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THE RIDGE MAGAZINE A NUSSU PUBLICATION SEPTEMBER 2010 mica approved

*THE ELECTION ISSUE

WHO WILL BE YOUR NEXT NUSSU PRESIDENT YU QIAN OR CHRISTOPHER NUSSU DECIDES

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ENTERTAINMENT SINGFEST: SMASHING PUMPKINS, KANYE WEST, KATY PERRY N US LIFESTYLE BONITOCHICO’S 4TH BIRTHDAY BASH - WE WERE INVITED WIRED THE IPAD - IS IT REALLY WORTH FUSSING OVER?


WE HAVE MOVED TO GREENER PASTURES YUP, THATS RIGHT. THE RIDGE HAS A NEW WEBSITE.

www.nussutheridge.com VISIT US TODAY AND CHECK IT OUT. WE SWEAR THE GRASS REALLY IS GREENER.

PHOTOGRAPH - FLICKR.COM - CUBA GALLERY


19

CONTENTS 12

OUTSPOKEN

LIFESTYLE

06 NUS FLASH

15 GUEST COLUMN: HO JUN YI

22 BONITOCHICOS’ BIRTHDAY BASH

08 YIH CENTRAL SQUARE REOPENS

17 YOG THUMBS UP OR DOWN

24 CHANNELING BEATRICE TAN’S LOOK

09 UTOWN PILOT PROJECTS

18 US VERSUS THEM

25 MONTHLY CALENDAR/ARTS-SDE BASH

11 PHOTOSTORY: WHEN OPPOSITION IS HEALTHY

19 ANOTHER ONE JOINS THE FOLD

26 RESTAURANT REVIEW: EVERYTHING WITH FRIES

12 NUSSU ELECTIONS - WHO WILL LEAD THE UNION

20 THE CLICK STALKER

NEWS

27 STUDENT DISCOUNT AT FOOD OUTLETS 21 CONFESSIONS OF A SINGLE FRESHIE 38 PEOPLE PROFILE: SURYA CONTESTANT

ENTERTAINMENT

SPORTS

WIRED

30 NUS INDIAN DANCE’S ANWESHANA

40 YOG FINALS

46 STARCRAFT 2 REVIEW

32 SINGFEST 2010

42 EPL CHRISTMAS PREDICTIONS

48 IPAD REVIEW

36 ‘HAUNTED CHANGI’ PREMIERE

32 37 ‘BOING BOING’ REVIEW 38 WHAT’S IN MY IPOD? 39 BOOK REVIEWS 50 SINGEST TICKET WINNERS

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06


02

Ed EDITOR’S NOTE

3 days. That’s how long it took for all the copies of THE RIDGE to be picked up last month. As you can imagine, I’m ecstatic and pleased. But surprisingly, not many people understood our beautiful new logo. So I was told to make a note of it in my next editorial by my Creative Director! Flip to the front page and check it out. THE RIDGE never had a logo before and what’s a magazine without an iconic image that etches itself into the minds of its readers? We’ll be around for a good while yet so Kaden decided to collaborate with one of our designers, Eunice Ng, and come up with a logo that we hope encapsulates what this magazine is all about. But over the last month, it has been variously described as a thumbprint, abstract art (if random squiggles qualify) and even as the outline of a flower (yes, black and white flowers are the extent of our creativity!). We’d have hoped geography students would have come to our rescue (our own News Editor, a geography student failed in interpreting the logo at first) but alas, it falls to me to rectify the grave misconceptions. The logo signifies a topographic map of the university with the contour lines

representing the hilly nature of the Kent Ridge Campus.

this magazine has always been a shared experience for hundreds of readers as well.

hear it out (send us a letter about anything). But for now, as we have been talking about the logo for so Why, you might ask? Well, what long, I’d like to dedicate the logo does the word “ridge” (that you The fact that our logo maps out the and this particular small space that find used abundantly around whole university (sorry, lawyers!) is always given to the Chief Editor you) actually mean? “A ridge is a signifies that this magazine is for to the many unsung heroes of this geological feature that features a the entire student population. magazine. I’d like to commend chain of mountains or hills that are That’s why you find a bewildering all the excellent designers and of a continuous elevated crest for diversity in the articles – there might photographers that THE RIDGE has some distance” – Wikipedia. be technological news or fashion had the privilege of being a product spreads of. Yes, I’m there, book actually reviews or You come here for the articles, quoting just relevant dear reader, but the designers, Wikipedia news for with all their hard work, grab your (having the campus attention and make you want to been a resident. read. Without them, this magazine member wouldn’t have lasted all this while. for 2 Simply put, years in we write for Please do explain the logo to the past, all of you. anyone else who doesn’t know I take what it means. pride in On a its pursuit to make knowledge more philosophical note, the And if you haven’t read our cover accessible and readily available to logo also signifies how we are story yet then do that now! the whole world). all busy pursuing the “heights of excellence”. But then, I like to think Ever walked up the path from Arts that the flatness of the contour to YIH? Or do you hang on for dear map indicates that our zealousness Chief Editor life when the buses rapidly make and competitive nature leads to a the.ridge@nussu.org.sg

SUHAS BHAT

their way upwards and downwards through the bus routes? The geographical features of this university, whether you like them or not, is a shared experience that we all know about. In the same vein,

plain evenness of our lives as we sometimes forget to see the big picture or the view from a different vantage point. I’m sure you might have your own interpretation and we’d love to

Errata (August issue):

Freshmen pp 03: SDE was not penalized for being late on account of their truck breaking down Freshman pp 07: Hsu Zhen Yang was actually the Project Director of FASS Rag Committee

I apologize for the mistakes and any inconvenience caused.


Dear Chief Editor,

Dear Chief Editor,

I liked the content of the August issue! The headlines were interesting enough to catch my attention and they were very relevant and NUS-centric. I enjoyed the Freshmen content best and I wish we had such pieces back when I was in Year 1! The language used was to my liking and I felt like THE RIDGE was a big family! Though I do wish the font size was bigger! I’d love to see more campus news (interviews with famous NUS alumni, how the NUS population views our bidding system, favourite canteen stalls and so on!) That’s all, keep up the good job!

Your magazine far exceeded my expectations. I am a freshman student at NUS and I just briefly heard about THE RIDGE.

Harry Toh

I look forward to your coming issues!

Chief Ed: Thank you, Harry. We have increased the font size and we hope the change is to your liking.

Keep it up, writers!

WE’VE GOT MAIL.

Thank you for your letter. We were very happy to hear from a freshmen student and we hope other freshmen students also liked our August issue.

I recently leafed through your August issue and it was a very pleasing experience indeed - from the Outspoken right to the Lifestyle sections. Although, I feel there could be more articles in the magazine (especially in the Outspoken and News sections), I am nonetheless impressed by the content. You have a board of talented writers!

Anonymous Freshie

IDGEmail Do write to the.ridge@nussu.org.sg 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 Chief Editor, I was one of the photographers that was approached during Rag Day 2010 to contribute his photographs to THE RIDGE for their then upcoming issue of the Magazine. This letter serves to highlight some concerns I have over the last issue of THE RIDGE. During my conversation with the representative of THE RIDGE, I highlighted that I was only able to submit my photographs within a 48 hour window instead of the requested 24 hour window, which the representative accepted. I then proceeded to submit my photographs within the proposed window as I had promised. I was hence disappointed to see that none of my photographs were used during the next issue. It also came to my attention that other FASS photographers were approached as well. This incident left me feeling slightly disappointed as I was left unaware of the larger picture in terms of who was asked and what the actual deadline was (as it turned out I had submitted my photographs too late), and I personally felt pressured to submit my products within a time frame, which I did, only to find out my photographers were not used. I fully respect the publication’s right to omit my photographs from any issue, and I also respect my fellow photographers’ work, which was very good, but the lack of clarification given to me has left me

feeling disappointed and a little angry. It is my hope that proper procedures can be put in place in terms of informing contributors of THE RIDGE’s desired contributions and the time frame clearly stipulated. I’d also like to highlight some errata made in the article on FASS Rag. Shane Koh was not the Project Director, but the Head of Manpower, and Hsu Zhen Yang was the actual Project Director of FASS Rag. Whilst these are minor errors, I do hope you take note of it. Thank you for your time, and I hope these concerns will be taken seriously. Yours Sincerely, Concerned FASS-ite Dear FASSite, I apologise for not being able to incorporate your work within the magazine. We endeavor to feature the creative output of NUS undergraduates within the magazine and in the future, we will better liase with our collaborators. We have also created a Photography department in order to better synchronize photography assignments and we invite all budding photographers to apply and join THE RIDGE such that you get to practice your photography skills and get your artwork published. The errors have been highlighted and published as erratum on the Editorial page.

03


04

EDITORIAL TEAM

THE EDITORIAL BOARD Chief Editor Suhas Bhat the.ridge@nussu.org.sg Copy Editor Arnab Ghosh theridge.copyeditor@nussu.org.sg Creative Director Kaden Hoe theridge.creative@nussu.org.sg Secretary Anokhi Vakil theridge.secretary@nussu.org.sg News Desk Editor Meera Nair theridge.news@nussu.org.sg Outspoken Desk Editor Chen Yongquan theridge.outspoken@nussu.org.sg Lifestyle Desk Editor Tamara Kisha Tan theridge.lifestyle@nussu.org.sg Entertainment Desk Editor Saheli Roy Choudhury theridge.entertainment@nussu.org.sg Sports Desk Editor Chow Yongjun theridge.sports@nussu.org.sg Wired Desk Editor Shanmugam MPL theridge.wired@nussu.org.sg NUSSU Publications Secretary Michelle Tan pubsec@nussu.org.sg


CONTRIBUTORS

WRITERS

Luke Vijay

lukevijay@nus.edu.sg

Michelle Chong

michelle_chong@nus.edu.sg

Ng Hui Ying

huiying.ng@nus.edu.sg

Sharon Rozario

sharon.rozario@nus.edu.sg

Sriharsha Bhat

sriharsha@nus.edu.sg

Vinothini Subramanian

vinothini@nus.edu.sg

Augustin Chiam

augustin@nus.edu.sg

Heng Ming Fong

mingfong@nus.edu.sg

Ho Jun Yi

hojunyi@nus.edu.sg

Vincent Lau

bchvlsl@nus.edu.sg

Sabrina Mercy Anthony

u0802534@nus.edu.sg

Vanessa Tan

a0069958@nus.edu.sg

Tan Yuh Ting

a0074773@nus.edu.sg

Bridget Tan

bridget_tan@nus.edu.sg

Athena Foo

athena.foo@nus.edu.sg

Herng Yih Tan

u0900751 @nus.edu.sg

Jane Antony

janeantony@nus.edu.sg

Nathanael PS

u0900511@nus.edu.sg

He Yining

he.yining@nus.edu.sg

Divya Gundlapalli

divya.divya10@nus.edu.sg

Jocelyn Yeo Yun Ning

a0069497@nus.edu.sg

Retna Devi

a0071116@nus.edu.sg

Joseph Chin

a0073391@nus.edu.sg

Felicia Lim

felicia.lim@nus.edu.sg

Edna Chan

a0069512@nus.edu.sg

Prateek Sinha

a0074895@nus.edu.sg

Wired Desk

Gurmesh Singh

gurmesh@nus.edu.sg

Chief Designer

Caryn Quek

carynquek@nus.edu.sg

Layout Designers

Eunice Ng

u0702964@nus.edu.sg

Liu Zenan

a0077897@nus.edu.sg

Nguyen Son Tra

u0905139@nus.edu.sg

Peng Yifan

u0801540@nus.edu.sg

Abishek Balasubramanian

u0905224@nus.edu.sg

Lee Yvonne

u0707702@nus.edu.sg

Luke Vijay

lukevijay@nus.edu.sg

Matthew Chee

u0908832@nus.edu.sg

Chen Liang

a0072963@nus.edu.sg

Raghav Malhotra

u0905390@nus.edu.sg

Yip Wai Yan

a0078257@nus.edu.sg

Rishika Anchalia

a0078704@nus.edu.sg

News Desk

Outspoken Desk

Lifestyle Desk

Entertainment Desk

Sports Desk

CREATIVE TEAM

Photographers

OPERATIONS TEAM

THINKING OF JOINING US? WE’RE ALWAYS ON THE LOOK OUT FOR TALENTED WRITERS, DESIGNERS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS. ASK US ABOUT RECRUITMENT AT the.ridge@nussu.org.sg

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06

NEWS

NUSFLASH SHOW YOUR LOVE FOR NUS! MICHELLE CHONG

NEW WEBSITE FOR TERTIARY STUDENTS

FORUM STRIKES THE RIGHT NOTE WITH ITS TEENAGE AUDIENCE NG HUI YING

SUHAS BHAT

H

ippoCampus.sg is a tri-

university student-initiated collaboration headed by James Gwee, a third-year student from NTU. The website aims to be a platform for tertiary students in the country to interact over academic and modular matters. “Facebook was initially created for just a handful of universities and there’s no reason why students here cannot have their own networking arena customized for their unique and particular needs!” said Gwee.

O

n October 1, students and staff donning an “I love NUS” T-shirt will get to enjoy a range of items from food and drinks to manicure services free of charge. They will also be able to get special discounts on merchandise sold by

outside vendors. All this is being done to celebrate “I love NUS” day which will be held at the Central Forum from 10 am to 4 pm. The event will also feature live performances as well as the results of the “iloveNUS” video competition, where the winner stands to win an “iloveNUS” iPod shuffle. The event is currently being marketed on Facebook where over 500 people have indicated their attendance.

PHOTOGRAPH ILOVENUS + IAN GAN

Having just launched within the last week, the website is currently seeking aspiring entrepreneurs and netizens from the three universities. Gwee states that there are even plans in the making for future expansion with ideas such as “Rate your prof ”,

“Events to look forward to in SMU/ NUS/NTU” and “Sharing of student exchange and internship experiences” mooted. The project, while not too dissimilar to module-review. com, aims to provide an altogether novel and intriguing experience for university students across the country.

T

he What Makes a Young Champion forum that was held from 7 to 8 August, 2010, proved to be a glowing success with its 14 to 18-year old audience, going by the enthusiastic response it met with. Hosted by the University Scholars Programme, the forum touched on topics like success and failure and encouraged its 400 youthful participants to find and pursue their dreams, even if their interests lay outside the local education system. Speaking at the forum were 10 young champions aged 14 to 27, each boasting different specializations ranging from music and poetry to human rights activism, business and even the art of making chocolate. Though the forum consisted of

dialogue sessions with the young champions, the audience was also able to interact directly with, and pose for photographs with the young champions during breaks between sessions. The success of the forum was best gauged perhaps by the steady stream of questions from the audience throughout the event. Questions ranged from the personal (“Have you ever experienced failure and how did you get over it?”) to the cheeky (“If failure is the mother of success, what is the mother of failure?”). For those wondering what the answer to the latter question could be, local mountaineer David Lim, a speaker at the event, had this to say: “Risk is the mother of failure.”


NEWS

07

NEW WHEELCHAIR-FRIENDLY SHUTTLE BUSES SHARON ROZARIO

W

heelchair-friendly shuttle buses now ply the roads. These buses were introduced by the Office of Estate and Development (OED) on 2 August this year. While there are just 5 such buses at present, there are plans to bring this number up to 19 by January 2011. The remaining buses will be introduced in phases. These wheelchair-friendly

buses come equipped with features like low floor boards and doubledoor entrances. They have also been designed to include more standing capacity to address potential gripes about standing space being reduced on wheelchair-friendly buses.

will remain unchanged. They will not ply routes B and C as these routes have narrow turning radii and require shorter buses. As there are currently no suppliers for such buses, the OED will deploy its wheelchair-friendly van if necessary.

These buses will be servicing the A1, A2 and D routes and their frequency

Those concerned about the environment will also be pleased to

note that these buses are powered by clean energy. Moreover, the entire fleet of 24 buses, including the regular buses, will switch to clean energy by next semester. This is in line with the OED’s long term goal of being environmentally friendly.

NUS ENGINEERING FACULTY INTRODUCES STUDENT EXCHANGE WITH CAMBRIDGE SHARON ROZARIO

N

US will become the first a decade. The year-long exchange Asian university to have a involves two students from each student exchange programme with university and is due to begin in Cambridge. It joins an elite club as October. This year, second-year only two other schools partner it global engineering undergraduates currently (Massachusetts Institute of Koh Yan Tian and Chee Enqing Technology and the École Centrale have been selected after undergoing Paris). The person spearheading the a rigorous selection process and initiative is Professor Victor Shim, numerous interviews. Koh said that the Vice Dean of External Relations she feels “honoured” to be selected at the Engineering faculty. Prior to to be part of this historic programme this success, he had been trying to and that she looks forward to secure the student exchange for over experiencing British culture. These

students’ Cambridge counterparts are third-year engineering students Jonathan Bassett and Daniel Barnard. The four students will continue to pay tuition fees according to the rates of their home universities. Also, the petrol company Shell has pledged $23,000 and $12,740 for the local and British students respectively to help cover the cost of their living expenses and air tickets.

PHOTOGRAPH OED, NUS ENGINEERING


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NEWS

YIH CENTRAL SQUARE GETS A MAKEOVER It was this feedback that spurred the Office of Estate of Development (OED) to “open the Central Square to commercial operators rather than the traditional canteen vendors,” said David Ang, the senior manager of Retail and Dining Services at the OED. He further explained that these operators would have more experience in providing a good quality of service than traditional canteen vendors have. The three-month closure was enacted to redesign the canteen so that it could reflect the commercial identity of the new operator. Also, existing systems like the airconditioning and exhaust systems had to be improved in light of the upcoming changes. One such change will be the removal of a backroom for cooking. Instead, vendors will cook food at the counters like in major food courts around Singapore.

C

ome end September, YIH Central Square, which has been closed for renovations since 1 July 2010, will reopen, this time boasting a higher capacity, better ambience as well as tastier food.

Staff members were also unhappy with the closure as the canteen is mostly frequented by them during the peak hours, with students choosing to eat at their own faculties. Furthermore, the OED found itself unable to meet its target of completing the canteen by the start of the new semester as negotiations between the operator and NUS over the design of the new canteen took longer than expected. There was also a delay in securing the funds for the new canteen. But it would be worth the wait as long as “the final product is what they are guaranteeing”, said Sinha, adding, “If all goes according to plan, it will be even more convenient for us.” According to Ang, that is what the OED aims to give the students, saying “We want to do our best for them.”

There will also be an airconditioned seating area which can be used as a study area during non-peak hours. This was implemented after observing the success of a similar feature introduced in the Arts canteen, The new Central Square will have ‘The Deck’. a seating capacity of over 500 and will contain stalls like Pepper The process of improving the Lunch and Toast@Work, on top Central Square was not all of staples like Japanese food and smooth sailing, however. To begin mixed rice. with, some students were left disgruntled by the closure of the canteen.

attempt to respond to the wants of students as reflected in the ‘Retail and Dining’ survey done earlier this year. The survey revealed that students were most concerned with the quality of the environment and food, seating “There are a few choices to eat near RVR but the Central Square was The changes were made in an capacity and prices. AUTHOR MEERA NAIR + PHOTOGRAPHERS MATTHEW CHEE, FIONA LI

the largest and most convenient. With the closure, we had to travel further and that took a lot of time,” said Priyansha Sinha, a second-year civil engineering student who lives in the Ridge View Residences (RVR).


NEWS

09

PILOT PROJECTS SHOW PROMISE FOR UTOWN NEXT YEAR A

bout this time next year, halls just might see a dip in the numbers of students applying to reside in them. This is because the much-publicised University Town (UTown), located just opposite the Kent Ridge campus, opens its doors to faculty and students in July 2011.

residential college concept in preparation for the move to Cinnamon College, the University Scholars’ Programme’s (USP) residential college, in UTown next year. It involves USP students currently residing at Prince George’s Park (PGP) Residences.

Though details on admission into the residential colleges of UTown are not yet available, the residence will open with two residential colleges, Cinnamon College and Tembusu College.

The latter, while performing the same functions as the former, consists of 51 students from PGP who will test out the Tembusu College which will be open to the general undergraduate population.

Interested students do not have to wait a year to find out what it might be like, however. This is because two pilot colleges have been set up to try out the programmes envisioned for the UTown. These are the USP-PGP Pilot Project and the Tembusu Pilot College. The former was introduced to promote and develop the

the University Town Writing Programme. Nine modules are being tested, with each class being capped at twelve students. With the UTown being heralded as a new phase in the way students live and learn on campus, we decided to take a peek into the USP-PGP Pilot Project and Tembusu Pilot College to see what is being done.

USP-PGP PILOT PROJECT

It is hoped that these pilot colleges will stand as a models for how the residential colleges might function in future. This way, teething problems can be identified and rectified before the move in July.

As part of the pilot project, students in USP have been given the option of staying in selected blocks in PGP since last year. These blocks housed other USP students and were instrumental in forging a sense of kinship amongst USP students.

Apart from these pilot colleges, trials are also being done for the modules being offered by UTown. At present, this is restricted to the modules that fall under

One of the first changes the project introduced was to give USP students residing there access to all other levels in the USP blocks.

This is unique in a place where most residents only have access to rooms on their level. “USP is a very close-knit community and allowing universal access within the USP blocks will encourage students to live and learn together,” said Ng Yun Sian, the associate director of USP. In addition, the common areas have been transformed into meeting points for the sharing of ideas, board game nights and a hangout for film buffs, all depending on the day of the week. In the pipeline are plans for semester dinners, tea sessions and lectures. The project thus far has met with some difficulties, especially in the beginning. Brandon Lim, a graduate student and member of the team behind the project said, “When the project first started we only had one flagship event: a movie

AUTHORS NG HUI YING, SRIHARSHA BHAT + PHOTOGRAPH VIVIAN LI XINQIN


10

NEWS

screening every Friday night.” He added that they soon “realized that having movies on Fridays is generally a bad idea because many local students tend to go home for the weekend.”

welfare events and planning for the actual opening next year.

Just like in the USP-PGP Pilot College, students in the Tembusu Pilot College have been given access to all floors within their blocks. Special common rooms Movie nights, or Reel Thursdays have also been reserved for them. as they are called, have now been shifted a day earlier. Judging by Unlike the USP-PGP Pilot the crowd of about 20 people Project, however, focus so far attending weekly, that project has has remained on differentiating met with some success. Tembusu College from other halls of residences and creating a The nightly gatherings are unique identity for it. optional, yet students participate out of interest. It is partly this that “Tembusu College has a scope USP students find attractive about beyond CCAs and academics. the USP-PGP Pilot Project. It stimulates free thought and intellectual activities in an “For me, a hall is too demanding. engaging and interesting platform. Here I take part in things New clubs and activities are on depending on my interest, and their way and these would further I think this will be so for the enrich the multidisciplinary college next year. The people here and multicultural framework of share a similar mindset so the UTown,” said a cluster leader of activities usually garner quite a bit the pilot college, Harshal Doshi. of interest from the community,” said Jonathan Chua, a first-year In an attempt to test out the student staying at PGP. interdisciplinary and multifaceted approach that UTown aims to Going by the responses of PGP adopt, the orientation camp for the students on the pilot college, Tembusu Pilot College included Cinnamon College seems to be all games that required teamwork, set for success. trust, integrity, adaptability and the ability to see the big picture for their completion.

TEMBUSU PILOT COLLEGE

The 51 students in Tembusu Pilot College are to be the pioneer batch of UTown. With that in mind, they are expected to create a culture and identity for the new college. They are also expected to come up with ideas and feedback for various proposed activities. Apart from that, they are going to be involved in publicising and marketing UTown, including planning outreach programmes,

“We had games where we had to form a square of 10 people blindfolded and another where we had to make connections between 20 pictures by just listening to others’ descriptions of them. It was different from anything we’ve experienced before. We really enjoyed it,” said Doshi. The enthusiasm of members of the Tembusu Pilot College in creating this new college most certainly promises some excitement for those wishing to stay at Tembusu

PHOTOGRAPH TEMBUSU TREE BY AMIGUITYTHEORIES.WORDPRESS.COM

College next year. Tembusu Pilot College is led by Associate Professor Gregory Clancey (Master). He is assisted by Dr Philip Cho (Residential Fellow), Kuan Yee Han (Graduate Advisor and former NUSSU President), undergraduate Anuj Khemka (Resident Assistant) and administrative staff of the College. There will be more Fellows (both residential and non-residential), Graduate Advisors and Resident Assistants involved once Tembusu College is in its full operation next year over at the UTown.


NEWS * PHOTOSTORY

WHEN OPPOSITION IS HEALTHY

T

wo c a n d i d m i n d s

The veracity of the

It is then clear then that

of his victory means that

an d t h e p r e v a l e n c e

f a c u l t y c l u b s ’ c o mplaint

Ang’s presence in this

student representation will

of inco n g r u i t i e s m a k e a

m a y b e c o n t e n t i o us, yet

sphere has implications

be improved no matter

perfec t r e c i p e t o p o l i t i c i z e

r e p r e s e n t a t i o n f o r the

for NUSSU. His

what the outcome.

a situa t i o n . T h a t m u c h i s

a v e r a g e s t u d e n t a t the

background as a faculty

clear f r o m t h e o n g o i n g

u p p e r l e v e l s of student

club president means

Whatever the result, we can

presid e n t i a l s t r u g g l e

leadership has always been

that we can expect big

note with pride that with such

betwe e n A n g Y u Q i a n a n d

difficult in a representative

changes for student

competition, steps are being

Christ o p h e r C h e o n g .

democracy without direct

representation in the

taken towards strengthening

elections.

upper echelons of NUSSU, democracy.

The cr u x o f t h e p r o b l e m

should he win, but would

is that w e s t u d e n t s d o

Another cause of

this come at the price of

And echoing the words of a

not ge t t o v o t e f o r o u r

f r u s t r a t i o n i s h o w , in

experience?

student, “May the best man

leader s in the NUSSU EXCO,

r e c e n t y e a r s , l e s s er

and fa c u l t y c l u b s w h o

n u m b e r s o f f a c u l t y club

Cheong, a member of the

directly r e p r e s e n t o u r v i e w s

r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s have taken

present administration,

remon s t r a t e t h a t t h e i r

up t h e b a t o n o f l e adership.

has been an able leader

conce r n s a r e not given due

L i k e s l e e p i n g g i a n ts, they

in the past year and his

importance in the Students’

n e e d t o be r o u s e d from

nomination of Ang as his

Union.

their stupor.

vice president in the event

AUTHOR VINOTHINI SUBRAMANIAN + PHOTOGRAPH ABHISHEK BALASUBRAMANIAN

win.” (see next page for more info)

“THE CLASH OF IDEAS IS THE SOUND OF FREEDOM” – Lady Bird Johnson

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12

NEWS

WHO WILL LEAD THE UNION? ON SEPTEMBER 17, NUS WILL WITNESS AN ELECTORAL CONTEST FOR THE POSITION OF THE NUS STUDENTS’ UNION PRESIDENT. the vicethe president the overhead bridge at the bus ng Yu Qian, the president challenger Christopher stop outside SDE, as well as the of the School of Design Ang Yu Qian Cheong

A

and Environment Club and Christopher Cheong, the current vice president of the NUS Students’ Union (NUSSU) announced on 19 August that they will contest the post of NUSSU President. Ang, a third-year student double majoring in project facilities management and communications and new media, feels that NUSSU’s constituent clubs need greater representation in the executive committee.

“The Union needs a change. Rather than having internalized elections without significant contests, perhaps someone who has been constantly on the ground will be in a better position to understand what students really need,” said Ang.

identification of discrepancies in a particular 100% CA module to the Board of Undergraduate Studies. The board ultimately reviewed every single assignment for the affected classes. “These, I believe, are matters close to normal students’ hearts.” “It is important for a NUSSU President to understand that students can do without extravagant projects, without flamboyant publicity, but not without fundamental welfare and support from their student leaders.”

would be limited if a new batch “These initiatives, if brought takes over,” said Cheong. to a higher level on a larger magnitude, will no doubt benefit Before serving as vice president most students in NUS,” said Ang. of the NUSSU council, Cheong spent two years in the NUSSU Cheong, a fourth-year Business Committee, holding a Ang believes that his background mechanical engineering student, number of portfolios. agrees that it is important to have as a faculty club president leaves representatives from different him better suited as NUSSU “It is not too difficult to realise backgrounds in the executive President for the purpose of that NUSSU is somewhat unique. committee. strengthening the synergy It is a voluntary organisation between the constituent clubs, that strives to excel as if it were a However, he holds that the NUSSU committees and the business entity.” lessons he learned during his executive committee itself. term as the vice president in “Thus, special attention has to be During his term as the president the Executive Committee will paid to the leadership, structure, be invaluable if he assumes the of the SDE Club, Ang has working style, communication, presidency. spearheaded bold initiatives and interpersonal relationships,” indicative of his desire to he added. “I have experience in the implement real changes in NUS executive committee and in to improve the lives of students. Cheong emphasizes that if he dealing with the many other were to take office, his team committees. I don’t believe in These include a proposal for the would be driven to follow through rapid construction of a shelter for reinventing a wheel. Continuity the initiatives of the current

AUTHOR + PHOTOGRAPHER LUKE VIJAY

executive committee as well as to proactively address upcoming issues that he anticipates students will face. Cheong promises to review some of the events that NUSSU has traditionally organised. He believes in questioning their relevance and implementing improvements where possible. Furthermore, he hopes to provide students with avenues through which they can express what they would like to see in NUS. He added that this would be his fourth year in NUSSU and he wanted to personally see his initiatives and plans through. He has chosen not to run for vice president, should Ang be victorious.


NEWS

Although the two are rivals for office, they do not feel any ill will towards one another. They do have their own supporters and there is to be expected a contest for the positions of Assistant Welfare Secretary, Honorary Financial Secretary and Publications Secretary. But ultimately, they are willing to work with any of the individuals that are elected by the NUSSU Council. “Chris is a good guy. He has asked me to be his vice president if he wins, and I have agreed. In the end, we want what’s best for the Union,” said Ang. On the ground, NUS students reacted to the news positively. Desmond Ng, a first-year business student, said, “I think it’s good that they are so passionate about the presidency. They should be given a chance to fight it out. Let the best man win.” The NUSSU Executive Committee Elections will be held on 17 September, immediately after the inauguration of this year’s 64-man NUSSU Council. The council, made up of representatives from the Union’s 14 constituent clubs, will decide which of the two men will succeed Ho Jun Yi as President.

Regardless of the outcome, the victor will wield considerable power. The President shoulders the responsibility of leading the executive committee in policy-making and the general administration of the Union. The elections begin at 8 pm and will be held at LT 26 at Science Faculty. It is open to the NUS public. Informtaion on candidates for the other six Exco positions can be found on the NUSSU Facebook page.

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OUTSPOKEN * GUEST COLUMN

GUEST COLUMN With his term of office nearly over and the elections looming, the President of the Students’ Union, JUNYI HO pens some of his thoughts about the complicated nature of NUSSU.

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fte r an eve n tfu l y e a r , i t is n ow b a r ely a mo n t h b efo re th e 31s t N US S U E XCO officially en d s i t s term of offic e . To me , t h e m os t sign ifi can t Un ion in itiativ e t h is y e a r wa s the u n a n im ou s ad opt i o n amo n g all N US SU Co n st itu e n t C lu b s o f a visio n c oh e r en t w i t h NUSSU’ s con s titu tio n a l ob ject iv e s – t o b e “a rep res e n ta tiv e , in c lu si v e , an d cr ed ib le in s t itu t i o n t o p romo t e , s afegu ar d , a n d

u p h o l d s t u d e n t s’ i nt e r e st s a n d we l f a r e i n NU S ” . A t fi r st g l a n c e , t h i s v i s i o n se e ms t o i l l ust r a t e s o me t h i n g si mp l e . S o m e t h i n g s o a p pa r e nt ly o b v i o u s t h a t s o me might e v e n q u e s t i o n i t s pr a c t ic a l value. Bu t i s i t r e a l l y t h a t o b v i o u s? Not really. One o f t h e m o s t c h a l l e nging i s su e s I h a d t o d e a l w it h a s NU S S U P r e s i d ent w a s t o r a t i o n a l i z e wh a t e xa c t ly NU S S U i s .

Shor t ly a ft e r be ing e le c t e d int o offi c e in Se pt e mbe r 2009, I se nt out a n int r oduc t or y me ssa ge t o t he st ude nt body . A se r ie s of c ongr a t ula t or y e ma il r e sponse s follow e d. Among t he m, one e ma il r e sponse st ood out . I t simply r e a d, “ Congr a t ula t ions on be ing e le c t e d, Mr . Pr e side nt . Ar e y ou joining t he PAP t o e xploit t he pe ople ne xt ?” The c ur t e ma il highlight e d one c ommon

misc onc e pt ion about NUSSU. I t pe r c ei ved NUSSU a s a st udent-run v e r sion of a governm ent – a bur e a uc r a t ic or ga niz a t ion ‘up there’ w it h t he ma in a im to ‘r ule ’ ov e r t he s tudent c ommunit y . I t im pl i es polit ic s a nd in- fighti ng, mist a ke nly por t rayi ng t he Union’s busi nes s a s pr ima r ily t o ens ure a submissiv e st udent popula t ion a bidi ng by NUSSU’s ‘la w ’. Suc h illust r a t ion of


OUTSPOKEN * GUEST COLUMN

NUSSU, in m y op ini o n , can n ot b e fa r t h e r f r o m t h e truth. I n fac t , w h y w ou ld NU S req u ir e a s tu d e n t- r u n gover n m en t , w h en i t i s t h e NUS A d m in is tr at ion a n d its siz a b le p ool of f u l l time ad m in is t r at iv e s t a f f that s e ts a n d en for c e s Un ive r s it y r u le s , d e v i se s acad em ic p olicies , a n d allocat e s r es ou r ces f o r campu s in fr a s t r u ct u r e ? Surely , in the b igge r sch em e of t h in gs , NU S S U serve s n ot t o ‘ r u le’ o r ‘gove r n ’ ove r fe llow stud e n ts , b u t it ex is t s to geth e r w it h all s t u d e n t s to en s u r e th e ir v oic e s a r e h eard an d a c te d u po n b y the N US A d m in is tr a t i o n ( or an y ot h e r e x t e r n a l gover n in g b od ies , l i k e MOE a n d eve n p r iv a t e compan ies lik e th e P u b l i c Tran s p or t C om p ani e s ) w h en s tu d e n ts ’ in t e r e s t s an d w elfar e ar e aff e c t e d . O f co u r s e , N US SU, h aving au t on om y o v e r i t s b u d get an d op e r at i o n s, i s resp on s ib le for allo c a t i n g fun d s an d a p p r ovin g p roje c ts or gan ize d b y its w o r k in g com m it t e e s. Th is ‘ m an ager ia l’ r o l e , h ow e v e r , s h ou ld n o t b e mistak en a s a ‘ gov e r n i n g ’ on e. Un d er s t a n d in g t h i s d istinc tion is im p or t a n t to p re v e n t m is m a tc h of ex p e c ta tion s th a t mig h t r e s u lt in u n d u e d isap p oin tm en t in NU S S U cau se d b y ign or a n c e . I n 2009, th e N USS U E XCO w as aler te d b y stud e n t feed b ack t h a t the c on te n t an d q u a l i t y

o f T HE RI D GE h a d d e t e r i o r a t e d t o a sor r y st a t e . Nu me r o u s c a lls for E d i t o r i a l B o a r d m e e t ings b y t h e NU S S U E XCO w e r e u n h e e d e d . Wi t h subst a n d a r d a r t i c l e s , ma ny mi sse d -d e a d l i n e s, a nd t he f o r me r E d i t o r i a l Boa r d’s general reluctance to c o m m u n i c a t e wi t h t he NU S S U E X CO, a ne w R I D GE t e a m h a d t o be a s se m b l e d .

t ime st ude nt v olunt e e r s t ha t a lso ha v e t o juggle a de ma nding NUS c ur r ic ulum. I nde e d, t he c ha lle nge of budge t - c onst r a int s a nd diffi c ult ie s of r e c r uit ing ( a nd ke e ping) c ommit t e d st ude nt v olunt e e r s w ill be pe r sist e nt issue s t ha t NUSSU c a n e xpe c t t o fa c e in t ime s t o c ome .

Suc c e ssiv e ge ne r a t ions of NUSSU le a de r s w ill be w e ll a dv ise d t ha t suc h st r e a mlining efforts, w hile diffi c ult , are a bsolut e ly ne c e ssa r y a nd should not st op a ft e r t his t e r m. I t should be a c ont inuous, ne v e r - e nding e ffor t w it h t he a im t o c onst a nt ly r e v it a liz e t he Union so I t wa s t h e r e f o r e puz z ling, it c a n be t t e r se r v e NUS a f t e r T HE R I D GE r e shuffl e , st ude nt s. t o h e a r a l l e g a t i o ns t ha t NU S S U wa s a t t e mpt ing V e r y soon, t he ba t on t o c u r b t h e f r e e d om of w ould be pa sse d on t o t he sp e e c h wi t h i n c a mpus. 32nd NUSSU Pr e side nt . S u c h a l l e g a t i o n s se e m I t a ke imme nse c omfor t t o c o n f u se NU S S U a s know ing t ha t t he r e a r e a g o v e r n i n g e n t i t y, a lr e a dy indiv idua ls r unning mi st a k e n l y b e l i e v i ng t ha t it a bout t r y ing t o r a lly i s t h e U n i o n ’s b u s ine ss ( or suppor t a nd se e k good i n i t s i n t e r e s t s ) t o r e gula t e t e a m- ma t e s, doing t he st u d e n t j o u r n a l i s m in sa me t hings t ha t I w a s c a mp u s . busy w it h t his t ime la st y e a r . I nde e d, t he fe r v or R e v a m p i n g a d e t e r ior a t ing for NUSSU le a de r ship ha s R I D GE i s o n l y o n e pa r t st r e ngt he ne d t o t he e xt e nt o f t h e 3 1 st NU S S U E X CO’s l a r g e r e f f or t t o s t r e a m l i n e NU SSU c o m m i t t e e s a n d pr oje c t s. S t r e a m l i n i n g e n sur e s t ha t t h e se c o mmi t t e e s a nd p r o j e c t s r e m a i n r e le v a nt , wh i c h i n t u r n f a c i lit a t e s mo r e e f f e c t i v e a l l oc a t ion o f r e s o u r c e s wi t h in t he U n i o n . T h e f a c t r e ma ins t h a t NU S S U i s a non- pr ofi t o r g a n i z a t i o n , r u n by fullT HE RI D GE r e sh uffl e w a s t h e r e f o r e a m a n a g e r ia l d e c i s i o n ma d e t o upke e p t h e st a n d a r d s o f THE R I D GE - a c o m m i t t e e u n d e r t h e U n i o n w hic h wa s a l s o t h e l o n ge st r u n n i n g st u d e n t p u b l i c a t i o n i n NU S.

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of pr oba ble c ontes ts for se v e r a l Union leaders hi p posit ions t his y ear. Whoe v e r t he nex t NU S S U Pr e side nt is, he s hal l be for e w a r ne d t ha t i t i s not going t o be a n eas y year. NUSSU is a c om pl i cated c r e a t ur e . The di s cours e on w ha t NUSSU i s about, or should be , w i l l not end he r e . Suc h discours e should not e v e n be br oke n. Things should be pi cked up fr om t he pr e s ent s tate, w it h a n hone st res pect for hist or y t o e ns ure c ont inuit y . O nly when t his is so, c a n NU S S U pe r pe t ua lly st a y rel evant a nd gr ow .

Jun Yi is a final year student enrolled in the Bachelor of Law and Master in Public Policy Concurrent Degree Programme. He will be spending this semester on an exchange programme at the Graduate Institute of Geneva, in Switzerland. Jun Yi would like to thank all student representatives and volunteers that have served with dedication in the Union for the past year.


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NUSSU BIZCOM

PROJECT X: HEDON THE PAARTAY NUSSU BIZCOM ORGANIZED RIGHT HERE IN NUS!

PHOTOGRAPH NUSSU VIDEO & PHOTOGRAPHY COMMITTEE


OUTSPOKEN

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SYOG: THUMBS UP OR DOWN? T

he Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games (SYOG) marked a significant milestone in Singapore’s sporting history. Having overcome the challenges posed by time constraints while preparing to welcome over 3500 athletes participating in 184 events, Singapore should be proud of her achievements. In my opinion, it was a good S$387 million spent on this international sporting event. I honestly think that it was brilliant! Everyone knew how to sing and dance to the SYOG cheer, motorists were aware of giving way to buses ferrying SYOG personnel and I can’t forget my favourite mascots: Lyo and Merly!

us question if Singapore was truly prepared for such a challenge. Have the organisers of SYOG been too focused on the big picture that small details were not considered in the process? For example, the food was disparaged as being sub-standard and not fit for SYOG volunteers. Rumour has it that this was due to a lack of adequate funding even though SYOG had gotten into a budget overrun of more than S$200 million. And to bring another blow to the food saga, around 30 volunteers were struck with food poisoning after consuming their meals.

Details like volunteers’ welfare should never be overlooked. These volunteers, mainly students, However, many controversial participated to gain experience issues arose over the course of this and to be part of the first SYOG. major sporting event that made What kind of impression did the

organisers want these volunteers to take home with them? Certainly not one laden with complaints! Indeed, what went on behind the scenes was equally important as what graced the screen. In addition, there were numerous complaints on online forums, including the view that the money spent on road markings and signs urging motorists to give way to SYOG buses were unnecessary. Personally, I think that these road markings and signage not only had a facilitative purpose, but more importantly, served as a marketing tool.

in terms of the big picture. The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Jacques Rogge sung praises of the SYOG. Ultimately, what was important was to create an inspiring and embracing Olympic movement. I am glad to say that Singapore did not fall short of that.

Nevertheless, such criticisms should not be dismissed as being irrelevant and lessons can be learnt from this inaugural SYOG. On a more positive note, SYOG organisers have indeed succeeded

AUTHOR HENG MING FONG + PHOTOGRAPH JULIANLIMJL ON FLICKR


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OUTSPOKEN

“US” VERSUS “THEM” I

mmigration was one of the key issues that PM Lee addressed during this year’s National Day Rally. It was no surprise that the common complaint that immigrants are taking jobs away from Singaporeans was brought up. While this seems to be a typical reason for an unfriendly attitude towards immigrants, I wonder if the root of such animosity is really economical rather than cultural. My suggestion may be counterintuitive to some. After all, we have been a multiracial society for quite some time now. Surely Singaporeans would have learnt by now how to tolerate, if not appreciate, cultural differences? Or does this perhaps imply that the problem lies not with Singaporeans but with the immigrants? In his speech, PM Lee noted that “more importantly, beyond language or social graces, (new arrivals to Singapore) must get along with different races”. The Prime Minister however, was quick to add that “Singaporeans too should do their part to understand and integrate new arrivals”. On how both parties can do this, PM Lee noted that the “key AUTHOR CHEN YONGQUAN + PHOTOGRAPH METIU.DEVIANTART.COM

is not abstract arguments, but personal ties and friendships”. Yet the PM’s speech does not answer the question that was likely to be lingering in the minds of the audience, that is, who should take the first step? Should it be the new arrivals since they are stepping foot onto our island and thus should take the initiative to mingle with us? Or should the onus be on Singaporeans to extend a hand of friendship to them? Perhaps both parties can start off by being aware that all of

“THE KEY IS NOT ABSTRACT ARGUMENTS, BUT PERSONAL TIES AND FRIENDSHIPS” us have, in all likelihood, been unconsciously judgmental of each other using our own set of criteria. We need to acknowledge that we have our own notions on how things work and are supposed to work around us. It is understandable then when someone acts in a way that challenges these notions, we are likely to view the person in a negative light. But rather than quickly label a person as abnormal the very instance our

sensibilities are upset, we should make a conscious effort to ask and seek to understand why. At the same time, we need to open up and share with each other. Mutual understanding will help us be more accepting of each other, live harmoniously together and develop a common vision that benefits all. Only then can an “us-versus-them” mentality cease to exist.


OUTSPOKEN

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ANOTHER ONE JOINS THE FOLD

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o cialist Front’ is the newest party to register for the next Singapore General Election (GE) although it’s unlikely that they’ll form a team in time . Its entry onto Singapore’s political scene comes after another new party, the United Singapore Democrats, was formed in April this year. 2,311,582 individuals registered with the Elections department (as of March, 2010) have the Workers’ Party, the National Solidarity Party, the Singaporean Democratic Alliance, the Reform Party and the Singapore Democratic Party to look forward to on the opposition bench for the GE which is not due until February 2012 (although many analysts expect it to happen early next year). The election hype seems to be gaining in fervor although there is scarce information available about the parties and their

agendas. Over the past five years, the ruling People’s Action Party has received its fair share of criticism. Some of the more recent ones include criticisms on immigration policies and housing shortages.

the Socialist Front was founded by a former Worker Party’s candidate Chia Ti Lik.

Such open disagreement among opposition parties in Singapore makes one wonder if the various opposition parties daring to defy the ruling party are inherently In response, the government has fractitious with too many imposed caps on immigration and differing views on how to bring announced the release of new flats the country forward. for sale among other initiatives. It does seem like the government is Perhaps all the above may seem working to stem a negative tide of like senseless talk to most. opinion. Indeed, a lack of significant grassroots activism is a salient But still, with the emergence of problem that is worth addressing. new parties and voter discontent, As a nation, Singapore needs to the PAP may not achieve the overcome a prevalent culture of 66.60% victory that it did in the political apathy. There needs to 2006 GE. be less finger pointing and more participation in public debates Will the plurality of opposition whose outcomes ultimately improve Singapore’s democratic concern us. credentials? Or will this ironically lend support to the existing oneCome what may, as we approach party rule? It is noteworthy that the election year which,

coincidentally, will be the first GE that I’ll experience, I do hope that we get to experience a vibrant democracy, one with not just a conflict of opinions but a constructive clash of ideas.

AUTHOR SUHAS BHAT + PHOTOGRAPH DBHKER’S FLICKR STREAM


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OUTSPOKEN

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cute friends? Appalled I was when committee members of a club started Facebook-ing their freshies via e-mails and screening them through their public photos.

yberstalking is a bad habit. The contemporary disease of knowing too much is worsened by increasingly pervasive technology. Eroding the line between cyberstalking When you are too quick to and social networking, the judge from a cyber distance, same tools for the latter can you belittle or idolise these also be the ones for louche acts behind closed doors. Who’s a cyberstalker? Do you always have this compulsion to ‘Facebook’ a stranger from school or to monitor your project mates’ tweets for what they are bitching about behind your back? Do you derive pleasure from spending long hours plodding through the online profiles of potential

ARE YOU SHARING TOO MUCH INFORMATION OVER THE INTERNET?

digital entities. There is a need to remind ourselves that an online profile is only screendeep. Many tailor their online profiles with heavily touched-up photos, tinseled with superficial catchphrases. My roommate was hopelessly captivated by a girl he had never met before. When challenged, all he could muster was, ‘Neh, I read her blog all the way back to day one.’ This is a syndrome I call ‘Love before first sight.’ They never got together. Integrating cyber-habits like

those mentioned above into your routine can impede interacting skills necessary for meeting people. You can also become selectively discriminatory with regards to the kind of friends you acquaint. Some end up feeling insecure about meeting new friends without first checking them out on Facebook. On the other end, are you a victim-to-be of cyberstalkers? Are you sharing too much information over the Internet? Data that you upload online are exposed to many eyes. Complaining about your job can make you lose it. You may disagree, but with 634 ‘friends’ having access to what you are uploading, are you really in control? At least I thought I was, until an anonymous print-screen arrived in my supervisor’s inbox one morning. No idea why they haven’t been getting back to you? Interviewers can now conduct a check of their prospective employees by searching though blogs and other Internet media. Right, and there they spotted this multi-tagged photo of you, one hand on a Tiger, one hand smoking pot and gorging your face into a pair of bosoms. When its attention you seek, it’s attention you will get, but always at the expense of your privacy.

AUTHOR VINCENT LAU + PHOTOGRAPH NAGLIMANTAS.DEVIANTART.COM


OUTSPOKEN

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CONFESSIONS OF A SINGLE FRESHMAN

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uys, hands up if you have heard the advice that your time in university is the best time to find “the other half ”. Faced with a potent mix of raging hormones, female deprivation (an unfortunate consequence of fulfilling National Service) and a series of orientation games that bring intimacy to a whole new level, it is no wonder that there is a spike in the number of new relationships on campus at the start of the academic year. For other freshmen who had initially wanted to remain single, they stand little chance against the pressure to get attached. And as if peer pressure is not enough, I can personally attest to the numerous times lecturers have alluded to this matter during their lectures, invoking nervous laughter from the crowd. The burden to conform to an idealized state of being attached is so overwhelming that one wonders whether the Social Development Network (SDN) is slowly but surely making an impact on every aspect of the university student’s life. Yet, what’s wrong with being single, really? Let no one lie to you. The idea of “the other half ” is a myth conjured by deluded Greek philosophers. Some feel a sense of emptiness

“IF YOU DESIRE COMPANIONSHIP AND A SHOULDER TO LEAN ON, YOU CAN ALWAYS START BY MAKING FRIENDS.”

which they believe can only be filled by “the other half ”. But the reality is that you do not need to be attached to feel satisfied about your life! You do not need “the other half ” to define who you are as a person; you are a complete being. What’s more, trying to find fulfillment solely through a romantic relationship more often than not turns out to be a pointless quest that ends in disappointment.

Don’t jump onto the relationship bandwagon before you have decided for yourself whether you are ready for this extra commitment and whether you understand the impact it will have on your academia. If you desire companionship and a shoulder to lean on, you can always start by making friends.

Sometimes, we forget that the first step towards a great relationship is to learn first what it means to be a For me, staying single is a rational good friend. choice. We often underestimate the amount of time and energy we need to invest in a relationship. Take me for an example; the opportunity cost of me getting into a relationship is the time and energy I could have spent on achieving my first-class honors.

AUTHOR AUGUSTIN CHIAM

P L o d m


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LIFESTYLE

RESTAURANT REVIEW: EVERYTHING WITH FRIES ADDRESS: 40 LORONG MAMBONG, HOLLAND VILLAGE S277695.

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ith a name like “Everything with fries”, I had two expectations when dining at this corner of Holland Village – lots of fried food and some pretty dang good fries. The menu was a delight, with the owners having the foresight not to upstage their fries with any fried main courses, although the fries didn’t blow me away as expected. Overall, the dining experience was excellent for a restaurant with a price range of $15-20 per pax. I loved the mesh of its clean white décor and splashes of pink from the staff’s cute uniforms. Add groovy tunes from the likes of John Mayer and Everything with fries achieves a chic, laid-back ambience, perfect for winding down after a long day of lectures. The crowd was young with fellow NUS students in attendance. The pair of girls seated beside me were studying with their lecture notes splayed out on the table, and the lovely servers still refilled their ice water regularly. At seven in the evening with the dinner crowd slowing making their way in, the staff were still patient and students were lingering and chatting after their meals. On that note, I was really impressed with the prompt and generous service. My date requested for extra Cheese and AUTHOR + PHOTOGRAPHER SABRINA MERCY ANTHONY

French Onion sauce for his grilled pork chop and it arrived seconds later. When I wanted the remaining half of my mediumrare salmon to be cooked longer, I was shocked to receive a whole new salmon serving cooked to my preference. Now that’s what I call good service. The food was no slouch either. Its more popular main courses include the Breaded NZ King Salmon ($13.90), and sandwiches, like the Pork Cutlet Sandwich ($8.90) and Grilled Ham and Cheese sandwich ($8.90). Personally, I found the breaded salmon quite delicious with its lemon butter sauce, although it was served a little undercooked for my taste. My date had the Grilled Pork Chop ($13.90), which I thought was amazing. Cooked to just the right tenderness and

topped with cheesy French onion sauce, it drove everything but one thought from my mind – Yummy! As expected, my date found the pork chop serving to be too small for guys. I would consider it just the right portion for a girl with an appetite. All mains were served with a choice of fries and a side serving of coleslaw or baby Caesar salad. This was where things got exciting. I got a choice of shoestring or straight cut fries in an assortment of seasonings – original, curry, salt and vinegar, sour cream and onion, or garlic and herbs. To avoid being overwhelmed by the seasoning, I would suggest choosing the thicker straight cut fries. However, if you’re the kind of person who loves to OD on seasoning when eating MacDonald’s shaker fries, go for the shoestring fries.


LIFESTYLE

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STUDENT DISCOUNTS REVIEWED WE ONLY HAVE A FEW MORE PRECIOUS YEARS TO ENJOY GOD’S GIFT TO US POOR STUDENTS – STUDENT DISCOUNTS! I SAY WE MILK IT WHILE WE STILL CAN. HERE ARE SOME DISCOUNTS YOU JUST HAVE TO TRY! I was impressed with the Caesar salad, just because I actually got a Caesar salad. How many times have you ordered a side serving of Caesar salad and gotten some slices of lettuce and tomatoes with a miniscule drop of mayonnaise? Where’s the Caesar in that? Naturally, I was blown away when I saw my Caesar salad actually consisted of romaine lettuce and croutons dressed with parmesan cheese. I also got to try their popular Nutella milkshake($4.90). I was a little confused when I only got a barest hint of Nutella aftertaste from my Nutella milkshake. Overall, I felt it tasted like a decent Cookies ‘n’ Cream milkshake. Fresh, rich and smooth - did I mention I’m a sucker for desserts you can slurp? There wasn’t a lot of variety for dessert, but with interesting desserts like Nutella tart($4.90), Hot Banana Butterscotch Pudding with Ice Cream ($5.90) and Mille Crepe ($5.90), who needs variety? I would recommend Everything with fries for a friendly date or a date with friends, where you can treat yourself to meal worth the price or hang out over dessert and fries.

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of NUStyle. Head down to their outlet at Vivocity (#B2-40/41) or their outlet at E!Hub Downtown East (#04-101) to try out their gourmet hotdogs and burgers.

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JACK’S PLACE SUPER SAVER STUDENT MEALS @ $6.50 Student meal includes a glass of Coke or Sprite, choice of main course and mini chocolate nuts ice-cream. Add $1.00 to your student meal for the soup of the day. Some main course include Sauteed Spaghetti with Beef and Chicken Chipolata Sausages and Chicken Cutlet with fries.

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STUDENT DISCOUNT AT SUPERDOG NUS Students enjoy 10% discount off regular items at any Superdog outlet, courtesy

STUDENT DISCOUNT AT N.Y.D.C CAFE & RESTAURANTS Enjoy 15% off only when you present your NUS Matric cards with “NYDC Loves Students!” stickers, courtesy of NUStyle. This promotion applies for dine-in only. So register for your NYDC Loves Students stickers today at nustyle.org/ nydc_reg.php. Once you’ve received the sticker, you can make your way down their nearby Holland Village outlet for some scrumptious pizzas, pastas and oven-baked specials. All registered students will be contacted via e-mail. Find out about more discounts you are entitled to with your NUS Matric card at nustyle.org

PHOTOGRAPH JACKSPLACE.COM, SUPERDOG.COM, NYDC.COM


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LIFESTYLE * FEATURE

4TH YEAR AND STILL GOING STRONG: BEHIND THE SCENES WITH BONITOCHICO A

Saturday afternoon in Clarke Quay saw a long snaking queue, made up of excited and well-dressed girls chattering away. People hanging around Zirca, the nightclub, were baffled as it was still daylight. What was happening? BonitoChico were hosting a bash to celebrate their 4th birthday and yours truly had been cordially invited to check it out! While approaching the entrance, I was greeted by the sight of beautifully-prepared goodie bags. BonitoChico sure knew how to pamper their fans with vouchers from Calvin Klein, Marble Slab Creamery, Love, Bonito, their newly released line of women clothing, an Essential Anti-Frizz Serum, L’oreal gel eyeliner, BonitoChico sweets from Sticky and a Love, Bonito lanyard available! When I found my way to the VIP lounge, the party was already in full swing. The club was packed with BonitoChico fans with host Daniel Ong busily entertaining the crowd with witty jokes. Soon, the girls behind BonitoChico - Velda, Viola and Rachel - were up

on stage, presenting Love, Bonito. Models (including our fellow NUS student Beatrice Tan!) started walking down the runway, presenting the Street Chic collection, followed by the Smart Casual collection and the Glitz and Glam collection. Between each collection, there was a ‘Make A Wish’ segment where all the models went up on stage carrying a number card. Anyone could simply fill up a slip with their details and the number of their favourite runway piece. The girls of BonitoChico then mailed out each outfit to a lucky winner, making them the first in Singapore to own that outfit! There was also a Best-Dressed contest and a lucky draw which included amazing prizes like a Coach bag, a L’oreal hamper and even a Balenciaga bag! As the programme came to a close, a slideslow was played, showing BonitoChico’s journey and how far they have come since starting 4 years ago. BonitoChico fans still had something to look forward to even after the programme was over - the 3 ladies of

BonitoChico were stationed at the entrance of the club so that as fans started leaving, they could seize the chance to take a photo with the girls who made BonitoChico possible. I caught up with the 3 girls to find out what inspired the trio to start the blogshop. Viola mentioned that the girls started

“THEY KEEP BONITOCHICO RUNNING BECAUSE OF THEIR SHEER PASSION FOR FASHION.” it as a platform for them to sell their favourite clothing or the clothes that they bought back from overseas trips “BonitoChico was an enjoyable way to also earn a little extra pocket money as we were all still students then.” They keep BonitoChico running because of their sheer passion for fashion. Their work has made them appear on local newspapers and they have even won the best blogshop award at Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards.


LIFESTYLE * FEATURE

If you are familiar with BonitoChico, then you may know that their stock of clothes get sold out very quickly. There obviously is a lot of work to be done sending out invoices and verifying payments. For this, the 3 girls thank their team of very dedicated helpers behind the scenes. According to Viola, “Everyone has a role to play in the success of Love, Bonito. Not only do we not spend on advertising, we have not placed any advertisement to hire too. This team of helpers come from friends and family who work tirelessly during each launch, to help expedite the process, from invoicing, verifying payments to sending out parcels.” Collections are released frequently, with every piece of clothing being self manufactured. Where do they get their inspiration from? They read magazines, research and observe Paris and Milan’s Fashion Weeks, other runway fashion shows and other apparel in the market. They also try to sketch designs whenever any ideas pop into their minds and listen to customers’ constructive feedback.

Besides female apparel, BonitoChico is also looking at a brick and mortar store. But their top priority is still customer satisfaction and so they are focusing on Love, Bonito for now and they hope that the rest will fall into place in due time.

“CUSTOMER SERVICE IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE TO BONITOCHICO” BonitoChico responds to emails with a personal touch. Not sure what accessories or shoes to match with their apparel? Don’t fret! You can simply look to the girls for advice as they never turn emails away and will always take time to reply with humble and honest opinions. Customer service is of utmost importance to BonitoChico and thus they want to cater to the needs of their growing customer base which also includes a surge in the amount of overseas buyers. By moving to lovebonito.com and using an automated system, the shortcomings of livejournal

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seem to have been addressed as well. When asked about her take on such entrepreneurial ventures, Viola said, “It is definitely a risk to take, but this is also what our Singapore government is encouraging - for youths to step out of their comfort zone and to dare to take risks. It might not be a blogshop you want to set up, but as long as you’ve done ample research, we would say, take the risk and reap its rewards! Even if it does not work out, at least you have tried. This is a motto we all have in mind too.”

“DARE TO TAKE THE RISK AND PERSEVERE” Finally, they gave me some wise words for aspiring blogshop owners, “Dare to take the risk and persevere.” Their 4th birthday bash might have ended but it marks an exciting start of a new line of clothing and a new website. Probably in around 5 years’ time, we may be looking forward to a brick and mortar store as well!

AUTHOR VANESSA TAN + PHOTOGRAPH BONITOCHICO


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LIFESTYLE

CHANNELLING BEATRICE TAN’S SIZZLING STYLE!

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ashion is alive and walking around our very own NUS in the form of fashionista, Beatrice Tan. The chic 21 year old is the face of popular blogshop BonitoChico and has very generously allowed us to take a peek into her wardrobe and find out about her style. She believes that while there might be trends, each individual’s personal style doesn’t die. You can be wearing 80s or back dated style, but if you carry it well and style yourself well with what you are wearing, people will look up to you and say, “Hey, I like your style!” She says that everybody can be confident in their own way. Dressing up does play an important role in confidence, because by dressing up in what you think is stylish and at the same time, comfortable, you will naturally feel good when you step out of the house. And when you

feel good, you will naturally be at the best mood at the start of the day, and feel more confident about what’s happening for the rest of the day.

“WHILE THERE MIGHT BE TRENDS, EACH INDIVIDUAL’S PERSONAL STYLE DOESN’T DIE.”

all outfits! It gives a more natural look with radiance at the same time. There is no particular favourite outfit of hers and her wardrobe is literally bursting now. But she wears something more complicated than simple dresses vest, blazers, drape-like cardigans and more.

About Beatrice Tan She can’t live without bangles as they spice up the whole outlook. Beatrice has been working as a model for BonitoChico since Normally she chooses what to 2008. She began as a regular wear first and matches the make student bought a dress from up with the outfit. Depending on BonitoChico’s stall at a Central the main colour of the outfit, she Forum bazaar in her first semester goes for a similar but subtle tone at NUS. She was then contacted for the eyes. For instance, if she by the owners and asked to be their wears black, she puts on a darker model. She said, “Being curious shade of eye shadow (silver or about what blogshop modelling dark grey, for example) to give a was all about, I went ahead and I smoky eyes effect. Or, to be safe, didn’t regret helping them.” she recommends pinkish nude eye shadow as it goes well with

AUTHOR TAN ZY BRIDGET + PHOTOGRAPH BEATRICE TAN


LIFESTYLE

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WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS MONTH? SUNDAY

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

1 Dance Explorations by Singapore Dance Theatre: UCC 8-10pm

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Ben and Jerry Chunk Festival: The Promontory @ Marina Bay, 2.30-11pm

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Folk(lorica) by NUS Symphony Orchestra: UCC, 6-10pm Lil’ Jon @ Wave House, Sentosa

Digital Nights @ Singapore Art Museum (17-26 Sept) 7pm onwards

2010 Formula 1 ‘Moments in SingTel Singapore Motorsport’ Grand Prix @ Raffles Quay South Tower lobby

Ultimate Divas Reloaded @ Boiler Room

Hossan Leong Show @ Drama Centre Theatre, NLB

Release of Resident Evil Afterlife: in all cinemas

NLB Celebrates 15 years (whole month) NLB 9-5 pm Unlike Some People by Young & W!ld @ Drama Centre Black Box Retrospect “Disco Fever ThreeQuel” (Retro Night) @ Boiler Room

Next Wave – Lights Off (NUS Dance Ensemble): UCC, 8-10.30pm

Release of Infidel in all cinemas

NUSSU Elections @ LT 26

Release of Wall Street: The Money Never Sleeps: in all cinemas

Next Wave – Lights Off (NUS Dance Ensemble): UCC, 8-10.30pm Singapore Malay Theatre Through The Years @ Esplanade Bay Room

2010 Formula 1 2010 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore SingTel Singapore Grand Prix Grand Prix

Feature Flick The Blind Side: Alumni House, 7.30-9.30pm AUTHOR TAN YUH TING

ARTS/SDE BASH 2010: DRINK DRANK DRUNK

(WHAT YOU MISSED LAST MONTH!)

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t felt as if I stepped into a cotillion ball with freshmen making their debut into NUS. Gorgeous people from two faculties were out to look good. 7 couples competed but only one would be king and queen. The girls cat-walked in corsets and I felt like I was at a Victoria’s Secret show. The guys were an equal match pulling a full Monty at the end of their boxer-shorts segment. The muttons were a great sport that night, teasing the crowd to no end. What an awesome way to start off the semester.

AUTHOR TAN HERNG YIH + PHOTOGRAPH WILLIAM LAI


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LIFESTYLE

DIANA WHO? HER NAME IS… DIANA AMRAN. SHE IS A … 3RD YEAR SOCIOLOGY MAJOR. SHE JOINED … ANUGERAH SKRIN IN MAY AND WAS A FINALIST. SHE IS ALSO AN … ARTISTE WITH MEDIACORP SURIA. SHE USED TO PLAY … HOCKEY! (AND A BIT OF NETBALL) SHE FIRST TRIED ACTING IN … PRE-UNIVERSITY. HER MOTHER … INSPIRED HER TO BECOME AN ACTRESS. YOU MAY HAVE SEEN HER … IN MALAY DRAMA PRODUCTIONS IN NUS.

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ou may have taken Sociology classes with her, queued behind her in The Deck or bumped into her at the Central Forum. Meet Diana Amran, a rising actress within our campus!

“SORRY I’M LATE!” DIANA AMRAN SMILES AT ME IN APOLOGY AND THEN EXTENDS HER HANDS, ‘HI, I’M DIANA. NICE TO MEET YOU!’ It was barely 10 seconds into our meeting and already, Diana makes me feel like I’m

meeting a new friend rather than interviewing an upcoming actress to watch. There are no airs about her, and she enjoys typical things that ‘you and I like to do’. “I’m quite a boring person! (Laughs) I enjoy the very simple things in life.” So it came as a shock to the people around her, even to Diana herself, when she decided at the end of the last semester that she wanted to join Anugerah Skrin – Mediacorp Suria’s premier talent search competition held in June. For someone who claims to be ‘very shy and not much of an extrovert’, joining

AUTHOR ATHENA FOO + PHOTOGRAPH MEDIACORP SURIA

the competition was definitely a huge leap of faith for Diana. Thanks to one of her friends who encouraged and egged her to give the competition a try, Diana is now on her way to establishing herself in the acting industry. “I remember one of my friends telling me the day before the audition,

‘IF YOU DON’T DO THIS, YOU’LL NEVER KNOW.

Even if you embarrass yourself in front of the judges, it’s only going to be between them and yourself. You leave knowing that at least you’ve tried.’ ” And being in the competition paid off handsomely for her. It has ‘opened so many doors for me, taught me so many things in life, personal and external.’ So Diana made it through the auditions, then the initial rounds, survived elimination after elimination, and was finally one of the six finalists. But the competition definitely wasn’t a walk in the park for her.


LIFESTYLE

“You know, after watching quite a bit of reality television, I never imagined it to be like this. Before joining the competition, I didn’t understand why those contestants cried during elimination even if they were safe. However, having grown close to one another week after week, the prospect of not being in the competition with them was hard.” Besides going through this ‘emotional roller coaster’, Diana also had to juggle her studies and passion for acting, especially during the initial stages of the competition, which coincided with the final exams. And like most of us, Diana had to ask herself which

was more important – her studies or pursuing what she really wants to do in life.

that ‘you need to have the patience to wait for it to come.’

Her decision? “I wanted to do both so I had to prioritize and manage my time really well.”

That and another thing called fate.

Currently signed on as an artiste with Mediacorp Suria, Diana has to balance her schoolwork and acting commitments, just like how most of us choose to juggle school, CCAs and maybe even work. And for Diana, it’s not just about hard work -“Whatever I do for Anugerah Skrin I do for school as well (in terms of working attitude)”; it is also about having patience. Describing the industry as like a ‘waiting game’, she feels

“There are reasons why I didn’t win the competition, but I believe that if there’s a will, there’s a way. If I really want it, I can get it, and opportunities will come to me if I work hard.”

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“JUMP. JUST PLUNGE IN, JUST DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO GET YOURSELF WHERE YOU WANT YOURSELF TO BE. IF YOU THINK IT FEELS RIGHT, CHANCES ARE IT IS RIGHT.”

So what does Diana have to say to the rest of us who are still held back by our own inhibitions?

PHOTOGRAPH ATHENA FOO


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ENTERTAINMENT

ANWESHANA: THE S T

he ‘Nalanda idea’ revolves around the theme of development, of appreciation of Asian achievements and mutual learning for contemporary Asia. The cosmopolitan Buddhist centres of learning in Nalanda, as well as the ‘Sriwijaya idea’ of Southeast Asia, exemplify it as a place of mediation and linkages among the great civilisations. It sets forth a comprehensive study of the ways in which Asian polities and societies have interacted over time through religious, cultural, and economic exchanges and diasporic networks.” A tête-à-tête with NUS Indian Dance Alumnus Aparna Nambiar and President Shweta Padmanaban, traced the seamless evolution of the Anweshana Trilogy and they share their experience on Anweshana II that is to be staged this October. WHAT LED TO THE INSPIRATION THAT SPARKED THE BEGINNING OF ANWESHANA? Aparna: The recent exhibition at the Asian Civilizations Museum – The Nalanda Trail (2007) sparked the interest of our choreographer, Mrs. Santha Bhaskar and upon a closer look, it was clear that Nalanda as a dance production, has sufficient

AUTHOR JANE ANTONY + PHOTOGRAPH CFA

depth and breadth to warrant an extended period of work in both libraries and in the studio. WHAT DO YOU FEEL THE AUDIENCE OUGHT TO FEEL AND UNDERSTAND WHEN THEY SIT THROUGH THE DANCE? Aparna: On the surface, the choreography, music composition and lyrics have been tailored to create a Bharatanatyam performance that is very traditional. The idea is to work within the traditional framework of Bharatanatyam to communicate an idea that lies outside its narrative pool. This is the first time a Buddhist narrative is being incorporated into Bharatanatyam. What has really struck me, as a dancer and also as an observer, is how seamlessly this narrative can be integrated. When you think about it, the stories of Buddhism are told and sung by the Chinese, the Japanese, the Tibetans, and Koreans- yet here it is, perfectly at home when sung about in Sanskrit/Tamil, performed with the vocabulary of medieval temple dance from South India. I think that really gives some perspective as to how we, as Asians have so many deep rooted similarities. THIS IS PART 2 OF A TRILOGY. HOW DO YOU FEEL THE SEQUENCES

HAVE MATURED IN TERMS OF PORTRAYAL? Aparna: Anweshana I was more like a lecture-demonstration of our collated ideas, from which the dances were to spring. Anweshana II on October 8 showcases the first two dances that have been choreographed based on some of those ideas. So we see how the ideas have developed off the pages of books and power point slides and on to stage into the recognizable format of Bharatanatyam. AS DANCERS WHAT PERSONAL CHALLENGES DO YOU FACE AS YOU TRANSLATE HISTORY AND ONTOLOGY INTO MOVEMENTS AND RHYTHMS? Aparna: This is the funny part. As part of my research at the Institute of South East Asian Studies (ISAS), I discovered that there are codified mudras or hand gestures of Buddhist deities, which in form appear similar to those in Bharatanatyam, but in significance, imply entirely different things. So a big challenge has been to learn and memorize a new set of mudras that Mrs. Bhaskar has worked into the choreography, especially considering that the standard set of mudras are already so ingrained in our bodies, from years of practice.


ENTERTAINMENT

E SEARCH FOR NALANDA Another challenge that we faced during Anweshana I, was that this piece was mellow and meditative, invoking the profound Buddhist theme of emptiness. For us, who are part time dancers, part time college students/employees, full time frenetics, it was a monumental challenge to find that sublime balance on stage. WHO CHOREOGRAPHED THE DANCE SEQUENCES? Aparna: A majority of the pieces choreographed by Mrs. Santha Bhaskar, who is the artistic director of NUS Indian Dance. The second piece for the October production is being choreographed by Meenakshy Bhaskar, winner of Singapore’s Young Artist Award. We are currently considering collaborations with other parties for the third installment of Anweshana.

dance piece on Nairatmya, the God of emptiness. As female dancers, many of us are used to portraying the feminine and soft form of Bharatanatyam so far. It was a new challenge to learn a more powerful and masculine form of Bharatanatyam and we are thoroughly enjoying the process!

immortal tradition that enriches the life of those who view and perform alike. Anweshana is a testimony to the finesse and elegance that is synonymous with Indian Dance and is richly interwoven with culture. With their grand finale set to coincide with the NUS

HOW DO YOU FEEL INDIAN DANCE HAS EVOLVED SINCE ITS ESTABLISHMENT IN NUS?

Aparna: I think NUS Indian Dance has always been focused on creating works that are experimental and content based. Situated in an intellectually invigorating university environment, we have been able to consistently explore themes ranging from highly abstract ones to well loved literary endeavors. Between 2010 and 2011 Anweshana moves NUS Indian Dance to extracting the spiritual HOW LONG HAVE YOU essence from the physical ruins GUYS BEEN PRACTICING of Nalanda, on to the bodies of FOR THE SHOW? our dancers and then perhaps, to the minds of our spectators. Aparna: We’ve been practicing This is certainly our most unique on Anweshana II since early May. experiment to date. This time, the complexity levels are very high and this is keeping I remember from an earlier even our most experienced conversation with a wise soul, dancers on their toes. But all of Art is the most meaningful us are really enjoying ourselves in experience we encounter in the process. life; and that life without art cannot be life at all. And Dance, Shweta: We had a very which speaks with rhythm and memorable time learning the movement sans words, is an

Arts Festival 2011, NUS Indian Dance brings to life this October, Anweshana II.

ANWESHANA THE SEARCH FOR NALANDA BY NUS INDIAN DANCE FRI, 8 OCT, 7.30PM UCC THEATRE $12.

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ENTERTAINMENT * FEATURE

SINGFEST2010

SINGfest was expanded from two days to a full three and held at Fort Canning Park. International hits like Tokio Hotel, Katy Perry, Kanye West and The Smashing Pumpkins were there. Organised by Midas Promotion, we were fortunate enough to be among the 15,000+ people who had the luxury of watching their favourite musicians perform under the stars.

S

ingfest, the music event of the year, and we were there.

With the intensity in the air thickening, it was like breathing in liquid excitement.

overworking the tonsils.

Four members from The Like started on stage wearing their iconic monochrome dresses with concentric circles, hypnotizing the enthusiastic audiences with tracks from their latest album, ‘Release Me’, with familiar American hits Release Me and Fair Game.

Wondergirls were on stage next and they were really a sensational dance phenomenon. With their showtime arranged like a farce, they were here on a mission to subdue a perverse alien.

Day Two was a treat for all Hip Hop, R&B, Jazz and Rap fans. A delayed soundcheck not only It was obvious why they kept bumped local act Sixx from Katy Perry till the end of the the list of performers but also show. The stage was already ensured that the show started decked with beach balls of all sizes, animal floats and coconut almost an hour late. But as always, you win some, you lose trees awaiting the diva. some. When she came out in a black bikini with pink floral prints, the The first act on stage was Canadian R&B singer Jully crowd screamed so loud I felt Birch, and she performed to the ground shook. No matter how many times you looped her a half-full audience as people album, it is love at first sight all were still strolling in well after 6 over again with Katy Perry live p.m. She got the crowd moving with hits like Sweat Off Your because every song sounded Brow, This Is Me, Running and like a new song. Seven Day Fool. That night when Katy sang, it She had a powerful voice, went out to every single one almost a combination of of us. Beyonce and Alicia Keys. It was never overly high-pitched She belt out hits after hits, or low-pitched – instead she stopping only to tease the struck a perfect balance and crowd with her irresistible brought out the essence of demeanor. From her billboard anthem Hot and Cold, cheeky R&B in her music. The time allocated for her performance One of the Boys to soulful felt short, in comparison to the Lost, she meant those lyrics. rest of the lineup. After her encore of Peacock and California Gurls, her fans

Orianthi did not take time to warm the crowd up. In her leopard prints, she went in with a barrage of radio-friendly rock. Orianthi mesmerised the entire performance arena with her jaw-dropping guitar solos. The crowds sang along to chart topper According to You and Orianthi presented more songs from her album ‘Believe (II)’ such as Drive Away, Suffocated and What’s It Gonna Be. No one was planning to shut up, and before long everyone was singing Shut Up and Kiss Me. Appropriately it was at this point day transited to night and the audiences tightly surrounded the stage periphery.

Midway, they quick-changed and returned to stage within casual denims and gave us all a singing lesson on Tell Me. The Wonder would not be completed until they sang Nobody. Speaking of nobody, everybody sang along, complete with contagious para para dance moves. Tokio Hotel surprised all from behind a raised fabric with Noise. And if Bill Kaulitz’s quirky voluminous porcupine outfit from Humanoid did not make its point, they brought fire towers, pixel-trons, a HarleyDavidson and fireworks along. Favorite hits World Behind the Wall and Monsoon got us all religiously punching the rock star hand sign skywards and

Which rock concert would be completed without bottled water hurled at the crowd?

reluctantly left. Not even the confetti machine could cheer us up.

AUTHOR + PHOTOGRAPH VINCENT LAU AUTHORS VINCENT LAU, SAHELI ROY CHOUDHURY, SUHAS BHAT + PHOTOGRAPHERS VINCENT LAU, SAHELI ROY CHOUDHURY, ISABELLA LEE


ENTERTAINMENT * FEATURE

Next up was Diane Birch and while she rocked the long, sleeveless two-piece black dress, funky necklace and a black fedora, her performance failed to evoke similar adulation for her. It was bland and slow moving. Her choice of music did not fit the rest of the line-up as it was a lot more tamed. Lupe Fiasco had the crowd roaring once more with his energetic hour long performance. By then Fort Canning Park was almost filled – roughly 4000 people screaming to Lupe’s vibe and energy as he moved around the stage, then jumped onto the metal kit boxes, almost within reaching distance of where we were situated. He treated us to songs off his new record ‘Lasers’ as well as staple hits like Kick, Push and Daydreaming. Lupe ended off with his signature Superstar and like a conductor of a philharmonic orchestra, he guided the crowd to sing the chorus to the song and the crowd responded with vigour and passion – this kind of reception was missing in the

earlier performances. 70s legend, Kool and the Gang took the stage next and if you thought the whole Gen X and Gen Y divide spilled over to the music scene, you were dead wrong. Not only did the crowd respond with loud cheers and applause to their performances, they were singing along to their hits like Ladies Night and Get Down on It. They finished with one of their most popular songs, Celebration, for which Jully Black joined them on stage as the crowd sang along into the night. The wait for Kanye was long and painstaking; by then we had stood for close to six hours straight, pressed up ungracefully in a hot, sweaty (and smoking) crowd. But out came a guy dressed in a bright neon orange suit and shades and the crowd went insane. He delivered a total of 17 songs for close to one and a half hours. Among the crowd favourites were Heartless, American Boy, Gold Digger and

Love Lockdown. He ended with Stronger, accompanied with proper fire and smoke across the stage – a fitting grand finale for a very fitting final act. The second day line-up did not disappoint, even if many skeptics had called for better known musical acts. This was a good opportunity to discover some really good, non A-listers like Jully Black. The third day was marked out for head-banging madness as a number of rock bands wowed the audience with their energy, enthusiasm and wild performances. Opening the act were local band The Great Spy Experiment who performed hits from their debut album ‘Flower Show Riots’ such as Class ‘A’ Love Affair, Siti in the City, The Great Decay and a couple of new songs that they are working on – Lights and Wasted. Despite their best efforts, the crowd didn’t really warm up to them though they were pleasing to listen to. The next act, coming all the

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way from Ontario, Canada raised the intensity a notch. Hail the Villain, with an utterly crazy singer (who climbed to the top of the stage at one point) and loud distortion blaring from the speakers got the crowd off their feet. Runaway and Try Hating the World were the best tracks but they might have been a bit too heavy for some. Bryan Crouch, the singer, had a wicked face affixed with a permanent mischievous grin (like an errant child with great plans afoot) but a surprisingly warm personality (he wished Singapore ‘Happy National Day!’). Ian Brown then came but his performance was so dispirited. Barely interacting, mumbling his songs, he was bland. It wasn’t a performance worth watching but the older working crowd did groove to his songs, perhaps reminiscing about the music that they had once listened to in the 80s when Brown was in ‘The Stone Roses’. The Vines were largely nondescript and people only

STORY WRITER + PHOTOGRAPH PHOTOGRAPHER/PHOTO CREDITS


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ENTERTAINMENT *FEATURE

wanted to hear Get Free but it was rather funny when the singer tried to smash the guitar but failed at doing so repeatedly. The heavy lifters then began to come with 30 Seconds to Mars drawing widespread cheers and hysterical, highpitched screams. Sporting a crazy blonde mohawk, Jared Leto psyched up the crowd, saying “Every single person in here is gonna jump so high and so hard, we’re going to leave a crater in this ground, they’re gonna come back a thousand years from now and wonder what the f*** happened!”. He even made way for a mosh pit and the crazy fans banged into one another losing themselves to the frenzy of the music. Leto was such a good entertainer that the audience loved him every minute (Billy Corgan later had to ask, “Did 30STM suck the life force out of ya?”). Their setup was top notch as well with the music playing with perfect clarity complemented by a dazzling array of effects provided by the SINGfest

technicians. The crowd sang loudly and lovingly to The Kill, This is War and Kings & Queens and Leto invited about 30 audience members to come onto the stage and sing along with the band before they bid the crowd farewell. Smashing Pumpkins finally came into the late hours of the night and gave a subdued yet excellent performance. Seeing Corgan sing and perform crazy solos was superb and The Pumpkins, returning after 14 years, played a whopping 17 songs - Today, Stand Inside Your Love, Cherub Rock, and Bullet with Butterfly Wings were all on the playlist. All in all, those were three amazing days. Nothing thrills the senses like a live concert and with so many bands and artists up on show, SINGfest is truly becoming an awesome annual event and it is hard to believe that this little island nation has become such a hotspot for international musicians. Here’s to hoping that SINGfest continues to rock in the years to come.

STORY WRITER + PHOTOGRAPH PHOTOGRAPHER/PHOTO CREDITS


ENTERTAINMENT *FEATURE

“DID 30STM SUCK THE LIFE FORCE OUT OF YA?”

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ENTERTAINMENT

BOEING BOEING: IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT AT ITS BEST B

oeing Boeing, originally a French play written by Marc Camoletti, has been adapted many times, in different languages and media. This year, it arrives on our shores again with W!LD RICE, a local theatre production company, at its helm. With director Glen Goei (whose past works include the witty local delight The Blue Mansion), and seasoned powerhouses like Adrian Pang and Emma Yong, the play displayed the potential to impress.

Boeing is that of its protagonist, as he is able to get away without sanction from his ‘girlfriends’ and the audience. Much of the charm lies in the humour worked into the play, where we are bombarded with at least four different types of accents and all of them brilliantly mastered. What was most striking was perhaps how well the play was integrated into the local context, with the occasional mention of the Orchard Road flash floods and more.

The premise of the play hinges upon a hilarious farce of a cheating male protagonist Bernard, who enjoys the romantic company of three fiancées. In order to pull off this fantasy, he wisely chooses three flight stewardesses with different flying schedules. Not only do the flight stewardesses awe the audience with how good they look in their sexy lingerie, they form an international crowd, from Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong. Despite their differences, they share the same initial J, to avoid confusing the poor Bernard. Things begin to unravel when the stewardesses are transferred to the Super Boeing, an airplane, which reduces air time and incidentally screws up Bernard’s carefully planned timetable.

Overall, I felt that the development of the storyline was predictably clichéd. Having said that, watching a play, even at a students’ price, is a luxury for most of us, and taking a ride on the Super Boeing was absolutely worth it.

This leads to a hilarious cover up of events when the three fiancées drop by, unexpectedly, at Bernard’s doorstep; all of them expecting to be the only woman in his life. Despite its risible nature, Boeing Boeing brings to light certain contemporary issues prevalent in modern society. It might initially

AUTHOR HE YINING + PHOTOGRAPH EUROPEANSEASON.COM

come across as shocking to some of the audience, to see infidelity and moral ambiguity so lightly treated in the play. There is no poetic justice for Bernard and his philandering – he gets away not just with cheating, but also with ‘Miss Hong Kong Airlines’ in arms. The greatest success of Boeing


ENTERTAINMENT

37

HAUNTED CHANGI A GROUP OF LOCAL FILMMAKERS EXPLORE THE FAMOUSLY HAUNTED OLD CHANGI HOSPITAL IN SINGAPORE WITH TERRIFYING AND TRAGIC RESULTS.

H

aunted Changi tracks the journey of four local filmmakers as they attempt to put together a documentary on the famously haunted Old Changi Hospital. Crafted around the footage of the crew itself, it gives audience a fresh and interesting take on the many stories and local folklore surrounding the notorious site. The Old Changi Hospital actually has been the centre of focus for many paranormal investigators, both local and international. Many of the stories originate from the fact that it was originally the headquarters of the Japanese Military during World War 2. Many POWs were executed around the Changi area and rumours circulated that

there were many horrific torture chambers and bloody executions at the hospital itself. After the war, the Japanese paid for their war crimes with their own blood in the same Changi area. In the 1950s the former military barracks were turned into a public hospital.  A perpetual portal for life and death, the premises was proclaimed haunted by the public throughout the years.  Witnesses claimed to see ghosts, Japanese soldiers and even pontianaks - a Malay vampire.  Some locals believed that suffering through a serious injury was better than going to the haunted Changi hospital for medical attention. In 1997, the Changi Hospital was relocated, leaving behind the current abandoned site where many thrill-seekers and vandals

return, hoping to encounter the supernatural The film itself managed to capture almost everything that is wrong with local film productions. It had its good points, though these were few and far in between. The major undoing was the plot; it seemed too predictable and even forced at times. The direction tried to capture the essence of the definitive films of this genre The Blair Witch Project (1999) and more recently, Paranormal Activity (2009). Its ‘raw and uncut’ feel was not well translated on to screen. The cast however, did not disappoint and they managed to pull off an outstanding

performance despite the limitations in the script and direction. It also helped that the site itself, with all its long and narrow corridors and dark rooms, suited well to the adaptation. Another saving grace was the brilliant visual and sound effects as these served to heighten the experience for the audience, allowing their imagination to be stretched. Old Changi Hospital remains without a doubt one of the most beautiful and spectacular buildings to be captured on screen.

ALL IN ALL, IT’S NOT A FILM WORTH CATCHING AT THE CINEMAS BUT POSSIBLY ONE TO ADD TO YOUR DVD COLLECTION.

AUTHOR NATHANAEL PS + PHOTOGRAPH HAUNTEDCHANGI.COM


38

ENTERTAINMENT

BOOK REVIEWS BOOK: THE DIARY OF A TAXI DRIVER: TRUE STORIES FROM SINGAPORE’S MOST EDUCATED CABDRIVER AUTHOR: CAI MINGJIE

I

n 2008, Cai Mingjie, an Adjunct Associate Professor from the Biochemistry department suddenly found himself without a job. With no prospects available, he decided to take the one job that is exclusively available to Singaporeans only – driving a taxi. Through the 6 months that he decided to live on the road, Mingjie makes some very interesting observations about the country that we live in. He brings out the best and the worst in us and we get to see aspects of the country that we have never seen before; for instance, I never knew that the taxi industry was so heavily dependent on the seedier parts of the country or that taxi drivers have such a harsh regulatory system to adhere to (Mingjie had to pay a $77 daily rental fee even on holidays or on days when he was sick). If you’re tired of reading books that are about far-off lands and unfamiliar characters then this book would

definitely be a refreshing change with the familiar localities and the uniquely Singaporean personalities (whether they be good or bad) giving you quite a few introspective and reflective moments. Being a bit descriptive and bland at first (sounding like a series of mundane blog posts), it becomes a much better read over time with Mingjie writing about the plight of the lower income class, the decline of common courtesy and the victimisation of immigrant Chinese women.

BOOK: ROOM AUTHOR: EMMA DONOGHUE

BOOK: WUTHERING HEIGHTS AUTHOR: EMILY BRONTE

R

W

oom is a chilling, poignant tale of five year old Jack and his mother, Ma (who remains nameless throughout). Captured when she was 19, Ma had been forced to live in a tiny, 3.6 square metres garden shed, one which she shared with Jack, a product of the numerous times when she was raped by her

captor, ‘Old Nick’. The first half of the novel is situated entirely in the garden shed, which Jack has affectionately named Room. Room is home to him, but a prison for Ma, who sometimes goes through days of blank depression. Other furniture and knick-knacks in Room are also made into characters by Jack’s precocious and active imagination (TV Bunny, Rug, Plant, and Meltedy Spoon). The beautiful simplicity of Donoghue’s powerful prose, combined with the innocence of the childish narrative makes Room a shocking and heart-wrenching read. Donoghue’s decision to tell the story from a child’s point of view works well, leaving the plot

open to interpretation, keeping the underlying tension and angst tentatively covered by a veil of joyful innocence. At the heart of it though, the story reveals the raw, powerful love between mother and son, a love that is further intensified because they only have each other in this horrifying experience. The ending however, remains hopeful as Ma and Jack literally walk out of their traumatic past, and into a brighter and hopefully kinder future.

uthering Height is a tragic Victorian tale about two star crossed lovers and their impossible love that leads to their ultimate destruction at the hands of each other. While many from the impressionable younger generation feel tormented by the complexities behind Edward and

Bella’s love in Twilight, I weep for the doomed-to-fail relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw in the only novel Emily Bronte ever wrote. The barebones of the novel is about Catherine Earnshaw, a well-to-do girl from Yorkshire, and an orphan named Heathcliff, who is adopted by Catherine’s father and is invited to stay with the family in Wuthering Heights. They eventually become lovers but their differing places in society prevent them from being together. Catherine chooses to marry Edgar Linton, someone closer to her social stature than Heathcliff, which triggers a downward spiral for the latter.

of obsessive love which turns into hatred, which in turn destroys everything and everyone in the vicinity. What makes Heathcliff one of the most tragic antiheroes in literature is his development throughout the book. Heathcliff is not outwardly

likeable; he is crass and unpolished, and in the latter half of the novel, he turns destructive and vengeful and not only destroys the Earnshaws, but also the Lintons. Despite that, readers are able to feel sympathy for him because at the very core of the novel, he has always been in love with Catherine. It makes a haunting motif for the novel and its exploration leaves the reader with plenty to think about. If you haven’t already read it, you are missing out a lot! So go to your nearest library and grab a copy with your evening latte now!

This story is a perfect summation

FROM L TO R: THE DIARY OF A TAXI DRIVER: TRUE STORIES FROM SINGAPORE’S MOST EDUCATED CABDRIVER, WUTHERING HEIGHTS, ROOM

AUTHORS SUHAS BHAT, SAHELI ROY CHOUDHURY, JOCELYN YEO + PHOTOGRAPH ANDREW TAN + PENGUIN.COM + PICADOR.COM


ENTERTAINMENT

WHAT’S IN MY

39

iPod

“STEP ASIDE KATY PERRY, GUESS WHO’S BACK, BACK AGAIN?”

Love The Way You Lie Eminem feat Rihanna Dynamite Taio Cruz California Gurls Katy Perry feat Snoop Dogg I Like It Enrique Iglesias feat Pitbull Teenage Dream Katy Perry Cooler Than Me Mike Postner DJ Got Us Falling In Love Usher feat Pitbull Mine Taylor Swift Airplanes B.O.B feat Hailey Williams Ridin’ Solo Jason Derulo Magic B.O.B feat Rivers Cuomo Billionaire Travie Mc Coy feat Bruno Mars Find Your Love Drake Not Afraid Eminem OMG Usher Feat will.i.am

Till the next wave of rocking music, this is Divya out. AUTHOR DIVYA GUNDLAPALLI + PHOTOGRAPH ACESHOWBIZ.COM

P L o d m


40 SPORTS

YOG TENNIS:FUTURE NO. 1’S, STEFANIE TAN AND MORE TICKET GRIPES C

h eers, rain and fuzzy yellow balls – Kallang Tennis Centre saw all these and more during the YOG tennis event. Play had been disrupted time and again by rain. Several Gold Medal matches were pushed back a day due to the bad weather. The players were understandably frustrated, but credit has to be given to the organizers of the event, who worked their hardest in ensuring the games went as smoothly as possible, often drying out the courts within half an hour for play to resume. As with other sports, a number of tickets had been allocated to young children. While the exposure to the sport was beneficial to the youths, not everyone, predictably, was happy with that arrangement. Some in the crowd were irked by the failure of some primary school children in maintaining the tennis spectators’ etiquette of keeping silent while the ball was in play. Others were less than amused at the lack of tickets to the more

popular matches, one of them being Singapore No. 1 Stefanie Tan’s first round match. The spectators packed the courtside stands to get a good look at our unseeded hopeful, up against 16th seed and eventual winner Daria Gavrilova in a very tough first round encounter. The crowd was firmly behind Stefanie, who showed why she was unrivalled in the country, putting in a solid display despite being the underdog. It was unfortunate that her tournament ended in a first round loss, but her dedication to her sport, having made the bold decision of taking a year off her studies to train for this, as well as her performance under such pressure has truly been an inspiration to other young tennis hopefuls in Singapore. Every tournament will be best remembered for its victors, and being the first ever YOG tennis Gold Medalist certainly ensured that the winners had their names written into history books. In the Boys’ Singles, unseeded

AUTHOR EDNA CHAN + PHOTOGRAPH KAI LIN

Juan Sebastian Gomez of Columbia clinched the Gold with the unfortunate retirement of his Indian opponent Yuki Bhambri. The Girls’ draw saw Gavrilova rally her way past China’s Zheng Saisai, who later came back from the disappointment to earn a victory in the Girls’ Doubles final with compatriot Tang Hao Chen. Russian duo Mikhail Biryukov and Victor Baluda fell to Oliver Golding (Britain) and Jiri Vesely (Czech Republic) in straight sets, as Junior Wimbledon semi-finalist Golding finally picked up a Gold Medal in the Boys’ Doubles after entering the tournament with high expectations. They may not be Nadal or Williams yet, but we could well have just witnessed the superstars of the future.


SPORTS

41

4 HALVES AND A GAME: A YOG FINAL ODYSSEY T

he weekend before, I bought a ticket for the boys football finals, in hope that Singapore would reach the final. Imagine my shock when the Cubs lost 2-0 to Haiti while Bolivia defeated Montenegro 3-1, setting up a rematch of the group stage fixtures.

SINGAPORE VS MONTENEGRO BRONZE MEDAL MATCH Singapore striker Hanafi Akbar opened the scoring with a brilliant strike. The Montenegro equaliser resulted from some slack Singapore defending. Singapore captain Jeffrey Lightfoot’s face received a gash while defending against the Montenegro attack. It was a subdued affair with both teams setting the bronze in their sights, defending stoutly in a half that settled down after those early exchanges. Early in the second half, the crowd were roused onto their feet again. A classic cross-play on the 45th minute from right winger

Bryan Neubronner, set up star striker Hanafi for his brace. The rabid cheers rang through the stadium. There was going to be only one winner and the flustered Montenegrins put themselves out of contention on the 57th minute. They conceded a soft penalty, which midfielder Ammirul Emmran duly converted. The Singapore Cubs pulled one last trick out of the bag with Ammirul heading the ball in on the 65th min to complete a comprehensive performance. A collective roar was the Cubs’ just reward for their flair and fighting spirit. [P.S: I nearly got my hands on a Cubs jersey but I gave it to the boys behind!]

BOLIVIA VS HAITI FINAL For the final, I was joined by some Bolivians who had come all the way from back home. It was a good start when Bolivian star Alvaro Mejido sent in a sumptuous close range effort to seal his top scorer title with six

goals. So it was to everyone’s shock when the top scorer ended his night in shame by elbowing a Haiti player, sending the latter sprawling to the ground (and we got to see some exaggerated playacting). The red card was greeted with howls of protest and boos. The Bolivians coolly went on with business as Jorge Alpirez pounced on his team mate’s free kick to head the ball in to make it 2-0. It was one-way traffic from then on with Haiti players valiantly throw themselves in front of the opposition players in a desperate attempt to stop the South Americans.

Enduring a torrid night at goal, it was too much to take for the Haiti goalkeeper, who eventually had to be substituted out due to injury. In the end it was supersub Banegas’ turn to make it 5-0, rounding Haiti’s substitute keeper after a through pass by Alpire freed him to finish from close range to spark cheers across the stadium. No doubt the night belonged to the Bolivians, whose country won their first ever Olympic medal in any sport, but it was the sight of the brave Singapore Cubs that sparked another round of fervent cheers among the crowd.

The Bolivians did not stop and continually laid siege on the Haiti defence with repeated attempts on goal and they were soon rewarded again. This time, it was by midfielder Cristian Arano on the 53rd minute and his close range effort deflected in off the upright. The demoralised Haitians soon conceded another goal when their keeper spilled a routine catch, allowing midfielder Noel Rodriguez to head home.

AUTHOR JOSEPH CHIN


42

SPORTS

CHRISTMAS PRED BARCLAYS PRE C

h ristmas is still a few months away and we are only two weeks into the new Barclay’s Premier League season but we have decided to make our very own predictions of the league table come December. Past statistics have shown that the standings during Christmas sometimes reveal the final outcome of the season as well. This issue, we gather the predictions of pundits from here in NUS of how the table would look like.

YONG JUN SPORTS EDITOR Over the last two month, Chelsea have come out of the stands in blazing form. Sweeping aside West Bromwich Albion and Wigan Athletic 6–0 in both games, they have shown their desire to retain the title. They might very likely come out on top during Christmas but the season is long and you can never know if they will last the distance. Without the services of Joe Cole, Michael Ballack and Deco, injuries in midfield might hurt them during the season. While Manchester United have been held to a 2 – 2 draw in a thriller at Fulham’s home ground, it is not an indicator of the season to come. At one point last season, they had seven defenders out injured and still managed to grit their teeth and finish the season in second

position. The squad has been bolstered with some key signings like Javier Hernandez and Chris Smalling. With a good mixture of youth and experience, the Red Devils can never be written off. Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal has always been a team of youth and talent. This season, the boys have shown their skills by holding Liverpool to a 1–1 draw in their opening exchanges. Though both teams were lacking key players, Arsenal showed more inventive play and good passing. I expect them to come in third. The fourth spot is wide open, to be contested amongst Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. These teams have decent squads but erratic performances means that it all depend on the managers to bring out the best in

AUTHORS CHOW YONG JUN, FELICIA LIM, PRATEEK SINHA PHOTOGRAPH GOOGLE IMAGES

the players on match days. However, I would tip Tottenham to beat the other two, as their team seems the most stable with the least politics off the pitch.


SPORTS

43

DICTIONS FOR THE EMIER LEAGUE FELICIA LIM It would be bold for me to make my predictions on how the Barclays Premier League table will stand out during the Christmas period, especially after looking at the unexpected score lines produced so far.

Needless to say, I could set my expectations on Chelsea and Arsenal doing well. With only a few games played and having attained maximum points and a strong lead in goal difference, Chelsea have shown, once again, their dominance in the early part of the season. Carlo Ancelotti has showcased his excellent managerial skills – superb performances from his team were seen despite the absence of Michael Ballack and Joe Cole. On the other hand, we should

also never neglect the possible emergent of a young talented Arsenal squad. Arsene Wenger would be desperate for some silverware this season, after arduous attempts to keep Cesc Febregas in for another season.

strengthening their squad with the inclusion of David Silva, Yaya Toure and Jerome Boateng. They look absolutely strong enough to challenge for the 4th position.

Nonetheless, they would inevitably face strong With the addition of Moroccan competitions from the likes of striker Marouane Chamakh Liverpool and Tottenham. I and if Van Persie can stay fit would guess that Chelsea will for a stretch then Arsenal could take the first spot and defend well pose the biggest threat to their title well with Arsenal close Chelsea’s journey to yet another on their heels with Manchester BPL title. I say that with the United somewhere around and assumption that Manuel Almunia then finally, I’m hoping for a performs his job well as a resurgent Liverpool showing. goalkeeper and avoids any further unnecessary clumsy mistakes! Deep down somewhere in the corner of my heart, I do still As for Manchester United, I am harbour the slightest hope that extremely cautious to not write Liverpool FC would bounce back them off at the very beginning up and fight for their Champions of the season because Sir Alex League spot. Ferguson has proved on several occasions that the team could win it back in the very last moments. Coming to Manchester City, both the owners and the renowned Roberto Mancini would expect no less than a 4th position this season, after


44

SPORTS

LIN DAO WEI NUS SOCCER CAPTAIN I doubt that the Christmas standings will be an important benchmark for the final outcome as there will be more than half a season still left to go. I believe that 6-7 teams will still be within a good shout of the UEFA Champions League slots. Nonetheless, I would probably say Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City will secure the top 4 spots. Regarding which team that would ultimately win, I have to confess that I am a Liverpool fan but yet unfortunately Liverpool, in my opinion, is in a downward spiral with a threadbare squad and numerous distractions off the field. I feel that it will be a 2 horse race between Manchester United and Chelsea. Both teams have squads with the quality and experience that can cope with the long season and more importantly, they are able to pull off results when it really matters. Arsenal, for me, lack a good keeper and a strong mentality. Manchester City are the big question marks this time. They have the players to surprise big teams and do well but do they have the mentality and the team

spirit? There are lots of good players to watch out for but Didier Drogba, as always, will be superb with his good pace, power, skill and finishing skills. Having reduced his diving antics recently, he is almost a perfect striker. Michael Essien is an excellent midfielder. Although he missed most of last season, he is still a force to be reckoned with whenever and wherever he’s on the field. He is equally adept at both attacking and defending. No defender stands out for me, though. Many good ones are there in the league but nobody is exceptional. Without a doubt, Reina is the best keeper in the league. Being second to none in his distribution, he also has an excellent command of his area. In addition to this, he is a strong character both on and off the field (his own goal notwithstanding). But then I am not of the opinion that players in the English league are the only ones to watch out for. There are other outstanding leagues with less air time on Singapore TV with exceptional players in their ranks. We can all enjoy them as they play in their respective leagues.


SPORTS

45

YONG JUN’S PREDICTIONS

FELICIA’S PREDICTIONS

DAO WEI’S PREDICTIONS

COME DECEMBER, WE WILL REVIEW AND SEE HOW ACCURATE THEY ARE! SO HANG ON TO YOUR COPIES OF THE RIDGE!


46

WIRED

THE REVIEW STARCRAFT II A SCI-FI TALE OF ROMANCE, REBELLION AND SHEER POWER.

I

t’s the 26th century. It’s been 4 unaccomplishable beause SC was years since the Brood war. not just any other RTS (real time strategy) game; it was an EPIC And overthrowing the Zerg’s game which took the player into hydralisks and the Protoss’s an amazing new world. It was so zealots has been my primary successful that the sequel had to objective for the past 8 hours! not only be good enough to sate millions of fans but rather it had YES, I AM TALKING to be colossal! The fact remains ABOUT STARCRAFT 2 thus and Blizzard has shown us - WINGS OF LIBERTY. once again, why they are still one of the most successful video The wait is over. It’s bigger. gaming companies around. It’s louder. It’s more graphic. The much-awaited sequel to The story had to be continued in StarCraft is finally here. When I such a way that StarCraft fans was given a copy of the muchliked it yet also to ensure that anticipated release of Starcraft II it did not get too convoluted to (writers have perks!) after more prevent gamers who haven’t tried than a decade of waiting, the StarCraft I from getting lost. excitement was up to the brim. And it was aptly done. This time there are newer units, better graphics, and much more The game has enough back story challenging missions. to recap StarCraft I to those new to the game and also fresh From what I see, Blizzard has material to appease the old made the most eligible sequel fans. Another good thing about to StarCraft. The towering StarCraft II is that the essentials, expectations of the fans seemed such as game play, layout, primary

AUTHOR SHANMUGAM MURUGA PALANIAPPAN + PHOTOGRAPH EGAMER.CO.ZK

units et cetera are built on the same template as its predecessor. With an added bonus of much better graphics, the game patrons (those accustomed to SC1) are neither alienated nor bored. They will also be introduced to a host of new characters other than the previously cherished characters from StarCraft I, who can still be relied on. The graphics and sounds will leave you reeling for more and perhaps even questioning the very virtuality of it. The campaign follows a well scripted storyline which is often advanced by the numerous cut-scenes. Despite its near-perfection, it has one major flaw - one will not be able to play the game in offline mode with friends over LAN. The game requires a constant internet connection even for achievements to be made in missions. Although this effectively rules out LAN parties, we shall all wait eagerly for Blizzard to send an update which enables this connectivity feature.


WIRED

REQUIREMENTS

OVERALL SCORE

The basic requirements to enter the 26th Century and battle the Zerg and Protoss from the comfort of your own home/room are: ■ 2.6 GHZ PROCESSOR OR EQUIVALENT ■ 1GB RAM FOR XP, 1.5GB FOR VISTA AND 7 ■ 2GB RAM FOR MAC OS ■ 128MB VIDEO CARD MINIMUM (MAC/WINDOWS) ■ 512MB VIDEO CARD RECOMMENDED (MAC/ WINDOWS) ■ DIRECTX VERSION 9.0C OR BETTER ■ 12GB HARD DISK SPACE ■ INTERNET CONNECTION

So to wind up, Starcraft II weighs in as follows:

I’d also like to add that surprisingly the game works flawlessly in Linux using WINE. (Which is how I ran the game!)

CATEGORY

SCORE

GAMEPLAY

10

PLOT

8

CHARACTERISATION

8.5

GRAPHICS

8

SOUNDTRACK

7.5

X-FACTOR

9.5

47

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 10, and have been decided upon with as much objectivity as possible.


48

WIRED

IPAD REVIEW THE RIDGE (BELATEDLY) GETS ITS HANDS ON THE IPAD AND TRIES TO FIGURE OUT WHAT ALL THE FUSS IS ABOUT.

DESIGN

T

he iPad has been described as a magical and revolutionary product. At least that is what it says on the Apple website. So you can imagine my excitement when the Chief Editor managed to secure a 64GB WiFi review model of the iPad and asked if I could pen down my thoughts for this issue. Before I continue, I should admit, this is not a comprehensive review and you could probably find a much more detailed analysis of the iPad and its plethora of functions and capabilities on the interweb. I will however, share my thoughts on the iPad from the perspective of a student of this fine institution.

T

he design of the iPad looks simple enough. The 9.7 inch capacitive touch screen does inevitably collect smudges but can be cleaned rather easily. The screen is complemented by the home button at the bottom which any iPhone or iPod Touch user would be familiar with. The thick bezel surrounding the screen has been a bone of contention for many, including me, who felt that it was a waste of space which could otherwise be used to accommodate a bigger screen. Though, after actually using the iPad, I realise that it is actually a neccessity, allowing you to grip the device without accidentally touching the screen. The volume buttons are located on the right hand side of the device where a rotation lock switch is also located, in the event that you do not want the screen to rotate between portrait and landscape mode uneccessarily. The aluminium body looks like it could take on some rough handling, although one would and most probably should, get an iPad sleeve or cover to protect such an expensive device. The iPad is also light and small enough such that it does not feel like a chore to carry it around with you.

“THE IPAD ONLY SUPPORTS VIEWING PDF FILES WHICH ARE SENT VIA EMAIL IN THE MAIL AUTHOR GURMESH SINGH + PHOTOGRAPH LUKE VIJAY


WIRED

THE OPERATING SYSTEM

T

The iPad uses the operating system known as the iOS which means that it should be very familiar to iPhone or iPod Touch users. The display is sharp and crisp even with the bigger screen. Access to the iTunes and App stores is the key to getting the most out of this device and it may have been the reason why the iPhone operating system was chosen, which disappointed many who were hoping to see a version of the Mac OS running on this device. The iPad features an iPod application as well as the ability to view videos, pictures and function as a digital picture frame. The iBooks application can also be downloaded which would allow you to use the iPad as an ebook reader for books you can purchase from the App Store. Those hoping to use the iPad as a novel way of viewing their readings, without the need to print them out (thus saving paper and the environment, further justifying the money spent on an iPad), will be disappointed to know that you would probably have to purchase a 3rd party application to be able to enjoy features like continuing from your last read page or even navigating using the table of contents, all of which are not supported by the native pdf viewer.

EASE OF USE

WIFI CONNECTIVITY & WEB BROWSING

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

I

T

I

f you have always found the virtual keyboard on the iPhone too small to use effectively, you will definitely appreciate the bigger screen real estate that the iPad affords. Even though you can now be more precise when typing on the virtual keyboard, it still does take some getting used to. While the virtual keyboard is much easier to use in landscape mode, it is at the expense of screen space for the application you are using. You could probably get away with some light note-taking during lectures but actually typing out an entire assignment it is definitely not going to be an enjoyable experience. To be fair, Apple has not been touting the iPad as a workstation but if you are able to type long documents without any discomfort or without having to endure the constant frustration of errors in your typing, I take my hat off to you! The speaker located at the bottom of the iPad is loud and audible even in fairly noisy environments (in this case, the Arts canteen during lunchtime). However, I do suggest investing in your own pair of headphones, which can be plugged into the headphone jack located at the top of the iPad, for a much, much better sound quality.

he Wifi connectivity on the iPad is excellent. There was absolutely no problem when browsing the web on the university’s network. Viewing webpages on the iPad is certainly a more pleasant experience compared to viewing it on an iPhone or any other smartphone, as it should be. Still, you should note that flash is not supported by the Safari browser on the iPad just like on the iPhone or iPod Touch. The good news is that more and more webpages now have versions of their webpages specifically designed for viewing on devices such as the iPad. Even so, there are still a large number of webpages which utilise flash. For a device which purports itself to be an innovative way to view the web, it does hamper the experience somewhat. Webcast lectures are also unfortunately not viewable on the iPad.

49

f you are looking to get some serious work done, then I would suggest looking at getting a laptop or a netbook. Even with the iWork applications, which need to be purchased separately, I cannot see anyone actually doing some proper school work on this device, with the exception of some light editing, such as touching up an assignment or finalizing presentation slides. As an entertainment device nonetheless, you would find that the iPad stands in a league of its own. It should be noted though, that the ability to get the most out of your iPad would be subject to you spending more money on applications which may be a deal breaker for some of you. The iPad then would be a perfect device to be brought along on holidays, allowing you to keep in contact with friends and family, upload pictures on social sites like Facebook and using it as an all round entertainment device. For everyday use however, you would probably be better off with a laptop.

APPLICATION OR BY CLICKING ON A PDF LINK IN THE SAFARI BROWSER.�

PHOTOGRAPH APPLE.COM


50

SINGFEST CONTEST WINNERS

SINGfest contest winners

PHOTOGRAPHERS HASAN MUHAMMAD & BENJAMIN TEO

As SINGfest came along, we were pretty excited to check it out. And we wanted to spread the love! Working alongside NUSSU Bizcom and Midas Promotions, THE RIDGE organized an online contest where NUS students had to inform us why they badly, badly wanted to go to SINGfest and from a total of 60 entries, there were two entries that stood out! Congratulations to Hasan Muhammad (Busines, Year 4) and Benjamin Teo (Business, Year 4 and who just graduated and whose NUS email account was about to close!) as their entries helped them win 2 pairs of free tickets to Day

1 and Day 2 of the 3-day concert (beating 60 other contestants)! Keep a lookout for more such tieups as THE RIDGE tries to bring the best of our island nation to you! Hasan - Kudos to Jully Black for an awesome opening act. Thanks to her drummer, I am now a proud owner of his drumstick! Benjamin Teo - The act of the night had to be TOKIO HOTEL! They set the stage on fire, literally. Everyone was pushing to get to the front. It was crazy! TOKIO HOTEL ROCKS!



2. THE RIDGE September Issue