Page 1



*sporting events

*news flashes

#04 ...

01 nus business school falls out of financial times ranking

03 formula one grand prix 04 liverpool gets taken over ...



nus, meet your top 10s


*tech toys that disappoint

08 flip side hd 09 nokia n8 10 Apple iPhone 4 ...

#10 ...


*life changing events


The semester is about to end. We know you won’t have that much time to read because of the exams, so THE RIDGE has compiled a few “Top 10” lists for you. Entertainment for your little study breaks. As always, enjoy.




*television episodes

07 Glee S1E22 08 White Collar S2E9 09 House S7E5 *no sweat, Barney’s in there somewhere.



04 Mr George Yeo, Minister for Foreign Affairs on his blog

Life is a long and often difficult journey, and what Jack and his family are going through is what he might have presented in his own movie, except that this time it is about himself. ...

09 26

Contents news



06 nus flash

16 Guest Column: “Economic Growth At What Cost?”


17 Be Different To Make A Difference

22 fashion commentary





20 Stranger Chat


08 photostory: the passing of the haze 09 new initiatives announced at state of the university address 10 Yale-NUS Liberal Arts College Strong in Face of Criticism 13 EnginEEring takEs a lEaf out of googlE and applE

26 up, up and Away! 28 FOOD REVIEW @ YIH


top 10 of 2010 30 top 10 life-changing evenTs ThaT happened To various people in 2010 32 This year’s Top 10 episodes worTh waTching! 34 top 10 sporTing momenTs of 2010


36 The Top 10 mosT disappoinTing Tech! 38 top 10 news flashes in nus in 2010 40 top 10 quoTes in 2010




41 Things You should ProbablY do during The holidaYs

48 shot on target - meeting Jasmine Ser


42 The harry PoTTer Phenomena 44 4 stand-up comedians, 1 queen, a night of laughter

50 interview with kailin: volleyball girls’ captain


52 42 tips for your first 42 km

59 Byte sized


THE RIDGE AWARDS Congratulations to the following for being voted by their fellow members as: BEST PHOTOGRAPHER Luke Vijay (FASS, Year 1) BEST NEW WRITER Vanessa Tan (Science, Year 1) BEST WRITER Vincent Lau (Science, TA) BEST DESIGNER Eunice Ng (FASS, Year 4)

Never has THE RIDGE been going so smoothly. Indeed, I hope to myself that this fluidity will give us a great boost for next sem.


Errata (October issue): pp 12: The CNM module that required students to participate in a cybercrime quest was NM3210: Cybercrime and Society, not NM3202 as reported. pp 46: The final standings for the Inter Faculty Games were inaccurate. Please the following page for an explanation by the Sports editor.

I apologize for the mistakes and any inconvenience caused.

editor’s note

Going to the printers, we found, to our disbelief, that they forgot to tell us that the ghost was too pale a shade and so it wasn’t a

We’ve also undergone voting and known amongst THE RIDGE (to each member) are those of their other colleagues who won free tix

heart’s saddened at the swift end of what’s been an eventful sem and it dreads the achingly difficult prospect of exams.

You would probably have not read up on all articles but as Chief Ed, never do I miss a word and I’m going to be a bit cocky and promise to deliver issues next sem that let you be glad we’re in this uni.

But I’m sure that I’ll say Aal Izz Well (if you’re not sure what that means then talk too your Indian friends... c’mon, don’t be shy) and that when the hols arrive, I’ll get to enjoy a blissful month and happily say that, in the end, it was all worth it.

You’d have exams but don’t be down as we have articles on 2010 never like ever before!

Inside the mag, there’s great content that we have prepared and I hope that you both enjoy it now and in December.

Going forward, I’d request you to give us feedback on our run this semester so that sometime around December, we can plan and try hard to ensure and not desert the aspects of the mag that you like.

Know that THE RIDGE is signing off on what’s been a thorough renaissance. It’s been what, 25 years? Yes, THE RIDGE’s going to turn a quarter of a century old on December 4, 2010! We hope you take this magazine back and know that this is a special magazine. Keep the mag and see it sometime during a game or in your idle free time.

THE OCTOBER COVER Never has a ghost disappeared and going to print, we were looking to surprise you with a cute make-believe cover that’d have left you amused. But there was a cry of confusion here because there never was any ghost to be seen!

And I hope you enjoyed this ed note that we’re sure will bring a chuckle. I’m gonna thank you for reading thus far. Play out the first word of each line so that it sings a song that I’m sure you know well!

YOU JUST GOT RICKROLLED. Going out of the picture entirely, to us it seemed the ghost decided to say that he didn’t want a pic, bid his goodbye and made it seem like he never was in the cover anyway!

lie when we asked you to see for Zouk Out 2010, and and look for something and I’m so do look out for an article, a hurt that a silly mistake stopped long one, hopefully, in January! you from fully enjoying a great issue. Your sem comes to an end and my

Happy mugging and from all of us here at THE RIDGE, we wish you a great holiday!

Chief Editor


Dear Sports Editor,

To all our dear readers, THE RIDGE Sports Desk sincerely apologises for the mistake we made in the previous issue regarding the InterFaculty Games Final Results and Faculty Standings. We received many emails regarding this mix up. We thank the readers for pointing out our mistakes and providing us with constructive criticism to help us improve. THE RIDGE is a magazine for the student body and will continue to strive for excellence.

With reference to your rock-climbing article, why is fact 1 specially targeted for the boys who fail IPPT? Are they supposed to be ashamed of that fact or jaw drop at the 17 pull-ups? As you know every boy has to do National Service and Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT), so there are bound to be a group who can’t pass. These girls who can do so many pull-ups are those who excel at sports and don’t reflect the general population of girls. In any given population, there are bound to be those who are fit and those less so; be it male or female. The way it is written seems too stereotypical. It is an equal world now; gender does not matter.

At the same time, let us not be consumed by the desire to win. The Inter-Faculty Games was an initiative to encourage healthy competition and promote interaction between students of the same faculty and those outside our faculties. Till the next IFG, train hard and play hard! Here are the correct results for Inter-Faculty Games AY 10/11: 1st: Faculty of Engineering 73pts 2nd: Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine 69pts 3rd: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences 67pts Congratulations to all faculties and students! Results have been taken from:

Dear Reader, Yes, it is true that every male has to go through two years of National Service. I do not think the government would agree that there is bound to be a group who fail the IPPT. It should be our aim to achieve a 100% passing rate. I believe you are a driven and motivated young man and would not give up your ideals without trying. While I am no feminist, this tongue-in-cheek comment was meant to encourage everybody to shape up and claim the $400 that the Singapore Armed Forces is more than willing to give out. Thank you for defending the prides and ego of all the males out there!

IDGEmail Do write to in order to have your letter featured on our Letters column! We appreciate any comments, critiques, feedback or suggestions and we will feature them in the magazine. Dear Augustin Chiam,

the largest and most representative student body in NUS.

This is with regards to “The Integrated Programme Bandwagon” (Oct 2010). I am nonplussed that no one managed to identify a glaring error before the magazine was sent to print - Raffles College of Higher Education is a private education institution under the Raffles Education Corporation, an education group in the Asia-Pacific region. It is in no way affiliated or linked to the real Raffles Institution that offers the IP. This is the logo of Raffles Institution, taken from its website:

Yours Sincerely, Kwek Yong.

Furthermore, according to the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) website, the IP is to “optimise the time freed up from preparing for the GCE ‘O’ Levels to stretch pupils and provide greater breadth in the academic and non-academic curriculum.” It is not explicitly mentioned that students within the IP will do better than those not in it, as assumed to be the argument for IP by your writer (paragraph 4). I urge your team to be more meticulous in selecting and approving content for the general NUS public, especially since your organisation is

Dear Kwek Yong, We would like to apologise for the mistake regarding the logos and promise that we will be more vigilant. It is also not our intention to suggest that the success of IP should only be judged by academic results. I was merely using it as a possible yardstick. Having said that, I do believe that the IPs must be evaluated using some sort of yardstick, academic results or otherwise. I also acknowledge that part of the Integrated Programmes is to “provide greater breadth” and I wrote as much in the first paragraph, applauding the impact of IPs in opening up “many choices for the Singaporean student”. Perhaps, you misunderstand the message of my article. I argue that integrated programmes have not received the kind of comprehensive public evaluation and review which could justify why more schools are taking it up. If the aim of IP is to give greater breadth, we still need to cautiously review two questions. Firstly, is it indeed giving greater breadth? Secondly, even if it is giving greater breadth, to what end and what educational objectives of the Singapore Education System does it fulfil? In other words, what kind of Singapore student does it produce? Augustin Chiam



editorial team

editorial board Chief Editor Suhas Bhat Creative Director Kaden Hoe News Desk Editor Meera Nair Outspoken Desk Editor Chen Yongquan Lifestyle Desk Editor Tamara Kisha Tan Entertainment Desk Editor Saheli Roy Choudhury Sports Desk Editor Chow Yongjun Wired Desk Editors Shanmugam MPL & Raymond Lau Secretary Anokhi Vakil Copy Editor Luke Vijay NUSSU Publications Secretary Tan Heng Wee



News Desk

Ng Hui Ying

Sharon Rozario

Sriharsha Bhat

Goh Ruoyi

Yeo Shang Long

Augustin Chiam

Heng Ming Fong

Vincent Lau

Ngui Jian Gang

Vanessa Tan

Tan Yuh Ting

Bridget Tan

Vani Goyal

Herng Yih Tan


Rajni Gamage

Melody Zaccheus

Jane Antony

He Yining

Jocelyn Yeo Yun Ning

Retna Devi

Charlyn Ang

Nicole Kang

Joseph Chin

Felicia Lim

Prateek Sinha

Lester Hio

Arnab Ghosh

Chief Designer

Caryn Quek

Layout Designers

Eunice Ng

Liu Zenan

Nguyen Son Tra

Peng Yifan

Abishek Balasubramanian

Lee Yvonne

Matthew Chee

Stephanie Lim

Chen Liang

Nitya Padmanabhan

Dai Jing

Aarushi Puri

Png Hui Ying Christina

Wai Yan Yip

Rishika Anchalia

Outspoken Desk

Lifestyle Desk

Entertainment Desk

Sports Desk

Wired Desk

creative team







NUSflash NUS Student clinches 3 golds at Commonwealth Games Goh Ruoyi


asmine Ser, a second-year business student, has clinched a total of 5 medals at the New Delhi Commonwealth Games in October 2010. These include 3 gold medals from the Women’s 10m Air Rifle Singles event, the Women’s 50m Rifle 3 Position team event and the Women’s 50m Rifle Prone Singles event. She also won 2 silver medals. In the 10m Air Rifle Singles event, Jasmine overtook India’s Anjali Vedpathak Bhagwat’s mark of 500.8, and established a new record of 501.7.

This is a significant 4.2 points ahead of the Malaysian Silver Medallist, Nur Sayani Mohamed Taibi. “It has been a fantastic outing for me at the Commonwealth Games. This is also my best ever achievement at a multi-sport event in my sporting career so far,” said Ser. She will be representing Singapore at the Asian Games next month. Team Singapore won a total of 5 Gold, 4 Silver and 5 Bronze medals for Shooting. (see pages 48 and 49 for an exclusive interview with Jasmine Ser)

Two former NUS students win Singapore Debate open 2010 suhas bhat


ark Cordiner and Alexander Yeo (class of 2009) returned to the Singapore debating scene and emerged winners of the Singapore Debate Open 2010. A total of 60 teams hailing from around Asia (universities from Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, China, Indonesia, Thailand and many others sent a contingent), participated in the tournament that was based on the British Parliamentary format and held at Law faculty. The Chief Adjudicators for the tournament were Neha Prakash (class of 2010) and Sadhana Rai (Law, Year 4). Third-year business student,

photographer spencer tan / / suss photography, nus debating society

Kelvin Chong, emerged as the top speaker for the tournament. In the finals, aside from the alumni team, top debators from NTU, SMU & Philippines competed on the motion - “This house believes that the right to freedom of speech extends to insulting religions.” The team of Cordiner and Yeo won the tournament after opposing the motion. The NUS Debating Team is now preparing for the World Universities Debating Championship held at Botswana from December 27, 2010 to January 3, 2011.



NUSSU conducts a welfare survey Sharon Rozario

NUSSSU members surveyed students face to face as this gave them a chance to interact with and explain the aims of the survey directly to students. An online version of the survey was made available as well.


he NUS Students’ Union (NUSSU) conducted a welfare survey during the first week of this month. The aim of the survey was to obtain feedback from students on different aspects of their undergraduate life in NUS.

The survey was relatively short as NUSSU was aware that students are often pressed for time and generally regard surveys as bothersome. NUSSU hoped that a personal touch would help make students more receptive to responding to the survey.

The first section of the survey dealt with general issues such as the standard of school facilities and food. The following section was facultyspecific and sought students’ opinions on academic issues like teaching standards, modules and the CORS system.

and 4 November and aims to release the results next semester. NUSSU’s welfare secretary, Ang Kai Li, said that the results will be used in discussions with the administration on how to “better enhance our university”. energy by next semester. This is in line with the OED’s long term goal of being environmentally friendly.

NUSSU conducted the survey on 3

Speakers share their passions in first TED event at NUS Yeo Shang Long


peakers from various disciplines shared their passions at the Shaw Foundation Alumni House on October 16, in an unprecedented idea-sharing event at the National University of Singapore. The lecture series, known as TEDxNUS, was curated by three NUS students with the help of two advisors. It is an independent offshoot of the global TED movement that aims to spread worthy ideas. The 16 invited speakers represented disciplines ranging from biology to music. Each gave a 20-minute lecture to the audience of about 300. Speakers included professors from within and outside of NUS. For instance, Professor Seah Kar Heng of the NUS mechanical engineering department talked about his passion in racecar engineering and music

while Professor Anil Gaba from INSEAD spoke about chance, probability and risk analysis. NUS students also presented on topics of their expertise – Ang Yuchen, a doctorate student, spoke about sexual selection, while Hazirah, a Malay Studies student, talked about intercultural communication. Organiser Eddie Choo, an NUS sociology student, said he hoped that the event would “give a feel of the dynamism that is present in NUS”. “When you experience TED talks, you experience this passion, this interest,” Choo said. “I hope that students will also go away with this burning desire.”

photographer luke vijay, eddie choo


news * photostory

the passing of the haze


o you remember how the sky looked when you first stepped into NUS this semester? It was a clear blue, with candyfloss clouds. Or at least, I’m sure that’s how it would have looked. A new semester beckoned and we were all carefree. We may not have been anticipating a great semester ahead, but we definitely weren’t overworked.


But we are not alone.

How appropriate.

The monsoon will be here soon, ensuring that our path remains free of the smoke that chokes and burns.

The haze peaked on October 22 – right about the time our assignments and mid-term tests were taking their toll. As we fought the overpowering greyness with tears that gave cathartic release from the bleakness, the rain joined in, washing away the haze, brightening up the sky.

Mid-way through the semester, the strain of the workload would Now it has reached the end of have hit us. We saw the world the semester. through cataract-laden eyes. We are crossing our final hurdle A greyish landscape. – the final examinations.

author meera nair + photograph

The only question that remains is, will the monsoon come on time in all its rain-bearing glory? Or will we be left with another obstacle ahead?

“If you think it’s going to rain, it will.” – CLINT EASTWOOD



New initiatives announced at State of the University Address The National University of Singapore has to build on its strong Foundations and anticipate future trends in education and research, said NUS President Tan Chorh Chuan at the annual State of the University Address.


peaking at the University Cultural Centre on October 11, President Tan announced two new initiatives as part of this strategy – a new undergraduate environmental studies programme and plans for a research institute in China. The NUS Bachelor of Environmental Studies, slated to be launched in 2011 with an initial intake of 50 to 100 students, will equip students with skills to take a multidisciplinary approach in tackling environmental issues. Under this four-year programme, students will go through two years of broad based study with modules in topics ranging from biology to law, followed by specialization in areas like environmental geography. Deputy President Tan Eng Chye told reporters afterward that there was an increasing interest among students and companies in environmental issues like climate change. He added that the environment was “a very complex issue,” hence the need for a multidisciplinary approach. To strengthen research in NUS, the university is also planning to set up a research institute in Suzhou Industrial Park, said

President Tan. The proposed research institute will deepen the university’s expertise and connections in China. The 20,000-square-metre institute will focus on research in areas ranging from finance to environmental sustainability, complementing existing NUS research clusters in Singapore. It will include an incubator to help NUS and Singapore start-ups expand their businesses in the Chinese market. The institute will also offer short-term research openings for selected NUS doctorate students and training programmes in areas like computing and business. NUS is “in advanced discussions” to set up the institute, said President Tan. He said it was part of an effort to make NUS “a pre-eminent knowledge centre” that “provided a new and more integrated understanding of critical issues in Asia.”

Speaking to reporters after the talks, the president and deputy president also addressed questions on the proposed Yale-NUS college, such as academic freedom, and how the proposed liberal arts college is different from the University Scholars Programme (for more information, see our article on the proposed Yale-NUS College).

Deputy President Tan later gave an update on the University Town, reporting that physical construction was on track. Pilot programs for the first two residential colleges were also going well and receiving enthusiastic response from participating students, he said. author yeo shang long + photograph office of corporate relations


news * Feature

Pla ns for Ya l e - N U S Liberal Arts Col lege Strong in Face of Cr iticism News editor meera nair reports on the latest happenings in the proposed collaboration between yale & NUS


n September 10, 2010, NUS and Yale University signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding at Yale University’s campus in New Haven, Connecticut, USA, to work towards a collaboration on a liberal arts college in Singapore. This brought to a close three years of deliberation on NUS’ part on the feasibility of such a venture. The move was heralded as the start of a new phase in education in Asia as “it will take the opportunity to develop a new curriculum that is appropriate for Asia in the 21st century,” said Professor Lily Kong, Vice-President (University & Global Relations) of NUS. Despite that, the liberal arts college has come under fire from critics from various quarters. Key among these dissenting voices are the

students of NUS and Yale. The Yale Daily News (YDN), for one, was critical of the partnership from the onset. Their concerns centred on Singapore not “grant[ing] the the freedoms of speech and press that the United States constitution ensures”, qualities they felt were crucial for liberal arts education to succeed.

Staff did not seem particularly interested in the venture too, with just 25 out of 2,000 attending a meeting on the collaboration. At least one staff member opposed the venture because of a ban on a certain book by Yale in Singapore.

author meera nair + photograph john terhorst’s flickr stream

Members of Yale were also Members of Yale were also concerned that Yale may be “reducing the value of a Yale education by putting its name on another school”, although this contention had its share of naysayers. In NUS, the news was greeted with cynicism by students from the University Scholars’ Programme (USP) in particular. Many were concerned that the liberal arts college would be diluting the value of USP (See following article on USP’s reaction). Commenting on an article on THE RIDGE’s website, one student questioned why Yale was chosen over other colleges that were more established in the liberal arts, like Williams College, for instance. Furthermore, on an online forum, tertiary students in

Singapore also took issue with the lack of information provided to NUS students on the liberal arts college. In particular, they referred to the prospectus that was sent to the Yale faculty outlining the process of how the agreement was reached. This document was later put up on the university’s website. NUS remains unfazed by these attacks, however, with Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, President of NUS, and Professor Tan Eng Chye, Deputy President (Academic Affairs) and Provost of NUS, saying that criticisms are common for ventures such as these. At the State of the University Address, Deputy President Tan cited the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music as an example of a successful venture that had started out on the receiving end of criticism.

news* Feature

President Tan also commented that amidst the negative comments that have garnered much attention, “maybe what has been less reported have been the very many positive responses that we have obtained.” These included “expressions of support”, with volunteers coming forward “to offer to be involved, in both Yale and NUS,” said Professor Kong in an email interview with THE RIDGE. She defended the ability of NUS to provide a liberal arts education in light of accusations on restricted freedoms, saying that the NUS faculty “are free to publish their results [of their research] and teach and express themselves, within the accepted scholarly and professional standards, as well as the regulations of the university.” This included research on controversial topics, she added. Yale University and NUS have

a long history of collaboration, with the NUS-in-Yale and Yalein-NUS summer programmes and the Faith and Globalization Programme, amongst others. Both are also members of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), a group that consists of 10 of the world’s leading researchintensive universities. These, coupled with the fact that “Yale was at the centre of development of liberal education and the founding of liberal arts colleges throughout the United States”, were factors that led to NUS choosing Yale for this venture, said Professor Kong. The proposed liberal education system will differ from the current system in that a student’s major will make up less than a third of the curriculum. This is unlike the current four-year system where a student’s major constitutes at least two-thirds of their course of study. Education will also be multidisciplinary, including the arts, humanities, social

sciences, natural and physical sciences and mathematics. These will be integrated with Asian histories, cultures, societies, politics and economics to ensure that the Singapore liberal arts college will remain relevant to the


society at large. Another feature of the liberal arts college will be residential living. Students of the new college will be expected to live on campus for a large part of their tenure as undergraduates.

“ ma bee y be w hav n lesshat ha ve r e b ee r e p o s res y man n the rted we ponsey posi - pr have o s thattive bta chu of tan an choined.” rh “[ Y Colale-NU off lege wS opp er] an ill dev ortun excit i it y cur elop a to ng r n spa icul ove l and nning um cul Asian Weste rn the tures , i r e x pl a n d si m and diffe ilaritioring pre betterence es s, for parin r lea lifelog stud ent interning ng s i r n c inte on n a n r glo dep ecte env bal enden d, t pre ironm side ent nt l .” - Y evin ale

NUS faculty “are free to publish their results [of their research] and teach and express themselves, within the accepted scholarly and professional standards, as well as the regulations of the university.” photograph,


Details of the new college, like its admissions scheme and physical location have yet to be decided, however, with regards to the latter, it should “ideally be close to NUS so that students can interact and participate in joint activities, and the facilities of the larger university can be made available to students of the college,” said Professor Kong.

address some of the complex and global issues that confront the world today. They will meet employers’ needs for broad-based, well-rounded, communicative leaders and they will be well poised to lend leadership in many walks of life,” concluded Professor Kong. photograph janet ng’s flickr stream


While still in the planning stages, NUS has high hopes for the success of college. “Graduates from such a college will be well-placed to

USP dialogue answers questions on liberal arts college News of the Yale-NUS College (YNC) has of late caused a stir among USP students. A dialogue on October 14 involving the Provost and ViceProvost (Student Life) of NUS, and USP students, provided the opportunity for students to raise questions concerning the concept and pedagogy of the YNC. While much of the dialogue was devoted to its primary aim of addressing students’ concerns about the move to University Town (UTown), the Provost noted the interest the liberal arts college was generating and welcomed questions on it. Questions that were posed focused mostly on the pedagogical differences between USP and YNC. In response to a question on the rationale behind creating a liberal arts college when USP is directed towards a liberal-based education, the Provost, Professor Tan Eng Chye replied, “If I collapse USP, I’d be collapsing a choice for students who want to go in-depth into specific disciplines [as per the current system].” “Some students don’t want their syllabus to be 35% major modules and 65% broadening classes. We want to provide different pathways for students, a different articulation of values.” He clarified further that the Yale-NUS College (YNC) will have

its own faculty and system, with fees set at different rates from NUS. Its student to faculty ratio is pegged to be about ten students to one professor, differing largely from NUS’ ratio of 20 to one. Beginning with 150 students in its first year, the school will increase intake to about 250 students every year, such that it will have about 1000 students and 100 faculty members at any one time. He also foresaw student exchanges between USP and YNC. USP students welcomed the news, though some remained skeptical. Haikel Lim, a second-year psychology major, was wary of the implications accompanying the introduction of YNC. “I do understand how YNC and USP’s curriculums differ, but YNC might inevitably still be perceived as diluting the value of USP, such that USP becomes a second-class YNC.” Others like Eddie Choo, a third-year sociology major, acknowledged the difference between a liberal arts college and USP, saying, “You might say that USP’s curriculum is shaped like a T, in that it provides a broad-based curriculum with a specialization – the major.” “A liberal arts college on the other hand, is more of a mountain range with a higher peak; students are exposed to a lot more breadth and are expected to make the connection on their own.”

author ng hui ying + photograph



ENGINEERING TAKES A LEAF OUT OF GOOGLE AND APPLE A BUILDING UNLIKE ANY OTHER IN THE FACULTY, THE GLASS HOUSE’S CONCEPT WAS INSPIRED BY THE SUCCESS OF COMPANIES SUCH AS GOOGLE AND APPLE, WHO ADVOCATE COMFORTABLE AND HOMELY WORKSPACE ENVIRONMENTS TO HELP IN INNOVATION. On October 2 2010, the Faculty of Engineering held an informal party to celebrate the launch of the Glass House, a design studio and hangout for the students of the Design-Centric Curriculum (DCC). The two-storey building is situated next to Temasek Laboratories in the Faculty of Engineering and is primarily geared towards helping students generate ideas. It boasts glass walls, cosy sofas and lush carpets, all giving the illusion of a designer home rather than a studio.

lectures there. Being accessible at any time of the day, it offers a respite from the otherwise hectic life of a NUS undergraduate,” said Srigowtham Thakku, a DCC student. The programme’s emphasis on the use of real-world problems in coursework means that

students and mentor. The latter alone already appears to have been successful.

line following car. It was an enlightening experience,” said Leow.

“I’ve always wanted to treat my teachers as my friends and DCC provided this opportunity. Rather than being part of a programme, I feel like I am in a big family,” said Leow Poh Jin, a second-year

With the opening of the Glass House, he applauded the move as a step taken towards refining a programme that is still in its infancy but acknowledged that it still had some way to go. “We are the pioneers; time is needed to implement this concept in a better way.”

This facility is especially suited to the needs of the students of DCC, which was launched at the start of 2010. Students under that programme follow a special interdisciplinary curriculum geared towards user-centric design and innovation. They are exposed to reallife design projects under themes ranging from Future Transportation Systems, Engineering in Medicine, and Smart Sustainable Cities. The Glass House is where these projects are to take shape. “We have our weekly project meetings at the Glass House and also spend the time between

innovation takes on a practical significance with solutions potentially being found to today’s problems. The Glass House is not alone in creating a positive working environment. The teacher-tostudent ratio is kept small at 1:4 to create close bonds between

mechanical engineering student. That familial bond has helped students get comfortable in the programme, with benefits already being reaped. “Last semester, I worked with a group of students on a project to build an automated electric AUTHOR SRIHARSHA BHAT + PHOTOGRAPH BESTHOUSEDESIGN.COM







Guest Column “Economic Growth At What Cost?” was the topic for a forum organized by the NUS Political Association on November 3. Wee Keat Lim observed what was and what could have been said and shares his insights with THE RIDGE.


good line-up of panellists

But during the reception, a

actions of the participants also

When the forum focused on

(a PAP MP, two members

friend of mine raised another

revealed a source of the current

comparing Singapore with

from the Opposition, and a

compelling theory. He stated that resentment against immigration:

NMP) were present. The key

there is a relationship between

that the latter have not fulfilled

seen that we share the same

hypothesis of the forum was

home ownership and marriage

their obligations.

challenges; especially in the

that the government might

in that the former is an important

be obsessed with economic

prerequisite of the latter.

growth, to the point whereby it

other global cities, it could be

competition for talent and capital. Some participants then reflected the sentiment that we are, as

Looking at other cities and their

may be no longer concerned

Indeed, the issue of late

some put it, a first-world country

histories, the problems that

with the methods by which

marriages were also discussed,

with a third-world social welfare

were described are perhaps the

it is achieved, as well as the

and while the response from

system. Much of the resentment

necessary price that has to be

consequences (direct and

the panel focused on the issue

(and the implication behind the

paid for the long-term survival

indirect) that entail.

of values and mindsets, I think

forum topic) stemmed from

of a city-state, but what was

my friend’s theory alluded to the

the fact that despite rapid and

justifiably expressed by many

The conclusion, as reached economic growth and the

s i n ga p o r e

during the forum was that these

interests of the people are not

idea that material factors should

consistent economic growth,

most vulnerable to the rapid

mutually exclusive. Economic

not be understated.

and a speedy recovery after

changes in our socio-economic

a serious global recession,


during the forum, was that

growth is a means to an end, and not, as the topic suggests,

Another talking point was

there has been no redistributive

an end in itself.

concerns about national

mechanism to help those who

identity. While those present

have been left behind.

must be adequately addressed, especially for those in society

Lim Wee Keat is a second-year history and political science student and the Director

There was initially a fixation

were claiming that identity

with the issue of rising property

was being undermined, I

Of course, the government is

of the Model United Nations wing of the

prices. I found the heightened

noted that some, like the male

quick to point out that social

Political Science Society.

interest in the issue rather

Singaporean participants always

welfare undermines work ethic

curious and it made me realise

emphasising their National

and breeds dependency and

Next year, he will be an assistant chair

that housing is clearly a hallmark

Service experience, did seem to

discourages work. But it doesn’t

for the ASEAN Regional Forum

of citizenship; with a fixed asset,

reinforce their national identity.

negate that fact that there are a

committee in WorldMUN 2011 held here

one literally has a stake in the

when asking a question.

lot of people who need help, and

in Singapore. He can be found online at:

it just means we can’t have a

country. But more importantly, the

author lim wee keat

one-size-fits-all policy.



Be Different to Make a Difference I

t is that time of the year again. Some will, deservedly, go on a holiday where they will eat, pray, love and make merry. Others may decide to hit the books in preparation for the next semester in a never-ending quest for the elusive ‘A’. A significant number will, however, be embarking on the next stage of their Youth Expedition Project (YEP) or off to similar community-minded expeditions. Yes, the holidays have arrived, when some students are able to find time to do more for the community.

be. The tendency is to follow the tried-and-tested paths of former projects. Visit orphanages? Check. Build libraries? Check. Clean up old-folk homes? Check. Teach English to the children living in poverty? Check. These project ideas have worked before and batch after batch of students continue to reuse them. These onceinspirational ideas are intrinsically valuable to the community but they are not as meaningful to the students who reuse them as they were to the people who originally conceived them.

The YEP’s central philosophy is officially stated as, “service (meeting real community needs) plus learning (meaningful and with depth)”. The danger with this philosophy is that if participants take it too literally, the whole process becomes too formulaic and devoid of the heart.

Let us go back to the basics. Community service is about change, about making a difference. You can’t make a difference by re-doing what others have done before. Formulaic community service makes us forget that social change is essentially a creative process. Coming up with

refreshing and innovative ideas that will help the community is definitely not easy; nobody said that it would be. But remember, some of the most impactful community service projects ever

the new buzz word is “social entrepreneurship”. that is, combing the heart of the social worker with the enterprising spirit of the businessman. carried out were also the ones that were the most creative in their times.

the old paradigm of “service learning”. The new buzz word is “social entrepreneurship”. That is, combining the heart of the social worker with the enterprising spirit of the businessman. Unlike the service-learner who is a passive social-worker, a socialentrepreneur is required to think out-of-the-box and learn constantly so as to ensure that the social venture is competitive and sustainable. Don’t follow the crowd. Dare to be different. You might be pleasantly surprised at the difference you can make to the community.

We need to move away from

Is there a formula for community service projects? There seems to

author + photo Augustin Chiam





ave you ever fantasized about how different your life could have been if you were you born in another country? Do you cringe in envy as you watch celebrities visit beautiful places all over the world? Are you bored with the monotony of academic life here? After twelve years of local education, I know I am. But fear not, your life can change! Here’s one way: go on an exchange!

is this: I’ll make sure I meet the academic requirements first before getting down to tackling the financial issues.

Is exchange really worth it? In my opinion, yes! I’m really looking forward to going on an exchange. As I find it hard to imagine myself living life other than the way it is Others may be thinking, “So many now, I am really eager to find out things to prepare in advance!” how different it can be. I don’t have any friends living in foreign “GOING FOR EXcountries, but I would love to CHANGE ISN’T JUST make a few and explore their ABOUT ACADEMIC cultures.

The first thought that comes to mind is usually, “So expensive!” Admittedly, the cost of going on an exchange can be a big issue. I had my own reservations about spending such a large amount of money for a semester overseas. But my personal take on exchange

Being a university undergraduate means we are just one step away from entering the workforce as an independent adult. Why not start getting used to paperwork and other administrative tasks which most of us will have to deal with in the not-so-distant future anyway?



Going for exchange isn’t just about academic pursuits. It’s also about experiencing a new lifestyle and making friends across borders. One of my friends just came back from Sweden. Over there, she learnt how to make pizza from an Italian and had made him a chocolate banana pizza in return!

Let’s face it. This is our last chance to go overseas as a student. While some may end up working overseas, the experience may not be as enjoyable because there’ll be a lot more to deal with other than schoolwork. Exchange programmes are only fun if you make the most out of it. So go with an open mind and remember that a complete exchange experience isn’t just about studying abroad. Try out new stuff, see new places. This is your chance to have a ball of a time during school term. If that isn’t a good deal, I don’t know what is.



RUN! THE “POLICE” ARE HERE! Some point during a light-hearted lunch with a friend last month, my friend’s expression changed for the worse as she passed me her phone. I was distracted. I mean what could be more important than my vanilla ice cream cone at that point? I took a look at the screen. It was breaking news! Authorities have apparently clamped down on NUS! The authorities used a common tool to shame offenders and deter potential offenders photographs of those caught in the act and posted on Twitter, a real-

time information networking site.

page, “NUS Fashion Police is our name; Salvation for the fashionably-challenged is our game.” A disclaimer followed, “All postings/tweets are to be taken light-heartedly. The squad hopes to provide a little humour to spice up your campus life on NUS with some fashion sightings and of course, fashion disasters. We do not take responsibility for any distress caused to any individual whose photo (which won’t include the face/or the face will be blurred out) may be posted on our Facebook page or Twitter. No personal agendas.”

made up of an unknown number of “fashion officers” who are anonymous and do not have to be held accountable. The force even appeals to “freedom of speech” as justification of their right to police NUS undergraduates on what they wear to campus. This is as good as arguing that any Singaporean has the freedom of speech to make derogatory remarks on members of other races in a multi-racial Singapore society.

The force may be proud of itself for “believing in day-to-day fashion spottings instead of those covered in school magazines” and being “the only local uni to have such a cool account for campus life”. But while magazines have long suggested fashion trends or even fashion policed celebrities, the NUS Fashion Police is not any other Fashion Police.

distress caused to any individual whose photo may be posted on our Facebook page or Twitter” so does this mean that the NUS Fashion Police deserves “freedom of speech”? What is the cost of this “freedom of speech”?

Police had nabbed offenders at their weakest. Photographs depicted two apparent hungry offenders, one male and one female, nabbed in the midst of buying meals. Lessons were melted out. A tweet on the site read, “Repeat after us: It is a crime to have the price tag on the soles of my shoes, regardless how hot I The NUS Fashion Police is look in them.” clearly not accountable. Unlike writers or editors whose names Err, what? are spelled out clearly in any Look out, undergrads! The NUS article from reputable fashion including those Fashion Police wants you to magazines, know that it is watching you. on fashion policing, the NUS The force wrote on its Facebook Fashion Police remains a force

were photographed without their consent proclaim themselves as celebrities? Were they deserving of judgment from this anonymous force?

The conduct of NUS Fashion Police is an informal attempt of social control which yields no significant benefits for the NUS community. NUS is an academic institution, not Hollywood. Those are students on campus, not celebrities. If there is one As the NUS Fashion Police important thing that university states in their disclaimer, “We education has taught us, it is do not take responsibility for any an appreciation for diversity.

If there is one thing to be sad about from this saga it is that our education has failed to instill this appreciation for diversity among the “fashion officers” of the NUS Fashion Police (who are really just anonymous shadows lurking on campus waiting Also, the conduct of the NUS to harass unsuspecting fellow Fashion Police raises ethical undergraduates). concerns about privacy. While fashion magazines conduct their To the anonymous “fashion own policing on celebrities, it is officers” from the NUS Fashion arguable that celebrities are public Police, perhaps it’s time to stop figures and individuals in the wearing black sheep clothing to limelight so they can be expected campus. to be subjected to public scrutiny. Yet who are the targets of the NUS They aren’t fashionable, really. Fashion Police? Did both the male and female undergraduates who author Chen Yongquan + photograph Sindee



Stranger Chat O

megle is a social platform that allows people to chat anonymously with strangers online. Doesn’t sound too special? Don’t be too quick to flip this page. It is no IRC (Internet Relay Chat) or the like. Unlike IRC, Omegle randomly pairs you up with another user and offers you the option of having a video or text-based chat with that person. Here’s one feature that will probably cause you some anxiety. As the pairing is randomized, once you disconnect from one conversation, you are not likely to encounter the same user again, not for some time anyway. The catch is this: you never know if the next in line is better or worse.

Armed with a MacBook Pro, my girlfriends and I put ourselves on the line to experience Omegle. In an instant, we transformed into a bunch of whimsical teenagers when a ‘Stranger’ came online. “Hi, the computer instructed me to say hi,” he typed. We could almost feel our skin crawling. This guy must be lame! Entertaining him, my friend ‘S’

started spouting some quirky metaphysical theories. It turned out that Stranger 1 was indeed keen on metaphysics and all it took was that apparent interest from ‘S’ to get him started on his philosophical analysis. like a really intellectual guy. The chat became slightly addictive and Undeterred and attempting to I was reluctant to click next. My ridicule his seriousness, we posed friend ‘M’ advised, “Sometimes, him absurd questions but were you forge a sense of attachment constantly taken aback by his with an online chatter and you feel a sense of loss knowing that when “ you never know you click next, you would never table a whole new dimension of talk to that person anymore.” ‘Now I know who the online you if the next in really is’. So what can we expect line is better or While the chatters on Omegle that from this trend? Well, online worse” we encountered had been fairly identities will no longer be that depth and politeness. Then it polite, clean and fun, the same covert and discrimination is likely dawned on us. Perhaps this guy can’t be said about Chatroulette. to be more rampant. was really looking for a soulful Chatroulette, while working in a chat online. similar way to Omegle, is purely And (cough) expect some indecent video-based. Users of Chatroulette exposure on your webcam. Our meaningful experiment have reported numerous abuses has made me reconsider my such as pornographic exposure own preconceived notion of and other insinuating exchanges. online chats being silly. As our conversation progressed, I As video-based chatting becomes realized that Stranger 1 seemed more widespread, it brings to the

author Heng Ming Fong + photograph Andy



Say No To The Traditional anti-Drug Campaign!


’ll come clean from the start: I’m no ‘goody-two-shoes’, and I certainly become unreceptive when I’m exposed to a typical anti-drug campaign. It’s almost like a knee-jerk reaction, really. I mean, think about it: how many of those have we already been through in our

twenty-years (give or take a few) of existence? All with the same message, for the same target group, which does not include my family, my friends or me.

adolescence and have a strong aversion to authority, so ‘deliberate inertia’ almost set in when I was tasked with this assignment. But something about the name ‘DJ Dathe’ just drew me in. Touted as the ‘next big act on the dance circuit’, he’s the new mascot for the campaign, and will help the NCADA distribute anti-drugs messages at over 51 clubs, via his name card. Is that cool, or is it just me?! I guess I’m a sucker for DJs? Or maybe it’s all in the name. Whatever it is, I should have seen the signs from the start – I mean, firstly, the campaign name had the word ‘Clubs’ in it, so how could I have thought that this campaign would be like the others?

Plus, I’m truly diggin’ the fact that those responsible for spreading the Drug Awareness message are actually making the effort to go ‘down to the ground’ to engage It’s hardly surprising that people club-goers. The Clubs Against are numb to repetitive antidrug campaigns. So when I first got wind of the Clubs Against Drugs Campaign by the National Council Against Drug Abuse (NCADA), I yawned, rolled my eyes, and thought to myself, ‘Jeez, here’s another one of those boring things’. To make things plain, you must know one thing about me: I’m still living out a prolonged

Drugs Campaign has been ongoing since the year 2000 to promote a drug-free clubbing culture in Singapore. While I am obviously not the correct sample size to represent their target audience, I personally vouch that I have never been consciously aware of this specific campaign till today. There must be something right about this new approach, because I actually find myself telling my friends about it via Twitter and Facebook! On part of the NCADA, I opine that it truly is a bold step to go directly to the clubs and it really shows their sincerity and dedication. As

one dies from OD-ing. So if you’re reading this, and have consumed drugs or plan to consume drugs, please do visit DJ Dathe’s personal portals (see below) or speak to a friend that doesn’t do drugs. If you happen to be way deep into it, don’t be ashamed to seek help. Remember that you wouldn’t even be around to feel shame if things screw up! And I certainly wouldn’t wish such a fate even upon my worst enemy. That aside, Happy Clubbing, you sexy things, and do go online when you have time to find out more about why DJ Dathe is fictional, and to see more cool pictures as well.

such, I think Dr. N. Varaprasa, Chairman of NCADA, and Team honestly deserve a pat on their backs for this novel campaign idea! While I had my heart broken when I found out that DJ Dathe was FICTIONAL, I’m still very much in favor of this campaign. I think it’s important that Drug Awareness makes it to the consciousness of people who are like myself before I wrote this. Just like not drinking responsibly, the consumption of drugs is a sure way to never party again, be it because one gets caught or because

“Party Clean, Party Again”

DJ Dathe blog (, DJ Dathe Twitter account ( “Clubbing Without Drugs” Facebook fan page ( for the Clubs Against Drugs Campaign. author Tamara Kisha Tan + photograph National council against drug abuse



Fashion Commentary I

f you’re wondering why your sexy top and sheer black stockings do not get you the attention you want, here’s why: No matter how long the top is, the fact remains that it is, after all, still a top. As such, wearing a pair of stockings (be it black, purple, blue or white) on its own, is not going to change the fact that you would most likely be exposing a little too

to this particular fashion faux pas, read: wear a top which adequately covers your rear. And yes, I don’t mean adequately covering it only when you are stationary - it also includes times that you walk from one point to another, wherein movement is likely to cause your top to run-up.

parfume/eau de toilette were created to help all smell better (girls and guys alike). Unfortunately, living in a sunny, humid country means that all the perfume in the world is not going to mask the odour that manifests when perspiration goes unattended for hours on end. Whether it’s a generic scent or an ABCD (Armani, Some would argue that Singapore BOSS, CHANEL, Davidoff) is warm, especially nowadays, and perfume, the fact is that pouring that wearing jeans or even leggings it on yourself when you feel a bit might be too much of a chore. If you’re facing such a predicament, try wearing a proper dress or pair those lovely stockings with some micro-mini shorts to achieve a peek-a-boo effect, to tease, instead of outrightly ‘flashing’ the public! Less is defintely more, and in this case it really is possible to look hot, without actually being hot.

That aside, I’ve got another bone to pick with nobody and anybody much of leg, and probably a bit of at the same time. your rear end too. Frangrances in the form of eau de The old adage ‘if you have it, flaunt it’ isn’t irrelevant. It’s just misinterpreted by so many today. You should share what’s good about you with the world. However, it’s a matter of sharing tastefully. Even someone with a lovely, long, lean pair of legs would incite a whole host of glares and disgusted glances as they walked down corridors with half their southern assets hanging out. The bottom line is, the concept of what’s ‘cheap looking’ is really easy to hit if you wear stockings as pants. Ultimately, what should be kept private should be kept private. For those irrecoverably ‘addicted’

author Tan Zy Bridget

and who wouldn’t mind heading to Guardian to get some deodrant with you. So if you suspect you’re stenchy sometimes, ask the opinion of someone who cares about you. You’re doing yourself and your loved ones a favour. Smell nice, for yourself and your loved ones, I say. How about that rumour going around that “deodorant causes cancer!”? Well, I opine that those people were probably too busy swatting flies off their bodies to realise the absurdity of the idea. Scientists have proven that antiperspirants are not a contributing factor to cancer. With that, I end my commentary with the spirit of Captain Jack

stenchy, would only result in a mixing of the scent of the perfume with perspiration, resulting in a major Odour Crisis. Conclusion: Smelling funky cannot be prevented by perfume. The Solution? --- Whip out the deodorant and wear it before you leave home!

Sparrow (who would have smelled I’ve never understood why people foul, btw) - “Fret not and slather who need to, do not use deodorant. on that deodorant, ye mighty Is it because of the stigma behind comrades!” using it? Are some people afraid of using it? And if they’re not afraid, then do they think they don’t need it? This is where good friends come in – people that have the right to tell you things honestly



Score Triple A’s with a pair of Aviators T

“the Aviator is a timeless classic that somehow brings out whatever vestige of snazzy you possess”

his month, I dedicate page space to:

Aviators (and maybe a shaven head?) Possibly the most famous muse for this must-have item is Brad Pitt, who starred in the infamous movie Fight Club. Personally a huge fan of both the movie itself and the book it was adapted from, I am an even bigger fan of the Brad Pitt+Shaven Head+Aviators combination.

Brief History of the Aviator: 1936: US Government commissioned Ray-Ban (brand for spectacles and sunglasses) to design sunglasses for their Air Force pilots.

To prove that not only movie stars can carry the look off, here’s an average Joe I chanced upon on the internet, sporting the look. You just need some suave, a tinge of nonchalance – and you’re set! For those not so into the revival of the ‘army look’, well, I guess you could say ‘No, thank you, Ma’am!’

Pilots: Wanted something that provided roughly the same protection as their aviation goggles, but sans the bulk it had. Ray-Ban: Created the Aviator design = Score! 70 years on: Sunglasses have remained a hit, and now come in various sizes (smaller frames for women, if preferred) and models (there are those with the curved lenses and the straight ones).

That being said, the Shaven Head+Avaitor was a ‘look’ that I had to rave about. For guys and girls alike – the Aviator is a timeless classic that somehow brings out whatever vestige of snazzy you possess, so you don’t have to have a shaven head to wear it well. If you happen to have doubts about how much snazzy you’ve got, don’t worry, because the Aviator is an item that (somehow) brings its history

and ‘cool’ character to the fore, no matter who’s wearing it. So anyone’s fashionable, universally and eternally.

then something tailored or chiclooking. Whatever it is, you just can’t go wrong with the Awesome Alluring Aviator.

Feel free to pair them with anything rugged (your good’ole jeans and a crisp white shirt/ top), or if you don’t do rugged,

author Tamara Kisha + photograph




ith the examination period rearing its menacing head upon us, it’s essential to satisfy those recurring hunger pangs while remaining health conscious. One must make an effort to resist the temptation of gobbling burgers, donuts and other easily accessible insalubrious stuff. Here are a few pointers towards healthy snacks to munch between meals or to simply seek comfort in when exceptionally stressed about the looming exams: Go Dark with Chocolate

Nuts for Nuts There is no dearth in the variety of nuts you can crunch on: almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts peanuts, pistachios, cashews, soy nuts – they’re all rich in vitamins and nutrients and also known to counter the harmful effects of stress. Before indulging on nuts, however, do make sure you’re not allergic to any of them!

often manifests as hunger pangs, so down a cup of water before raiding the refrigerator. Not the idea of a conventional snack, water does play a significant role in the smooth functioning of our bodies and goes a long way in maintaining good skin and hair. The best part of water is that it’s low-cost and has no sugar or calories. So drink up and make those frequent expeditions to the vending machines a thing of the past!

Don’t feel guilty of enjoying the occasional bar of chocolate. After all, they do contain moodenhancing chemicals. Dark chocolate in particular has constituents which lowers blood clot formation, cancer as well as heart ailments. Containing a relatively larger proportion of cocoa and lesser sugar than usual, dark chocolate is the perfect way Say Yes! to Yoghurt to pamper oneself in the midst of the assessment period. In case you’re adverse to the aforementioned suggestions (apart from water), yoghurt can come to the rescue and help your digestive system clear up all the unhealthy stuff past consumed. Yoghurt is also rich in protein, calcium and vitamin B12, and aids in developing our immune system. So satisfy your melty cravings by immersing in the sweet treat, at Water Rules! the same time staying tummyDehydration causes stress and conscious!

author Vani Goyal + photograph, sgblogs.comentry





or those who wish to hit the books in a more ‘relaxed’ setting, this is the place for you. There are sofas and comfy couches at the YIH student hub and YIH student lounge. The YIH computer centre and Cheers convenience store are right downstairs. There’s also Subway, Food Junction, Old Chang Kee and Ya Kun – Definitely a place to study for those easily famished!





ound half-way down the walkway from FASS to YIH, this rightly lit and air conditioned, this study spot is found in the Faculty quiet area is perfect for those who prefer non air-conditioned of Design and Environment. McDonald’s, which is open 24-hours environments. It is highly convenient with the YIH CBLC computer during reading week, is just round the corner, as is the Techno Edge centre and YIH food haunts close by. Engine canteen. ThinkLab computer centre (open 24/7 except public holidays) is close by at the Computer Centre as well.

nter the School of Computing and you find the perfect place he Business student lounge in Biz 2 is an ideal place for a fan of to study. This place is ideal for those who like a quiet study air-conditioning (pun not intended!). There is a computer centre in environment. There are printing facilities available here, should you the vicinity and a foosball table in the premises for the occasional break. need them. When you’re hungry, the Business canteen and Reeds café Again, the Business canteen, Reeds café and the Deck are nearby! are close by and the Deck at Arts is not too far away either! author Rajni Nayanthara Gamage + photographer Niroshanan Brahmananthan



lifestyle * feature

U p, U p an d

HE wind in your face, your legs splattered with mud, and a far away speck of colour in the sky. Ah, pure bliss.

“I grab my kite, pack a box of sandwiches, and with boyfriend in hand, I head out to fly my kite at picturesque areas like the sloping hills of Sengkang or the

Simple as the activity might sound, kite flying has the uncanny ability to take your mind off the pressures of school life. More NUS students seem to be realising this and I ventured around the campus to find out about their experiences.

SEND YOUR KITE FLYING 2. Have themes, make memories EXPERIENCE SOARING! Kite flying used to be a While you can certainly choose “kampong” activity and it’s to simply “fly your kite”, you can all about nostalgia! Get your cameras out and pick a theme for the kites and snap away! 3. Dress for the occasion

Arts undergraduate, Sheriza Faisal, 23, goes kite flying once every few months and she likens the joy of kite flying to the simple but satisfying act of eating an ice-cream on a humid wide fields of Marina Barrage day. To her, it truly is the simple and it’s also a unique way to pleasures in life that count. spend time with that special someone,” Faizal explained. Xie Haoran, the NUS’ Civil Engineering Club’s welfare director, said that he helped organise a kite flying event on September 22 at West Coast Park catering to freshmen and seniors and it really did help everyone get to know one another. “Kite flying might seem easy but it can actually be a tad challenging for first time users to launch it successfully into the sky. Oh! And I find that teamwork is actually pretty crucial if you are flying a big kite,” added Haoran (view the tips on kite flying!)


Josephine Lau, 22, the cowriter of Wottoncool (a trendy sartorial blog) recommends girls to wear a cute liberty print in your favourite colour and adding some brightly hued accessories that won’t get entangled with your kite string and pair comfortable flats or sandals with add even more fun elements to tailored shorts. Guys can wear enhance your day out. boat shoes or Birkenstocks and match their footwear with 1. Prepare a feast fit for a King either khaki chinos or well-cut (or however you eat) Bermudas ending just above the knee. Feast before you fly and then shed away those extra pounds If you can bear the heat, don with a round or two of kite flying. a checked shirt and roll up the sleeves. If you can’t, a simple


lifestyle * feature



blue and white striped tee is DAY: Go on a day when there is in yours, get him/her to jump want it to stay up in the sky is good too. enough wind. and release the kite into the air. entirely up to you! As this happens, you should 4. Include side-activities LOCATION: Look for open gently release and pull the string WHERE TO GO and expansive fields. towards yourself to ensure a taut line and to prod the kite • Marina Barrage While you kite-fly, why not play with marbles? Or kick around a KITE SHAPE: Choose a further into the sky. colourful chapteh (a shuttlecock triangular or diamond shaped • Punggol Field Walk with a flat, round head)? kite if you are a first-time user as AIRBORNE: As the kite soars Whatever you choose to wear or they are easy to fly. into the sky, let go more of the • Anchorvale Sengkang bring, remember to incorporate line. Kite enthusiast, Hilmi Harris, side activities that will make you RELEASE: With your back to 24, from Nanyang Polytechnic, • Tampines Central feel nostalgic of your childhood. the wind, kneel or bend low. suggests reeling it in and out Faizal brings a set of five stones Enlist the help of a friend and from time to time. How long you • West Coast Park to seal the deal. get him/her to stand at least 3m opposite you. With the kite in his/her hand, and with the reel KITE FLYING TIPS



Food review @YIH* D

ue to the hustle and bustle of undergraduate (or graduate) student life, most of you might not have noticed that the YIH just underwent a spanking new renovation. Where there is new food on the campus, THE RIDGE is definitely there! Thus we began our food hunt at the brand new YIH Food Junction to find out what the latest joint in school has to offer – And we weren’t disappointed. The whole place was given a complete makeover. The external seating area had been given a white wash, with a snazzy little working corner called Toast@work, to boot! The seating areas have been painted with bright colors, giving it a refreshing breath of life. The ambience might seem to be stealing the spotlight, but we’re saving the best for last: Believe us when we say that the highlight was the food itself. So let’s get right to it!

author Tan Herng Yih, Vani goyal, Tan Yuhting photographer Stephanie Lim

Toast @ work Price: $3.30 If you’ve been up all night studying into the wee hours of the morning, Toast @ Work at the YIH Food Junction is just the place to be headed for a delectable breakfast of quality kaya toast with eggs, and of course the quintessential cup of coffee. The French Toast Set C was our choice for brunch – made up of crispy French toast, soft-boiled eggs, and warm milk tea, it was delightful. The toast was thick and fluffy, served atop with coconut jam, and it was coupled with soft and runny half-boiled eggs. The heady blend of tea, brewed strong and flavored with just the right amount of sugar and milk, heightens one’s senses, leaving an invigorating aroma in the mouth. So the next time you feel like immersing in a revitalizing indulgence after pulling an overnight study stint (or if Ya Kun is crowded), head right down to Toast@Work!

1 french toast set c

2 half-boiled eggs





Price: $1.80

Price: $5.90

Aside from pepper lunch, another stall that stood out would be Mr. Prata. We ordered a butter flavored dosai and it certainly did not disappoint. To be honest, there was nothing elaborate about it, but it was simple, good and satisfying. Aside from the dosai, they also serve a variety of pratas, which looked just as appetizing. All in all, food from this stall is “die-die must try” in the words of K.F Seetoh (a.k.a Mr. Makansutra). The plain pratas start from 80 cents apiece, which is not any cheaper if you would eat it outside.

Xpress Pepper Lunch is now in campus! For all of you hot-plate lovers, this is your chance to ‘Q’ up during the lunch rush hour for some good, hot (we repeat hot for emphasis!) food – it’s definitely worth your money (and time). For those of you who still have no idea what we are talking about, Pepper Lunch is a D.I.Y. concept where you sizzle your own hot plate the way you want it – with egg, garlic soy sauce, honey brown sauce or all three together (this combo is really good). We decided to order the classic Beef Pepper rice and despite the long queue (and long waiting line, yes, there’re two lines for this stall – one for ordering, one for food collection) it was instant gratification the moment you sit down and started chomping away. Lunch did not disappoint.

miss korean

From now onwards, there’s no need to travel outwards to IMM, Jurong East (their nearest branch) just to satisfy a craving for Pepper Lunch - our very own NUS has it! For those who do not fancy beef, fret not. There’s also unagi, salmon, chicken, and spicy seafood on the menu. Basically, the menu caters to a wide culinary audience!

Price: $5.20 We ordered a unagi stone pot because it sounded novel and interesting. The idea was pretty neat and it certainly looked promising when first. However, it was slightly disappointing that it did not turn out as well as it looked. The rice was hard and it tasted quite bland (we’re all in favor of fragrant rice!). Other than the hot pots, hot-plates are the alternative standard fares of the stall. Also, on the positive side, if you’re looking for something to fill your stomach this is definitely the store to visit because the portions are generous.

photograph Stephanie Lim



Top 10 life-changing events that happened to various people in 2010 Life is uncanny. A year can really change things around. The Lifestyle desk brings you 10 life-changing events that happened to people in our sunny little island and we hope that they give you food for thought as we go through exams and then look forward to the year to come! Orchard Road. Her devotion to her employer definitely paid off!

03 The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Apple released the iPad in April 2010, and sold 3 million of the devices in 80 days

01 Apple’s iPad Ever since Apple introduced the iPad, it has definitely brought change to the lives of its owners. The iPad convenience is well-known – whether it’s constantly by your side for a casual web search, for watching video, googling something unfamiliar or simply just checking your email. The iPad has been there for too many people not to mention it!

02 The maid who inherited her employer’s wealth A Filipino maid inherited S$6 million following her late employer’s death after some 20 years of service. That staggering amount was inclusive of cash and a luxury apartment near

The YOG was not just a life-changing experience for thousands of young athletes involved but this new global sporting event is definitely a milestone in Olympic history. The inaugural YOG, held in Singapore this year, made Singaporeans excited about the Olympics like never before. Participants of the YOG (both volunteers and athletes) were able to interact with people from all around the world. It was an experience to behold!

04 The Opening of Integrated Resorts in Sunny Singapore Ever since the integrated resorts ‘Resorts World Sentosa’ and ‘Marina Bay Sands’, opened, gambling enthusiasts have experienced a dream come true by winning Lamborghinis at the slot machines. Though, this new attraction didn’t bode well for all including a Singaporean tycoon who lost $100m recently! Well, guess it doesn’t really pinch since he was a tycoon….

author vanessa tan + photograph,

05 Bieber fever None of us at THE RIDGE are going to admit that we are Bieber fans. Since he entered the entertainment world, we’ve come to hear (and get used to) insane fan-worship stories! From that of teenaged girls going crazy over him during his live performances, to crowds running his mother down!


06 Chilean miners After surviving the collapse of a mine, 33 Chilean miners survived over two months of being trapped underground. Their survival was directly linked to the Chile government’s proactiveness in the rescue efforts. After they were rescued, they were all offered book and movie deals, an iPod each courtesy of Steve Jobs and even free tickets to the home matches of Manchester United FC!

07 10/10/10 Weddings happen everyday but those on 10/10/10 were a once in a century affair with a total of 830 couples in Singapore exchange their weddings vows. From a mass event on a beach in Sentosa to getting married while submerged underwater, this hat trick of 10s was definitely a special date to tie the knot! Bieber’s first full studio release, My World 2.0. debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200


08 Footballers and their scandals

10 Felicia Chin comes to NUS

Ashley Cole was involved in one of the biggest celebrity cheating scandals as reports of his affairs started to emerge linking him with various women other than his wife, Cheryl Cole. These affairs then prompted Cheryl to divorce Ashley Cole. Guess being listed as one of FHM’s Sexiest Women 2010 doesn’t excuse her being thrown lemons in life! Coleen Rooney similarly had to endure a torrid month in September with Rooney deciding soon after to quit the club before making a dramatic turn-around (was it a publicity stunt, perhaps?)

Need anything more be said? We know a number of NUS students who have been on Felicia-watch and the first couple of months at KR were full of Felicia Chin gossip-mongering! We bet NUS students want to know a lot more about Chin’s decision to pursue her undergraduate studies at NUS and we do hope that she agrees to an interview with THE RIDGE next semester!

09 World Cup 2010 and Paul the octopus Held in South Africa this year, the World Cup saw many people come together to cheer on their fellow countrymen in a game of soccer. Spain’s win over Netherlands during the finals was certainly -a magnificent event, especially to the Spaniards as this win marked their first World Cup. Aside from the wonderful football up on display, we even had Paul the oracle octopus steal the limelight as he accurately predicted the results for numerous matches! Sadly, Paul passed away recently.

Chin is currently pursuing a BBA degree in the NUS Business School.




This year’s Top 10 Episodes worth watching! A year’s worth of television is probably a lot to catch up on. We’re sure that you may not have the time or energy to check out all of them. But in our honest-to-god opinion, these are the best episodes of 2010 that are definitely worth a watch!

01 How I Met Your Mother Episode 5.12 Girls vs. Suits Airdate: Jan 11, 2010

Rachel Bilson’s appearance in the 100th episode of How I Met Your Mother had many wondering if the mother will finally be revealed. Sadly, Cindy, Bilson’s character, was not the right candidate and so the search for Ted’s wife goes on. Overall, the episode was entertaining with the highlight being an epic showdown between Barney’s metrosexuality and his playboy attitude. It ended in an unexpected and bizarre musical that the entire cast took part in! Awesome.

02 The Last Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien Airdate: Jan 22, 2010

Late-night talk shows aren’t big in Singapore since there are other alternatives aired at a more appropriate time. The Tonight Show, however, always was a cut above the rest with its social, political and cultural commentary and satire. Airing since 1954, it is the longest currently running entertainment program in the US. The show has been hosted by several acclaimed television hosts like Steve Allen, Johnny Carson and Jay Leno. Conan O’Brien took over in early 2009. However, moving it to a 12 am slot, just months after O’Brien took over, hit a nerve with the comedian. O’Brien left NBC shortly after. But the last few episodes of Conan’s seven month stint as host were nothing short of genius. Since then, Jay Leno has returned to host of the show. The 19th season of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno premiered Nov 1, 2010

This episode exceeded our wildest imaginations! Season four ended with a bang where Lucifer was released from his cage to create hell on earth. Season five focused on the Winchester brothers trying to save the world against odds of biblical proportion. The build up of the entire season reached its climax in Swan Song where the world-destroying fight between Archangel Michael and Lucifer was finally ready to take place. Only producer Erik Kripke could have handled the Heaven and Hell arc without managing to offend or make a mockery out of biblical lore.

04 Ghost Whisperer Episode 5.22 The Children’s Paradise Airdate: May 21, 2010

After five seasons, we are sad to see this thriller being axed by the money grubbing bosses on top of the hierarchy. In this fitting series finale, Melinda and her son have an ultimate showdown with a terrorising supernatural force. The sweetest moment was when Aiden enlists the help of his ghost friends to defeat evil and save his mother. An entertaining show that shall be missed.

03 Supernatural Episode 5.22 Swan Song Airdate: May 13, 2010

05 Lost

Episode 6.18 The End (2) Airdate: May 23, 2010

author Saheli Roy Choudhury, Suhas Bhat + photograph,,

entertainment 33

07 Glee

Few series finales have been as highly anticipated as that of Lost. The stranded passengers on the island had already been through so many confusing events that only a hardcore Lost fan can help you from getting lost. The best part of the show was its ability to interact with fans. Never before had viewers been so absorbed and invested in a fictional world. Like a cryptic work of art, Lost posed more questions than it answered. In a fitting tribute, the series ended like it began; in utter mystery.

06 Criminal Minds Episode 5.23 Our Darkest Hour Airdate: May 26, 2010

With rolling blackouts in Los Angeles, a serial killer comes out of hiding and goes on a killing rampage, using the darkness to his advantage. The Behavioural Analysis Unit (BAU) rushes against time to give out a profile of the killer and catch him before he strikes again. The intensity, pace and tension in this episode almost reaches boiling point and we are left with one of the biggest cliff-hangers in the show’s run. Word to the wise - don’t venture into this episode without immediate access to season 6 premiere or you will be left with unbearable suspense and frustration!

09 House

Episode 1.22 Journey Airdate: Aug 6, 2010

Episode 7.05 Unplanned Parenthood Airdate: Oct 18, 2010

After their amazing run at Sectionals,

Ever imagined what will happen if you took House, Wilson and a baby and put them in the same room? When House reluctantly agrees to babysit Cuddy’s daughter Rachel, he realises he got more than he bargained for: a curious toddler is definitely not House’s cup of tea. To mediate the crisis, he calls in Wilson. Except, things go downhill from there for our favourite medical duo after Rachel swallows a quarter. Oh, there is also a complicated medical case on the side but that’s not really important.

the McKinley High kids are all fired up for Regionals against their biggest rival Vocal Adrenaline. The plot was mostly predictable – credit goes to Ryan Murphy for holding off New Directions’ maiden win at Regionals for at least another season. With Vocal Adrenaline as champions, Figgins is ready to cancel New Directions but they are unexpectedly given a new lease of life. Jonathan Groff (Jesse St. James from Vocal Adrenaline) nailed a solo performance of Bohemian Rhapsody. Oh, and Quinn had a baby.

08 White Collar Episode 2.09 Point Blank

Airdate: Sep 7, 2010 Midsummer finales for any TV series suck. They are a cruel marketing ploy to leave the audience with a massive cliff-hanger until the show’s return in early January. White Collar is no different. Without giving out names, we think killing off the one character who gives the show that extra quirk will certainly hurt ratings. We only hope the producers keep that in mind when the show finally returns early next year.

10 Jersey Shore Season 1 All Episodes Airdate: Jan 21, 2010

For the height of sheer ridiculousness being finally achieved. TV Shows that didn’t make the cut (but are still around): The Big Bang Theory, Mad Men, Two and a Half Men, One Tree Hill, Smallville, Gossip Girl, Dexter, Grey’s Anatomy, The Office, 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights, Chick, Fringe, Castle, Modern Family TV Shows that debuted this year: Caprica, The Event, Conan, The Walking Dead TV Shows we bid farewell to: Scrubs, 24, Numb3rs, Heroes, Ugly Betty, King of the Hill, Ghost Whisperer, Law & Order, The Hills, Larry King Live, Would you like our writers (or yourself) to rate a show? Send us an email and we’ll write more on our website!




Top 10 sporting moments of 2010 World Cup, F1, Athletics, Martial Combat... you name it and we watched it. From all of us here at the Sports Desk, we bring you the 10 moments in sports this year that all you sports fans will always remember twenty-ten for.

01 World Cup 2010

proud by winning their first bronze medal in the sport of Taekwondo. Meanwhile, Swimmer Rainer Ng also snatched the limelight by clinching silver in the 50 metres Backstroke event. The 18-year-old lost narrowly to the champion from Trinidad and Tobago, after touching home in a time of 26.45 seconds. In the table tennis singles event, Isabelle Lin attained silver. In this first ever Youth Olympics Games, which took place in Singapore, the host country achieved a total of 2 silvers and 5 Daryl Tan, Team Singapore Taekwondo

Once every four years, the World Cup takes place. Undoubtedly, the 19th World Cup held in South Africa was highly anticipated by many. Our condolences go to Paul, the “psychic” octopus who made eight right predictions amd who recently passed away. The Spaniards deservingly claimed the title after Iniesta scored in the 116th minute in a hotly contested final against the Oranje team. It was the nation’s first World Cup victory with Spain becoming both the champions of Europe the world.

bronzes medals.

02 The First Youth Olympics Games

03 Formula One Grand Prix

The 2010 Summer Youth Olympics was held in Singapore from 14th to 26th August. This inaugural event involved an estimated number of 3,600 athletes between 14 and 18 years of age. 17-year-old Singaporean, Daryl Tan, did his home country

Singapore’s Singtel Grand Prix 2010 held on 24-26 September was a far more exhilarating and dramatic race as compared to the previous years. This dazzling Marina Bay street circuit once again proved to be a challenging track for the Formula One

author felicia lim + photograph,,

drivers. Facing a sell-out Singapore crowd and the grueling 61 laps, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso fought strong and hard displaying brilliant driving skills, protecting his pole position advantage and going on to clinch the championship. Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, unable to fight his way pass Fernando Alonso had to settle for second, while his teammate, Mark Webber came in third. The most thrilling part of the race was when Mark Webber made significant contact with Lewis Hamilton and, unfortunately, ended the Englishman’s race in Singapore with a crash. Heikki Kovalainen also caught much attention when his Lotus racing car was seen in flames. With leader Fernando Alonso having a total of 231 points, Mark Webber following closely behind with 220 points, Sebastian Vettel with 210 points and Lewis Hamilton with 206 points, the drivers’ championship race is still not over yet. Anything can happen in the last two races. It’s definitely been a season worth watching!

sports 35

04 Liverpool’s takeover The Liverpool Football Club (LFC) ownership saga was finally put to an end after New England Sports Ventures (NESV), owners of the Boston Red Sox, purchased the club for $480,000,000. The NESV were the saviours of LFC saving the club from the grips of Gillett and Hicks who were the culprits behind LFC’s detrimental financial condition. Now that the financial issues have been solved, it remains to be seen if Hodgson can improve their quality of the squad and turn this season around.

05 Commonwealth Games The Commonwealth Games is an international major sporting events involving athletes from the British Commonwealth of Nations. The 19th Commonwealth Games in Delhi 2010 saw Singapore sending its largest-ever contingent comprising 68 athletes and 34 officials. Singaporean athletes displayed a sterling performance by attaining a total of 31 medals with 11 gold, 11 silver and nine bronze medals. The Singapore Swimming Team also returned with 6 personal best records. The shooters won a total of 14 medals while the table tennis contingent took home 12. The shuttlers contributed three medals and the gymnasts won Singapore’s first two medals in the sport since 1958.

06 Winter Olympics In the year of 2010, the 21st Winter Olympics was a major international multi-sport event held at Vancouver and Whistler from Feb. 12 to 28. This fascinating snow and ice festival

comprised a total of 86 sports. It is estimated that there were about 2,600 athletes from 82 nations who participated in a total of 86 events. Popular sports such as ice hockey, figure skating and snowboarding were the main highlights of this major sporting event.

finals MVP and Ron Artest was given the title of the most valuable player in Game 7. As quoted from Shaun

07 UEFA Champions League Final The UEFA Champions League Final was held in Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, home of Real Madrid. Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan defeated Bayern Munich by a clear score line of 2-0. This final produced some classic football moments between the two sides. It was not much of an entertaining game of football but Diego Milito’s two excellent and beautiful goals heightened the excitement and

gave Inter Milan their first Champions League/European Cup since 1965.

08 NBA Finals Los Angeles Lakers basked in glory after defeating their opponent, the Boston Celtics during the NBA Finals in June, avenging their defeat in the 2008 finals. After a tough real battle between two of the arguably strongest teams in the NBA, The Lakers finally managed to hold off the opponent by clinching a tight score of 8379. Kobe Bryant clinched yet another

Powel, “A Game 7 win over an ageold rival made title No. 16 that much sweeter for L.A.”

09 Wimbledon 2010 In the largest major tennis tournament held in England, Rafael Nadal became the first Spaniard to win the men’s championships for the second time after a gruelling competition with 12th seed Tomas Berdych. In the women’s event, Serena William thrashed Russia’s Vera Zvonareva. Serena’s win also meant that she completed an astonishing decade of Wimbledon domination by the Williams sisters, Serena and Venus. The biggest shock of the competition was seeing Roger Federer getting overpowered by the 12th seeded Tomas Berdych in four sets.

10 Martial Combat 2010 Largely publicised by the media, martial arts combat can be considered as one of newest sporting event promoted in Singapore. This event lasted from May 12 to Oct. 16 and took place in Resorts World Sentosa. In this competition, top level fighters featured as they battled for the championship belt. Winning the renowned championship belt gave them the prestige of being known as Martial Combat’s top fighters. photograph,



The Top 10 most disappointing tech! 2010 was a good year for the tech world. We saw the emergence of Android-based smartphones as a contender in the mobile market, while the iPhone 4 and iPad came out with unprecedented hype. But for every winner, there are more losers… and we honour them here.

01 1. JooJoo Tablet Before the iPad, there was the JooJoo – a tablet PC that promised instant connection to the Internet with an intuitive browsing experience. It didn’t hurt that there was some local pride involved - Fusion Garage, the developer of the JooJoo, is a Singaporean company. But the JooJoo had no apps, worked only when connected to a Wi-Fi network and had no Flash support and cost the same as an iPad. When compared to the polish and finesse of the iPad (which was released at roughly the same time), the JooJoo just looks like that underachieving little kid trying to emulate his heroes… and failing miserably.

02 3D TVs So, Avatar in 3D was pretty good, right? So clearly it shouldn’t be long before you’d want it brought into your living room via 3D TVs.

are the most uncomfortable viewing experience ever.

03 Microsoft Kin How many of you thought that Windows Phone 7 was Microsoft’s only mobile release this year? I don’t blame you. The Microsoft Kin was marketed as a close cousin of Windows Phone 7 towards the Facebook-addicted teens.The interface was amazing and could have heralded a new paradigm in Windows Phones. But somewhere down the line, Microsoft got a little confused. The design was poor and counterintuitive refresh time (it refreshes every 15 minutes; who has that sort of time when you need to check Twitter right now?) led to dismal sales. After only being on the market for six weeks, Microsoft pulled the Kin off the shelves, never making it out of the US. It is kinda cute, though.

It didn’t quite work out that way. 3D TVs were just too costly for that bit of novelty. While it is possible to watch in 3D movies that weren’t filmed with 3D in mind, the effect falls short and isn’t very pretty. Also, 3D glasses

04 Google Buzz Buzz is the only new software launch that makes to this list. Google Buzz

author lester hio + photograph,,

sounded like the perfect social networking tool (it automatically added all your Gmail contacts as your friends and offered features such as real-time chat and photo and video sharing) and it was integrated right into Gmail. But then users reported that Buzz started following contacts on its own based on the level of activity you share with that person. It sounds fine, but do you really want your boss to see your whacky weekend pictures just because Google thought he should follow you by the amount of work emails you send him? Despite all the buzz, Buzz ultimately felt like a Facebook derivative with elements of Twitter haphazardly thrown in and bogged down with hidden and problematic privacy options settings.

05 Dyson Air Multiplier Geeky avant-garde homeowners were all in a tizzy when the Dyson bladeless fan – sorry, the Air Multiplier – was unveiled. Now you could keep cool with a device that looked just as cool. With a hollow cylinder that produces a draft by sucking in air from the back and accelerating it out through the front, the Dyson fan looked to be the coolest appliance in your home that doubled

wired 37

as a conversation piece. But that was only until you got sick of the weak draft of wind it produced and the sheer loudness of the fan – ironic, given that it doesn’t have any blades. For such a futuristic-looking device, one really expected a quiet hum and a steady stream of cool air.

06 Toshiba Libretto Want a tablet PC but the lack of a keyboard bothers you? Want a laptop and a touchscreen as well? Wait no more, Toshiba heard your concerns and created the Libretto W100, a tablet PC with dual screens and touchscreen functionality, straddling the divide between a tablet and a laptop. Unfortunately, while the idea was sound, the execution could have used more work. The Libretto shipped with Windows 7 which was not fully-optimised for touch navigation. The virtual touchscreen keyboard was also a pain to type on making it a very cramped, nonhaptic device.

However, it was purely a size upgrade. And since the visual resolution remained unchanged, what the bigger screen effectively did was to make several games appear more pixilated than they already were. It was just too bulky and uncomfortable to justify it as a portable gaming device.

08 Flip Slide HD Flip’s concept is simple: remove all the unnecessary buttons except the important ones (like the Record button) and slap on a screen to enable the user to shoot a video and upload it to the computer with minimal fuss. People like to review their videos once they’re done shooting, which is why the Slide comes with a large touchscreen that allows for immediate playback. And therein lay the problem - the gimmicky touchscreen made recording difficult without the big physical button that the non-Slides had. Playback was similarly counter-intuitive as there were no visible options to fast forward, rewind, pause, or increase/decrease volume.

The new Nintendo DS (Dual Screen) went in the exact opposite direction of what most hardware manufacturers do when they release a new version - instead of going for slim and sexy, the DSi XL went for large and sturdy.

10 iPhone 4 Don’t get me wrong – the iPhone 4 is a great phone. Its combination of form factor, software and the sheer wealth of apps make it the killer phone to have. So why is it disappointing? Given all the hype before its release, it does make me sad that the iPhone 4 can’t cure cancer or bring sunshine and happiness right out of the box. Based on what the Apple fanboys were telling me, I was expecting it to do all that and make me a sandwich as well. Besides a phone isn’t much use when it’s constantly dropping calls if you hold it like a phone or when its screen shatters into a million little bits just by riding in your jeans pocket. And you know the white iPhone 4? According to recent rumours, it’s been cancelled. Well, so much for that.

09 Nokia N8

07 Nintendo DSi XL

arena. The Internet browser on the N8 was a bit awkward as well as despite mobile sites loading fairly quickly, it ran onto problems with other non-optimised sites. The N8 just doesn’t match its hardware prowess with its software.

The Nokia N8 was seen to be the saving grace for the once-mighty Nokia. With an unprecedented 12 megapixel camera, HD video recording and a new Symbian 3 OS, the Nokia N8 set mobile geeks salivating with the raw power it exuded. Truly, if you pick an N8 up, you’ll immediately notice how good it feels in your hands.

Would you like our writers (or yourself) to WRITE DURING THE HOLS? Send us an email and we’ll write ABOUT GAMES, GADGETS, WEBSITES & MORE ON OUR website!

But Symbian 3 still leaves a lot to be desired feeling extremely outdated in today’s Android and iOS-dominated photograph

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news flashes in nus in 2010

For those of you that were not in the know (probably because you didn’t follow THE RIDGE this year!), here are 10 news flashes that we reported on! Look out for THE RIDGE every month in order to keep being updated on all the news relevant to you!

NUS Business Schools Falls Out of Financial Times’ R ankings

R ecess Week Brought Forward

25 January 2010 – The NUS Business School fell off the charts from its 35th position in the Financial Times’ annual list of top 100 Master of Business Administration (MBA) programmes in 2010. This was the result of technical glitches that led to respondents being disqualified, resulting in a sample that was too small for evaluation. Disqualified respondents included those who had stated their salaries in US dollars instead of Singapore dollars and those who had pre-MBA salaries that were too low.

13 February 2010 – Recess Week, which is traditionally held on the seventh week of every semester, was shifted one week ahead in Semester 2 of Academic Year 2009/2010. This was done to coincide with the Lunar New Year holidays. The move was widely criticized by students who found themselves having to juggle assignments, tests and projects without a break when they returned for the second half of the semester.

NUS Fee Hikes A nnounced

NUS Shines in Customer Satisfaction Index

18 March 2010 – NUS announced that tuition and hostel fees, which had been frozen for one year, were lifted for Academic Year 2010/2011. This would entail a 4% increase for general courses like the Arts and Social Sciences, to 10% for specialised courses like Law and Pharmacy. This would be accompanied by an increase of 20% for hostel fees. While the rates for courses would only be increased for incoming students, hostel fees would affect all students staying in hostels.

Author Meera Nair photograph Nelson Lim’s flickr stream

26 August 2010 – NUS experienced a positive growth in its Customer Satisfaction Index, rising from 69.0 in 2009 to 71.0 in 2010. This was in stark contrast to the performance of the entire educational sector, which showed a dip from 68.4 in 2009 to 65.5 in 2010. NUS also outdid NTU and SMU, which scored 69.3 and 69.8 respectively. The Customer Satisfaction Survey was conducted by SMU’s Institute of Service Excellence.



NUS Students Successfully Bid for Singapore to Host World MUN 2011 3 May 2010 – The World Model United Nations (WorldMUN) 2011, which takes place in March 2011, will be held in Singapore. This is the result of a successful application made by NUS students Sharmeen Alam and Ngiam Jing Zhi in April 2010. This will be the first time a WorldMUN conference, which is a studentorganised academic simulation of the United Nations, is held in Southeast Asia.

Fees for RVR F rozen

A rrival of the Youth Olympic F lame

14 June 2010 – NUS announced that the fees for older blocks in Ridge View Residences (RVR) would not be subject to the fee hikes in Academic Year 2010/2011. This decision was made in light of student feedback which brought to attention the differences in the states of these blocks as compared to the other hostels. The fees will be revised again in Academic Year 2011/2012.

6 August 2010 – The annual NUS Rag Day was done in the spirit of the Youth Olympic Games, with floats from the various halls of residences being designed after one of the six cities the Flame visited. The Rag Day culminated in the arrival of the Youth Olympic Flame and the lighting of the Games cauldron by President S R Nathan and athletes Amanda Lim and Silas Abdul Razak.

F reshmen Co - op Members upon M atriculation

NUSSU Council Elections

22 July 2010 – Incoming freshmen were made Co-op members upon matriculation. This meant that they did not have to pay the $5 membership fee that seniors have to pay. As Co-op members, they will receive a 10% discount when purchasing selected items at all Co-op stores. This membership will be valid for the tenure of their undergraduate studies and is the result of a partnership between the NUS Students’ Union and the NUS Co-op.

17 September 2010 – For the first time in many years, there was a contest for the position of NUSSU president. Ang Yu Qian, the former president of the School of Design and Environment Club, pit himself against Christopher Cheong, the vice-president of the 31st Executive Committee in a bid to assume presidency. Cheong emerged the victor while Ang was appointed as vicepresident.

State of the University A ddress 11 October 2010 – NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan spoke at the annual State of the University Address, together with Deputy President Professor Tan Eng Chye. They gave updates on issues ranging from the University Town, to the upcoming NUS Bachelor of Environmental Studies programme, an NUS research institute within Suzhou Industrial Park and the proposed Yale-NUS liberal arts college. For more information, see page 9.



Top 10 quotes in 2010

The year 2010 was a whirlwind of a year. With the SYOG, the signing of a memorandum of understanding between NUS and Yale and the brief suspension of operations of THE RIDGE and many other events transpiring, we present here a series of quotes that charactise how the year went by. 01 “This Liberal Arts education model... will become increasingly valued in the future, by high-potential students, and by employers and society” – President of NUS, Tan Chorh Chuan at the State of the University Address on the proposed Yale-NUS Liberal Arts College

02 “We look forward to the NUS administration’s fulfillment of its promise to engage students more seriously with regards to future school policies.”

–Statement 5 of the Joint Statement on NUS Tuition and Hostel Fee Increment by the 31st NUSSU Council and the 2009/2010 NUS Hall JCRCs

03 “I understand Singaporeans’ concerns about taking in so many foreign workers and immigrants. Can they adjust to us, and we to them?” – Prime Minister’s Speech on National Day, 2010 (see our article on “Us versus Them” in the September issue or on our website)

04 “Life is a long and often difficult journey, and what Jack and his family are going through is what he might have presented in his own movie, except that this time it is about himself.”

– Mr George Yeo, Minister for Foreign Affairs on the Jack Neo sex scandal on his blog

05 “The cancellation of publication is a deviation from the working agreement... as author suhas bhat

NUSSU Executive Committee has no authority to interfere or dictate the workflow and publication dates of the ridge.” – Hurrairah Bin Sohail, ex-Chief Editor of THE RIDGE after deciding to suspend THE RIDGE in Semester 2, Academic Year 2009-10

06 “The reason no one cared about THE RIDGE not being in publication is because of its subpar articles. Not only are the issues addressed not attention grabbing, but the manner in which they are presented is atrocious. Anyone with a decent grasp of the English language will be able to spot at least 10 grammatical errors in any one article. ”

line first. To be a champion, you have to inspire admiration for your character.” – Opening Ceremony Speech by President Jacques Rogge, of the International Olympic Committee

10 “6th August 2010. Remember this day forever. This was the day we gave our very best, the day we made history, the day we celebrated friendships and forged memories... and proudly showed the whole of NUS what it means to be a Science Fac student.” – Ding Li, President of Science Faculty Club after Science Faculty won the Chancellor’s Shield on Rag Day 2010

– Anushangi, a former NUS student, commenting on THE RIDGE’s website. THE RIDGE was revamped and a new editorial board appointed.

07 “It’s not the people but the ideas that matter.”

– Ang Yu Qian, the Vice-President of NUS Students’ Union after losing to Christopher Cheong on the 32nd NUSSU Exco Elections for the post of President and being nominated as the Vice-Presidential candidate

08 “I have precious memories of our 63 years together. Without her, I would be a different man, with a different life.” – Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew’s eulogy for Mrs Lee

09 You will learn the difference between winning and being a champion. To win, you merely have to cross the finish

“It’s not the people but the ideas that matter.” Ang yu qian, nussu vice president



fter thirteen weeks of essays, projects and assignments, you have earned a well deserved break. Put away your textbooks and notes and relax. Go watch a film, a play, read a book or listen to Justin Beiber, though THE RIDGE is not liable for any physical or emotional damage suffered from the latter. Here are a couple of things to get you started! If you’re a bookworm, snug up with Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. The first instalment of his Millennium Trilogy, this book is the ultimate thriller. Set in underground Sweden, it explores a number of social, contemporary issues that has kept Larsson’s trilogy on the New York Times’ bestseller list for a while now. For the politically inclined, Tony Blair’s memoir, A Journey: My Political Life is well worth checking out, as we see the real face behind the person who sent Britain into the Iraq War. There is an engaging chapter about Diana, Princess of Wales that’s worth reading. Film buffs, take note! Hitting the

Things You Should Probably Do During The Holidays Or else innocent, cute looking kittens will die. box office in December are Little Fockers (December 23) and Skyline (December 1). Remember Gaylord Focker? No? Okay, then, remember Greg Focker from Meet The Parents? Well he’s back, and with more baggage than what an Airbus A380 can carry. There are two new additions to the family, five-year olds Samantha and Henry Focker. With his father-in-law still out to get him, and now a son who has a for knack of walking in at all the wrong moments, Greg’s life has become more than just a little crazy. Attention all conspiracy theorists and doomsayers! When a mysterious light hypnotises all of Los Angeles, it becomes a

question of survival against odds stacked higher than the U.S. Bank Tower. The light’s alluring presence makes people disappear, and it might just be the work of extraterrestrials. The human race is in danger and there seems to be no way out. Be sure to catch Skyline in the cinemas!


ballet production is The Sleeping Beauty which runs from December 16 to December 19. This story, aside from being one of the most well loved fairytales of all time, is a beautiful classical ballet piece. It is staged by the Singapore Dance Theatre. That’s not all. If you crave for more, be sure to check out the extended version of this article on our website. We’re always happy to help. Happy Holidays!

For the play enthusiasts, be sure to hit the theatres for a delectable line up of plays that are bound to bring back your childhood memories. In celebration of its tenth anniversary, local production unit W!LD RICE is restaging the popular fairytale story of Cinderella, Cinderel-LAH!, with a local twist. It runs from November 25 to December 11. Another famous fairytale enacted as a full-length

author saheli roy choudhury + photograph Various sources from the internet



The Harry Potter Phenomena How the magic began


he year was 1990. On a delayed train from Manchester to London, a scrawny, bespectacled eleven year old boy wizard walked into J.K Rowling’s mind. The rest was history.

adventures beyond our wildest imagination.

Success did not come quick. After experiencing the death of her mother and coming out from a bitter divorce, Rowling struggled with life as a single mother; juggling her writing Rowling went on to create an with trying to make ends meet imaginary world, a worthy rival to J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth and to take care of her daughter. It was during this time when consisting of magic, mysteries, she completed Harry Potter elves and unicorns, prophecies, and the Philosopher’s Stone, wizards, Quidditch (the list goes scribbling the first few drafts of on). Beneath all of that, Harry the novel on paper napkins in Potter is the story of a boy, and various cafes around Edinburgh. his coming of age as he deals with antagonistic relatives, quirky The manuscript was then finally typed out with an old manual professors, a magical castle and

Rowling as a Child: J.K Rowling was born on 31st July, 1965, in the town of Chipping Sodbury, in Gloucestershire, England. She had a generally happy childhood, though she remembers getting teased because of her name, often being called “rowling pin”. She already enjoyed writing as a child, completing her first book about a rabbit called Rabbit when she was five or six.

author Jocelyn Yeo + photograph

typewriter and sent to twelve publishing houses, all of which rejected it. It was only a year later when Bloomsbury, a small publishing house in London finally accepted Rowling’s manuscript, all thanks to the eight year old daughter of the chairman, who, after being given the first chapter to review, immediately demanded for more. In June 1997, the first 1000 copies of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone were published in the UK, half of which were given to libraries. Today, more than 400 million copies of the seven Harry Potter

books are being printed and sold all around the world. And that’s about a hundred times the size of Singapore’s population! Not only that, the books been translated into sixty seven languages! The growing acclaim for the Harry Potter novels levitated J.K Rowling to great fame and success, even before one could say Wingardium Leviosa. Rowling remains one of the richest women in the world with Forbes estimating her net worth to be $1 billion. On the January 11, 2007, Rowling wrote the last sentence of the final novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in a


£300-a-night room in Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh - a far cry from her humble beginnings. The seventh novel met with record breaking sales as fans all over the world queued up, some as early as 24 hours before the release, to grab their long preordered copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was, perhaps, one of the most significant days for many fans as they devoured the much anticipated novel with rapt attention, while the magic, the battles, the love and the loss weaved into a poetic finish.


Hallows will be released in two parts. Directed by David Yates (who also directed the fifth and sixth films), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is set to be the darkest installment ever with many of the major characters we’ve grown to love being killed off. The final battle between good and evil hits the box office on November 18 in Singapore, bringing with it the penultimate step before the end of an era. (That is about a week before our finals, for us unfortunate NUS students. But that is certainly not a good enough reason to miss it!)

Following the success of the novels, the first Harry Potter And what a magical era it has movie premiered in 2001, which been! topped the box office charts at a record setting $976,457,891 worldwide gross. While it remains the most successful Harry Potter film to date, the latter five that followed were also met with great success and critical acclaim, paving way for the three young actors - Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson who now remain among the world’s richest teenagers. Twenty years on, from that fateful day on the train, millions of fans around the world wait in anticipation for the release of the series’ final movie installment. Harry Potter and the Deathly

Harry Potter on the Web: Pottermania is everywhere! Even the Muggle internet has been touched by the magic. Here are some sites to keep you occupied till The Deathly Hallows hits box offices everywhere: 1. When he isn’t out trying to kill the Chosen One, catch up with Lord Voldermort on twitter @Lord_Voldermort7 2. Pick up some Harry Potter pick up lines on Facebook 3. Explore Hogwarts’ online presence at



4 stand-up comedians, 1 queen, a night of laughter T

he Kings and Queen of Comedy Asia provided a night of spleen-tearing laughter for those of us who were fortunate enough to be there at Singapore Conference Hall on 22 October. It was a two-day long stand-up comedy event that hit our shores for the first time ever. The first of the two days was held in Singapore while the second was held in Kuala Lumpur.


got more responsive to his jokes and he ended his segment with a wonderful and – dare I say, uncanny – parody of Justin Timberlake and Timbaland’s Sexyback. The night was just getting started when the second act from India took the stage. Vir Das (who played “Chandu” in the Bollywood hit “Badmaash Company”) has done over a hundred stand-ups in India, and his experience showed. With a string of sex-oriented jokes, ranging from car sex, to drunken sex, to Apu ravaging Marge on the counter, Vir proved himself a master in the risqué.


The show opened with a rap performance by Jayzone that prolonged the anticipation in the audience for the first act.

And who better to get everyone off their seats than Kumar? The only Queen amongst the Kings, he made his entrance to wild cheering and applause from the crowd.

Unfortunately for the audience, Kumar was there only to host the show. Even then, this born entertainer kept everyone engaged with his dirty jokes and slapstick humour after each performance by the Kings. Dressed in a loud, attention grabbing silk gown, with his long hair tied back, Queen Kumar let loose the first of his many one liners. “I’m the only Queen, and yet I’m taller than all the Kings.”

The first King of the night was Douglas Lim. Hailing from Malaysia, Douglas’s act was the shortest of the lot. It was a while before the audience warmed up to his jokes about how the Chinese have “helped small countries win ping pong”. Pot shots aside, the crowd

author + Photographer Charlyn Ang

One of his strongest points of the night was his pitch-perfect mimicry of Apu and Marge. What more can you expect from a Knox College graduate who later spent a year at Harvard? Maybe a few digs at Mark Zuckerberg?

In fact, Vir Das was so stunningly smooth that night, ricocheting from topic to topic and his locker room jokes flowing flawlessly from one to the other. Before we knew it, he was talking about drugs and then marriage - “An Indian man’s most unhappy day is his wedding day. With all these things being shoved into our faces and all sorts of stuff being thrown into our eyes, WE CAN’T SEE THE BOOBS!” Next in line was Vietnamese-slash-Australian King, Hung Le.


Hung, unlike Douglas and Das, was more animated as he dashed onto the stage with a bit of bling around his neck. Hung made the funniest comments for the direst situations - when leaving Vietnam after the war, “we quickly packed our bags and fed the dog… to Grandma.” For the most part, Hung’s jokes were centered around his life and his misadventures. From talking about eating cornflake-sandwiches, to telling an American soldier that “(They) don’t use that part of the dog” when seeing a hot dog, Hung was undoubtedly the most quotable King for the night. He talked about Vietnamese banks that claim “your Dong is safe in our hands” and of his trip to Japan and his endeavours in the toilet.


He shared with us his newly married status, and talked a lot about how things in Malaysia worked. We were taught some Malaysian expressions such as “eh leh le”, a phrase that “doesn’t mean anything but means everything.” The audience also learnt that in Malaysia, when watching TV, it’s better to read the subtitles because they “have it in three languages, one line on top of the other so that it covers half the screen, and the subtitles are 10 seconds faster so we know what happens before it actually happens anyway!.”



And according to Hung, “Forget Bangkok, Bangkok’s the Vietnamese word for virgin.” One could tell he was quite attached to his family too, since he understood his mother’s sentiments on risotto well enough to quote her, “Risotto is my mother’s way of saying ‘Who f***ed up the rice?!’”

The last King of comedy was more of a teddy bear than a comedian. Dressed up in a blue suit and a bald head, Harith Iskander was a cheerful and blithe fellow. He was quick at getting cosy with the audience when he recounted the warning he was given about bringing packets of cigarettes through customs despite noting that Singapore is presently a country of smokers. “106 PSI? You guys rock, man! You’re almost Malaysian!” he declared.

Harith’s last joke had him dramatising a scene of what could be CSI: Malaysia. It featured him as a sexy female inspector in a baju kurung. Take note, Jerry Bruckheimer! The night was filled with multiculturalism. With comedians speaking in a host of languages including Chinese, Malay and Tamil to an audience comprising largely of people who spoke none of those languages, the night was a stark reminder of how comedy transcends language. It was a night where five funny people made the audience laugh. I had such a fantastic time that I honestly feel bad that you are getting a second-hand recount. Do be sure to check these comedians out when they next come to Singapore! You can probably find them on YouTube as well! *Kings & Queen was organised by The Comedy Club Asia, an organisation dedicated to building up the stand-up comedy scene in the region with shows held in Singapore, KL, Jakarta and Bali. More information on their activities can be found on



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he University Cultural Centre, where the TeamNUS Awards Ceremony recently took place, served as a classy backdrop for an exclusive interview with Jasmine Ser. The national shooter has been taking a break in between her recent successes at the Commonwealth Games and her intense training for the upcoming Guangzhou Asian Games and Olympics. The petite shooter was a picture of warmth as she greeted me. As we proceeded on with the interview at Olio Café, the buzz around us was evident but not intrusive, which suited Ser who confessed to be a private person outside of the shooting range. Having declined the offer of a coffee (I ordered a long black), it was time to get the conversation under way.

Upon congratulating Ser for her medal haul of 2 golds and 2 silvers, she remarked that she was thankful to be involved in winning more medals for Singapore. Ser added that Team Singapore didn’t have the best of everything at the Delhi Games with construction of the Games Village still incomplete upon the team’s arrival there. Security was also a concern, with commandoes being deployed on the bus en route to the competition venue. It was remarkable, thus, that ”everyone did a great job and [we] concentrated on what [we] needed to do.” When asked about her aspirations for the upcoming Guangzhou Asiad, Ser stated that her main aim is to perform to her personal best and that she doesn’t have any medal expectations for the Asian Games. It was an approach that served Ser well during her last Asian Games outing in Qatar in 2006, when she burst onto the regional shooting scene as a precocious 16

Author Joseph Chin + Photographer spencer tan // suss photography


year old, snagging a silver in the 10m Air Rifle event with her sister Adrienne Ser and fellow shooter Vanessa Yong. Ser was just as sanguine when asked to rate her rivals at the Asiad, citing China and South Korea as the powerhouses in shooting. It’s not all serious business at these meets, though, as she recounts meeting fellow athletes from different countries during different international meets, even getting a glimpse of World No. 1 badminton player Lin Dan at the Qatar Games. Having picked up shooting in Secondary 1, Ser attributes her steady rise up as a matter of daily practice as well as winning every year in the national schools competitions. These stellar performances earned her a call-up to the national shooting team. Her profile increased with the recent advertising campaign by Canon which featured Team Singapore athletes such as swimmer Tao Li and footballer Hariss Harun and involved being filmed for 3 days in her shooting gear and rifle. Yet it’s not just glitz and glamour as an athlete as evident in her typical training regime. “In the morning I’ll train for my 50m event and then I’ll go back to Safra Yishun and I spend about 1½ hours in the gym with a short break before I train for my 10m event,” she elaborated. With the spotlight trained on her, the pressure can get very intense. To keep herself in perspective, Ser said that she avoids getting too proud of her achievements. On balancing her increasing workload as a national shooter and an undergraduate, Ser states, “It can get quite taxing at times as I am

too tired to study when I return home”. As a testament to her drive to succeed and focus on shooting, Ser has thus taken a leave of absence this semester to focus on her shooting having started training since May 2010. Despite her busy schedule, Jasmine manages to squeeze in some family time in front of the TV. She enjoys reading autobiographies like those of Lance Armstrong and Andre Agassi as well as ‘Outliers’ by Malcolm Gladwell. She revealed that her refrigerator always contains chocolate and orange juice and that her iPod contains an eclectic collection of songs from contemporary hits by Katy Perry to more classic songs by Mariah Carey. While Ser was thankful that there has been more interest on shooting, she advised newcomers to the sport that it is not easy and that “a lot of effort is needed to concentrate and control your mind and body”. As we exchanged pleasantries and bade each other farewell, I was convinced that she was definitely shooting for the stars.


A Sport A Month A concise take on shooting (with contribution from national shooters Zhang Jin and Jasmine Ser) How to shoot?

There are 2 events officially sanctioned for the Olympics for air rifles. In the 50m 3 positions, one needs to garner an aggregate score from 3 shooting positions in an outdoor range. A shooter will initially start in a prone position (shooting while lying down) before shooting while standing up and then end off in a kneeling position. Each round consists of 3×40 shots for men and 3×20 shots for women. It is more challenging than the 10m air rifle which is executed with a lighter rifle while standing up and done indoors in a shooting range

What equipment to get?

1) An air-propelled rifle ($4000) but is available as a common pool under the Singapore Shooting Association. The weapon weighs 5kg and has 2 rings spaced apart from each other. A shooter aligns the rings on top of each other and takes aim. 2) A customized suit ($1000) made of canvas with reinforced support for the back to ensure stability. 3) Specialized cotton gloves ($100) with wrist support 4) Flat soled shoes with stiff ankle guards ($400) Most of the above equipment is provided by the NUS Air Weapons for its members.

Where to shoot?

SAFRA Yishun has a range for people to practice. Alternatively, NUS has an Air Weapons team which holds trials at the start of every academic year.

What is a typical training routine?

There are basic shooting practices to train the accuracy of shots. Gym sessions are also put in place to increase fitness as well as work on muscles and stability as the leg and back muscles are important to maintain posture. Visualization practices help drill the steps such that shooting becomes instinctual during competitions.

Why shoot?

Shooting is a sport which can be enjoyed even after you hit middle age. Some shooters continue shooting at this age range as opposed to most intensive sports which restrict participants to a certain age ceiling due to the physical requirements. It is also a performance-based sport which rewards hard work and yet allows people to enjoy even without prior experience.


50 sports

Why did you choose volleyball? I like the fact that it’s a team sport and that in success or failure, you’re never alone.

INTERVIEW with K ailin (Volleyball Girls’ Captain) author Prateek Sinha + Photograph Kailin

How would you describe yourself? I would say I am outgoing and easy-going as I enjoy interacting with people and participating in camps like the teamNUS Summit that have been arranged by our student leaders. However, I can be assertive too when I have to get things done. How long have you been playing? I’ve started playing this sport since secondary

sports 51 achieve our shared goals of wanting to win.

1 and, although it was really difficult at the start, I’ve never regretted it since. How do you keep the team together? We spend a lot of time training together, about 3-4 times a week during competition season sometimes even during weekend nights and public holidays. This allows us to naturally grow closer as a team.

What’s next? Right after our recent win in the Singapore University Games (SUniG), we have been playing in the Singapore Women’s Opens Championships and we are currently into the 3rd round of the competition. After that, quite a number of us will be representing the Singapore contingent in the ASEAN University Games held in Chiang Mai in December. This will also serve as good exposure as the Institute-Varsity-Polytechnic (IVP) Games will be held in early January. We hope to retain our title for that as well. How do you balance studies with your training? We somehow have to! There have to be sacrifices definitely and

or matches. I guess we just have to make full use of whatever time we have apart from school and volleyball.

the opponent’s spikes. This is important as blocking is our first line of defence against our opponent’s attack.

How do you bounce back after a loss?

What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?

We sit down and evaluate it together studying what went wrong and what can be improved. There is no point in dwelling on the past and we can only look forward and try to perform better the next time. Any advice for people new to the sport? You might find it frustrating when you cannot play like how you envision it to be like. It is difficult especially at the start, so don’t give up! Everyone just needs more practice and time to get used to volleyball just like any other sport. What’s your role in the team? Apart from our setter,

What’s your and your team’s motivation? I would say that we motivate one another. We have this common understanding of how much the team means to us and we all train very hard together to

that translates to less time spent with other friends, for example. We do meet up often to study before trainings

the rest of us are attackers/spikers. I play in the centre position and also help to block

I believe our team has the players who can make it happen. We train hard together, and we have flexible players who can play well at different positions, making it possible for our formations to become more fluid. However, there are key players graduating at the end of this semester so I believe one area of improvement would be to increase our focus on the younger players so as to increase their exposure on court. Byron, while joking said: ‘Hope that the volleyball girls won’t stand in their way [for the President’s Sports Awards 2011].’ Your comments. Well they certainly weren’t in our way this year (I’m joking as well)! We will definitely try our best to do well again next year and hopefully see both our teams at the 2011 awards ceremony!



42 tips for your first 42 km Y

ou can run but you cannot hide from it – the “running bug” has hit Singapore. Over the past three years or so, the number of runs and the number of runners has increased. For this year’s Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, a total of 19,400 runners will be running 42.195km in the Full Marathon Category.

Here are 42 tips for those of you who will be pushing your bodies to the limits for the first time!


Find different running routes and distances. This prevents training from getting boring.


Try running on trails and different terrains; it forces you to pay attention to your running posture, improving stability and flexibility.


Hill trainings can help you work on your stride length and frequency.


Clock enough mileage before attempting the marathon. You’re advised to at least accomplish a 30km training run before the race.


Vary your training; mix up some long runs with tempo runs.


Find a buddy and motivate each other along the way. It’s a long journey before you even start the race.


Rest. Sufficient rest prevents injuries and keeps you fresh.


Over-training only strains your muscles, causing fatigue, exhaustion and injuries.


Take care of your joints, you are supposed to run, not pound every step.


Pay attention to your running posture. Poor running posture can lead to injuries in your ankles, shin, knees and even back.


Pick the right shoes for you. Running shoes should provide you with the right support and cushioning you need for your specific running style.


Visit running labs or certain sports brand outlets for a quick running consultation.


Your shoes have a certain mileage, make sure they can take your training and race.


Break into your new shoes. Running a race on a brand new pair will kill your feet, your training and race.


Run with socks. A good pair keep your feet dry and prevent blisters.


Invest in good apparel, dry-fit material keeps your skin cool and prevents heat exhaustion.


Compression gear is a waste of money if you do not know how to use it correctly.


Pace yourself in your training. Work on your cardio fitness and muscular endurance.


Find a training programme and stick to it.


Gradually increase your mileage and intensity.


Warming up is important to prevent injuries.


Set yourself a goal and train focused on achieving the target.

author chow yong jun



Swing your arms. Your arms and legs move in sync; swinging your hands faster will force your legs to go faster.


Training on an empty stomach does not help you burn more fats.



Watch your diet, carbo-loading does not mean gluttony.


Keep your muscles relaxed and control your breathing.


Taper your training towards race day.

Make use of the hydration points. You paid for the water and isotonic drinks!


Visualize your runs. Familiarity with your body and the race route will help you feel comfortable on race day.



Prepare your mind for a tough run. Nobody said it was going to be easy.


Knowing when to stop is important. Live to race another day. Pushing your limits does not equate to injuring yourself.


Marathons usually start in the wee mornings; sleep early.


If you are running with friends, set a link-up point at the race site, in case you get separated during the race.


Ensure you hydrate sufficiently during trainings and the day before; not just on race day.


Cool down after the race; don’t rush off to reward yourself to a hearty buffet.


To have an enjoyable race, be polite and courteous. Give way to those over-taking.


Do it with a smile. Take in the sights and sounds. Enjoy the experience.


A small breakfast before your race is necessary, a slice or two of bread will do.


Prepare a race belt if you need to carry power-gel packs.


Have a race plan; set intermediary timings at certain distance markers.


Pace yourself on race day. There are always pacers, sticking to them is a good way.


If you are off your race plan, do not get anxious to increase your pace. Slowly cut down the timing.

There’s so much more to learn about running. Talk to an experienced runner and just keep running.

And all I have to say now is: “Run Forrest, Run!”



Windows Phone 7: This Changes Everything do you remember windows mobile? C hances are, many of you have never even heard of Microsoft’s smartphone offering in a market overwhelmed by iPhones and Androids. Windows Mobile was the de facto standard for smartphones before the iPhone burst into the scene in 2007, in a time where people did not even care what operating system ran on their phones, as long as it worked. Windows Mobile, even at version 6.5, struggled in the face of the iPhone’s slick hardware and user-friendly interface, and its marketshare steadily declined. The situation worsened with the launch of Google’s Android, and Windows Mobile became the joke of the smartphone establishment, bearing the brunt of much cruel disdain. It was basically a massive disappointment from the world’s biggest software maker. But in February 2010, Microsoft stunned the entire world by announcing Windows Phone 7 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. What was even more amazing was the fact that

author raymond lau + photograph microsoft/gizmodo

their latest mobile operating system (OS) offering was actually good, and something that people got excited about. This isn’t some half-hearted attempt to slap a desktop OS onto a phone; this is akin to Microsoft wiping the slate clean and tailoring a phone OS from scratch, with beautiful results. Windows Phone 7 features a refreshing user interface with large, colourful tiles and crisp, clear text, and is remarkably different from the regular grid of app icons you get on other phones. But enough about the OS – I’m not here to write a review of Windows Phone 7; that part has been shredded to bits on tech blogs all over the web (A well-done, comprehensive review can be found at http:// mobile/wp7.asp). THE RIDGE had the privilege of attending a Windows Phone 7 demo at Microsoft HQ Singapore, and after playing around with an LG Optimus 7, we’re going to tell you why Windows Phone 7 might just be an undergraduate student’s best friend.


The user interface is gorgeous and useful Ok, so this is hardly the most important factor, but good heavens, the user interface (UI) sure is pretty. The entire interface practically flows from one end to the other, one menu to the next. It’s so buttery smooth I get weak-kneed, every time I see it in action. The fluid interface, codenamed “Metro”, is a panoramic experience that extends across several screens. A little bit of cut-off text tells you to swipe left or right to discover more.


Everybody loves choices

relevant information from the web in real-time. The People hub, for instance, isn’t a contacts list per se. On top of displaying your recent contacts, the hub also displays the latest status updates from your Facebook friends and integrates their contact info in to your phone. Similarly, the Pictures hub collects all picture related tasks into one smooth interface.

Instead of little app icons, Windows Phone 7 utilises a clever feature called hubs. After you take some effort to set up your Facebook and Windows Live accounts, these hubs start to pull in

With some notable exceptions such as the Xbox, Microsoft does not manufacture hardware. It is primarily a software company, and it licenses the software it makes to other device manufacturers. Unlike the iPhone, which only comes in one single model, there will be a hell lot of devices running Windows Phone 7, allowing for great diversification in the market. Like physical keyboards? Look out for the Dell Venue Pro. Like taking photos? LG preloads a sweet camera app on its Windows Phone 7 phones.

the naming convention yet? Starhub will offer the HTC Mozart 7, LG Optimus 7, and Samsung Omnia 7. Finally, the HTC Trophy and Samsung Omnia 7 will be coming to M1. Several other devices by other companies such as Sony Ericsson are in the works. The older generation calls us fickle; but we say we like our choices! With the variety of hardware manufacturers releasing their own designs, there’s bound to be a Windows Phone out there for you. And I hear some of you are still waiting for your white iPhone 4!

At the time or writing, SingTel will offer the Samsung Omnia 7, HTC HD7 (exclusive to SingTel), and the LG Optimus 7. Noticed

Big on the cloud Windows Phone 7 is big on the cloud. That’s just a fancy way of saying the phone automatically pushes and pulls information to and from the Internet in realtime. For example, once you set up your Facebook account, Windows Phone 7 starts pulling in your contacts, photos, status updates etc. of all your friends and integrates them into their respective hubs. This is a huge deal for students, since we practically live most of our lives on Facebook! You can also synchronise your various calendars across the web, such as Google

Calendar, Outlook Calendar, or Windows Live Calendar right onto your phone in a tightlystyled calendar app. But wait, there’s more: if you configure a Windows Live account, you can let your phone instantly sync all your pictures to your SkyDrive or Facebook as you take each snapshot. It works brilliantly as a back-up and/or sharing tool, ensuring that your data is intact even if you lose your phone. But what if you really do lose your phone? Windows Phone 7 has a nifty feature called “Find my Phone”, which is completely free of charge. Let’s say you

lose your phone, but you’re not sure it it’s actually at home somewhere. You can log in to with your Windows Live ID and force your phone to ring, even if it’s on silent mode. If you’re sure that your phone is lost somewhere, you can then try locating your phone via GPS, or lock your phone and tell it to display a customised message, such as your plea for its return. When all else fails, you can tell your phone to erase all data on it. A handy service for careless and poor students like us!

photograph microsoft/gizmodo



Xbox Live In a nutshell, Xbox Live is something no other phone maker has. Integrated into the Games hub, Xbox Live features full avatar integration and customization (shake your phone and your avatar will stumble and fall), messaging, friend lists and statuses, high scores, achievements and leaderboards. But how’s this for awesome: unlock achievements or items on a Windows Phone 7 game, and it’s available on the actual Xbox game? It’s coming, folks!

Windows Phone 7 since its announcement in February. I have a word limit, y’all! (If you’re not a gamer, you probably understood less than half of the previous paragraph, anyway.)

This is big only if you’re a serious gamer, and if you’re a serious gamer, I’ll assume you’re pretty geeky. If you’re pretty geeky, I’ll assume you’ll have read all about

The bottom-line So there you have it. Five strong reasons why Windows Phone 7, with its integrative experience and powerful mobile productivity apps, could well be the perfect companion to our busy student lives. There’s really no doubt that Windows Phone 7 represents a legitimate attempt by Microsoft to break back into the smartphone wars. But the OS has some very serious limitations, too. The copy-and-paste functionality, for instance, is currently unavailable, and will only be coming via a software update

author raymond lau + photograph microsoft/gizmodo

in early 2011. There is no multitasking, not even the crippled sort found in the iPhone. Also, the phone OS does not support tethering. All these problems could be solved via future updates, but their absence will deal a serious blow to Microsoft considering how many power users will avoid being early adopters. Nevertheless, let’s not forget that this is merely version 1.0 of one of the most exciting products to come out of Microsoft. Version 1.0 of the iPhone and Android both left a lot to be desired, too. Sure,

the cynic might say Microsoft is 3 years too late to the game, but Windows Phone 7 has many compelling features that warrant that we at least try it out in our nearest Telco’s shop before we judge. 


Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Ubuntu - Linux for human Beings, (pronounced “ooBOON-too” ). This opensource operating system (OS) is named after an African concept of the same name that roughly means “humanity towards others”. Its similar to saying “A single straw of a broom can be broken easily, but the straws together are not easily broken”. The OS itself has evolved over the years to become something of spectacle. Much like it’s unique date and time of release (10-10-2010 at 10.10 pm) the latest version of Ubuntu is very impressive and sui generis.

author Arnab Ghosh

SO WHAT IS LINUX? Linux refers to the family of Unix-like computer operating systems using the Linux kernel. It is a FOSS (free and open source software). This means that it is collaboratively developed and no one company is solely responsible for it. Being an open-source software, just about anyone can look at how it works and file bug reports if they spot one, much like how Wikipedia works. Although Windows and OS X are predominant in the personal computing devices; everything from the New York Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange to Symbian and Android in mobile phones as well as the top ten super computers in the world runs on Linux. It is also the leading server OS, used in many big firms from animation powerhouse Disney to online sales company to online search giant, Google.

If Linux is the OS what is Ubuntu? Ubuntu is also an OS, based on the Linux kernel. It includes a very customisable graphical user interface (GUI). It is also an FOSS, making it the world’s largest OS based entirely on contributions by the masses. According to The Guardian, “Ubuntu is like the iPhone, anything you’d care to do, there’s an app for that”. In essence, Ubuntu offers the flexibility and customisation options that are only limited by your imagination. Ubuntu, unlike other OSes, includes in its package some FOSS like productivity suite Open Office, graphics editor GIMP, and web browser Firefox among others, out of the box (OOTB). Thus you don’t have to spend your precious time downloading and installing them and can get productive almost instantly!




Features you might like about Ubuntu Extremely secure Ubuntu is notorious for its sturdy and stalwart security features, not least because of the fact that Ubuntu is immune to all virus attacks. That’s right - NO viruses, NO malware. NO periodic antivirus scans that take up too much of your precious time and computer space. NO need to pay big money to hotshot antivirus companies, just for a few days of false security! :D Ultra light Ubuntu is literally quick on its feet. The latest incarnation of the OS has been touted to boot up in under 20 seconds. That’s about the amount of time you take to simply plug your power supply to your laptop and to a power socket! No more do you have press the Power button and wait till your beard grows back, for the OS to boot in its entirety. Super fancy Ubuntu is renowned for its wide array of graphic tweaks that can be manipulated to make each Ubuntu machine unique compared to the other. In no other OS can you make raindrops appear on your screen or fill your windows with soap bubbles without installing five other freeware! Its social Ubuntu’s new Me Menu lets you access your Facebook and Twitter accounts straight from the desktop. You can connect to all your favourite chat channels and make updates through a single window. Now you have no more excuses for being out-of-touch. :P Music Ubuntu has some interesting features for its music infatuated audience too. If you have hundreds of songs, and need to preview a certain one you do not have to click on it, just hover over the song and the track will play. An instant preview of sorts. No more wasting time on double clicking and waiting for your media player to load. You can also stream music to your phone, thanks to an Ubuntu app for the iPhone and Android. Multilingüe [Spanish for Multilingual] Ubuntu has native support for over 100 languages,ranging from Afrikaans to Zulu, and easy access to new translations when they are made. It is a truly international operating system. So much so, that you can even submit your own translations! Multi-touch The latest version of Ubuntu also has full multi touch support, including pinch-to-zoom, two-finger-scroll and mutli-finger rotating. So you can now flick through photos, swipe across webpages and play around with the graphics, much like what you can do on your phones these days.

Ubuntu releases a new version of its OS every 6 months, so you don’t have to wait years to look forward to a faster, more secure, and much better OS .Coupled with the very unique naming convention [First name being an adjective and the second an animal both following the laws of alliteration the 10.04 version was called Lucid Lynx, and 11.04 will be called Natty Narwhal.], this OS is bound to get you going the open-source way. There is also a netbook version of Ubuntu that is designed for smaller screens and runs screaming fast on every netbook and most older desktops out there. Compared to the slower Windows, Ubuntu definitely makes life harder for those PCs with older versions of Windows. So what are you waiting for? Go give the Meerkat a spin asap at today. =)



byte sized for november Apple reveals new 11” MacBook Air After proclaiming netbooks as trash and not worth its time, Apple went ahead and made one anyway. The 11” MacBook Air (there’s also a 13” model), like all Apple products, looks gorgeous. Featuring a high-resolution display, long battery life and faster flash storage, the new Air models are a significant upgrade. Unfortunately, the Air continues to be blighted by a ridiculously high price tag, old processor models, and the nagging fact that you don’t need it. Unless you’re out to make a fashion statement with your laptop, we suggest going with the base white MacBook instead which is more powerful and in the same price range. No brainer, right?

VLC Media Player releases iPhone app

Wi-Fi Direct could destroy Bluetooth

VLC Media Player, the swiss army knife-equivalent for media players, finally has a version for the iPhone and iPod touch after flirting around with the iPad. We can imagine the cheering going on everywhere: no more clunky conversion of formats just for them to work on the iPhone! VLC can play almost any file format you throw at it, including AVI and MKV. Just a few months ago, Apple would have rejected this app because it duplicated the functionality of its built-in media player. Aren’t you glad that they’re (slightly) more understanding now?

The non-profit Wi-Fi Alliance is rolling out Wi-Fi Direct, a new specification that enables devices to connect to each other on the fly without the need for a hotspot or an access point. This includes cameras, laptops, printers and even mobile phones. You can challenge your friends to a game, share photos, sync devices, and more. Sounds just like Bluetooth? Well, Wi-Fi Direct is expected to provide superior connectivity over Bluetooth, due to built-in security, better connection and greater range. Although the power of ad-hoc networks created by Wi-Fi Direct pales in comparison to traditional wireless networks, this could be a great boon to our increasingly mobile lifestyle.

Adobe announces Project ROME

Android market hits 100,000 apps

Tagged as a “simple, powerful all-in-one content creation and publishing application”, Adobe’s Project ROME provides an amazingly easy way to create and publish content such as presentations, websites, and even animations. You can preview ROME right in the browser (http://rome. Don’t throw away your copy of Creative Suite 5 just yet, however; Adobe makes it clear that ROME does not replace any of its current offerings. ROME is currently free of charge; Adobe plans to announce pricing schemes soon, so hurry and give it a shot!

The solid growth pace of the Android Market hit a significant milestone in October: there are now a total of 100,000 apps in the Android Market. Although this is still a far cry from the Apple app store’s 200,000+ apps, it’s evident that the public appreciates Android as a serious contender in the smartphone arena. In fact, this could signal a tipping point in the great war - as developers get serious in the developing of apps for Android, more users are going to get on board resulting in even more serious developers. It’s a win-win for everybody!

author Raymond Lau + photograph





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Tom’s Palette


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Village Coffee House


De-coders’ Cafe

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Le J Cufflinks

Renewal Day Spa

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Red Mango -15% off all regular priced items purchased, except at SCAPE outlet -Free upsize everyday during birthday month

Simply Shiok - 10% off all regular priced items purchased

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf - 10% off all regular priced items purchased in West Coast Plaza branch

Yoshinoya - 10% off a la carte menu items at Yoshinoya Harbourfront Centre

Kublai Khan Mongolian BBQ & International Seafood Buffet Restaurant - Special Student and Staff rates

Loving Hut

- 15% discount off regular items

- 10% with a minimum bill of $20

-30% discount on organic line of treatments and products for 1st visit - 10% discount for subsequent visits - 5% discount off all retail products

Fabulous Group - 1st trial Indoor tanning at $15 - 1st Teeth whitening treatment at $499 - 1st trial Brazilian waxing at $30 for girl / $45 for guy - 1st trial Detox session at $35

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Supermarket - 10% off regular price merchandise



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Pedro Group

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Citin Hotel Pudu Kuala Lumpur

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Seven the venue

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Oishi Pizza


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just hang in there few more weeks and its party time for now don’t be stupid do your work all the best in your exams.

THE RIDGE - November 2010 Issue  

The November 2010 issue of THE RIDGE Magazine. We are the largest NUS student publication and the official publication of the National Unive...