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02 NEWS The Briefing Room:

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Our editors’ pick of interesting news stories from around the world

Unavoidable freeze

Why so serious, Siri?

AN INMATE who escaped from a minimum-security prison in Lexington, Kentucky, turned himself back in last Sunday (Monday local time). Robert Vick, 42, explained that he could not stand the -29 degree Celsius weather, preferring to return behind bars after just one day. More than 50 major US cities were hit by arctic blasts, causing temperatures of an all-time low. The lowest recording of -37 degree Celsius was made in the town of Embarrass, Minnesota.

WHEN iPhone virtual assistant Siri is questioned about “Samantha”, she gets angry. Samantha is a futuristic operating system in the 2013 film Her. In the movie, the depressed protagonist falls in love with Samantha’s vocal expressions, voiced by Scarlett Johansson. iPhone programmers appear to have noticed the similarities between them. In response to “Siri, are you Samantha?”, she replies with: “No. Her portrayal of an intelligent agent is beyond artificial.” PHOTOS: INTERNET

Police nab kidnappers of Sheng Siong CEO’s mother

Monochrome imperfections

TWO MEN were arrested last Thursday for kidnapping the mother of Mr Lim Hock Chee, CEO of supermarket chain Sheng Siong. The men, aged 41 and 50, reportedly kidnapped the 79-year-old woman near a bus stop at Hougang Avenue 8. Police recovered the $2 million ransom after the arrest. The kidnappers initially demanded $20 million for her release. They were caught less than 12 hours after a police report was lodged.

ELLE magazine caused an online furore when it released a black and white cover of actress Mindy Kaling, 34, showing only her face and upper body. Bloggers believe it is because she is the only woman of colour and a US size 8 among three other actresses, whose covers appeared in full colour, extending beyond the waist. For its February issue on “Women in TV”, the magazine released four separate covers featuring Kaling, Amy Poehler, Zooey Deschanel and Allison Williams. Kaling played down the controversial cover, tweeting: “It made me feel glamorous & cool. And if anyone wants to see more of my body, go on thirteen dates with me.”

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Correction AN ARTICLE in Volume 20 Issue 5, titled: “Unwelcomed knocks” stated that officers from the Office of Housing and Auxiliary Services (HAS) conducted checks on 10 Oct 2013 in the room of two Hall 4 residents Melissa Tan and Lim Jiaxin, and in Hall 15 resident Vanathy Nathan’s room on 14 Oct. We have learnt that these checks did not happen. The article also stated that Katharina Bagurten, who was found squatting illegally, was told by the Hall Office to move out within 24 hours and was fined $280 on the spot. This is incorrect. It was the hall president who advised the student to move out as soon as possible, and no fine was issued. We apologise unreservedly to the Office of Housing and Auxiliary Services for these reporting errors.

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News

Her subordinates are all men — Page 5

Phones before friends? Survey: most students find unrestrained phone usage harmful, but many are starting to excuse such anti-social behaviour

"We probably don't think much of our quick phone checks, but I guess (they) really add up."

Louisa Tang Aqil Haziq Mahmud News Editors

Wong Wenbin, 22 First-year student Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information

S

TUDENTS are finding it more socially-acceptable to use their phones in front of their friends, in a poll conducted by the Nanyang Chronicle. They fear being seen as rude by friends on their social media networks and mobile apps if they ignore notifications. Darryll Goh, 22, a first-year student from the Nanyang Business School, said that students are constantly checking their phone even when they are with someone because they do not want to appear inconsiderate. “On Whatsapp, there is a last seen timestamp, so you are always under pressure to respond or risk being called rude,” he said. When the Chronicle surveyed 65 NTU students, only five said they never use their phones when they are in the company of friends. More than half admitted that they check their phones at least once every 15 minutes. “We probably don't think much of our quick phone checks, but I guess to our friends the short periods of time we spend doing so really add up,” said Wong Wenbin, 22, a first-year student from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. But the growing reliance on smartphone communication may not be a bad thing, said Assistant Professor of Sociology Sam Han. “We are taking in-person interactions as the benchmark for ‘healthy' or ‘good' social interactions," he said. “Smartphones affect the quality of interaction between people. However, I would hesitate to say that the effects are adverse but rather a shift in how we understand ourselves as social beings." A llen Cheong, 22, a f irstyear student from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, agreed, saying that social media helps cultivate virtual friendships which are just as important. Instead of catching up with one friend, Cheong prefers being able to see what multiple friends are up to at the same time.

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"Smartphones

INFOGRAPHIC: PAMELA NG

affect the quality of interaction between people. However, I would hesitate to say that the effects are adverse but rather a shift in how we understand ourselves as social beings." Sam Han Associate Professor of Sociology School of Humanities and Social Sciences

"When walking past F&B outlets, we became conscious of how we would always see one person glued to their phone and not connecting to others." Malvin Chua, 24 Member of "Put It On Friend Mode" campaign FRIENDS FIRST: (From left to right) Chan Jing Hao, Lee Yumei, Malvin Chua, and Jonathan Tan are running a social campaign to put your phones face down.

Esther Subramaniam, 20, disagreed. “I do not deny that social media is an indispensible tool for networking. “But I believe that the friendships cultivated online lack the depth that is more efficiently developed in personal relationships," said the first-year student from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. Likewise, almost all respondents felt that excessive phone usage com-

promises on quality time at real-life gatherings. A social campaign started last June by four final-year students from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information aims to reduce excessive phone usage in social settings. Named “Put It On Friend Mode”, the Final Year Project campaign encourages youths to place their phones face down when they are spending time with friends and

family. “We wanted to do a campaign that we could relate to, as many of us are guilty of using our smartphones when meeting with others,” said Malvin Chua, 24, one of the students involved in the project. People can submit online pledges to reduce their phone usage on the “Put It On Friend Mode” website. Those who do so will be rewarded with special dining privileges, such as discounts at select estab-

PHOTO: PUT IT ON FRIEND MODE

lishments on 22 Feb, designated by the team as “Put It On Friend Mode Day”. The team will also release festive-themed videos on their YouTube channel, which includes a call-to-action for people to make the pledge on the campaign’s Facebook page or website. Additionally, they will be visiting Canteens A and B over the next two months to promote “Put It On Friend Mode”.

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Constructing gender equality Breaking into the construction industry was no easy feat; Ms Sylvia Chen talks about her challenges and triumphs Aqil Haziq Mahmud News Editor

A

S THE dust settled to reveal the new café next to the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI), men in hard hats were seen scraping off hardened paint residue from the concrete floor. A sweet-faced, petite young woman clad in a blue collared shirt and rolled-up sleeves watched on intently. Never mind that most of the men were taller and burlier. If they missed a spot, they had to answer to her. Ms Sylvia Chen, 29, is the only woman project manager at JS Metal, the construction firm building the café. In a traditionally male-dominated industry, Ms Chen is a rarity. Ministry of Manpower statistics show that in 2012, she is one of just 24,000 women working in Singapore’s construction industry, as compared to 81,000 men. In addition, the ratio of women to men in managerial positions is 3:14. The small number can be attributed to the fact that women are not attracted to the industry due to unfavourable working conditions and hard labour.

Women in engineering are increasing in numbers MANUFACTURING heart disease treatment equipment was just about the only thing Jolene Ho felt comfortable talking about with her fellow male colleagues. Ho was the only female intern in the manufacturing engineering department at biomedical company Biosensors Interventional Technologies. “It felt weird as we only talked about work and it was difficult to talk about stuff like makeup and blog-shopping,” said the finalyear student from the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE). The 22-year-old faces a similar situation in school — male students outnumber females by more than half. But this may be changing. The number of female undergraduates in engineering programmes has increased from 2336 two years ago to 2372 last year, according to NTU's website (see infographic). Six out of nine engineering courses saw an increase in the percentage of female enrolment in the same period. Traditionally,

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WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION: Ms Sylvia Chen is the only woman project manager in her company.

“Construction sites do not have proper toilets, and things like excavation do not interest women,” she said.

Surviving sexism She faced discrimination at the start. When she went for job interviews, interviewers told her that they doubted her ability. When starting out as a site coordinator at another company, her sub-contractors did not consult her when making important project

these programmes have a higher male enrolment. Professor Ng Wun Jern, Dean of the NTU College of Engineering, attributed the upward trend to the faculty’s shift in focus from physical abilities to mental development. “The common perception, until recently, is that engineering is physically-demanding because it involves the physical creation of things. However, new specialisations within those programmes require less demand for physical effort, but more intellectual and creative effort,” Prof Ng said. Ho agreed that more women were attracted due to a wider range of interdisciplinary options.

"There are more women now as schools are mixing engineering with other disciplines like business and science." Jolene Ho, 22 Final-year student School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

decisions. Instead, they preferred to approach her male colleagues. Her friends attributed this to her gender, but Ms Chen begged to differ. “I think it was due to my inexperience and young age,” she said. “I felt extremely miserable but that strengthened my will to learn and rise up faster than anyone else,” she added. She believes that it is possible for women in the industry to hold top managerial positions.

PHOTO: TAN XIU QI

"I felt extremely miserable but that strengthened my will to learn and rise up faster than anyone else." Ms Sylvia Chen, 29 Project Manager JS Metal

“In my first construction company, the project director was a woman. But she had more than 20 years of experience,” she said. In her five years as project manager, Ms Chen has identified construction errors on site and prevented flaws in final architectural designs. She manages a team of at least 25 men who hail from countries like China and Bangladesh, where men are seen to hold more authority. But they have no problems taking instructions from a female superior, as long as she leads by example. “When you take things seriously, people can see it and they dare not step out of line,” she said. And in a sign that times are changing, Ms Chen said that construction companies are now more open-minded towards hiring women. On her passion for the industry, she said: “It’s not merely a salaried job. I see it as a contribution towards the nation's development.” Her favourite part of the job is its challenging nature. “I like it as I always have to be on guard to tackle the problems posed by different stakeholders,” she added. Ms Chen advises women who aspire to work in the construction industry to always take the initiative to learn. “At first, I did not even know how to use a measuring tape and ended up cutting myself. “When you start off, you won’t know anything. But always ask questions and never give up.”

“There are more women now as schools are mixing engineering with other disciplines like business and science. So they don’t mind giving it a try,” she said. Prof Ng highlighted that engineering programmes are constantly responding to changing demands of the industry. For instance, NTU’s EEE offers the Bachelor of Engineering in Information Engineering and Media programme, which merges art and creativity with engineering studies. “These changes have created a platform where gender differentiation is no longer relevant,” he added. Prof Ng also predicted that the number of female undergraduates will continue rising as more women learn of the changes and understand that they are no less suited to engineering than men. But Jocelyn Neo, 22, a finalyear student from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, does not foresee the number of females overtaking the male enrolment in her programme. “After all, girls will still lose out in certain aspects of engineering that require physical strength.”

-Aqil Haziq Mahmud

INFOGRAPHIC: CALVIN NG

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Time off school Louisa Tang News Editor Every year, about 20 students take a Leave of Absence to beef up their resume, joining reputable firms for internships, even at the expense of graduating on time WORK FIRST: Business student Isabelle Ng is taking two semesters off school to do two internships. PHOTO: TAN XIU QI

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AMUEL Tan didn't think his 10-week mandatory professional attachment at Abbott Medical Optics Inc. was enough to prepare him for a job in the banking industry. Nor his month-long internship at AC Nielsen. So the final-year student from the Nanyang Business School (NBS) is taking time off this semester to pursue a marketing internship at CitiGold for six months. “A longer internship allows me to take on more interesting projects. It would also give me much-needed exposure before committing to a full-time role upon graduation,” 24-year-old Tan said. An average of about 20 NTU students per year, over the last five years, have taken a Leave of Absence (LoA), with some wanting to get work experience, according to Professor Kam Chan Hin, Associate Provost (Undergraduate Education). This often means graduating later, because an LoA is not considered an academic semester. But those students think it is worth it. Final-year student from NBS Christopher Siow, 24, will be graduating a semester late after beginning an internship at a global investments company last week. He believes it will help jump-start his career. First-year student from NBS Isabelle Ng, 19, thinks that an outstanding non-academic record speaks more than grades. “A decent GPA is enough ... but I feel stifled in school. Internships give you a wider world view and lets you focus on the bigger picture rather than what is going to be tested in the next exam,” said Ng, who is interning at ELLE Singapore. She also clinched a second marketing communications internship with St. Regis Hotel Singapore, beginning in April. Associate Professor Kwok Kian Woon, Associate Provost (Student Life), said that taking a break from school can be good if students know exactly what they want to achieve. “If a student is clear about his or her goals and has a well-thought out plan for the completion of their degree, taking time off can be refreshing,” he said. Low Sieu Ping, 22, a final-year student from Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, said: “If there were very good opportunities, I would be willing to sacrifice a semester of school to find out more about my area of interest and what the industry offers in my specialisation.” Ng added that being away from school does not mean that one is lagging behind. “Some people feel that if they can get an internship that fits nicely into their holidays and still graduate at the stipulated time, then they have made the smarter move," she commented. But Assoc Prof Kwok warns students not to lose touch with the school after spending time away. “In returning to their programmes, students should try fit back in seamlessly,” he said. However, Rasyad Subandrio, 22, a firstyear student from the School of Mechanical and Aereospace Engineering, was against having to lag behind for another semester in school. “More time in school means less time to find employment, and isn’t that the whole reason why we’re getting a degree?” he said.

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Lifestyle feature

2014 FOR THE... Are you a fitness buff? A lover of nature? A music fanatic? Serena Yeh, Justin Kor and Marcus Lim recommend 10 events to mark your calendars.

FITNESS NUTS

Women’s Tennis Association Championships 2014 TENNIS legends Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams are going to turn up the heat on our shores this year. The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Championships will be the next global sporting event to be held in Singapore, after the Formula One Grand Prix rolled into town in 2008. As the season finale, this tournament is undoubtedly the most anticipated one of the WTA season. Organised by the WTA, the principal organising body for women’s professional tennis, it will feature the season’s Top 8 Singles players and Top 4 Doubles teams. The WTA Championships will be held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium from 20-26 Oct.

Mediacorp Hong Bao Run FITNESS buffs can look forward to shedding some excess calories gained from the Lunar New Year feasting. The inaugural Mediacorp Hong Bao Run is an 8km race hosted by radio deejays, including 98.7FM duo Justin Ang and Vernon A. Participants are encouraged to dress up in the spirit of the Lunar New Year and the top three best-dressed runners will win a cash prize of $888 each. In addition, a lucky draw will be held, with a whopping $88,888 awarded to the grand winner of the draw. The run will be held at Nicoll Highway on 9 Feb. Registration is at $68 per person.

CONCERT-GOERS

Singapore Rock Festival 2014

Singapore Jazz Festival 2014

FOR rock-lovers looking to spice things up in 2014, this is a must-go. Fans of hard rock and heavy metal will recognise these names: Five Finger Death Punch, Black Veil Brides & Korn (above), and seven-time Grammy-nominated artiste Rob Zombie. With these hardcore heavyweights set to leave their mark in Singapore, this two-night event guarantees an electrifying performance not for the faint-hearted. Get set for an epic night of mayhem. The Singapore Rock Festival will be held at Fort Canning Park from 5-6 Mar. Early bird tickets are at $118 per person, and regular tickets are at $198 per person.

THE inaugural Singapore Jazz Festival, or Sling Jazz 2014, looks set to showcase jazz music at its most spontaneous. There will be four days worth of unforgettable performances from world-renowned jazz musicians. Lovers of jazz and soul may look forward to James Morrison, who composed the opening fanfare at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, and Natalie Cole, daughter of legendary jazz singer, Nat King Cole. The Singapore Jazz Festival will be held at the Marina Bay Sands from 27 Feb-2 Mar. Advance tickets start from $98.

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NATURE LOVERS

The Singapore Garden Festival

Green Corridor Run 2014

THE Singapore Garden Festival is Asia’s biggest flower and garden show. Into its fifth year, the nine-day festival held at Gardens By The Bay features masterpieces by the world’s top gardening luminaries. Avid gardeners can shop to their hearts content at the Marketplace, which will feature a wide array of gardening produce. There will also be a photography competition for photo enthusiasts. Exhibitions include an Orchid Show, award-winning landscapes and balcony gardens. The Singapore Garden Festival will be held at the Gardens by the Bay from 16-24 Aug.

THIS 10.5km route promises to be one of the most scenic running trails in Singapore. The Malayan railway, disused since 2011, has been replaced with turf and renamed the Green Corridor — a stretch of woodland running the breadth of Singapore, from the old Tanjong Pagar Railway station in the south to the Malaysian border in the north. Runners will start at the historic Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and wind their way along the lush green corridor, before finishing at the disused Bukit Timah Railway Station. The Green Corridor Run will be held on 18 May. Registration, which is now open, is at $58 per person.

FANS OF THE ARTS

My Fair Lady

Madame Tussauds Singapore

AVID theatre-goers itching for the next Broadway play in Singapore need not wait any longer. My Fair Lady, based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, follows phonetic professor Henry Higgins as he bets to make Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl, pass off as a duchess in three months with speech lessons. Featuring exquisite costumes and set in Edwardian London, its first production in 1956 had set the record then for the longest-running musical with 2,717 shows. My Fair Lady will be shown at the Mastercard Theatres at the Marina Bay Sands from 11-23 Feb. Prices start from $95.

THE stars are coming to town with Madame Tussauds. One can expect lifelike wax figures of notable people, including celebrities, and historical and contemporary figures of the region. It is also the second Madame Tussauds to have a ride incorporated into the experience, besides its flagship in London. This sights on this ride, which will ferry visitors around the museum, is said to reflect Singapore’s vibrant culture and rich history. Madame Tussauds will open at Sentosa’s Imbiah Lookout in the second half of the year. Tickets are sold at $30 each.

HISTORY BUFFS

Avenue 1960s HISTORIANS craving a throwback to the early years of Singapore’s independence will be thrilled to learn of Avenue 1960s, a project by a group of NTU undergraduate students. The exhibition showcases the story of Singaporeans living from the 1960s to 80s. Visitors to the exhibition will get to view artworks, explore traditional games and immerse themselves in the kampong spirit by learning about the old way of life. Avenue 1960s will be exhibited at The Arts House (1 Old Parliament Lane) from the 19-23 Feb. Admission is free.

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Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

PHOTOS: INTERNET

SINGAPORE will finally be housing dinosaurs in its own backyard. Opening in mid-2014, the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum will host an iconic dinosaur exhibit, featuring three dinosaur fossils. The three — nicknamed Prince, Apollo and Twinky — are believed to have existed 150 million years ago. They range from 12m to an astounding 27m in length. The museum, at the National University of Singapore, will also be home to one of the largest collections of Southeast Asian animal specimens in the region.

10/1/14 6:05 PM


10-11 LIFESTYLE spotlight

ANTICIPATED MOVIES & MUSIC OF THE YEAR 2013 will be tough to beat – a year rife with cinematic riches and the smoothest summer hits. Will 2014 surpass these artistic milestones? Reviews Editor Zachary Tang and Teresa Zhou select some of the most anticipated movie and music releases of the year. FANTASY MOVIES

Maleficent

How To Train Your Dragon 2

GET ready to be treated to a different take on the classic Sleeping Beauty fairy tale with Angelina Jolie playing the selfproclaimed “Mistress of All Evil”. She stars alongside young starlet Elle Fanning as Princess Aurora and her daughter Vivienne Jolie-Pitt as a younger Aurora. Witness the transformation of a kind woman whose heart turns to stone after a brutal betrayal, resulting in events we know all too well. The trailer of this dark fantasy film sent shivers down our spine with breathtaking graphics and brief glimpses of the menacing Maleficent.

IT’S finally here — the long-awaited sequel to the 2010 animated hit How to Train Your Dragon. Set five years after the events of the first film, we see a grown-up Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) and his dragon, Toothless, facing a fresh host of conflicts and opportunities alongside a new character, Valka (Cate Blanchett). A word of caution before watching the trailer: it reveals an important role that Valka plays in the story. Director Dean Deblois has announced that this sequel is part of an epic trilogy to be concluded by 2016.

28 May

Interstellar

Godzilla

SLATED to be released in November, this sci-fi film directed by Christopher Nolan is set to take the box office by storm. The director of Inception and the Dark Knight trilogy teams up with his brother Jonathan Nolan to create a world in the not-so-distant future where a wormhole is discovered by a group of scientists who subsequently attempt to push the boundaries of space travel. We can’t wait to be wowed once more by another Nolan film, this time with the concept of time travel and alternate universes. To top it off, the film features an all-star cast comprising Dark Knight alumni Anne Hathaway and Michael Caine, together with Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, and Matt Damon.

THIS movie will be Hollywood’s second reboot of the original 1954 film of Japan’s most famous Kaiju, the first being a poorlyrecieved film made in 1998. Indie filmmaker Gareth Edwards, who attained success with his low-budget film Monsters (not to be confused with Disney Pixar’s Monsters, Inc.), seems ready to breathe new life into the classic with a US$160 million budget. The suspenseful trailer for this remake has not only captured our attention and left us wanting more, it also gave us a glimpse of its fantastic cinematography and introduced the film’s stars. These stars include Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) and Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai).

6 Nov

16 May

20 Jun

ARTHOUSE MOVIES

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Inside Llewyn Davis

WE’LL never forget how Wes Anderson blew us away with the whimsical and poignant Moonrise Kingdom. He’s back this year with even more quirky ideas up his sleeves, this time at a European hotel set in three different time periods. Our protagonist, the legendary and wacky concierge Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes) is on a mission to hide a priceless Renaissance painting. That’s not all — he still has to escape from a murder conviction alongside his lobby boy (Tony Revolori) and love interest Agatha (Saoirse Ronan). On top of mandatory Anderson regulars such as Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe and Owen Wilson, interesting personalities such as Jude Law and Mathieu Almaric make this a star-studded affair.

THIS haunting film is to become yet another testament of the Coen brothers’ muchacclaimed directing. Told from the perspective of an obstinate man’s subconsciousness, this film takes us through a week in the life of a battered folk singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac). Set in early 1960s New York, it is also based partly on the life story of folk singer Dave Van Ronk. The curated list of songs, arranged by award-winning T Bone Burnett and performed live on set, aims to provide an added level of depth to the movie. Appea r a nces by ac tor s Ju st i n Timberlake, Carey Mulligan and John Goodman add some mainstream appeal. Out on 16 Jan, Inside Llewyn Davis is a modest story perfect for opening a year of exciting movie releases.

7 Mar

COMEDY MOVIES

A Million Ways To Die In The West 22 Jump Street 30 May

24 Jul

FAMILY Guy creator Seth MacFarlane will be following up his 2012 commercial success Ted with an American western comedy. After losing his girlfriend (Amanda Seyfried) to Foy (Neil Patrick Harris) before falling in love again with a mysterious lady (Charlize Theron), the film shows how Albert (MacFarlane) uses his newfound courage to face a vengeful husband, (of Theron’s character) who also happens to be a notorious outlaw (Liam Neeson). Sounds like the perfect recipe for a laidback, no-holds-barred comedy.

EXPECTATIONS are high for the sequel to the 2012 comedy hit, 21 Jump Street. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are looking to up the action and slapstick humour with goofball duo Morton Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Greg Jenko (Channing Tatum) in their drug-busting adventure as undercover cops — this time in college. Although many frown upon the idea of such sequels being made, this has plenty of room for college movie farce, shenanigans and lighthearted drama — we look forward to see how many more jokes it can offer.

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BLOCKBUSTER MOVIES

16 Jan

PHOTOS: INTERNET

READ MORE

This series of anticipated releases continues online at www.nanyangchronicle.ntu.edu.sg.

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INDIE ROCK/POP ALBUMS

HIP-HOP ALBUMS

MORNING PHASE

THE FUTURE’S VOID

TBA

L.O.R.D. EP

BECK is one of the more esoteric musicians of our time — he has skilfully tackled genres from folk and psychedelic rock to R&B. The announcement of a new album release next month is welcoming. It would be his first proper studio album since 2008’s excellent, if depressing, Modern Guilt. It has been described as a “companion piece” to his revered 2002 classic Sea Change, and “harkens back to [its] stunning harmonies”. Despite this, Beck has proven time and again that familiarity is a concept foreign to him as he is a man of constant reinvention.

E R I K A M . A nder son’s br ea k t h roug h album Past Life Martyred Saints from 2011 was an achingly personal strand of noise-folk, cutting through an indie music landscape that was becoming increasingly detached. Under the moniker EMA, Anderson’s first single, Satellites, from her new album The Future’s Void picks up where she left off. It incorporates raw, powerful vocals, industrial drum beats and heaps of distortion that together embody an increased sense of urgency. It’s clear that EMA still has much angst contained within her, ready to be voiced to all those willing to listen.

KANYE West told US radio station Power 99 last year: “I’d like to have another album out by next summer.” Can the hip-hop world stand the crushing weight of another Kanye West album — yet to be named — after last year’s egocentric yet undeniably brilliant Yeezus? The answer to that is diverse: Kanye is our generation’s most divisive celebrity — some admonish his excessive self-worship, yet others admire him for his musical genius. But looking at his impressive run of critically-acclaimed albums, we can count on the next one to bring about upheaval to hip-hop once again.

BOTH A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg received high praise for their individual albums released last year. Now, their high-profile hip-hop collective, the A$AP Mob, from Harlem, New York, is set to drop their new EP in March. Its first single, Trillmatic, a combination of the hip-hop term ‘Trill’ and Nas’ classic album Illmatic, has surfaced, containing a groovy beat reminiscent of ‘90s boom-bap hip-hop. It is energetic and relentless. If this is a reliable indicator for the rest of the EP, we can expect a memorable one from this young team of rappers.

Beck 14 Feb

EMA Release Date TBA

Tycho 18 Mar

BORN Scott Hansen, Tycho is known for creating electronic music using tranquilising beats and organic synths. Chill, relaxing and sleep-inducing — all best describe his consistently wonderful music. This makes the prospect of a new album one that is quietly anticipated. The multi-talented ambient musician — he also has a knack for photography and design — from California has always accompanied his albums with mesmeric artworks, and Awake is no different. Its cover art is a minimal, pastel hued interpretation of the sun and, together with title track Awake, conjure feelings of warmth and serenity.

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A$AP Mob 4 Mar

POP ALBUMS

ELECTRONIC ALBUMS

AWAKE

Kanye West Release Date TBA

TBA

ULTRA-VIOLENCE

TBA

IF you’re looking for a versatile experimental music producer in the Los Angeles electronic music scene, the name Flying Lotus is hard to miss. Born as Steven Ellison, he has worked with musicians such as Kanye West, Erykah Badu and Thundercat. He also has a penchant for remixing songs from artists such as Frank Ocean and Radiohead, turning them into intricately textured numbers. Last November, he tweeted that his new album was nearly complete. His studio albums, with their minimalistic productions and aggressive beats, have set lofty benchmarks in the electronic music scene.

LANA Del Rey has always had a fondness for classic literary influences, which doesn’t quite gel with her international pop star status. In her album Born To Die, she often alludes to Vladmir Nabokov’s Lolita, the sexually precocious young girl in his classic novel. Now, she dives into even deeper waters, recently announcing the title of her new album as Ultra-Violence — a clear reference to the iconic term used in dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange. T he a llusion suggests a da rk and disturbing album that should make for a compelling listen.

BEST known for his impassioned singles, The A Team and Lego House, from his debut album +, English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has played no small par t in bridging the gaps between indie and pop sensibilities. The poster boy for indie crossover acts has big shoes to fill in a musical era increasingly saturated with similar acts. Following the release of I See Fire for T he Hobbit: T he Desolation of Smaug soundtrack, he seems eager to prove himself again with a new album all set to hit the shelves in February. Watch out; it already has Taylor Swift’s stamp of approval.

Flying Lotus Release Date TBA

Lana Del Rey Release Date TBA

Ed Sheeran 17 Feb

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A long way to freedom

Following the death of anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela, Lydia Tan travels through South Africa, walking on the path the great man once stood.

LANGA TOWNSHIP: Huts measuring 4m by 4m in the township of Langa, where a majority of the residents earn less than US$1 a day.

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ver lunch in a cafe at the Addo Elephant Park, my mother asked: “Do you think South Africa will have another white president in the future?” The last white president, Frederik Willem de Klerk, had fought alongside Nelson Mandela to end apartheid — a time of segregation between the whites and blacks, where whites were deemed superior. Pieter, our tour guide, gave a coy smile. “Defi nitely not.” My family’s two-week trip to Cape Town, the second most populous city in South Africa, coincided with Mandela's funeral. Driving into the city, buses were packed with people on the way to a Mandela exhibition — a glimpse of the sheer volume of

PRISONER TO PRESIDENT: The late Nelson Mandela fought to end apartheid, inspiring millions in the process.

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tributes pouring in. In Cape Town’s popular Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, locals and tourists left messages in a tent labelled “Tribute Place”. Some placed flowers and gifts beside a framed picture of South Africa's beloved son. Less than 10 metres away, a sea of letters, flowers and toys flooded the platform in front of his statue in Nobel Square. Television channels broadcasted tributes. Every night, a projection of his smiling visage was splashed across Table Mountain, one of the largest natural landmarks of Cape Town.

27 YEARS ALONE

From the top of Table Mountain, we looked down at the sinuous coastline of Cape Town and spotted Robben Island, where Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years. A 45-minute boat ride away, Robben Island is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its prison now a museum and its jail cells preserved for visitors to tour. A 2.5m by 2m cell, presumably his, was strewn with flowers, notes and pictures. Looking at the four grey walls, I felt an overwhelming sense of loneliness. How could a man live for 27 years in a tiny room and be allowed only one visitor per year? On the 30-minute bus tour of Robben Island, we observed a black South African guard talking to a pair of Caucasian tourists. “Look at the guard and see his hands,” said Thanbo, our Robben Island tour guide, pointing out the guard’s clasped hands in front of his chest. “When we blacks talk to the whites, it is customary to place our hands in that way to show respect. Even though apartheid was

abolished in 1990, its effects are ingrained in most of us.”

THE REMNANTS OF SEGREGATION

Before 1990, the blacks, coloureds and Indians were evicted from “whites only” areas and forced to move into other areas. “When apartheid was introduced by the National Party, everything was segregated,” Thanbo explained. “Even in parks, benches would be labelled ‘Whites Only’. The whites also had special access cards that allowed them to go to places that the blacks could not.” I remember looking down from the plane minutes before touchdown, and seeing the consequences of apartheid. What came fi rst were large houses with swimming pools and sprawling shopping malls. As we neared Cape Town’s airport, these lavish houses seemed to disappear. In its place were small, densely-packed houses. Metal sheets were used for roofs, with planks of wood nailed haphazardly together for walls. These are the townships of South Africa, formed when the apartheid forced the non-whites out of their homes.

PHOTOS: LYDIA TAN AND INTERNET

He gestured to an outdoor kitchen where sheep heads were proudly on display. We then entered a 4m by 4m hut made of corrugated metal sheets. A woman sat on a bed that took up half the space. The government had promised her a house 16 years ago and like many also living in makeshift huts, she is still waiting. “The future is uncertain, especially with an election coming up. We can only hope for the best,” Pieter said with a sigh. “Mandela was right when he said that ‘after climbing a great hill, one only fi nds that there are many more hills to climb’. I just hope South Africa will fi nd a way to make it without him.”

MANY MORE HILLS TO CLIMB

Our tour group visited a township called Langa, along the Western Cape, where 99 per cent of its inhabitants were black. Residents there, like in many of South Africa’s townships, earn less than US$1 (S$1.27) a day. A resident greets us, happy that there are visitors. “I’ve lived here since I was born. There really is nothing like it,” he said. “I’ve tried to move out, but I missed this place too much. The food especially!”

IN LOVING MEMORY: A heartfelt note to the late Mandela left at Nobel Square.

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OFF THE BITTEN SNACK Lunar New Year goodies could be more than just bak kwa, pineapple tarts and kueh bangkit. Lifestyle Editors Justin Kor and Serena Yeh check out inventive twists on traditional festive delights.

Bee Cheng Hiang

Crystal Jade MyBread

Crystal Jade MyBread

SOMETIMES, sweet and savoury can go pretty well together. Chocolate-coated potato chips, anyone? The Duo Choco Mini Crunchies ($16.50 per tub) is an attempt at such a curious combination. It is pork floss mashed in the form of a short cylinder, with one end dipped into either white or dark chocolate. However, the chocolate could not be distinguished in their respective sweet and bitter tastes. Once eaten, the mild sweetness of the chocolate and the distinct flavour of pork floss can be tasted immediately. But the salty taste of pork floss gradually overwhelms the taste of chocolate. As its name suggests, it is indeed crunchy and fun to eat. One bite fragments it into smaller floss strands. While pork floss is a dried meat product, this rendition seems drier than usual pork floss.

CRYSTAL Jade is launching the Golden Ingot Pastry ($4.80 per pastry) this year. These pastries come in two flavours — traditional pineapple and the more unfamiliar red lotus and salted egg yolk, which the Chronicle reviewed. Fine details make this palm-sized pastry resemble an actual gold ingot. The sides of the pastry curve up and a subtle golden sheen covers its surface. Picking up the pastry is a very delicate task as it is extremely crumbly. When bitten, the buttery taste of the crust overpowers the filling inside. Although there is a lotus and salted egg yolk filling, its taste is hard to detect. It could have been slightly thinner to complement its soft filling.

ALSO making its debut on the annual Crystal Jade Lunar New Year menu is the Auspicious Mandarin Orange Cake ($23.80 per cake), which resembles an oversized orange cut into half. The dome-shaped cake looked too pretty to be cut, much less eaten. The cake’s interior revealed alternating layers of light and dark orange, made of cream and sponge cake respectively. At first bite, it was overwhelmingly sweet due to the dense orange icing. The cream, despite being quite smooth and silky, was nearly tasteless in comparison to the sugary icing. The sponge cake was the best part. It was light, fluffy and had a tangy taste reminiscent of mandarin oranges. The chewy brown chocolate stalk, perched on top of the cake, lacked an authentic cocoa taste. However, it is but a blemish in this delightful treat.

Duo Choco Mini Crunchies

Golden Ingot Pastry

Auspicious Mandarin Orange Cake

PHOTOS: VICTOR HENG AND TAN XIU QI

Crystal Jade MyBread

Cedele Depot

Bengawan Solo

CRYSTAL Jade’s festive bestseller, the Bo Luo Pineapple Tart ($15.80 per pack), looks like a miniature bo luo bun. As its name suggests, it combines the traditional pineapple tart and bo luo bun — with the signature filling of pineapple jam of the former and the flaky crust of the latter. The bite-sized treat, is easily devoured in one mouthful. With its shiny golden hue, the Bo Luo Pineapple Tart is definitely easy on the eye. The tart was not too buttery and its pineapple filling stood out with its zesty taste and grainy texture. It also had the right amount of balance — crispy on the outside and soft inside.

CEDELE’S popular Almond Ikan Bilis Sambal Cookie ($20.80 per tub) is back again after being introduced last year. The savoury cookies give off a strong aroma of spices that immediately whets the appetite. This small cookie, slightly larger than a one-dollar coin, packs a fiery punch. One is greeted with crunchy almond slices on the first bite and crispy ikan bilis on the second. Both the ikan bilis and almond slices do not overpower, thankfully. However, the cookie is not for the faint-hearted as it packs a strong sambal flavour and might be too spicy for some. Those who love building up a sweat would find it very shiok indeed.

EATING cheese will not be the first thing that comes to mind when celebrating the Lunar New Year. But give these Cassava Cheese Cookies ($19.80 per tin) a try. The pale yellow cookies crumble easily, making for a good melt-in-your-mouth sensation. The slightly crispy cheese flakes sprinkled on top of the cookie add a delightful texture to the otherwise soft cookie, and enhances its overall flavour. While its initial cheesy fragrance might be off-putting to some, it becomes more subtle when eaten, thanks to the cookie’s light buttery flavour.

Bo Luo Pineapple Tart

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Almond Ikan Bilis Sambal Cookies

Cassava Cheese Cookies

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Glam Punk Rock unrestrained expression; freedom; be brave

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Photography: Leslie Wong Styling: Frey Soh Model: Insa K (Basic) 1. Lennon flip-ups, $55, Spitfire Pillar Talk Crop Sweat, $139, Lazyoat Arlene Shorts (Peach), $69, Dr Denim Boots, $219, Vagabond Checkered shirt, Yellow Leopard-print socks, Stylist’s own 2. Lennon flip-ups, $55, Spitfire Pillar Talk Crop Sweat, $139, Lazyoat Chain necklace, Stylist’s own 3&4. Lennon flip-ups, $55, Spitfire Obscenity Dress (Red), $298, Religion Cross necklace, Skateboard, Stylist’s own

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18-19 SHOWCASE

The annual Inter-School and Inter-Hall Games are more than just sweat and stress. It also brings players closer. Photo Editors Collin Wang and Tan Xiu Qi find out the ties that bind.

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Playing It Forward

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he n Z he ng Ju n Ce n , 23, stepped up to coach the Hall of Residence 15 girls’ softball team earlier last year, he had big shoes to fill. His team has been the interhall softball champions for four consecutive years. “ We h a v e a p a s s i o n a t e , enthusiastic team, and a climate that supports everyone,” said the first-year student from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, fondly recalling his past four months as coach. Outf ielder Lui Weiting, 19, at t r ibutes her tea m’s ste l la r performance to their strong social bonding. “We do everything together, and when we have nothing to do we’ll hang out for batting practice at the carpark,” said the secondyear student from the Nanyang Business School. These ties also extend past graduation, as alumni members return for annual get-togethers and friendlies. “Most of us are from different batches, but we know each other through our time in Hall 15 softball,” Jocelyn He, 25, said. “The alumni return once every year but it is nonetheless still an important culture for the juniors.” Zheng is unfazed by the pressure to continue the team’s winning streak. “It’s better to lose a good game than to win a poorly played match,” he said.

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While juniors in established sports teams have strong alumni backing and cultural identity to guide them along, newly-formed teams have to struggle to find their footing. T h i s y e a r ’s I n t e r-S c h o ol Games (ISG) saw the debut of the Interdisciplinary Graduate School in six spor ting events: table tennis, basketball, volleyball, f r i s b e e , c a pt a i n’s b a l l a nd badminton. Previously, graduates would join their undergraduate teams to participate in the ISG. But for this ISG season, two graduate students have stepped up to form their own school team. Kim Jun and Calvin Ng, both 25, are the president and vicepresident of the Graduate Student Club respectively. “We want to use ISG as a stepping stone to promote solidarity among the graduate population, and bridge the gap between them and the undergraduates,” said Kim. Despite the low number of par ticipants during the table tennis preliminaries against the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Ng is hopeful. “Both schools were supportive of each ot her’s per for ma nce regardless of their scores.” Ng said. “We hope to come back next year with an even stronger team. We can excel when we put our mind to it,” Kim said.

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1. Looking Sharp: Hall of Residence 15 girls’ softball team member Joan Chan, 19, a first-year student from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, gears up for the pitch. 2. Mentorship: Coach Zheng Jun Cen (right) monitors a batter’s technique. The first-year student from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering has been a softballer for 10 years but this is his first foray into coaching. 3. Having A Ball Of A Time: Alumni player Sarah Tham, 27, lobs the ball during the Hall 15 Alumni friendly match. Tham graduated from NTU two years ago and this is her first time attending the friendlies. 4. Here, Catch: Interdisciplinary Graduate School Vice-President Calvin Ng of the Graduate Student Club hurls the frisbee in a practice round against players from the School of Biological Science. He was one of the students who formed the new graduate school team. 5. New Kids On The Block: Feng Shan Shan (right), 23, from the graduate team engages in a tabletennis match with the team from the School of Materials Science and Engineering. Prior to the formation of the graduate team, graduate sportsmen like him would have to compete under their respective school undergraduate teams. 6. ONE-TWO-THREE-FIFTEEN!: Hall 15 softball girls keeping their spirits up with a cheer with their alumni seniors during the annual friendly match. The game eventually ended in a draw of 2-all, with the alumni team winning the tiebreaker.

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新加坡首间猫咖啡厅 —— 刊22页

新闻 张思嘉●报道 中文编辑

数学生对于自己毕业后 的未来仍感到不安或迷 茫,正处于所谓的“青年危 机”(quarter-life crisis)。这个 发现出自黄金辉传播与讯息学 院的四名准毕业生所做的一项 调查。 他们针对390名大学生及理 工学院生进行了问卷调查,其 中有80%对财务、建立事业以 及能否追随热忱等方面提出了 关切,70%则害怕会在生命中 做出错误的选择。 还有一学期就毕业的何淑 娟、崔自凯、陈龙腾及郭季霖 表示能体会学生面临青年危机 时的心情。 为了帮助年龄介于18到25 岁的学生面对青年危机,这支 小组在上个月发起名为“下一 站”(The Next Stop) 的社交运 动。他们表示青年危机的概念 来自于西方国家,但目前这个 问题在新加坡还没有真正地受 到关注。

提早规划未来 24岁的崔自凯认为毕业是人 生中重要的转捩点, 任何决定 都有可能影响到前程,青年应 该提早设定目标,以便为未来 铺路。 另一位队员,24岁的陈龙 腾则透露自己在思考未来动向 时,也开始留意到其它问题。 他坦承大部分学生在生活与 经济独立前的财务都交由父母 管理,如今即将步入社会,对 于财务管理与金融方面知识的 欠缺让他感到不知所措。 他说:“我其实很希望有个 人能够告诉我,他也曾经经历 过这样一个迷茫的阶段,并教

你有“青年危机”吗? 由(从左)郭季霖、陈龙腾、何淑娟以及崔自凯组成的小组发起社交运动,分享经验,帮助青年渡过“青年危机”。 导我如何渡过。最起码这样会 让我觉得不是只有我一个人在 面对这一切。” 因此小组设立了面簿网页, 希望建立一个能让人们分享经 验和想法以及互相鼓励支持的 平台。

“我其实很希望有个人能够告诉我,他也曾经经历 过这样一个迷茫的阶段,并教导我如何渡过。这样 会让我觉得不是只有我一个人在面对这一切。”

邀请专家分享职业管理贴士

外,他们也计划在三月份举办 一项名为“Casual Cuppa”的 活动,为学生提供免费的座谈 分享会。

小组将在下个月走访南大 及其它校园与学生交流,进一 步了解他们的顾虑及需求。此

陈龙腾 黄金辉传播与讯息学院学院四年级

摄影:张思嘉

22岁的何淑娟说他们在活动 中不会重复学校就业与实习指 导处所提供的简历制作、面试 技巧等培训。 此外,他们也计划邀请生活 教练,指导学生应如何规划人 生以及调整心态、踏入社会, 开启人生的下一章。

受邀的演讲人包括来自星展 银行(DBS)的专家,负责分享 关于职业生涯管理及财务管理 等方面的知识。

想多了解这项社交运动,可 上网:www.facebook.com/ sgnextstop

是一门单纯的书法习作课,而 是大学本科程度的学术课。 除了中文系的课程,南大与 国立教育学院(NIE)向来都 有提供不少实践性的课程让同 学们自由选修,例如NIE的音 乐与体育科,以及由艺术、设 计与媒体学院(ADM)所开设 的艺术和摄影课程等等。

如今,中文系踏出了第一 步,开设第一门有关中国艺术 的实践性课程,让更多的同学 有机会去认识中国文字、文 化、艺术等领域。 至于中文系日后能否推出更 多有关中国艺术的课程,例如 水墨画、古典音乐等,院方未 能给出任何承诺。

中文系推出中国书法课程 陈祎婷

●报道

中文编辑

大中文系于本学期正式推 出中国书法课程,属于通 识教育(GERPE)中的人文学 科类别(Liberal Studies)。 中文系主任柯思仁说:“中 国书法是中国文化里独特的艺

CHINESE20.6_20 .indd 1

术,因此我们希望藉由这门课 的开设,让南大同学有机会接 触这种艺术。” 该课程原本开设100个名 额,但中文系负责人表示目前 已经有约两倍的同学想要选修 这门课。 这门课的指导老师林万菁透 露考试是以闭卷形式进行。他

将从文化角度介绍中国书法, 着重书法的基本概念与欣赏方 式,增进学生的书法知识,提 高他们分析书法的能力。 柯思仁主任表示将书法课程 列为通识教育是为了让学生强 化专业知识,并成为更全面的 人才,包括增加个人人文素养 与文化内涵。他也强调这并不

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畅谈南大年度汉字 陈祎婷 中文编辑

加坡《联合早报》于去 年底所主办的“字述一 年”年度汉字投选中,最多人 选择以“霾”字来描述和总结 新加坡的2013年。 新加坡去年遭受近年来最严 重的霾害,影响了人们的日常 生活,也牵扯到邻国之间的多 边关系。该事件反映了新加坡 人对于国内与国际事件的真实 观感。 作为南大生,笔者也思考 并检讨了南大校园在2013年里 所发生过的大小事。多番回顾 后,笔者认为与南大更加密切 相关的是“升”字。

“升”应选为南大年度汉字 “升”有向上、提高的意

思,笔者将以学生获利与否为 基本标准,从褒与贬两种角度 解读此字。 自2011年起,南大在由 Quacquarelli Symbols (QS) 组织所发表的年度世界大学综 合排名中不断进步,于去年获 得了第41名,在过去三年里一 共晋升了33个名次,是50所大 学中排名上升最快的大学。南 大也在学科排名方面例如工程 技术与社会科学等都有进步, 步步高升可用以总结南大的学 术成绩。 除了学术方面,南大也不断 翻新校内设施,在南大校园各 处几乎都可见到工程运作。 校方陆陆续续对学生住宿 以及设施等方面进行“升级” 工程,例如去年八月初新开张 的“口福”食阁,二楼翻新后

“尘”,因为南大校园内 笔者走访了南大校园, 看看其他学生如何描述 和总结南大的2013年。

到处都是施工,尘土飞扬。 — 黄嘉琳 (23,心理学大四生)

的室内空调设施提供学生更舒 适的饮食环境。 校园各处增设了学生自习场 所,让学生尤其是在考试前夕 有足够的地方自习。 此外,南大也正在兴建许多 建筑物,例如今年七月将开始 使用的两栋新宿舍以及由英国 设计师Thomas Heatherwick所 设计的蜂窝形技术教育楼,可 见南大除了引进更加完善与高 科技的设备,新增加的设施也 让更多的学生有机会享用。

翻新而使租金增加,因此食物 的价钱也随之提升,引起部分 学生不满。 此外,由于宿舍的各项设施

为美好生活付出的代价 然而笔者相信大家都明白水 涨船高的道理。为了享受完善 的设施以及处在舒适的环境, 学生们难免必须承担缴付更多 费用的代价。2013年八月新学 年开始,校内以及住宿食堂因

“烦”,因为时常不知所措 的停留在已废置的巴士站, 苦苦等待校园接驳巴士。 — 陈学芸 (20,经济系大二生)

插图:黄植贤

“跃”,因为2013年对南大 来说是丰收的一年,尤其在 世界大学排名榜上更是大 跃进。 — 刘依雯 (21,生物医学系大三生)

翻新,住宿费也因此增加。自 2011年起至今,每月的宿舍费 平均增收了20至30元,增加了 部分学生家庭的经济负担。 由此可见,“升”的利与弊 有必然关系。俗话说:“天下 没有免费的午餐”,为了享有 更佳的物质生活,人们必须花 费更多。学生所缴付的额外费 用,已为自己换来了更优质的 生活与学习环境。 学术方面的进步也表示了南 大拥有更强大的教职精英与先 进设施,使学生能够提升自身 的专业知识。 总体而言,笔者认为这是好 的现象,南大的“升级”提升 了学生的学习品质。笔者也坚 信南大生现今在大学生涯里有 所获的益处,必有助于提升未 来的生活。 “猫”,因为校园宿舍处处 都看得到猫,加上有段时期 大家疯狂到麦当劳购买吉 蒂猫。 — 罗佳玮 (20,化学与生物医学工程 学院大二生)

别感染Instagram忧郁症 彭丽吉

新一年到来的瞬间,滨 海湾一带的夜空被璀璨 夺目的烟花点燃,人群欢声不 断,现场气氛高昂。 烟花表演一向是倒数节目 缺一不可的环节,只是在这个 社交媒体时代,烟火不再是 单纯的视觉享受,而是放上 Instagram的下一个画面。倒 数钟声响起的几分钟后,点开 Instagram就能看见满屏的倒数 或庆祝的照片。 近年已经有不少调查面簿和 忧郁症、自卑感之间关系的相 关研究。 但 在 柏 林 洪 堡 大 学 (Humboldt University of Berlin)从事研究的一名德国传 播学者,克拉斯挪娃(Hanna Krasnova), 于去年接受Slate杂 志采访时指出, Instagram上的照 片比起其他社交媒体如面簿的 状态更新,更可以直接的让使 用者做出生活品质上的比较, 也因此更容易引发自卑心理。 确实,我们日复一日的生活 写照与这些精彩的照片相比之

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下就显得暗淡无光。人们开始 嫉妒他人看似完美的生活,却 可能忽略这些照片都是他人精 心挑选和修饰后的成果,因而 厌恶自己过着平淡的日子,却 又止不住地继续看。 虽 然 目 前 仍 不 能 断 定 Instagram是否会造成心理问 题,但可想而知,这种日复一 日所累积的压力、不满和埋怨 对于一个人的心理必定造成负 面影响。 其实,很多人都只上传较美 好可观的照片,照片里所呈现 的都是那个人生活中的亮点, 而往往许多不可告人的真相都 隐藏在镜头之外;毕竟有谁愿 意展示给别人自己难堪或落魄 的一面呢? 笔者认为每个媒体平台都没 有所谓的好或坏,而Instagram 确实有很多的优点。 它让用户能够关注世界各地 有趣的人物,让我们能够窥探 一些珍贵或难得的画面,从北 韩人民的生活、英国农田的景 象、日本传统艺术的创作、至 去年菲律宾灾区的实地情况。 时代杂志在2012年美国遭受

飓风桑迪袭击时,派出摄影师 使用Instagram实地记录灾况。 由此可见, Instagram已被新 闻机构视为一种资讯平台。而 公民记者也有了新而有力的平 台,将第一手或突发性的画面 即时地传送至世界各地。 而Instagram除了方便公民记 者分享讯息,搜寻关键词的功 能也让使用者快速地搜索相关 照片。 所以说,一切还是取决于 用户的心态:若你是一味的执 着于“我的照片要比别人的好 看”,或埋怨“每个人的生活 都比我更美好”,那你使用这 个的媒体的时间里必定没那么 快乐。 Instagram能够成为一个分享 心得的社群媒体,而当你把它 当作一个扩张视野、与他人交 流的平台时,就能从中获取最 多的好处和充实感。 相反的,若一心想要把 Instagram当成炫耀的工具或沉 迷于他人的“完美”生活中, 穷于追寻那遥不可及的“完 美”标准,只会让自己身心疲 惫,得不偿失。

插图:黄怀娇

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CHRONICLE 06 生活

咖啡厅售卖各式各样的饮料与糕点,让客人能在猫咪的陪伴下享用。

摄影: 吴琦琦

城市里的猫乐园 新加坡首间猫咖啡厅备受瞩目,在圣诞节开业后的一个 星期几乎天天爆满,让副编辑吴琦琦一探究竟,告诉你 猫咪们的魅力何在。

克拉码头地铁站步行十分钟,便 能抵达位于驳船码头的猫咖啡 厅:Neko no Niwa。坐落于一排店屋当 中的它,若没仔细留意外墙上所挂的立 体猫形招牌,你或许就会错过位于二楼 的猫咖啡厅。 沿着阶梯往上,就能看见由本地艺 术工作室Sloth Studio执笔的可爱猫咪壁 画,迎接你的到来。 客人一踏进店里就必须马上脱鞋、洗 手,减低细菌滋生,以确保猫咪二十四 小时所居住的环境是卫生、干净的。 之后,店主会为每组客人解说猫咖啡 厅的规则,并分发一本手册给他们,当 中介绍店里的规矩与十三只猫的人物写 照,让顾客对每只猫的习性有些理解。 另外,猫咖啡厅不允许人们带自己的猫 来,也不准客人自行喂食猫咪。

人与猫的互动 Neko no Niwa 从日文翻译过来就是 猫的花园,而这里的猫都是由36岁店主 陈淑琳从去年六月开始领养回来的。 猫儿性格外向、毫不畏惧人来人往的 客流,但店主透露这些猫还是花了近半

年的时间适应新环境和过群体生活。 猫儿喜欢坐在靠窗的木桌上,俯览驳 船码头的景色,并观察大街上人来人往 的情景。 店主特地定制了空心的立方体茶几, 让顾客有地方盛放食物,也让猫儿有躲 藏的空间,十分有趣。 但空间被家具占据一部分后,猫咪 的活动空间相对缩小。如果碰到客满情 况,大家就会急迫地想在有限时间内和 猫咪合照,场面更显拥挤,猫也偶尔感 觉烦躁,逃到别处去。 除了和猫儿拍照,客人还可以用逗猫 棒等玩具来娱乐猫咪,并用毛刷梳理猫 的毛。如果玩累了,也可以翻阅书架上 的书籍,或与朋友一起玩由店内所提供 的棋盘游戏。

店内茶点与收费 动物主题咖啡厅的概念在韩国、日本 等国家并不罕见,人们点了餐点饮料就 可以无限时地享受动物的陪伴。 有别于外国的经营模式,这间咖啡厅 采用计时收费。第一个小时收费为$12, 而接下来每30分钟则收费$5。

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客人抓紧时间与猫咪互动,并与猫咪合照留念。 付费后,顾客就可享有店内的无线上 网服务,若想享用茶点就得另外自费购 买。这间店没有征收消费税和服务费, 但需要注意的是,他们只接受现金付 款。 咖啡厅里的咖啡和茶都是由店员现场 泡制,他们的热拿铁($3.50)咖啡味浓 郁,冰巧克力饮料($4.50)香浓顺滑, 值得一试。 此外,不能喝含咖啡因饮料的朋友, 也可以选择其它多种口味的包装水果奶 昔($3.50)和其它饮品($1.00起)。 店内没有售卖主食,但贩售由本地中 小型企业烘培的糕点($2.00起)。虽然 选择没有一般咖啡厅多,但目的就是为 了支持本地企业家的发展。 值得一提的是,所有的饮料都有杯 盖,甜点也装在塑胶盒内,以避免与猫 咪共食,十分卫生。

需改善之处 为了不让猫儿“见客”过于劳累,目 前店主都将任何时段的顾客控制在25人 以内,甚至表示有意在未来减少人数。 若猫对比人的比例下降后,相信就可以

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减缓目前的拥挤现象,让大家有充分的 时间和空间去接触每一只猫。 本地第一间猫咖啡厅让爱猫者能够 在卫生、干净的环境下体验心爱动物陪 伴的悠闲生活,确实是爱猫者的天堂。 无奈收费系统较为昂贵,可能会让 许多人却步,建议各位可以打电话提前 预约,并选择在人潮较少的时段去拜 访,才能更舒服地享受猫儿的陪伴。

猫咖啡厅Neko no Niwa 54A Boat Quay (Level 2) Singapore 049843 电话:6535 5319 网址: http://www.catcafe.com.sg 营业时间 星期一至五:11am to 10pm 星期六和公共假日:10am to 10pm 星期天: 2pm to 9pm

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Opinions EDITORIAL GREY SKIES ON GREAT GRADES THE contentious debate over whet her creat ive modu les should be subjected to grading is nothing new. This semester, students from the School of Art, Design and Media (ADM) return to classes with a new grading system put in place. Grade distribution would have to confor m to university standards, according to the infamous “bell curve” grading system familiar to students of other NTU faculties. TODAY reported last month that ADM’s Acting Associate Chair (Academic) Peer Sathikh announced the news through e -ma i l t wo we e k s be for e the release of the previous semester’s results. Understandably, students were concerned about the effect it had on their results, because of the fewer A grades the school would be awarding. The ADM issue thrusts the age-old question back into the spotlight — should creativity be graded? Some students feel one cannot place a letter grade on what is creative, let alone subject it to a bell curve grading system. On the other hand, others say doing so prevents dilution of the value of the degree in the job market, by preventing the giving away of A grades freely. It is tr ue that inf lating the value of a degree is very dangerous, but one also needs

to ta ke gr ad i ng f rom t he perspective of the graded. Put t ing a grade on creativity is essentially an oxymoron in itself. This could potentially stifle learning in the long run, where students produce works based on a grade in mind instead of being free to flourish creatively. The essence of learning may be compromised, lost in the chase for the elusive A grade. Indeed, is t h is not t he very criticism levelled at the existing grading framework? Subjecting a small class to a bell curve grading system — wherein only 10 per cent of the cohort gets an A grade — might prove detrimental to the class’ overall competitiveness. For example, in a small class of 10 students — knowing that only one or two of your peers might get the only A grades in class might turn off students from trying. The converse might even b e t r ue — s abot a g i ng or backstabbing a friend just to get ahead in grades. W h i le t h i s i s t he way for wa r d ( at lea s t for t he foreseeable future), students would do well to guard against the dangerous mentality of placing grades before learning. Perhaps someday society will learn its own lesson on the best way to nurture budding creative minds.

THE NANYANG

CHRONICLE CHIEF EDITOR Alfred Chua

DAPPER EDITOR Leslie Wong

MANAGING EDITOR Liu Ting Ting

OPINIONS EDITOR Huang Caiwei

SUB-EDITORS Celine Chen Eunice Toh Tiffany Goh Audrey Tan Kerri Heng

CHINESE EDITORS Camelia Ting Teo Sijia

DIGITAL EDITOR Jay Yeo COMMUNITY EDITOR Jonathan Lee NEWS EDITORS Aqil Haziq Louisa Tang LIFESTYLE EDITORS Justin Kor Serena Yeh REVIEWS EDITOR Zachary Tang

PHOTO EDITORS Collin Wang Tan Xiu Qi GRAPHICS EDITOR Pamela Ng BUSINESS MANAGERS Melanie Heng Sheena Wong PRODUCTION SUPPORT Ng Heng Ghee TEACHER ADVISORS Debbie Goh Lau Joon-Nie Lim Hai Yen Zakaria Zainal

A students’ newspaper published by the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI) Nanyang Technological University 31 Nanyang Link, Singapore 637718 Tel: 6790 6446 Unsigned editorials represent the majority view of the editorial board of The Chronicle and do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of Nanyang Technological University, its employees, the students or the Council of the University. Signed opinion columns, letters and editorial cartoons represent the opinion of the writer or artist and are not necessarily those of The Chronicle.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

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frankly, my dear

A column by Chronicle Editors on issues close to their hearts

Get Real Huang Caiwei

Opinions Editor

N

ow that I am looking for a job, I realise that I may have no vocational skills to put in a job application letter. This is worse than going into an examination unprepared. At least if I start blanking out, I can still exercise the S/U option as a backup. Faced with a blank job application form, I recalled how, as a History major, I’ve been told countless times that my job opportunities are limited. A while ago, I casually mentioned my intention to take an Art History module. My two friends gave me a stare that read: “You must be crazy.”

But now, faced with a blank job application form and the “Skills” box staring back at me, a certain realisation is slowly sinking in: the significance of the letter “T” containing a vertical stroke, representing depth of specialisation. From that point, the conversation sounded all too familiar. Both being law students, they went on to warn me against wasting time, and advised me to do something more “practical”, like Accountancy. I wasn’t bothered by their rant then because I’ve never pictured myself working in the confines of an office cubicle. You could say that I am a Generation Y stereotype. I want a job that I find enjoyable and meaningful. This also means interacting with colleagues who are culturally and artistically informed.

GRAPHIC: PAMELA NG

Two decades ago, anyone expressing such ideas would be frowned upon by their concerned parents. But this is the 21st century; surely the blooming creative industry could make this dream an attainable reality. The catch-word of the modern creative market is a “T-shaped” education. “T” because there is both depth of speciality and breadth of knowledge. A multi-discplinary education seemed to be the obvious path to my preferred lifestyle. I was convinced that as long as I expanded my academic horizons, I would get the job I deserved. In the end, I went ahead with the Art History module, simply because I love art and wanted to learn more about surrealism and the eccentric Salvador Dali. But now, faced with a blank job application form and the “Skills”

box staring back at me, a certain realisation is slowly sinking in: the significance of the letter “T” containing a vertical stroke, representing depth of specialisation. The design firm I applied for required me to have skills in computer software apart from just having creative product ideas. I haven’t heard from them since. Without technical speciality, the “T” becomes a dash, “—”, a dead end. So my dreams could be dashed all too soon. I am thankful that this realisation came early. If I had continued chasing my passions without any career planning, I might probably be “funemployed”. That is, unemployed because I had too much fun. I might not have a future in the creative industry - but if my internship experience is anything to go by, a think-tank job might just be the right fit for me.

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24-25 OPINIONS

conversations with

TRUST I’M A We are by now relatively confident of where our capabilities lie. But what if we discover new talents along the way? Opinions Editor Huang Caiwei speaks to Writer-in-Residence, Mr Yong Shu Hoong, about his journey from an NUS Computer Science major to an award-winning poet.

C What story will you tell?

I

t wa s t h roug h computer science that Mr Yong Shu Hoong, 48, one of NTU’s Writers-in-Residence, found success in poetry. His poems, often already complete as he conceives them, is a result of his ability to dissect complex logarithms and mindboggling functions. Mr Yong dabbled with writing for the NUS school newspaper during his Computer Science days. He also blogged on the monochromatic green displays of his computer’s electronic bulletin boards. It was then that he discovered that poetry was an apt medium for expressing his thoughts and feelings. His poetry collection, Frottage, winner of the 2006 Singapore Literature Book Prize, talks about his travels to Australia and his relationship between Singapore and Australia. Most of his works document events in his life, with refreshing and often humorous perspectives on otherwise ordinary things. A strong advocate of the local literary scene, he founded subTEXT — a series of monthly literary gatherings that ran from 2001 to 2008. SubTEXT is now held on an ad-hoc basis. As NTU’s Writer-in-Residence, Mr Yong teaches the Introduction to Creative Writing course.

We are recruiting journalists. For 20 years, we have brought you stories that mattered the most to NTU students. From suicides to satellite launches, these stories have got you talking. No matter what the story, there has always been a team of dedicated story-tellers on the ground, listening and presenting the most relevant facts to you, readers. And who better to tell these stories, then you? If you have a keen interest in telling your stories to our NTU community, we want you in our team. Find out more about the changing journalism landscape at our information session — held on 15 Jan, 5pm at the Executive Seminar Room in the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. Join the Nanyang Chronicle and come tell your story.

Positions available:

Writers | Sub-editors | Photographers | Videographers | Video Editors | Web Designers | Illustrators | Infographic Designers | Programmers | Sports Editors

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CHRONICLE Vol 20.06_pg24-25.indd 2

How did the transition from Computer Science to Creative Writing happen for you? When I went to Texas for further studies, I needed an outlet to document my feelings and homesickness. I was suddenly living in this new, wide-open space, as opposed to claustrophobic Singapore. I picked up a book of poems by Jim Morrison, who is the lead singer of The Door. When I read that book I re-

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ST ME; A SCIENTIST

If you were to take a completely different major, what would it be and why? Would not change it. I’ve spent four years in the course and I like the industry. Kartik Ramakrishnan, 22 Mechanical Engineering, Year 4

I would do business because it involves more interaction with people and I enjoy that. Computer engineering involves a lot of mathematics.

PHOTO: LIM MU YAO

alised that it was like stepping into a museum and seeing installation art, and thinking that you could also do it yourself. Then it sort of changed my mind; that poetry was not just about Shakespeare and rhymes. It is something simple, conversational, casual and with a bit of structure, something that I thought I could do. What do you think about Science students giving poetry a shot? I think that if a student is in a different stream, that really makes it quite interesting because they are from a totally different background as compared to someone who is studying Literature. Let’s say you are in Electrical Engineering or Computer Science, there is a lot of knowledge which you have that other poets may not. So you can write a poem re-appropriating IT terms, for example. So that’s one way of looking at it. In that sense, then you might have an advantage. What advice would you give to aspiring writers? In terms of ideas, it really took me leaving Singapore and going to America to have this explosion of ideas, because new things were bombarding me from different directions. So what I do is that — I don’t know if this can be taught — to notice things going on around you, whether it is somebody saying something or a particular image. I’m able to look at mundane things and feel that: “Oh, this might make a good poem.”

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Could you perhaps demon strate how you derive interesting perspectives from mundane things? So if I’m in this room (his office in HSS), this room is actually in the Chinese division, which is a bit strange because, by right, I should be sitting with colleagues in the English division. So I could write about being given a room that I’m entitled to as a Writer-in-Residence, yet being far away from my other colleagues. And the fact that people always tell me “Oh, you are all the way there” makes me feel a little bit about being in Siberia and I think I could write a poem with some humour. Another poem (The Perils of InkBlot Tests) is one that is inspired by going to a poetry reading in the Arts House. I met a guy who is supposedly French and he was wearing a kind of a shirt that makes the sweat stain quite obvious. Then a friend started saying it was like “angel’s wings”, with other people saying other things, while the French guy was getting more and more embarrassed. So I wrote a piece that has a little bit of humour, a little bit of irony, and a bit of self-poking fun, about what it’s like to be in a whole community of poets because you see a metaphor in everything, including a sweat stain. Has NTU been the material for any of your works? Yes. I wrote two poems based on a lecture that I attended. This one was done by a distinguished professor about a subject I had no idea

about… I think it was probably about the efficiency of solar cells. And I found that it was quite interesting although I didn’t have a clue about what he was talking about 80 per cent of the time. But what I did after that was use some of the terms that were used during the lecture to write the poems. So the poems were written in a way that creatively reinterpreted terms from an Engineering lecture.

AUTHOR’S PICKS Here is Mr Yong Shu Hoong’s recommendation on works by local authors.

I would recommend Dr Boey Kim Cheng’s works as he is a poet I admire. Writing about issues close to Singapore, they include Somewhere-bound (1989), Another Place (1992) and Af ter the Fire: New and Selected Poems (2006). The late Arthur Yap, who used to be a poet and painter, combined the playfulness of Singlish and the precision of English in his works, such as Only Lines (1971), Commonplace (1972) and Down the Line (1980).

Farn Shao Qiu, 26 Computer Engineering, Year 4

If I weren’t scared of blood, I would have considered Medicine. But mistakes in this field can be fatal to patients, so I’d rather not. Goh Zheng Yang, 22 Business accountancy double degree, Year 1

If I could do a few modules just for fun, they would be related to arts and music. Elham Asadian, 29 PhD student on 6 monthexchange trip with NTU (Materials Science Engineering) Sharif University of Technology, Iran

WORDS: LAVISHA PUNJABI PHOTOS: TAN XIU QI

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THE IDEA OF

UNIVERSITY Raymond Ngoh

R

ATHER than attending a workshop on job interview skills, performing a unique rendition of a Broadway number could be more helpful in getting a job these days. Last November, NTU disclosed plans to roll out the $30-million Margaret Lien Centre for Professional Success by 2017, to arm students with job interviewing and career skills.

NTU’s move seems valid. To counter the global phenomenon of degree inflation, one needs to possess more than just a degree to be employed. It seeks to give students a competitive edge in the job market and equip them to succeed in any workplace.

GRAPHIC: MUHAMMAD SABRI

GRAPHIC: PAMELA NG

T he decision to emphasise career and professional skills training is a clear indication of the university’s stance on what makes a graduate employable. NTU’s move seems valid. To counter the global phenomenon of degree inflation, one needs to possess more than just a degree to be employed. In contrast, Stanford University is adopting a different stance. In

louder than words

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2012, it introduced a requirement for all undergraduates to attend a compulsory class on Creative Expression, ranging from broadway musicals, fiction writing and architectural design. Stanford might be a step ahead. According to T he Economist, “California’s famous innovation factory” has discovered that an arts education is the key to educating leaders and teaching them

to form extraordinary ideas. Its creative alumni include Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and I nstagra m’s Kev in Systrom and Mike Krieger. If the goal of NTU’s new career development centre is indeed to “equip [students] to succeed in any workplace”, perhaps NTU can consider offering more courses that allow the pursuit of imaginative problem-solving.

While some may drown in today’s new age of information, it’s the ones with intangible, Artsrelated skills who will be ahead of the pack, or just stay comfortably afloat. Career skills training is undeniably essential, but so is the ability to cultivate new ideas. The latter should be treated with the same level of importance as the former.

Pamela Ng Art Editor

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30-31 SPORTS

SPORTING EXCELLENCE

Photo Editors Collin Wang and Tan Xiu Qi bring the action to you with a recap of the most adrenaline-pumping moments from the Inter-School and Inter-Hall Games during the semester break.

(CLOCKWISE FROM TOP) BOUNCING BACK TO WIN: Pearlyn Tan (middle), 20, from Hall of Residence 9 strikes the volleyball in a preliminary match against Hall 3. Initially trailing behind their Hall 3 opponents with a score of 10-17 during the timeout, the girls eventually snatched the victory with a score of 27-25. VALIANT EFFORT: Volleyball captain Benjamin Foo (right), 22, from Hall 11 puts up a strong defence in the first match against Hall 6 in the preliminary round. Despite a spirited play from Hall 11, Hall 6 triumphed 29-27 in the first set and eventually won the game 2-0, moving on to the quarter-finals. APPLYING SCIENCE TO SPORTS: Randall Hor (middle), 22, a second-year student from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) intercepts the pass from School of Biological Sciences (SBS) player Soh Jing Kai (right), 23, at the frisbee preliminary stage. Team SBS player Ernest Lai, 25, suggested the use of terms such as “oxygen” and “carbon monoxide” as a strategy to confuse their opponents. Despite their unorthodox efforts, SBS lost 2-9 to MAE. THE FINAL STRIKE: The Hall 5 hockey team rejoices after scoring the winning penalty in the tiebreaker shootout at the preliminaries. During the intense game against Hall 7, both teams were equally matched and neither side managed to secure a goal. THE UNEXPECTED VICTORY: Netball girls from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI) roughed it out against National Institute of Education (NIE) in the finals on NIE home ground, emerging victorious with a score of 9-5. Elizabeth Tan (right), 20, playing as the WKWSCI team’s Goal Defence, attributed the win to the team’s “modesty and humility”. She said: “We didn’t know what to expect but our spirits are kept up as we have advanced through the finals.”

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THE NANYANG

VOL. NO.

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CHRONICLE 06

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24 OPINIONS

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THE NANYANG

20

CHRONICLE 03 NO.

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V20.6 The Nanyang Chronicle  
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