Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The new Macbook and Macbook Pros

It's out! The new Macbook and Macbook Pros. Made from a single piece of aluminum, it's slimmer, lighter (Macbook pro is slightly heavier), feels extremely well built and shows off a new LED-backlit screen. The multi-touch trackpad is now made of glass, is bigger, and the pad is also the trackpad button itself. Internally, expect a big update too. The Macbook now comes with a new integrated graphic processor - the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, which promises a 5x performance boost! The Macbook Pro comes with an additional NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT processor which speeds things up another 2.3x! However, this is only activated when the applications require it, meaning better power management too. The only thing that bugs me is the unavailbaility of a non-glossy version for the screen. I always liked that better. Watch the video here.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Heroes Season 3 returns with a vengeance!

I've always been an avid follower of Heroes, the TV series. After Season 2 was abruptly cut short due to the writer's strike in the US, Season 3 returns stronger than before with a much tighter script, more action and plenty of surprises to keep you at the edge of your seats! What more can you expect with a theme like "Villians"? Heroes Television gives one of the best update of Season 3 with many spoilers to whet your appetite for more. Some interesting revelations in Season 3 include the return of Ali Larter as Tracy Strauss, the last and still surviving triplet sister of Niki and Jessica. We also hear of a certain the "Big Bad" who might turn out to be the ultimate baddy so far! There is also Level 5, a place in "The Company" where many villians with extraordinary powers are kept imprisoned until Sylar frees them. With the different characters starting to take sides against each other, it's really starting to sound like X-men on TV, only this is infinitely better. Enjoy the promo trailer if you haven't!


Monday, September 29, 2008

Much ado about Venice

I was recently in Venice for 2 weeks to set up the Singapore pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2008: "Architecture Beyond Buidlings" architecture showcase. It was a great experience to be there and I certainly learned much through the whole process of working in this project. There is a whole story of how I even got to be involved in this and I will leave that for the next post. But for now, let me leave you with some frames of this beautifully textured city in Italy.


Saturday, July 05, 2008

Great friends are priceless

Friends, they make all the difference in this world. When you are down and out and feeling like you are walking through the deepest darkest valley of your life, these are the people who help to shine some light on the path ahead with their encouragement and support. That light might not exactly be the one at the end of the tunnel, but it is all you need to keep you going. Some of you know that I had did not clear my final year thesis for the second time. It was a little hard to swallow the reality of it when I saw my results slip. I was discouraged, disappointed and frankly, just really tired. A dear friend helped put together the above video to encourage me and remind me that there were people around me who believed in me and are supporting me through it all. To Meiqi and all who took time to record down your encouragements, and the rest of you who encouraged me in your own little ways, I am thankful and encouraged. Thanks for the love shown. :)


Photo Essay: "A Certain Comfort in Freedom"

There is a certain comfort and freedom to do the most outrageous things when we are kids. Somehow we know that our mum or dad will be nearby to make things ok again if anything went wrong. We throw caution and safety to the wind and go on the most daring adventures. As we grow up, we learn to take less risks and stay within the comforts of our usual routines. That does not need to be so. I believe that accountability to close friends and personal mentors liberates us and gives us the wings to fly again.


Thursday, June 05, 2008

Photo Essay: "2008 and Beyond!"


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ice cream never looked so cool

If I were ever to open an ice cream shop, I wouldn't mind a bit if it looked like this. Isn't that just beautiful? The Rono Ice Cream Store is designed by Hiroyuki Miyake, a Japanese designer whose firm is named after him. Born in 1975, Miyake graduated in 1997 from the Osaka University of Arts, department of interior design. After working for Takara Space Design Corp., he spent two years in UK learning English before starting his own firm in 2005. Besides doing interiors, Miyake has also designed some rather interesting furniture. Find out more at hiroyuki miyake. More pics after the break.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Change Starts With One Person

What an incredibly powerful message.
I couldn't have said it better myself. Watch till the end and you will know what I am talking about. Will you do something to change the world today? It takes just one person to cause a ripple that has the potential to reach far and wide. Would you be that one person?


A great beast of a camera!

This is the next prosumer non-DSLR camera to look out for. The soon to be released Nikon Coolpix P80. To me, this is what makes a great do-it-all camera - Exceptional zoom, manual controls, image stabiliser, super macro mode at 1cm and low noise at high ISO sensitivity. If Nikon can somehow bring some of the magic they did for the D3 and D300 with respect to noise into this little baby, this is going to be one heck of a camera. Oh, and did I mention that it has wide angle (27-486mm, that's 18x!), a large 2.7 inch monitor and video capture at 30fps? Throw in Nikon's proprietary Face-Priority AF, In-Camera Red-Eye Fix and D-Lighting, together with 52Mb of internal storage and you have one of the most comprehensive camera ever built. Seven years ago when I was first introduced into the world of digital photography, I dream of such a beast. It has finally come into being. Now, if only Canon could come up with a similar make but with an extra swivel screen. That would certainly be the icing on an already very sweet cake.


Friday, April 11, 2008

The Moment of Truth Revealed

You know how there are some moments in your life when you read or hear or watch something and then it all becomes clear to you? I've had the blessings of having a few of these so far in my life - the first when I came to really know this person called Jesus Christ. Today, while watching 2 videos, something clicked in me so strongly I almost thought I saw my future write itself out in front of me. Between these 2 videos, they sum up 2 things that I hold very closely to my heart - creativity and education (what I like to see as helping others get in touch with their own creativity and potential).

The first video by Sir Ken Robinson inspired and fuel my passion for creativity. The second, a presentation by Dave Eggers took it right out of my mouth. Some of you might have heard me speak before of this dream to open some form of tuition centre with an emphasis on personal attention before Dave Eggers with his 826 Valencia project, literally put out in reality what I have been pondering about in my mind all this while. It's not just his idea. It's how he did it that my heart so resonates with. Watching it made me speechless. I would have cried except that I was too full of excitement and joy and encouragement. For a while now, I thought maybe I was just some crazy guy trying to make a difference without even knowing if any of his ideas made any sense. Today, I know IT IS POSSIBLE. And I promise you, IT WILL HAPPEN. Check out "Once Upon A School" to learn more about what I am talking about.

Even now, as I write this, I just can't stop thinking about it. It's like one crucial piece of the jig-saw puzzle has been finally found. Incidentally, my thesis project due really soon has got very much to do with this idea, but on a larger scale. I don't know how else to explain this, but I finally see some light in the midst of these endless days of darkness! Thank you Huimei, for it was at your blog that I first watch Robinson's video which led me to search the rest of This is really significant for me. I can't wait to see where this brings me. What a revelation! What a great God we have! No matter how tough it might get, I'm going to do it anyway. Cheers!


Champions come in all sizes

Minichamps specializes in making miniature replicas of real cars. They are a company which I believe was started in Germany but now is also in the UK. I've always been amazed at the level of detail that goes into one of these miniatures. The level of precision just speaks volumes of the passion this people have for what they do. I like how this print ad for them is both a little cheeky yet endearing at the same time. You can never go wrong using little kitties can you? Think Shrek 2 etc. You can find more variations of this theme after the break but personally, I think the Jaguar one brings out the idea the best! Great stuff!


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Doing It Anyway

Life's too short to dwell on the what ifs and how longs and should Is and why mes. Do you have a dream? Run with it. You never know till you try. What if you don't succeed? Do it anyway. What if you are the only one who believes in it? Do it anyway. What if it matters to no one except yourself? Do it anyway. The reason is simple. There is someone who knows, who cares, who is rooting for you, who is running with you. His name is Jesus. Do it anyway. I'm feeling a little like the "what if I had"s and "why didn't I"s these few days. The lyrics of this song encouraged me and lifted my spirit in a very special way. May it speak to you too. Lyrics after the break.


You can spend your whole life buildin'
Somethin' from nothin'
One storm can come and blow it all away
Build it anyway

You can chase a dream
That seems so out of reach
And you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway

God is great, but sometimes life ain't good
When I pray it doesn't always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
I do it anyway

This world's gone crazy and it's hard to believe
That tomorrow will be better than today
Believe it anyway
You can love someone with all your heart
For all the right reasons
And in a moment they can choose to walk away
Love 'em anyway

(Repeat Chorus)

You can pour your soul out singin'
A song you believe in
That tomorrow they'll forget you ever sang
Sing it anyway
Yeah sing it anyway

I sing
I dream
I love anyway


Friday, April 04, 2008

Photo Essay: "It's not my fault the candle blew out..."

One of the joys I find in photography is being able to capture candid moments of life that we would otherwise miss or forget. Frozen in time, these snap shots capture the essence of a moment of joy, sadness, goofiness, determination, or simple mundaneness made extraordinary just by looking at it differently. Of course, it helps to have crazy friends.


Monday, March 31, 2008

A thousand pictures paints two words

Do you see what I see? Charis Tsevis is a visual designer, living and working in Athens, Greece. He runs his own studio under the name “Tsevis Visual Design” with his beloved wife Eva and their colleagues both for domestic or foreign projects. The images above are part of a collage that he created in Dec 2007. He does this by writing out his own script using the following software to complete the job - Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop and Apple QuickTime Pro. The final image is ready to impress you after the break. Click on it for the full-sized version in all it's glorious detail.

More examples of Charis' astonishing work can be found at his Flicker site.


Ken Lee..... Tulibu dibu douchoo

This seriously cracked me up! And now, I've got this song stuck in my head... "Ken Lee..... Tulibu dibu douchoo!!!!! Ken Lee... Ken Lee meju more...." Oh, I should warn you not to have any food in your mouth before you hit the start button. Click on to read more about this precious singer.

Valentina Hasan, 29 years old, is a contestant in the second season of the Bulgarian show "Music Idol". She performed Mariah Carey's song "Without you" in fake English during her audition. Seems like she is from the village of Zvezdelina, in the Kardzhali Province. Valentina's married and "Hasan" is her husband's surname. She currently lives in Spain.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Life in a day of an Architect

Life as an architect/ architecture student can get pretty daunting sometimes. Here's something that allows the rest of you to appreciate what we go through a little more. Enjoy.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Here In Your Presence

I was introduced to this song about a week ago when one of my band leaders sent me a link to a rather good piano tutorial. I decided to introduce the rest of you to it because I just heard it again today on my brother's computer and I realised that given that I played it at most 3 times in the past, I could recall most of the lyrics when I heard it again! I thought, "There must be something to this song!" As I heard the chorus play out again, I felt affirmed by God's word - that we become new in Him. Recently, my pastor shared about what God was teaching him, that God wants to do something NEW in our lives. Hearing the words of the chorus "Here in Your presence, all things are new..." just set my heart ablaze with renewed hope in Him. May you be blessed as you listen to words too. Click on for the lyrics. [+]

by New Life Worship (Desperation Band)

Found in Your hands, fullness of joy
Every fear suddenly wiped away
Here in Your presence
All of my gains now fade away
Every crown no longer on display
Here in Your presence

Heaven is trembling in awe of Your wonders
The kings and their kingdom are standing amazed

Here in Your presence, we are undone
Here in Your presence, Heaven and Earth become one
Here in Your presence, all things are new
Here in Your presence, everything bows before You

Wonderful, beautiful, glorious, matchless in every way
Wonderful, beautiful, glorious, matchless in every way


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bambooing On...

I chanced upon this article on a dear friend, Eejay's blog and could really identify with it. There are times in one's life when you feel that you are just going nowhere and each step you take results in you slipping 3-4 steps behind. I'm feeling that way this season of my life. It's not that I have been dealt with great hardship or sickness or anything like that. The struggle is more internal, having to press on to push through and complete what I had started in my architectural studies. It's not that I have no passion for it. I do, but there is some mysterious great inertia that is just holding me back. The experience is as if all sense of discipline had decided to leave me, and a great horde of procrastination trooped in to squat upon my heart. It's like I have fallen ill and need a great dose of determination to boost my health.

Well, I am not sure how many of you can identify with what I am saying, but if you can and are going through the same thing, may this little story bless you and encourage you to press on and not give up. [+]

The Fern and the Bamboo

One day I decided to quit...I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality.... I wanted to quit my life. I went to the woods to have one last talk with God.

"God", I said. "Can you give me one good reason not to quit?"

His answer surprised me.

"Look around", He said. "Do you see the fern and the bamboo?"

"Yes", I replied.

"When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.

In the second year the fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.

"In year three there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit. The same in year four.

"Then in the fifth year, a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern, it was seemingly small and insignificant.

But just six months later, the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall. It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive. I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle.

"Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots? I would not quit on the bamboo. I will never quit on you.

"Don't compare yourself to others." He said. "The bamboo had a different purpose than the fern. Yet they both make the forest beautiful.

"Your time will come", God said to me. "You will rise high"

"How high should I rise?" I asked.

"How high will the bamboo rise?" He asked in return.

"As high as it can?" I questioned

"Yes." He said, "Give me glory by rising as high as you can."

I left the forest, realizing that God will never give up on me. And He will never give up on you.

Never regret a day in your life.

Good days give you happiness; bad days give you experiences; both are essential to life.

--Author Unknown


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Art of Coffee

Art certainly comes in many forms.
I've always been fascinated with how coffee makers decorate their lattes. This certainly takes it to the next level. And may I add, like I've always said, it doesn't take one to be involved in the art, design, music or media industry to be creative. Creativity is in everyone. It's how you tap into it and make it part of your life that really matters. Enough said. Go do something creative today!


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Photo Essay: "These Shoes Aren't Made For Walking"

My friend Jack got married end of last year and asked me to be his unofficial photographer. I was terribly sick that day, but still managed to make it down for the dinner. While there, I captured this. The paige boy had decided to lose his shoes as he ran off for some barefooted prancing around. Cute.


Lego Architecture

What do you get when you bring a group of architects together, throw them a pile of white lego bricks and ask them to just have fun and engage spontaneously with the materials? A huge amount of creativity!

The Building Asia Brick By Brick project done in collaboration between Andrew Maerkle of Art AsiaPacific and Wei Wei Shannon of People’s Architecture seeked to to promote awareness of architectural preservation in Asia where much urban development occurs at the expense of historically significant or unique buildings. In raising awareness, the project hoped to get people to look at their environments critically.

I was personally quite impressed with the end results of many of the projects. It just proves that we can certainly come up with more creative alternatives to the heavy-handed tear down and rebuild approach that many developing countries are taking, in the name of economic growth. I also noticed that the goals of the Building Asia Brick By Brick project was very much similar to what we do in re:act! Perhaps we could get Lego to sponsor the next Design My Place or YUP project? That would be great wouldn't it?

Read more here


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Multi-touch Supersized

Is this the future of minority report-like interfaces to come? For now, it just seems like a big iPod Touch screen to me. But kudos to the inventors for creating some nifty multi-touch abilities here. The program seems to work even with many people doing different things. I've always wondered why desktops can't be more like that. That way, my mum can check her email while I carry on working on Photoshop or Autocad. We can use separate mouse and keyboards and the computer will know how to process each simultaneously. Talk about multi-tasking. Is anyone from Microsoft or Apple hearing me?!

Read more here.


Monday, February 18, 2008

A Dose of Steve Spangler Craziness

Well, it's certainly been a long time since I updated. Here are some things that have caught my eye and in some way, inspire me recently.

Steve Spangler teaches teachers, and people in general, how to create unforgettable learning experiences with humor and attention-grabbing science demonstrations. He has appeared on the Ellen Show 3 times and each time he never fails to bring out the fun and excitement in learning more about science. My favourite is the Vortex Ring Air Blaster. Check out his website for more info! If only science lessons in our schools were this interesting. You know what, they can be! If any of you teachers out there are reading this, let's hear your thoughts in the comments page. Are we being too idealistic about this? Is Steve's idea and approach towards science education too impractical and impossible to implement in our schools? (wow, I actually managed 2 'im's in a roll!) I think not. What say you?

Check out Steve's appearance on the Ellen Show here and here.