Month: January 2008

Beyond Words

Spain should be the country with the tourist board tagline we wear so proudly. OK, not so proudly, but with a befuddled expression and lips mouthing a “har?” (Only joking, don’t take my link off your page) As I was saying, Spain. She doesn’t have words to her national anthem. How bizarre. Imagine if we didn’t have words to ours. How would we know the meaning of what we were singing? Thousands of kids across the country would never know that our national language was Bahasa Melayu. Or imagine if you didn’t have an anthem at all, and had to make one up on the spot when someone asked what your anthem was: As was the case with the state anthem of Perak, the tune of which later became the melody of the national anthem of Malaysia: The state anthem was created during a state visit of Sultan Idris of Perak to England in 1888. It was noticed that no anthem existed to greet the Sultan. The Aide-de-camp of the Sultan, Raja Mansur ibni Sultan …

Twinkle, twinkle little star, turn on the lights of your car

Naomi and I are pleased to announce that it works! The signal works. Earlier tonight, an MPV driver was barrelling down the ECP, along with his MPV of course, but without the MPV’s headlights on. Fortuitously, I was barrelling down the ECP on the outside lane close enough to him to pull alongside safely and allow Naomi to perform Twinkle Twinkle Little Star at the driver. It took only a couple of seconds for the driver to change the question mark on his face to an exclamation mark, and then turn on the lights on his MPV. We are resolved to take every available opportunity to signal in this manner to every stealth night driver we see, and then we will petition first, the LTA and then the international night driving signal authority to codify the Twinkle Twinkle Little Star signal as the universal signal for “please turn your lights on because it’s night time”. Technorati Tags: motoring, singapore, night driving, headlights Tweet

Well done mates

Picture: New Zealand Herald Sometime in August 1991, my kayaking partner and I tried to keep a watch out on the horizon for any sign of landfall as we sought to reach Tioman Island in Pahang State by kayak. It was the twelfth day of our trip, and we’d just endured what we felt was the mother of all mothers of all storms. Our Klepper Aerius Expedition II’s blue canvas skin was stained with vomit on either side of the passenger compartment cockpit, but far more worrying than that were the low clouds that obscured everything else, and made us worry that we might have been heading in the wrong direction for the previous, dunno, 12 hours overnight. It was the age before portable electronic navigational aids, or more accurately, the age before yours truly could afford any aid apart from several magnetic compasses purchased from discount camping stores. Three compasses, and the stars in the clear night sky before the storm broke at dawn helped keep our bow pointed at where we thought Tioman …