thetr bune FEBRUARY 2014
an ntusu publication MCI (P) 128/12/2013
FEATURES| 14 - 15
Printed By: KHL Printing Co. Pte Ltd
Bad Valentine Gifts Ideas
CENTERSPREAD| 16 - 17
OPINIONS | 27
NEWS | 3
Singapore: Progressing Together
FEATURES | 14 - 15
OPINIONS | 27
Bad Valentine Gifts Ideas
thetr bune FEBRUARY 2014
Make it happen! Dear Readers, Where do you see yourself ten years from now? At the risk of sounding like a narcissist, I must admit that I am obsessed with envisioning my future self. What I see is a university professor and basketball player, balancing that part-time journalism assignment impeccably. Not to forget, I would have already travelled round the globe and mastered playing the guitar by then. Delightful. Hardly realistic, though, for someone who can’t manage to wake up in the morning without snoozing the alarm seven times. It won’t be far-fetched to say that we all do that at some level. Don’t we daydream of superhuman future versions of ourselves who would have achieved all the “important” things that we currently put off as “illogical” or “infeasible” ? Well, I woke up this morning feeling different. It might be the sugar rush from Valentine’s and the Chinese New Year. Yet, post all the roses, glitter and chocolates, it’s time to put things in perspective and figure out what really is significant for us.
Starting our next issue, this space will address your concerns/feedbacks about anything on campus. Hashtag your questions #NTUSUTribune on Facebook or Twitter. Nico, the President of Students’ Union will answer them. Or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org Get your voice heard!
Let’s lose some sleep, and allow the adrenaline to exhume our spirit ! It’s about time to make that backpacking trip happen, instead of waiting for our best friend to plan it for us. To go dancing on the street, read that book that we’ve always wanted to, or well, just get hooked onto that television series that we would never publicly admit to watching. And to throw out that tattered pair of jeans that doesn’t even fit anymore ! In this issue of the Tribune, we aim to bring in more vibrancy with crisper pieces, unconventional ideas, and a fresh take on philosophy. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed putting it together ! Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. (Oprah Winfrey nods in approval) With the best of wishes Akriti Vij
theeditor al Publications Executive Adeline Kosim Chief Editor Akriti Vij Sub-Editor Sharadkumar Pandian News Editors Swetha Sridhar Nguyen Thi Phi Phung
Opinions Editors Shrijit Kundu Alexa Pham Lifestyle Editor Huda Rasid Sports Editor Gupta Varun Photo Editor Ngian Xuan Rong
Art Editor Samiksha Sultania Infographics Editor Ignatia Devy Layout Editors Caecillia Halim Du Wei Wei
View our issues online: su.ntu.edu.sg/tribune
thetr bune FEBRUARY 2014
Singapore: Progressing Together Noopur Jain
PHOTO| Leong Wai Leong
“Being Singaporean is more than just about a pink IC or a red passport, it is about your sense of belonging.”
he Nanyang Auditorium buzzed with activity on the 28th of January as enthusiastic attendees of the Ministerial Forum 2014 awaited the commencement of the event. The Ministerial Forum is a much anticipated annual event organized by the NTUSU that invites prominent personalities to address pressing and relevant issues. This year’s forum featured the Prime Minister of Singapore, the Honorable Lee Hsien Loong as the guest speaker, drawing in a huge number of students from universities across Singapore along with strong media presence. The theme of the forum was, ‘Singapore: Progressing Together’. The event opened with a video made by the NTUSU Ministerial forum’s committee tracing Singapore’s development over the years. This was followed by a warm and enthusiastic reception of the PM on his arrival at the venue. Mr. Jordan Tan, a final year student of Chemical Engineering and the chairperson of NTUSU’s Ministerial Forum, 2014, welcomed the PM, along with NTU President, Professor
Bertil Andersson and other distinguished guests. Following that, the Prime Minister presented his perception on the changes that Singapore will go through in the next fifty years. In the context of Singapore approaching its 50th year of freedom, he expressed his belief that Asia would undergo tremendous development in the 50 years to follow after that and the gap between the Western developed nations and Asian countries would become narrower. Newer technology, according to him, would create jobs never anticipated before and machines would replace humans to do the jobs of today. He mentioned the ongoing research for a malaria vaccine at NTU and how such advances could completely change human life. He stressed, however, that all these advancements would only be possible in the absence of war, which is highly likely, considering that all major powers have nuclear weapons and are way more interdependent on each other than ever before. He expressed his pride on how Singapore has been
successful in keeping people united and having a shared purpose. He asserted that there is a need to address divides between people on the basis of race and religion, economic status and most importantly, the differences between the locals and the newly arrived. He stressed on being “Singaporeans together”. Blaming the social media for causing overreactions, upheavals and angry responses, he stated that it is essential to be wary of unguided and anonymous viciousness. He concluded by mentioning the launch of the Volunteer Youth Core, a community service program meant to instill a strong sense of value in the youth. He sent out an encouraging message to the youth of the country that would influence the future of the nation. The most awaited section of the event was the open house session. Lalit Kumar, an Environmental Engineering student, moderated the session and asked the opening question. In response, the Prime Minister mentioned three broad goals for a brighter future- creating good
jobs for everyone, improving the total fertility rate and making sure that the future leaders are capable and well backed by the people of Singapore. The attendees made the best of the opportunity to pose questions on a diverse set of topics ranging from the fairness of internal school rankings to rights of the LGBT community, the influx of foreigners, national service, climate change, secularism, minimum wage and national unrest. In response, the PM explained how it was best to leave the decision of revealing internal school rankings to education experts and how a little competition is necessary to toughen up the children for the real world. With regard to NS, he replied that looking back at his life, he felt that two years is not that long a time frame from his perspective. He explained how national service is necessary to continue providing security to the country. He also addressed the much anticipated topic of foreign talent in the nation. He stated that the view that foreign nationals “take away” jobs from
the locals is flawed; as they actually help the company to prosper and in turn, create more jobs. He also made it clear that even foreign low wage workers are treated fairly in Singapore, provided they abide by the laws of this country and not go in the wrong direction. He attributed the LGBT community’s growing processions and highly vocal expressions to western influence. He clarified his belief that the Asian society has deep seated values and it is not the government’s duty to interfere with social norms or to tell people whom to love. He went on to talk about how uniformity is important in the society to maintain harmony. His smooth answers offered food for thought, as the audience absorbed his views and ideas, and some rather witty comments. The entire evening was indeed an enriching experience and offered an insight into what goes on to make a country like Singapore, which escalated from a third world fishing village to a first world economic and trade capital in record time, run.
thetr bune FEBRUARY 2014
Science for humanity in the 21st century Nobel laureates and eminent scientists address environmental and ethical conflicts He Chaoyue
PHOTO| Writer’s own
he Institute for Advanced Studies in NTU held a panel discussion by Nobel Laureates and Eminent Scientists at the Lee Kong Chian Lecture Theatre on the January 21. The discussion was presided over by the President of NTU, Prof Bertil Andersson. The topic of the event was: Science for Humanity in the 21st century: Conflicts and Controversies.
The discussion addressed pressing environmental issues such as global warming and climate change, ethical issues such as DNA modification, stem and embryonic cells research; and medical research increasing lifespan that clashes with concerns for overpopulation. The event featured a line up of eminent professionals
from around the world. One of the most prominent guests was Prof Aaron Ciechanover, an Israeli biologist, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2004 for characterizing the method that cells use to degrade and recycle proteins using ubiquitin. Prof Anthony Leggett, a widely recognized world leader in the theory of low-temperature physics and
Nobel Prize winner, was also present. Prof Kurt Wuthrich, the Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 2002, Prof Stephen Smale, Fields Medalist 1966, and Prof Jackie Ying from Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology A*STAR also graced the event with their presence. The message from these speakers to young aspiring
scientists was that they should follow their hearts without being scared of naysayers or the conflicts and controversies. Nonetheless, they should also keep a balance between public needs and pursuing science for its own sake, that is, a more theoretical and explorative venture into the essence of the universe in its entirety.
A gift from our older brothers Vincent Kiathadi
PHOTO| Nguyen Thi Phi Phung
“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal”- Steve Maraboli And this is the reason why the NTU alumni have come forward to share funds to help their juniors currently studying at NTU. By pooling funds, they aim to aid students who have difficulties in affording their tuition fees. The good news is that NTU has also provided a medium for these kind benefactors. The medium is called iGave Graduation Kick-Off. It serves as a bridge to transfer these gifts of education to the students who need it. The gifts will then be given in the form
of bursaries, for the students with financial difficulties and school advancements for research scholars. The iGave Kick-off was held this year in Canopy K. The event was very successful and the organization in charge has managed to collect over $2,000 in two days. This annual event has been very beneficial to those who desperately require such external help. Take Muhamad Hidayat Bin Amran from NBS as an example: he faced financial tensions due to a medical condition that plagued his mother. With the assistance of this scheme, he was able to
cover his tuition fee through a generous bursary. Some of the recipients of this grant have made videos and written notes in order to thank their supporters. Ralph Joseph Leonard, the Director of the Annual and Premium Giving Development Office, rightly said “Through the hard work and generous support of everyone at NTU, we strive to improve the lives of our students in need to help fulfil their dreams and aspirations. By making a gift, all of us are empowering them to make a difference in their lives and all those around them.”
NTU Shuttle Bus Post Implementation Survey 2013 The purpose of the NTUSU Shuttle Bus Post Implementation Survey is to have a better understanding of how students think and feel about the current shuttle bus system implemented in August 2013. The survey was held from the 14 October - 4 November 2013, with a total of 2,376 responses. Our survey sample covered largely undergraduates and a small number of graduates, across all schools and halls of residence.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SURVEY
Main problems with current shuttle bus system: Inconsistent Campus Red & Blue Loop frequency
Inadequate bus frequency
Inaccurate Global Positioning System (GPS)
The Shuttle bus committee will continue working with the ADM Student Leaders to find solutions to the possible inconveniences caused by the current shuttle bus system.
The ‘Last Stop at Chinese Heritage Center’ signs, marking the end of a bus service, are now displayed more prominently on the bus windscreen to avoid confusion.
Measures have been put in place to improve the e-shuttle bus system and to boost the precision of the GPS system since the conduct of this survey.
The NTUSU and HAS will continue to monitor bus frequencies and their inconsistencies (including the problem of bunching).
Report any incident regarding the poor attitude of the bus drivers
Inadequate buses frequency
Bus termination timings at the Chinese Heritage Centre are not clear.
email@example.com Please include details of shuttle bus lincense plate number, time and place of incident in the email
REASONS Majority of respondents have to miss at least one bus during the morning peak period for Loop (Red & Blue), campus loop
and a significant number of students have to miss more than 2 buses during the morning peak period for Campus Rider (Green Loop).
‘somewhat dissatisfied’ with...
• The long distance walk to the nearest bus stop • No bus serving the school of Art, Design & Media • No bus serving Hall 7 the adequacy of stops in all of the shuttle bus routes.
Room for improvement for bus drivers’ attitude Main concerns: • drivers’ poor knowledge of routes • being unfriendly • rude to students • recklessness of driving
NO FURTHER ACTION TO BE TAKEN Increase bus frequencies during the evening peak hours as well as between 9pm to 11pm for all routes (Red, Blue, Green) on weekdays. Have a schedule for when the buses will terminate at the Chinese Heritage Centre Increase the shuttle bus speed if there is no strong reason for the slow speed
Look into providing shuttle buses that ferry students from MRT stations around different parts of Singapore to NTU
Due to current budget constraints, NTU will not be able to add more buses. However, the bus frequencies have met the stipulated standards during that time period. NTU does not own the shuttle buses. The fleet of buses plying NTU is not fixed and is dynamic and changes according to the job assignments that Tong Tar Transport has. The shuttle bus cannot travel faster than the speed limit of 40km/h under current traffic law. Sometimes, the speed traveled is slower than the speed limit in order to prevent bunching. NTU may look into this suggestion in the future. For now, the focus is on the internal shuttle bus system. The existing shuttle buses that serve to bring students to campus from Pioneer MRT station can be considered sufficient for now.
FURTHER ANALYSIS LKSCSOM, REP, & SPMS have the highest Satisfaction Ratings
WKWSCI, ADM & SSM have the lowest Satisfaction Ratings.
Rating Responses (in hundreds)
Respondents staying In Hall 7 gave the lowest Satisfaction ratings.
Year 1 students are generally more satisfied with the shuttle bus system than students from Year 2 and above
Respondents staying In Hall 11 gave the highest Satisfaction ratings. 9
On scale of 1-6,
16 Grad Grad Non Hall 1 Hall 2 Hall
Year 5 & above
Sample average: 3.03
1 = completely dissatisfied 6 = completely satisfied
Read the full report at http://bit.ly/1gbtsL5
Responses (in hundreds)
NTUSU welcomes you back! Elke Lidya
oliday is over and the new term starts. In order to celebrate, The NTU Student Union organized a welcome back giveaway and party as its first event in 2014. The giveaway was held at the North Spine and South Spine, from 12.00 PM to 2.00 PM. For this event, there was no queue as the welfare team handed out fruits – mandarin oranges and apples
- and motivational cards to students who passed by. Ng Yi Ting, the Welfare Executive, expressed her hope to encourage students to maintain a healthy lifestyle by giving out the fruits. “After a long holiday, coming back to school can be stressful to students, so we want to remind them that it is important for them to live a healthy life,” she said.
As for organizing in two different locations, she explained that it was because NTUSU wanted to be more reachable to students. In the evening of the same day, a welcome back party was held at the Students Activities Centre. At 6.45 PM, a large number of students had queued up to enjoy sandwiches, chicken nuggets, curry-filled samosas and
drinks. At the Global Longue, some students were playing board games. According to Hong Han, the games were part of the party. “The aim is we want students to sit down, chat, and relax. We simply want them to have fun.” Together with Fast Forward Society, NTUSU provided a variety of board games like Saboteur, Cash and Guns, and
many more. As the students enjoyed their food and had fun, a band from NTUSU played various songs from 7.00 PM all the way until the party ended. They played songs such as Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You and the latest hit from Disney’s Frozen, Let It Go. What a grand welcome, indeed!
Chinese New Year in its most authentic colour Chinese students in NTU define what it means to have a true Chinese New Year Zhang Yixuan
estivals have their unique origins: some emerged from traditional practices, some were transformed from the glorious ancient tales, while the rest are simply days off work. Chinese New Year, a special occasion that possesses all three elements, is the most significant festival of the year for all the Chinese people. Reunion is the key reason for celebrating Chinese New Year. It gives families the opportunity to gather after a long year of separation. In the final hours of the old year, family members surround a
steaming pot where they cook and eat dumplings together – a traditional practice much looked forward to especially by the Chinese Easterners. Under the pressure of today’s fast and hectic life, most families buy pre-packaged dumplings from outside. On the other hand, for families with deeprooted sense of tradition, they make the dumplings themselves, which require a lot of skill and patience as they have to go through a long process of kneading dough, chopping vegetables, seasoning meat, stuffing and
folding dumplings – the most difficult part – and finally presenting them neatly on trays for steaming. Either way, this practice provides family members with the warmth radiating from the pot as well as from the feeling of love and security, while they wait for the clock to strike 12 when they embrace the moment of new year together. Of all the Chinese students in NTU, some choose to go back to China even though the holidays are short, others welcome their parents who come to Singapore to celebrate
with them, while the rest seek comfort from friends who suffer from painful homesickness like them. With no steaming pot of dumplings or family members, these students enjoy another activity to lift their spirit and foster friendship among the community: they simply gather in TV rooms to chat their hearts out and share sweet moments together. Some take pleasure in observing fashion trends and watching out on the Internet for criticism of the CCTV Year-end Chinese New Year concert – a TV program
that offers entertainment to all age groups with themes centered on Chinese New Year and receives a lot of media attention. The particularly homesick ones, in the meantime, skype home for the voice and the sight of their loved ones. Chinese New Year means much more than a mere public holiday. The traditional melody urges people home for family reunion. For the Chinese students in NTU, Chinese New Year is a reminder for them to slow down, reflect on life, miss home, feel more and think less.
A little taste of home away from home
Vietnamese students in NTU celebrated Lunar New Year in a style that is unique to their culture. Nguye Thi Phi Phung
unar New Year is a particularly joyous occasion for families of cultures that celebrate it – Vietnamese included. For 3 out of 365 days, people can take their minds off the race to make ends meet and head home for a happy reunion. Well… There lies a big assumption in the statement above. Perhaps for the fortunate few who can take the planes home, LNY is worth looking forward to. But for those whose load of homework, projects, internship, part-time, etc…, deny them the privilege of an already rare family reunion; or those who simply cannot afford their air-tickets home, the prospect of LNY brings acute agony as homesickness grabs at their hearts. Cao Thi Hoai An, a Vietnamese freshman, shared on Facebook, “The saddest thing is, people are going home while I cannot…” With the endeavor to ease this pain, and themselves being far-away-from-home kids, the International Undergraduate Community of Vietnamese – mostly known as VNNTU – organize an annual event called Tet Celebration. This event, supported by NTUSU and celebrated one week
before the actual Lunar New Year, provides a platform for Vietnamese students in NTU and other institutions to enjoy the music, the food, the décor, the games, and most importantly, the sense of community characteristic of LNY in their home country. It also gives VNNTU a perfect opportunity to promote the Vietnamese culture to the international community in NTU. Tet Celebration was held in NTU Students’ Activity Centre on January 24. This year’s theme was ‘The Walk of Life’, which aimed to remind each and every Vietnamese student that their journey through life is full of challenges, and that the entire community will journey together. The three-hour event started off with lots laughter and cheers as arriving guests could immediately plunge into the traditional game booths set up all around the area. The less active ones spent the time instead on socializing with their fellow countrymen whom they rarely or never met. After expending a great deal of energy on the games and conversations, people could sit back and watch the
Banh chung, a sticky rice cake stuffed with green beans and pork, distinguishes the Vietnamese Lunar New Year from other cultures
The traditional dance featuring the traditional costume, ao dai ALL PHOTOS| Ton Luong Hoa
performances prepared by VNNTU Tet Celebration Subteam. Highlight of the evening went to the thought-provoking drama that narrated the story of a Vietnamese boy who was fortunate enough to go home for LNY but did not appreciate it. As he was about
to board the plane back to Singapore, he reflected on his attitude and recalled his mother’s poignant parting words. Heart wrenched, he cancelled the flight and returned to his family for a true, happy reunion. And then the food was
served. Despite the long queue of over 100 people, nobody gave up even though some already had their dinner. They looked forward to the taste of their home delicacies such as banh chung, banh tet, xoi gac, cha lua, etc… which were freshly made by dedicated VNNTU members with ingredients shipped from Vietnam over the holidays. Sharmaine Wong, a Singaporean who followed through the entire Tet Celebration, shared: “I enjoyed it very much. The Vietnamese here made me feel welcome.” She also wrote a blog on the event, one part of which reads: “People are kind, they don’t wanna shoot you down. Be proactive in initiating friendships! Hold onto ties. Be excitable.” Pham Quynh Anh, Head of VNNTU Tet Celebration Subteam, confessed: “I am most thankful that despite many errors in the program, people understood and encouraged us. I hope they enjoyed the evening.” Tet Celebration ended on a spirited note when the final performance brought the audience on stage to sing along the Vietnamese song ‘The silent moment of New Year’.
Share your love, touch a heart NTU WSC takes forward its cause of selfless service with WSC Week 2014 Elizabeth Jocelyn
issing Lunar New Year? Too lethargic for schoolwork? Then look out for some inspiration from the members of the Welfare Services Club (WSC) who worked through days and nights during the holidays to prepare for their signature event ‘WSC Week’ which was held immediately when school resumed. On the 4th and 5th of February, WSC put up a grand display with the theme ‘Share Your Love, Touch a Heart’. This event aimed to raise awareness about volunteerism in the NTU community, by showcasing the committee’s work that emphasizes its core mission of giving back to the society. Each portfolio set up a booth to present their cause and express their passion for the projects that they embark on. Xiang You, Chairperson
of the Regular Service Project (RSP) Elders, shared: “Most people only know about the ageing population in Singapore, but they are not aware of the the number of needy elderly out there who need our helping hand.” The event also served as a fund-raising opportunity for the maintenance of WSC’s ongoing and future projects. There was interesting line up of activities that the visitors could participate in. The RSP for the Visually Handicapped, for example, offered a darkroom tour which allowed visitors to experience what it is like to have their vision blinded. Activities at RSP Friends of Children booth, on the other hand, enabled visitors to connect with the portfolio’s beneficiaries by creating gifts and writing encouraging messages to be sent to children from low-income families. For
the fun-loving ones, arcadestyle basketball machines were available to help them dispense their energy. The highlight of the event was the ‘Fold a Heart Confession’. People could write heartfelt messages and post it on the confession board. The proceeds from the sale of confession cards would be used to purchase daily necessities for the less fortunate in Jurong area. Siddharth Kothari, a year 4 exchange student from India remarked, “It’s good knowing that the money we pay for the games is going to be used for a good cause.” Several external voluntary organisations such as Food from the Heart and Extraordinary Horizons also took part in ‘WSC Week’. Ms Lily Goh from Extraordinary Horizons, a social enterprise that caters to the Deaf in
PHOTO| NTU Welfare Services Club
Singapore, enthused, “Being a social enterprise, we need funds and the extra manpower from volunteers to carry out our programmes and ‘WSC Week’ serves as a good platform for us to reach out to NTU students and raise
awareness.” With the popular response that the ‘WSC Week’ managed to generate in just the second year of it’s organisation, it can be well expected to become a regular tradition in NTU’s WSC family.
Lunar New Year for a big family NTU WSC spreads new year cheer with its Lunar New Year Dinner 2014 Nguyen Thi Phi Phung
ALL PHOTOS| NTU Welfare Services Club
eek 4 marked one of the busiest periods for NTU Welfare Services Club (WSC) when it deployed all of its manpower on its signature event, WSC Week. The event was held in Canopy K where the various WSC portfolios displayed their work and passion, aimed to raise awareness about volunteerism in the NTU community. As WSC Week came to an end on 5th February, WSC volunteers had something else to look forward to right on
the same evening: WSC Lunar New Year Celebration and Friendship Day. Since the start of current academic year, this is the fourth WSC event that involved the participation of the entire giant club (previous club-scale events include Welcome Tea, Food Hunt, and the just-concluded WSC Week). At 6.30pm, WSC volunteers in black and maroon streamed into Hall 12 Function Hall for an evening full of merriment. Half an hour was allotted to
a light Bingo game and free chitchatting. Volunteers took this opportunity to catch up with friends and socialize across portfolios. Delicious food came just timely as all were hungry from the activities of the day. After the meal, complemented by the spirited Lion Dance performance, people were ready for the exciting part of the evening: Scavenger Hunt and Key&Lock Activity. People particularly enjoyed the Key&Lock game, in which
each girl was assigned a Lock number and the boy who was given the matching Password must find and ‘unlock’ her. The pair would then go to the stage and play several games like Seven Wonders (where one had to touch seven parts on the body of the other), after which gifts of vouchers were rewarded. This game attracted most active participation from the volunteers thanks to its engaging and its bonding nature. ‘This reunion dinner serves
to bring WSC members closer together as one, and reward them for the hard work and effort they have been putting in so far. At the same time, it is a good opportunity for members to know more about different portfolios in WSC’, shared Lucas Tay Bay Xun, Chairman of WSC Publicity and Publications. The night ended with a photo-taking session which gave everyone the chance to save sweet memories together.
NBS in the spotlight Accountancy and Business Club celebrates ‘é next big sensation’ Timothy Hartanto
ALL PHOTOS| Facebook
or most Nanyang Business School (NBS) students, the start of a new academic semester is the start of a hectic life. Seemingly endless lectures, tutorials, and assignments await students returning to the flurry of university life after a break. So it was a refreshing change of pace when NBS Day rolled in on the 24th of January. The event, which went on from 11 A.M to all the way till midnight, provided students with live musical performances and other exciting attractions and competitions.
Located primarily along NTU South Spine, the NBS Day was organized by Accountancy and Business Club with the tagline “é next big sensation”. According to Josephine Lim, a year 3 NBS student, the event was held to help students relax and prepare for the stressful months ahead. “I am glad that we have something like this organized for us”, she enthused. “It not only provided me with the motivation to work hard for the new semester but also helped me meet some amazing batch mates!”
The event featured several attractions and live musical performances from fellow students. Students could visit the Haunted House inside FAL complex, where the entire room was transformed into a dark, forbidding hallway complete with supernatural creatures and creepy spiders. From outside, people could hear loud screams of those who were brave enough to challenge their guts in the House. For the sporty ones, they could put their athletic skills to test at the water soccer booth outside S3. Students
could pass, tackle, and kick their way to victory on an inflatable water pool. For those who would like to keep their clothes dry, they could join the Police-and-Thief game around Lee Kong Chian Lecture Theatre. Just like the one in the Running Man show, this game had the participants running frantically chasing one another. In addition there were competitions such as the Eating contest and the BestDressed contest. The Eating contest involved eating BeeHoon as much as is
possible to stomach and the Best-Dressed contest provided students with an opportunity to flaunt their fashion style on the stage’s catwalk. There were also souvenir booths and game arcades for those wanting to mingle around. NBS Day eventually ended with a party session hosted by DJ Hua. From start to finish, the festival was an enjoyable experience. A lot of students participated in the event, which added to the joy. A bit of partying is always welcome. After all, all work and no play make Jack a dull boy!
Science Made Fun SPMS brings out the creative side of science Livardy Wufianto Nguyen Thi Phi Phung
re you one of those who picture frizzy hair and burned eyebrows on hearing the word ‘science’? Do you think of scientists as a crazy anti-social bunch who lock themselves in the laboratory all day? Well, get ready to look at science in a new light, as the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (SPMS) strives to change that view. Starting from January 13, the SPMS has been host to a series of exhibitions named ‘Science Made Fun’. This event, slated to last till the end of February, aims to familiarize the NTU community with the beauty of the Sciences. SPMS patrons are now no strangers to the intriguing
3D objects made from 2D cardboard that are displayed all over the school. Some are in the shape of useful furniture such as armchairs which are indeed inviting. Some take form of gigantic animals like rabbit and horse. Students can participate in interactive workshops where they can get hands-on experience on state-of-theart technology such as 3D printing and Graffiti Robots. David Chua, from the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, shared, “Pottery workshop is my favorite. I love playing with clay.” Displayed throughout the entire ‘Science Made Fun’ and also the highlight of the event, the ‘Edible Art Movement’ exhibition
secured the spotlight thanks to its aesthetics as well as the message it delivers. Started by a group of experimental artists, intellectuals, poets and philosophers drawn together by a shared passion for food and art, the exhibition aims to subvert conventional ideas of what food and art should be whilst at all times seeking to create incredible art. ‘Science Made Fun’ also serves to promote the soon-tobe-implemented SPMS course ‘Making and Tinkering’. In this course students will be involved in research and design projects with the aid of 3D printers. Ms Helen Chen Qiting, Assistant Manager for ‘Science Made Fun’, encourages students to take up this course. “This is not
a normal, out-of-the-book course”, she said, “We want you to innovate. That’s why the course is ‘Making and Tinkering’.” Dr. Ho Shen Yong, from the Division of Physics and Applied Physics, added, “Students will have the chance to create real objects out of their imagination using some of the latest technologies. They are free to be creative scientifically, widen their horizons and explore the possibilities of things they can build.” Students can look forward to more fascinating exhibits and workshops to come, including Invisibility Cloak by Professor Zhang Baile and Wine Aeration. Don’t miss this chance to witness science at its creative best !
ALL PHOTOS| Facebook
Sober up! Red Cross NTU Chapter urges students to drink responsibly Vincent Kiathadi
ALL PHOTOS| NTU Red Cross
he NTU Red Cross took forward their cause of social responsibility with “Glow in the Flow”, an event organized on the 21st of January at Canopy K which aimed to educate people about drinking responsibly. The event lasted for three hours, and was marked by a lucky draw, games, an engaging DJ
show, and enthralling freestyle dance performances. The event, with enticing lucky draw prizes and abundant free food, drew in large crowds. Evando, from School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, complimented the food but was not comfortable with the long
queue. He suggested that the queue be divided into two next time. Kevin Chai, president of NTU Red Cross, expressed his contentment with the event. In spite of a few glitches, the event turned out well for a first time one. The committee is yet to confirm if the event would be held again next year.
Bionic hand created to allow amputees to feel
The vast brainpower of IBM’s supercomputer Watson is to be utilised in Africa to attempt to mitigate some of the continent’s most pressing concerns. Better agriculture, education and health are just three of the improvements the system could bring, said the firm. Uyi Stewart, chief scientist of IBM Research in Africa, says that the system could transform education and health in the same way as mobile banking had transformed finance on the continent. “With the adoption of mobile phones, banking has become virtual and it could be the same premise in education and healthcare,” he said.
Cancer ‘tidal wave’ in the near future, warns WHO The globe is facing a “tidal wave” of cancer, and WHO scientists are urging restrictions on alcohol and sugar. It is predicted that the number of cancer cases will reach 24 million a year by 2035, but half of which are preventable. The WHO said there was now a “real need” to focus on cancer prevention by tackling the main causes of cancer which are smoking, obesity and drinking.
Health Experts are concerned about the spread of a new strain of bird flu that has already caused the death one woman in China. The 73-year-old from Nanchang City caught the H10N8 virus after visiting a live poultry market, although it is unsure if this was the source of infection. A second person has since become infected with the new strain in China’s Jiangxi province.
Pain ‘dimmer switch’ discovered by UK scientists
Earliest footprints outside Africa discovered in Norfolk
IBM’s Watson to help solve key problems in Africa
Scientists have come up with a bionic hand which allows the amputee to feel lifelike sensations from their fingers. A Danish man received the hand, which was connected to nerves in his upper arm through surgery in Italy. In laboratory tests he was able to differentiate the shape and stiffness of objects he picked up, even when blindfolded.
New strain of ‘deadly’ bird flu
Pain sensitivity is controlled by a genetic “dimmer switch”, which can be re-set, UK scientists have recently discovered. Identical twins sharing 100% of genes have different pain thresholds, which can potentially be altered by lifestyle or medication, according to researchers at King’s College, London. The study could potentially lead to new painkillers or lifestyle interventions.
Scientists have recently discovered the earliest evidence of human footprints outside of Africa, on the Norfolk Coast in the East of England. The footprints are more than 800,000 years old and were found on the shores of Happisburgh. They are direct evidence of the earliest known humans in northern Europe. Dr Nick Ashton of the British Museum said that “it will rewrite our understanding of the early human occupation of Britain and indeed of Europe,” he told BBC News.
Greenland glacier hits record speed
A river of ice in Greenland has become the fastest-flowing glacier currently known in the world, a study suggests. In summer, the Jakobshavn Glacier - widely thought to have spawned the iceberg that sank the Titanic - is moving about four times faster than it was in the 1990s. The Greenland Ice Sheet has seen record melting in recent years and would raise sea levels 6m were it all to vanish.
Environment Scientists in Australia are working to classify a new species of giant jellyfish that washed up on a beach in Tasmania. A family found the 1.5m (5ft) jellyfish on a beach south of Hobart last month. Recent years had seen “huge blooms” of jellyfish in Tasmanian waters but scientists were not sure Giant jellyfish found why. on Australia beach
The annual Chingay Parade, held on the 7th and 8th of February, brought in an extravaganza of color, lights and thrilling performances and thrilled the nation. With the theme, “Colors of Fabric, One people”, the event featured a grand opening with the world’s largest Batik Art. This was followed by over 8000 multicultural performances from Singapore, as well as Chines, Indonesia, Italy, Korea and Philippines, including dance, music, acrobatic and artistic shows. The event concluded with a Grand Finale with over 3000 performers.
There are now about 20 schools in Singapore with 3D printers. The idea of using 3D printers in class is no longer uncommon. It really helps to polish the student’s design and creative work.
Scottish independence: We want you to stay, Cameron will say
In a speech in London, the British prime minister argues that the whole UK would be “deeply diminished” if Scotland opted to leave. About four million people over the age of 16 and living in Scotland will be able to take part in the referendum, promised by the country’s ruling Scottish National Party, on 18 September. Mr Cameron will say: “This is a decision that is squarely and solely for those in Scotland to make. I passionately believe it is in their interests to stay in the UK.”
Gay rights activists hold protests for Sochi
Momentary ceasefire in Homs, Syria
North Korea threatens to pull out the plug on family reunions
Gay rights activists across the world have been holding protests against the Russian government, just two days before the Winter Olympics begins in the southern resort of Sochi. The gay rights protests were organised in 19 cities around the globe including Melbourne, London, Paris and St Petersburg. Activists are urging Olympic sponsors such as McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Samsung and Visa to speak against Russia’s new laws against homosexuality.
The United Nations and the United States have confirmed an agreement between rebels and the Syrian government of a planned cease-fire in the besieged Old City of Homs which would allow some people to flee and humanitarian aid to arrive for the first time in over a year. The agreement entails women, civilians over 55 and children under 15 to leave the Old City if they choose and if they agree not to take up arms against the government.
North Korea says it may back out of the family reunions it agreed to hold with South Korea if the latter continues with the annual drills it holds with the United States citing safety concerns. A spokesman for the North Korean Policy Department of the National Defense Commission said “It does not make sense to carry out the reunion of families, who were separated due to the War, during a dangerous nuclear war practice.”
Half-million without power after US’ second ice storm
Prime minister pledges to get flood-hit UK back on the move
Nearly half a million people remain without electricity, a day after the second storm in a week struck parts of the US east coast. The power cut has affected more than 450,000 people in the state of Philadelphia and 70,000 more in the Maryland. Recovery efforts have been halted and slowed down by fallen tree limbs covered in a thick coat of ice.
The British prime minister has promised to do “everything possible” to help people affected by the storms that continue to devastate parts of the UK. Among the worst hit has been Southwest England, with many homes still under water and part of a key railway line destroyed.
Philippines bus crash kills 13
US bomb from World War Two defused by Hong Kong police
Concerns about Sochi not prepared to host the Olympics
India parliament uproar over new state
At least 13 people have been killed and more than 30 others injured when a bus plunged into a ravine in the northern Philippines, according to local police. The bus was travelling through mountainous terrain when it swerved off the road and fell down a height of 120m.
Hong Kong police have successfully defused a (900kg) bomb from World War Two which is believed to be known as the biggest wartime bomb to be found in the city. More than 2,200 people were evacuated when the bomb was found in a construction site in the city’s Happy Valley district.
According to numerous accounts on social media this week reports of missing TVs, chairs and shower curtains have emerged with one most troubling incident involving The Chicago Tribune’s Stacy St. Clair reportedly complained that she had been warned about the hazardous water in her hotel room followed by her tweet of two glasses of yellowish liquid which promptly went viral.
Proceedings in both houses of India’s parliament were disrupted by angry exchanges over a controversial bill to approve the new state of Telangana. Backers of the new state say the area has been neglected by the government. Those against the idea are unhappy that Hyderabad, home to many major information technology and pharmaceutical companies, would become a shared state capital.
Rio protest over transport fare rise ends in violence
Hundreds of people in Brazil have engaged in violence towards police during a protest against increased fares for public transport. Commuters at Rio de Janeiro’s Central Station during rush hour were caught up in the clash. Riot police fired tear gas in an effort to disperse the crowd, while activists threw stones and petrol bombs.
Pakistan enters peace talks with Taliban
The first formal meeting between Pakistan’s government and a Talibannominated team has been held in Islamabad, officials say. The talks are aimed at charting a “roadmap” for negotiations that will try to end a decade-long insurgency. Militants from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have been waging an insurgency inside Pakistan since 2007. More than 100 people, including soldiers, died in Taliban attacks across the country in January and thousands more have been killed since the TTP came to the fore in 2007.
On Philosophy Sharadkumar Pandian
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Before you roll your eyes and turn the page, just give me a chance. Philosophy isn’t about a group of old bearded men sitting around, wondering about whether the world is real. Rather, it isn’t only about that. Oh, philosophy is so much more than that. ‘Philosophy? Is that even around anymore?’ First, what exactly is philosophy? Is it the drunken ramblings about life and the hidden truths people think they’re discovered? Not quite. The word ‘philosophy’ comes from ‘philo’ meaning love and ‘sophia’ meaning wisdom. Philosophy literally translates to a love for wisdom. Note that philosophy doesn’t require you to be wise, just that you pursue it out of boundless love for it. Philosophy is a discipline which stresses clarity, precision and critical thought; it has no
place for blind conjecture and bad reasoning. It pursues inquiry into knowledge, reality, logic, ethics, justice, etc., and as you might imagine, plays a rather important role. Philosophy is often thought of as an abstract field without any relevance today. However this is far from true- epistemology has applications in rational decision theory, ethics helps us figure out what we should do, political philosophy helps us reason about legitimate powers of the government, etc. Hence, it is hard to see how the claim of irrelevance is justified.
‘But studying philosophy is useless!’ To argue against this claim, I could mention how, contrary to stereotypes, humanities and social science majors earn a similar amount as pre-professional majors do over a lifetime. I could point to how philosophy majors do better than any other in the GRE than all other majors. However, I shall refrain from this because even if all these were true, pursuing philosophy would still have value. To see what I mean, we have to first think about what the purpose of a university education is. Undoubtedly, a part of it is about generating a workforce for industry. But is this the sole reason? This is not a question that can be ignored. If we really think that university is just for preparing people for industry, there’s no need for extracurricular activities or forcing people to take courses unrelated to their major. Clearly, this is a decision with direct relevance for us. We need philosophy if we think that the role
of universities is more than just to churn out an army of automatons to fuel the economy, if we think a nation does better when its citizens can think critically or if we think that people’s lives need to be more than metaphorical footballs in other people’s games. Of course, it’s possible for someone to believe university is more than just an incubator for industry but might still be hesitant about philosophy. However, considering that philosophy is the discipline that stresses clear thought, strong arguments, critical analysis, etc., more than any other, it is evident that if we value these skills, our best hope is philosophy. Perhaps we should even consider making a standard philosophy course compulsory to all students. These could be just a freshman course on logic and critical thinking to equip people with rudimentary skills which will ensure people gain deeper understanding in whatever subjects they pursue later on..
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ALL PHOTOS| Flickr Commons
Now that we have science, we don’t need philosophy – said no philosopher ever
Is this the man university should be creating? “The man who has no tincture of philosophy goes through life imprisoned in the prejudices derived from common sense, from the habitual beliefs of his age or his nation, and from convictions which have grown up in his mind without the co-operation or consent of his deliberate reason. To such a man the world tends to become definite, finite, obvious; common objects rouse no questions, and unfamiliar possibilities are contemptuously rejected.” - Bertrand Russel
In 2011, noted physicist Stephen Hawking claimed that philosophy was dead and went on to say, “Philosophers have not kept up with modern developments in science. Particularly physics.” This is not a rare opinion among scientists and professed science-lovers today. It’s tragic that a scientist of such eminence would take a view that is naïve, at best, and completely absurd, at worst. While it is true that I am no expert on science or philosophy, this claim is so ambitious that my arguments below do not require any expertise on my part. First, the discipline of philosophy is made up of several diverse sets of questions. Would ethics really be undone because it doesn’t keep up with physics? Or political philosophy? These areas do work with behavioral science and biology but while they are informed by science, the questions they ask are in no way answerable by science alone. You will always need philosophers for this. I expect to be accused of being unfair to Dr. Hawking now. Clearly he was talking only about those parts of philosophy- metaphysics and epistemology, perhaps- that actually want to describe the world. This seems more plausible but still suffers from one major flaw. Scientists know that although the layman has intuitions about the world (which are based on his constant interactions with it), but without using the sophisticated tools of science, he cannot hope to get a complete picture of it. And yet when it comes to science itself, scientists believe they’ve understood science and its methods simply because they use it. Never mind that it is the philosophers of science who actually study what science is, whether it progresses, whether it is objective or not, etc.
The scientist thinks he knows science simply based on his intuitions in dealing with it constantly. And by this he is rendered as naive as the layman in the previous example. And this leads to the flaw with even this view of philosophy- the assumption that philosophers are simply doing the same as scientists (but poorly) and the assumption that scientists can somehow figure out everything without philosophers. Scientists might be uncontested champions at empirical data collection but the data we get doesn’t lead to inferences by themselves. You need reasoning there and whether you like it or not, that’s what philosophers do best. To claim that philosophy is dead is them a completely meaningless. If what is meant by ‘philosophy’ in such claims is the kind of philosophy practiced centuries ago (when empirical evidence was absent), it would be true that ‘philosophy is dead’ but this would be a different kind of philosophy. This is as absurd as me claiming ‘Chemistry is dead’ because alchemy is no longer practiced. In all fairness, philosophers are to blame for at least some part of this problem. By not engaging with the public about how fascinating and important philosophy is, they make conditions propitious for ignorance about philosophy to flourish. Scientists do a lot to make science a part of popular culture by hosting shows and writing books for the non-specialist. If philosophers are doing these, they haven’t been very popular. Discussions need to be had about how much philosophy scientists need, about the interface of philosophy and science, the place of philosophy, etc. Whatever the conclusions for these discussions, however, philosophy is definitely alive and kicking.
*The views expressed in this section are solely those of the author. These do not reflect the views of the Tribune or the Student’s Union*
tr bune So, some Romeo thought thatthe FEBRUARY 2014 the cactus was a romantic plant Handy if you’re going to sketchy neighborhoods. Also a great excuse to call your partner a prick more often.
with custom character names. Cheesy level: Grand Master.
She is going to be mad because you cheated on her with a fictitious character. The perfect novel for this has only two characters and lots of sex.
This edible meat underwear is pure genius: food and sex in one fashionable piece of lingerie Condiments in your bedside table are a must. Use the pepper with caution and hot sauce is an absolute no-no. Keep pets at a safe distance.
has “Till death do us apart” written all over. If you can’t wait to get cozy in your new piece of prime real estate, reckless driving is strongly encouraged.
Gifts that ruined
A small collection of brave valentines that have taken that specia
thetr buneUmm.. Honesty FEBRUARY 2014
the right gift for your valentine. Reading this book will help you, but be sure to dump your other half to protect your ego. Shortly after, it can serve as firewood. So, if we look like conjoined sweater twins we are in a healthy relationship. Really? Independence just got fired, time to hire compromise for the same position. On a side note, they are doing some great things at the tailors these days.
He got the
Hygiene was clearly high on his priority list. For starters, the kissing will feel cleaner but hopefully it’s enough to scrub that girls breath off your mouth before your partner finds out. Oh Snap, it’s the
The only way that's going to work is if it lies to make her happy. If it it doesn't, the best course of action is a gym membership. You're lucky it wasn't gifted with the scale it self.
d Valentine’s Day
al step to make their partners feel insure, angry and traumatized.
Shrijit Kundu Ideas| buzzfeed.com
Post-rock: The explosions won’t destroy you Taufiq Rashid
ost-rock is a confusing term. What comes after rock? Some would logically assume metal as an evolution of rock; take the blazing guitars, roaring drums, and intense assault on the eardrums, multiply it and make it heavier and voila, metal. But no. Logic normally fails in genre labeling like in alternative rock (alternative to rock?), or when it actually works, the idea can be baffling such as math rock – ever thought of math in rock? To define post-rock is to limit, and post-rock is an artistic form that is limitless in its very nature. In terms of structural approach to music, you can think of postrock as classical music with modern instruments normally associated with rock acts. You won’t find the typical versechorus-verse-chorus-bridgechorus structure here. Instead you will find composed pieces with movements accentuated by dreamy guitar landscapes, edgy hooks, purposeful basslines and inspirational drums
that carry the music. Since we cannot pinpoint what exactly is post-rock, we can look at what is traditionally found in postrock. Firstly, post-rock stands out in the role of guitarists; they are facilitators of both timbre and texture. Hence this is the reason why post-rock can be considered ambient rock or as a form of ambient s o u n d s c a p i n g . S e c o n d l y, post-rock bands typically do not feature vocals. Rather, they prefer to bask in its instrumental brilliance that translates into painting sonic landscapes for your listening pleasure. This very aspect of post-rock lends it a borderless appeal that isn’t bound by language. While Tortoise is widely considered and contested as the founder of post-rock, the three big bands that revolutionize the genre came from distant shores – Mogwai (Scotland), Explosions in the Sky (USA), and Mono (Japan). Post-rock speaks in the language of music, weaving emotions in thoughtful
compositions that usher you from hope, to despair, to triumphant climaxes (another atypical aspect of the genre). No longer is the listener crippled by language differences – it is rather difficult to fully appreciate a Japanese punk rock band or an Indonesian indie band – but post-rock does not share these sentiments. Since post-rock can come from anywhere, what does Singapore have to offer? Old mainstays such as Lunar Node and Amateur Takes Control are no longer active in the scene, but the current stratosphere sees a possible resurgence in the genre. Since Arajua surfaced in Baybeats 2011, we have seen other bands share similar trajectories. Arajua differs from most postrock acts by incorporating Fazly’s powerful vocals – when vocals are used in postrock, they tend to be sampled speeches or atmospheric shouts. Two years down the road we see 7nightsatsea auditioning for Baybeats (and
eventually taking over the stage) with complex startstop riffs, measured cuts, and interesting time signatures instead of sticking to the more common 4/4 and 3/4 beats in post-rock. Their impressive compositions and enormous stage presence makes them a tough post-rock act to follow, but they do have a tendency to rush into the hard-hitting portions of their compositions rather than provide their slow melodic parts room to grow. This year, we see two acts to follow that are auditioning for Baybeats, one of which is Paint The Sky Red (with Explosions in the Sky as obvious influences and in this they do not disappoint). Newcomers Sphaeras are fusing more math-rock elements to their music, approaching post-rock the same way 7nightsatsea and Amateur Takes Control did. With the exception of Paint The Sky Red, postrock in Singapore has been a malleable art form where the ideas in dynamics, textures, and structures are
incorporated in other genres. Bands make use of post-rock to enhance their primary genres: wyd:syd with indie, Atlas with angular rock, Anechois with progressive rock, Two Seas with hardcore, Paris in the Making with screamo (in vocals, post-rock in music), In Each Hand a Cutlass with metal, and the list goes on. While the post-rock scene is not thriving as much as the hardcore, metal, and indie scenes are in Singapore, avid listeners would be proud to know that Singaporean bands are innovative in reinventing music by the inclusion of post-rock. If you’ve not given post-rock a listen, do give it an honest try; immerse in the experience, pay attention to the details, revel in the climax of the piece, and feel as the musicians feel when they play their complex compositions. No other genre is more interpretive to the listener than post-rock, and yet no genre brings the listener closer to the minds of the artist than post-rock.
Albums to look out for: Explosions in the Sky – The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place This Will Destroy You – Young Mountain Mogwai – Come on Die Young
Sonnets from the Singlish: When Singlish gets turned into poetry Victoria Chanel Lee
o perhaps many of you, poems are stuff of the ancient ages. Some may even be surprised that people still do write poems in our current modern age. But after reading Joshua Ip’s Sonnets from the Singlish, your perception of poetry is likely to change. Sonnets from the Singlish features 44 poems that are relatable, tongue-in-cheek, and truly Singaporean. The collection goes from mentioning the classic Li Nanxing scene in Channel 8’s blockbuster, The Unbeatables to pop culture trends like Twilight, and of course, your usual Singaporean complains over foreign talent. The art of chopeing seats with tissue
packets is not spared, and neither is the coffeeshop AlAzhar. You’re bound to laugh or at least smirk appreciatively when you come across the poem titled “kani/nabe: a conversation” because, well, you get it. Ip effectively presents our fears and hopes as a nation in this collection of poetry. At times, you feel as if you are conversing with a friend who understands you. Sonnets from the Singlish is a refreshing offering for anyone who wants to try reading very relatable local poetry. Interested readers can check out Joshua Ip’s Facebook Notes for some of his poetry: https://www.facebook.com/ joshua.ip.man/notes
Mylo Xyloto: When comics and music collide Victoria Chanel Lee
oes Mylo Xyloto sound familiar to you? If it does, it’s because it is also the title of Coldplay’s hit 2012 album. The Mylo Xyloto comic series forms the backdrop of Coldplay’s 2012 album and tour, Mylo Xyloto. The story begins with Coldplay’s Hurts Like Heaven music video. In the music video, we are introduced to a dull and colourless fantasy world called Silencia, which lies in a cold, dark corner of the universe. Silencia is a land governed by a council of Irdoks (they look like gorillas in giant metal suits) who maintain their rule by promising safety from a deadly enemy called The Eaters (Silencian-eating aliens who are drawn to sound and colour). Much like dictators, the Irdoks control
the Silencians through the use of the military police called the Silencers. A situation that perhaps isn’t all that foreign to us in the real world. The Silencers are made up of natives who have been trained since infancy to enforce the Irdoks’ tough rule of law: No sound, No colour, For the good of Silencia. The citizens are thus unable to enjoy simple pleasures like music and colours due to The Eaters. It is also a law for every citizen to be wired to the Hypnofeed. This is a feed that continuously gives them visual and audio media inside a helmet that they wear (sort of like a helmet with a television inside). All seems well and good in Silencia, until some of the citizens start to rebel against
the Irdoks, as is often the case in a heavily oppressed society. These rebels create The Sparks (colourful musical graffiti) in the hopes of awakening citizens with the truth – that The Eaters are nothing but a lie. Then comes in Mylo Xyloto, a reluctant Silencer who, while trying to capture a Sparker, touches a Spark (musical graffiti) with his bare hands and inherits the ability to create Sparks. Mylo is then introduced to the underground hidden world of the Sparkers, where colours and sounds are aplenty. What will Mylo do now that he has found the rebels’ lair? Will he rat them out? Or realise how the Silencians are oppressed? With colourful, beautiful illustrations and a unique storyline, Mylo Xyloto is a great comic book read for anyone, regardless of whether you’re a comic book or Coldplay fan. You can watch Coldplay’s Hurts Like Heaven music video to learn more about the comic series or get your copy of the Mylo Xyloto comic series at http://coldplay.fanfire. com.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: Marvel fantasy come to life Catch Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D on Starhub’s Fox channel. Victoria Chanel Lee
ave you ever left the movie theatre, wishing that the short trailer at the end of each Marvel movie could be just a little longer? Well, if you did, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is the isotonic to your thirst. Set in the Marvel movies universe, the series is based on the S.H.I.E.L.D, an organization featured in the Marvel comic books. S.H.I.E.L.D stands for Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, and many remember its director, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) from the numerous Marvel movies. Currently in its first season, the series begins in the aftermath of all the previous Marvel movies (Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and The Avengers films). Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), having died in The Avengers film at Loki’s hand,
returns from the dead, and forms a small team of S.H.I.E.L.D agents to deal with strange new cases occurring all over the world. The team consists of Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), an expert pilot and former field agent who has a hard exterior but soft heart; Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), a charming black ops specialist; Skye (Chloe Bennet), a bubbly computer hacker whom Coulson recruited to be a S.H.I.E.L.D agent trainee; Leopold Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), extremely intelligent engineering and weapons expert; Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), the other extremely intelligent life sciences (human and alien) expert. The team jet sets to fight mutants, alien viruses and the like. At the same time, Coulson grapples with his lost memory regarding how
he came back to life, while Skye harbours a secret agenda. Other than its star-studded guest cast that features the likes of Stan Lee and Jaimie Alexander (Lady Sif from Thor, anyone?), what is interesting about this series is that it comprises a highly diverse cast. Fitz speaks in an Irish accent, Simmons tatters on in an English accent, while May often yells in Cantonese. While this idea isn’t new, it is still nice to see shows that involve different cultures, demonstrating that television is not exempted from this trend in an increasingly globalized world. Watch out for the many alien artefacts featured in the show too, because they are just as awesome as Thor’s hammer. Catch Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D on Starhub’s Fox channel.
Spouse for house: Hong Kong actress Selena Li & Alaric Tay get cosy
any would have seen the trailers playing on Channel 5, featuring Hong Kong actress Selena Li, Alaric Tay, Desmond Tan and more. A familiar face in many TVB Hong Kong dramas, the Hong Kong born and Canadian bred Selena Li was in town recently to film her first English sitcom series, Spouse For House.
The comedy sitcom revolves around John Tan (Alaric Tay) and Jessica Tan (Selena Li), a couple with a dating history going back to their junior college days. After eight years of dating, John proposes to Jessica and they apply for an HDB BTO flat. However, on the day of the wedding, Jessica gets cold feet and abruptly breaks up with John.
Despite the split, neither of them wants to give up the BTO flat and they decide to continue on with the wedding for the sake of keeping the flat. Hilarious incidents ensue when their parents and siblings intrude on their pretend-married life. Catch Spouse for House every Tuesday, 8pm. *Premieres 11 February
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The Modern Prometheus
& His Fellows Ong Sher Li
here are few works that are as frequently adapted, parodied and referenced as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Shelley’s novel, which laid the foundations for the genre of science fiction, had its origins in a horrific waking dream Shelley had during a rainy summer in 1816—and considering the sheer volume of works derived from it, it’s clear that Shelley’s vividly captured nightmare continues to haunt our imaginations till this day. While the novel raises a great many philosophical and ethical questions, there is hardly a greater debate among those who’ve read the novel and those who haven’t over the name of the monster. The monster “Frankenstein” was named as such by one Peggy Webling who adapted Frankenstein for stage in 1927. This play, in turn, was the basis for Universal Studios’ 1931 film of the same name, which featured Boris Karloff’s iconic depiction of the monster. In
contrast to the generally morose, somber tone of Shelley’s work, this version of Frankenstein is noted for its tendency towards campiness, with its comically mad version of Victor Frankenstein, hunchbacked lab assistants, angry mobs carrying torches, and the monster as an intelligible, lumbering beast. These horrific aspects of Shelley’s narrative were given even more emphasis in the Hammer Films’ string of Frankenstein films from the 1950s to the 1970s. It wasn’t until 1994 when a big budget project appeared, which promised to be more faithful to the original novel. Entitled Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, produced by Francis Ford Coppola, helmed by Kenneth Branagh and featuring an all-star cast, with the likes of Robert De Niro and Helena Bonham Carter, it was a film that portrayed Victor Frankenstein as a tragic figure, and the
monster as a horrifying, yet eloquent creature (and curiously even more human in appearance, barring a few scars). It really goes to show how diverse the interpretations of Shelley’s narrative can be— especially as Frankenstein and his creation are once again retooled for 2014’s I, Frankenstein. Considerably handsomer and much less scarred than his predecessors, the monster in this film maintains his eloquence and intelligence, but develops the personality of a ‘90s antihero, trapped as he is in a three-way war between gargoyles, demons, and himself. With yet another Frankenstein adaptation planned for 2015, this time starring James MacAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe, it seems that Mary Shelley’s 200 year old nightmare will continue to be given life, over and over, in ways even Victor Frankenstein couldn’t imagine.
ALL PHOTOS| Wikimedia Commons
ave you always wanted to try French cuisine but been put off by its reputation for high prices and tiny portions? Hidden in a street just opposite the National Library is Saveur, a restaurant intent on providing its diners with quality French fare at affordable prices. Here, the Duck Confit is a popular choice, frequently making its appearance on the tables of diners. For $12.90, you are served with a duck leg that comes th a portion of homemade mashed potato and garnished with sautéed shitake mushrooms and orange segments, along with orange infused natural jus. The meat is tender and easy to separate from the bone, ensuring you do not need to awkwardly wrestle with the duck, armed with your utensils and a frustrated expression painted on your face. The fine texture and light taste of the mashed potato complement the flavors of duck well without overpowering its taste. Saveur also offers other mains ranging from a Roulade of Chicken Thigh at $9.90 to Beef Tenderloin at $24.90. As an accompaniment to the mains, the menu has a variety of starch dishes. Among these, the Creamy Basmati Rice stands out from the usual choices of side dishes. The rice is buttery yet not too soggy, providing a contrast from the savory taste of the mains. Starch dishes start from $2.00, for a side of Sautéed Potato, among others. Another must try dish is Saveur’s Pasta ($4.90), angel hair pasta tossed with chili oil and accompanied by Japanese konbu and sakura ebi with minced pork sauce. This dish offers an interesting blend of ingredients from the East and West that works well. The Starters menu also includes Foie Gras at a reasonably priced $7.90, among the traditional options of soup and salad, which start at $4.90. Word of caution, though. The portions at Saveur do tend to be on the small side, so if you are one with a huge apetite, be prepared to order a little bit more. There are two outlets, one in Bugis and a newer one in Orchard, but both tend to be crowded around peak hour meal times and they don’t do reservations, so do go earlier to ensure that you get a seat!
6 Saveur (Bugis)
Saveur (Far East Plaza)
5 Purvis Street Talib Court #01-04 Singapore 188584
14 Scotts Road Far East Plaza #01-07B Singapore 228213
Monday to Saturday 12.00pm – 2.15pm 6.00pm – 9.00pm
Monday to Saturday 11.30am – 9.30pm
Sunday 6.00pm – 9.00pm
Sunday 11.30am – 9.00pm
ALL PHOTOS| 1,3,5 - www.saveur.sg and 2,4,6 - Ynex Lee
Sneak in! Elfarina Roszaini
ootwear either makes or breaks your outfit. For all the fashion-conscious folks, you would agree that selecting the right pair of shoes is a very important decision in daily life. (And no! We’re not being dramatic!) From high heels to smart shoes to flats or pumps, each type of footwear channels a different feel. Today, sportswear has been meshed with high fashion ever so often, making canvas footwear a fashion staple. Trainers are definitely kicking in, making their way to runways of haute couture. Case in point: luxury brands Chanel and Christian Dior sent out their models in trainers instead of killer high heels during the recent fashion shows in Paris. Besides being highly comfortable, sneakers are wearable for a vast array of occasions, clearly highlighting its versatility. A pair of Superga, for instance, completes a back-to-school outfit effortlessly. Throw on a pair of well-fitted jeans, a T-shirt with a pair of Superga and you’re good to go. Alternatively, you could inject a casual vibe by pairing a cute vintage sundress with sneakers à la Alexa Chung. The Italian tennis shoe brand has been around since 1911 and very recently, it collaborated with young and successful fashion blogger and designer Chiara Ferragni (also Model: Kamal Shahril, Sociology/ 2 known as The Blonde Salad!). This collaboration is successfully reaching out to celebrities and youths today. PHOTO| theblondesalad.com
For both men and women, sneakers have become appealing as brands are catering to a large variety of individual tastes and preferences. Fashionably sporty shoes like Nike Dunks, Adidas Sleek series and New Balance Classics are several timeless trends. Opt for the limited edition collection for statement pairs. Now if you do not own at least a pair of kicks, sneak in to nearby stores over at Cathay Cineleisure or even department stores like Tangs and take your pick! Chances are you’d take quite a while selecting the right pair for you as you’d be spoilt for choice. Blond Salad Blog: http://theblondesalad.com/
PHOTO| Elfarina Roszaini
Model: Nur Jannah Cheang, Political Sciences/ 3
PHOTO| Elfarina Roszaini
Rediscover yourself: GO
f you’re seeking a novel travel experience for the upcoming Recess Week break, why not entertain the thought (that is probably tucked in the back of your mind) of embarking on a solo trip? It might seem like a daunting task at first, but equipped with this ultimate guide on solo travel, you’ll be booking that single plane ticket out of here in no time.
“Solo travel requires a different sort of adventurousness than, say, scaling a tall peak or zip-lining through a rain forest. It demands an open spirit, a desire for authentic connection, a belief that fascinating experiences are just around the bend and that a lot of walking and talking will lead to them.” - Donna Sapolin Next Avenue Editorial Director PHOTO| Writer’s Own
Why Traveling Solo Is The Way To Go THE great thing about travelling alone is that you can afford to be entirely selfish – it’ll be your ultimate self-indulgent trip! Think about it, you won’t have to coordinate common travel dates and preferences like if you were travelling with a group of friends. Choosing which places you’re dying to
visit and doing everything you want in your own time, is in fact very liberating. This will be your chance to be your own travel agent and perhaps strike a few things off that bucket list of yours. You’d also find that you learn new things about yourself while travelling alone, even though the voice
inside your head might seem so much louder than anything else. Travelling alone is the chance for you to get to know yourself better as an individual, rediscover your likes and dislikes, away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city life here in Singapore. Han Wei, 23, an undergrad who embarked on a 2-month
solo trip around Europe last year, shares that “the kind of alone you experience while on a solo trip is so much more refreshing compared to the alone time you get in Singapore for merely a few hours”. Traveling alone would also expose you to new experiences that would probably shove
you out of your comfort zone – and that’s a good thing! With no constant companion to rely on, you’ll be forced to be your own problem solver. The immense feeling of triumph when you finally manage to navigate your way after getting lost in a foreign city will surely keep you pumped up for your next adventure.
Useful Tips For Your ‘Discover Me’ Trip Surviving meal times
Ace that #Selfie
Not only are backpacker hostels relatively cheaper as compared to hotels, but it’s also a great place for you to interact with fellow travellers and make some new friends along the way. Backpacker hostels are where many solo travelers choose to stay, and who knows, you might even plan a spontaneous adventure with your newfound fellow solo travelers. Most backpacker hostels also offer wi-fi, so you can keep in touch with your family and friends back home while you’re away. Another alternative to backpacker hostels would be couch surfing! Couchsurfing.org is an online platform where its users can host travelers in their own country, and for travelers looking for hosts in foreign countries. Basically, you can post a request for host accommodation in the city you’re visiting. This is definitely a riskier alternative to backpacker hostels, but it’s a great opportunity to interact with a local host and discover the city from a local standpoint. Just be sure to take into account what other travelers experienced with that particular host (reviews are provided on member’s profiles) before agreeing to stay there. One tip from Ugenie, 22, an undergrad who used Couchsurfing. org during her travels while on exchange, is to pick couples or families as their hosts.
If you’re not keen on eating takeaways but still feel selfconscious of dining at a restaurant alone, seek out establishments that offer communal dining. But if you’re more of an anti-social diner, you could also bring along a book or your computer to keep you company. At the very last resort, Skype with your friends back home while having your meal. But remember, this solo trip is all about new experiences so do try to find comfort in your solitary meals.
Here’s a situation that you are very likely to encounter if you’re traveling alone: travel selfies. Before you pass any judgement, a selfie is not all that narcissistic. In fact, travel selfies are quintessential to your solo trip! If you’re like me, and your hands are too short to take a proper selfie that includes your entire face and the beautiful surroundings in the frame, get a fisheye or wide-angle lens. On my solo trip to Melbourne last year, I got a fisheye attachment for my iPhone and I’m proud to say, I managed to capture the scenic background and myself without my face taking up the entire frame. Other methods include bringing a tripod, or setting your camera on self-timer mode. You could of course also ask other tourists to help you take a picture. As I said, ask when you need to!
Useful Travel Site
Backpacker hostels & couch surfing
Ask for help Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it! While traveling solo can increase your sense of independence, there would probably come a time when you’ll need to dependent on a complete stranger to get where you need to go. Not only will asking for help force you to interact with others, but it will also probably increase your faith in humanity, especially if you encounter people go out of their way to assist you. However, you also have to be wary of pickpockets who are likely to target single travelers.
Wandermates - http://www.wandermates.com Travbuddy - http://www.travbuddy.com These are websites where solo travelers can interact, and arrange meet-ups with other solo travelers. Couchsurfing - http://couchsurfing.org Meet Travelers - http://meettravelers.com/index.php Both websites act as a platform where locals and tourists can interact like an international meeting site. Solo Traveler - http://solotravelerblog.com A blog on Solo Travel helmed by two ladies and the occasional guest bloggers – it’s one of the best solo travel sites.
thetr bune FEBRUARY 2014
NTU CAC Piano Ensemble
Romantique Eleganza 2014 Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts 14th February 2014 19.30 - 21.30 pm Long, sinewy fingers graceful at every turn; tickle the ivories with the best of them. This Valentine’s Day, the NTU Piano Ensemble proudly present -Romantique Eleganza 2014 Witness romance expressed through the medium of spectacular music. A deeply satisfying panorama of contrasting aural experiences, where colour manifests itself through sound.
ICTF (International Culture & Travel Fair)
Canopy K 17 - 19 February 2014 12.00 – 16.00 pm “The main objective of the event is to promote intercultural sharing and appreciation of culture diversity. Students can also look out for travel advice from both local and international students.”
NTU Next Top Model
Canopy K 24 - 26th February 2014 10.00 - 17.00 pm The most exciting, fabulous, and mind blowing moment in NTU - The Next Top Model 204. Come down and join the crowd!
thetr bune FEBRUARY 2014
What did you do on Lunar New Year? ILLUSTRATION| Samiksha
Heng Jun Wen SPMS/ Year 3
Kartik Ramakrishnan MAE/ Year 4
Xu Luxi CEE/ Year 4
Olli Koskinen CEE/ Year 4
Sharidan Zavir EEE/ Year 2
I got 1000 dollars for Ang Bao, and will put it back into the bank for more good luck
Nothing much! Worked on my FYP and spent one day at Marina Bay
Visited relatives and get red pocket! I will probably get a new wallet!
Short escape! I went to Pulau Sibu in Malaysia for whole weekend.
Went across the border for great seafood in Kuala Lumpur!
What do you think the K of Canopy K stands for? PHOTO| Du Wei Wei
Wen Zhen Sociology/ Year 3
Adarsh SCE/ Year 3
Jacob Joon EEE/ Year 3
Trey Cai SPMS/ Year 2
Nupur Saraswat CEE/ Year 3
Canopy Kinder Bueno would be interesting!
Canopy Kiasu is kind of relevant. Hahaha...!
Since I am Korean, Iâ€™ll have to go with Canopy Korea!
Does it have to start with K? I think Canopy Okay sounds really nice.
I think Koalas are adorable so Canopy Koala would be nice!
thetr bune FEBRUARY 2014
Redeeming Edison Lighting the bulb on Tesla’s tragic coils Aditya Kapoor
esla the God vs Edison the Devil has been an endless debate raging on since time immemorial, with the rather misinformed notion that Tesla was an unsung God-hero forever oppressed by the influential Edison. It is popularly accepted that Edison cheated Tesla by refusing to pay him what he was promised for fixing several problems in Edison’s DC apparatus, but there might be more to the story than that. Due to this social conditioning, Tesla is often credited with the invention of the AC that revolutionized the world and Edison, on the other hand is accused of not having even ‘invented’ the light bulb but simply having improvised on the work of several others before him. What’s key to note however, is that Tesla never ‘invented’ AC, it came into use way before his time, but he made key refinements to the technology, making it adoptable on a global scale, much like Edison who
immensely aided the light bulb’s large scale adoption. Tesla is known to have done pioneering work in the field of X-Rays as well and in an age where not much was known about radiation and it’s effects, he was quick to note that X-Rays were dangerous and refused to carry out any medical experimentation with them. Edison on the other hand jumped at the opportunity to exploit this new technology and ignoring Tesla’s heeds, carried out extensive human testing on his assistant, Clarence Dally who died due to overexposure. Edison is easily vilified for his actions but people forget that Edison’s attempt at experimentation and the setup he used was instrumental in future medical applications of X-Rays, which in turn save millions of lives every year. Dally too is believed to have himself volunteered as a subject along with Edison; he wasn’t forced as many believe. During World War I when
Tesla pitched the idea of using radio waves (a precursor to the SONAR technology) to help Allied ships detect German U-Boats, it is believed that Edison influenced the Naval Consulting Board to turn down Tesla’s ingenious idea. However, this was rather fallacious, as seawater would simply render the radio waves useless since the conductivity was responsible for attentuating the signals; Edison was probably aware of this phenomenon and had made an informed suggestion. Tesla is credited for having invented the radio, modern electric motor, remote control, wireless communication, having experimented with Cryogenic Engineering, Radio astronomy, earthquake machines and even obtaining unlimited free wireless electricity from the ionosphere. He may have succeeded at many more ‘revolutionary’ inventions given the time and funding but that was exactly the problem. While Edison felt
that fossil fuels in South America would last us 50000 years, Tesla foresaw that we must learn to rely on renewable energy instead and he was instrumental in successfully installing the first hydroelectric power plant at Niagara Falls. He was a man who devoted his life to the progress of humanity, to the extent of staying celibate less it should distract him from his work, dying lonely, penniless, unappreciated and labeled an insane maniac. He was a man decades ahead of his time and in the late 19th Century the world was not ready for him; it demanded light bulbs, not Radio Astronomy. Tesla definitely was and will always be is an enigma, an inspiration to all those, whose hearts skip a beat when they successfully see a creation of their brain turn to reality, who are driven by a passion and will to make a dent in humanity so strong that basic needs like food, sleep, friends, love, all become secondary.
Edison was a practical and smart businessman rather than a Teslaesque scientist. He indeed did ethically challenged things, especially with regards to Tesla but it would be wrong to say that Edison was solely responsible for all of Tesla’s shortcomings in terms of being able to carry out his experiments and commercialize his amazing new technologies. Tesla was a noble man, who put down his whole life to a purpose, and it was perhaps that which also caused him to suffer deeply. He reminds me of a quote by Ernest Hemingway which I feel should sum things up quite well, “The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.” Tesla indeed belonged to that elite category; destroyed by his discipline.
thetr bune FEBRUARY 2014
Glass shatters privacy Aishwarya Chhabra
Google Glass makes a mockery of personal security and privacy
decade after incorporating “Don’t be evil’ as their slogan, Google Inc. have come up with a gadget which might just urge patrons to do the opposite. A wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display controlled by natural voice commands – Google Glass; or simply your smart phone integrated with your eye wear. Google Glass may be an ingenious advancement in the field of mass wearable ubiquitous computing, but it comes with a hefty price: your privacy. Google glass includes an inbuilt 5 mega-pixel camera which may be used through voice commands or a small touch pad, allowing the wearer
to take pictures hands-free. Privacy concerns have been raised regarding the camera as it enables the wearer to click pictures or record videos of unknowing strangers without their consent. Imagine an opportunistic wearer recording you entering your password or debit card pin on a computer or ATM and then having all the freedom to sift through video footage in the comfort of his or her own home. The thought of all of one’s sensitive data becoming easily accessible is far from comforting. Conversations involving sensitive issues can be discreetly recorded and misused with immense ease.
Moreover, the technology might be manipulated to use the camera for facial recognition. Reportedly, Lambda Labs have developed an unauthorized facial recognition API for the glass allowing people to unscrupulously have your entire bio-data right in front of their eye by just looking at you. The privacy of the common public would essentially be blown wide open. Apart from the intrusion of privacy of the common public, issues regarding the privacy and the security of the glass users have also come into the limelight. According to the current prototype, Google glass is vulnerable to hacks. If tricked into capturing an
image of a malicious QR code, left on a fake advert poster for example, the device may actually be hacked. Considering the privacy and security threats imposed by the glass, several facilities such as banks and casinos have taken the right step and banned the use of Google glass in their enclosures, even before the product was released in the market. Maybe we are unknowingly promoting infringement upon our own privacy by giving Google a chance to field these bold products. We let the world know what we’re up to by posting pictures and posts on social networking sites- we blog, we tweet, we
‘like’ and comment; essentially we willingly give up our privacy to a large extent. We do let our bubble of privacy be popped when we step out in the public. Privacy today is very different from how it used to be understood back before Google and protecting ourselves in this Internet universe can only start with changing our own habits and expectations. There is no denying the fact that Google glass is an innovative leap in the future of wearable technology but it is also a leap for every smart, tech savvy criminal who is willing to use cutting edge resources to increase his or her catch.
The Tourist Mafia
A personal account of dealing with Bali’s tourist hungry industry Nupur Saraswat
hen I found myself running away from a group of scrawny Balinese men at 5 A.M. on an unlit January morning, it occurred to me that ‘Tourism’ in developing countries was slowly evolving into an mechanism that ceased to value freedom and adventure. Early in the morning, my boyfriend and I had decided to scale the height of Mt. Batur, and with the help of Lonely Planet, we concluded that we didn’t need a guide or a professional trekker with us, as the climb was manageable. When we got to the starting point, we quickly established that tourism was their main livelihood and everything else was just a side business. The whole village was unsustainably leveraged on tourism and it threatened to rob people of their culture and decency. “Are you going trekking on Batur?” – “Yes.” “Do you have a guide?” –
“No, we don’t need one.” “Oh but you can’t go alone. The community won’t let you.” This was the scope of conversation we had with every stranger who approached us. Though we never found out what this community was, we soon to found out what it represented. They had a simple rule- no tourist would trek on this mountain without paying an obnoxious amount to have a local man accompany you on this 45 minute long walk. Soon enough, more men joined and it was no longer just about money. Our arguments were clearly about principles, about not having to pay a price to enjoy nature’s beauty, about not caving in to the “community” which a scared South African couple referred to as the mafia. If you take out freedom from travel, you destroy the very essence of it. I didn’t believe that it was a touting rampant village, but
their tourism driven economy was making them do anything for the tourist Rupiah. People who are enthusiastic about travelling are always looking for the road less travelled, constantly finding ways to get off the beaten path. It gives them a sense of adventure to meet the authentic local crowd, to see how exactly the actual Balinese live; this little adventure takes them away from the well-settled tourist community. These roads will eventually take the tourists away from the tour guides, the souvenir shops, and the posh restaurant serving authentic Indonesian food to foreigners. Bali was full of this ironic tragedy; we found an island where beauty came at a price, where nature had a price tag, we found priests who prayed for a show, we found farmers who farmed for agro tourism, and we found traditions kept alive just to entertain us. We
found a place where you could find your inner self for a few dollars with the help of the “Inner Peace tutor”. These things can’t exist just for tourists because it undermines the authenticity of the very country in question. Most tourists want to experience new cultures not buy into them.
We found a 15-year-old girl at a massage parlour who had left her village because “no tourists came to her village” and had come to the largest city in Bali. We found a beautiful island doting on us to come on down because if we didn’t, they’d have no other way to feed their families.
thetr bune FEBRUARY 2014
A boo is a lot louder than a cheer
A look at how the lack luster approach to the local sporting scene is affecting our athletes Venus Goh Qianyi
rom hosting the 2010 Youth Olympic Games to clinching the hosting rights of the 2014 – 2018 WTA World Championships, Singapore has been cementing its position as a regional hub for sporting events. And yet, this has not been accompanied by increased enthusiasm towards the local sports scene; the support local athletes so desperately need has been lacking. Just ask any Singaporean on the street to name some of our local athletes, and chances are that the list will be limited to household names like Fandi Ahmad and Feng Tian Wei. Even if we grant that not everyone pays attention to sporting events, surely more can be expected of our sports enthusiasts. Consider, for instance, the large football fan base in Singapore. Ardent fans stay awake into the wee hours of the night just to catch live English Premier League (EPL) action, with some sparing no expenses when it comes to collecting memorabilia of the club they so dearly support. The irony is glaring when one contrasts this with the level of support our national football
team receives. For instance, the Lions who were applauded for fending off strong opposition en route to clinching the 2012 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup, initially had their title hopes written off by us. Sadly, this is the “support” our national athletes receive; nitpicking at various inadequacies and short-lived enthusiasm regarding their successes. For Team Singapore to churn out the results local fans demand, it needs money too. A professional athlete’s career is short-lived and having to fret about finances, alongside their training, is downright unacceptable. Most of the sports fraternities cannot secure sufficient funding to allow their athletes the opportunity to train at the highest level, even with Singapore’s soaring GDP per capitia. Of course, highly prolific (and marketable) sports such as table tennis receive more than S$1.5 million in funding annually from the Singapore Sports Council (SSC). This is , however, is in sharp contrast to other sports like weightlifting
which get no more than S$100,000 a year. As such, many athletes find themselves mired in the same situation as Saiyidah Aisyah; the national rower, who won a gold medal at the recent Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, funded all her training and competition expenses in 2013, including a training stint in Sydney, as the Singapore Rowing Association was tied by limited funding. Adding to the financial troubles is the insufficient media coverage of local sports; during the recent 2013 SEA Games, all that was telecast on our free channels were two-hour action belts and live football matches; it completely ignored the other Singaporean athletes. Reports are evidently skewed towards a select group of athletes and sports that are popular and have a proven track record. The arena of sports is a mental challenge as much as it is a physical battle and the ones we are battling are our own athletes. Soaring expectations and shallow support create anxiety that can damage the best of athletes
creating a viscous cycle of underachievement and dissatisfaction. Singaporeans need to take pride in our nation’s achievements and consequently even our sporting efforts, regardless of grandeur. The least the media can do is to have regular coverage of the local sports scene in the media. National inter-school competitions, the Malaysian Super League need to be aired. Even a small, but permanent sidebar (on sports sections in newspapers) highlighting the actions of our athletes would be a good start in keeping the
public informed. With Singapore hosting the 2015 SEA Games, it is imperative for Singaporeans to take a keen interest towards the local sports scene. After all, the advantage and pride of competing on home ground only matters if your fellow Singaporeans rally around you. Lance Armstrong once said “A boo is a lot louder than a cheer. If you have ten people cheering and one person booing, all you hear is the booing”. We may choose not to cheer our athletes on, but let’s stop the booing.
What goes around comes around Exploring our generation’s negligence towards our parents Mokshika Gaur
omeone once said ‘the best thing in the world is to see your parents smiling and knowing that you are the reason behind it.’ That one smile can make your life feel worthwhile when you realize that you have at least done something small to reciprocate their boundless love and care. Tragically, in recent times, the average person has just been reduced to nothing more than a slave to a selfish self created lifestyle. Many tend to blame it on the “generation gap”. I, however, do not agree completely. Each individual is responsible for his or her actions. It’s one’s own responsibility to step forward and take care of one’s parents- out of genuine love,
rather than as the fulfillment of a “forced contract”. However, in this fast-paced and emotionlacking life, we are so busy running behind our happiness that we hardly realize that our parents are also growing a wrinkle older each day. It all boils down to one’s priorities. If one can afford to spend one’s leisure time on inconsequential activities, and roaming the town with one’s friends, one can also devote a slight fraction of that time chatting with one’s parents about worldly happenings over a cup of tea or enquiring about their well being. In the age of nuclear families, parents’ focus centers on their children and their well being. It doesn’t seem too much,
on their part, to ask for some rightfully deserved attention. After all, how does it hurt to be a bit more communicative? Since childhood it’s been easy for most people to get their most trivial and illogical demands fulfilled by their parents even before they are able to fully articulate them. It is astonishing how that realization evades one so easily that one starts looking at concern as interference. One ought to recognize and respect the fact that their parents have been through many more life experiences than them and have a great deal of knowledge to offer. Remember, what goes around comes around. How you treat your parents now is
what you shall receive from your kids. Why not cancel that unproductive drinking party this weekend? Instead, take your parents out for dinner, or go down the memory lane along with your parents over a
warm cup of coffee. The entire world could ditch you but you can always turn back to see your parents right there with you. Take the opportunity to tell them how much you love them before it gets too late.
thetr bune FEBRUARY 2014
Launching NTU to greater sporting heights NTU’s Sports & Recreation Centre launched its new artificial pitch after four months of renovation Huynh Cong Danh
PHOTO| Leow Tien Leng, NTU Spirit
Students and Staff pose together after their friendly match
ith the sports season beginning to heat up, NTU chose to bring some splendid news to its athletes. Jan 20th witnessed the official Launch of the NTU S&R Central Artificial Pitch. Over the past four months, the central pitch in NTU Sports and Recreational Centre was kept agonizingly out of bounds to all except those who were involved its turf replacement. The wait, however, was worth it. Over 200 eager fans showed up to celebrate the launch of the newly renovated pitch. To commemorate the launch, a curtain-raising friendly football match between NTU staff and students was held. These were the first fortunate ones to test the new grass on the pitch. A player for the students’ team expressed his satisfaction, remarking, “As compared to the natural pitches that we have seen in Singapore, the artificial pitch is definitely a lot better. We can play in all weathers”. Both teams enjoyed the friendly in the spirit of
sportsmanship to the cheers of the numerous spectators. The game concluded with the Students’ team winning by a score of 2-0. At the same time, the event gave NTU a perfect opportunity to host the first home football match of Institute-Varsity-Polytechnic Games 2014. NTU put on a terrific exhibition for everyone who attended the launch, scoring 3 goals in each half to demolish SUTD 6-0 with a spectacular display of attacking football. During the Launch, tokens of appreciation were also given out to NTU athletes who participated in the 27th SEA Games, Myanmar, which just concluded in December. The change in surface is a significant improvement. Previously, thick grass was used that could thrive in the tropical wet conditions that Singapore offers. This grass did the job, but wasn’t the most conducive for sports such as football that were played on it, and did suffer some wear upon
overuse especially in the drier seasons. The new artificial pitch boasts far greater fidelity to the traditional turf used, and can better endure the constant usage a university pitch must face. Before the arrival of the artificial turf, the pitch was only reserved for NTU soccer and rugby clubs – prioritized niche sports. This is because the natural grass, after several games, needed time to recover, especially in the dry months. Now the artificial grass allows students to use the pitch at any time, and practically all the time. As Professor Bertil Andersson put it, this will help in “enhancing sports spirit of the NTU community, allowing more opportunities for aspiring athletes to showcase their talents, and serving as an ideal place to select players for the upcoming SEA Games 2015” that Singapore will host. The cost of replacing the natural grass with artificial turf is S$2 million for 2 pitches, one of which is still under renovation.
Professor Bertil Andersson delivering his speech
NTU mascot ‘Lyon’ joining in the cheer
PHOTOS| Huynh Cong Danh
thetr bune FEBRUARY 2014
Inter University Silat Games: a round up of the results The Silat Club from NTU walked away with top honours from the Inter University Silat Games 2014 Varun Gupta
Team Photo of the NTU Silat Squad
Planning for life
after University days Brought to you by AIA Singapore
Life in school may be a bed of roses for many as you do not need to worry about supporting your parents, paying the monthly household bills or raising a family – simply because you are not earning an income. However, as your graduation day draws near, the thought of taking on the responsibility seems daunting, isn’t it? You start to think about whether you can get a good-paying job, how much you need to set aside every month for the necessities, saving for rainy days, and perhaps a few indulgences here and there, such as going on holidays, buying the latest gadgets, or saving up for a car or a house when wedding bells ring. Before the responsibilities start to weigh you down, here are a few tips that you can consider to ensure that you are well prepared for life after University days.
PHOTO| NTU Spirit Facebook
DUring University Good financial planning should start before you graduate. In fact, start as early as you can for a good headstart. set financial goals • Determine the financial goals that you would like to achieve by the end of your university days. For example, you can aim to have $X in your bank account to tide you over for a period of three to six months while job hunting. • Decide how much you need to put aside every month to achieve your goals. Rule of thumb: do not spend every single cent of your monthly allowances. • Take note to include inflation rate into your calculation. • Review every six months to ensure you are on track. start a disciplined savings and/or investment plan • After you have set your financial goals, start a disciplined savings plan. • Set up a separate dedicated bank account to save up for future use. You can set a standing instruction in your current bank account to auto transfer a fixed sum to your dedicated savings account every month. • Another way to achieve your goal is via an investmentlinked plan, where you ride on the potential upside of your investment-linked funds to accumulate returns – a long term investment horizon is required. Consider getting basic protection plans • Accidents and illnesses strike without warning. Take care of your protection needs so that you are not financially strapped should the unfortunate happen. Generally, you can purchase a personal accident plan at an affordable premium. • If you have a CPF account, consider purchasing a hospitalisation and surgical plan payable via Medisave.
ilat is arguably the most popular martial art in Southeast Asia, where it originated. It features ‘forms’ or performances with sets of movements, fighting, and the use of weaponry. The Inter University Silat Games 2014 were hosted by SIM on the 4th and 5th of January. After two days of breath-taking grace, speed and aggression, and some truly compelling performances, the NTU Silat Club finished with a massive haul of 7 Gold medals, 3 Silver medals, and 5 Bronze medals. NTU Team A did the university proud by winning the overall championship title. In addition, NTU’s prodigious Ira Nursyilah Bte Mohd Tahir won her own personal accolade, collecting the title for best female athlete for her awe inspiring individual performance.
entering WorkforCe review financial goals • Review the financial goals that you set earlier to include your new priorities. • Consider having long-term, medium-term and short-term goals to meet your needs such as saving up for property, a car or for emergency use. increase protection coverage • With your income, you can consider increasing your protection coverage to ensure that you and your loved ones are not in financial distress should an accident or illness strike. This is especially important if you are planning to get married and start a family too. • Consider getting insurance plans that provide coverage for death, total and permanent disability and critical illnesses. • If you already have a hospitalisation and surgical plan paid via Medisave, you can consider upgrading the plan for more comprehensive coverage. • Disability Income plan is also important which can protect your income should you suffer a disability and unable to work. increase monthly amount that you put into the savings and/or investment plan that you started during your university days • As a rule of thumb, you should save at least 10% of your monthly income and as usual set a standing instruction to auto transfer it to your dedicated savings account. • When you receive bonus, you can park more to your savings or channel it to your investment-linked plan to potentially boost the returns. Investment-linked plans, while giving you a potential return, may also provide you with valuable insurance protection.
With any financial planning, it is advisable to start small to cultivate the habit and thereafter build on it to create a more robust plan. This is especially so if you have not had any financial plan. Do speak to an insurance advisor if you need help to get started as he/she will be able to review your financial needs, and thereafter advise and recommend plans to help you meet your financial goals.
thetr bune FEBRUARY 2014
Hey, the Olympics are on! February sees the return of the enigmatic Winter Olympic Games - this time from Sochi, Russia. Varun Gupta
Residents of Sochi celebrating the announcement for host rights to the Winter Olympic Games
n stark contrast to Singapore’s tropical shores, Sochi in Russia offers a much cooler coastline, and tourists are now flocking to it in numbers to witness the 22nd edition of the Winter Olympic Games that begin on 7th February and continue all the way until the 23rd. The Winter Olympics are the crazy cousin of the mainstream Olympic Games. They feature a line-up of sports that range from the familiar to the obscure. For example, the Biathlon event at the Winter Olympics involves cross country skiing and precision rifle shooting. Of course it’s a weird combination, but surely the hipster in anybody would be intrigued by the unique blend of completely contrasting skill-sets that it demands? This is one of the more traditional events, mind! If you’re looking for other zany combinations, or maybe don’t fancy shooting, perhaps the Nordic Combined event will suit your tastes better. This one pits cross country skiing with adrenalinepumping ski jumps. Speaking of adrenaline, if you’re an adrenaline junkie, the Winter Olympics should certainly be to your liking.
Athletes zip down slick mountain slopes in a variety of ways at breakneck speeds, in events such as speed Skiing, Alpine Skiing, Speed Skating, Snowboarding, Luge and Bobsled. Amongst the most terrifying is the Skeleton event in which competitors plummet down tracks on sleds that hold their faces mere inches from the ice. Aside from the race events, there are several extreme sports on show such as the ski and snowboard half pipe events, ski jumping, and the ski and snowboard slopestyle events, where contestants pull off breath-taking, gravity defying tricks on (and far above) the ice. International superstar Shaun White, from the U.S., is legendary for his prowess in these events. He will be looking to win his third straight Olympic Gold in the half pipe event, and indeed another in the new daredevil snowboard slopestyle competition – though doubts remain about whether he will actually compete in the latter. There is, of course, room for the sublime, the graceful and the slow-paced. The Figure Skating events are amongst the most fiercely competitive affairs in world sport.
Participants perform moves that would be impossible off the ice, but with such incredible grace it’s hard to remember that they’re balancing on knife-edge blades atop the slick and dangerous surface. Canada, Russia and the U.S.A. are the biggest heavyweights in the sport, and the pressure that their athletes face is truly remarkable. Among the strangest sports to watch is surely Curling, which always draws large crowds and major interest in a few countries. It is a precision sport in which contestants slide a stone towards a target on the smooth surface, and the teammates sweep the ice along the stone’s path to change its state, and get the stone to rest as close as possible to the centre of the target. Adding to the Games’ outlandish nature is the fact that the most successful nation in the history of the Winter Olympics is the tiny Scandinavian powerhouse of Norway. They have won more Gold and in total Winter Olympic medals than any other country, and this time the early betting indicates that their greatest threat will come from the 65 times more
Soyuz Rocket with winter olympic livery
Winter Olympic Village
populous United States. Not to be forgotten is the popular and more mainstream Ice-Hockey tournament. Several countries play Ice-Hockey and boast domestic leagues, so the competition is consistently intense, and it is always one of the biggest events at the Games
ALL PHOTOS| Wikimedia Commons
- watched around the globe. So if you’re looking for some alternative, actionpacked sporting action, or you aspire to make a name for yourself as a sports geek, be sure to stay tuned in to the Winter Olympic action from Sochi, Russia!