rounds of bidding. A single bidding round could last for two days, and bidding periods could continue for up to two weeks. On top of that, students must bid for lecture and tutorial slots separately. Perhaps, a better way for students to get the modules they need while minimizing the complicated bidding process, would be for bidding to be limited only to major module registration. This way, bidding occurs on a smaller scale for a shorter period of time, making the process relatively simpler than the one NUS has. With these improvements made, STARS may be able to better serve the student population, allowing for a smoother registration process. Do you have suggestions on how STARS can be improved? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
au g us t 30, 2010
T h e na n ya ng c h ron ic l e
Premier league no longer premier Grace Leong THE abysmal performances of the Premier League’s stars at the World Cup did not bode well for the 2010/2011 season. In fact, with the easy access to the German and Spanish leagues granted by Starhub—which loyal football fans have subscribed to for years—the Barclay's Premier League looked less appealing. But the opening weeks have proved naysayers wrong. The Premiership’s faithful followers have been treated to an entire series of 6-0 goalfests courtesy of Chelsea, Arsenal and suprisingly, Newcastle. Even underdog Blackpool had its day. The newly promoted club from the Coca-Cola Championship had a fairytale start, briefly enjoying their time at the top of the table with a 4-0 triumph over Wigan. Chelsea is by far the favourite to win the BPL this year, despite going into the season with four consecutive defeats in their preseason games. T heir early v ictor ies demonstrate the depth and quality of their squad. Where it counts, Chelsea can be depended on to produce results. It is obvious that Manchester City is attempting to emulate
GRAPHIC | ALAN CHOONG
Chelsea’s formula of assembling a stable of expensive stars. While they are still pretenders to the Premiership crown, City actually might be well on track to getting there someday. City may have only finished
f i f t h la s t s e a s on—not e v e n qualif ying for the Champions League where the real cream of the crop is—but along the way they have shown themselves capable of playing with the big boys. They took the double against Chelsea as
well as important points against other members of the “Big Four”. More recently, they proved the might of deep pockets against heritage and history with a solid 3-0 thumping over a Liverpool in disarray.
City manager Roberto Mancini managed to work out an intriguing formation that maximised his players’ strengths, allowing new signings Yaya Toure and James Milner to work well with the rest of the team. It is worth noting that City’s starting 11 is still in the process of coming together. New signing Mario Balotelli, touted as a rising star and the next big thing, has yet to prove that he can adapt to the English game. But, when the new players do settle in, City will be a force to reckon with. In contrast, Liverpool is well past its glory days. Two seasons ago it was n ippi ng at t henchampions Manchester United’s heels, just four points away from finally taking the biggest prize in English football. Today, debt a nd i nte r na l strife are causing turmoil on the pitch, with key midfielder Javier Mascherano going on strike and the squad struggling to gel. Mone y i s becom i ng a n increasingly prominent factor in determining the highs and lows of the beautiful game. That is why in spite of losing talent to European rivals, many of the world’s best players want to ply their trade in the BPL, the wealthiest league of them all. As such, the BPL can still provide a level of drama that is unparalleled. Ultimately, it has only been mere weeks into the season where many more months of action and excitement await.
A bright future ahead Bhavan Jaipragas AS the spiralling Youth Olympic flame on the Marina Bay floating platform was extinguished last Thursday, Singapore entered the league of countries that have successfully hosted blockbuster sporting events in the past decade. W it h t he Yout h Ol y mpic Games (YOG) now out of the way, it is highly likely that we will see a resumption of the spirited debate on whether it was all worth the $387 million outlay and the countless man hours put into making the two-week event a success. It is a debate that has plagued every country that has hosted high profile events such as the Olympics and the World Cup. Wit h pressu re to outdo previous sporting editions and national pride at stake, countries have not been shy in spending billions from their taxpayers’ coffers to fund these mega-shows. Over the years, costs have skyrocketed, as countries now have to fac tor i n add it iona l costs such as keeping up with technology and security. With the imminent threat of a terrorist at tac k a lway s ha ng i ng over
popular global sporting events, these have become the norm. The term ‘white elephant’ is probably most frequently used in discussions about the fate of the billion-dollar infrastructure projects built specially for these mega sporting events. The majestic ‘Birdnest’ Stadium in Beijing is under threat of becoming a white elephant with only a handful of events being held there after the Olympic Games in 2008. The Cape Town Stadium in Sout h A f r ica is in a sim i lar predicament as well. Sports teams have been unwilling to adopt it as their home due to the high cost of maintaining it and the inability to fill the 68,000 seater stadium. Singapore is fortunate that it did not have to build new stadia for the YOG, in line with the International Olympic Committee’s policy that the Games should be made affordable for smaller cities to host. In fact, as far as infrastructure i s conc e r ne d , t he G a me s i s poised to have a positive legacy. Upgraded spor ts venues and National Institute of Education campus will benefit Singaporeans for some time to come. On a broader scale, Singapore’s foray into hosting sports events
GETTING LEFT OUT: Cape Town Stadium (above) is in danger of becoming a white elephant.
such as the YOG, the Singapore Marathon and the annual Formula One race have had an uplifting effect on our island state. Undoubtedly, more people are coming out of their cocoons to organise and play sports. As our city enters a new era with a mesmerising skyline, these events also play a pivotal role in showcasing Singapore to the world, and hopefully promote a more vibrant sporting culture. It must be said though, the road to becoming a great sporting
nation in the mould of Australia or the Netherlands does not solely lie in spending billions to host sporting events. As much as these events create a buzz within the local sports scene, it would be prudent for authorities to consider injecting a g r eate r a mou nt of mone y into developing sports from the grassroots and schools. With the completion of the $1.87 billion Singapore Sports Hub in Kallang due in 2014, Singaporeans can expect more
PHOTO | INTERNET
grand sporting events coming their way. To begin with, authorities have hinted at intentions to host the SEA Games and the World Club Championships when the sports hub is completed. A s loca l c r it ic s of t he s e sporting events raise their ante against what they see as a waste of taxpayer funds, it would do them good to also realise the many positives Singapore will reap from becoming become a global city where sport thrives.
au g us t 30, 2010
T h e na N ya ng c h ron ic l e
Making waves beyond sailing National sailor maximises his talents as he excels beyond his sporting achievements Chua Yan Yu HE WAS part of the five-man sailing team that was commended om the 2007 National Day rally by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for acheiving gold. This semester, national sailor Teo Wee Chin’s dedication to his sport will see him miss the first half of the academic year as the second-year student from Nanyang Business School (NBS) prepares for the Asian Games. “Currently, I am the underdog for the upcoming Asian Games in November. The Thai sailors are much more experienced than I am,” he said. However, the 23-year-old remains upbeat about his chances and takes pride in representing Singapore. “When you are on the podium singing the national anthem, the pride of representing the nation makes me feel that all sacrifices are worth it,” he said.
they said that? “Lately, I bought a cell phone and used it for exactly half an hour and then I realised that it was a nuisance.” Renault driver Robert Kubica, on his worst buy so far
GRAPHIC | ALAN CHOONG
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“I had to keep telling myself that pain was temporary but glory was forever.”
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Teo Wee Chin, 23 National Sailor
Taking a semester off school was not an easy decision for him to make as he would graduate later than his cohort mates. However, his aspiration to do his nation proud is what keeps him going. In June, Teo returned from Kiel, Germany with a win in the 2010 Kieler Woche event. He won the Hobie 16 event with his team mate Justin Wong. The Kieler Woche is one of the seven events included in the International Sailing Federation’s 2010 Sailing World Cup. The Sailing World Cup is the new annual series for Olympic sailing. Victory did not come easy as Teo had dislocated his shoulder during a training session in Germany. “I was in a lot of pain and there was no strength and mobility in my shoulder,” he said. “I had to keep telling myself that pain was temporary but glory was forever.” Teo, who has been sailing for 16 years, said that sailing has taught him self-reliance, dedication and perseverance. “When you’re out at sea, you can only rely on yourself. And we should not give up when the going gets tough,” he added. When he was seven, Teo wanted to quit the sport after a serious accident on his first attempt.
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“On my first day out at sea, I was smacked in the head by the boom which created a gash at the back of my head and required stitches,” said Teo. However, his family encouraged him to continue with the sport. Teo’s involvement with sailing began with his family’s influence. An uncle introduced the sport to his eldest brother, who recommended it to him. Bet ween training for competitions and coaching the Singapore Management University sailing team last semester, Teo had limited time to spend with his family and friends. “My studies were also affected. I would come back exhausted from training and therefore, I did not study much,” he said.
However, Teo believes that with discipline and proper planning of his time, he can accomplish both his academic and non-academic goals. Aside from being a sportsman, Teo is a lso an ent repreneu r. Before enrolling in NBS last year, he established a store The Blog Shop with friends from junior college. Located in Haji Lane, the store rents physical space to online blog shops, helping them to market their products like clothes and accessories that are especially popular among teenage girls. However, Teo subsequently pulled out from the business due to differences with his partners regarding the future direction of the business.
PHOTO | XUE JIANYUE
In his first year at NTU, he started another business Decalics with two friends as part of a cou r se r equ i r ement i n t hei r entrepreneurship minor. Decalics is an online business selling customised wall decals. T he enter pr i si ng sa i lor said: “I would like to have my own coffee-and-cake café in future, with a laid-back, cosy environment for people to chill out in. So I’m likely to venture i nto t he food a nd be ve r a ge industry.” On his business experiences, he said: “I’ve learnt that I have to choose t he r ight business partners, people who share the same goals as I. Choose those who can help the business and not just because they are your friends.”
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Poised for success on Page 31
Facilities to spark greater growth Ronald loh sports editor
NTU athletes are excited at the prospect of furthering the school’s sporting culture, with newer and upgraded facilities in place. A sum of $100 million was spent on refurbishment works on the NTU and National Institute of Education (NIE) campus when the school played host to the Youth Olympic Games (YOG). Hamon Shen, outgoing captain of the NTU badminton team, feels that the improvements are both beneficial and practical. “ We ca n not e x pe c t huge stadiums to be built in NTU, it is just not practical,” said the 25-year-old, who just graduated from the School of Mechnical and Aerospace Engineering. “E ve n ba sic c ha ng i ng of f loor i ng a nd lig ht i ng wou ld certainly enhance our athletes’ ga meplay by a lot. T he new relaid track is going to help the Track and Field athletes a lot,” he added. However, some athletes feel that these enhanced facilities will go to waste if they are not properly maintained.
Mohd Feroz Shah, 25, captain of the NTU football team, said: “Now that the football pitch has been relaid, it will be better to train and play on.” “However, the field will just go back to the state it was before the Youth Olympic Games (YOG), with its bald patches if it is not maintained,” said the student from the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. While other athletes did feel that any improvements made to the current facilities would be beneficial, they conceded that there was still a lot of room for improvement. Joyee Ng, 21, captain of the N T U fencing team, said: “We have many good and improving athletes, and the facilities need to match up with them.” The third-year student from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences believes that well-equipped facilities would prov ide t he most conduc ive e nv i ron me nt for at h lete s to thrive in. One thing that all of them agreed on was that possessing good facilities was only one step in bringing up the sporting culture in NTU.
Floorball captain Omar Basri, 23, believes that N T U should captialise on the fact that it was chosen as the YOV, and tap on the spirit of the Olympic Games. “We could continue to beef up t he spir it of t he Oly mpic Games, and bring sportsmen and sportswomen from different CCAs together for more interaction,” said the third-year student from NIE. Serena Tiong, 22, captain of the NTU Women’s floorball team, felt that while athletes would be privileged to enjoy the better facilities, they are the ones who must take NTU forward. “This could help promote a stronger sporting culture, but for NTU sports to be more successful, it still depends a lot on the players to ach ieve t heir goa ls,” said the final-year student from the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Ng added that the improved facilities could also be promoted to all students, and not strictly kept for the NTU athletes’ use. “It would be a waste if only the sportsmen and sportswomen were to use it. After all, the school has put in quite a lot of money renovating the facilities,” she said.
NEW AND IMPROVED: The upgraded facilities should be the foundation for the growth of NTU’s sports. PHOTO | NG JUN SEN
Faster, higher, brighter The Youth Olympic Flame makes its way through NTU as the school witnesses a historical moment Eve Yeo sports editor
NO PAIN, NO GLORY: Venky (above) displays his unwavering support for the Olympic Games. PHOTO | EUNICE CHAN
HISTORY was made in NTU last month as the inaugural Youth Olympic Flame passed through the campus, part of which was already used as the Youth Olympic Village. To r c h b e a r e r s r e p r e s e n t i n g NTU included 13 undergraduates, postgraduates and a lu m n i f rom Singapore and other Southeast Asian nations. Each torchbearer ran for about 100 metres, or the distance of three lamp posts. The Journey of the Youth Olympic Flame (JYOF) was a six-day affair that began on the August 7th. The Journey took to the South-West district on the fifth day. In the South-West district leg of the JYOF, it entered NTU from the entrance
to the SAFTI Military Institute and left the campus from the Pioneer Road North exit. The torchbearers began the relay outside the carpark gantry of the Hall of Residence 7 and ended at the bus stop in front of Hall of Residence 5. One torchbearer was Masters of Science student, Venkateshwaran Raman, also known as ‘Venky’. The Singapore Permanent Resident ‘hopped’ the distance with a fractured right ankle with the aid of a crutch. “Though I was in pain, the flame within me pushed me on,” said the student from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. The 43-year-old sustained the injury on July 30th at a rehearsal of the opening ceremony. He fell down a f light of stairs after missing a step on his way down to the f loating platform at Marina Bay. T he f irst r unner in t he relay, Venky remained upbeat about his predicament. “I got maximum benefits. If I were not injured, the run would be over in about 15 seconds. But because I was injured, I could hold the torch for a longer
time,” he said. Bruneian student, Robert Tseu, w a s o n e of t h e s e v e n r u n n e r s representing seven countries from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). “I jumped at the chance when I received an email from the school asking for ASEAN representatives to be in the relay,” said the 22-year-old graduate. The other ASEAN nations represented in the relay are Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar. Laos and the Philippines were u n represented a s t he respec t ive applicants had missed the deadline for submitting their applications. There were no interviews in the selection process. Applicants were required to post deeds on the Million Deeds Challenge website. The Challenge is a virtual online torch relay originating in Greece and ending in Singapore. Participants post their past deeds of Excellence, Friendship and Respect in line with the spirit of the Olympic Games.