Uu

If you along Orchard Road and a little bored with the usual shopping, drop by Scotts Square and check out an exhibition by Kinetic Singapore.  It’s also a pop up store of sorts to get a miniature replica of yourself done.

3D scanning is all the rage nowadays but few have the ability to deliver the quality that I saw at the exhibition.  Ok ok ok, I may be a little bias because the organisers are dear friends.  That said, go check it out for yourself and I’m happy to be corrected.  Though my hunch is that you’ll agree that the likeness is better than most 3D scanners out there.

So it’s no surprise, my besties and I had a blast inspecting the miniatures, especially the Lims, which were my favourite.  I was so very tempted to get one of myself.  I can just imagine displaying mini me with my Ultimate Bumblebee.  In in the meantime, here’s my favourite picture from the day, regular us while we contemplate about getting mini us.

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Kangaroo Airline

I’m calling Qantas my favourite kangaroo airline and with all the best intentions too.  It’s been AGES, maybe like 15 years since I last sat on Qantas.  It’s not on my father’s list of airlines to be on so I was very apprehensive when I bought my Emirates tickets to Perth, only to learn they were a code share flight with Qantas.

My flight left on time, arrived slightly before ETA, the pillows and blanket were comfy and the service was better than my last experience with Singapore Airlines.  So all in all, I’m happy with Qantas and all ready to use them again.

Oi oi oi Aussie Aussie Aussie!!

iOS 7

Here’s my 2 cents.  First things first, I bought an iPhone and I do not want it to look like an Android.

So they’ve lost me on the design.  There’s an elegance in iOS 6 that I much prefer, note the picture on the left … maybe I just like shadows.  Next, I’m not fond of form taking precedence over function.  Transitions are pretty but if that’s all it is without any function, it feels like a percentage of the profits I’m contributing to is going to waste.  My question is this, what’s with the icons flying in each time I ‘open’ my phone?  Like I said, I don’t want my iPhone to look like a Samsung, if I did, I’d buy the Samsung Note 3.  So much for “We don’t add features simply because we can, because it’s technologically possible. We add features only when they’re truly useful. ” because I want to know what is Parallax for?

I also really don’t like when you change gestures for no apparent reason.  Like left to right swipe for Delete is now right to left.  Also, to ‘close’ apps it’s no longer holding onto an icon but swiping upwards.  It really isn’t a big deal but like that pebble in your shoe, it can be rather annoying.  I don’t know if anyone on the design team gave it any thought, which seems to go against the ethos of Apple, when you have to relearn something with no real benefit, it’ll usually bug your user.

That said, I do like some improvements. Like Control Centre, very much appreciated there and Airdrop but why oh why doesn’t Airdrop work between iOS devices and your Mac?  The iTunes Radio, I really like 🙂  As you can tell, at the moment I’m not a huge fan of iOS 7 so I might be reviewing an Android device a lot sooner than I expected or made to eat this post when I find out what Parallax is truly useful for 🙂

Being Vegetarian in Taipei

I’ve said this more than once or twice, being vegetarian in Taipei is great!!  I don’t know where else in the world you can find a vegetarian version of nearly every Taiwanese dish there is.  Needless to say, I’m always a happy camper when I have to go to Taipei for work.

I love noodles.  Fat ones, skinny ones, long ones and short ones so when I found Hoshina, a restaurant that hand makes their noodles, I was happy happy happy.  It was delicious too!!  Though Taiwanese have no idea what they are talking about when they say spicy :p  They have an array of different noodles dishes, most of them were soup based and interesting side dishes too.  They are mostly vegan though you can add an egg to most of the noodle dishes.  I went back twice in the week was in Taipei.  If I lived there, it would be one of my favourite haunts.

The thing about Taipei I really like is the different quaint little shops you can find hidden within the maze of back lanes that is, in my humble opinion, the backbone of the city.  One afternoon, looking for a quick lunch I stumbled into a cafe that I don’t have the name for.  It made a decent salad with home dressing and freshly squeezed orange juice.  Good salads are hard to find in Asia.  Too bad though, I wouldn’t be able to find this cafe again, even if my life depended on it.

You can’t go to Taipei and not eat stinky tofu.  At least not when you’re me 🙂  I love food with strong smells.  So there’s little vegetarian Taiwanese hole in the wall type spot does does excellent vegetarian version of Taiwanese cuisine.  There is no signage to the place and it’s easy to miss the spot but together with a Taiwanese friend who knew where we were going.  I went home with yet another full belly.

Though they don’t hand make their noodles, it was yummy too.  The soup was was rather hearty.  I’m definitely a soup person and with monkey head mushrooms, I bet I could take my sister there for a meal too.  I think she’ll like Taiwan.  It’s a foodie paradise for meatasourous too!!

Of course, I made a pit stop to Loving Hut.  A vegetarian chain of restaurants that even has a presence in Singapore.  Again vegetarian versions of Taiwanese cuisine.  I even got some road side vegetarian dumplings for my last night in Taipei.  I love Taipei 🙂

中秋节快乐

My family got together early to celebrate the Mid Autumn Festival 中秋节 (zhong qiu jie) where we had mooncakes galore, even vegetarian ones with vegetarian yolks.  It was yummy!!  Coupled with tea and good conversations, we ushered the full moon in about a week earlier than everyone is going to do today.

Of course, there was the customary walk with lanterns and traditional ones at that.  None of those music blaring battery operated modern lanterns … actually we had a couple of those but when came time to take a walk everyone chose the candle lit ones 🙂  And not forgetting sparkles.

There’s something about sparkles that just adds to the celebrations.  From my family to yours, may mooncakes fill your belly and the lights of sparkles fill tonight and all of your nights!!

The Scarecrow

It’s no secret that I’m a vegetarian that borders on being vegan.  The jury is still out for me when it comes to bees and honey so I can’t honestly say I’m vegan.  There are many reasons why I’m vegetarian and mostly it comes from an awareness that I didn’t have before.  When something is made clear to you, it’s kinda hard to ignore and that’s why being vegetarian hasn’t been difficult for me at all.  So when I chanced upon this campaign, I was reminded about my answer when people ask me if I’ll ever stop being vegetarian.

I’ll stop being vegetarian when I’m prepared to kill the animal I want to eat.

Yes yes yes, the FaceBook guy said this too.  For the record, I said it way before he made it popular but it’s totally possible he said it to his friends before I ever thought it.  It really doesn’t matter who said it first but I understand what he means.  Like the Game of Thrones pilot episode where Ned Stark was teaching his young son about accountability, “The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.”

Back to the campaign, I did like Chipotle when I tried it but I’m not entirely sure they are totally fresh food served at its best.  Nonetheless, it’s a great branding exercise and will make me seek out a Chipotle the next time I’m near one so I guess it worked 🙂

One day I hope I can put my name on something like that too.

Ilo Ilo

If you’re looking for something to watch this weekend, I’d say check out the latest Singapore film, Ilo Ilo.  I didn’t get a chance to watch The Girl in Pinafore, which I heard was lovely too but I did catch Ilo Ilo.  I’m happy to say that I did enjoy Anthony Chen’s first feature film.  I know how immensely difficult it is to direct, much less a feature film so in spite of the fact that there were a couple of rough first time directional calls, the film was strongly held together by a genuine heart and that’s consistent in all of Anthony’s other projects.

It was a simple story that all Singaporeans can relate to, actually it’s pretty universal, it’s about relationships.  How we build them, take them for granted, destroy them and try to rebuild them again.  The acting was very strong, even from Jia Ler, the lead boy who is making his acting debut with Ilo Ilo.  The art direction was impeccable.  I couldn’t tell that the film was shot in 21st century Singapore and I left the cinema hoping that Anthony keeps at his craft.  This doesn’t happen often with me where I root for a director’s next film before I’ve even finished contmplating his current one.  Anthony even managed to make me ponder about my own scripts.  That doesn’t ever happen when I watch big Hollywood studio films :p  For that alone, I’m grateful I made the time to catch this film.

Ilo Ilo may have won the Camera d’Or award at Cannes and has been shortlisted for Singapore’s submission to the Oscars but I don’t think we’ve seen Anthony Chen’s best work yet.  At only 29, I’m hoping the harsh media environment in Singapore doesn’t kill his spirit and there will be more of where Ilo Ilo came from.